As an "international" (lol just not from the U.S.) member I'd say the american dream could have been the same for most western countries.
Your own home , 2.5 kids , a decent car and freedom from oppression are all anyone wanted post World War 2.
I do believe that dream is dead.
However not from it being percieved as inachievable but more that values have shifted from generation to generation.
I believe that , say from roughly Gen-X onward that there is a revised dream.
Material wealth no longer being the be all and end all.
Now I think we'd like to see the end of the Baby Boomer's monopoly on money, politics and media manipulation.
I like to think we want to see peace, equality, for everyone to be fed and housed and for damn sure much less beauracracy and less flat out BS in
politics and media.
I think Occupy in it's infancy was a good sign of what the younger generations are now seeking albeit blindly and lacking focus.
Im a Gen-Xer , perhaps Gen-Y have returned to a more material path which would not be surprising considering what they are bombarded with from a very
Gen-Xer here too. My parents, who were baby boomers, had more wealth. They were not rich, but they always had just enough. Enough to buy a home, a
car, and take care of things whenever they came up. They also had just enough.. to squirrel away in savings. They were blue collar workers, and they
worked very hard for everything that they got in factory jobs. With their many years in the factory, they both earned excellent pension plans and were
able to prepare for their retirement in their 30's and 40's. Both of them were only high school educated. My mom never even graduated high school,
yet she made more money in the 70's, 80's, and 90's, than most people do today.
My parents were always able to take vacations in the summers. We always went somewhere across country, like the Grand Canyon, Dodge City, The Ozarks,
I guess... that was the American dream for them. To just have the simple things that they desired. They never wanted riches... they just wanted enough
to live happily.
I on the other hand will....
1. Never have the kind of job they had, since those jobs are outsourced to other countries
2. Never be able to buy a home. Not because of bad credit, but because I just won't have the money to do so.
3. Will never have a brand new car.
4. Will never be able to take the kind of vacations that they did. Vacation, what is that? I haven't been on one since 2002.
5. Will be paying off student loans for many years to come. Many.
At this point, my dream of having a child may die.. since I'm not in a good financial position.
My mom sees that my life is very different than the one she had. She actually cries about it sometimes, and she worries for me a great deal. She
considers herself lucky, because she was young and working during a very prosperous time in our country, and she understands what we are all up
I don't even know what the American dream is supposed to be. What is it supposed to consist of?
As you said, we have to redefine and revise our dreams now. They look very different from our parents' lives and dreams.
I realize my perspective of what my life is going to be seems very negative, but I'm very much a realist and I can face the facts and I have come to
accept it. We live in a different time, and I believe that things will get worse before they get better.
Revising my dreams does not mean giving up on my peace and happiness. I can live with very little. I can survive. I want to be independent. I want to
work hard. I believe many will have to face the reality of living with much less, and quite soon.
Happiness is not going to be wrapped up in material wealth, but a different kind of wealth. That of family, friends, a place to call home, enough to
eat, and our health.