No College Degree, Job Hunting, Renting: Shifting the Paradigm of the New American Dream.

What’s “The New American Dream”? The old American Dream is not so clear cut any more. Funny how I love watching “Mad Men” so much.  With all its secrets and decadent plotlines, Mad Men is pretty quaint and nostalgic. The show documents how the American Dream of owning your own home, getting a college education and having lifetime job security.

Now it is 2010, and that dream is so out of reach for some people that it just may be prudent to rethink it.  You can live a nice life without owning a home. There are plenty of people who live in New York City who rent including myself. Owning a home is not the only investment instrument on the block.  Plus, if you only buy a home with the idea that can flip it for profit in a few years, then you may be stuck with a money pit.

I have a college degree, but I also have college loan debt.  Higher education is so expensive with college tuition rising.  I am not advocating NOT getting a college degree, but it is not the only key to success.  Technical schools, community colleges and apprenticeships are other ways to get the skills needed for some jobs.

My parents always told me that if I got a good job, then I would have job security  and never worry. Nowadays, most people can’t imagine being at the same job for ten, twenty or thirty years.

I could go on, but the point is that Americans are not monolith.  Why should there only one standard  for the American dream?


Salon article, The fantasy of a vast upper middle class