All posts tagged american dream

The limit to how far you can go should be how hard you try, not where you came from

We took the boys to Springfield, Ill., this past weekend, mostly to go to children’s museums, but we also wanted to take them to Abraham Lincoln’s home. Lincoln’s home, and most of the homes on the block, are preserved and look today much like they looked in 1860, when Lincoln moved out. We toured the […]

We don’t need more H1-Bs, we need more immigrants

H1-Bs are a popular topic in Washington. Tech companies want them, since it lets them get the benefits of offshoring without actually offshoring, and politicians want them because companies want them, and they talk about luring the best minds to the United States as a side benefit. It’s such a great deal, they say, they […]

The American Dream vs. the American Greed

Last week at church, our newly-installed vicar preached about greed vs. generosity, and he ripped a little on the American Dream, which he defined as each generation having better stuff and living more comfortably than their parents did.

I think he’s right, letting that consume you definitely leads to problems. But I was taught that the American Dream was more about opportunity than it was about materialism. And maybe that’s where we’ve gone wrong.

So what now?

The Republican Revolution is over. What went wrong?

Before I try to answer that question, a few words by Dr. Donald Prahlow, my high school history instructor, seem pertinent. In 1992 when Bill Clinton took the White House, Dr. Prahlow stood in front of a classroom full of young, mostly right-leaning students and tried to make sense of what happened. "As a historian, I have to say the best thing that can happen, when one political party has been in power for a long time, is to hand power over to the other one." He went on to give some examples. The most important thing I took from his brief aside before getting onto the day’s regularly scheduled lecture was that no president in history has ever been able to wreck the country irreparably in four or even eight years.

Not Richard Nixon. Not Warren G. Harding. Not Lyndon B. Johnson. Despite my strong feelings on that day in 1992, not William Jefferson Clinton. And regardless of your feelings on the two men, neither George W. Bush nor Barack Obama will be the first.

R.I.P.? The American Dream

Nearly 20 years ago, as I sat in a high school English class, the teacher told us all about the American Dream. And then she said there was one generation that wasn’t going to experience that dream, and she pointed at us.

As grim as things look right now, I can look around myself and see people proving Mrs. Susan Collins wrong, and that makes me happy.

How does the live-within-your-means movement apply to the current recession?

Joseph brought up some good points in the comments for the previous entry, and I don’t think a short response does them justice. He wants to know what the personal finance experts have to say about the current economic crisis.

Suze Orman actually went on TV a few weeks ago and called it an opportunity of a lifetime. I’ll explain.

The argument for paying your mortgage off early

I’ve had a number of people tell me I’m making a mistake paying my mortgage off early. If all goes well, my wife and I will be rid of that debt sometime this year.

I can understand the logic behind keeping that "good debt." But that’s idealistic. I have lots of reasons for getting rid of that as soon as possible.

Before they were Cardinals…

I just finished reading Before They Were Cardinals, a history of the American Association St. Louis Browns, by Jon David Cash.

I have mixed feelings about the book.

The best business book I\’ve ever read

I just finished reading Start Small, Finish Big by Fred DeLuca.

What I like most about it is that it doesn’t expect you to quit your job, it doesn’t assume you’ve already started a million businesses before (why would you need the book if you had?), and it doesn’t get bogged down in frustrating details.

What’s he mean by start small? Initial investments of no more than $5,000 and often much, much less, that’s what. What’s he mean by finish big? Read on.

Score one for property rights in St. Louis

Former mayor Vincent “Mel Carnahan’s just a redneck from Rolla” Schoemel’s eminent domain crusade against an auto mechanic’s garage is over.

58-year-old Jim Day gets to keep his business.