Moving on up: Can the American Dream still become a reality today?

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  • Mary E Petty Sandy, UT
    July 24, 2012 3:31 p.m.

    I just read family letters where my ancestors wrote about the American Dream as they were living it, with it's highs and lows and "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again". And I say the Dream is alive and possible, because I am living it. I've learned through their legacy, you gotta keep on walking and hold to the iron rod, going forward in faith and enduring in joy. And after you are rescued, you must remember your blessings, even in the Martin's Cove of 2012.

    Because, Life is both floating on top of the water and sinking beneath the terrifying waves as God's Wind blows you towards the Promised Land. It's about staying in the boat, not selling your soul for pottage by government. Its about preserving and exercising individual liberty, not enforcing the elitist's collective good.

    This Pioneer Day go study the lives of your ancestors, and learn how to keep the American Dream Alive. Study the Constitution and Bill of Rights - learn how they applied the principles of agency, justice, equality and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Choose Freedom and Dream.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 24, 2012 2:15 p.m.


    So corporations are making record profits during a recession, and they are afraid to hire anyone because they might have to provide them insurance? I think if you were honest you would admit that blaming Obama care for not hiring is a smoke screen as these corporations move more and more jobs off sure because they don't have to pay a living wage in China and Indonesia and many other countries. Now if you are an advocate of doing away with minimum wage and the 40 hour work week and allowing companies to hire people for a couple of bucks an hour and not pay overtime, and not provide safe working conditions and any benefits whatsoever, then you are right, Obama care is killing the country.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    July 24, 2012 12:50 p.m.


    I agree with much of what you are saying, but I submit it matters not who is in office (Obama or otherwise). The 'American Dream' to me pertains to more than just its' description here. Do people of all walks of life really have the realistic chance at a stable financial existence under our current application of capitalism?

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    July 24, 2012 11:07 a.m.

    Sure,the American dream is easy enough. Be born rich, go to the best schools to make connections with venture capital when you are 25. You then hire people that actually know what they are doing.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    July 24, 2012 2:41 a.m.

    Can the American Dream be a reality anymore? Answer is yes, but not a realistic yes. Hard work and faith in a dream aren't enough. Luck is in play. And when I say luck, I mean the kind that goes the way of the lottery. Winning the lottery can happen but it's not realistic, you know, like the American dream.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 22, 2012 9:33 p.m.


    "The bigger question is what has Obama done to make businesses less fettered by regulation?"

    Well Barack has given us Obamacare - initially set to cost 800 billion and now it's 2.1 trillion and climbing. Remember if you are a business owner you MUST pay for the cost of implementing this beast or have the IRS agents beating at your door. But hey - I'm just certain this will have minimal impact on business hiring and expansion.Right ?? Heck if I know I am going to get whacked with all these taxes and regulations starting next year I am just certain to want to ramp up and hire more employees - at least that is what Barack is preaching. The sad thing is most of his clueless disciples actually believe him.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 22, 2012 9:27 p.m.

    American dream ? Home ownership - freedom to make as much money as your ambition takes you? Well let's see here....

    1. If you have a business - you didn't build it. You are obligated to pay the government more taxes since all success comes from Uncle Sam and not our own genius and hard work.
    2. Wealth redistribution - after you make so much money then the government will redistribute what it deems as necessary...Europe pays as high as 75% taxes... Insanity!!
    3. Entitlement explosion - who cares how we can possible pay for it. Just borrow and spend baby!!
    4. 16 trillion in debt and climbing - every trillion more we borrow we forfeit more of our freedom to China.
    5. Obamacare was estimated to cost US tax payers 800 billion - now it's up to 2.1 trillion and climbing.... And yes liberals it is a TAX according to the Supreme Court.

    and the beat goes on and on and on....

    so - from a purely economic and business standpoint - using common sense - the answer is the American Dream is DEAD if Obama get's 4 more years.

    "What - me worry??" (Alfred E Newman)

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    July 22, 2012 9:25 p.m.

    As I see it, society; with the help and encouragement of our leaders, has become a self serving conglomeration. It's difficult to achieve the American Dream when so many are convinced that we are all free to make choices, but are exempt from any and all consequences. If someone gets injured or is insulted - the first response, it seems, is to contact an attorney. The moment that happens, the costs begin to rise and the momentum for life is put on hold.

    We have got to get back to a philosophy where everyone believes in working for what they get, believes that sometimes things go wrong and that is just life and we work through it, and finally, where people have respect for each other and move beyond the idea that it is okay in any way shape or form to take more than what we deserve just because we can. Employees have a responsibility to work according to the contract of their labor by putting in an honest days work for their wages And employers have an obligation to pay a fair wage without giving their employees the shaft for a healthier bottom line.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 22, 2012 6:59 p.m.

    To "Ernest T. Bass" lets see. Obama has increased the number of regulations on businesses. Plus, thanks to the healthcare act, an individual who wants to start a business can't do so without having to take on the added expense of providing health insurance for himself and his employees.

    Obama's policies are constantly changing, and are well documented at choosing winners to give loans to.

    The bigger question is what has Obama done to make businesses less fettered by regulation?

  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    July 22, 2012 6:14 p.m.

    This article and many of the posters have missed the real engine of American opportunity. Thank you HowToRaiseaMillionaire for nailing it: it's entrepreneurialism! Not once does the article mention that the real path to financial security in this country is starting your own business. If you look carefully at America's wealthiest individuals you will find nearly all of them did it by starting their own business. The real shortcoming in our current culture is the failure of the American educational system to teach that fact, and then prepare students to be successful entrepreneurs.

    Our educational system is a relic of the industrial revolution, where, in order to fill factories with workers it was necessary to preach the merits of "getting a job", working faithfully for the same company for one's entire career, then that company would take care of you in retirement. It's the 40/40/40 plan: work 40 hours a week for 40 years then retire on 40% of your salary.

    That was never the path to wealth, but we're now to the point where it's a dubious path to even financial security in the here and now OR in retirement.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 22, 2012 4:19 p.m.

    @Riverton Coog:
    What has President Obama done to prevent people from achieving the American dream?
    Name one thing. He hasn't raised anyone's taxes. He hasn't made it more difficult to start a business. His portion of the deficit is a fraction of what repubs have given us.
    One final question: How would things be different if McCain was elected? He would have done the exact same things Obama has done.

  • Michael De Groote
    July 22, 2012 10:35 a.m.

    It is interesting that if you frame the question as one of increasing opportunity, this issue loses its partisanship. Opportunity Nation has people from the left, right and middle supporting it.

    If you cast it as an issue about just helping those in poverty, it changes things and makes it more partisan.

    Creating opportunity is hard to argue against.

  • HowToRaiseaMillionaire San Jose, CA
    July 22, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    Nice Article Michael. I think it shows us the need to teach our kids an entrepreneurial spirit. We parents spend less and less time with our kids as we shuttle them off to sports, tutoring, music lesson, homework clubs and the like. Not that any of those are bad, but they won't make a balanced kid. We parents make a balanced kid. We need to teach our kids to be business people and entrepreneurs and in the process teach them how to give back. This is what makes a well rounded child and a well rounded society. :-)

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    July 22, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    Interesting how an apolitical article on a contemporary American issue such as this immediately gets used as a jump-off point for shallow partisan sniping. I'm looking at you, Riverton Cougar & DN Subscriber. Lob a vague unfounded insult, and walk away as if something was accomplished.

    Actually, it's not interesting. It's dull. And rote. And lazy.

    Interesting article, Deseret News, thank you. I'm sorry it's about to be inundated by partisan finger pointing.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 22, 2012 8:37 a.m.

    The point of this article was not whether the American dream is possible, because it still is and always will be. The question is how many people have a realistic chance of living the American dream, and that number becomes lower and lower every day. DN Subscriber you list several things that are important to living "the dream" and those certainly attributes certainly increase your chances of success. But you fail to list the roadblocks put up today (other than the "liberal 'welfare plantation'"). You fail to mention things like low wages and lack of affordable health care. Republicans don't want to talk about the export of quality jobs to other countries, the types of jobs that were key to helping people in this country live the "American Dream". These jobs are now being done by people in India and China for a dime on the dollar. Opportunities are dwindling, jobs that pay a living wage are fewer and farther in between. The American dream is not dead, but it is less accessible and harder to obtain.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    July 22, 2012 8:29 a.m.

    I have heard different on CEO compensation. Some are high as 400 percent more than rank and file workers. It was not always that way. Middle class wages are stagnant. That is part of the problem. Our society does not value education as it once did. Teachers are paid poverty wages, overworked and teach in crowded classrooms. The few at the top are doing well. The rest struggle. Another problem is society does not value marriage as it once did. It is a proven fact that married couples do better economically. This country has lost it's sense of optimism. To many are buried in debt, especially student loans. I don't have all the answers. We need new leadership. Leaders who will put the common good above partisan politics. That is a whole different issue.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    July 22, 2012 6:17 a.m.

    Question: Can the American Dream still become a reality today?
    Not unless government builds bridges, roads anf takes cae of you. Wait, who paid for the roads? Oh ueah, the taxpayer.
    In obamas way of thinking, it takes a village, to raise an idiot, to a greater or lesser degree.....
    o to go in 5 1/2 months.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 21, 2012 11:21 p.m.

    The success stories of the many people who rise from poverty are proof that upward mobility and the American Dream are still possible.

    Saratoga Springs Mayor and congressional Candidate Mia Love is a good example. So is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, along with the examples in the story.

    However, many of those who fail to rise do so by their own choices. They find it easier to subsist on the liberal "welfare plantation" where basic needs are met with no expectation of effort on their part. Education is denigrated, and work is scoffed at as "not paying enough" or "too hard." Those are cultural values which will keep people holding them in poverty forever.

    The keys to success are clear: Don't use illegal drugs. Get an education and graduate from school. Get a job, any job, and work your way up with more skills and proven experience. Don't have children until you are married and can support them. People who choose to help themselves by following these guidelines deserve our support and encouragement. And, they will lift themselves by their own actions and merits, not because someone lowered the standards and expected less of them.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 21, 2012 9:45 p.m.

    Great article.

    to: Chris from Rose Park
    Congrats. It's nice you remember those that supported you and encouraged you along the way.
    It would be nice if every child had that kind of support.

    It takes a village, to a greater or lesser degree..

  • Chris from Rose Park PROVO, UT
    July 21, 2012 8:15 p.m.

    Thank you for the wonderful article. I believe in the American dream because I have lived it. I grew up in the bottom rung and now, after college I have a decent job halfway through the fourth rung. I thank my supporters that I had growing up. My family expectations were always high and community support was great. I believe the American dream can thrive as communities work to teach children to work hard, to learn from mistakes, to have high expectations, and to get the best education possible.

    Looking back, I'm thankful for what I've learned in my past. I had to have a job to have money for myself as a teenager. I had to empty my savings to pay for dental care after my mission. I got a kick in the butt by my now employer saying they wanted me but I had to raise my GPA to their minimum standard. I could not have done it without the emotional and mental support from others. The best part of being American is now to be in a position to give support to others during their tough lessons.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    July 21, 2012 8:11 p.m.

    Question: Can the American Dream still become a reality today?

    Answer: Not while Barack Obama is president.