A Land of Gold: Coming to America
I arrived in Miami on December 31, 1980. I had been preparing to come to America for an entire year. When I finally arrived, my first thoughts were what a beautiful place? I was mesmerized by the lights. The street lights were beaming as if everyday was Christmas. Now that I think of it, I came shortly after Christmas. The amount of lights were overwhelming and exciting. The lights where I came from did not shine that bright. The lights in Miami were shinier and brighter. They shined like diamond, at least in my ten year old eyes they did. I was elated and overjoyed to finally be in America. It was described to me as a land of magic. Wealth is an abundance. Everyone is wealthy. Everyone’s life is perfect due to wealth and Gold. Who wouldn’t be happy to live in this land of magic? I was beside myself. Finally, my big moment came. I am living in America. I am here for to get my gold and wealth.
The housekeeper was preparing me for this trip for nearly a year, whispering in my ear about wealth at every opportunity. I dreamed of coming to America like a young woman or young man discovering love for the first time. I was told by the housekeeper that America was a land of gold for nearly a year. She told me that from the time that I get off the plane, I would be kicking gold coins and money. She told me that people walk on money everyday. She also told me in America washing clothes does not exist. Everyone put on new clothes everyday. Poverty does not exist. There is no shortage of cash. Everybody has cash. Cash is everywhere you look. She described cash like the visa slogan, “It’s everywhere you want to be.” I believed every word. After a week of living in America, reality started to sink in. I have been here for a week, Why am not walking on money? Why I am not kicking gold? Did I miss something? I have not even seen my Super group (ABBA).
The only thing that I knew about America besides what she told me were star trek, buck rogers, westerns and wonder woman. I always thought I would find ABBA and Julio Iglesias in America. I started inquiring about ABBA, only to find out that they do not even live in America. They are not Americans. I was crushed. The biggest disappointment of all was finding out that (ABBA) does not live America. I thought I would be walking hand in hand with ABBA singing voulez vous, maybe Fernando. What did I know? I was ten years old. The housekeeper created this fairy tale that did not exist. Mind you, she had never been to America. She was an adult, and I believed her. Is America the land of gold and wealth that she presented to me? Yes, for some people it is. Is America a land of opportunity? Certainly.
If one is an athlete or have generational wealth, they probably can afford to wear brand new clothes everyday. Is this my paradise or not? It was not the paradise that I prepared to encounter after preparing for an entire year. I am tiny in stature and in size. I did not speak the English language. I spoke French. I spoke creole. I got beat up after school at least three to four times a week for not speaking English. After school was no picnic for me, at least not for the first three months. I went from never having a fight in my life to fighting everyday. I got beat up by a couple of kids on a weekly basis. I had never been in a fight in my life. I never fought back. Thankfully, it took me three months to learn English. Hallelujah, I could say leave me alone or I am telling. I could finally defend myself with words and just like that all beatings stopped.
Wealth is define as:
“abundance of valuable possessions or money.
the state of being rich; material prosperity.
plentiful supplies of a particular resource.”
Wealth in America
Is there a lot of wealth in America? Certainly. The wealth in America is not distributed among your educators, social workers, counselors, retail workers, your factory workers and etc. These are some of the hardest working class people in America. Do they deserve to be comfortable? Yes they do. I have been on both end of the spectrum. I worked as a server and retail stores in high school and all through college. These jobs are no picnic.
I have also been in educator and a counselor. Have I been able to support myself and pay my bills? Yes, and I am grateful. Have acquire wealth? No. Is this a land of gold and wealth for everyone? No, it is not. There is too much of a wage gap that is an existence by gender, and race. As long as this wage gap exist, everyone cannot be rich or pay their bills. Everyone will not be able to afford their day to day necessities. As long as this wage disparity continue to exist, America cannot be a land of wealth and gold for everyone. For some of us who works really hard on a daily basis, wealth and gold is not our reality. It is not within our reach. We can only hope to pay our monthly bills and student loans.
Minimum wages in the United States, by state 2022
Published by Statista Research Department, February 15, 2022
“The federally mandated minimum wage in the United States is 7.25 U.S. dollars per hour, although the minimum wage varies from state to state. As of January 1, 2022, the District of Columbia had the highest minimum wage in the U.S., at 15.2 U.S. dollars per hour. This was followed by California, which had 15 U.S. dollars per hour as the state minimum wage.”
U.S. worker earnings — female to male ratio 1990–2020
Published by Statista Research Department, Sep 21, 2021
In 2020, the female to male earnings ration was at 83 percent. The ratio indicates that a regular female worker earns about 83 percent of the amount a male employee in the same position would receive. The female to male earnings ratio in the U.S. from 1990 to 2020 are based on earnings in 2020 CPI-U-RS adjusted dollars.
U.S. wage and salary workers: weekly earnings by education and gender 2022:Published by Statista Research Department, Jun 29, 2022
“This statistic shows the median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers in the U.S. by educational attainment and gender in 2022. Women holding a Bachelor’s degree earned on average 1,541 U.S. dollars per week, compared with men who on average earn 1,930 U.S dollars.”
For a lot of us, the only hope is to pursue a higher education. As it stands, getting a higher education cost a fortune, especially if one pursues a post graduate degree. A lot of bachelor degrees require post graduate degrees. Does a graduate degree guarantees a higher income or wealth? Yes and no. Sometimes a graduate degree pays more but that is not always the case.
Most individuals with Post graduate degrees come out of school with a lot of student loans. Some individuals are fortunate, they have parents or an inheritance that payed for their schooling. These individuals are on track once they graduate and enter the work force. They are starting with a clean slate meaning no debt. Student loan loans are not on their radar. They are able to work and start saving money right away. For an individual who comes out of school with a mountain of student loans, he or she is starting at a deficit. I am not saying that a higher education is a waste of time. In some cases, it does not get one any closer to wealth or that life of luxury that others outside of this country invision.
Am I living that fairy tale that the house housekeeper fabricated? No, I am not dwelling in wealth. I do not have a housekeeper. I wish. Am grateful for a higher education and the opportunities that I have come across in America? Certainly. I think America is a land of gold and wealth to many due to the opportunities that it offers. The opportunities are endless if people are willing to take them and not make excuses. You live another day and fight for another day.
What does your land of Gold and wealth look like in America?
Is it a higher education?
Is it a great trade?
Is it entrepreneurship?
To be continue: Thank you, Thank you to all of those individuals who choose to follow me. Thank you for reading my stories. Let us continue to support one another. If you follow me. I will definitely follow you back. If you support me, I will support you. Let us continue to clap and support one another. To thyself be true.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”