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Thread: Suze Orman: 'The American Dream' Is Dead

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    Re: Suze Orman: 'The American Dream' Is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    What era or region of living are you talking about?

    I don't know anyone who was an average person who worked an average job and lived comfortably while supporting their family. Average employment has always meant barely making ends meet for many - often the hard work of both spouses was necessary to make ends meet without beig able to afford luxuries. And they definitely weren't making enough to live comfortably and to take an actual vacation.
    I grew up in Dearborn, Michigan home of the Ford Motor Company. Most of the men on my street either worked for Fords or for suppliers for auto companies. They had nice houses built after the war, could buy a new care every five or six years, feed and clothe their families (which had a lot more kids then than families today), could have wives stay at home and live on one income and even educate their kids in private schools - at least the Catholic families did.

    These were all men who worked in manufacturing jobs and wore work clothes, left with metal lunch boxes in the dark in the morning and came home dirty in the evening.

    Every summer we went on vacation to a camping village called Camp Dearborn and lived in army barracks type tents for a week or two and thought we were on the French Riveria since they had two lakes and even a swimming pool. My father could have four kids and do this and live in dignity because he was a union member in a union shop.
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    Re: Suze Orman: 'The American Dream' Is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    You are missing the point and perhaps it is my fault for not explaining it well. Allow me to try again.

    In most of the 20th century was been room in America for decent folks who wanted to work hard to be middle class productive citizens who could hold up their head in the community even if they were not the fastest or the brightest, or if they were not the most talented or skilled, or if they were not business owners or had inherited wealth. They could be less than average intelligence but still find middle class employment wages in manufacturing jobs which paid union wages and benefits.

    For many of those same folks today, that option is gone and nothing has replaced it for them.

    It is silly to tell them to go to college and become computer experts. It is silly to tell them to learn new skills for which they do not have the capacity or intelligence to do. If the average IQ is 100 - half the people are at or below that. We are fast becoming a society where there is no real productive place for that person. And if there is a place at all, its a far more lower paid and less dignified place that existed just a decade ago.

    I think that is what many people talk about when they are saying that the American Dream is dead for many for whom it was alive and well before.
    How bright do you have to be to work at a cell phone store selling phones? How bright do you have to be to work in a call center? How bright do you have to be to stock shelves or work construction? I am not saying those are bad jobs, but come on, you don't have to be Einstein to fill out some paperwork to rent someone a car do you?

    Maybe we should examine why manufacturing jobs have been leaving.. could it be related in anyway to the fact that unions demanded far more in wages than the workers probably deserved under a free market system?

    You seem to be arguing that a person is entitled to a "dignified" wage simply because they are alive... that is absurd. They are entitled to what they have earned.

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    Re: Suze Orman: 'The American Dream' Is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMack View Post
    Let me give you an American dream success story...Joe Schmoe takes a job at Taco Bell. He proves after about 2 weeks to be a trustworthy and hard worker (and in the meantime...joe works weekends at the 7-11...dude is going to make this work). He is promoted to a shift manager...not great pay...but some bennies...and yes...he still has to work 2 jobs...no one said this was going to be easy. Lss than 6 months later he is asked if he is interested in training with Pepsico to be an assistant store manager. not great pay...but promoted to 26.5 salary (about 5 k less than average in the community...still has that second job. Less than 2 years later he gets his own corporate store...36k. Does a great job...now he is an RGM...5 years later he works out of his home office and only occasionally stops by the three stores he manages.

    EVERY situation? Nope...but it happens all the time. As long as we are living in a service based economy...you better understand the game and know how to play. it helps if you talk to people that can help. But we see people like this every day.
    Vance, yes that happens. And I am glad it does. Good for Joe and God bless him. But do you understand that I am not talking about a middle management type person here?

    NolaMan

    you seem to be arguing about something I am not arguing about. What I am saying is that the reality of 2010 has killed the American Dream for millions of Americans who do not fit into that reality. It did for their older sibling. It did for their parents. It did for their grandparents. But now it is dead for them.

    that is my point here in reference to the thread topic
    Last edited by haymarket; 11-29-10 at 03:58 PM.
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    Re: Suze Orman: 'The American Dream' Is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMack View Post
    Let me give you an American dream success story...Joe Schmoe takes a job at Taco Bell. He proves after about 2 weeks to be a trustworthy and hard worker (and in the meantime...joe works weekends at the 7-11...dude is going to make this work). He is promoted to a shift manager...not great pay...but some bennies...and yes...he still has to work 2 jobs...no one said this was going to be easy. Lss than 6 months later he is asked if he is interested in training with Pepsico to be an assistant store manager. not great pay...but promoted to 26.5 salary (about 5 k less than average in the community...still has that second job. Less than 2 years later he gets his own corporate store...36k. Does a great job...now he is an RGM...5 years later he works out of his home office and only occasionally stops by the three stores he manages.

    EVERY situation? Nope...but it happens all the time. As long as we are living in a service based economy...you better understand the game and know how to play. it helps if you talk to people that can help. But we see people like this every day.
    I will give you another example.. I personally know a guy who started out in high school at McDonalds cooking burgers. He did not go to college, but ultimately became manager, and then ultimately bought the store..he now owns 16 McDonalds.

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    Re: Suze Orman: 'The American Dream' Is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post

    NolaMan

    you seem to be arguing about something I am not arguing about. What I am saying is that the reality of 2010 has killed the American Dream for millions of Americans who do not fit into that reality. It did for their older sibling. It did for their parents. It did for their grandparents. But now it is dead for them.

    that is my point here in reference to the thread topic
    My point is simply that the American dream is not an entitlement. It is there for people who want to work for it. Times change.. that is the reality of 2010. The American Dream is not dead, you just have to take a different road to get to it.

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    Re: Suze Orman: 'The American Dream' Is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by NolaMan View Post
    My point is simply that the American dream is not an entitlement. It is there for people who want to work for it. Times change.. that is the reality of 2010. The American Dream is not dead, you just have to take a different road to get to it.
    I do not know if it is an entitlement or not or even what that word means to you. What I do know is that as long as we were a society where the American Dream existed for almost everyone, we were a far healthier society. Killing a middle class life for tens of millions of persons is not a good thing in a democratic republic.
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    Re: Suze Orman: 'The American Dream' Is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    Vance, yes that happens. And I am glad it does. Good for Joe and God bless him. But do you understand that I am not talking about a middle management type person here?
    If someone can put on a buttoned shirt with help...they can learn. We are talking average IQs here...not rocket scientists. And I have news for you...IQ and learning potential is relevant...its not like they arent capable of learning new and different skills. the question is...how much do you like to eat? How do you feel about being able to put shoes on your kids? Neccessity is a mutha!

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    Re: Suze Orman: 'The American Dream' Is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by NolaMan View Post
    I will give you another example.. I personally know a guy who started out in high school at McDonalds cooking burgers. He did not go to college, but ultimately became manager, and then ultimately bought the store..he now owns 16 McDonalds.
    Doesnt shock or surprise me at all. I worked with a guy several years ago who dreamed of being a pro baseball player...problem was he hadnt played organized ball in years. So..we shifted gears...picked a career path that had him playing baseball in college if he was good enough (he wasnt) and coaching baseball as a fallback (he is).

    The silver spoon mythn simply doesnt happen all that often. Hard work, baby. I dont care if it is a career in astro-phy or owning your own lawn care service.

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    Re: Suze Orman: 'The American Dream' Is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    I grew up in Dearborn, Michigan home of the Ford Motor Company. Most of the men on my street either worked for Fords or for suppliers for auto companies. They had nice houses built after the war, could buy a new care every five or six years, feed and clothe their families (which had a lot more kids then than families today), could have wives stay at home and live on one income and even educate their kids in private schools - at least the Catholic families did.

    These were all men who worked in manufacturing jobs and wore work clothes, left with metal lunch boxes in the dark in the morning and came home dirty in the evening.

    Every summer we went on vacation to a camping village called Camp Dearborn and lived in army barracks type tents for a week or two and thought we were on the French Riveria since they had two lakes and even a swimming pool. My father could have four kids and do this and live in dignity because he was a union member in a union shop.
    Ok - there's some context, now your point makes more sense.

    Inflation, then is the main key to the change - everything is more expensive. Everything rises in value, cost - taxes, wages, labor - everything is up.

    What a missed opportunity, though - working husband brings in a comfortable salary and all the women did was sit at home and watch the kids? I see that as a missed opportunity to make significant income with both being gainfully employed.
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    Re: Suze Orman: 'The American Dream' Is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    I do not know if it is an entitlement or not or even what that word means to you.
    I am saying that no one can be born and expect that they are going to live a great life. I will give you another example of a friend of mine. He worked for GM his whole life, had his retirement with them etc... lost everything when they went bankrupt. He was close to losing his house, but instead he started one of those baseball training facilities (he was a former minor league baseball player) and now is running a profitable business and turning things around.

    The American Dream is not a house and picket fense, it is working hard to get what you want.

    What I do know is that as long as we were a society where the American Dream existed for almost everyone, we were a far healthier society. Killing a middle class life for tens of millions of persons is not a good thing in a democratic republic.
    It still exists for everyone if they want to go grab it.

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