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Woke & Broke: The Decline of Ambition in America

In today’s America, the rise of liberal ideologies has led to a concerning shift in societal values and priorities. The emphasis on wokeness and progressive ideals has not only altered our cultural landscape but has also impacted the ambitions and fulfillment of many Americans. The pursuit of traditional goals such as career success, financial stability, and personal happiness seems to be overshadowed by a new wave of values that do not necessarily contribute to long-term satisfaction or societal progress.

Declining Ambition and Financial Stability

A closer look at average salaries by age reveals a troubling trend. According to data from Forbes [1], while younger workers (ages 16-19) earn an average of $29,770 annually, this number jumps significantly to $50,036 for those aged 20-24, and $79,411 for those aged 25-34. However, the growth rate of earnings slows considerably after age 35. This stagnation in earnings can be attributed to a lack of ambition and drive that is increasingly being seen among younger generations, who are often more focused on social justice issues and less on personal career advancement. Why strive for a promotion when you can virtue signal on social media all day? Liberal policies push the narrative that financial success is a form of privilege, causing many to settle for mediocrity instead of aiming higher.

Happiness and Fulfillment: A Declining Trend

The World Happiness Report [2] 2024 provides a comprehensive overview of happiness across different age groups. It highlights a significant decline in happiness among younger individuals, especially those in their 20s and 30s. This demographic, heavily influenced by liberal ideologies, often prioritizes social causes over personal achievements. Why pursue happiness in a stable marriage when TV shows tell you to explore every whim and identity, even if that means identifying as a gay cat? The report suggests that happiness tends to increase with age, peaking at around age 60. This indicates that older generations, who grew up with more traditional values, find more fulfillment in their later years compared to today’s youth.

The Grave Issue of Mental Health

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports [3] a disturbing increase in suicide rates among younger age groups. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among individuals aged 10-34. This alarming statistic underscores the mental health crisis exacerbated by the current cultural climate, where young people are often pressured to conform to progressive ideals that do not necessarily align with their personal values or aspirations. Instead of seeking meaningful personal goals, many are left adrift in a sea of identity politics and social justice causes that offer little in the way of real fulfillment.

Searching for Fulfillment

A study by the Pew Research Center [4] delves into what makes for a fulfilling life. Surprisingly, many Americans find fulfillment in family, career success, and religious faith—values often downplayed by progressive narratives. Why build a family or a meaningful career when the prevailing message is that traditional values are outdated and oppressive? The research highlights a stark contrast between what people find fulfilling and what modern liberal ideologies promote. While social justice and activism are important, they do not replace the need for personal achievements and stable, fulfilling lives.

Conclusion

Those of us who continue to pursue traditional values, even if they aren’t flashy or celebrated by the media, are the ones propping up this country. Our commitment to career success, family, and personal responsibility is what keeps the nation strong and stable. The lack of ambition and focus on superficial pursuits promoted by liberal ideologies is a drain on everyone’s resources. Without the hardworking individuals who strive to build a functional and prosperous country, who will take care of everything? Our ambition should be directed towards making a good working country that can support those who genuinely need it: children, veterans, the mentally ill, and the sick. It’s time to recognize that living a fulfilling and responsible life isn’t just about personal success; it’s about sustaining our nation’s future and ensuring it remains a place where everyone can thrive.