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This room is for the discussion of current events,cultural issues and politics especially in relation to Catholic values.

Saint Thomas More was martyred during the Protestant Reformation for standing firm in the Faith and not recognizing the King of England as the Supreme Head of the Church.
Learn More:Saint Thomas More

Nov 21st 2012 new

The 1950s were good days around here too. Today the town I'm from is a decaying eyesore. I've seen nothing but decline since I can remember back to the 1980s. This country is rotting apart for most people, unless you're in the 0.01 percent.



(Quote) James-17080 said: Hi Patricia et alia,You're answered my question with a question. But okay, I w...
(Quote) James-17080 said:



Hi Patricia et alia,

You're answered my question with a question. But okay, I will give an answer.

Patricia, I know this is way before you were born, but I was born right smack dab of the the Baby Boomer Generation. I still remember to this day news radio broadcasts about President Eisenhower and former Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Also, my neighborhood was populated by veterans of World War II and the Korean War. The men and women who bought the houses in my neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago were survivors of not only the wars, but the Great Depression.

The reason I'm giving this short outline is so that you and others might understand where I'm coming from.

The American dream when I was growing up consisted of at least a fairly well-paid job with some sort of job security, and of course home ownership.

Do I think the American dream is dead? No, but those halcyon days when a high school graduate could get and keep a well-paying job are probably history. Even if you're a university graduate like myself, things aren't so good. I worked in data processing for a good many years. I often find myself wondering how soon it will be before moth-eaten places like China or India convince US companies to do all the programming via satellite, on the assumption that programming over there is somehow cheaper than it is here.

What's the American dream now? I don't know, but my guess is that it isn't a heck of a lot of difference between what people hoped for back in the 50s, and what young people hope for now.

James ☺

--hide--

Nov 21st 2012 new

Patricia,

Keep in mind that the "American Dream" you are describing was an aberration caused by the dominance of the United States at the end of the Second World War. Every industrialized nation in the world was in far worse shape than we were, and needed at least a generation before they could get back on their feet and once again participate in international trade; people around the world had no choice but to turn to the US to purchase products. This in turn created an enormous middle class.

Life before that time was pretty hard in this country, at least up until the industrial revolution. Even then, people in factory jobs worked long hours and often for six days a week. The idea of a forty-hour work week and a two-day weekend was almost unheard of.

The "American Dream" has actually been over for quite some time; it's a wonder college students took this long to figure it out.

Nov 21st 2012 new

Actually I think the concept of the American Dream was around back in the 1800s, even if they didn't call it that. Back then it was tied up with the frontier and free land. And average Americans (white ones, anyway) were richer than average Europeans back in the 1800s. The concept was all caught up in immigration and moving West when you burned the land out.

.

As far as a college degree being a ticket to the middle class, that idea is long gone. As we discussed in another thread, there has been so much degree inflation. When a large portion of the population has a degree, what are they worth?

Nov 21st 2012 new

Hmmm. the American Dream is about money and material wealth, isn't it?

.

We say money isn't important. People at CM say that and off CM pretty much everybody says there are more important things than money. But money matters a lot, doesn't it? Concepts of The American Dream are about material success or at least opportunities for success. Everyone should have an opportunity, right?

That Peanuts cartoon special they show on TV every December A Charlie Brown Christmas ends with Linus giving the kids a talk about the true meaning of Christmas. Previously Charlie Brown was disgusted because Christmas had become so materialistic and commercial. This show was made in 1965. I guess in 1965 the feeling was there was too much commercialization and materialism at Christmas.

We still hear people complain about this commercialization and materialism just like Charlie Brown did 40-some years ago. But at the same time, we also think of the American Dream as a dream of wealth or at least opportunity for wealth.

Nov 21st 2012 new

(Quote) Patricia-29176 said: Perhaps the question should be rephrased to " Is the American Dream Attainable&quo...
(Quote) Patricia-29176 said:



Perhaps the question should be rephrased to " Is the American Dream Attainable"? I think what those 63% of college graduates are saying is that although yes, they have dreamed the American Dream, it is no longer attainable for them - even with a college degree.

And, I would agree with your initial assessment of what the American Dream was, although I would also include a ownership of a car and being able financially able to marry and raise a family without the wife/mother having to work. I think this at least includes the material aspects of the American Dream. But, I think there are other aspects of the American Dream including upward mobility (whether starting here as an immigrant with no education or simply moving up the ladder from one social class to the next simply by using entrepreneurial skills/success). And, I also think the American Dream included religious freedom and freedom of speech. I do think upward mobility still exists. I think freedom of speech and religious freedom are both limited now both by political correctness and by the justice system upholding atheistic lawsuits. I think these aspects of the American Dream are diminishing.

--hide--



The American dream of the founders was to have a chance at a life without heavy taxation, be free of persecution, and the freedom to chart one's own path. Then came the industrial age, and the American dream turned to a owning a house or maybe a farm, and having standardizied working conditions with a defined retirement. Then once people became comfortable, greed and jealousy of what everyone else had set into the national mindset. Today's American dream isn't what it used to be. You saw it with the OWS movement. Thousands of different demands, and not one cohesive objective other than being focused on how much money the top 2% made. That's not a dream, it's envy. The college crowd may have given up, but that's because people look, but they don't see. People hear, but they don't listen. People act, but they won't accept consequences. My American dream is to keep myself healthy without the government forcing me to keep increasing the amount of hard-earned salary I work for to blindly subsidize the lazy and theives without strict audits, and to call it a career at the time of my own choosing, and for that I haven't ignored how Mitt Romney invested. Stash away the maximum amount allowable in a 401K so the government can't touch it today (even though you may have to put off some purchases you'd otherwise make), move as much of your outside investments as the law will allow on an annual basis into IRA's (both pre-tax and post-tax), once again so the government can't touch it until you choose to pull it out, and what's left move offshore so the government has a hard time tracking it. Then the government can have their share of whatever's left of your paycheck and reduced dividends.

Nov 21st 2012 new

(Quote) Brian-699857 said: The American dream of the founders was to have a chance at a life without heavy taxat...
(Quote) Brian-699857 said:




The American dream of the founders was to have a chance at a life without heavy taxation, be free of persecution, and the freedom to chart one's own path. Then came the industrial age, and the American dream turned to a owning a house or maybe a farm, and having standardizied working conditions with a defined retirement. Then once people became comfortable, greed and jealousy of what everyone else had set into the national mindset. Today's American dream isn't what it used to be. You saw it with the OWS movement. Thousands of different demands, and not one cohesive objective other than being focused on how much money the top 2% made. That's not a dream, it's envy. The college crowd may have given up, but that's because people look, but they don't see. People hear, but they don't listen. People act, but they won't accept consequences. My American dream is to keep myself healthy without the government forcing me to keep increasing the amount of hard-earned salary I work for to blindly subsidize the lazy and theives without strict audits, and to call it a career at the time of my own choosing, and for that I haven't ignored how Mitt Romney invested. Stash away the maximum amount allowable in a 401K so the government can't touch it today (even though you may have to put off some purchases you'd otherwise make), move as much of your outside investments as the law will allow on an annual basis into IRA's (both pre-tax and post-tax), once again so the government can't touch it until you choose to pull it out, and what's left move offshore so the government has a hard time tracking it. Then the government can have their share of whatever's left of your paycheck and reduced dividends.

--hide--


Brian, what is OWS movement?

Nov 21st 2012 new

(Quote) Patricia-29176 said: Brian, what is OWS movement?
(Quote) Patricia-29176 said:



Brian, what is OWS movement?

--hide--



Occupy Wall Street.

Nov 21st 2012 new

(Quote) Patricia-29176 said: (Quote) James-17080 said: Hi Patricia et alia,You're...
(Quote) Patricia-29176 said:

Quote:
James-17080 said:



Hi Patricia et alia,

You're answered my question with a question. But okay, I will give an answer.

Patricia, I know this is way before you were born, but I was born right smack dab of the the Baby Boomer Generation. I still remember to this day news radio broadcasts about President Eisenhower and former Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Also, my neighborhood was populated by veterans of World War II and the Korean War. The men and women who bought the houses in my neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago were survivors of not only the wars, but the Great Depression.

The reason I'm giving this short outline is so that you and others might understand where I'm coming from.

The American dream when I was growing up consisted of at least a fairly well-paid job with some sort of job security, and of course home ownership.

Do I think the American dream is dead? No, but those halcyon days when a high school graduate could get and keep a well-paying job are probably history. Even if you're a university graduate like myself, things aren't so good. I worked in data processing for a good many years. I often find myself wondering how soon it will be before moth-eaten places like China or India convince US companies to do all the programming via satellite, on the assumption that programming over there is somehow cheaper than it is here.

What's the American dream now? I don't know, but my guess is that it isn't a heck of a lot of difference between what people hoped for back in the 50s, and what young people hope for now.

James ☺




Perhaps the question should be rephrased to " Is the American Dream Attainable"? I think what those 63% of college graduates are saying is that although yes, they have dreamed the American Dream, it is no longer attainable for them - even with a college degree.

And, I would agree with your initial assessment of what the American Dream was, although I would also include a ownership of a car and being able financially able to marry and raise a family without the wife/mother having to work. I think this at least includes the material aspects of the American Dream. But, I think there are other aspects of the American Dream including upward mobility (whether starting here as an immigrant with no education or simply moving up the ladder from one social class to the next simply by using entrepreneurial skills/success). And, I also think the American Dream included religious freedom and freedom of speech. I do think upward mobility still exists. I think freedom of speech and religious freedom are both limited now both by political correctness and by the justice system upholding atheistic lawsuits. I think these aspects of the American Dream are diminishing.

--hide--


Okay, I'll accept this, with perhaps a few minor issues not worth mentioning.

I accept what you wrote.

James ☺

Nov 22nd 2012 new

(Quote) Patricia-29176 said:
(Quote) Patricia-29176 said:
--hide--


Patricia: I think the whole world wants the American dream, but I don't think even we as American
citizens are easily able to achieve it. There are too many obstacles creeping into our country, with
the economy and the housing market and voter fraud and Obamacare and supporting illegals.
The American dream is sinking into memory.

Nov 22nd 2012 new

(Quote) Patricia-29176 said:
(Quote) Patricia-29176 said:
--hide--


I would have to say that the basis of the American dream is the opportunity afforded to Americans
by freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution. Those freedoms are what allow us to dream without
limits. Then we have to work to achieve those dreams.

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