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Have you found achieved your American Dream?
Old 05-06-2016, 06:23 AM   #1
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Have you found achieved your American Dream?

With all this talk of wealth concentration and how the American Dream is no longer achievable, It occurred to me that we probably all have different definitions of the American Dream. I am reluctant to say this but I feel many of us have achieved it... Wikipedia says:

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, and Equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.[1]

I characterize it by:
1. No debt
2. A home that's warm in winter and not stye-fully hot in summer.
3. A full belly
4. An interesting job
5. Kids that are doing well.

Sufficient means to assure likely stability in items #1 - #3.

It is troubling to think it is unachievable for some - I can't help but wonder if that is truly the case? Further I think what isn't said is that you need to work smart, hard and plan long term.




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Old 05-06-2016, 07:08 AM   #2
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Sure, alive and well for white males like myself. Everyone else? Not so much. Yes, some break through, but it's a lot harder than for me.

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These statements portray the American dream. We can all remember hearing these statements and maybe even believing them at some point in our childhood, but now they seem almost comical. If you still actually believe them, then you are either brainwashed or a wealthy white man.
The American Dream is Still : Just a Dream for Most Minorities - The Tech
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:09 AM   #3
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Not an American, my dream is defined slightly different:
  • The financial means to pursue my interests and passions
  • The freedom from other constraints (health, legal) to do that, within reason obviously. Talking about freedom of speech, freedom from overbearing legislation, freedom to make my own mistakes should I choose to make em.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I guess it does sound familiar ..



That's it.


Your 1,2 and 3 basically are my first item. I have no need for the other two.

[Edit] I've mostly achieved my version, because I'm a lucky white male that didn't squander his lucky hand completely.
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:32 AM   #4
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:37 AM   #5
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Have you found achieved your American Dream?
Old 05-06-2016, 07:46 AM   #6
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Have you found achieved your American Dream?

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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
Counting down for the appearance of the pig.
The wonderful thing about free speech is that everyone gets to chime in... even those that have nothing meaningful to add.
Ps that guy looks happy riding that huge porker... I guess he's a successful pig farmer.



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Old 05-06-2016, 07:46 AM   #7
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For me the dream is never quite accomplished, since having achieved it in many person's eyes, there is always something more to experience for the "icing on the cake".

Ironically I spent most of my career outside of the USA in order to get to ER sooner, and had to put up with restrictions on certain liberties etc, along the way, but like a lot of other things that require deferred gratification, that bacon from the pig smells pretty good!
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
The wonderful thing about free speech is that everyone gets to chime in... even those that have nothing meaningful to add.............
Don't be so hard on yourself. I thought your post was fine.
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Have you found achieved your American Dream?
Old 05-06-2016, 07:55 AM   #9
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Have you found achieved your American Dream?

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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
Don't be so hard on yourself. I thought your post was fine.

More importantly so did I. I am really concerned about wealth inequity I see it as ....Seeds of a revolution.


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Old 05-06-2016, 07:59 AM   #10
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I would exclude Items #4 and #5, too. Not everyone wants to have kids, so for childfree people like myself, #5 would be a nightmare, not a dream. And for us Early Retirees, eliminating #4 is part of our own American Dream, which I have already done.
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:01 AM   #11
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Part of that dream is seeing opportunity and prosperity for your kids that would exceed what you had. Unfortunately, I believe that part of the dream is not going to be realized in today's economy and job market.
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:06 AM   #12
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After a couple of "first jobs", when I joined my MC at about age 20, it was at a call center as a phone customer service rep. $8 an hour almost 30 years ago, which would be about $15 today, no college degree at the time, +overtime which was very available. I stayed with that MC for decades, moving up the proverbial ladder to a very nice career. I had two other similar options in that job hunt.

If I were starting again today, I doubt I find a starting job at $15 with full benefits, training, without specific skill requirements.

I got 1,2,3. #4 I'd say I had about 30% of the time over the years. #5 I opted out.
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:19 AM   #13
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:28 AM   #14
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Like many things of late - the American dream has been supersized over time.

It used to be the idea of owning a modest (1000sf) house, a car (one), and being able to afford a chicken for dinner a few times a week.

Now it's the idea of owning a 3000sf or bigger house, cars for every person over 16 in the house, and steak a few times a week.

I could afford the latter, but choose not too. I've achieved my American dream
- retired all debt, the last of which was mortgage.
- have the comforts at home... No AC (but don't absolutely need it where I live.).
- can afford decent ingredients to provide healthy meals for my family.
- was able to retire with some surety that I won't run out of money unless I become a spenderina.
This is truly living the dream.
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:45 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
Sure, alive and well for white males like myself. Everyone else? Not so much. Yes, some break through, but it's a lot harder than for me.



The American Dream is Still : Just a Dream for Most Minorities - The Tech

Yet roughly 50% of the students at Yale are minorities, 46% at Harvard, etc., ? whites represent 63% of the population in America... So is it seems it is more then a dream for some...


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Old 05-06-2016, 09:03 AM   #16
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When I was still working, in general, I felt the America Dream was:

1- To be free
2- To be able to pursue happiness
3- To be financially independent
4- To be debt free

When I was younger and before I retired, I thought #1 was automatic here in the US and #2 was "a state of mind". I felt #3 and 4 might be achievable but would take some hard work and maybe some luck.

Now that I'm retired, I realize that #3 and 4 were actually pretty easy. (maybe with some luck). #2 takes some work, (but is still a state of mind for the most part) and #1 is impossible (IMO) under any government entity, to varying degrees. (ymmv)
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:41 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Car-Guy View Post
When I was still working, in general, I felt the America Dream was:

1- To be free
2- To be able to pursue happiness
3- To be financially independent
4- To be debt free

When I was younger and before I retired, I thought #1 was automatic here in the US and #2 was "a state of mind". I felt #3 and 4 might be achievable but would take some hard work and maybe some luck.

Now that I'm retired, I realize that #3 and 4 were actually pretty easy. (maybe with some luck). #2 takes some work, (but is still a state of mind for the most part) and #1 is impossible (IMO) under any government entity, to varying degrees. (ymmv)
I pretty much just use #1 as to be free can encompass many things.
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:45 AM   #18
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Mostly, I think I'm there. As long as my wife continues to do well (and enjoy) her new career in ministry, I probably never *have* to w*rk another day in my life. I realized that the day Megacorp laid me off a little more than three years ago.

I have a lot of time, relative financial independence (a solid financial cushion, enough income to live well, zero debt), pretty good health, a home and utilities that cost us nothing (part of DW's total compensation as a pastor), and a wonderful relationship with my best friend of 24 years who also happens to be my wife. I'm a pretty lucky dude.

That said, now I'm a part-time, career postal clerk after initially declaring for the Class of 2013. I don't really enjoy having to w*rk six days a week, but many of them are short days, and to get excellent low-cost FEHB group health insurance, TSP and a bit of a pension (if I stay long enough) for a 20-25 hour work week, well, that ain't too shabby either. Not too many people are getting that deal, so I'm choosing to feel blessed to have it -- for now, as long as my BS bucket remains mostly empty.
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Like many things of late - the American dream has been supersized over time.

It used to be the idea of owning a modest (1000sf) house, a car (one), and being able to afford a chicken for dinner a few times a week.

Now it's the idea of owning a 3000sf or bigger house, cars for every person over 16 in the house, and steak a few times a week.

I could afford the latter, but choose not too. I've achieved my American dream
- retired all debt, the last of which was mortgage.
- have the comforts at home... No AC (but don't absolutely need it where I live.).
- can afford decent ingredients to provide healthy meals for my family.
- was able to retire with some surety that I won't run out of money unless I become a spenderina.
This is truly living the dream.
+1
I've never been interested in "The American Dream", which to me is more of a nightmare anyway (read last year's The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker, as an example; you'll never look at our "abundant" food system or eating in the same way again).

I've achieved My Dream, which was to free myself of The Job Great And Quite Insecure Employment Machine by becoming be financially independent.
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:54 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
Sure, alive and well for white males like myself. Everyone else? Not so much. Yes, some break through, but it's a lot harder than for me.



The American Dream is Still : Just a Dream for Most Minorities - The Tech
The quoted article talks about "minorities" but doesn't mention Asians once. Or Jews. Gay men? Hindus? Mormons? All of these 'minorities' are financially more successful than the average American. There are others, and some of them are black. Nigerians. Ethiopians. The children of Haitian immigrants. And so on.

Poorly researched propaganda like this article are really not worth the paper they are printed on, and I want my 3 minutes back from having read it.

The American Dream is alive and well but it does take work. Some have it harder than others and I would grant that discrimination in particular against African Americans remains a real burden in some cases. But the ability to delay gratification, even to the next generation, is really the key. No one promised that you would have a 3000 sf mansion, but if you work hard and smart, your children may.
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