American dream

11 Stories

Middle Class Plummets to Less Than 50% of US

Most of that demographic's gains were wiped out by Great Recession

(Newser) - In 1971, the middle class made up 61% of the US population. That figure has now plummeted to just below half, and analysts are worried about the breakdown of what the Los Angeles Times calls "a pillar of the US economy." A Pew Research Center report released Wednesday... More »

It Costs $130K to Live the 'American Dream'

That'll get you and your 2 kids a house, SUV, and more, per a 'USA Today' analysis

(Newser) - As Americans today celebrate their freedom, a USA Today analysis calculates just how much it costs to live the American dream. And its number-crunching indicates only about 13% of Americans can foot the bill, which clocks in at $130,357 a year for a family of four. Per Census Bureau... More »

'Movin' On Up' in America? Not So Much, These Days

Studies reveal large mobility gap

(Newser) - The idea of "movin' on up" has long been an integral part of the American Dream, but a discouraging amount of research shows it's not as easy as it once was to elevate oneself from humble beginnings. In fact, America has less economic mobility than much of Western... More »

America's 'Disneyland Dream' Is Dead

Frank Rich: 'Outrageous gap' between rich and poor makes a joke of it

(Newser) - The death of Robbins Barstow, an American dad whose home movie of his family's vacation to Disneyland in 1956 is in the Library of Congress, has Frank Rich lamenting the loss of the American dream. Or more precisely the Disneyland Dream, as Barstow labeled his film. Watching it now brings... More »

We're Turning Into a Nation of Dunces

We'd rather watch reality TV than think or get an education

(Newser) - Stats showing that the US has fallen to 12th among developing nations in the percentage of young people with college degrees has Bob Herbert very worried. It's yet another sign of how a nation that once led the way in education is now heading in exactly the opposite direction. Nobody... More »

These Are Dangerous Times in America

People are ready to boil over, and their leaders are detached

(Newser) - There's trouble brewing, warns Peggy Noonan. She's never seen such a wide gulf between the nation's political leaders and ordinary folk. People are genuinely scared—"the biggest political change in my lifetime is that Americans no longer assume that their children will have it better than they did"—... More »

American Dream Believers Plummeting

Hopeful responses to Zogby poll fall off dramatically from last year

(Newser) - Just 57% of Americans think the “American Dream” is achievable today, down 10 points from around a year ago and from 76% in July of 2001, pollster John Zogby writes. He splits “American Dreamers” into four categories: Traditional Materialists, Secular Spiritualists, Deferred Dreamers, and Dreamless Dead. Over the... More »

Dream Small, America

Most of us will never achieve the impossible; we'd be better off admitting it

(Newser) - The American dream sounds great, but the relentless pursuit of "whatever glitters beyond the edge of our means" is doing us no favors, Frederic Morton writes in the LA Times. "Our passion for the out-of-reach is the very dynamic that (to use a long- familiar phrase) 'has made... More »

American Dream Dies in Our Wallet

Lust for fame and fortune have hijacked the nation's true promise

(Newser) - To the dreary lexical suite that defines our times—greed, foreclosure, stimulus and debt—we must add humility, David Kamp writes in Vanity Fair. Our gluttonous pursuits and ridicule of middle-class life has landed us in the grip of a recession and twisted the shape of the American Dream, he... More »

Lift a Glass to Belgian Bid for Bud

But US outrage is understandable

(Newser) - Belgian beer company InBev’s bid for Anheuser-Busch may look like an affront to a US tradition—but it's perfectly in keeping with the American spirit of entrepreneurship, writes Maureen Ogle in the Washington Post. It’s “precisely the sort of bold strike that launched the American Revolution and... More »

Only Obama Can Rescue US 'Brand'

The Nike of the field draws praise from marketing experts

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton is the sturdy candidate resembling Microsoft, John McCain evokes Hummer, and Mike Huckabee’s the Applebee’s of the field, but only Barack Obama "has the secret sauce that Brand America needs to regain its appeal." media consultant Jeff Yang writes in Salon. Yang is part... More »

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