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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.
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Nov 22nd 2012 new

I agree with James; it depends on your definition. For me, it's an old-fashioned dream, one of having a steady, well-paying meaningful job which provides a good life for me and my family. My wife can choose to be a stay-at-home mom or have a career of her own, but we both recognize our obligation to our kids. My job would be one that allows me to provide that attention to my family (no unbelievably long hours).

However, this dream comes only through hard work, sacrifice, discipline, and above all, the grace and providence of God. Unfortunately, we now live in a country where entitlements are the norm. My view is that unemployment would take a nosedive if the unemployed would take the jobs they could get if they can't get the jobs they want. Throughout my life, I've been employed mowing lawns, picking rocks, baling hay, cleaning restrooms, mopping floors, building pallets, convenience store clerk, shopping mall security, metal fabrication/welding, and sawmill general labor. During that time I earned a bachelor's degree, enlisted in the military, earned a commission as an Army officer, and worked my way up the ranks. In 2010 I was deployed to the Horn of Africa and attended a planning conference where I briefed the Deputy Chief of Mission and Senior Defense Attache' of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya on initiatives for training assistance to the Kenyan military. In previous years, I worked in fisheries and environmental remediation for a state agency, interned for a city engineer and with the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District. My last assignment was mobilized to an Army Reserve 2-star headquarters to oversee their regional emergency operations center. I received recommendation for early promotion due to actions regarding Hurricanes Irene and Isaac. God's taken me on a wild ride far beyond my expectations.

I received none of this through what I perceived as "entitlements". Government assistance for education came mainly due to my VOLUNTARY enlistment in the military. I've given as much as I've received. And I recognize God's hand in all of it, and that it could all go away tomorrow (i.e., the Book of Job) if God willed it, so I'm that much more grateful.

For those who want these things, I recommend you go out and get it. No one will or should hand it to you. And believe me, it's that much sweeter to see the fruits of your LABORs than to just receive it as a gift.

That's my definition of the American Dream.

Nov 22nd 2012 new

(Quote) Carl-98335 said: I agree with James; it depends on your definition. For me, it's an old-fashioned dream, one of ...
(Quote) Carl-98335 said:

I agree with James; it depends on your definition. For me, it's an old-fashioned dream, one of having a steady, well-paying meaningful job which provides a good life for me and my family. My wife can choose to be a stay-at-home mom or have a career of her own, but we both recognize our obligation to our kids. My job would be one that allows me to provide that attention to my family (no unbelievably long hours).

However, this dream comes only through hard work, sacrifice, discipline, and above all, the grace and providence of God. Unfortunately, we now live in a country where entitlements are the norm. My view is that unemployment would take a nosedive if the unemployed would take the jobs they could get if they can't get the jobs they want. Throughout my life, I've been employed mowing lawns, picking rocks, baling hay, cleaning restrooms, mopping floors, building pallets, convenience store clerk, shopping mall security, metal fabrication/welding, and sawmill general labor. During that time I earned a bachelor's degree, enlisted in the military, earned a commission as an Army officer, and worked my way up the ranks. In 2010 I was deployed to the Horn of Africa and attended a planning conference where I briefed the Deputy Chief of Mission and Senior Defense Attache' of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya on initiatives for training assistance to the Kenyan military. In previous years, I worked in fisheries and environmental remediation for a state agency, interned for a city engineer and with the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District. My last assignment was mobilized to an Army Reserve 2-star headquarters to oversee their regional emergency operations center. I received recommendation for early promotion due to actions regarding Hurricanes Irene and Isaac. God's taken me on a wild ride far beyond my expectations.

I received none of this through what I perceived as "entitlements". Government assistance for education came mainly due to my VOLUNTARY enlistment in the military. I've given as much as I've received. And I recognize God's hand in all of it, and that it could all go away tomorrow (i.e., the Book of Job) if God willed it, so I'm that much more grateful.

For those who want these things, I recommend you go out and get it. No one will or should hand it to you. And believe me, it's that much sweeter to see the fruits of your LABORs than to just receive it as a gift.

That's my definition of the American Dream.

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God Bless you, Carl. You are an American Dream. Maybe you should think of running in 2016. The country needs
good people like you.

Nov 22nd 2012 new

Thank you, that's very sweet of you.

Nov 22nd 2012 new

(Quote) Carl-98335 said: Thank you, that's very sweet of you.
(Quote) Carl-98335 said:

Thank you, that's very sweet of you.

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How did you get such a diligent work ethic, Carl? Did you learn it from your family?

Nov 22nd 2012 new

No, it was more from extended family and friends, and the military in particular. I grew up in less-than-favorable living conditions, and somehow knew that if I wanted better for myself, no one was going to hand it to me. God blessed me with a series of good role models that are/were living the kind of life I wanted for myself. I chose to emulate them.

Nov 23rd 2012 new

The American Dream is far from dead... It's just changed beyond recognition.

On the low end of the economic scale, The American Dream is why we have a problem with illegal immigration. Have ya noticed there are more people trying to get in the country than get out? People want a better life so the dream must be alive and well. If they want to work to achieve it, I say legalize them and let them. On the other hand, there are those who just want hand outs. That's just plain wrong but I'm afraid I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Next there is the middle class. Struggling, suffering, and all but disappearing? I agree with William about the aberration following WW2. Yes, there was an enormous middle class and enormous economic growth. That kind of growth was/is unsustainable, but I don't think that means the dream is dead. It may be bleak, but it's not dead. It's like Cathy said, there is a certain degree of educational inflation.

And then we have the upper end of the economic scale where The American Dream of Capitalism is alive and well. What other country has as many Millionaires and Billionaires as we do? Even if you're not a millionaire, what other society in the history of the world could set a retirement date and expect social security and medicare to take care of their elderly for the rest of their days? Please don't get me wrong... There is nothing wrong with enjoying the fruits of your labor. But how many warnings are there in the Bible about wealth and riches. Talk about looking but not seeing... Brian: one man's envy is another man's avarice.

The American Dream used to be about improving your life with a good solid morally based work ethic. It used to be about family, friends and neighbors taking care of each other. Now it's just about getting rich, retiring young and enjoying rights without morals or responsibilities.


Nov 23rd 2012 new

Gary, I agree with your third paragragh. That's all our parents wanted for us. I remember growing up with 2 parents who determined that their children would be educated and worked toward providing a wonderful homelife. It wasn't about material things, it was about being responsible citizens, who respected others and cared for them. I worked with immigrants in the early 80's who came to the US for a better life, they took the jobs no one else would take. They were living the American Dream.


At one time, getting ahead, having all the latest fashions and toys was my goal. As I get older its not about that, I have what I need and try to support the needy, it was very humbling to be unemployed, it was also good for me to have that time off. It gave me time to reflect upon my life, I have all that I want and am fortunate to be working again. I don't think the American Dream is dead, it's just changing. The economic downturn that this country is still living through was caused by greed and telling people they could have it all, knowing full well we couldn't.

Nov 23rd 2012 new

I meant your final paragragh Gary.

Nov 23rd 2012 new

(Quote) Patricia-29176 said: I just heard on the news that 63% of college graduates think the American Dream is dead.
(Quote) Patricia-29176 said:

I just heard on the news that 63% of college graduates think the American Dream is dead.

Is the American Dream dead or alive - dying or changed? What is the American Dream now or is there one?

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In the heart and mind of my Eagle Scout grandson in his first year at FSU, the American Dream is alive and well. I'll check back with him when he graduates!

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