Pistorius beaten! The paralympian who was the poster child for the Games. The athlete who so excelled despite his handicap that he qualified to compete in the London Olympic Games themselves. He dominated his sprint events. And yet, this past summer, he lost half his races.

It’s not that Pistorius got slower. It’s that the rest of the world got faster and caught him up. His response was pride in the Paralympic movement. Anyone who sincerely cares about world peace and prosperity should have the same degree of contentment that mankind has so progressed. But, maybe peoples’ desire for a better world only starts after they have their high-def TV and their hybrid car. But as the billions around the world develop their societies and economies, they are now bidding on the same energy, minerals, lumber and food that we want. The American Dream is under siege, but not from ‘freeloaders’ or ‘fat cats’, but from the rest of the world.

The Economist summarised this blow to the American Dream, and the resultant paroxysms of frustration, in its piece ‘There Goes the Neighborhood’

  • “Both Mr Romney and Mr Obama talk a lot about the future. In reality, their campaigns are fuelled by nostalgia for a semi-mythical, pre-globalisation past, in which the American dream had almost contractual force, and hard work was reliably rewarded with upward mobility. But alas, rather than focus on structural changes needed to help Americans compete in a globalised world, the parties hint that today’s economic woes can be blamed on the other side’s bad faith.”

The only way forward for America is to let go of the past and embrace the failure of that model in today’s 21st century, globalised world. By not trying to go backward, it will focus all of its energy on going forward in the areas where America can lead and profit and build better lives for all its citizens. Time for a new contract for the American Dream.

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