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Old 02-03-2008, 01:28 PM
 
11,128 posts, read 12,378,964 times
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Considering that a dream is a preconception of what we each of us sees as the ideal state of our nation, society and people. This dream varies because the people are so varied yet is loosely confined within the framework of our societies origins. Dreams are not static and change as time progresses and society changes, so the only way a dream can die is if there are no people left to dream.

You are face with two choices, roll over and say all is lost, or get up and work towards making your dream a reality, whatever the dream may be. The very fact we can all congregate here and discuss and argue positions, ideas, and events should give us reason to be at least a little thankful. We may be faced with troubling times, then again, if someone can point out a time in our history that wasn't fraught with trouble, I am all ears.
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Old 02-08-2008, 04:46 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,072,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my54ford View Post
Lots of post saying the Dream is dead here... I don't think so!!!! Here's my personal story.. Discharged from the Navy after @ 20 years with a NON service disability (thats means NO benes!!) SSDI for 2 years and nothing else......Got off the Goverment teat by my choice........ Now I make a bit over 80k a year!!!! Did it on my own! along the way got married to a great women who gave me 2 great kids.... I don't think I could have done that anywhere else in the World but here in The greatest country oon God's green earth!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Are you saying that you left the military after a 20 year career and received NO retirement? Would that mean your discharge was not honorable or general? Twenty years, regardless of reason why you get out, other than a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge would automatically provide you with some stipend for retirement, AFAIK.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:35 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,235,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamofmonterey View Post
many posters reflecting that the US will always have service jobs and retail, regardless of outsourcing, are clearly in denial.

As more and more mid and upper level positions are outsourced, the US become a wasteland of strip malls; restaurants, retail, and cell phone vendors. Recent college graduates, depending on their location, leave for urban areas which still offer a modicum of opportunity.

What is everyone else's opinion?
Well the outsourcing trend is showing signs of reversal now. What's more, the middle class is disappearing, chiefly because people household incomes are trending up, not down. Maybe in your corner of the country, but elsewhere things are doing well. Unemployment remains at levels unheard of 20 years ago.

However, more to your point, household income continues to rise at roughly the equivalent rate of inflation. More significantly, household wealth has skyrocketed over the past 25 years at rates far, far beyond inflation.

While part of household wealth is tied to equity in homes, its more in terms of stock ownership, IRAs and 401(k)s, and other investments that are now available to Americans of even the most modest means. And while people are currently fretting about a 5-10% drop in home values, we all tend to forget that home have increased, on average, roughly 120% over the past ten years.

What's more, I would offer that living standards have improved markedly across the board, no matter what your income level may be.

So, no, I don't agree with your premise at all.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 34,377,950 times
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I disagree with the OP premise. The American Dream is there - and, it is attainable.

There are many carrers that can provide that dream today: Legal, Medical, Educational, Technical. And within these headings are many, many different, and high paying jobs. What is a common denominator though - is they all require higher education - so, to attain the dream, one must be willing to get educated. The HS dropout is not going to get the dream.
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:22 AM
 
500 posts, read 943,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doc1 View Post
How do you define rich?
The richest person is not the one that has more, but the one that needs less.
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Here
10,833 posts, read 11,572,869 times
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It seems a lot of people think the Dream should simply be given to them on a silver platter. It's not an inheritance. You actually have to work hard and work smart to get get there.

As others have said, I disagree with the OP's premise as well. To me, the American Dream is alive and well! It's up to YOU to achieve it.
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:26 AM
 
2,356 posts, read 2,463,973 times
Reputation: 864
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamofmonterey View Post
many posters reflecting that the US will always have service jobs and retail, regardless of outsourcing, are clearly in denial.

As more and more mid and upper level positions are outsourced, the US become a wasteland of strip malls; restaurants, retail, and cell phone vendors. Recent college graduates, depending on their location, leave for urban areas which still offer a modicum of opportunity.

What is everyone else's opinion?
My opinion is that

a. people confuse "service" with "retail."
b. urban areas are a part of America, so I fail to see how that is a problem
c. Just because we're moving toward a service industry, doesn't mean that "we don't make stuff". The stuff we make is highly specialized, and most people are too ignorant to understand what is being made, and how it is valuable.
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:41 AM
 
3,142 posts, read 7,158,921 times
Reputation: 870
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatday View Post
I disagree with the OP premise. The American Dream is there - and, it is attainable.

There are many carrers that can provide that dream today: Legal, Medical, Educational, Technical. And within these headings are many, many different, and high paying jobs. What is a common denominator though - is they all require higher education - so, to attain the dream, one must be willing to get educated. The HS dropout is not going to get the dream.
BINGO!!! Get with the times people!!! The American Dream has always been there... its just the paths to getting there have changed! This is the information age, the average amount of information that people contain has risen, it is not as easy as it once was to succeed, the bar has risen! God Forbid we have to bite our lip and go out and get a meaningful degree that puts us in a productive field. So many people nowadays are looking at schooling as another get-rich-quick scheme. They think they can just waltz in, pick out the easiest degree and then pay it back with their perfect job they are going to get. If you want to move forward you are going to have to make the sacrifice of rigorous schooling... Its not easy anymore and it never really was!
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,512,524 times
Reputation: 10428
Quote:
Originally Posted by teatime View Post
Regarding "the American Dream," it isn't lost -- it's just become the "American Excess."

My parents raised my sister and I in a two-bedroom bungalow and felt lucky and satisfied indeed. Mom stayed home and was the ultimate homemaker and school volunteer; dad made good money in a steel mill and was eventually elevated to middle management. We always had good food and clothing, a nice but not expensive car, and a nice summer vacation visiting another state, going to an amusement park, etc.

LOL, is it even possible to find a two-bedroom bungalow in a nice, middle class neighborhood these days? Even though the average family size in America has gone down, home square footage has gone way up! Sedans and wagons aren't enough for the 2.3 children and parents, either. Everyone needs an SUV. Plus, folks need all sorts of gadgets and electronics or they feel deprived.

Economic changes would not be as poignant if Americans were more easily satisfied with what they have and were realistic with what they actually needed.
I agree with a lot that's being said in other posts (offshoring, low wages, etc.) but this is part of it too. I think we see people on TV in huge houses and then believe this is average/normal. I would say I grew up more on the lower middle class side, but still my dad was able to support a wife, two kids, own a 1200 sq. ft. ranch house and two cars (although one was always a piece of crap). We had one TV, no cable, one phone and Atari was the only big electronic item we had.

Now we think a standard home should have 3 flat screen TVs, satellite hooked up to each one, 6 phones (with unlimited long distance), each person has a cell phone, two computers and wireless access for laptops, surround sound in at least two rooms, stainless steel appliances, bathrooms as nice as 5 star hotels, $4000 sofas, etc.

That's a description of my home and I feel very middle-class, American Dream. Of course it takes two salaries totallying nearly $150K per year to pay for all this. I look back and think, "how did we live crammed in that dump of a house?" I think the American Dream and Middle Class is a moving target. But it is getting more difficult, even if you lower your expectations.
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:37 AM
 
21,044 posts, read 19,018,022 times
Reputation: 5929
Quote:
Originally Posted by colorado native View Post
The richest person is not the one that has more, but the one that needs less.
Good post...actually made me shut up and think OUCH OUCH OUCH!!!!
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