Has the American Dream Evolved?

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CF Funding shares recent data and discusses the extent of the current American dream.

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66 percent of US adult respondents have been able to own a home in their lifetime.

CF Funding has helped many families achieve the dream of homeownership over the past 14 years. As the Independence Day holiday weekend has come and gone, CF Funding evaluates what other factors are considered to be a part of “the American Dream.” Does the dream refer to a shiny car, a large family, or a 3-figure salary? According to James Adams, who coined the term, “The American Dream is that of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement… 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 immediately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are.”

A glance at recent economic news may indicate that the American Dream is out of reach in present day. College graduates are having trouble finding jobs and are often living at home with parents. Recovery from the recession is slower than expected in many markets. However, a majority of Americans have achieved the American Dream, in regards to the dream of homeownership, education, and job opportunities, says the DDB of North America. The study revealed that 66 percent of US adult respondents have been able to own a home in their lifetime, 78 percent were able to obtain a good education, and 74 percent were able to find a decent job in their lifetime, yet only 40 percent described themselves as living the American Dream. The reason many Americans remain pessimistic may be that the American Dream has evolved.

Factors such as “buying the car of one’s dreams” at 35 percent and “making a lot of money” at 25 percent were rated less easy to attain by respondents. However, factors that are less related to wealth such as “decent health and medical care,” “feeling relatively safe," “being treated fairly,” and “having enough food to eat” rated closer to the 80-90 percent ranges. Are Americans less grateful than in previous decades, or has something else changed? According to Mosche Cohen as reported on CNBC on July 9th, achieving and maintaining the American dream “have become so difficult that people are not enjoying it.” People are trying to “shoehorn themselves into this concept of the American dream, and they are losing the freedoms it’s supposed to provide… you take a step back and you say things are getting better. Are they enough? Never, because life is about growing higher and higher, but things are getting better.”

CF Funding agrees that the economy is improving, and will continue to improve in the coming years. The dream of homeownership is becoming easier to attain, especially for first-time homebuyers and veterans who can receive up to $10,000 in down payment assistance from programs like IHDA’s Welcome Home Illinois. For more information on these programs, contact CF Funding at 888-344-4080 or http://www.cffunding.com.

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Giorgio U Ferrero
CF Funding
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