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Forum Post: What is the American Dream?

Posted 5 years ago on Feb. 25, 2013, 6:45 p.m. EST by elf3 (3900)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Is it home ownership?

Is it the chance for upward mobility?

Is it equality?

Is it a fair shake?

A. No it is to make someone else rich with your labor while you keep swinging at the pinata blindfolded and hobbled only to find there is nothing in it if you manage to hit it after a lifetime of sacrifice and struggle and regret that you went after the wrong thing with that stick.



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[-] 1 points by grapes (5173) 5 years ago

The perfectibility of the common people -- it sounds naive and corny, doesn't it?

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 5 years ago

This is a question for all Americans, new ones and the ones who desperately want to live in America. Asking people here will definitely give skewed results.

It's not fair or ethical to blame entrepreneurs who managed to employ others.

I personally hate working. I trade the best hours of my life so a corporation can become more successful and so I can keep my wife at home. We actually go further into debt every month so hoping for luck at this point.

I wish I had the ability and resources to start and run a successful business. I would make it a corporation to protect my family. I would employ as many people as possible and pay them as much as possible without forcing the business into debt.

If the corporation were to be profitable enough, I would consider selling it to the highest bidder.

Then, as I watch its shares get traded on the stock exchanges... and it starts cutting jobs and slashing wages, pulling the tricks of corporations as they increase profits forever... who knows how I would feel.

The point is, my family is safe, stable and healthy. This is how most Americans want to feel, and it's the dream, what I mentioned above, that this is possible in America.

It's only about being exceedingly wealthy and powerful for some misguided tortured souls. The problem is that America is the champion at producing that type of people, people who can justify or choose to be ignorant of the devastation around them.

The American Dream is fair and good. It's not entrepreneurs who are to blame as for the most part they just want to create stability for their family and not have to live as a slave. It's the the scared-evil individuals at the top of the 1% who are to blame for the systemic problems of America. We can't even blame the people who want to be like them, because they're trained to, without awareness.

[-] 1 points by Narley (272) 5 years ago

I guess I’m a cynic. But I think the American dream has morphed over the past sixty or so years. It used to be people strived for comfort, security and the ability to live a easier life. But these days most people have more than their grandparents ever dreamed of having. The dream now is to have the biggest screen TV, the latest iPhone, the newest car and live in the most lavish neighborhood. And they go in hoc up to their ears to get it.

People have a astounding sense of entitlement. They want it all; and expect it all, Immediately. We are an uber consumer society. Shopping is entertainment. We seem never to have enough. I don’t know the solution. Maybe things will have to far apart before people come back to reality.

[-] 0 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 5 years ago

Yup, there is no delaying of gratification. "Gotta have it!" instead of thinking "can I afford it?", we think "can I finance it?"

[-] 1 points by elf3 (3900) 5 years ago

I think you're wrong - I think the American dream is that be it a laborer or entrepreneur (yeah remember when banks used to invest in small business and average citizens - those days are gone unless you have deep pockets and collateral to start) or hairdresser, or doctor could all have a nice little life with a white picket fence, decent healthcare and benefits, and not have to be RICH or a business owner to partake. That is what's missing - entrepreneurship and investment in the average citizen to start small businesses and investment in employees who are also the consumers. We won't all be rich but do we now HAVE to be to afford a decent little house and normal life? To have healthcare, and a chance for upward mobility for your children? Butcher baker candlestick maker end monopoly rule and put ownership back in the hands of the citizen there will be no selling out to Wall Street if we end the stock market / end wall street - banks will be forced to invest in American Citizens again. Also as I look at the billions Wall Street tosses out to advertise their products I see it as sheer lunacy. They will spare no expense to advertise to the people they laid off and sold out (who can't really now afford their products which are produced in China with slave labor that used to be a decent American job with bennies) but they have frozen wages solid, cut benefits continue to downsize and outsource - they still haven't realized they are shooting themselves in the foot and that advertising to broke people who can't find employment is pretty pointless ? - Take those advertising billions and put it into employees (INVEST IN EMPLOYEES = an investment in your own future sales and a better economy for all)

[-] 2 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 5 years ago

It's the rule of the corporate capitalism game: increase profit every quarter by any means possible. They know it's stupid in the long run but they are bound to the rules.

I'm desperate to make the 99% Conglomerate work and you should be too. I know it won't happen but could you imagine a world where everyone is an entrepreneur?

Even if some entrepreneurs make $10/week doing what they enjoy, and work for someone else for better wages... and if big business was forced into worker owned workplace democracy, not forced into bad decisions by corporate mandate, there would be way less corruption and destitution.

[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 5 years ago

The American Dream, was a song created by the Elite to encourage the poor man to keep working as hard as he can.. (this benefits the elite greatly when the poor man works hard. )

[-] -2 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

The term was coined by a historian-James Truslow Adams-and elaborated on in his 1931 book-The Epic of America.

"[It] is a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement … It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."

[-] 3 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 5 years ago

Ain't it fitting that Wall Street saved his daddy's career. Or to be more precise, JP Morgan. His daddy hobnobed with the financial elite. So i could see why his perceptive of America was so chipper. I guess he was the Horatio Alger of his time.

[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 5 years ago

It was very short sighted .. and perhaps unchallenged.. Everyone wants to hear of dreams of grandeur ..so I guess they let it slide on by .. the 'American Dream' turned out for the ability for anyone to become wealthy .. considering there was a time when peasants never had the same opportunities .. this was a big deal.. but what was over looked .. was the fact it doesn't really matter who becomes the Elite .. what matters is that it should never happen . There should never be an unequal distribution of wealth.

[-] 0 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

Name one thing that was or is created by human beings, under their direct control, that is distributed equally.

[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 5 years ago


[-] 0 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

Money is distributed equally?

[-] -1 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

What does the fact that his father secured a loan from JP Morgan,( with interest) to prevent bankruptcy have to do with anything? He won a Pulitzer and spent most of his life as a highly esteemed writer and historian. You seem to be saying that only the children of those who hobnobed with the financial elite had a "chipper perceptive".

[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 5 years ago

Success sings a different tune "

[-] -1 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

Success does not sing. And even if it did,not everyone listens to the same music.

[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 5 years ago

Where did you hear about it ?

[-] 0 points by highlander (-163) 5 years ago

I would like to think that I put more into the American kitty than I took away.


[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

I think it was the opportunity to live whatever one deems "better", than they could in the rest of the majority of the world. Most people act in self interest, so that usually means their own career, money or ability to provide for a family.

I think that is what most people think of.

Whether its achievable, or ever was, is a whole other topic :)

[-] 1 points by elf3 (3900) 5 years ago

you could do that because you didn't have to be RICH to do it - things were fairly affordable no matter your station - while you certainly weren't going to necessarily be rich, you weren't always going to be destitute either like in third world countries - there was wiggle room to explore new avenues and careers and to explore opportunities - that wiggle room has gone to China with our jobs now for instance if you want to work part time and go to school, or work part time to be there for kids, or work part time to write a novel - then you will be homeless especially now when people are working two and three jobs just to survive and make rent - we have become the third world we have developed a cast society completely lacking in the ability to be an entrepreneur - banks will not lend anymore... and you will be drowned out by red tape created by monopolies and politicians colluding to squash you as well as try to compete with a fortune 500 (the rent alone is impossible - think about how much this corporate owned land eats into profit and what may be left to pay staff.) The cost of living combined with frozen wages is killing our society.

[-] -2 points by highlander (-163) 5 years ago

Not to live on the government dole

[-] -3 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

Who blindfolded you and hobbled you? Who taught you that your dreams were in a pinata that you should spend your whole life swinging at?

[-] 4 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago


You keep swingin' now vap.

[-] -3 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

You speak for elf3?

[-] 4 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago


If she doesn't like it, she'll let me know.

Is that a problem for you?

Anyway. My response was accurate to the metaphor.

[+] -4 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

And how did WallStreet blind fold and hobble her? How did WallStreet teach her that her dreams were in a pinata that she should spend her whole life swinging at?

Why is it that WallStreet didn't manage to do that to everyone?

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Wallstreet and corpoRAT affiliates have done just exactly - THAT.

Or have you not noticed the people waking up due to the meltdown nightmare and start looking around and beginning to protest?

[-] -3 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

I asked HOW. And I didn't ask you either.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Touchy are U ?

Also apparently UN-observant of the propaganda that has been fed to the public in increasing volume over the last few decades with the government parroting much of it in public service/suggestions/announcements/advisories.

[-] -3 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

I am specific. Not touchy.

You however have yet to be specific. What propaganda specifically?

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Go be vapid somewhere else.

[-] -3 points by oIdJohn (-143) 5 years ago

It's good that you're using of your dictionary. Try to learn a new word every day. Be constant, don't give up. You'll see the benefits in a few months time.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

U should try 2 learn something new - U R very stale and uninteresting. Hence vapid is a very fitting description 4 U.

[-] -3 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

You can't answer the question?

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Like YOU do?

As they say on the innertubes..............LOL

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Not gonna play your game - vapid.

[-] -2 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

How on earth is asking someone to answer a specific question a game?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

You need my permission? - Vapid?

If that is the case - if that is how you feel - how about you just go away?

[-] 0 points by vaprosvyeh (-61) 0 minutes ago

Well thank you for your permission. ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Ask away - maybe she will answer you - vapid.

[-] 0 points by vaprosvyeh (-61) 0 minutes ago

And yet I do not find myself swinging at pinatas or blindfolded or hobbled. So I'm asking HOW elf3 came to find herself in that situation. ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

[-] -1 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

Well thank you for your permission.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

You are purposely being obtuse - vapid.

[-] -2 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

And yet I do not find myself swinging at pinatas or blindfolded or hobbled. So I'm asking HOW elf3 came to find herself in that situation.

[-] -3 points by oIdJohn (-143) 5 years ago

DKAtoday and shooz are like Batman and Robin. They always come in pair. I think they even wear brightly colored tights.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

U havin a fantasy? Never Mind. Of course U R - as U R awake - U R Rn't U? Awake?

[-] 1 points by elf3 (3900) 5 years ago

Can I be Wonder Woman? To answer vapro http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/02/disposable-workers-why-throwaway-employees-are-bad-policy.html

Though I sometimes speak from experience I also try to take into account the experiences of those around me and I'm sorry to say almost all of my personal aquaintences and family are hurting economically...my own mom is set to lose her apartment this week since she lost her job when the small business she worked in closed she will become homeless she found another job but she was so set back while trying to find another one she makes so little now 230 a week after taxes she can't afford her bills. How is that for an answer I guess it's her own fault she wasn't able to stash away a pension to cover her lay off? Btw most small businesses don't offer such luxuries as a pension even if they did when you make so little to start you sort of need all of it for bills. Btw she makes too much money to qualify for any assistance that could help keep her on her feet when her car is repossesed she will lose her ability to get to her new job the one she got after sending out hundreds of resumes and going on more than 20 interviews. She stocks a cooler and cashiers all day on her feet.

There are no apartments in this area for less than 800 a month and while she could try to get roomates at her age its tough and most people don't wish to intermingle finances with a stranger I see no way out for her and believe me I've entertained them all since she will be moving in with my husband and me.

What if she didn't have us ? Most of us are just a slip away it doesn't take a lot for this to happen..


I guess it is all a bit of a downer and vapors would rather count her own blessing and say stuff it to everyone else who she presumes just aren't clever enough to see the light...way to live in a bubble. (Pottersville is good to SOME of us....mainly the sell-outs)

[-] 0 points by ProblemSolver (79) 5 years ago

The caped crusaders..

but what does that make you .. the joker ?

[-] -2 points by oIdJohn (-143) 5 years ago

Perhaps. Lol.

They are members of Twinkle Team. A group of forum users unable to analyze ideas for their own merit. Because of their analytical deficiency, they simply twinkle and stinkle based on the proposer. They twinkle their friends, and stinkle those they don't like for whatever reason they have imagined. Most times, they don't even read the contents of what they twinkle or stinkle. They are the cancer of this site, an assault to proper debates and good logic.

shooz is Robin, and DKAtoday is Batman. They always come to each other's rescue. They probably operate from the same retirement home.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

You're just full of silly questions, yet you didn't answer mine.

It's not my problem that you don't know about Wallstreet, but I'll give you one relevant term, out of many.

Pyramid scheme.

Now, until you show a little respect and answer my question, you can expect nothing more.

[-] -2 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

What question? The only one you asked was if I had problem if you answered for elf3. And yes, it shows very little respect for her ability to speak for herself.

I didn't ask you, therefore I had no expectation of anything from you in the first place, much less anything more from you.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Poor lost soul.

Your answer was here in the first place. It's the title.


You're attempt was one of insult for elf.

You shouldn't post such things on a public forum, if you don't expect others to respond.

And to think, I didn't take you for a newb. Oh well, We all make mistakes.

[-] -2 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 5 years ago

She posted this in a public forum and I responded. Apparently the only acceptable responses are nods of agreement and complete empathy.

You answering as if you have the authority and insight to respond on her behalf is the insult. Is it because she's a woman? She's not capable of handling responses to her own posts? Is it because she's weak or fragile or is it just because you think you are capable of answering for anyone and everyone?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago


It's because I know you to be an ass and I kind like elf.

It was just touch of poetry, undeserving of your lame insults.

[-] 0 points by peacehurricane (293) 5 years ago

It is amazing the kind of abuse this forum can dish out when someone seeks clarification. I have had similar experience and lack of responding to direct question in my opinion equals insincerity(at best). The American Dream was that a person could start with nothing and with enough hard work, and dedication you could be like millionaire. MLK had a fine dream and I think A New American Dream has been born. Get out of this mess that is eating up all the money and leaving so many without. Higher taxes on this current path will never be enough for one thing attempting to do all these ill acts in the name of this country is costly and should be. The United States does not go like this. Freedom costs 10% and everything over that figure is being used to portray democracy other than it is intended to be. We must get out of that so-called capitol ruining everything we stand for. Make the laws in this country of ours not someplace that is screwing us over and torturing people while flying our flag.