I don't mean this response to sound defensive, so please don't read it with that tone. I am simply posting it to explain my own perspective.
My father was dirt poor growing up as he did in the Depression Era South. The fact is, where he lived, the "Great Depression" was nothing new, as the area had been in Depression for decades. He and his brothers wanted a better life. As one teacher advised them, they wanted a job where "their head was above their butt". So they worked hard and went to college. They worked their way through college, struggling at times, but they did it. When my father decided he wanted to marry my mother, he explained to her simply "I want to marry you, but not if you won't let me finish my Masters Degree." She didn't, and he helped her get her own in Library Science while he got his Masters of Accounting. They both understood that sacrifice comes with the territory of wanting a better life.
My concern is that today, people have forgotten the meaning of sacrifice. They think having their cable turned off for a year means they're really giving up something. One article I read recently (I believe it was the Deseret News, but I can't say for sure) described how well the "poor" of this nation live compared to the average person thirty years ago. Most have cable, phones, air conditioning, and available food. That's more than many people can say in the developing world even among their wealthy. Americans have grown fat on the entitlement mindset. Once in a while I still hear of someone truly giving up something to get something more, and almost every time it seems to be in the memoirs of someone successful. Most of the most successful people I know - and I've had the great fortune to know quite a few, having been around politics and industry all my life - have come up from very poor circumstances thanks to a lot of hard work coupled with opportunities they sought out and made good on. The list of those who have come from a life of privilege and managed to grow their already large wealth is much shorter. The fact is, I've also had the chance to observe the children of the wealthy and successful, and all too often they are squanderers. I do not look at them with admiration any more than I look at someone from the projects with automatic derision.
Right now, our nation has several built in programs that are making progress of any kind difficult. Corporate taxes, high regulations, minimum wages, welfare programs... each of these contributes to the growing debt and the growing number of companies leaving this country in favor of localities with freer markets. Americans continue to buy their products after they leave, so why should they stay? Obviously, we have all voted with our dollars to say "we'd rather you paid low wages and had lower regulations so we can pay less." We can fool ourselves into thinking idealistically that the evil corporations need to suffer for all the things they do wrong in this country, but the ones we end up paying are the ones who do even more wrong when they leave to avoid our bogus policies. We are one of the only nations in the world that has policies that favor foreign corporations over our own.
What I want to see in this country is an absolute revolution in our way of thinking. The tax system we have puts a huge burden on every citizen - even those who don't pay taxes.
We need a better way to implement taxes, and we need a better way to encourage good habits - saving, investing, getting an education, sacrificing present wants for great opportunities in the future. I honestly believe the FairTax would go a long way towards achieving my desired goals, but it will take an absolutely revolution for it to ever pass. Too many people are apathetic to government or to change of any kind. The status quo is maintained simply to avoid having to get involved. We need more people to care. We need more people involved. There are many great thinkers in this nation who have long since given up trying to be heard because the political process has so many ways to destroy changes. I want a dialogue, even though it may involve some passionate views that disagree with my own, I want to hear what people have to say about what needs to change. The political process has got to improve, or the people have got to learn how to work through the system to improve the nation. Whatever happens, the status quo in this country will not suffice much longer.