Are you living the American dream?

tobr24u(z6 RI)July 11, 2012

Generally this means for most doing better than their parents: a better education, a nicer house, taking vacations, etc. Tell us about it...

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pnbrown

My father was educated at Yale, I am un-degreed. My parents have a larger, nicer house, and they take way more trips than we do.

So I guess I'm not living the dream. Downward mobility, baby, it's the new cool.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 6:56AM
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jmc01

I define the American Dream as the ability to have goals combined with a reasonable degree of confidence that with effort on my part the goals are achievable.

Under that definition, we are living the American Dreamwith family that we enjoy when we're together, reasonable health, good jobs, good home in the location of our choice, good schools that we take advantage of (currently as students), great neighbors and friends. With planning and saving, we have the "stuff" that we desire, including vacations. In fact, we're active participants in all aspects of our lives.

Is any of this "better" than our parents? Does it even matter if their goals and our goals are/were different?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 7:01AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

I think "American Dream" needs to be better defined, since their seems to be some confusion over it.

I'm also wondering why having a better job/education/life etc than your parents is viewed by Americans as the American Dream. Were you guys taught that it's one of those American exceptionalities?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 7:18AM
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pnbrown

HG, it's seemingly about the immigrant work ethic and/or poverty, and how many generations one is removed from it. Until recently it was normal for each generation to amass more wealth than the one before.

Of course, few realize that was a result of easy access to resources and pre-peak petroleum more than industriousness on the part of individuals. Both of those things have now passed.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 7:26AM
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ohiomom

Downward mobility, baby, it's the new cool.

....actually myself and many of my friends/family went back to the basics years ago and live a sustainable lifestyle. Is it downward? For some that are part of the consumer driven mania of our country I guess so.

HG ... yes :)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 7:26AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

One might also add that the rise of industrial unions provided a middle-class lifestyle that allowed for these workers to send their kids to college...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 7:30AM
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jodik_gw

I think that all depends on what one's priorities in life are... so, in a way, I'd answer yes... and in the consumer driven way, I'd say no... but I'm not a material girl, anyway.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 7:32AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I hope this is an opinion thread because this is my opinion. I do not have any confirmation of the following:

The standard was to do better than your parents financially in the middle class I think more so in the lower middle class and poor.

Although the middle class may have had a good income there were more children to care for because of the lack of dependable family planning. Birth control pill came about the 60s other birth control methods were sketchy at best. So there were more mouths to feed. So the better was economic but with less children.

Under this scenario I am doing better than my parents of worldly goods but not better with the family closeness. By the family thing better than....... I grew up with Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, cousins living close by and lots of family gatherings. We are all scattered in different states so that extended family better than my parents life is not better.

I do not know if I am living the American Dream. I wonder if this was my Parents idea of doing better than them. Was it more money, bigger house that was going to make me happy and that was suppose to be better than them.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 8:04AM
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inkognito

As an outsider I understand the American Dream to be connected with freedom and the unrestricted access to achieve your potential regardless of class religion or race. Once again as an outsider, it would appear that materialism has replaced my version and if this is true the American dream is equal to permanent dissatisfaction, both rich and poor can't get enough.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 8:27AM
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houseful

Yes, absolutely! We have gone through periods (like right now), where we are seemingly broke, but we've never been poor as a way of life. My parents definitely were poor for probably the first half of their marriage.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 8:57AM
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esh_ga

Well, I think I am and isn't that what matters?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 8:59AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

Yes houseful that is what I am saying. Poor, rich or perceived rich. Is it all about money that make it the America Dream.

Is doing better than your parents mean having more money?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 9:03AM
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houseful

Well, we are both college educated and neither of our parents were. We were able to buy a home as soon as we got married. Both sets of parents couldn't. I don't know exactly what makes the American Dream, but money is a huge part. As they say, money can't buy happiness, but I say not having money can sure make you miserable.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 9:14AM
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demifloyd(8)

I was able to make choices about whether I went to college or not (academic scholarship and work every day), I was able to make choices about whether to get pregnant or not, I was able to make choices about what type of job I took, I was able to choose whether to live near my family and friends or move away to pursue better career choices and make more money, I was able to choose who I would spend my life with, I was able to choose when I had children and how many children I had, and I was able to choose what daily choices I made in my habits, health, activities and pursuits and how I interacted with people and
my community.

I was able to choose how hard I worked and how much time and energy I would expend to achieve my goals.

I was able to choose my attitude about my life.

Because I was able to CHOOSE, of course I have lived the American Dream.

Those are choices we all have, with the exception of being mentally impaired or severely physically impaired or having to care for someone that is, or being raped and therefore not choosing when to have children--but then, one could choose abortion.

So, there is very little excuse for anyone not living the American Dream.

Actually, I think most people are living their version of The American Dream. We are free to make our own choices.
We are primarily a product of our decisions.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 10:26AM
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labrea_gw

Of course not I live in a nation that has no problem deciding if I have rights or not.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 11:02AM
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esh_ga

I was able to make choices about whether I went to college or not (academic scholarship and work every day), I was able to make choices about whether to get pregnant or not, I was able to make choices about what type of job I took

And I hope your daughters and granddaughters continue to have those choices going forward. But lately there have been many proposals that give me concern about that.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 11:17AM
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jodik_gw

Through the decades, or centuries, that dream was not always attainable to everyone, because some groups had to fight to be legally termed "human beings deserving of" when it came to legal, civil rights... and some minorities are still fighting that fight. So, life has sucked pretty bad for certain people over time, and still sucks now for certain people. That, I find despicable in this day and age.

As I said, I think it all depends on where one's priorities in life lie... is it better to make more money and have more stuff? Or is it better to be happy for other reasons? I suppose the dream is whatever a person wants it to be. Most of us had Constitutional freedoms... though, those have been shrinking as time goes by. And most of us have had certain opportunities, though it's a fact we don't all have the same ones.

Maybe it would be more accurate for me to say I've attained that which I dreamed of attaining... even though a few glitches were thrown in along the way. I'm still extremely happy, have a tight knit family, friends I wouldn't trade, and have learned well the lesson that money or status can't buy me that happiness... not the kind I'm interested in, anyway.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 11:35AM
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demifloyd(8)

Glitches are called life.

I don't know of anyone that money has made "happy."

I do not know of one person that is financially secure (and what does that mean these days with the mess this country is in and the direction we're heading?) that says that they are happy because of it.

Who equates money with happiness, anyway?
People that don't have it and think it will make them happy?

All one needs to do is look at the losers in Hollywood with all of that money and yet can't seem to keep a husband or wife around or be successful at parenting or relationships, or stay sober, for that matter.

That's up to us as individuals to be happy or not, and if we're not, to change our circumstances or decide to be happy with our choices.

That's the American Dream, to me--having choices to decide the direction our lives will take, and living with those choices.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 11:53AM
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duluthinbloomz4

I know people who are financially secure - and the "happiness" of it/ by it/ because of it is in the freedom it affords to pursue other aspects of whatever the "American Dream" might be. It isn't necessarily something talked about - being a "have" can be somehow impolitic depending on how it's approached.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 12:26PM
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david52_gw

Nope, going nearly bankrupt with medical expenses and watching my kids future increasingly at risk because the rabid anti-tax zealots refuse to fund public education, thinkng they're showing them teacher unions whose boss.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 12:26PM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

Through the decades, or centuries, that dream was not always attainable to everyone, because some groups had to fight to be legally termed "human beings deserving of" when it came to legal, civil rights... and some minorities are still fighting that fight.

Jodi,

When I read this thread, I went to look up what exactly was the definition of the American Dream and how it differed from any other country in the world. I found this:
a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.

I thought to put it in context of the circumstances of the American Revolution. But at that time (and pretty much since coming out of the Dark Ages) England already had a set of ideal encompassing freedom and upward mobility based on prosperity and success through hard work. That part wasn't even close to a new or uniquely American ideal.

So we have to look at the part that says regardless of social class or circumstances of birth Cool, ok. While this, again, is not a uniquely American practice, it did differ from the circumstances in England at the time where there was a limit to upward mobility. They had an upper class that could not be broken into outside of marriage, and even that was difficult. So the freedom, prosperity and success in America was meant for everyone.

Unless, of course, they were black, or indian, or female, or Jewish or poor or gay etc etc. Not much different than many other places in those days... including the places used to compare and define the "American" part of the American Dream.

So really, in analyzing this concept--The American Dream-- the only difference is that it meant rich christian white guys could become the defacto king for 4 year time spans.

Wait a minute, that sounds familiar...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 1:11PM
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fouquieria(10b)

I'm living the American dream. I made the right choices. I'm not a loser. All the haters and whiners are just jealous. I belonged to a union...ONCE, but now my life is better. The only thing that impinges on me having an even better life are all the ankle-biters and their entitlements.

Now I have to make a decision between the next new toy being either a Ferrari or a Maserati. Why can't I have both?

-Ron-

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 2:02PM
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demifloyd(8)

You can, if you get off of Hot Topics and do what it takes to buy one.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 2:09PM
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pnbrown

Yes, those damned ankle-biters, they'll eventually take down an American Dreamer.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 2:17PM
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labrea_gw

Father worked for next to nothing when he got here the week of the crash of 1929. He worked for the transit authority & was a union organizer through their efforts he had a good salary & benefits & retirement.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 2:46PM
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lily316(z5PA)

I guess I'm living it. Back to my grandparents generation, I don't think anyone was poor. Both GPs had nice houses and their kids had high school and college degrees. My parents had no credit because they paid cash for everything including renting a house for almost ten years so they could build a small house in a rather exclusive development and pay CASH for it. . Neither parents had a college degree, father had a few semesters and both my husband and I had four years of college, as did our kids, but they both have Masters as well. We bought a house when we were 22 and 23. It cost $15,000 and it was a doll house.

As a result of frugality, we have never had money problems even though as a college graduate in the early 60's , husband made less than $5,000 at year working for the state and I was a stay at home mom. STILL we bought the house and saved $500 the first year. We have never been showy. I guess we could have a Mc mansion but would never live in one. I guess we could afford a more expensive car, but we drive a Prius and a Maxima. We DO have a great big house, but it's a drafty old farmhouse with only one and a half baths and no walk in closets. I guess we could afford the fancy vacations such as daughter takes every year(3 weeks in Hawaii this summer) but we don't travel that much. Too many pets and home responsibility.

My German background, and husband's, makes us very frugal and not wasteful.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 2:59PM
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houseful

Nope, going nearly bankrupt with medical expenses and watching my kids future increasingly at risk because the rabid anti-tax zealots refuse to fund public education, thinkng they're showing them teacher unions whose boss.

A couple questions for you, David.

Why, David do you have so many medical expenses?
How exactly are the anti-tax zealots putting your kids future at risk?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 3:20PM
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heri_cles

The American Dream is not winning the Stanley Cup or some Teabagger desire for Religious and Second Amendment Freedom.
That term (at least in the United States) is most often associated with home ownership.

This concept was started after WWII when that generation (many of our wonderful fathers and mothers or grandparents) built and purchased homes in the 1950's and 1960's. Those homes provided a tax base for good public schools, a sense of civic and neighborhood pride, and a sense of security from investment in this country.
Yes, they felt that they owned a piece of this country that had value and would only rise in value along with our country as a whole as we improved our neighborhoods, built roads and infrastructure and moved forward together.

Now, we as Americans need to rehabilitate that American dream. President Bush tried to do that with his signature no-downpayment loan program for low income minorities, but that was not the right way to go about it. I give him credit for understanding the American dream and trying to help, but lthe real estate, bank and lending industry, and eventually Wall street ruined it for almost everyone that tried to get a piece of the American Dream during the sorry years of his Presidency.

Now we need to reinvest in our public education system, in infrastructure, and all of the things we did so well in the 1950's and 1960's like building roads, bridges, etc. only do it better.

Here is a link that might be useful: George Bush defines The American Dream

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 3:24PM
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jodik_gw

I worked hard my entire life... and I've always given 110%, regardless the work... and right in my prime, I was cut down by the carelessness of someone else! And to top it off, diagnosed with a disease that has no cure!

So, working hard doesn't always mean you'll attain that mountain peak of riches... remember that. At any time, anyone can run into circumstances beyond their control that takes away everything they've worked for.

This tells me that large parts of our systems are broken, or at the very least, cracked and leaking. If medical issues can so easily bankrupt a family, there's a problem somewhere.

I so resent the insinuation that anyone who isn't filthy rich hasn't worked hard enough... that's the biggest load there is. And the odd thing is... we hear it here so often...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 6:28PM
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krycek1984(6a/Cleveland)

The American Dream for me is being able to provide for myself and my family better, or at the very least equal, to my parents. Which has not been possible up to this point, but I'm working hard to change that. To me, part of the American Dream is working hard and making good choices so that you can be a successful citizen of this country.

It worries me that working hard and making good choices isn't necessarily enough anymore, but I think it will get people far.

I was able to purchase a house, a new car, and have a decent career before I was 30. I feel like I'm doing OK, and I am starting to live the "Dream". The dream will be even better when I can build my dream house :).

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 6:43PM
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demifloyd(8)

Krycek, you are around my daughter's age, and I am so proud of your generation coming into it's own.

You understand the meaning of hard work, making good decisions, and taking your circumstances in life with maturity and not making excuses. You understand perseverance and responsibility.

Kudos to you for purchasing a house, a new car, and going to school and pursuing your career. Those are some accomplishments!

I hope you get to build your dream house.
It is so much fun, dreaming about it!

(If I could remember what it was that you once liked in my house I would leave it to you!)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 7:07PM
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silversword(9A)

I don't have any idea of what Americans dream. I see women in less fortunate countries and I'm grateful that I feel mostly equal. I am doing ok.

Living a dream? My life is good. I have enough to eat, of the things I enjoy. I have running water and entertainment and a membership to the library and internet access and green living things around me and a working vehicle. I have a healthy body and a healthy, intelligent child who has chances and choices although she is female as well. I do not fear personal safety on a daily basis. I have love.

The creature comforts I have are many, machines to cook and clean and wash and clean sheets and a comfortable bed and a television and fans and central air/heat if I choose. I flush, it goes away. I flip a switch, it grinds down the sink. Water, no water. Heat, no heat. Cans in the pantry, eggs in the fridge, swiss chard in the garden. Popcorn at midnight? Plug in the air popper.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 9:36PM
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ohiomom

Silver that is what I am talking about! Minus the A/C which I can live without, even if I do whine a wee bit :)

Today I enjoyed locally grown bok choy for dinner, soon I will have tomatoes and green beans from my own garden, and rumor has it the CSA will have peaches next week. Life is good.

Put in a lot of hours at work today, time to seek my sleep cause mornin sure comes early.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 9:46PM
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frank_il

"Today I enjoyed locally grown bok choy for dinner, soon I will have tomatoes and green beans from my own garden, and rumor has it the CSA will have peaches next week. Life is good."

I have had more zucchini and yellow squash than I can eat. I give it to the local food pantry. My hot peppers are coming now. I am waiting for my Romas now too. Life is good. I am as close to the American dream now as I ever have.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 10:51PM
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elvis

Living the dream? Growing up on the west side of Chicago, the Polish American Dream meant scraping together enough savings to buy a house in the suburbs.

Now I think a good definition would be something like the attitude Silversword describes above.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 11:32PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

So, working hard doesn't always mean you'll attain that mountain peak of riches... remember that. At any time, anyone can run into circumstances beyond their control that takes away everything they've worked for.

Jodi you are so right. One of the reasons to be humble and don't get to full of yourself and think that "I have everything attitude". You can think nothing can touch you then life happens. You can fall off that Mountain Top. Karma here it comes.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:34AM
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pnbrown

"I flush, it goes away."

There is a huge problem worthy of many threads.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 6:51AM
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markjames

I'm more of a goal setter and achiever than a dreamer.

That said, my primary goals in life are to be happy, healthy, fit and financially secure, all of which I've achieved.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 9:23AM
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jodik_gw

The helluvit is, Marquest, a lot of people struck down by circumstances beyond their control, like me, or like any one of us here with health issues we didn't create, will forever wonder what they did to deserve such terrible things. And yet, I'm still happy because I have different priorities than some folks seem to have. You just endure, and keep moving forward.

If I had a real dream that I know could come true, it would be to wake up every morning NOT so crippled by pain. But other than that, I really can't complain. Well, I could... but who'd listen? ;-)

But seriously... I think the American Dream is more about having the freedoms, rights, choices, and opportunities we have in this country... and yet, it's really a misnomer because not everyone has the same freedoms, rights, choices, and opportunities. So, I think the term "the American Dream" is akin to saying "in 25 words or less"... it's not an actual thing, but more of a euphemism.

To some, I suppose it would mean being financially stable enough to retire early and do whatever one wanted to do... while to others it may mean raising a family and watching that family become successful and happy... and to someone else it might mean something completely different.

I guess that dream is whatever you make it... or whatever you want it to be. Though, to some, it still has a way to go before it could even be called a dream... meaning it doesn't exist yet in our still prejudiced, and somewhat outdated social constructs.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 9:25AM
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demifloyd(8)

Congratulations, markjames!

I hope you enjoy the fruits of your labors and positive attitude and giving back to people for a very long time.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 9:26AM
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adoptedbyhounds

"I have had more zucchini and yellow squash than I can eat. I give it to the local food pantry. My hot peppers are coming now. I am waiting for my Romas now too. Life is good. I am as close to the American dream now as I ever have."

Sounds like you are a happy man! Really, is there any better place to be than in your garden?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 9:41AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

The helluvit is, Marquest, a lot of people struck down by circumstances beyond their control, like me, or like any one of us here with health issues we didn't create, will forever wonder what they did to deserve such terrible things. And yet, I'm still happy because I have different priorities than some folks seem to have. You just endure, and keep moving forward.

Lesson was your Karma was to be able to endure and keep moving forward and happy. Wrong Karma you are flat on the ground whining poor me and never get up.

When I read how much pain you are in and still have a upbeat attitude I admire you. I have back pain everyday so I know I am not as good as you. I am no day at the beach sometime maybe more than sometime. lol

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 9:43AM
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silversword(9A)

PNBrown, you caught that, did you? My whole post was somewhat tongue in cheek. "I flush, it goes away" is an unsustainable luxury. I grew up without centralized systems (water/power/sewage) and the concept of not knowing from where ones water came and to where ones water will go is very foreign to me and quite frightening.

I suppose one aspect of the American Dream for me is that I can see the insulation around me, I know this dream is but a dream.

I was reading an article the other day about "busy" and how many people are "busy" and how if you aren't "busy" there's something wrong with you. And how the people who are working three jobs and riding the bus for hours between them and have a lot of kids aren't "busy", they're TIRED. Being "busy" is a luxury, and a status symbol.

We all choose to which reality we buy a a ticket. I'm reevaluating the validity of the predominantly advertised American preferred reality.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:00PM
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jodik_gw

Thank you, Marquest... that was a wonderful compliment, though I don't think I'm quite that deserving. :-) My Mom used to say, "whenever you think you have it bad, just remember that someone somewhere else has it much worse." And looking around at our world, I know that's true. What I consider suffering is nothing compared to the suffering of so many others. I'm really lucky in comparison... I could have died in that accident, or become permanently paralyzed, or I might be still in a coma... or lupus could be right now attacking my kidneys or brain, or some other system that would likely cause my death... so I can only complain inasmuch as it bothers me that part of humanity doesn't care about those suffering, or doesn't understand it, or try to.

My heroes are Joe and Edd... what I go through is nothing in comparison... and I think Joe handles life pretty well, considering. And I would probably say the same thing about all the others here who suffer. Chronic health issues are no joke, and I just can't understand why some folks can't seem to differentiate between issues that could have been avoided, and issues that one cannot control, group them all together, and then say things like... our health system is great, if you're poor it's because you're lazy, and all the other little catch phrases that come from people who I don't think have any idea what real suffering is about.

Marquest, I'll be honest, and I've said it before, I have a low tolerance for physical pain, and it's so much worse when it never ceases. Even medications don't fully mask it... they just sort of cut it back a little, make it more tolerable. But I can't allow it to end my life. I have to keep pushing forward, trying to keep positive. It's how I survive, how I make it work. I dunno... but I certainly don't live a harder life than many, many others on this planet... and for that, I'm very grateful... extremely grateful.

Much like Silver, I've rethought what's important to me... what makes me truly happy and fulfilled, and I've come to the conclusion that it's got nothing to do with what society tries to sell us. It's the little and free luxuries in life that are meaningful... like just being able to see my grandbabies smile, holding them close, watching the gardens grow and bloom, feeling the love and support from my family, and those kinds of things.

Busy is for bees. And working your life away for stuff is meaningless in the bigger scheme of things. I'd rather have much less, but feel content inside. That's a dream I can live, and call it reality.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 1:12PM
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houseful

I guess that dream is whatever you make it... or whatever you want it to be. Though, to some, it still has a way to go before it could even be called a dream... meaning it doesn't exist yet in our still prejudiced, and somewhat outdated social constructs.

Fortunately, Obama does not agree...

"At the NAACP, you have always believed in the American promise. That idea that no matter who you are, or what you look like, or where you come from, America is the place where you can make it, if you try."

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 1:51PM
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demifloyd(8)

Yes.

The last three words are the most important, and for everyone.

Note he doesn't say that some will not have to try harder than others.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 1:55PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I admit, I never really understood what the American Dream was and have mostly regarded it as something for politicians to trot it. Don't most humans have some of the same basic dreams, just different ideas on how to realize them?

I do realize I enjoy many benefits because of the country I live in. My children can all receive a basic education. My water is safe to drink. The government is generally stable (if ineffecient). Vaccinations are easy to come by. There is no food shortage.

I am far more concerned with what should be my responsibilities. I want to see more people with the security (personal, food, health) that I enjoy, that goes for the Americans that do not have it and also for the other people around the world. I suppose it could be called my American responsibility but I think it is more about my responsibility as a member of the human race.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 3:07PM
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krycek1984(6a/Cleveland)

Frankly, I don't care what happens to the water I flush. I just like that it goes away.

I see far too many people, not only the young, think that success should just fall in their laps. That they just deserve it. No one deserves it. You earn it. Even in today's society, which is growing more inequality every day, hard work is essential to achieving the amican dream, as are good choices.

You can choose to be an average worker. You can choose to be an excellent worker. You can choose to be a follower, or a leader. You can choose to live beyond your means, or not.

Many people make poor choices and expect instantaneous sympathy and understanding. Which is ridiculous. Part of the American dream is standing up and being your own man or woman, being independent, and taking responsibility. The rewards of that attitude outweigh the drawbacks.

I also feel that it is our responsibility to give back to our communities when we are successful, that is part of what this country is about. Far too many gain wealth and hoarde it, letting their hearts grow black and lonely.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 10:37PM
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lynn_1965

Posted by krycek1984 6a/Cleveland (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 12, 12 at 22:37

"You can choose to be an average worker. You can choose to be an excellent worker. You can choose to be a follower, or a leader. You can choose to live beyond your means, or not.

Many people make poor choices and expect instantaneous sympathy and understanding. Which is ridiculous. Part of the American dream is standing up and being your own man or woman, being independent, and taking responsibility. The rewards of that attitude outweigh the drawbacks."

I agree 100%

Lynn

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 2:15AM
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lily316(z5PA)

I think making good choices thru out one's life has many benefits to living the dream, but as Jodi said stuff happens so quickly it can take your breath away. Then nothing is ever the same. I should emphasize that to my husband , a very slow learner, who fell off a ladder trimming a tree and broke both his arms in the mid 90's. It was a two story fall, and he missed my concrete bench by a foot. Fast forward to October '10 when he was leaf blowing on the top roof . He fell off the ladder , landed on the porch roof, rolled off, crashed thru a trellis and landed on metal basement doors. This time he punctured his lung and broke his back. Doctors both times said he was lucky to be alive. Very dumb choices he made. Like me riding a bike with my Afghan Hound running beside me, pulling me off, and giving me a concussion with amnesia. These accidents could have been prevented, but most can't, and it's scary. We never know which teen will be texting around the next corner, do we?

BTW..the American dream now is the bounty from the garden. Despite the 100 degree temps and drought, the tomatoes and green beans are to die for.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:04AM
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demifloyd(8)

Lily, having an accident or making a mistake like you referred to is different than choosing an irresponsible act or way of life.

Anyway, it's not what bad things happen to you, it's what you do WHEN they happen to you and AFTER, because it's easy to follow the dream when everything is good.

What defines a person's character is what they do when hard times come--and for most people, they will.

Do they make excuses and complain about what happened to them, ignorant as to the fact that the same or worse happens to others in other ways? Do they give up and accept what life "gave them" or what they "chose" for themselves?

Or do they take the wealth of opportunities and support offered here in this great country and follow their dream without complaint and with determination and gratitude for the opportunity?

What one chooses to do defines the kind of people we are.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 8:16AM
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inkognito

"What one chooses to do defines the kind of people we are."

If I can take the liberty of correcting that statement to read either What one chooses to do defines the kind of person one is. or What we choose to do defines the kind of people we are. I would say that both are true.

The subtle difference between the two is very important as one is an individualistic view and the other is a collective view. Which leads to the question: is the 'American' in 'The American Dream' a person or a country?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 8:33AM
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adoptedbyhounds

"You can choose to be an average worker. You can choose to be an excellent worker. You can choose to be a follower, or a leader. You can choose to live beyond your means, or not."

I swear I am going to adopt you yet, Kry.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 8:44AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I don't think I'm quite that deserving. :-)

Jodi, Yes you are. I have been around people with a lot less issues you are dealing with and you would not want to read one word they would write. It is all about them and that hangnail that is killing them. lol

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 9:09AM
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demifloyd(8)

Corrections noted with the grammar, Chase.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 11:15AM
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jodik_gw

I hear you, Marquest... :-)

I think that because there really is no way to accurately gauge a person's pain level, or how debilitating it is to them, as an individual, it would never be my place to say that you, or anyone else, experiences less than I do. I only know how I feel, and how it affects me, and I would hope that no one has to live this way... even though I know way too many people do. I probably suffer 1/2 of what my husband goes through, so I can only imagine how he deals with it... and by that, I mean inside. We talk a lot, and we support each other, but that doesn't mean I know every nuance, and I can see how it's aging him. Fighting depression is a big part of it all, too, as I'm sure you know.

If I could have a few wishes for this world, one would be an end to all suffering, everywhere. It's a shame we can't wish things and have them come true. That would be a wonderful dream...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 12:17PM
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chase_gw

"Corrections noted with the grammar, Chase."

Sorry but you have lost me on this one?????

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 2:37PM
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chase_gw

Oh I think I understand...Demi meant to address Ink but I guess we Canadians just sorta blend in one to another....either that or I'm on her mind ;)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 2:52PM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

Demi meant to address Ink but I guess we Canadians just sorta blend in one to another

I get called Chase a lot. Sometimes unintentional but several times because a poster is trying to prove that you and I are actually the same person.

I guess we just all look alike to Americans. ;)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 2:59PM
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chase_gw

Well I can see why he may think that given we are both closet conservatives posing as liberals...... ;)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:04PM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

Correction: Both racist, Romney-worshipping, Foxbox (?is that the right word?) watching Republicans... posing as liberals.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:10PM
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inkognito

"I guess we just all look alike to Americans." nah, I'm way more betterer looking than most Canadians plus you'll never catch me however long you chase me round a Hamilton garden.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:10PM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

I'm way more betterer looking than most Canadians

And much more humble, apparently.

plus you'll never catch me however long you chase me round a Hamilton garden.

*groan*

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:13PM
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chase_gw

"chase me round a Hamilton garden" double groan!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:16PM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

Right about now I think the American Dream is to get those freaking Canadians to just SHUT UP once in a while!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:26PM
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inkognito

Any advance on two groans?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:27PM
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pnbrown

Post yer fotos, Canadianas, let's see how good-looking are ya.....

Regarding the dream, I'd be living it if it would rain like heck.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 8:08PM
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elvis

Posted by lynn_1965 7a (My Page) on Fri, Jul 13, 12 at 2:15

Posted by krycek1984 6a/Cleveland (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 12, 12 at 22:37
"You can choose to be an average worker. You can choose to be an excellent worker. You can choose to be a follower, or a leader. You can choose to live beyond your means, or not.

Many people make poor choices and expect instantaneous sympathy and understanding. Which is ridiculous. Part of the American dream is standing up and being your own man or woman, being independent, and taking responsibility. The rewards of that attitude outweigh the drawbacks."

I agree 100%

Lynn"

________________

Me, too. The "noble" whiners are incredibly tiresome. Get a grip, why doncha?

I don't mean the poster that says "gee, I'm having a rough time, any advice? I mean he ones who outline their misfortunes ad nauseum and talk about how they somehow manage to carry on. This is not inspiring talk; it's a self pity party.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 12:13AM
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frank_il

"I don't mean the poster that says "gee, I'm having a rough time, any advice? I mean he ones who outline their misfortunes ad nauseum and talk about how they somehow manage to carry on. This is not inspiring talk; it's a self pity party. "

Listening to you talk down about people less fortunate is sad, not surprising, but sad.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 1:59AM
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lily316(z5PA)

Frank..that's the compassionate conservatives talking.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 2:31AM
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jmc01

"I don't mean the poster that says "gee, I'm having a rough time, any advice? I mean he ones who outline their misfortunes ad nauseum and talk about how they somehow manage to carry on. This is not inspiring talk; it's a self pity party. "

I'm in full agreement with you, elvis, full agreement!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 5:24AM
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heri_cles

The American Dream helped to build our country, our cities and suburbs, our roads, bridges and schools,. It created a strong middle class that was not nearly as divided as people are in this day and age. The American Dream started after WWII and ended with George W. Bush.
Now we are told we can't afford to dream.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 6:02AM
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jodik_gw

It would be uplifting to think that the American dream extended over our borders to include all Americans, South and North... and that condescension, avarice, and self interest were not part of it, while generosity, shared involvement, ethics and empathy WERE part of it.

Canadians look much like any other population... a mix of races, heritages, and ethnic groups... some handsome and some not... just like below the Canadian/US border. To date, I don't believe I've met a Canadian I didn't like, and we have many within our circle of friends and acquaintances met through the love of bulldogs. I vaguely remember Montreal as being a beautiful city, and my own brother is of French Canadian descent, having been adopted from Quebec.

I think Heri is quite right, in many ways... I just read an article this morning on the American Dream and the inequality in opportunity when it comes to education, and how urban poverty and privatization of education is contributing to this inequality.

From the article, attached below:

"Only 32% of entitlement benefits and 2.8% of tax expenditure benefits go to the lowest-income earners. And many programs, such as rental assistance and child care, don't reach everyone who is eligible."

Meaning that a good chunk of children of today's working poor are finding it more and more difficult to rise above and gain a better education, thus better financial stability in today's world, while the truly poverty stricken look for other avenues from which to gain an income, including illegal avenues.

Capitalism only works well when ethics and empathy remain deeply embedded, and this is not the way of it. The results are seen in growing poverty, flagging numbers of middle class, and the income disparity we see happening today... that will inevitably push our nation over the edge into 3rd world status in the not so distant future... unless something is done to reverse the issues and bring balance back to the scales of justice.

Here is a link that might be useful: For poor children, trying hard is not enough

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 9:31AM
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elvis

Posted by jmc01 (My Page) on Sat, Jul 14, 12 at 5:24

"I'm in full agreement with you, elvis, full agreement!"

Good to hear, jmc. If you were a woman, that would cost you. ;-)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 9:36AM
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houseful

Capitalism only works well when ethics and empathy remain deeply embedded, and this is not the way of it.

THAT is the crux right there! Because we have removed ethics and morals, people think capitalism is evil. So, then the rich, greedy folks are, inch by inch, pushing socialism, making us think it will level the playing field. We are being leveled alright, right down to the bottom!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 9:48AM
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demifloyd(8)

Posted by jodik 5 (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 14, 12 at 9:31

From the article, attached below:

"Only 32% of entitlement benefits and 2.8% of tax expenditure benefits go to the lowest-income earners. And many programs, such as rental assistance and child care, don't reach everyone who is eligible."

Meaning that a good chunk of children of today's working poor are finding it more and more difficult to rise above and gain a better education, thus better financial stability in today's world, while the truly poverty stricken look for other avenues from which to gain an income, including illegal avenues.

*

Accepting these numbers, that's only proof that our tax dollars are being wasted and not reaching the people that they should be reaching!

And you call for MORE tax dollars?

What makes you think taxing MORE people MORE tax money is going to reach the people you just showed are NOT getting the help they need?

Some of us do not appreciate our money being wasted and not helping the people that truly deserve it.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 9:50AM
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esh_ga

the rich, greedy folks are, inch by inch, pushing socialism,

No, the rich greedy folks are pushing their own brand of capitalism - the one in which only a few get very rich.

But I am interested, what are your examples of "pushing socialism"? Is it healthcare? Is it Social Security or Medicaid? What are the socialist things being pushed right now?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 11:28AM
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jodik_gw

I'd like to see Socialism defined by those stating such things before they answer your questions, Esh... that might change the answers a bit... but then, who knows? Maybe it won't.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 1:02PM
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duluthinbloomz4

I think it's a word handy to bandy about; just uttering it gets one the "knowing nod" in some quarters.

I think esh put down the usual suspects or whatever core beliefs that might be shared to a point.

Think in terms of the redistribution of wealth;
public ownership of certain means of production or key services;
state education free to all;
state healthcare free at the point of need....

Give names to things - Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc. and, gee willikers, some of us on this very forum might be participating (or surely knows someone who is) in this socialistic hideousness.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 1:31PM
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gemini40

I my State, MA. living the American dream means... getting on welfare. giving birth to cocaine addicted baby, then your boyfriend gets ticked off because you drained your welfare money except for 14.00 to buy crack, and slams your innocent baby to the ground... Yes this is what the Dems have done to America.
Destroyed it. !!!!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 8:34PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

gemini40, what percentage of people in your state are you talking about? Moreover, before President Obama, we had a Republican president for eight years, and even now the Congress majority is Republican, and have successfully blocked many Democratic attempts to push through laws. Can you please be more specific about how Democrats have contributed to the situation you describe?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 9:20PM
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heri_cles

I my State, MA. living the American dream means... getting on welfare. giving birth to cocaine addicted baby, then your boyfriend gets ticked off because you drained your welfare money except for 14.00 to buy crack, and slams your innocent baby to the ground... Yes this is what the Dems have done to America.
Destroyed it. !!!!

You left out the part where the baby in your psycho vignette then gets scraped off the floor, chopped up and cannibalized by people with bones through their noses and Obama campaign pins on their shirts.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 11:57PM
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jodik_gw

I hate to break the bad news, but public assistance is not handed out in cash form only that can be traded for street drugs... just to make sure you understand that the ingrained stereotype is very misleading. Oh, and just as another example, check the actual numbers on public aid recipients in FL who were ordered to pee in a cup and have it tested before they were eligible. Lots of eligible... not a lot of ineligible... which throws that stereotype right out the window, too.

When are the bitter ultra rightwing extremists going to realize that the public aid needed is a result of the policies of their political heroes?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 7:15AM
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ohiomom

Well apparently "g" is not living the American dream, sorry you are so angry and bitter. Hope life improves for you.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 7:28AM
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esh_ga

And still houseful has no answer for this:

But I am interested, what are your examples of "pushing socialism"? Is it healthcare? Is it Social Security or Medicaid? What are the socialist things being pushed right now?

Crying "socialism" is just a party line - there are no reasons to back it up.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 7:45AM
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houseful

I did not see your questions. However, I'll say ALL of the above, Esh. And I am pointing fingers at BOTH parties. We have created a society of free-loaders and it does nothing for self-worth.

During the last election, I was teaching exercise class to a small group of ladies. We've all known each other for about 10 years or more (which is why we can talk politics). One elderly lady (81), who I believe could be considered part of the 1%, campaigned very hard for Obama. One day she stormed out of exercise class because someone mentioned Obama and socialism in the same sentence. It left most of us speechless. However, several weeks later, during another class, I hear her laugh and say, "I'll admit, I'm a socialist at heart!"

One small example of the many interactions I have with people daily.

I said years ago, well before the 2008 elections, that I would gladly give up my SS benefits if I could stop contributing right now.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 8:30AM
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esh_ga

Social Security is not socialism. It is a program where all working people contribute part of their income into a pool so that they can get it out in their non-working years. In the case of someone dying early with young children, the children get the benefit. People pay in and people take out. That is not socialism.

Social Security DISABILITY is different and any scorn for free-loaders on that should not be lumped into the generic phrase "Social Security".

And if Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid already exist, how is it that Obama and the democrats are pushing us towards socialism?

Again, except for the healthcare act - which tries very hard to get people to PAY their share of risk - what NEW programs are pushing us towards socialism?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:02AM
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houseful

It is a program where all working people contribute part of their income into a pool so that they can get it out in their non-working years.

Forcing people to "contribute" to SS certainly isn't freedom!

NEW programs? Isn't Obamacare enough?

which tries very hard to get people to PAY their share of risk

That's a euphism for "force."

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:35AM
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esh_ga

NEW programs? Isn't Obamacare enough?

So what you're saying is that's all you've got on your claim to socialism ... you might want to rethink that "socialism claim" you're throwing around if you've only got the one leg to stand on.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:39AM
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houseful

You're the one that asked about NEW programs. And believe me, if I only had one leg, I still wouldn't want the government to take care of me!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:55AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

Houseful,

Obamacare is a far cry from socialism. Heck, if I understand it correctly, it doesn't even come CLOSE to representing a form of social healthcare. It's just mandatory insurance still purchased from PRIVATE companies.

It's a corporatist's wet dream.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:59AM
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houseful

If people don't have money for health insurance, how can you force them to buy health insurance?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:07AM
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esh_ga

Yes, I asked about NEW programs because that is all that is really relevant. Social Security was started in 1935. Medicare started in 1965. There were a lot of politicians and administrations in between 1935 and now and I don't see that any of them did away with this. Now Healthcare act in 2010.

Do you really consider those activities to be "pushing socialism"? It's a pretty slow creep, I guess.

And I don't mean to bash you particularly - there are just so many people that like to say that OBAMA is pushing socialism and the evidence really is not there.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:09AM
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houseful

If absolutely is a slow-creep and I said BOTH parties are guilty!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:11AM
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chase_gw

I'm always amused how the term socialism is used. ACA is much more to do about capitalism than socialism....it ain't even close!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:18AM
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grapeleaves

I guess the Republicans are for socialism too !!!

"In 1992, Heritage proposed a sweeping reform it called the Heritage Consumer Choice Health Plan. Among the plan�s features:

"Require all households to purchase at least a basic package of insurance, unless they are covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or other government health programs. The private insurance market would be reformed to make a standard basic package available to all at an acceptable price."

As President Bill Clinton began to push for a government-run system in 1993, Republicans introduced bills that included an individual mandate. At the time, Newt Gingrich hailed them:

"I am for people, individuals � exactly like automobile insurance � individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance," he told "Meet the Press" in 1993. "And I�m prepared to vote for a voucher system which will give individuals, on a sliding scale, a government subsidy, to ensure that everyone as individuals has health insurance."

That same year, Heritage Foundation health care guru Stuart Butler argued before Congress for "a requirement on individuals to enroll themselves and their dependents in at least a basic health plan � one that at the minimum should protect the rest of society from large and unexpected medical costs incurred by the family ... To the extent that the family cannot reasonably afford reasonable basic coverage, the rest of society, via government, should take responsibility for financing that minimum coverage."

Here is a link that might be useful: Those Republican Socialists!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:52AM
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houseful

Bingo, Chloe!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:10AM
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terrene(5b MA)

After 3 decades of hard work and strife, I'd say I am poised to live MY dream - semi-retire, find that home I can retrofit (or build) with as many sustainable features as possible, garden and grow food, teach kids how to raise butterflies, and stuff like that. Watch the plants grow and observe nature. I want to live a simple life materially, even if I can afford more, because it is low maintenance. Low maintenance means more time to watch the plants grow.

Rich people may have money, but they don't have often have time (at least the ones who have to make or manage the money). Expensive lifestyles are high-maintenance. Even when you can afford to pay other people to do everything for you, you still have to manage the "staff" - or hire somebody to manage it. You need your lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, housekeepers, landscapers, etc. just to keep the lifestyle maintained. And the toys - they need constant maintenance too. Not to mention, an expensive lifestyle has a BIG carbon footprint. Personally I think it's gross.

IMO the American dream can become a nightmare when you have to spend an inordinate amount of time maintaining the dream.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:24AM
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houseful

One could argue that poor people have a BIG carbon footprint. They usually drive older cars and eat more packaged food. That's a lot of trash!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:28AM
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esh_ga

I was outside shoveling woodchips and it occurred to me: why would RICH, GREEDY folks push the United States towards socialism?

the rich, greedy folks are, inch by inch, pushing socialism

How does socialism benefit them?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:41AM
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adoptedbyhounds

"People pay in and people take out. That is not socialism."

When young people are compelled to "pay in" to the collective with a gun to the head, and government immediately redistributes that money to the elderly, your government is running a socialist ponzi scheme whether you admit it or not.

Social Security is an unsustainable transfer of income from the young to the elderly. It requires greater and greater sacrifices from the young to keep the leaking "pool" you mentioned from being drained completely. There's no account labeled "EshGa," earning interest just for you. Long dead politicians and those who came later have set up an unstabe SS time bomb that is ready to go off in short order. How are you going to pay for it? Don't worry about me. I only work when and if I feel like it. My kids are grown. I don't have a family to support. I don't have to budget for school clothes and orthodontists.

A few of us conservative Baby Boomers have tried to warn you about how it works. There will never be enough money available to support all the income transfers clever politicians have signed you up for. On top of that, you aren't going to get the SS payout Boomers get. How can you hope to save for your own future when your government won't stop claiming more of your earnings for somebody else?

Socialism/Obamanomics is a relentless parasite with an insatiable appetite. It sucks up trillions and craps out a huge bureaucracy and unsustainable IOUs called Social Security. It sucks up billions and craps out Solyndra. It sucks up trillions and craps out Obamacare. There's no way this ends well for Americans. Unless, of course, the smell of crap finally wakes up the majority and they decide they've had enough.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 12:12PM
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krycek1984(6a/Cleveland)

SS is not "unsustainable". At this time, medicare and medicaid appear to be unsustainable, but certainly not SS.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 12:25PM
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Cassandra

For a woman, I'd say yes. After graduating college in the 1970s, I freely chose to obtain a very high level of education (Ph.D) and enter the career of my choice. Most people encouraged me. I also did so at a time when costs weren't that prohibitive, and due to scholarships and fellowships I graduated with no debt. I am now a university administrator with a lot of successes under my belt. I am not rich by any means but I live well and certainly have many more "perks" than my parents' generation did: for example, frequent international travel, electronics like computers and cell phones, cable TV, frequent restaurant meals, organic food choices, gym membership, etc. I guess this is the American dream!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 12:35PM
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