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Old 03-31-2016, 04:43 PM   #21
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Hmmm... Let's ask a forum full of self-made multi-millionaires whether it's still possible to become a self-made multi-millionaire. Wonder what we'll find.
Of course, stay out of debt, LBYM and go long on Brazilian albino pork belly futures.
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:55 PM   #22
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Hmmm... Let's ask a forum full of self-made multi-millionaires whether it's still possible to become a self-made multi-millionaire. Wonder what we'll find.

Perhaps simply because there is such a forum my question is self evident...


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Old 03-31-2016, 04:58 PM   #23
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The American dream is still alive, it's just that it does not take as much sacrifice anymore.

However, anyone in the USA can become a (multi) millionaire, if you work hard enough, have enough ambition and determination. No matter where you start out.
Work sucks. I was never a fan of hard work in spite of my parents admonitions. Going thru college with no scholarship - 2 yrs at home attending JC and 2 yrs UW. Summers in Lumber mills and logging camp were not sacrifice - just lucky to have something to stay in shape and enjoy the great outdoors.

As for 30+ years in the Space Program ambition and determination couldn't compete with the romance and 'that period of history'.

Before Joe Campbell and 'Follow your Bliss'. there was my work bud of 20+ years a retired Air Force NCO when we were working 60 -80 hours per week in a crunch -

'Heck(sic) if they didn't pay me to work here I'd have to buy a ticket to come watch.'

heh heh heh - and then there is the old - take some money off the top and let time and Mr Market do the rest. Live and party on the rest.

I feel up near the top on slackerdom - able to watch grass grow and paint dry as well as anybody.
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:59 PM   #24
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That other thread about bloggers finding and living the American Dream on less than $30,000 a year tells me that the Dream is still alive and even easier to fulfill than ever before.
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Old 03-31-2016, 06:00 PM   #25
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That other thread about bloggers finding and living the American Dream on less than $30,000 a year tells me that the Dream is still alive and even easier to fulfill than ever before.
I've found thru considerable analysis that a sweet spot exists in the low $60k range for a married couple. Heathcare, federal income taxes with SS income and you pay very low taxes. Now the next question is whether you can live on that amount or not. While I may not choose to live on that amount I'm grateful I have the option.
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Old 03-31-2016, 06:09 PM   #26
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I've found thru considerable analysis that a sweet spot exists in the low $60k range for a married couple. Heathcare, federal income taxes with SS income and you pay very low taxes. Now the next question is whether you can live on that amount or not. While I may not choose to live on that amount I'm grateful I have the option.
You might be confusing "what you can live on" and "what you pay taxes on."

A successful retirement planning couple may show $60k income, and thus receive the benefits you describe, but also have a nice pile of savings they can withdraw tax free for additional spending.
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Is the American Dream still alive and well
Old 03-31-2016, 06:36 PM   #27
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Is the American Dream still alive and well

The reason for my post..

The disenfranchised are the enemy of every society.. Tell someone there is no hope enough times and they just might consider giving socialism a try..

An old guy like me ... We still relish the concept of the opportunity to succeed...
1) I was not a driven guy
2) I had sooo little
3) all I knew/believed was education would change my lot in life..

Yeah i was as poor as a church mouse but I didn't know any better...
Most of all I wasn't angry- I just grateful for dinner any night.


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Old 03-31-2016, 06:59 PM   #28
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You might be confusing "what you can live on" and "what you pay taxes on."

A successful retirement planning couple may show $60k income, and thus receive the benefits you describe, but also have a nice pile of savings they can withdraw tax free for additional spending.
Good point. No confusion here. Us old school people always had a big cash stash for capital expenditures and other major expenditures. My expense outlay evaluation only involves covering basic monthly/quarterly/semiannual outlays. In any event taxes play a significant role.
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:14 PM   #29
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On an individual basis, I'd say that achieving the American Dream is still quite possible. The difficulty lies with the significant portion of the population that might be less academically and/or entrepreneurially inclined. As the saying goes, half the people have IQs less than 100...

Okay, rash generalization, but the AD used to include reasonably stable jobs, with reasonably good wages, and likely a pension, for lots of folks with maybe a high school education and a decent work ethic. For most folks, the AD is a home, a riding mower, a big screen, and an above ground pool, not luxury autos, five-star dining, and exotic travel. The predominance of those jobs, as we've discussed here many times, was the result of a set of post-WWII conditions not like to repeat.
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:14 PM   #30
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I think a person of average intelligence with an excellent work ethic and a little good luck can do just fine in the current US environment. One drawback is with the loss of some of our heavy manufacturing base it can be more difficult for those individuals who long for the union factory job that parents or grandparents may have held. That said, education and retooling one's skill set is a major factor of how a person will do in achieving the American Dream.
As a teenager, I had a friend who quit high school and grabbed one of those Union Auto manufacturing jobs, he had lots of cash, and a nice car. While I walked to High School, then to University for 4 yrs so I could get a job that paid less than he got.

Perhaps those jobs, easily replaced by dumb robots were just an anomaly in history and people need to evolve.
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:23 PM   #31
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I don't resonate with the 20th century concept of "the American Dream" because it kind of sounds like everyone wants the same thing, yet somehow different from people in the rest of the world? House, two cars, chicken in every pot, consuming focus, etc.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - now that American Dream I totally get!
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Old 04-01-2016, 12:05 AM   #32
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I've never understood "The American Dream"......it sounds like an advertising slogan......and I don't think the middle aged/old folks on a forum like this really have much chance of understanding the challenges that face the Millennial generation.
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Old 04-01-2016, 12:50 AM   #33
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American dream is still reachable for most. But the days of owning a house & middle class life style with a single income working at a factory is not possible. Those days are long gone and forever. These days, it typically takes a couple to work full time at decent jobs to make it.
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Old 04-01-2016, 01:09 AM   #34
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Hmmm... Let's ask a forum full of self-made multi-millionaires whether it's still possible to become a self-made multi-millionaire. Wonder what we'll find.
+1
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Old 04-01-2016, 05:58 AM   #35
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It seems like every where I'm reading that the promise of hard work (and possibly working smart) will no longer lead you to success. I for one don't see it.. My my evidence may be anecdotal but it is what I've personally observed..
That's key: We tend to self-select our interactions with people who are so similar to us in that they benefit from the same privilege from which we benefit, and therefore glean similar advantages as we glean, and sidestep the same injustices we sidestep. It is only when we surround ourselves with those who are less fortunate than ourselves, connect with such folk in a deep manner, becoming invested in their challenges and triumphs and failures, that we have access to a clearer picture of the reality of how the American dream is being drawn further and further away from many people.

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I think that it is difficult to impossible for younger people to have the slightest clue as to what we older folks went through way back when.
But we know, because it was us. If you think that those coming out of high school today have it easier than we did, then you must be closing in on 80 years old (i.e., a generation older than I). There is no question that things were once as hard as they are now. Western society, overall, has been on a remarkable trajectory of progress for about 350 years. Generation after generation things were getting better and better and better. Now that's been stopped, and sharply reversed. We've not only lost a generation or more of that progress, but if what you're saying is to be believed, then we've slid back a generation or more.
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Old 04-01-2016, 06:38 AM   #36
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As a teenager, I had a friend who quit high school and grabbed one of those Union Auto manufacturing jobs, he had lots of cash, and a nice car. While I walked to High School, then to University for 4 yrs so I could get a job that paid less than he got.

Perhaps those jobs, easily replaced by dumb robots were just an anomaly in history and people need to evolve.
Or maybe it's the idea that going to High School, then to University for 4 yrs so you can get a (W2) job is the part that needs to evolve...

Entrepreneurs’ seem to be able to make it to a higher level of income faster. The world is headed that way. Bloggers, AirBNB, Uber, etc. all encourage that type of business model.

As you start a business, you understand the advantage of running it. There are many tax advantages of running a business.

The American dream is a diverse set of ideas, different for many. It is alive, and achievable, as much as ever.

Of course, if you do not ever think you will achieve it, you never will. You darn sure will not get it riding in the wagon expecting a handout, or waiting for it to come to you.
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Old 04-01-2016, 07:01 AM   #37
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Or maybe it's the idea that going to High School, then to University for 4 yrs so you can get a (W2) job is the part that needs to evolve...
One big difference is that the cost of getting there has increased more than seven-fold. My niece will earn her degree along with so much debt, that, assuming she has a great career, she'll still be paying it off when she is older than I was when I bought my first home.

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Entrepreneurs’ seem to be able to make it to a higher level of income faster.
Or crash and burn so that they don't factor into the entrepreneurs' statistics. It is important, with these things, to avoid metrics that suffer from Survivorship Bias.

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The American dream is a diverse set of ideas, different for many.
While diverse Americans have a diverse set of ideas, "the American dream", itself, has the especial connotation of achieving the ability to pay one's own way and secure one's own future, while enjoying a family life instead of just being a slave to a job.

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It is alive, and achievable, as much as ever.
No: Not as much as ever. As much as perhaps a generation and a half ago, but less achievable than it was more recently than that. There is no evidence whatsoever that shows a steady ever-increasing level in opportunity and success achieving the American dream, with regard to any normalized metrics.

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Of course, if you do not ever think you will achieve it, you never will.
I think a lot of Americans have been lulled into a false sense of "it's all right" by such statements, statements that have often times been peddled by those who seek to obscure the hard, cold realities in the interest of defending the status quo. It has to be accompanied by the balancing statement: Even if you think you can achieve it, and put forth the work to do so, you still perhaps will not. It's a craps-shoot.
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Old 04-01-2016, 07:14 AM   #38
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One big difference is that the cost of getting there has increased more than seven-fold. My niece will earn her degree along with so much debt, that, assuming she has a great career, she'll still be paying it off when she is older than I was when I bought my first home.

Or crash and burn so that they don't factor into the entrepreneurs' statistics. It is important, with these things, to avoid metrics that suffer from Survivorship Bias.

While diverse Americans have a diverse set of ideas, "the American dream", itself, has the especial connotation of achieving the ability to pay one's own way and secure one's own future, while enjoying a family life instead of just being a slave to a job.

No: Not as much as ever. As much as perhaps a generation and a half ago, but less achievable than it was more recently than that. There is no evidence whatsoever that shows a steady ever-increasing level in opportunity and success achieving the American dream, with regard to any normalized metrics.

I think a lot of Americans have been lulled into a false sense of "it's all right" by such statements, statements that have often times been peddled by those who seek to obscure the hard, cold realities in the interest of defending the status quo. It has to be accompanied by the balancing statement: Even if you think you can achieve it, and put forth the work to do so, you still perhaps will not. It's a craps-shoot.
You are right. For you, the american dream will never be achieved. You have far to many excuses why you, or your niece, can never achieve it.
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Old 04-01-2016, 07:17 AM   #39
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That's a nonsensical evasion.
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Old 04-01-2016, 07:25 AM   #40
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While I do believe many people make excuses for not succeeding don't discount the additional upfront costs newer generations typically have to pay. Higher college costs, less employer training, overall housing costs have increased, less good paying general labor jobs... It does add up for MANY people.

But most people my age who are saddled with debt are working hard to pay it off and be realistic about jobs. Not everyone is saying pro MLB or bust. Most people of any generation are hungry for success, the news just likes to point out failures more and more these days it seems.
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