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Why Following the American Dream Will Rob You of True Happiness

Stagnant wages, student loan debt, car debt, credit card debt, and the lack of pensions have all lead to a pretty dismal future in America…. Strangely enough, at the same time we hear the doom and gloom stories of life in America, the growth of millionaires in our nation is shooting through the roof. And you know what?

Puya - American Dream

I did it without a six-figure income. With this simple plan, Liz and I have been able to live debt free for the past 3. There are far too many people that assume debt is just a part of life. They take on student loans and ignore the balance until they graduate.

The American Dream Is Still AliveYou're Just Not Doing It Right

If only they believed that a debt free life was possible — and not only that it was possible, but that it would propel them to great financial success! Nobody wants to be singled out, pointed at, laughed at, mocked… So what do we do? We do what everyone else does. We do it in high school with our hair style and our clothes. And in adulthood, we subconsciously do it with our debt. Not on purpose of course, but we along with everyone else take out student loans, rack up car debt, and even over-extend ourselves into a house that was probably out of our reach financially.

So, we get that college education, the new wheels, and the picturesque house…all with debt.

Early Education Keeps The American Dream Alive

Most will end up broke with nothing to show for their lifetime of earnings. Investment in education helps keep our country economically strong and yes, impacts national security. For us to keep our economy strong and to remain competitive on this global stage, we must invest in education at all stages of the pipeline—from the very beginning all the way through college. This is why HII invests in early education. The centers provide easy and affordable access to health care, but the emphasis is on preventive care.

Jennifer Boykin, the president of our Newport News Shipbuilding division, is a lead author of the Blueprint, and Bill Ermatinger, our chief human resources officer, chaired the workforce and education team.

The American Dream Is Just A Delusion:

The Blueprint includes seven recommendations to strengthen early childhood education. Here are the top three:.


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My wife is a pre-school teacher, and both of our daughters have spent time teaching in the classroom, so they see the challenges up close. In fact, our eldest daughter is currently getting her PhD in school psychology, and two years ago she provided us with our first grandchild! I have to tell you: When I hold my granddaughter and look into her eyes, I become even more determined to help make a difference for others. I want to help keep the American Dream alive for her generation and the ones that come after. I want to do whatever I can do to keep this world safe for her and for future generations.

I strongly believe that those of us who have had the chance to be successful … those of us who, at some time in our life, had someone reach out a hand to help us … those of us who have the means … we all share a common responsibility: Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Notify me of follow-up comments by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Such optimism has since been substantially tempered: In the meantime, the public discussion about inequality has completely by-passed a critical element of the American dream: And yet, social support for the unlucky — in particular, the poor who cannot stay in full-time employment — has been falling substantially in recent years, and is facing even more threats today.

In short, from new research based on some novel metrics of wellbeing, I find strong evidence that the American dream is in tatters, at least. My research began by comparing mobility attitudes in the US with those in Latin America, a region long known for high levels of poverty and inequality although with progress in the past decades.

I explored a question in the Gallup world poll, which asks respondents a classic American dream question: This was in stark contrast to Latin America, where there was no significant difference in attitudes across income groups. Poor people in the US were 20 times less likely to believe hard work would get them ahead than were the poor in Latin America, even though the latter are significantly worse off in material terms. Another question in the poll explores whether or not respondents experience stress on a daily basis. In general, Latin Americans experience significantly less stress — and also smile more — on a daily basis than Americans.

The gaps between the poor and rich in the US were significantly wider by 1. The gaps between the expectations and sentiments of rich and poor in the US are also greater than in many other countries in east Asia and Europe the other regions studied. It seems that being poor in a very wealthy and unequal country — which prides itself on being a meritocracy, and eschews social support for those who fall behind — results in especially high levels of stress and desperation.

But my research also yielded some surprises. With the low levels of belief in the value of hard work and high levels of stress among poor respondents in the US as a starting point, I compared optimism about the future across poor respondents of different races.


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This was based on a question in the US Gallup daily poll that asks respondents where they think they will be five years from now on a step life satisfaction ladder. I found that poor minorities — and particularly black people — were much more optimistic about the future than poor white people. Indeed, poor black respondents were three times as likely to be a point higher up on the optimism ladder than were poor whites, while poor Hispanic people were one and a half times more optimistic than whites. Poor black people were also half as likely as poor whites to experience stress the previous day, while poor Hispanics were only two-thirds as likely as poor whites.

What explains the higher levels of optimism among minorities, who have traditionally faced discrimination and associated challenges?