Americans (by which I mean U.S. citizens) are the biggest bunch of whining babies ever. And the American Dream is to blame.

There is an expectation for stasis and continual hardship in most nations of the world, but the American Dream espouses the idea that one can (and should, by right) be better off than one’s parents, have a loving, faithful, supportive spouse, beautiful and healthy children, a two-story house and two vehicles, a satisfying job, a thousand comforts, no experience with discrimination, and the power to change anything in politics one doesn’t like. That the world doesn’t work this way breeds continual discontent with ultimately trivial matters.

Reality fails to disempower the American Dream because popular fiction media perpetuate it. Movies, TV, and tabloids tell us that people live in mansions, have supermodel bodies, drive Hummers, and spend their weekends in Fiji. Professors are deeply interested in improving the quality of students’ lives, forensics labs are stocked with $5 billion worth of equipment from the year 2010, etc. And the proliferation of Western media styles and content to the rest of the world is, probably, growing American-style discontent around the globe.