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Is the American Dream still alive and well
Old 03-31-2016, 07:17 AM   #1
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Is the American Dream still alive and well

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..
1) daughter killing it at state u get an offer for an exciting internship.
2) several Philadelphia community college students get full rides to u of penn.
3) the talented hard working people around me succeed..

It seems like there are a lot of buyers to the notion that times are very tuff...you oldsters had it easy..


Anyone care to comment..



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Old 03-31-2016, 07:25 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 03-31-2016, 08:21 AM   #3
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It helps if you have an exceptional talent. It also helps if you are born in the right neighborhood. But many exceptions exist too. And hard works always plays a role.
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:16 AM   #4
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It worked for me

Education is important for most folks, dropping out of High School is dumb, but an incredible number of kids do it.

Attitude, politeness, and not feeling entitled can help.

I was willing to take a job anywhere in the country, so I got them pretty fast.
Later due to family constraints I only took local jobs, but by then I had proof of abilities and finding work was pretty easy.
Still, once when jobs dried up, I took a low pay job for 6 months until I could find a better one.
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:44 AM   #5
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I was willing to take a job anywhere in the country, so I got them pretty fast...
Yes I was always willing to move and that enabled me to move up more quickly.

During my consulting years (last 10), I held a job that needed me to travel to 2000 miles to three locations every month. But it did make a difference. These are definitely family sacrifices, but I always concentrated on quality time when I was home.
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:51 AM   #6
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It seems like there are a lot of buyers to the notion that times are very tuff...you oldsters had it easy..
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. They probably think we are just exaggerating and that we had life handed to us on a silver platter. Wasn't really like that, IIRC. Our concerns were different. For example I will never, ever forget those of my dear friends who were drafted and died over there before even having a chance to try for the American Dream. I could go on with different types of examples but I won't. Younger people really cannot "get it" because they are struggling with their own challenges now.

However, then as now, I think the American Dream was (and is) a reality. That doesn't mean that life is overloaded with opportunity here or anywhere, but I think we have more here than those living in some other countries. If and when an opportunity does arise, a young person needs to be ready to jump on it, for sure.
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:04 AM   #7
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I think one has to make "succeeding" a priority in order to attain the American Dream. Simply sitting back and dreaming will not make it. One must set the course a then work for it. Sadly, I think the "work" ethic is becoming more and more the exception rather than the norm. But for those who do have a plan and work the plan, the dream is still alive and doing well.
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:12 AM   #8
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Depends on who you are and your individual circumstances. We have entered a rapidly accelerating "winner-takes-all" economy. There are many statistics, studies, and recent books and publications pointing to this. Today's New York Times, for example:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/31/up...cade.html?_r=0

I'm too lazy to dig up all the others. Google it.
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:20 AM   #9
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You don't even have to be an American. Over the past 6 or 7 years, we have had so much work done inside and outside our home that it has resulted in my talking to quite a few green-card immigrants. Every crew who's been here, contains at least one fellow who is picking up English as fast as he can and has dreams of starting up his own business. First, you mow lawns. Then, you learn a trade. Then you buy a used truck and some used equipment, and bring in a few amigos. I have no idea how many of these dreams come true, but they are certainly strongly held.

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It helps if you have an exceptional talent. It also helps if you are born in the right neighborhood. But many exceptions exist too. And hard works always plays a role.
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:51 AM   #10
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Yes, I believe the American dream is still alive for the younger generation. This generation faces more challenges such as a slowing domestic economy, globalization paying off student loans etc.

My life was put on hold for three years after college in the 60's because of the draft and VN war. My father was part of the greatest generation who had to endure the great depression and put their dreams on hold to fight in WWII.

So to answer the critics who say the old folks had it easier I say BS. Study your history and quit whining.
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Is the American Dream still alive and well
Old 03-31-2016, 12:03 PM   #11
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Is the American Dream still alive and well

"You grew up in an era with higher taxes, higher union membership, better public schools, better wages for non union workers, . You have no right to look down on others, most likely if you were born in the 80's or 90's you would be one of the people you're complaining about. You benefited from a economic policies you've most likely been voting against. You're not special you were just born in the right place at the right time."

Jeeze I thought my humble success was the result of going to graduate school for 6 years at night, getting two masters and then taking every tech course I could, being fiscally responsible and oh yeah theres that whole hard work thing....


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Old 03-31-2016, 12:18 PM   #12
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Yes, I believe the American dream is still alive for the younger generation. This generation faces more challenges such as a slowing domestic economy, globalization paying off student loans etc.

My life was put on hold for three years after college in the 60's because of the draft and VN war. My father was part of the greatest generation who had to endure the great depression and put their dreams on hold to fight in WWII.

So to answer the critics who say the old folks had it easier I say BS. Study your history and quit whining.
You might want to study the present. Here's a place to start (there are many, many others):

http://www.amazon.com/Capital-Twenty.../dp/1491534656
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:26 PM   #13
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I think it is still there, although the path has changed because of the changes in society and technology. But perseverance, honesty, integrity, and hard work were always essential parts of the mix, whether the startup is the next breakthrough tech company or the lawn service company across town.

Yeah, the dream is still there.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:46 PM   #14
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I don't think it's any harder to achieve.

I just think it's a lot easier get away with not pursuing it.

I don't see a lot of hunger for success out there. You can get by on a lot less and long as you have your internet connection and a coffee shop nearby, life is good.

There's a mindset nowadays that says success has to come at the expense of someone else...I've had some younger relatives actually ask me who/how much I had to cheat to have become so successful.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:53 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
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.
The stuff I read doesn't say the American dream is dead. But it does often highlight research pointing out that the playing field of our meritocracy isn't quite as level as we'd all like to believe.
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Old 03-31-2016, 01:04 PM   #16
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I don't see a lot of hunger for success out there. You can get by on a lot less and long as you have your internet connection and a coffee shop nearby, life is good.
Heh - that's the way I am living my retirement days! I sure did work my behind off and save a lot while working though.

I'm not exactly sure what is meant by the phrase "American Dream", but we live in a developed country that offers us good amounts of individual freedom. It's not perfect, of course, as there are some members and groups that are more favored than others but overall, anyplace where a person has more than a fighting chance is a good place to be - and this is definitely one of those places, IMO.
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:17 PM   #17
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I would still agree that you will achieve more if you work harder, but I also think the current economy makes it more difficult than for earlier generations. However, I believe that I see fewer young people are willing to do the hard work part. Not none, just fewer.
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Old 03-31-2016, 03:48 PM   #18
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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.
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:28 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:30 PM   #20
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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.
Lol.
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