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Is “making it to the top” all that great?
I believe a good chunk of us want to “make it” in life. A lot of us are bound by that aspiration to reach that American dream; that “upward social mobility achieved through hard work.”
But nowadays, is it really all that attractive?
What’s really up there in first class? The outrageous potential 39.6% tax rate on the wealthiest 2.9% of Americans.
What happens if I make the cover page of some newspaper with my brilliant reporting? I can already feel the pressure and awoken expectations.
What about if I graduate with honors? There is a student debt waiting for me.
It’s almost like we are being discouraged from that “upward social mobility through hard work.” Will our hard work truly be satisfied? Or will more be asked of us?
Let’s look at Occupy Wall Street, for example. The poor demanded dispersing the wealth of first class. Given there are first class Americans that inherited their wealth and didn’t struggle for it, but what about the Americans that work for their success? Take Steve Jobs, for example. Would anybody really want to take anything from his wealth after he contributed so much to modern technology? Apparently so.
Of course some these scenarios are one-sided. Perhaps 39.6% tax rate is not so bad when you’re a billionaire. And the pressure after succeeding entices continuous effort. And graduating with honors might promise a career that pays off that debt. Maybe not. But the point is there seems to be some sort of “catch” when making your dreams come true.
I am not sure if this dissuades me from going for it. I don’t think I want anything more than to become a successful writer. However, it does affect the overall beauty of that end-picture. Do I want it any less? Maybe reality is just checking in.
I guess this may be a life lesson. Everything has a price. But does that price outweigh the gains? Is your chosen dream worth it? If so, then you will receive fulfillment. If not, it’s time to move on.
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