American Dreams – Marco Rubio Gets it – Almost

American Dreams

Several years ago I was privileged to review Senator Rubio’s first book, An American Son. It was, while tedious at times, an excellent and inspiring chronicle of an immigrant family achieving the American Dream. I came away from it liking Senator Rubio a lot, but that favor waned when he became enmeshed in the Democrat designed immigration amnesty plan because I became convinced that for all his education, ability and what should have been sufficient past experience, he was still naïve when it came to some aspects of the Washington DC political meat grinder. But I still liked him enough to agree that his heart was in the right place and he generally realized what was good for America, absent political pressures.


Now Marco Rubio has a new book in front of the public. American Dreams is his legislative agenda, or so to speak, for the future prosperity of America. Building on his past life growing from an impoverished son of Cuban immigrants to a college educated lawyer and US Senator, he now paints a picture of what America was about and is supposed to be about; opportunity. He also portrays, as some politicians are wont to do, pictures of people caught in the mess that has overtaken the American society, and has ensnarled them in a web that appears to be strangling the life out of the nation.


The book is divided into parts covering business and entrepreneurship, employment, education, economic security, retirement and the family. All are important topics. His exposition of each shows that he understands the needs of the public and the individual citizen, and that they are, in fact, the same things. His ideas and proposals are potentially useful, or at least would be better than the present morass, if they were enacted. But there is one problem. Senator Rubio is still, apparently, naïve.


An excellent example is provided by his discussion of the anti-poverty programs presently in place and how they entrap people into dependency. The Senator wants, rightly, to eliminate the trap and put people in control of their own lives through opportunities and assistance for people to take advantage of them.


The weakness lies in the nature of the political system and the people administering it. No one employed in federal anti-poverty programs will want to see them changed and become more efficient. In fact, they have a vested interest in at least maintaining the problem at the same level, if not making it worse. After all, that is how they stay employed. Likewise, taking money from federal programs and turning it over to more efficient and effective state programs would run into a stonewalling from legislators who administer the money and don’t want to lose control of it. Finally, anyone who supported such measures would be portrayed in the press and by political adversaries as wanting to “dump the poor on the street” to fend for themselves. Thus, the ideas will ultimately fail when brought before a legislature.



What is missing, in my opinion is something conspicuous by its absence from a lot of politically oriented writing. It is the subject of changing Washington DC and government culture so that positive changes such as those he would support could be implemented. It is the culture of manipulation, hiding the ball, misinforming the American public and then going ahead with an agenda that benefits the political class and ultimately creates significant negative effects for everyone else. This is what needs to be changed before Senator Rubio could institute any of his ideas.


But there is one more problem that needs to be addressed. As a conservative, Senator Rubio generally works to promote private sector solutions to problems facing the nation. But the vast majority of the solutions he proposes are government oriented. Even if they are designed to remove government interference, they still contain a large element of government involvement. The result is that the government role is not eliminated so much as it is reduced, and potentially waiting for a future in which it can reassert dominance over what had territory where its influence temporarily been reduced.


Don’t be mistaken in the above criticism. Perhaps Senator Rubio is taking an incremental approach to reducing government’s negative influences. There is nothing wrong with this approach if it is explained as such. However, what is missing is that explanation, if applicable. Nonetheless, the Senator’s ideas are worthy of consideration and would have positive effects if implemented.


American Dreams is well written, and draws heavily from practical examples with real people to make its case for each of his agenda proposals. It is well worth reading, if for no other reason than that it gives precise illustrations on how the present system is ruining lives and needs to be fixed, or eliminated so that people can become successful again.


American Dreams may be found at

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