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Random Queries > What's the new definition of the American Dream?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Now, I know not everyone has the same American dream, but the NY Times has an interesting article on the "elusive" nature of the American dream for the next generations...


Read the article. Should the graduate have turned down the job, you think? Should he have taken the job?

Also, what's a reasonable expectation for an American dream? A big house? What about population growth? Safe neighborhood? What do you think?

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Yes, he should have taken the job! It sounds like he didn't want to pay his dues, but start at the top, and that's not how it works.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I can't even start Barb.

message 4: by ms.petra (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) :: blood shooting from eyes::
what Barb said x 3

message 5: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i think the idea of the american dream has def changed and evolved from when my parents were growing up to me to my kids. the idea of a life long factory job with a good retirement and health care that provided a nice house in a quiet neighborhood with a white picket fence is no longer even a dream let alone an option. i was in on the tail end of that and did 19 yrs of a factory life. the kids now are much more transient and way more about happiness than personal possessions and/or long term success. my DIL just quit a very good paying job with health insurance because "she didn't like it". this is in a town with 17% unemployment. they are considering a job offer in Murietta, CA because it seems like it is something that would make them happy. kids today rent more instead of buy and that makes them more mobile. in my opinion the american dream for a lot of young people has to do with joy, fun, friends and making enough to get by and maybe have a few gadgets. i am not sure this is a bad thing. i love seeing my kids happy and their financial struggles seem not to stress them out too much as they figure that tomorrow is another day

message 6: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments Kevin "El Liso Grande" wrote: "the kids now are much more transient and way more about happiness than personal possessions and/or long term success..."

I see that a lot too in people that I know, and have probably lived that way myself to some extent, although I'm not a kid anymore (except perhaps where mental age is concerned).

The problem is that as you get older, it becomes much harder to shift from one job to another at the drop of a hat, and the security of the older way of doing things begins to look more appealing.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

The money side of me cringes when I see this, as all the rent that is paid could go into a purchase, but if that is what makes them happy and they get to experience more of life and seems right for them what could be wrong?

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

The money side of me cringes when I see this, as all the rent that is paid could go into a purchase, but if that is what makes them happy and they get to experience more of life and seems right for them what could be wrong?

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

To quote Heidi;

Damn Straight Skippy!

message 10: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11669 comments "I know he is educated and has a great work ethic and wants to start contributing, and I don’t know what to do."

No, mom. His work ethic is non-existent. He's a lazy, freeloading, self-indulgent baby. Kick his ass to the curb, change the locks and let him grow up.

message 11: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11669 comments He's not delusional about the job market - he's delusional about life.

This is a college graduate who is doing odd jobs he would have done at age 12, living at home mooching off his parents and thinking entry level accounting isn't good enough for mommy's little hero.

Does the article say who paid for college? I don't feel like re-reading, but my guess is it was mom & dad, the "great enablers."

message 12: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) Thank you, Mom, for making me go to nursing school. And paying for it.

message 13: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11669 comments Thank you, Mom, for encouraging me to find my own way and spread my wings early. Thank you for not coddling me too much, and for telling me, "hey, the world can be tough so you'd better apply yourself and work hard for what you want."

message 14: by Phoenix (new)

Phoenix (phoenixapb) | 1619 comments He turns down a job for 40K a year? A single 24 yr. old with no real experience in his feild of study? WTF! That is asinine! I know far to many people who have a false sense of entitlement and it grates on my nerves. We are a family of 4 and if I had the opportunity for a 40k a year job, I'd be all over it!

message 15: by Phoenix (new)

Phoenix (phoenixapb) | 1619 comments I do think he's trying, the problem is that he's holding out for a position that he doesn't rate. Everybody has to start somewhere and the bottom is usually that place. Plus our economy does suck right now and jobs are hard to come by. Some money (and 40K is more than some to me) is better than none. It's not like he has to stay in that job forever and it would be a really good thing to have on his resume when the economy picks up again...it shows he was willing to work even if it wasn't his desired job.
For example, I'm finally getting to go to college this fall. I've been a stay at home mom with a special needs child for 12 years so I have very little experience outside the home. When I get my degree I don't expect to get the job of my dreams or even my 3rd or 4th choice of jobs starting out. Just because I'll have a degree does not mean I'm entitled to the best jobs. That type of attitude is very juvenile. And while this guy is only 24, him still having that attitude shows how coddled and delusional he is.
Okay I'm done with my rant now...and for the record I can see your point of veiw too Bun, I just know too many people who seem to think that the world owes them and everything should be handed to them...it has left a bitter taste in my mouth and I am harder on people because of it.

message 16: by Phoenix (new)

Phoenix (phoenixapb) | 1619 comments Okay I totally missed the tending bar part...I guess I pulled a Heidi and skimmed too fast. :) I can get behind the tending bar thing...in fact I'd so be doing that if this was not a recently dry town. But I still say there are a shit ton of people out there with entitlement issues, and I'm related to some of them!

message 17: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11669 comments Why would tending bar while looking for work be better than pulling down 40K in a tough economy and being able to live on your own (pay your own damn bills) while still keeping your eyes open?

I'm saying the boy needs to establish some independence and grow up.

message 18: by Mary (last edited Jul 08, 2010 11:23PM) (new)

Mary (madamefifi) Yes, it's not as if he is going to be stuck at Acme Insurance forever. It seems like it would be better corporate-environment experience than washing glasses and mixing up Cosmos at the local fern bar would. Plus, just because his brother told him not to do it, doesn't mean that was good, well-intentioned advice. Who knows what kind of relationship they have. Maybe his brother secretly hates him and wants him to fail. In this economy it just seems frivolous to turn down a decent job offer.

message 19: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) BunWat wrote: "Maybe he should go to Barcelona for a year and work as a short order cook and drink rioja and study the architecture of Gaudi and write bad poetry"


message 20: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments totally agree bun.

message 21: by ms.petra (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) yes Bun. maybe that is why everyone is so irritated by this article. If I could go back in time (via that time machine) knowing what I know now, I would definitely be having some adventures not living in my mom's basement. The guy needs to get out and live some life. It may not always be perfect, but it sure as hell will give him stories to tell later in life. :)

message 22: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i would have joined the peace corps

message 23: by ms.petra (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) I would join now if I could sell my house......

message 24: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments my youngest son is enrolled in culinary school because that is what he wants to do. my oldest son is a marketing person at an insurance agency. he is interviewing next week in murietta, CA for a music director position at a big church because that is what he really wants to do. my daughter wants to be a wife and mom so that is what she is pursuing while working at the library because she loves books. all of those things are unlike what i experienced growing up. i thought too much about the future and before long it was upon me and i had missed a bunch of living

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

BunWat wrote: "He's been out of college for five months and sending out four or five resumes a week. He's gotten one not that great job offer. "

I think in this economy that is a pretty decent job offer, especially for someone just out of college with no experience.

message 26: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11669 comments "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." (usually attributed to John Lennon)

Perhaps this kid has a checklist for his life, and is determined to stick to it?

1. HS valedictorian
2. Good college.
3. Business degree.
4. Deans list?
5. Career
6. Wife, house, two kids.
7. Retirement.

But while he waits for number five to find its way into mom's basement and fall in his lap, what should be one of the greatest exploratory decades of anyone's life (their 20s) is passing him by.

Cut the apron strings and find your own way.

message 27: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Jim "In dreams we enter a world entirely our own" wrote: "To quote Heidi;

Damn Straight Skippy!"

>: /


It's just "Damn Skippy." No embellishing allowed! OR ELSE...

message 28: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17337 comments Mod
::hands Jim a noseguard::

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks Sally.

message 30: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11669 comments Ruben Navarrette's column this week touched on this same article.

Read it here.

message 31: by ms.petra (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) thanks Phil. My 18 yr old and I had a conversation about this last night. She was asked to stay and work an extra 4 hrs at her retail job because two people called in sick. She is the only one among her friends that has a real summer job and is working to pay for college. I think the fact that all many of these Millennials have known is prosperity is part of the problem. I hope this doesn't come across wrong, but also too much focus on personal satisfaction from the job. A person should get satisfaction from within, from doing a job well. Yes, it is wonderful to find a job that you also DREAM OF and LOVE, but isn't the point of work to bring home a paycheck and support yourself and your family? The world still needs a trash collector, a plumber, and so many other professions that are not exactly glamourous but necessary. Personal satisfaction can come from volunteering, vacations, hobbies, etc that a real job will allow you to support. I grew up dirt poor and I have tried to give my girl all the things I did not have, but I also have tried to instill in her a work ethic and personal responsibility.

message 32: by Pat (new)

Pat (patb37) Who do I talk to about getting that claims adjuster job this kid turned down?

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