Fading America: Disappearing Dream – Emerging as Developing Nation

When did you first realize that the so-called American Dream has died?  Or, put in nicer terms, when did you realize that the American Dream as understood in a popular sense is realistically attainable for a shrinking portion of those living within the borders of the United States? Perspective A few hours before writing this post I had a lengthy conversation with an older Baby Boomer.  This person is greatly concerned that the current President is providing many people with false hope Read More …

The Fading American Dream

Are you living the American Dream? Most people consider several variables when constructing a personal response to whether or not they and their families are living the American Dream.  Rather than address all such factors, I invite you to consider the economic component. A couple of years ago I shared information that suggested the economic piece of living the American Dream required an income of at least $130K for a family of four. Yesterday I read a NY Times editorial that referenced Read More …

The Shrinking Dreams: America & Church

In her recent article in The Atlantic, Marianne Cooper considered data from a number of recent surveys before concluding that "people are downsizing their definition of the American dream." More specifically, she notes that "the desire to own a home or to move up economically is often replaced by a desire to be debt free and to have financial stability." What Next? Cooper rightly suggests that this general shift in perspective is likely to have many long term negative consequences as Read More …

Living the American Dream?

Price tag for the American dream: $130K a year.  The first few times I encountered that statement on social media, I dismissed it.  Finally, I decided to check out the story or, more precisely, read Howard R. Gold's July 4, 2014, USA TODAY article with that title. While I hesitate to define the American dream solely in economic terms, I recognize it is the simplest place to begin.  Household finances have become an area of greater concern and awareness thanks to the Great Recession.  This Read More …

Trends in College Degree Attainment

I grew up with the understanding that a college degree was a part of the path leading to the American dream.  A recent Chronicle of Higher Education interactive graphic provides the clearest visual explanation of trends in college degree attainment across the country.  The graphic provides county by county analysis of the percentage of adults with college degrees, which can be further sorted by gender or race. Additionally, the graphic provides the same information for seven different dates. Read More …

Better Off Than Our Parents

While the economy has struggled the last few years, most Americans feel that financially things now are better than they were in our country a generation ago.  More specifically, according to Gallup's latest research 69% of Americans believe they "are better off financially than their parents were when they were the same age." So What? While the majority of those polled in all age groups and at all income levels believed they are better off than their parents, the percentage holding the Read More …

Review of Radical

Platt, David.  Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.  Multnomah, 2010. ISBN: 9781601422217. Meet the Author At age 28, David Platt became the youngest American megachurch pastor when he accepted the call to be the pastor of  The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama.  Now 31, he continues to serve as pastor of this 4000 member congregation affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and recently published his first book.  Platt has five college degrees, Read More …