Commentary: Restoring the American Dream

Commentary: Restoring the American Dream
October 05
11:15 2017

By Algenon Cash 

One simple principle that my grandfather shared and I still firmly believe today is that “We live in the greatest country on Earth.”  My grandfather taught me to believe in the American Dream because he fundamentally believed that we were blessed to be born in such an amazing place.

Today many of us no longer believe in the dream and it’s frustrating to witness many of our fellow citizens and leaders lose hope in the future of our great country.

No other country on Earth possesses the wealth of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial talent that we have in our young country.  The value that we place on free markets, liberty and “service above self” has enabled us to create an unmatched world power.

But why should our children, families and neighbors be hopeful?

Close to 5 million people in this country are still long-term unemployed while food and energy costs skyrocket, but household incomes are flat and in many communities declining.  Families are forced to string together part-time jobs to pay the mortgage and other bills.

All of this is happening while our elected leaders fight and squabble over ideological differences, but constantly fail to offer a big vision that inspires us all to be hopeful in the future of this country.  For many the American dream has simply become the American nightmare.

Never count out America!

But we have been here before.  My grandfather used to share stories about the 1930s’ Great Depression and the hopelessness that encapsulated our country in this time of economic catastrophe.  Other countries predicted the end of America and our reckless system of capitalism and democracy.

America responded by re-establishing our economy through industrial production and we quickly rose to become a world superpower in the 1950s.

Some decades later, America would once again face perilous times when we entered the 1980s weakened from an energy crisis and many years of economic stagflation during the 1970’s.  I personally recall teachers encouraging us to learn Japanese because Japan would soon overtake America as a world leader.  How did we respond?

America silenced its critics once again by creating 20 million jobs in the ’90s, balancing the federal budget and growing economic prosperity to an unimaginable level.

Let’s restore the American dream.

In each of those circumstances there was a catalyst … War with Germany and Japan during the 1930s and a technology boom driven by the Internet revolution during the 1990s.

Again, we are searching for a catalyst, and I firmly believe that energy could be the catalyst that drives the future of our changing economy and restores the American dream.

America is now the global leader in oil and natural gas production, surpassing Russia and all other traditional energy producing countries.  This little known but powerful truth about America’s surge in domestic energy production: It is narrowing the trade deficit, boosting our economy and strengthening our national security.

By expanding offshore energy in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, we can create over 55,000 new jobs, generate $6 billion in new tax revenue and make an $11 billion impact to state economies through more exploration and development.

Let’s restore the American dream together … the time to get into the energy business is now!

Algenon Cash is the managing director of Wharton Gladden & Company, an investment banking firm. He is also a national spokesperson for the oil and natural gas industry.  Reach him at

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