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The American Dream Myth  
User currently offlineZootrix From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 86 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 1229 times:

Depends on whom you ask, but say, for the average middle class folk, does this "American Dream" still exist? Is it achievable or do they indulge in a lifestyle that gives them the illusion of living the american dream even when they cannot afford it?

For instance, think about issues affecting most americans...
Unaffordable housing,
Soaring consumer debt,
Soaring student loans,
No job security whatsoever (ironic isn't it? especially when your job is your only best shot at achieving that dream, and politicians still rave about "the dream" even when they cannot offer job security or stop your job from being shipped overseas) ,
Minimal vacation time,
Dads and moms being worked to death, often clueless about their kids' well being,
Corporate pensions simply vanishing,
Health benefits being slashed in a snap,
A voting public that is helpless in the face of a powerful oil or other lobbies that writes the laws favoring the corporate interests over the taxpaying public.
And, even with families who have 2 cars and a big house, how many of them can truly afford that lifestyle and still have some decent savings for a rainy day?

Makes one sad to think that many of these people were cajoled into thinking that if they worked harder at their jobs, they would reach the dream, become wealthy and retire comfortably.

Look at what's to happen to the employees of Enron, USAirways, NWA, DL, Ford, GM, etc.?

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGreasespot From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 3078 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 1222 times:

the american dream is there...It has just been outsourced to India....They will soon be living the American dream...

GS



Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 1202 times:

I think that depends on how you define "The American Dream". For some, it is simply to live in a country where they have some choice in thier destiny, or for others, it may be to have certain rights protected.

As I see it, the "Dream" is this; To have the opportunity to make it as far as I can while having certain rights protected. The government cannot set limits on how much I can make, where or if I go to church, or most other aspects of my life. As to the "IT" I am trying to make, that is to build the best life for my family that I can, in all respects To be able to pay for my children to go to college. To give them a decent place to live in a safe area. To impart high morals and strong charater to them. To protect my wife and family from harm, destitution, and injury.

Every generation has had its challenges. The Great Depression, the Civil War, World Wars, social upheaval, and government intrusion, to name a few. If it is not one thing, its another. I think the biggest challenge facing the up and coming generation is a sense of entitlement. They are thier own worst enemies.

The Dream exists so long as people protect those rights and liberties that make it possible. Give up, and it goes away. I guess you have to decide what It is for you, and then decide if It is obtainable.



Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineJake056 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 1184 times:

I think the American Dream is alive and well, indeed thriving. Take a look around you and you'll see it everywhere.

America was never about cradle to grave care by the government. America is about giving people the freedom to make choices about how they want to live their lives. The rest is up to them.


User currently offlineFumanchewd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 1179 times:

Nothing thought provoking or new here. Upton Sinclair and Steinbeck have already beat you to it.

Or even better try Hunter S. Thompson's (god rest his soul) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He specifically expresses the absurdity of the "American Dream". America gives people a great chance to become whomever they want to be.

Quoting Zootrix (Thread starter):
Unaffordable housing,
Soaring consumer debt,
Soaring student loans,
No job security whatsoever (ironic isn't it? especially when your job is your only best shot at achieving that dream, and politicians still rave about "the dream" even when they cannot offer job security or stop your job from being shipped overseas) ,
Minimal vacation time,
Dads and moms being worked to death, often clueless about their kids' well being,
Corporate pensions simply vanishing,
Health benefits being slashed in a snap

Most of your complaints seem to be about employment, monetary problems and materialistic desires. If work is a problem then change your job to fit what you want out of life. If its more time with you children, you may have to get by with less money. America at least gives you a choice. Some are lucky enough to get whatever they want, but being American does not entitle you to that. My family has always worked their asses off to get what they have, and they have been for the most part (the exception being my Irish side and their attraction towards whiskey) happy! Smile


User currently offlinePanAm330 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2669 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 1164 times:

Quoting Greasespot (Reply 1):
the american dream is there...It has just been outsourced to India....They will soon be living the American dream...

Spot on! Don't forget Asia, either.


User currently offline767Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 1160 times:

I think the American Dream has a lot to do with entrepreneurship. This is a country where, with hard work and focus, just about anyone can start and build a business. The person may have to work for someone else while they build the business on the side, but it can be done. I did it!

Property ownership is also a huge amount of security for a lot of people and a symbol of The American Dream. There are many, many people who buy land, build a home on it and live there until they die. Or they sell it in old age and live off the proceeds for retirement. Sure, a very few elite can afford to buy in San Francisco and New York but there are very affordable homes that can be bought in most major cities and counties.


User currently offlineKiwiinOz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 1160 times:

Quoting PanAm330 (Reply 5):
Spot on! Don't forget Asia, either.

I think you'll find that India is in Asia


User currently offlinePbottenb From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 431 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 1153 times:

[quote=KiwiinOz,reply=7]Quoting PanAm330 (Reply 5):
Spot on! Don't forget Asia, either.

I think you'll find that India is in Asia

tis correct, but regardless, more power to em...I think that having an American Dream does not preclude an Indian Dream, or a Chinese Dream, whatever that might be...


User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 47
Reply 9, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 1149 times:

With the possible exceptions of housing prices, every other item on the list directly or indirectly ties back to #2, soaring consumer debt, which is entirely controllable. Maybe if people lived within their means and ditched the "Keeping with the Jonses" mentality and didn't have to buy every glitzy thing being hawked on TV, everything else would fall into place and not BE a problem.

yes, even the corporate concerns (vacation time and other bennies) can be linked back to spending: Unions demanding more and more, college grads with zero experience at the ripe old age of 22 demanding 50 and 75 grand salaries to start. Many companies, in order to attract the best talent, they don't always have much choice but to pay that out. In order to remain competitive in the market place, costs have to be cut somewhere else. Hence the layoffs, outsourcing, health costs, etc.

Maybe if you kids weren't so fucking greedy......


User currently offlineJake056 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 1133 times:

Quoting Matt D (Reply 9):
Maybe if people lived within their means and ditched the "Keeping with the Jonses" mentality and didn't have to buy every glitzy thing being hawked on TV, everything else would fall into place and not BE a problem.

I have to agree with this wholeheartedly. Do you ever go to Cosco or Sam's Club? Ever see what people (of clearly limited means) are buying? On credit? Big screen t.v.'s, electronic equipment, DVD's, CD's, clothes, clothes, and more clothes.

I saw this one guy on line in front of me at the supermarket who spoke very little English. Very well dressed and groomed. Shopping cart was loaded with "name brand/gourmet" items. His little girl (about 4 or 5 years old) helped translate. Meanwhile, I'm clipping coupons and buying generic laundry detergent. HE PAID BY FOOD STAMPS!!!!! i.e. welfare courtesy of the U.S. government.

Who says the American Dream is a Myth???


User currently offlineCentrair From Japan, joined Jan 2005, 3598 posts, RR: 20
Reply 11, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 1119 times:

I believe the American Dream is alive. The problem is that the responsibilities that go with it are slowly forgotten. Its is one thing to keep up with the Jones, but if they are in debt it doesn't mean you should too.

My rule is live within my means. I had a debt in college due to stupid spending habits. Now I cut those habits and live with what I can. I plan to buy things and save up for it...buy in cash. I don't over do anything and always put money aside for savings.

The problem with the idea is that the American Dream today is not about "life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Its "get everything you want even if you can't pay for it cuz if you don't your a looser."

To me the dream is simple, If I have my health, the ability to cover my costs, and the freedom to make decisions in the interest of myself and my family, I can be happy. I don't need an iPod but I do need to have food on the table, I don't need a megacruising car, but I do need to pay for my children's education. I don't need to eat at expensive restaurants, but I do need to have accessible, affordable health care. Without health, food, clothing, shelter, education and a responsiblity to help create a better society there can be no American dream. We forget that it wasn't individuals who set up the U.S., it was a group of people who worked together, "in order to form a more perfect union."



Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
User currently offlineTexdravid From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 1095 times:

The American Dream is alive and well.

The keys are education and hard work.

If you have knowledge, you have the world by the balls.

If you do not, the world has you by the balls.

If you are regretting your standing in life at age 40, you probably had too much fun at age 15-25.

If you are enjoying life at age 40 and onwards, with no financial concerns, you probably worked your ass off at age 15-25.

Life is not a lottery, nor a giveaway, nor luck. Except for the 1% or so who inherited their lifestyles like Paris Hilton, education and hard work are the keys to the American dream. Those keys will always open the door to opportunity in America.



Tort reform now. Throw lawyers in jail later.
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 1088 times:

The American Dream is and well . . . . in many forms . . .

For some it's the house with the picket fence, 2.2 dogs, 1.48 cats, 3.324553 frickin' kids, and a job over $125K a year.

For some it's a condo in a 'decent' part of town, no liabilities in the form of animals or other such things, perhaps a child, decent job, decent time off, decent lifestyle . . .

It's a relative thing geared to the desires of the American Dreamer.

I've got my American Dream for now . . . I have a goal to increase it, but for now, I'm fine.

Nice Condo. Damn nice vehicle. Peace and Quiet when I want. Go when I want. Do what I want. Money in the bank. Retirement - one already being paid (thanks PJ), one in the works . . .

The American Dream is alive and kicking! No worries . . . . .


User currently offlineJake056 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 1086 times:

Somewhat off topic, but anyone think the people in Iraq want the same things, the BASIC things we like/love/cherish here in the US?? Freedom to just do whatever the hell you damn well can to make your life better for you and the family??

User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1068 times:

Quoting Zootrix (Thread starter):
Unaffordable housing

My girlfriend is 24, she just bought a house. If you haven't fucked up your credit housing is 100% affordable. In fact, if you can afford to rent a decent apartment, you can afford a house.

Quoting Zootrix (Thread starter):
Soaring consumer debt

People do this to themselves, end of story. There is only a competition for having the coolest toys if you make one.

Quoting Zootrix (Thread starter):
Soaring student loans

Get a job while in school. Plenty of people do it and escape with minimal debt. Also, where are the parents when it comes to saving for their kids education?

Quoting Zootrix (Thread starter):
Minimal vacation time

I presently have a full time job with benefits and 2 full weeks vacation and paid holidays. I had all that from day 1. All it required was a high school diploma, the ability to pass a piss test, and a clean criminal background. The job had been posted 3 months and I was the only applicant who could meet the criteria.

Quoting Zootrix (Thread starter):
Corporate pensions simply vanishing

Airlines are shaky companies, this is not a new thing. Don't assume they represent the majority of companies.

Quoting Zootrix (Thread starter):
Look at what's to happen to the employees of Enron, USAirways, NWA, DL, Ford, GM, etc.

Enron: The fucked employees did it to themselves by putting their entire retirment in Enron stock. I have no sympathy for stupidity.

USelessAir, NWA, DL: Airlines are shaky companies, especially in economic downturns. Sorry about your luck guys. However, 3 companies, most of which have what.. 60,000 employees, do not make a disaster.

Ford, GM: This is the workers fault for ramrodding labor contracts that are trying to bankrupt the companies they work for. I have no sympathy for the plight of the unskilled worker, who was making a killing monetarily and did nothing to better themselves. I am sorry they are going to be out of work, but maybe instead of coming home and cracking open a beer they could have picked up a class here and there at the local comunity college to put themselves in a better position. Anyone with a lick of sense saw this coming.


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