Chasing the American Dream

by Krantcents · 42 comments

Post image for Chasing the American Dream

What is the American dream?  It is the American social, economic, and political system that makes success possible for every American.  What are you doing to attain the American dream?  Yes, you have to do something!  Unemployment is at record levels, housing and construction is down, and the stock market is volatile at best.  Well paying jobs in manufacturing were outsourced!  No one feels secure in their jobs.  What should you do?

Let me reassure you, it is still possible to attain the American Dream.  It does not matter how old you are, you can still do something.  Do I have your attention?  First, do something different or unique.  When Facebook started, there was MySpace.  Facebook was different; it went after a different audience.  Whether you are a mechanic, plumber, electrician, medical doctor, dentist or chef, you can be different from the rest.  These are jobs that cannot be outsourced.  Next, how can you make yourself indispensable?  Society needs skilled tradesmen (electricians, plumbers, & carpenters), good doctors, and dentists.  In Southern California and most metropolitan cities, a second language is necessary!  If you speak a second language such as Spanish or Mandarin, you are much more valuable.  Whether it is the job  or how you perform it  that makes it indispensable!

There are many careers a college degree in unnecessary!.  The electricians’ union is looking for apprentices!  High school graduates, please apply.  You have to be good at math and trainable.  These jobs are well paying and having difficulty filling them.  Why?  Too many high school graduates who are not going to college do not have the math skills to be an electrician.  We are not graduating enough Engineers from college or enough math and science majors.  Our colleges attract many people from around the world majoring in these specialties, but we do not encourage them to stay and work in the United States.  Computer science is another area that is well paying and does not meet the demand for qualified people.  Teachers are another profession that needs to attract the brightest and best people.  Remember these are the people who teach the skills to the future doctors, dentists and electricians.

What should we do?  To maintain the American Dream, we need to encourage our children to investigate these careers.  We need to place a value on the skills necessary to succeed in these careers.  For those of you in your twenties, thirties and forties and beyond, consider additional training; learn the necessary skills so you can participate in the American Dream.  Our community college system is one of the best in the world!  It is inexpensive and life-long training is important to your success.  So what is stopping you?  The American Dream is here, if you want it!

Photo by:  robyn318

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MoneyCone January 3, 2011 at 11:11 am

Great post krantcents! I know of a number of ordinary folks who buy homes, redo it and resell it for a nice profit – not talking about speculative flippers – these guys are DIY guys who spend a lot of time fixing a rundown house and *then* reselling!

There are ways to make good money – if you know where to look.

Krantcents January 3, 2011 at 11:28 am

Thanks, I want to encourage parents to show their children that these jobs are equally good.

Darwin's Money January 3, 2011 at 12:43 pm

I think the unrealistic expectations and rampant consumerism are killing the American dream. If you compare % of income spent on housing and auto from a generation ago vs today, it’s astounding. We spend so much more disposable income on a huge house and flashy car that the “American dream” is out of reach, both parents have to work to maintain the lifestyle, college is unaffordable and more. It’s about priorities!

Krantcents January 3, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Thanks for the comment. It is up to us (parents) to influence our children and show them the right way to conduct themselves, whether it is values, money management or what is really important.

101 Centavos January 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Interesting perspective, and not because I agree with your premise. There *is* are many worth jobs in manual skills, whether electrician, carpenter, welder or plumber. Trouble is, too many young folks want to be money managers or sociologists.

Krantcents January 3, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Thanks for your comment. Sure some young people want to go into careers they are unsuited for, but too many miss out on the well paying trades. Everyone needs training beyond high school, I just wanted to point out some overlooked well paying careers.

Suba @ Wealth Informatics January 3, 2011 at 9:09 pm

As an international student who came to this country to get a science degree I can relate to this. A lot of people go into finance because of the promise of high paying jobs. There are enough high paying jobs in science and engineering.

Krantcents January 4, 2011 at 8:15 am

Thank you. I appreciate your perspective. One of the purposes of my articles is to look at things differently and encourage conversation. As an international student, did you notice the translation button at the top of my website? I did that to attract and support the international community.

Suba @ Wealth Informatics January 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm

I did. The first day I visited your site and subscribed. I looked at that and didn’t find my mother tongue. I wasn’t seriously looking so ignored it :)

Krantcents January 7, 2011 at 7:22 am

I was curious because I don’t language to prevent the spread of information.

The Biz of Life January 4, 2011 at 10:58 am

“The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, also too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

~ James Truslow Adams, 1931

That’s a pretty good definition in my mind. The American Dream isn’t over by any mean, though there will always be barriers and challenges to overcome. The point is every American has the freedom to achieve as much as their talents will allow.

Krantcents January 4, 2011 at 11:49 am

Thank you for your comment. You are right, however I was trying to present some overlooked careers. I am suggesting that parents encourage and expose their children to those careers.

Invest It Wisely January 4, 2011 at 11:38 am

Have you seen this video? A little paranoid perhaps, but quite funny in other parts, and interesting!

Krantcents January 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Thank you for your comment. No, but I did take a look at your link. Very interesting!

retirebyforty January 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm

The pursuit of happiness my friend, is the American Dream. Unfortunately, Americans equate happiness with big house, expensive cars, and consumer debt. That’s why we constantly need immigrants – to re-normalize what happiness means.

Krantcents January 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Thanks for your comment. Aren’t we all immigrants? Perhaps we should poll what happiness means to you. Everyone has a different definition. Most people think it is money, because they don’t have it. A good life can be had for roughly $75K.

Len Penzo January 7, 2011 at 11:06 pm

You got it, 40! Happiness, and the opportunity to make yourself as successful as you dare to be — assuming one is willing to work for it, that is.

All the best,

Len Penzo dot Com

Krantcents January 8, 2011 at 8:48 am

Thank you, to me the the American dream is the opportunity to succeed. You nailed it!

Money Reasons January 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm

@InvestItwisely Good video, but like you said, the message is pretty paranoid… I like how the comics took speeches out of context to make their story more plausible… funny.

I think the real problem is cheap labor overseas… The overseas workers are just as clever as us for the most part. But instead of getting $20, $30 or $50 dollar an hour pay rate, they are getting as low as $1 an hour pay rate…

To be competative, business are shifting at least some of their labor overseas. Just to stay alive in the dog-eat-dog work of business.

The American Dream is slowly eroding away…

Krantcents January 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Thanks for your comment. In my article, I described quite a few local good careers that can never be outsourced! It is true, business will always go for the lowest cost because it means more profits. There are careers that can not be replaced in that scenario.

Invest It Wisely January 6, 2011 at 9:11 am

Businesses shift overseas because customers demand lower prices, and lower prices are to be found overseas. Eventually things should balance out, but having an anti-business climate does not help. With adequate capital and technology, one American worker would be able to produce what 50 Chinese workers produce, and it used to be more like this in the past.

Krantcents January 6, 2011 at 11:07 am

There are careers and products that can not be outsourced which is comforting in these times. Wee are the most innovative country, we need to re-invent ourselves. Consider this situationa wake-up call!

Roshawn @ Watson Inc January 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm

I do agree that the American Dream is not automatic. That has big implications in terms of responsibility. It is equally empowering.

Krantcents January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Thanks for your comment. The American dream is very democratic, you only get an equal opportunity to get it.

Joe Plemon January 5, 2011 at 5:42 am

The American dream has always been one of opportunity, initiative and ingenuity. I like this post because you point out that, while America is changing and the world around us is changing, one can still apply ingenuity and initiative to make opportunities happen. It is never easy, but it shouldn’t be. I agree with Retire by 40: it is the pursuit of happiness that constitutes the dream. If one ever believes he “has arrived”, dreams die. I hope I never quit dreaming.

Krantcents January 5, 2011 at 11:07 am

Thank you for your comment. Too often, people pass up on opportunities right in front of them, that was one of my reasons for writing this article.

Kris @ Everyday Tips January 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I think you have to be ‘ready’ for the American Dream. So many people have every resource in the world at their disposal, yet they still don’t know what to do with themselves. Not everyone is ready to go to college or trade school right out of high school. However, it is important you always do something so you can try to figure out what you want to do.

I wish more people would reach for their dreams.

Krantcents January 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Thank you for your comment. My purpose was to get people to enter into conversation and think about the American dream. Also, to suggest or encourage looking into a variety of careers that are overlooked.

Little House January 5, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I agree that the American Dream is the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness (or is that justice?) However, many people today refer to the American Dream as Retireby40 mentioned: big car, big house, lots of stuff.

As for obtaining the American Dream, I agree it is attainable, depending on one’s definition.

Krantcents January 5, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Part of the American dream are choices! I suggest considering these overlooked well paying careers that certainly could lead to the American dream.

Barb Friedberg January 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I am completely in line with your thinking on this one. Many folks are heading to 4 year colleges who would be well suited to community college and vocational training. This is a really important article!

Krantcents January 5, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Thanks, I was trying to expose everyone to many overlooked careers and point out how secure these careers are.

Yakezie February 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm

The American dream is now getting rich online and living anywhere in the world! BTW, loved your comment on FS on love/success. REsponded. Would love to read more!

krantcents February 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Thanks. I try to express my point of view in my writing.

Buck Inspire September 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Inspiring stuff again KC!  I felt like standing up and signing the national anthem!  Rather than take positive action, many people go negative by complaining and making excuses.  It’s all out there, go get it!

krantcents September 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm

That is always true, there are people who will just complain and take no action. Successful people just take action.

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