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Define "The American Dream" And Are You Living It Or Will You Ever Live It?

rhinefire

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Retired now and financially secure with no bills and no ties I have come to realize there is no American Dream. Rather, you just live and that is what decades of living teaches us. It's kind of like not getting your favorite toy as a child for Christmas but as you age you forget what that favorite toy was. Maybe not being in prison should be considered enough. Even bums are happy.
 

Celebrity

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Micro dose on LSD and litigate some pretty average cases. One day you find a really great client and you win her case. Next thing you know, you're famous and 60,000 screaming teenage girls want your autograph. You politely decline and continue to do so for the next 80 or so years until advances in medicine allow you to subsist on glucose, amphetamines and vitamin supplements indefinitely. Next steps include selling a book you wrote on snail biology and birdwatching for the next thousand years. Maybe get a dog. Every other Saturday, buy an apple pie at the corner store and eat it alone. Yes sir, that's the good life. Cigarettes will kill you, and so will booze.
 

Captain Adverse

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Retired now and financially secure with no bills and no ties I have come to realize there is no American Dream. Rather, you just live and that is what decades of living teaches us. It's kind of like not getting your favorite toy as a child for Christmas but as you age you forget what that favorite toy was. Maybe not being in prison should be considered enough. Even bums are happy.

Sounds like you have lived the American Dream.

You've "retired now and (are) financially secure with no bills and no ties."

Most people in the world will never see anything close to that occur; mostly living in levels of poverty...diseased, oppressed, dying young or in extreme distress. Living in hovels or slums, or on the streets much like the millions of homeless in our nation. Even in the wealthy European nations many live hand to mouth or on the dole.

So what if you've never become "rich and famous," that was never the American dream.
 
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joG

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Retired now and financially secure with no bills and no ties I have come to realize there is no American Dream. Rather, you just live and that is what decades of living teaches us. It's kind of like not getting your favorite toy as a child for Christmas but as you age you forget what that favorite toy was. Maybe not being in prison should be considered enough. Even bums are happy.

You sound like the American Dream after having lived it. And don't forget, you could have made bum, had that been, where you wanted to go.
 

RetiredUSN

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I started out a street thug.

Did 20 in the Navy.

Own my own house with 2 dogs and two cats.

Put my daughter through Radford University.

Helped my son start his own business.

3 grandkids.

I work hard, and run my own small home improvement & repairs business which enables me to keep a little "walking around" money in my pocket. I also have a Class A CDL for driving dumps and other heavy machinery flatbed trucks. I could be drywalling a house tomorrow, doing a trash out on a repo property the next, or installing a roof a few days later. I have a Class A CDL , A Virginia Class B Builders license, a maritime 4000 HP and under limited coastal Chief Engineers rating for working tugs.

I can do whatever I want whenever I like because I never limited myself by being a one trick pony.

To me.... I already am living the American dream.
 

Dragonfly

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Retired now and financially secure with no bills and no ties I have come to realize there is no American Dream.

So basically what's the friggin problem? What were you expecting? What haven't you done? What's missing?

Why's it only the "American" dream? How about the "human dream"?

Be productive.
Be successful. (you define what success is)
Be independent.
Live long and happy life.
Be honest. With yourself and others.
Don't hurt others.
Enjoy old age.
Raise healthy children.
Raise educated children.
Raise independent and respectful children.
Don't be a burden on others.
Be a great spouse.

In the end, whatever makes you happy and content (assuming you don't hurt others in the process) in life, should be the dream.
 
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chuckiechan

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Retired now and financially secure with no bills and no ties I have come to realize there is no American Dream. Rather, you just live and that is what decades of living teaches us. It's kind of like not getting your favorite toy as a child for Christmas but as you age you forget what that favorite toy was. Maybe not being in prison should be considered enough. Even bums are happy.

Is your name Jack Reacher?

If you are happy, I am happy. And I am happy that you are happy for I too am happy.

The American dream is a state of mind.
 

American

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Being free to try and achieve your dreams is the American Dream.
 

ocean515

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Retired now and financially secure with no bills and no ties I have come to realize there is no American Dream. Rather, you just live and that is what decades of living teaches us. It's kind of like not getting your favorite toy as a child for Christmas but as you age you forget what that favorite toy was. Maybe not being in prison should be considered enough. Even bums are happy.

Most would argue the American Dream is a state of mind. Others, it represents the opportunity to take action on one's state of mind.

I had a gentleman work for me for 25 years who to this day, reminds me of what the American Dream is.

He and his wife escaped Vietnam at the end of the war, and legally immigrated to the US. Once here, he and his wife raised 4 children. 2 became doctors, 1 an attorney, and the 4th, an electrical engineer.

I would guess Tim would find it very easy to define the American Dream.

I think of him, and his family, along with my own, whenever the question is raised.
 

Henrin

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It's rhetoric that is used to push political and social agendas.
 

Verthaine

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The American Dream is being allowed to reach your full potential.
I went from being a poor kid helping my mom sell coffee and sandwiches out of a van as a kid,to washing dishes at a restaurant as a teenager after school,to being a fry cook,to putting my self through culinary school,to becoming a sous chef,then head chef,to owning my own restuarant, to owning a company that manages several restaurants,catering services and banquet halls in my 50's.
I have a beautiful wife,three wonderful daughters,and 4 sweet darling grandchildren.
I get to go to exotic locations around the world and sample local cuisine.

I achieved the American Dream through hard work,determination,sound investments,and people who were willing to believe in me and help me achieve my dreams.
 

Gaugingcatenate

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Retired now and financially secure with no bills and no ties I have come to realize there is no American Dream. Rather, you just live and that is what decades of living teaches us. It's kind of like not getting your favorite toy as a child for Christmas but as you age you forget what that favorite toy was. Maybe not being in prison should be considered enough. Even bums are happy.
Am also retired now and having worked hard for some 37 years, taking a year or so off every once in a while, traveling quite a lot, am as happy now as I have ever been. And, after my last job getting up at 4 am every weekday, driving 40 minutes to work, an hour to an hour and a half, depending on traffic, on my way home, being on the job for a minimum of 8 hours on site, more if one or other of my two clubs I sponsored were meeting after school which added a minimum of an hour, sometimes 3 or more to the day. Then often grading at home as there is no time to do so during class as I am up around the class teaching ...

But I realized early on, after a lay off in my Trust Banking career, when the company let about 400 of us loose which I first took as a blow... then decided to make it an opportunity for travel which I love so much. So, took a trip to South America for 3 months with the money I had in savings... well, that 3 months easily turned into an entire year as a bum just traveling around Ecuador, Peru and Chile... wonderful year.

As I was flying back I told myself, most people in the history of the planet never spent a year off doing what I had just done, having a blast the whole time, meeting new and interesting people, seeing and doing so many new things... and so told myself everything from that point on would be the cream and cherry on top. If the plane went down on its way back to the States, I could not/would not complain.

But continuing to work hard in America has resulted in me reprising that year off and doing it even better.

Have a bit of money saved, as well as a small pension, am renovating a 4 bedroom 2 bath house, on a beautiful mountainside here in Panama, as my budget allows and good workers/materials are available.

Was just down to my friend's place two days ago, he is also my American standards plumber putting together all that for my new indoor and outdoor kitchens, my guest bath and my master indoor/outdoor bathroom... he lives down the mountain and built his incredible place right atop the steep hillside overlooking one of the three rivers on the mountain... he has the most wonderful pristine swimming hole with its clear, clean and perfectly cool temperature river flowing through the jungle/forest. Rainy season so water gushing, rushing over the rocks and boulders, and well, I could go on all day raving about his place and/or mine, the tranquility here, the colorful birds and then the two cuties we were on the river with us. One a 27 year old Cambodian beauty, the other an Aussie, 25, who together currently manage another friend's hotel up here in the mountains. Music, cold beer and other delights made for just another wonderful day down here in paradise... a paradise established from years of hard work in the US, effort and dedication of which I am proudly not responsible for having to do anymore. My days are now mine completely.

I debate here a bit if I want, go visit friends for great discussions as we have people with varied views from all over the world locally, the Netherlands, England, Austria, Switzerland, South Africa, Canada, US of course, and the aforementioned Cambodia and Australia... and at the hotel there are always people from all over to engage with, play with my two cats, walk down the mountain or put in some new colorful plants in the yard for exercise [ have lost 30 overwork and stress created pounds just basically by living here stress free in the last year and now feel great ]. Have all sorts of orange trees, my favorite a seedless navel orange tree, bananas, papaya, passion fruit, pineapples growing on property and my neighbors growing organic veggies and free range chicken eggs for next to nothing...


Then at the end of the month I am taking a vacation from my vacation to visit nearby Colombia, this will be my 5th time since retiring July a year ago, and wow, what good fun in a wonderful country [ with much better food and prettier girls, I might add ].

Yes, I don't think I could have planned/dreamed it, knock on wood, any better. Thanks America, I truly appreciate being born in the most dream fulfilling nation in the history of the planet.
 

gdgyva

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Retired now and financially secure with no bills and no ties I have come to realize there is no American Dream. Rather, you just live and that is what decades of living teaches us. It's kind of like not getting your favorite toy as a child for Christmas but as you age you forget what that favorite toy was. Maybe not being in prison should be considered enough. Even bums are happy.

Not sure what your idea of the american dream is, but it sounds like you would have HAD it for most people

I am not far behind you....a few years till retirement

We are pretty set financially (i think), and should be able to enjoy the so called golden years without too many issues

What i wanted was a few things

1. To give my kids more opportunities than i had....doesnt mean they dont have to work for them, but i wanted to open a few doors easier

2. To actually leave my family with a little something after i am gone

3. To be able to enjoy the grandkids, take the occasional trip, and not have to worry about debt in retirement

Those were the goals....and i think i will hit all three
 

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It's rhetoric that is used to push political and social agendas.

Somebody here sounds bitter and jealous.
I think people here who have said they are living the American Dream did so by hard work and perseverance,rather than political and social agendas.
You should try it sometime.
 

Henrin

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Somebody here sounds bitter and jealous.
I think people here who have said they are living the American Dream did so by hard work and perseverance,rather than political and social agendas.
You should try it sometime.

:roll:

No, I came to that perspective by watching it be used as a political hammer for years.
 

Verthaine

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:roll:

No, I came to that perspective by watching it be used as a political hammer for years.
So what if it is?
If advocating a better life for people is a hammer,then call me a nail.
So the American Dream is a bad thing now?
Sort of a skewed perspective if you ask me.
If that's all you see about the American Dream,I feel sorry for you.

Politicians will use anything to get elected.It does not take anything away from those who have achieved their dreams through hard work and perseverance.
 
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Verthaine

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:roll:

No, I came to that perspective by watching it be used as a political hammer for years.

May I point out that being allowed to achieve one's goals and aspirations is something Libertarians have been hammering for decades.
So is it wrong when Libertarians do it themselves?
 

Henrin

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May I point out that being allowed to achieve one's goals and aspirations is something Libertarians have been hammering for decades.
So is it wrong when Libertarians do it themselves?

I have no idea what you're talking about. The idea of the American dream is rhetoric meant to make people feel better and push political and social goals. That's it.
 

Dragonfly

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May I point out that being allowed to achieve one's goals and aspirations is something Libertarians have been hammering for decades.
So is it wrong when Libertarians do it themselves?

You should know better than to try to engage him in intelligent conversation. You'd be better off pissing into a strong wind.
 

Verthaine

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I have no idea what you're talking about.-
That's your problem,nobody elses.
Apparently you haven't achieved the American Dream.
Why not?
The idea of the American dream is rhetoric meant to make people feel better and push political and social goals. That's it.


That's your opinion. I'm sure those of us who have struggled and worked our asses off to make something of ourselves would think differently.
 

Henrin

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That's your problem,nobody elses.
Apparently you haven't achieved the American Dream.
Why not?

I can't achieve something that doesn't objectively exist.

That's your opinion. I'm sure those of us who have struggled and worked our asses off to make something of ourselves would think differently.

That's just you succeeding in life through hard work. You don't need some special label for that like the American Dream. You didn't follow some corny notion like some universal dream that the country shares, but you own dreams and your own ambitions that are unique to you.
 

Verthaine

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I can't achieve something that doesn't objectively exist.
Again,that's just your opinion.Many people believe in that the American Dream exists.
Since you don't believe it exists,maybe that's why you haven't achieved it.

That's just you succeeding in life through hard work. You don't need some special label for that like the American Dream. You didn't follow some corny notion like some universal dream that the country shares, but you own dreams and your own ambitions that are unique to you.
So, believing in being allowed (that's what makes the American Dream,not just hard work,but being allowed to do so) to work hard to succeed is corny to you?
If I believe in the American Dream,that's my right to do so.
I decide what I need in life,not you.
 

Henrin

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Again,that's just your opinion.Many people believe in that the American Dream exists.
Since you don't believe it exists,maybe that's why you haven't achieved it.


So, believing in being allowed (that's what makes the American Dream,not just hard work,but being allowed to do so) to work hard to succeed is corny to you?
If I believe in the American Dream,that's my right to do so.
I decide what I need in life,not you.

When you decided to become a restaurant owner that was you deciding that. When you decided to follow through with it and take the necessary steps to open that restaurant that was again you. When you decided to make it a chain of restaurants and you followed through it by opening even more locations, that was again you. You followed your own dreams and ambitions and worked hard to make it into a reality. What you have in your life is from your own work and your own desire, not some abstract dream that is larger than you. The society around you that you used to your benefit to reach your goals isn't the consequence of the American dream either, but a consequence of many different dreams and ambitions all coming together to form what is known as the economy.
 

Verthaine

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When you decided to become a restaurant owner that was you deciding that. When you decided to follow through with it and take the necessary steps to open that restaurant that was again you. When you decided to make it a chain of restaurants and you followed through it by opening even more locations, that was again you. You followed your own dreams and ambitions and worked hard to make it into a reality. What you have in your life is from your own work and your own desire, not some abstract dream that is larger than you. The society around you that you used to your benefit to reach your goals isn't the consequence of the American dream either, but a consequence of many different dreams and ambitions all coming together to form what is known as the economy.

I'll concede you this.I'm man enough to admit when I made a mistake.
If you had just said this in the beginning,there wouldn't have been any misunderstanding.
May I suggest some writing classes to be able to get your point across more clearly.
 

chromium

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Somebody here sounds bitter and jealous.
I think people here who have said they are living the American Dream did so by hard work and perseverance,rather than political and social agendas.
You should try it sometime.

You're talking about people who made progress towards their goals before the economic collapse. The new reality for today's youth is that you can do everything right and still be ****ed. That is coming from college age kids of the 1% as well (at least, in terms of self sufficiency), but hey, my uncle who was top earner in the country for a mid-sized bank just got laid off. God forbid you ever have to deal with problems like mental health or backstabbing coworkers. In today's america, no matter how skilled or educated, you fall into the clutches of temp agencies and shady "temp to hire" deals real quick and let me tell you, not everyone can own a successful restaurant in this economy. It seems to me like you're making this assessment from a bubble
 
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