Our American Nightmare? The New American Dream Is Much Different From What It Used To Be


Our Time has the article Our American Nightmare? The New American Dream Is Much Different Than It Used To Be. (Sorry, I just couldn’t stand to post as my subject line the title the way it was written.)

We learn to view the world through the lens of our environment, which explains why neighborhoods have such a large impact on one’s future financial situation. A study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that the economic segregation of neighborhoods effected mobility; in particular, urban areas with distinctly separate wealthy and poorer sections had lower levels of success among the underprivileged. Logically speaking, this makes sense – with no peers or neighbors to serve as examples of a different lifestyle, people living in areas of concentrated poverty have no reason to believe that their actions can impact their lot in life.

As I read this, I kept thinking that there was nothing new here.  We learned this all in the 1960s.  Then I remembered that I am always telling people that we need to keep repeating these lessons for the people who weren’t around in the 1960s to learn all this stuff.  How are these new people supposed to understand the problems we are trying to solve if they don’t go through a learning experience like some of us did?

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