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Dreadnought
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The American Dream

Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:40 pm

We've all heard about it. Maybe not for much longer.

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/70662162.html?page=1&c=y

Quote:
Do you believe in the American dream -- the idea that in this country, hardworking people of every race, color and creed can get ahead on their own merits? If so, that belief may soon bar you from getting a license to teach in Minnesota public schools -- at least if you plan to get your teaching degree at the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus.

In a report compiled last summer, the Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group at the U's College of Education and Human Development recommended that aspiring teachers there must repudiate the notion of "the American Dream" in order to obtain the recommendation for licensure required by the Minnesota Board of Teaching. Instead, teacher candidates must embrace -- and be prepared to teach our state's kids -- the task force's own vision of America as an oppressive hellhole: racist, sexist and homophobic.

I will reserve comment for now. What do you guys think?
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UAL747
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RE: The American Dream

Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:50 pm

Well, I don't think they should throw out the idea that hard work and good ethics can take you far in society in this country, but:

Children also need to be taught facts. And the facts and data all support that this country is highly sexist, highly racist, and highly homophobic. And, because of this, people can easily fall behind in obtaining the "American Dream." However, I don't think the US is any more oppressive than any other modernized western country.

If we could have just kicked the religion habit 50 years ago, things might be a lot better in the above specified areas. (Just a thought).

UAL
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Klaus
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RE: The American Dream

Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:55 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Thread starter):
In a report compiled last summer, the Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group at the U's College of Education and Human Development recommended that aspiring teachers there must repudiate the notion of "the American Dream" in order to obtain the recommendation for licensure required by the Minnesota Board of Teaching. Instead, teacher candidates must embrace -- and be prepared to teach our state'

Oh sure, that will be exactly what that recommenadion says...!  crazy 

How about a literal quote from there instead of an obviously wildly hyperbolic, paranoid interpretation?
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: The American Dream

Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:59 pm



Quoting UAL747 (Reply 1):
And the facts and data all support that this country is highly sexist, highly racist, and highly homophobic.

Sad but true. And I don't see why there's a need to sugar coat things. You gotta say it how it is. I'm sick of this whole political correctness movement.

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 1):
If we could have just kicked the religion habit 50 years ago, things might be a lot better in the above specified areas.

Amen! errr... ya what you said  Wink
 
steeler83
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RE: The American Dream

Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:25 pm



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 3):

My sentiments exactly.
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RE: The American Dream

Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:17 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Thread starter):

I will reserve comment for now. What do you guys think?

I think the American Dream is long dead. And America, or at least the great nation that it once was, will soon be dead.

You get caught smoking a joint at 15. You can *NEVER* get a Federal grant for your education. Good-bye, American dream.

You're gay. You join the military. You work hard, climb the ranks, earn the respect and admiration of your subordinates and superiors. One day, your vengeful ex outs you. You are dishonorably discharged. Good-bye, American dream.

You have a vision of building a business to transport people from LA to Vegas on a high-speed train that will race through the desert, making the journey faster, cleaner, and cheaper. There's more than enough market and your business model is sound. After years and countless dollars of paperwork and environmental impact reports, your project might endanger a small patch of grass along the route. Good-bye, American dream.

You have a job. You pay your rent. You pay your taxes. One day, you get an eviction notice. Your landlord apparently did not pay his taxes or his mortgage. Good-bye, American dream.

You're a poor kid in the ghetto. Your parents can't afford to send you to a good school. You try and try, but your teachers can't even speak standard English because teaching is such an unpleasant job that anyone with a decent education and skills won't touch it. As you grow up, you realize that there's no point in an education because you aren't getting one. You need to feed your family and so you drop out. Good-bye, American dream.

You had a job. You lost it in the crisis. With it went your healthcare. One day, while coming home from another interview, you are struck by an uninsured driver. You have $100,000 in medical bills. Good-bye, American dream.
-Doc Lightning-

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Fly2HMO
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RE: The American Dream

Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:29 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
I think the American Dream is long dead.

For sure. People nowadays are so short sighted. But as you put in a very eloquent way, it's almost impossible to have a dream anymore.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
And America, or at least the great nation that it once was, will soon be dead.

A bit drastic, but if it were to happen I'd be OK with it. I don't see why the heck we need to be the mightiest, strongest, most powerful SOBs in the world. It brings unneeded attention to us and more reasons for people to hate us (9/11 ring a bell?).

IMO we could still be a superpower but without having to be all arrogant and flaunting it all over the world. If we kept it low key, like say Germany, France, or Switzerland which are, each in in their own unique ways, very powerful countries, we would be much more better off. But that's just me.

[Edited 2009-11-24 14:30:30]
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The American Dream

Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:54 pm



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 6):

IMO we could still be a superpower but without having to be all arrogant and flaunting it all over the world. If we kept it low key, like say Germany, France, or Switzerland which are, each in in their own unique ways, very powerful countries, we would be much more better off. But that's just me.

I agree. For all the hand-wringing about China being the next superpower, the EU, as I've pointed out in other threads, is the new superpower. By building a vast empire through peaceful, economic means, they have truly managed to do something unique in history.
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Dreadnought
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RE: The American Dream

Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:11 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
You get caught smoking a joint at 15. You can *NEVER* get a Federal grant for your education. Good-bye, American dream.

Cause: Stupid federal laws regarding availability of your criminal record for non-felony crimes.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
You're gay. You join the military. You work hard, climb the ranks, earn the respect and admiration of your subordinates and superiors. One day, your vengeful ex outs you. You are dishonorably discharged. Good-bye, American dream.

Well, on this one you're on your own - you knew the rules when you enlisted. But caused by: Federal law (and policy)

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
You have a vision of building a business to transport people from LA to Vegas on a high-speed train that will race through the desert, making the journey faster, cleaner, and cheaper. There's more than enough market and your business model is sound. After years and countless dollars of paperwork and environmental impact reports, your project might endanger a small patch of grass along the route. Good-bye, American dream.

Cause: Stupid federal laws plus stupid state laws.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
You have a job. You pay your rent. You pay your taxes. One day, you get an eviction notice. Your landlord apparently did not pay his taxes or his mortgage. Good-bye, American dream.

I don't get this one - you just move out - you don't lose anything apart from maybe your deposit.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
You're a poor kid in the ghetto. Your parents can't afford to send you to a good school. You try and try, but your teachers can't even speak standard English because teaching is such an unpleasant job that anyone with a decent education and skills won't touch it. As you grow up, you realize that there's no point in an education because you aren't getting one. You need to feed your family and so you drop out. Good-bye, American dream.

Solution: Voucher program. Oh, darn, of all the things Obama promised to do, that's the one program he managed to kill, and he killed it damned fast.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
You had a job. You lost it in the crisis. With it went your healthcare. One day, while coming home from another interview, you are struck by an uninsured driver. You have $100,000 in medical bills. Good-bye, American dream.

Cause: Stupid federal laws stemming from WWII which pushed health care to be furnished by your employer instead of yourself. Wouldn't it be better if your salary was $500 or more higher and you could invest, say, $400 of that money in a health savings account and another $100 would go to a catastrophic coverage plan with a high deductable, priced according to interstate competition. There you go, no bankruptcy.

Looks like the cause for nearly all these problems is too much government, instead of not enough.

And yes, I agree that this country has pretty much smashed 'the American Dream' into the ground. We have no privacy any more - Credit Bureaus, the IRS and a complete override of privacy rights imbedded in the Constitution have seen to that. That right supposedly ensures you can kill your unborn baby, but it doesn't prevent anyone from looking into your financial history for just a $10 fee. How screwed up is that???
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:35 am



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 8):

Cause: Stupid federal laws stemming from WWII which pushed health care to be furnished by your employer instead of yourself. Wouldn't it be better if your salary was $500 or more higher and you could invest, say, $400 of that money in a health savings account and another $100 would go to a catastrophic coverage plan with a high deductable, priced according to interstate competition. There you go, no bankruptcy.

Until you suffer long-term unemployment or long-term disability and can no longer afford that healthcare you have to buy.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 8):

Looks like the cause for nearly all these problems is too much government, instead of not enough.

See, this "big" vs "small" government thing is a fallacy. What we're dealing with here is INEFFECTIVE government.
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Dreadnought
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:04 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
Until you suffer long-term unemployment or long-term disability and can no longer afford that healthcare you have to buy.

That's what insurance is for. A part of your insurance premium - maybe $10 worth, would be for such disability, and with a health savings account in place, you can easily afford the price of catastrophic insurance. It's all in the structure - something the current bill completely ignores.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
See, this "big" vs "small" government thing is a fallacy. What we're dealing with here is INEFFECTIVE government.

OK then, big and ineffective vs. small but effective government.
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NoUFO
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:06 am

Being a former teacher myself, I'd say learning objectives must be measurable. Hence, "American Dream" is as an unseizable objective as "homophobic hellhole" is.

With that being said, only bad teachers tell students the truth. Good teachers help students to find out the truth.
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:25 am



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 10):

OK then, big and ineffective vs. small but effective government.

How about just effective. France has a big government, but it's very effective.

Do you know one reason that the American Dream is going down the tubes? Infrastructure. Rush hour starts earlier and earlier and ends later and later. Americans spend more time sitting in traffic than ever before and nothing is being done to change that. How can Americans take care of their kids and support their families when they are spending four hours commuting every day to and from work because they don't have any alternative than to drive?

Rolling blackouts in California. Brownouts in NYC. Exploding steam pipes. Collapsing bridges. This is America in the 21st Century.

When you can't effectively move people and goods, you can't have an effective economy. When there is no effective economy, there is no dream.

Our government has the power to be effective. They could spend money on infrastructure projects that are necessary to keep us safely and effectively moving. They could exercise eminent domain and tell the NIMBYS that it's not their back yard anymore. Here's your check. Move.

But our government is now controlled by politicians who are more worried about getting re-elected, or getting their party in power than they are interested in fixing America.

That Stimulus Bill should have been 80% infrastructure. THAT would have made jobs.
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Dreadnought
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:48 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 12):
How about just effective. France has a big government, but it's very effective.

I lived in Paris, and spent 20 years in Geneva, less than a mile from the French border and visited often. Trust me, it's not that effective (witness the chronicly high unemployment, for one thing). The French government is also highly centralized - to duplicate that, you would basically have to eliminate states' rights entirely. French states (or Departments) have very little power.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 12):
Do you know one reason that the American Dream is going down the tubes? Infrastructure. Rush hour starts earlier and earlier and ends later and later. Americans spend more time sitting in traffic than ever before and nothing is being done to change that. How can Americans take care of their kids and support their families when they are spending four hours commuting every day to and from work because they don't have any alternative than to drive?

And who's at fault? Incompetant planners, for one. The willingness of people to live in huge cities. If I got a job offer in Houston or LA, I wouldn't move there for exactly that reason. If you don't like the traffic, either move close to your job or change cities.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 12):
But our government is now controlled by politicians who are more worried about getting re-elected, or getting their party in power than they are interested in fixing America.

Absolutely. So why are you on the side of the party whose philosophy is based on expanding that power? Become a conservative, which is based on a distrust of power and the desire to minimize the abuse by starving the beast.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
seb146
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:57 am

Could somebody please quote the original text of the task force's recomendation instead of an op-ed piece that is clearly against it? I think there is much more to this story than just the one side.

See what listening to both left-wing and right-wing talk radio does to a person?
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tommy767
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:34 am

The American Dream is the drive for oneself to achieve a personal goal(s) that fulfills ones own desires whether it be career or pleasure driven. Historically, "manifest destiny" was an early concept showing how immigrants really took in stride the american dream in the massive rush to become landowners in the western U.S to escape the overcrowded and undesirable living conditions of the eastern U.S.
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ltbewr
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:56 am

There has always been challanges to and changes as to what we call the "American Dream". Yes, there are still many issues that limit access what some call the Dream in recent years.

For many the losses of jobs, of health care, racism, sexism, limits of access to quality of eduction and other issues may make the Dream difficut, but we still are many day to day things we have that all still elusive in many countries. Freedom of Faith (or not having one), no formal classism, more protective privacy rights, no 'National ID Card', the right to open a business without as many governemtal restrictions and less labor law restrictions. Yes, as a nation we don't recognize same-gender marriage, but in some countries, being GLBT is asking for a death sentence. In some countries, not of the same general race or faith or tribe or involved in certain trades can mean great social restrictions. Many still try to get into this Country due to the 'Dream' despite how much as it has changed.

The American Dream will have to evolve, change to a more reasoned style. It will have to be in far smaller and more efficient residences, fewer and smaller cars, less 'stuff', maybe a job that isn't exciting but gives you enough to live on far better than in many countries.
 
Mir
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:42 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
The willingness of people to live in huge cities.

Correction: the willingness of people to live OUTSIDE huge cities. The constant suburbanization is a big problem. It's a tremendously inefficient use of land, and it prevents mass transit from being truly effective.

If more people were willing to actually live in Houston or LA instead of in Sugar Land or Irvine, things would be better. Thankfully, we are seeing a swing back to urban redevelopment instead of continuing suburban expansion. But it's coming much later than it should have.

EDIT: It's worth mentioning that Houston and Berlin have about the same metro area population (3.82 million vs. 3.7 million). Houston covers just over 600 square miles, while Berlin covers just under 350. Berlin has 25 train lines (both S-Bahn and U-Bahn) and 22 light rail lines, in addition to an extensive bus network. Houston has a bus network, and 1 light rail line (with plans for five more). That tells you pretty much all you need to know about the urban planning failings of the US.

-Mir

[Edited 2009-11-24 20:40:18]
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Dreadnought
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:08 am



Quoting Mir (Reply 17):
Correction: the willingness of people to live OUTSIDE huge cities. The constant suburbanization is a big problem. It's a tremendously inefficient use of land, and it prevents mass transit from being truly effective.

I stand corrected.
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jcs17
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:58 am

Haha... Obama's vision of America has been expressed in numerous posts above this one. How priceless.
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Ken777
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:52 am

While there are problem areas in our country there are also exceptional things that continue to happen.

Look at last November. The voters of this country elected a black man for president. As someone who remembers segregation when I was young this was an exceptional moment in our history.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 8):
Cause: Stupid federal laws stemming from WWII which pushed health care to be furnished by your employer instead of yourself. Wouldn't it be better if your salary was $500 or more higher and you could invest, say, $400 of that money in a health savings account and another $100 would go to a catastrophic coverage plan with a high deductable, priced according to interstate competition. There you go, no bankruptcy.

That assumes that we boost the minimum wage to where low income earners are able to set aside $500 a month. You would still have bankruptcies, especially if you allow collusion between health insurance companies because of anti-trust immunity.

Or maybe we can do it cheaper - add disability insurance to FICA taxes. Oooops - we've done that. And Medicare follows in two years.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
What we're dealing with here is INEFFECTIVE government.

Large organizations, be they corporate or government, will have significant degrees of ineffective operations, policies, decisions, etc. Anyone who served in the military can vouch for that.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 10):
That's what insurance is for. A part of your insurance premium - maybe $10 worth, would be for such disability, and with a health savings account in place,

It's called FICA.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 12):
How can Americans take care of their kids and support their families when they are spending four hours commuting every day to and from work because they don't have any alternative than to drive?

I agree that is a challenge for many. And it is one of the reasons why we stayed in TUL after living in PER for 8 years. PER had a 30 minute commute if I left early in the morning. TUL had a 5 to 10 minute commute.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 12):
That Stimulus Bill should have been 80% infrastructure. THAT would have made jobs.

I'll agree that it should have had major infrastructure spending - and that maybe all petrol taxes should go to only transit infrastructure spending. I know in TUL a lot of road work is going on because of the stimulus as well as other financing in place before then.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
to duplicate that, you would basically have to eliminate states' rights entirely

Or maybe France is small enough that it is equal to some of our states - meaning it's equal to the effectiveness of some of our individual states.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
If I got a job offer in Houston

Depends on where in Houston the job was, and your home would be. Get into the Houston Medical Center (or Rice University) and live where I lived in the 50s and you could ride a bike to work in 15 minutes. Or catch the tram to downtown.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
Become a conservative, which is based on a distrust of power and the desire to minimize the abuse by starving the beast.

Problem is that Doc has seem the impact of conservatives in his field - ask him about health care reform and public options. And he knows about the government investments in medicine, from Medicare/Medicaid to NIH research funding, to Pell Grants for kids wanting to work in the medical field.

Question. If conservatives distrust power so much why do they work so hard to get it?  Smile
 
san747
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:15 am



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 20):

Question. If conservatives distrust power so much why do they work so hard to get it? Smile

They distrust any besides them having power.  Smile Overall, I agree with the main idea of the threat, especially DocLightning's reply. The American Dream just is not as feasible as it once was, for a lot of reasons.
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Pyrex
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:54 am

I always find it interesting when (upper) middle class people that grew up in the U.S. and benefited from all the opportunities it provides to live a comfortable life complain about the inexistence of an American Dream. When I ask my Chinese, or Peruvian, or Vietnamese friends whose parents came to the U.S. when they were young with almost no cash and speaking barely a word of english and that in less than a generation managed to get a college education, find a good job and become fully integrated members of the society they never complain about how a cold, racist and heartless place the U.S. is. I wonder why...

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
Until you suffer long-term unemployment or long-term disability and can no longer afford that healthcare you have to buy.

Not sure about the unemployment (I believe COBRA is still quite expensive) but for long-term disability that is what Medicaid is for, no?
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:40 am



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):

Absolutely. So why are you on the side of the party whose philosophy is based on expanding that power? Become a conservative, which is based on a distrust of power and the desire to minimize the abuse by starving the beast.

Because "Conservativism" in this country is about wrapping yourself in a flag and waving a cross around, while being a completely irresponsible ass, trashing the environment, invading sovereign countries on a whim, amassing as much wealth as possible and not caring about those who didn't get any.

That's not what I stand for, either. At least the Democrats seem to be trying to work for the greater good. But, as I said, they aren't much better. I'm tempted to just not vote for anyone.
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Aaron747
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:11 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 23):
That's not what I stand for, either. At least the Democrats seem to be trying to work for the greater good. But, as I said, they aren't much better. I'm tempted to just not vote for anyone.

What's wrong with Libertarians? They just want the government to leave everyone the hell alone and let us all determine the course of our lives as we see fit. Oh yeah, they have zero power in Washington. Oops.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 22):
I always find it interesting when (upper) middle class people that grew up in the U.S. and benefited from all the opportunities it provides to live a comfortable life complain about the inexistence of an American Dream.

As the product of an upper middle class area and upbringing, I concede that you have a point. I know a fair number of people of my generation who resent that their shot at having the life their parents provided them is chancy at best. I tend not to have sympathy for them as I made the choice to go it on my own and deny financial assistance from family, but I also understand that for people who grew up with a lot and are now living with less, it is a difficult change given a certain frame of mind. It's not that there's an inexistence of the dream, just that the dream itself has been modified and pared down to an undesirable level.

On the other hand, there are people like my maternal uncle, who watched my grandfather work two jobs, never have money for vacations, and go years without a new suit or shoes. He decided he didn't want that, got himself into Berkeley, struggled for a few years in several architectural firms, before going on to start his own and really hit it big in the SF area the last 15 years. The fact that he ticks 'Hispanic' in the box hasn't worked against him nearly as much as some would like to think it does.

Quoting Mir (Reply 17):
EDIT: It's worth mentioning that Houston and Berlin have about the same metro area population (3.82 million vs. 3.7 million). Houston covers just over 600 square miles, while Berlin covers just under 350. Berlin has 25 train lines (both S-Bahn and U-Bahn) and 22 light rail lines, in addition to an extensive bus network. Houston has a bus network, and 1 light rail line (with plans for five more).

Not remotely suggesting that Americans are prepared to live this way, but Osaka has 2.7 million in just 86 square miles. What does that end up looking like? Big grin

http://candymkl.tripod.com/info/Osakarailmap.jpg

[Edited 2009-11-25 04:20:17]
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DocLightning
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:24 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 18):

I stand corrected.

Ok. That makes much more sense now. In Europe, where more people live closer together, there is less traffic because people don't need to travel so far to get to work.
-Doc Lightning-

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GrahamHill
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:36 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 25):
there is less traffic because people don't need to travel so far to get to work.

For some Parisians living in the suburbs and working in the center of Paris, it can take up to 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening when they take their car. That's an extreme example though.

On the other hand, a friend of my parents was living in Le Mans and working in Paris (200 km between the two cities). He took the TGV everyday. In one hour sharp he was behind his desk.
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:13 pm



Quoting GrahamHill (Reply 26):

For some Parisians living in the suburbs and working in the center of Paris, it can take up to 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening when they take their car. That's an extreme example though.

Well, given that Paris, London, New York, and Tokyo are the four major world cities, I'm not shocked that they have traffic issues.

But San Francisco has less than one million people living in the city limits and every day people sit on the bridges for hours. There's no reason this should be the case, but with the BART system having a lack of stations in the South Bay, no good way for people in many communities to get to the BART stations, and poor public transit once inside the city so that people who don't work on the single BART line that travels through the city can get to work, there is horrible congestion.

And it's because we refuse to build new infrastructure. It's pulling teeth to even get us to upgrade the infrastructure we have.
-Doc Lightning-

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ual777
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:25 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):

I think the American Dream is long dead. And America, or at least the great nation that it once was, will soon be dead.

You get caught smoking a joint at 15. You can *NEVER* get a Federal grant for your education. Good-bye, American dream.

You're gay. You join the military. You work hard, climb the ranks, earn the respect and admiration of your subordinates and superiors. One day, your vengeful ex outs you. You are dishonorably discharged. Good-bye, American dream.

You have a vision of building a business to transport people from LA to Vegas on a high-speed train that will race through the desert, making the journey faster, cleaner, and cheaper. There's more than enough market and your business model is sound. After years and countless dollars of paperwork and environmental impact reports, your project might endanger a small patch of grass along the route. Good-bye, American dream.

You have a job. You pay your rent. You pay your taxes. One day, you get an eviction notice. Your landlord apparently did not pay his taxes or his mortgage. Good-bye, American dream.

You're a poor kid in the ghetto. Your parents can't afford to send you to a good school. You try and try, but your teachers can't even speak standard English because teaching is such an unpleasant job that anyone with a decent education and skills won't touch it. As you grow up, you realize that there's no point in an education because you aren't getting one. You need to feed your family and so you drop out. Good-bye, American dream.

You had a job. You lost it in the crisis. With it went your healthcare. One day, while coming home from another interview, you are struck by an uninsured driver. You have $100,000 in medical bills. Good-bye, American dream.

Can we find anymore obscure examples? The American Dream is alive and well, but people do not realize it.

The American Dream is not all 300 million people living in a utopia. It is the chance to grab or squander potential success. Nothing more, nothing less.

I think too many people in this country expect everything to be easy and perfect when its not. It shouldn't be perfect either. Through hardship and struggle comes knowledge and appreciation.

My mother worked three jobs, lived in a trailer as a single parent with my half-sister, put herself through college, and became an Air Force officer. Hello American Dream.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 12):


Rolling blackouts in California. Brownouts in NYC. Exploding steam pipes. Collapsing bridges. This is America in the 21st Century.

Again these are obscure incidents. The blackouts are California's fault. Build more powerplants and it will stop. The vast majority of our infastructure is in good shape.
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BMI727
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:34 pm



Quoting Ual777 (Reply 28):
Build more powerplants and it will stop.

No, we can't do that. Some rabbit might lose its home.
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Mir
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:09 pm



Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 24):
What does that end up looking like?

An "image hosted by Tripod" tag?  Sad

Maybe you could repost it - as a casual fan of urban planning and design, I'm quite interested to see what it looks like.

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Aaron747
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RE: The American Dream

Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:14 pm



Quoting Mir (Reply 30):
An "image hosted by Tripod" tag? Sad

Maybe you could repost it - as a casual fan of urban planning and design, I'm quite interested to see what it looks like.

Sorry about that - Osaka rail:

http://www.meik.jp/2rosenzu/phot_zen/osaka_jpn.gif
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Flighty
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RE: The American Dream

Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:16 am



Quoting Ual777 (Reply 28):

Can we find anymore obscure examples? The American Dream is alive and well, but people do not realize it.

The American Dream is not all 300 million people living in a utopia. It is the chance to grab or squander potential success. Nothing more, nothing less.

I think too many people in this country expect everything to be easy and perfect when its not. It shouldn't be perfect either. Through hardship and struggle comes knowledge and appreciation.

Thank you. Nobody said it was easy. In our baby-boomer centric society it seems like the "decline" attitude recently merely reflects that baby boomers are reaching 65 years old and they can't imagine how the world will go on without them. But it will.


I know a lot of foreign people who came here with nothing -- zero dollars -- and today, are in the top 2-3% of Americans. They are some very successful people. But they worked hard, and displayed skills. They did not sit on their rump expecting a comfortable life without earning it.

The American dream is doing just fine. Crashing real estate prices, ironically, put the American Dream back within reach of millions of people. Yes you need a job today. Or you can open a business right now -- using a brilliant new idea -- and you'll be very successful in a few years. It takes brains and guts, it was never automatic.

And it was never available to all. Some people are screwed for life. They should try to guide their kids to be like Tiger Woods or to become a scientist. It's possible.
 
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RE: The American Dream

Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:13 am



Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 24):

What's wrong with Libertarians?

They can't get elected. That's what's wrong with them. Puts me in a spot. It's a worthless vote.

Quoting Ual777 (Reply 28):

Again these are obscure incidents. The blackouts are California's fault. Build more powerplants and it will stop. The vast majority of our infastructure is in good shape.

"obscure" incidents affecting 1/6 of the population of the U.S.? There are almost 50 million people in California. That's about 1/6 of the population.

Yeah, it'd be great if we could build more powerplants, wouldn't it? Except with the NIMBYs, we can't build ANYTHING. You're totally missing the point. NOBODY IS BUILDING ANYTHING NEW because

Quoting Ual777 (Reply 28):

I think too many people in this country expect everything to be easy and perfect when its not. It shouldn't be perfect either. Through hardship and struggle comes knowledge and appreciation.

No, I expect them to get a chance to work hard and benefit from it. THe way things are, for a great many people, no amount of hard work can bootstrap them out of their situation.
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-Carl Sagan
 
vikkyvik
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RE: The American Dream

Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:41 am



Quoting Dreadnought (Thread starter):

I will reserve comment for now. What do you guys think?

My American Dream is certainly alive and well. Despite numerous setbacks, mostly of my own creation, I've managed to get through engineering school and have a reasonable salary, living somewhere where it never snows.

That was my dream when I graduated from high school!

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 1):
Children also need to be taught facts. And the facts and data all support that this country is highly sexist, highly racist, and highly homophobic.

I'm sure it is, but if the American Dream was alive and well 150 years ago, and the country has only become LESS sexist, LESS racist, and LESS homophobic since then, then I'd say the American Dream can only be MORE widely available than it once was.

Quoting Tommy767 (Reply 15):
The American Dream is the drive for oneself to achieve a personal goal(s) that fulfills ones own desires whether it be career or pleasure driven.



Quoting Ual777 (Reply 28):

The American Dream is not all 300 million people living in a utopia. It is the chance to grab or squander potential success. Nothing more, nothing less.

 checkmark 

Both well said. Note, as stated, that the American Dream is not everyone having success; it's everyone having the chance to use their drive to achieve success.

Quoting Mir (Reply 17):

If more people were willing to actually live in Houston or LA instead of in Sugar Land or Irvine, things would be better.

Well, Los Angeles is 460 square miles of suburban development. More people moving in wouldn't really change that.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 22):
I always find it interesting when (upper) middle class people that grew up in the U.S. and benefited from all the opportunities it provides to live a comfortable life complain about the inexistence of an American Dream.

As someone who grew up in an upper middle class home, in an upper middle class town, I very much agree with that assessment. I think that myself and most of my friends and family are pretty well-adjusted to the outside world, and I think we're quite thankful that we have what we have.

Hell, my childhood WAS the American Dream. My parents came here from overseas, got a good education, got good jobs, and were fully able to provide a wonderful childhood for their kids.

My girlfriend's parents came here from south of the border - her mom just became a US citizen a year or two ago. She was able to go to college, and is now applying to law school.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 24):

Not remotely suggesting that Americans are prepared to live this way, but Osaka has 2.7 million in just 86 square miles. What does that end up looking like?

Compare that to Los Angeles: 4 million people living in 460 square miles. And our light rail/subway network consists of what, 4 lines?

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Aaron747
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RE: The American Dream

Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:11 am



Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 34):
Well, Los Angeles is 460 square miles of suburban development

I have to disagree slightly with that characterization - Los Angeles is one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in North America. Significant portions of that 460 square miles is terrain unsuitable for heavy development.

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 34):

Compare that to Los Angeles: 4 million people living in 460 square miles. And our light rail/subway network consists of what, 4 lines?

Well sure but back in the day it was this:

If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
BMI727
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RE: The American Dream

Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:15 am



Quoting Ual777 (Reply 28):
I think too many people in this country expect everything to be easy and perfect when its not. It shouldn't be perfect either. Through hardship and struggle comes knowledge and appreciation.

So the real gripe isn't that the American Dream is gone, but rather that the American Dream is difficult to achieve. Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't this always the case? And hard work was always a part of it or did that part get censored out in our "everyone's a winner and gets a trophy" world?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 23):
At least the Democrats seem to be trying to work for the greater good.

I'm not that worried about the greater good. I want to reach my goals and have the life I want to live. If everyone did that, the greater good would take care of itself.
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seb146
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RE: The American Dream

Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:31 am



Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 34):
My parents came here from overseas, got a good education, got good jobs, and were fully able to provide a wonderful childhood for their kids.

My parents, however, were born and raised in this country, got educations and got reasonably good jobs in the health care industry. However, those jobs came in the middle of nowhere. At the state level, education resources for my peers and I went mainly to the large cities, 200 miles away. We got the cast-offs. Same for most anything else. We could get what we wanted, we just had to work harder for what little there was. Working harder didn't really help us because we were always working to keep up, not get ahead. Those of you who grew up in the cities and suburbs don't understand.


Quoting Flighty (Reply 32):
Crashing real estate prices, ironically, put the American Dream back within reach of millions of people. Yes you need a job today. Or you can open a business right now -- using a brilliant new idea -- and you'll be very successful in a few years. It takes brains and guts, it was never automatic.

Not to mention that the banks are not lending. It is hard to start any new business or buy a home when the banks will not give you any money.
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vikkyvik
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RE: The American Dream

Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:12 am



Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 35):

I have to disagree slightly with that characterization - Los Angeles is one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in North America. Significant portions of that 460 square miles is terrain unsuitable for heavy development.

True, I won't disagree with that assessment. Nevertheless, much of LA is suburban development - stand-alone houses.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 35):
Well sure but back in the day it was this:

Yep. Wish that whole light rail system was still around.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 37):
My parents, however, were born and raised in this country, got educations and got reasonably good jobs in the health care industry. However, those jobs came in the middle of nowhere. At the state level, education resources for my peers and I went mainly to the large cities, 200 miles away. We got the cast-offs. Same for most anything else. We could get what we wanted, we just had to work harder for what little there was. Working harder didn't really help us because we were always working to keep up, not get ahead. Those of you who grew up in the cities and suburbs don't understand.

Fair enough - I certainly don't claim to understand life for everyone in the US. I was just showing how the American Dream is still alive and well in my experience.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
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ER757
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RE: The American Dream

Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:36 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Thread starter):
I will reserve comment for now. What do you guys think?

I think it depends on just what your dream is. As for myself, I am content with my life. I'm not rich by American standards, but a large percentage of folks in the world certainly would consider me to be. Now, if my "dream" was to be a multi-millionaire with yachts, vacation homes all over the country, a private jet and so on, then I'd have failed miserably to realize that dream. But if my "dream" was to be able to live in comfort, have enough disposable income to travel a few times per year, buy some "luxury items" when the whim struck me and to go out and get the newest gadgets like an LCD TV or a new digital camera etc - then I succeeded in achieving that dream.
 
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RE: The American Dream

Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:36 pm



Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 38):
Fair enough - I certainly don't claim to understand life for everyone in the US. I was just showing how the American Dream is still alive and well in my experience.

And that is great for those who can achieve it. But, there are still those of us who just keep up every day and those of us who have given up long ago; like the homeless and those living in the country.
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flymia
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RE: The American Dream

Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:20 pm

Both my parents and grandparents came here with no money from two different countries. They are now very sucessful people and can help pay for my education and the life I live now. If coming in this country with absolutly nothing and working hard and becoming sucessful is not the American Dream I dont know what is. The American Dream is very well real and there are examples of it all the time.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: The American Dream

Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:06 am

The problem here is people expect the American Dream to be easy... it's not! It is widely available to most people (granted there are some very unfortunate cases but I'm talking majority here.) Something my generation (I am 19 years old) doesn't get is hard work. They can't get the new iPod, spend money on beer, waste money on a new truck, etc, and they can't coast through school, do no extra activities, etc and expect to get in a good college. There are ways to get money to go to college, and college is usually half the battle. If you see that your dream job is not feasible, change your life plan/major to something more suitable. And the list goes on and on.

The American Dream is still there for those who wish to work. At the end of the day I tell myself that if I don't get X, it's because I didn't do this or that enough, it all comes down to personal responsibility--me. Now please don't come up with hypothetical examples, I am talking about the majority of people. The majority of failures have no one to blame but themselves, not mommy, not daddy, not the government, them.
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