While doing my daily browsing of the (more and more irrelevant) mainstream news websites I came across these two headlines on CNN:
Now, I doubt that it was by design that these seemingly contradictory headlines appeared right next to each other, however it certainly did make me think about opportunities today as opposed to 10 or 20 years ago.
I don’t think we have to spend too much time on Mr. Kaepernick and his fortune(s). While he is certainly an exciting QB for the greatest football team on the planet (Go Niners!), one has to wonder if these outrageously rich contracts are in any relation to the actual services provided. Nevertheless, society seems to accept these contracts, and as long as people flock to the stadiums (or pay for cable/online access), we will continue to see these fortunes being made by athletes.
Which brings me to the second highlighted bullet. Is the American Dream out of reach? I came to this country about 20 years ago mainly because of the opportunities it offered (and, of course, because of my lovely wife). I watched closely as many things have changed, and not always to the better. Some of the reasons are increased regulation, a complicated tax code, aging infrastructure, increased cost of healthcare and education, and a failure of politicians to create an environment where companies want to take risks again. However, the economic environment for both job seekers and entrepreneurs is still better than in most other countries, developed, developing or emerging.
So, I don’t think the dream is out of reach; it just has gotten a little bit more difficult to reach it. And once we have completely worked through the Great Recession, and once companies really start hiring again (hopefully aided by politicians showing up for work again), the mood will swing in a more positive direction as well.
Until then, I suggest you practice your golf swing, throw footballs or swing the tennis racket. Whatever you fancy.
And Go Niners.