Sometimes I wonder whether or not Americans are rich. Compared to the average Jordanian for example, Americans are so rich. A middle-class American lives in a nice house, has a car for him and his wife, sends his kids to a good college, has plenty of clothes, a digital camera, a great TV, and can afford to go on vacation every while and then with his family.
A middle-class Jordanian (they still exist) barely has any of the above. He is usually renting or owns a smaller house, has one car for the whole big family, owns an old TV, and can hardly ever go with the whole family on a vacation.
However, when I look at Americans rushing to the malls today to buy plenty of things they don't need, I pause and think of how rich they are. The majority of Americans do not really own most of the important things they have. They have a house but they don't own it; many of them have great 25K-dollar cars, but they don't own them. Their kids go to great colleges, but they graduate with debts up to 200,000 dollars, sometimes more. they do lots of shopping, and it's all with credit cards.
They have the impression that they are rich, they live the lives of rich people, they have a lot of things that only rich people can afford, but they don't own anything.
All what it takes for the average American citizen is to lose his job, and it's very easy in America. Even if he's performing well, he can come in the morning to his job to find himself fired because his job is not necessary anymore in the company.
He can lose his house, his car(s), the money he saved to pay for college, and he faces the dark truth that he owns nothing anymore, maybe because he owned nothing to start with.
More and more Americans are now one paycheck away from living on the street. More Americans (six million more) lost their health insurances under Bush, and much more believe they have a good health insurance until they get ill and discover they have to pay an incredible amount of money because their insurance was not covering for it. Medical bills are now the number one cause of bankruptcy in the US.
USA is a rich country, but most of its people are not. At a time when 1.6 trillion dollars (that's 1600 billion) have already been spent on two failing wars, there seems to be reason why one cannot be very optimistic about the future of this country. The American dream used to be a reality, but now it's becoming just a dream.