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American Dream�

 
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Can you please explain to me how do you understand American Dream, I have hard times figuring it out on my own...
Please, avoid generalizations like "world peace" :roll: Thanks
Shura
 
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Through hard work and planning, just about anybody can achieve a decent living for themselves and their family, in addition to living according to the tenets set forth in the Bill of Rights.
That doesn't mean everybody is able to always achieve this, but the tools are at our disposal and the system is in place to allow this to be a reality.
 
mister krabs
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The American Dream basically is to be able to earn a decent living, provide for your family, and retire comfortably while you are still able to enjoy it.
 
"The Hood"
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The "American Dream":
A little cottage with a white picket fence (read this a two story house in the suburbs) with a bit of a yard of your own.
A steady job if you work hard.
Enough income to have a vacation once a year and keep the kids dressed nicely and in shoes.
Being able to retire by 65 with enough to live on reasonably comfortably without going to your family to support you.
What we really try to achieve:
A 3500 sq ft house with several acres of lawn.
A steady job that allows us lots of time off.
Enough income to vacation lots of times a year and be able to stay in resorts and go to DisneyWorld and the like.
Have season tickets to whatever high priced event you prefer.
Enough to send the kids to college wearing Name Brand clothes.
A housekeeper at lease once a week.
Being able to retire by 55 with enough money to maintain the lifestyle that we had when we were working and do LOTS of traveling.
What we DayDream about:
A hugh house with paid help to take care of it.
A job that pays zillions with little effort.
A nest egg of several millions.
Not needing to worry about how much we earn.
Quitting this *&^%(*# job.
 
Shura Balaganov
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
The American Dream basically is to be able to earn a decent living, provide for your family, and retire comfortably while you are still able to enjoy it.


So how is that "American"? Isn't it everyone's dream (some extremists excluding)?
QUOTE, Originally posted by Cindy Glass (with my comments):
What we really try to achieve:
* A 3500 sq ft house with several acres of lawn. don't care for houses
* A steady job that allows us lots of time off. don't have to have a joib to have time off; besides, countries like Germany allow 4-5 week vacations...
* Enough income to vacation lots of times a year and be able to stay in resorts and go to DisneyWorld and the like. Don't care for resorts
* Have season tickets to whatever high priced event you prefer. Don't care for those
* Enough to send the kids to college wearing Name Brand clothes. Don't care for Brand names...college is another story, best colleges in some places are a lot cheaper, like Sorbonne in Paris..
* A housekeeper at lease once a week. Hmmm, this would be nice
* Being able to retire by 55 with enough money to maintain the lifestyle that we had when we were working and do LOTS of traveling. Done lots of travelling, I can live on unemployment (sort of...), so lifestyle is not a problem...retirement age though can (and definitely will) be increased by government...

So, I think I achieved my American Dream� ... go figure... Where's stuff like "go to Haven", "achieve something in life", "do something people will be proud of", "realize your talents", etc.?
Shura
[ June 27, 2002: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]
 
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Shura, you single?
 
Shura Balaganov
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So far... in fact, I get as much unemployment as my hardworking girlfriend's paycheck
Shura
 
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Well, I'd have to say that the American Dream is a little different for everyone. My interpretation is that, in America, you can build a better life for yourself and your children through hard work. Obviously, this is possible other places but, when the concept of the American Dream first arose, this wasn't the case. In many places (as are today), people are stuck with the lifestyle they're in today no matter how hard they work. That's not to say that hard work will guarantee that you get all you want in America - you need a little help and maybe a bit of help, but no place is perfect. :roll:
Of course, if you'd rather sit around and enjoy nothing and go to school in Paris, you're more than welcome to do just that. The dream is that, through hard work, you can get whatever you want. For some people, that's a house and a yard. For others, that's a PhD in philosophy. For others, it's a 6 figure a year job. For others still, that's seeing your kids graduate from college. There's no limit to what your dreams might be. The American part of it is that anything is possible through hard work.
As for you collecting as much unemployment as your hard working girlfriend, I say kudos to your girlfriend.
Corey
 
Corey McGlone
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Originally posted by Shura Balaganov:
Can you please explain to me how do you understand American Dream, I have hard times figuring it out on my own...


Of course, you can always go with Frank Zappa's definition of the American Dream , but I think I'll avoid that topic. It may be deemed "incredibly inappropriate" for MD. :roll: If you're really that interested, you can probably find it on the net.
Corey
[ June 27, 2002: Message edited by: Corey McGlone ]
 
Wanderer
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So how is that "American"? Isn't it everyone's dream (some extremists excluding)?
I think the term probably caught on in the early 20th century, when a lot of poor European immigrants were coming here who felt they had had very limited options in the old world (at that time, starting from poverty, etc.) and perceived the US as the land of opportunity. It may well have been earlier though (e.g. during the gold rush and settling of the west).
Where's stuff like "go to Haven", "achieve something in life", "do something people will be proud of", "realize your talents", etc.?
We thought you didn't want those vague generalizations. Seriously though, "American dream" means different things to different people, but I think the most common core idea is that you can be (independently) successful despite meager beginnings. The specific form of success desired will vary more from person to person. I don't think I've ever heard "go to Heaven"* as being tied specifically to the American dream - it's certainly a common goal, but not directly related. The other options you cite are common definitions of success. (Though the most common in America is probably financial success.)
The term "American Dream" is not usually intended to mean dreams of all Americans, or all dreams of Americans, or dreams that are unique to Americans. The term is often used with the implication that it's a dream which America is (or perhaps was?) uniquely suited to allow fulfillment. Obviously the truth of this may be argued; I'm just trying summarizing common perceptions.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Shura Balaganov:

So how is that "American"? Isn't it everyone's dream?

Of course! But the American Dream is achievable in America. That is really the point.
 
Shura Balaganov
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Originally posted by Corey McGlone:

Of course, you can always go with Frank Zappa's definition of the American Dream , but I think I'll avoid that topic. It may be deemed "incredibly inappropriate" for MD. :roll:


Yuhaa, it'll definitely get the thread closed!
Shura
[ June 27, 2002: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]
 
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So how is that "American"? Isn't it everyone's dream (some extremists excluding)?


kind of reminds me of your "russian way of doing business". i always thought that was just my way of doing business. i have never even bought a car on payments.
 
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Something related to this, incase you are interested...
- madhav
 
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

You seem to think that we all measure success in strictly monetary terms or by fame or something. You couldn't be more mistaken.
The rest isn't really worth commenting on, but I thought you touched on a couple of points here that struck a nerve with me.
First off, you seem to allude to the fact that in order for somebody to achieve some level of success that it is dependant on their parents stature. This may be true in societies (a couple come to mind) that are rigidly divided by classes, with little movement between the classes, but that is not the case here.
Second, having to make it on your own is not a bad thing, quite the opposite really. I would go as far as to say it's somewhat expected.
In my case, neither of my parents have college degrees. Both of them have always worked blue-collar jobs. That doesn't mean they weren't intelligent or that i was culturally deprived either. I went to nothing but public schools, and this in the industrial northeast in the second largest city in the state, not some well-funded rich public school system. Let's just say that there was little chance anyone could mistake us for affluent.
After leaving school I enlisted in the military because my parents couldn't afford to send me to college without taking on quite a bit of debt, I couldn't afford it myself at the time without going into quite a bit of debt, and I really had no desire to sit through four years of college particularly when I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, although I did have the grades and SAT scores to get into most schools.
Well quite some years after leaving highschool, I am the first person in my immediate family to get a college degree and now make a fair living as a software engineer. My parents gave me some good foundations, but for the most part it was all me.
I did the necessary work, made the necessary sacrifices, paid the necessary costs, to get somewhere I wanted to be. That is to me what it is all about. Experience teaches me that anybody who is willing to do what is necessary can make a decent life for themselves, and I don't accept any excuses to the contrary.


I wanted to bring this over from the other American Dream post because I think Jason exemplifies my idea of the American Dream. When a person makes good decisions in America, that person is rewarded. That truly is the American Dream to me.
 
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