June 10th, 2008
05:21 PM ET

Is the American dream dead or just wounded?

Click the Play Button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The American dream is becoming more of a mirage these days.

54% of Americans say their standard of living is no better today than it was five years ago, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll. And only 45% expect their children to live better than they do. That's not the way it used to be in this country.

Today more and more Americans are struggling thanks to the housing crisis, the credit crisis, gas topping $4 a gallon, rising food prices and unsettled financial markets. From the end of the 2001 recession through last year, average household income actually dropped almost every year. That's the first time since World War II that the typical family was worse off at the end of an economic expansion than at the beginning. That's an ominous sign.

Economists say there are lots of reasons for the financial headaches including weaker unions that can't fight lower wages and more global competition. There's also been growing demand for skilled workers at a time when the typical American worker has fewer years of education.

The term "American Dream" actually was born during the Depression. Economists now refer to the period from 1945 to 1973 as the "golden age" when both the rich and poor prospered.

But that has changed. These days it's almost always been the rich who benefit from economic growth. One expert says the top 1% of American families – those earning more than $382,000 – received about three-quarters of the nation's overall growth from 2002 to 2006.

This suggests that the other 99% of the country may no longer be able to count on the idea of better times ahead. And if that's the case, we are in big, big trouble.

Here’s my question to you: Is the American dream dead or just wounded?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ben from Chicago writes:
Dreams never die, Jack. The "American Dream" is in a deep coma however. Due to the enormous amount of public debt and public obligations, either taxes will need to be raised across the board or the government will inflate the money supply enough to take care of the debt. Either way, the middle and lower classes will be hit the hardest. As long as public spending continues to grow, the middle and lower classes will pay for it the most, as politicians always find a way to help their friends.

Bob from Charlotte, North Carolina writes:
Jack, I just returned to the U.S. after living 5 years in a third world country. The American dream is not dead and anyone who thinks so should go live in another country for a while. It will certainly help everyone appreciate what they have here a LOT more.

Chuck from Missouri writes:
Put a fork in it. The Senate Republicans blocking the measures against excessive big oil profits and to provide more regulation on speculators today was just another demonstration that Republicans will do whatever they can to keep us on this disastrous course we've been on for some time. Anything more than a two-class system, the have-nots and the have-lots, is just unacceptable to them.

Dan from Chantilly, Virginia writes:
The point of the American dream was that you "could" make a decent living. There have never been any guarantees. Besides, the only dream that has died so far is the "I can live well beyond my means and never worry about repercussions" dream. If you work hard, get an education, and manage your money, you can still do well in this economy. The trick is to forgo luxuries every now and then.

Dick writes:
Define the "American Dream". Look, if money was everything, Jack would not be so crabby.

Filed under: Economy
soundoff (237 Responses)
  1. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    It's been dead since Clinton was in office.

    June 10, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  2. Alizabeth

    depends on who you ask. The American Dream has always been an illussion created to inspire a nation and showcase that in this country, anything is possible, and it was for most.

    However, with today's economic climate, millions of American Middle Class are losing grasp of that American dream and it will die a painful death if we do not elect a president who can comprehend our dire economic situation. Not someone wiling to spend billions of our money on suposedy rebuilding another nation's country who do not want us there.

    NY, NY

    June 10, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  3. David, Orlando, FL

    This will all depend on whether Bush gets to serve his third and fourth terms or not. If he does, he will do enough damage to the United States so as to render it irreparable. If Obama somehow wins, there is still the possibility that he, with a lot of help from his Democratic friends may possibly be able to staunch the hemorrhaging of the country’s life fluids and allow us to return to a semblance of normalcy. But we will never be the great power we once were – thanks to Bush and his mindless band of neo con artists.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  4. Courtney, South Windsor, CT

    What is the American Dream, anyway? It has always been more Death of a Salesman than Horatio Alger. We're such a materialistic culture, our American Dream of wealth and material success should well be going the way of the dodo; we'd all be better off if we reorganized our collective priorities, and less likely to end up like Willy Loman. So with all good luck, we are hearing the American Dream's swan song.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  5. A Kraft Naples, FL

    there is no american dream...it is an american nightmare...

    June 10, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  6. josh J. Athens GA

    It's taken a few shots, that's for sure. The economic indicators aren't all that zippy, and given the historical relationship between Republicans and recessions/depressions (almost every for the last 140-odd years was ushered in during a Rep. presidency), we're in a perfect spot for either major needed repairs or getting totally creamed.

    If we can correct in this round of elections, without the classic over-correction of swinging super liberal-which makes businesses and states pissy and brings another Republican back into office-we have a chance.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  7. Ron Dailey

    Neither. The American dream will never die. The path to it is only more treacherous than it once was, but through hard work and determination we can all get there.

    Ron-Knoxville, Tennessee.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  8. perry j

    the american dream is a lot like when you were in school and your mom and dad would say you will get out of your education what you put into it thus is life you will get out of it what you put inti it ... this is why the democrats are never happy they only want to take from the dreams of others so they can help those who do not dream or put forth to a dream
    perry j
    council bluffs iowa

    June 10, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  9. Jan from Boca Raton, Fl

    The american dream died when Sen. Clinton lost the nomination.

    With Obama there is no dream.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  10. Bob New Lenox


    There is no America dream any longer. Now it's a global dream. Oh and that's dead.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  11. Keith from Irving Texas

    Wounded, I hope, Jack. If it's dead, this will be a horrific country to see in 5 years. The thought of that sickens me.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  12. don in naples, florida

    The american dream is an american lie. People work hard only to find that the goal posts keep getting moved. Don't buy the myth. Work hard, save your money- move to a country in your golden years where the american currency trades at a really high rate, and where they have good medical care.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  13. Willow, Sheldon, Iowa

    I think that the American Dream of our parents, coming home from World War II is dead. No longer does someone have a safe, secure job that lasts until retirement (even if we should want that), and Americans have lived beyond their means for years. Sure, we could have their American Dream, but that dream meant one TV, one fairly nice car, a one car garage, and three bedrooms and one bath. We just don't want to live that way anymore, we are used to more.

    I just wish we could get back to where we used to be with our reputation in the world, as a strong, secure nation that was helpful and moral. Bush and his cronies hurt that one most of all. Now, I notice today, they are starting their war of words about Iran again, sure scares me. Hoping the Democrats, with their belief in diplomacy will help a little bit.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  14. Susan/PA


    Give it a rest.....you are becoming close to obnoxious. GRRRRRRRR

    Sorry for your loss, but, reality check, wasnt Sen Obamas fault.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  15. Jed in Redding, CA

    We're in a bad way, but there's light at the end of the tunnel. There always has been and there will be again. I'm sure people in the 20's and 30's thought we'd never get through the great depression. People in the 70's thought things would never get better when they were waiting in line for gas. Something or someone will happen and America will once again be the great place we want it to be.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  16. Terry in Hanover County

    What is the American Dream depends upon the individual, doesn't it? For many Americans, the Dream is for their children to have a better standard of living than they've had. That Dream may be mortally wounded for the average American thanks to the unbalanced theory of trickle-down economics which benefit the rich and hurt the rest of us. That theory was used during Reagan and both Bush Administrations. It failed each time but that doesn't keep John McCain for wanting to once more stick it to the middle and poor classes for the benefit of his rich friends.

    McCain realized his American Dream with his father's and grandfather's help. He also lived a nightmare as a result of achieving his ambition to be a fighter pilot, so I take nothing from him there except to ask why doesn't he want GIs of today to have the same health and economic benefits that he had? For many GIs lucky enough to return from Iraq, their Dream is wounded; for others, it is dead.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  17. mindy

    No, it is just in critical condition.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  18. Betty

    The dream died for me when President Bill Clinton put NAFTA in place.

    I used to have a good job, but the Indians have it now. And I'm just one of several hundred thousand.

    Don't ever tell me how great that man was. He started the Give-Away of American jobs.


    June 10, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  19. john marlton, nj

    No, the American dream is not dead, but the old fashion concept of working for it is ..

    June 10, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  20. Andrew

    Let's be honest here - the American dream was never meant for the average American. The "For All" aspect of the American Dream has never been more than a pipedream for the majority of Americans, a band-aid to cover all kinds of injustices committed against them in the hopes of "something better." In this respect, getting people to take more than they rightly should, the American Dream is alive and well, and benefiting those it was always meant to benefit – those already in power.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  21. Ed Reed

    With globalization and competition for scarcer resources, there is no doubt that our standard of living will decline. Equilibrium will be achieved somewhere between where we are and where the rest of the developing world is.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    June 10, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  22. Gigi in Alabama

    Americans will always dream of bigger and better things. It's seeing it to reality that is at stake now. Republicans blame it on Bill Clinton, but this old gal never had it so good and I did under Pres. Clinton. George Bush is the one that has almost put me under that bus that everyone talks about. Please note that I did not call him President . . . I never have and I never will. He and the Republican led Supreme Court ripped that away from Al Gore.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  23. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Jack, I don't see lines of people waiting for passports and visas to leave the country. Apparently there's enough of a dream for 12-20 million people to be here illegally. Americans need to stop whining every time the economy hiccups. Compared to WWII, the Great Depression, and the stagflation of the 70's things aren't so bad. The sky isn't falling every time a bird flies over and poops on you.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  24. Linda in Virginia

    I'm sure it's too soon to know Jack, right at this moment it seems very dead, or worse? Can you get worse than dead?

    June 10, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  25. Deb n Texas

    I think it is just wounded. It has been many years of briuses, however I do think that Barack Obama can mend the wounded. He is a brillant man, surrounded by brilliant people and I think together they can heal this nation of many wounds.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  26. Janet, America via Toronto

    Now that we a New View of what we can acheive, with our new President Obama, who has campaign on Straight Talk and Positive Issues. (Not the Negative Views of the other Democratic Senator).

    The Evolution of Change along with All Americans willing to take that GIANT STEP with President Obama. The American Dream has just re-fashion itself!

    June 10, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  27. Joe

    The American Dream is just barely wounded. Before Valley Forge, it might have seemed dead, but it wasn't. Before Gettysburg it might have seemed dead, but it was just wounded. At the coming of the great depression and the attack on Pearl Harbor it might have seemed dead, but it wasn't. It can't be killed by mismanaged wars, poorly formed economic policies, or terrible prejudice. All those can be faced down by great leaders and willing, hard-working people. The only thing that can kill the American dream is for us to quit, to be unwilling to sacrifice, to be unwilling to work together. Regardless of which presidential candidate you might support, you want what's best for the USA just as I do, and you are willing to work for what's best, just as I am. The American dream is not dead! If we work together, it's just barely wounded.

    Joe Barone

    June 10, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  28. David Alexandria, VA

    No - it's alive and well. It just needs some careful attention getting past the next hurdle. We go through these periods from time-to-time. Some a lot worse than now. But, it's the American spirit, willingness to work hard, and ingenuity which has always helped us both survive and thrive. I think the next traunch of our success story will be different from the last. We will have to let go of some of the past and adapt to a new future. Like the man said, "Get busy living or get busy dying." Sit shivah if you need to - but let's get on with it.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  29. sarah, Indiana

    my american dream is not dead, its working just fine for our family. although it may be a bit water logged at the moment. thanks for asking jack.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  30. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    The American Dream is extremely wounded because of the crookedness of the Bush years. However, Barack Obama has given me hope that the dream will become viable again. He is the most sincere, kind, and caring leader I've seen come along since Hubert Humphrey. The Republicans have done a terrible job in the last 8 years and should pay for it by losing the Presidential and Congressional elections this fall.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  31. Ann from S.C.

    Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are two examples of the American Dream that we can achieve whatever we set out to do if we have the grit, determination and persistence to go the distance. Hillary has defined dogged determination. Barack Obama has shown African Americans that a black man can be a candidate for president of the U.S.

    An important factor is how we see ourselves. If we allow the Nay-sayers and All Is Lost groups to take over, there goes the American Dream. If we keep looking ahead, if we have a positive point of view, if we remain positive, we can still achieve whatever the American Dream is. Bush may have done some things with which we disagree. We have elections every four years so we can put someone in office with whom we do agree. I think we are victims of our own negative thinking.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  32. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    IT all depends on how far down the economic ladder a Yank is Jack!!
    For the lower third, the wound is deeper and festering and I think for a decade at least!! The financial mismanagement and soaring debt have come home to roost!! " Icebergs ahead"!!

    June 10, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  33. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    That depends on who our leaders will be.

    If they insist on playing the same old games from the past 20 years, then we're screwed.

    But if they decide to correctly bring us into the new millenium, with a new vision, then we should be fine.

    We've survived Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and both Bushes. But if we do it right, then we might actually thrive!

    June 10, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  34. joe m

    it's close. it's been on life support and sadly we've left it up to the politicians to try to revive it. if we allow these do-nothings to continue to be in control of solving this problem, then we might as well start making the arrangements for the funeral.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  35. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    At one time between 1945 and 1980,there was an American dream. A place where hard work,loyalty and dedication to country provided a good life. Then along came Reagan and the dream was sold out to the wealthy,the corporations and Wall Street. The only respite was when Clinton was president. After baby bush,it will take a lot of work and effort on everyone's part to rebuild the dream,but I don't think today's citizen's know what working together for the common good means. I hope they learn before it's too late.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  36. Annie, Atlanta

    The American dream is in China and India. Now the question is are we smart enough to figure out how to get it back.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  37. Michael Smith, New Orleans

    The American dream is alive and well in millions of instances everyday. But these stories don't sell magazines, newspapers, or give the talking news heads enough to rant about, so we don't hear about them. As long as there are American dreamers, the dream lives.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  38. Ricardo Fairview, Texas

    That all depends on where you are standing Jack. If you live just at or just beyond your means have nothing in savings and didn't plan for times like this I imagine you might think so. Others have seen this coming for years. We were told about it and we bought fuel efficient cars years ago conserved saved and opted for better more efficient non invasive environmental alternatives like solar and wind to power our homes and hybrids to drive us around. We will be just fine. The other folks are on their own. It is the proverbial Grasshopper and Ant story.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  39. Tina (Ft Worth)

    Very dead. It died when Bush and company took control in 2000. He has allowed the companies here to run to China in droves and this is why he is not allowing the National Guard soldiers to come home cause their jobs are gone and unlike other wars your job does not have to keep your job while you are gone. Never in my life time did I dream that America would become as close to a Third World Country as it is now and in such horrible state and no one likes us around the world.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  40. Vic P

    If by American Dream you mean the days of the 60's when we owned one car, one black and white tv, we went out to eat in a restaurantr once a month and a computer was something found in a science lab, then maybe the answer is; we can still afford the American Dream but it's all the other stuff that's gotten expensive.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  41. Deb, Allentown, PA

    As a parent of two teenagers, I can only hope that the dream is merely wounded. If it's dead it, we've left a horrible legacy for our progeny.

    But the bickering, backstabbing and finger-pointing won't revive it (Jan in FL). Only a concerted, positive effort can restore our nation to its previous glory. The Democratic party must come work together to undo the damage that 7 years of the Bush Administration has wrought. It would also be nice if moderate Republicans could honestly acknowedge that damage and work across the aisle with the Democrats in the pursuit of solving our problems.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  42. Gayle, Illinois

    Jack, to put it mildly, America is mortally wounded. We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot, by re-electing bad presidents. We are bound to die from by our own hand and snooty attitudes. We as Americans are being fooled.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  43. George

    My hopes of the American dream came apart during the Viet Nam War, and my world will never be the same as many others who were with me, and many more from this mess in Iraq, and future wars. Lives of indivuals, and families will be forever changed by this maddness, and for what reason? My older brothers were in the Second World War, and it was a much different war than the last two. or three should you want to call the television spectacular called the Gulf War that we have fought. Never again should this country have a leader who is willing to throw so many into harms way, but is unwilling serve himself. If you don't love your country enough to serve it during war time, then you should not be elected to serve it at all.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  44. Judie

    A resounding NO!
    A definition.................The American Dream is the fulfillment of America's promise of equal freedoms, equal opportunities and equal protections.

    The fulfillment of the dream is one we have to be ever vigilant to protect.

    This American Dream will never die as long as there are people willing to persue it.

    What a wonderful country we live in.

    St. Augustine, Fl

    June 10, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  45. mitch martin arkansaw

    seriously wounded.we need a doctor with vision and foresight to pull us out of this one.fortunately,the heavens sent us barack obama.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  46. Prince of New Orleans

    The American dream is alive and kicking Jack. It will really kick come November and in January when the Republicans get the booth. At least then we'll have hope that the dream is alive. As of now, however, that dream is a continuing nightmare.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  47. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: The American dream will always be there for all of us.....it not the dream that fades.......but the distance of achieving it. Always remember, dreams are what success is made of.....it is neither wounded or dead........just getting more difficult to attain.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  48. Anne/Seattle

    The American Dream has developed a nebulous connotation. It once meant the chance of a new and better life by leaving one's native country for the US. Then it became the opportunity to become financially comfortable by the opportunities available in the US. When WWll came, we wanted the hope of a world to materialize without war and without material want. Now it means what ? Winning the lotto, owning ednless property and toys, enormous cars and trucks and the security of maintaining endless youth and prestige. Today, if the American dream still exists, it's meaning is a personal one that is available to those who set a goal and achieve it.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  49. Keith in Florida

    It's on life support, but not dead yet. The original American dream wasn't just about material things, but living in a society that was free and fair. A free, honest, and aggressive press is the first requirements for that dream to be met, but it cannot be met by corporate media. For example, Dennis Kucinich introduced articles of impeachment against President Bush yesterday in the House, and not one major media outlet has reported the story on air. There was a lot of air time devoted to a water spout off the coast of Florida, and how New Zealanders greeted the First Lady, but nothing on impeachment. The impeachment articles will die from neglect, without any public discussion of the merits and demerits. If the media is not informing us about something as drastic as impeachment, how can we hope to know what else is going on?

    June 10, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  50. Nora Corpus Christi Texas

    Americans are barely making ends meet. The day is coming when it might be too expensive to drive to work, feed your family,pay your bills, what kind of dream is that? Ten years ago it was wounded, now it is just dead!!!

    June 10, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  51. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    For the young at heart the American dream is not dead because they have time on their side to fulfill their dreams. For those of us who are no longer dreamers we feel wounded and that everyone else should feel the same way and if they don't we call them young, foolish and inexperienced.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  52. Greg ...Cabot AR

    For some Americans, their dream is dead and burried, for others, like myself, just wounded.....but depending on if, when or how the government addresses the problems in our country will decide my future.

    My wife and I work hard, have better than average jobs, live within our means and pay our bills.....but....the equity in our house has dropped over $25,000 in the past year due to the housing crisis, commuting costs have nearly doubled, food is more expensive...etc...etc....you know the rest.

    I have confidence that we will survive as a nation and life will be tough.......tougher if you are stupid....dream beyond your means but live within them........

    June 10, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  53. Al, Lawrence KS

    The American dream of two cars in every garage is alive and well. But without gasoline, where does that leave us?

    June 10, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  54. Russ in PA

    Dead. In fifty years or so it will be buried. Won't even make front page news, since the media doesn't cover much of substance anymore anyway...

    June 10, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  55. Jim in Cape Coral, FL

    The American dream isn't dead or wounded, it's just changed. It's changed to favor the wealthy and exterminate the middle class. Greed and corruption have got a strangle hold on our government and I don't see it changing until every last one of us underclass Americans are wiped out.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  56. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I'm reading the "Audacity of Hope".

    June 10, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  57. Patricia

    The American Dream is bleeding profusely all over my kitchen floor Jack. But, I've put a compress on it, in the hope it lasts until the election.
    I'd call the police, but, the guy who tried to kill my American dream is in the WH & can't be arrested.
    Palmdale, Ca.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  58. Bob in Charlotte, NC

    Jack, I just returned to the US after living 5 years in a third world country. The American dream is not dead and anyone who thinks so should go live in another country for a while. It will certainly help everyone appreciate what they have here a LOT more.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  59. Lori

    If we don't believe in the American dream then what's left? Things might look grim at the moment, but we have to hope and dream that we can turn things around. Americans are always at their best when their backs are up against the wall. We CAN change whats happened to this country.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  60. Censored

    Jack, I’m not sure what the American dream is! I grew up in the 60s thinking, work hard and you’ll be rewarded. You’ll have enough money to take care of things like, health care, school, a home, food, and a car. We held Doctors and Bankers in high regard for their professionalism and education. And if the country called we were proud to serve and were ready to fight for a sense of nationalism. All that has been destroyed by Greed and Corruption in every facet of society.

    There is no Nationalism, there is Politics, which has noting to do with serving the people! It’s instead a competitive sport where the team has to win regardless of the cost and legitimacy!!!

    Kids today have on sense of being an American, there is no national service or draft even though we’re in a War on Terror??? The almighty dollar has destroyed the United States. This idea that professionals must make millions just for status or they are just not living is killing society. Money has never been the answer.

    Our society should have been about Education and Science and curing disease and exploring the universe, together. I still believe today the education is and has always been the key, but money killed that too! And then there was Satan’s merchant, George W. Bush!

    Bush single handedly has hastened the end nearer and nearer. We can’t possibly pay our debts, less alone, Social Sercuity, and Medicare and Medicaid, education, Law Enforcement, on and on, we’re done!

    We have churches preaching it is God’s plan that you become rich, it’s OK with him. Not the same book I read!
    Of course this country is broken and circling the toilet, economists think you can keep raising prices and expanding the gap between the rich and the others and it will keep on growing! It won’t, it can’t, especially if salaries don’t rise with inflation.

    I am pretty sure this is why the Book of Revelations is the last book in the Bible. And when you consider the writer foresaw this turmoil and grief 2000 plus years ago it only adds to the truth of the Book! Just like Jesus waked through and tossed the tables of the merchants over, we’ve not learned, and he may do the same and worse next time, as it is written.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  61. Tom Huntington,NY

    I'd say the American dream is on life support for the next seven months and twelve days. If McCain gets the White House then we can pull the plug because he will issue the DNR order.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  62. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    This nation was founded from nothing but dreams. There was no reason to think a rag tag bunch of rebels could overcome the loyalists let alone the British Empire. That they might then form a nation on such high ideals as freedom and Justice for all, that's Obamatalk.

    Now we have the advantage of knowing America is a possibility. We've seen it. We'll see it again. That of God in everyone will not rest until we do.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  63. Mary - California

    Jack – the American Dream might become a reality with a different Administration and then again, it might be a "wait and see" situation. We are experiencing such a down direction in this Country with so many issues not being resolved and "what's left of our current President not doing much", that we need a miracle!

    June 10, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  64. Terry from North Carolina

    The American Dream is gone but not forgotten, all we have are our memories of what might have been if we had listened and not wasted away everything we had.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  65. Jay, Denver CO

    Neither, it has changed. Nowadays the American Dream is to be out of debt.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  66. Diff in MD

    Jack – The American Dream is an ever changing belief that we can be better than the generation before us. That dosent have to be a material thing such as every person owning a home,car or cell phone.
    The American Dream is believing in those basic principles of a free society-Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. As caretakers for the next generation it is our duty to improve on these basic principles. In the last 7 years this American Dream been violated and almost destroyed through the fear mongering and incompetence of the Bush administration. I am an American. I apologize to no one for my birthright. You can only push Americans so far so if your name is Obama or McCain you better be paying close attention. This is a government of the people, and by GOD we aim to take it back!

    June 10, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  67. Nancy in Florida

    The American dream of having the opportunity of pulling oneself up by the bootstraps is not dead. It may not involve earning a ton of money or owning a McMansion and fancy cars, but any person in this country still has the opportunity to better themselves through hard work and education.

    A recent article in the Asheville Citizen Times highlighted five students who came to this country as children and were not able to speak English. Three were from former eastern bloc countries, one from South America, and one from Mexico. None of their family members spoke English either.

    These five ESL (english as a Second Language) students ended up graduating among the top fifteen students (in a class of over 250) in their high school this year. One of them was the first member of his family to complete a high school education and all five will be going on to college.

    That is the American dream as I see it. That version of the American dream is not dead at all and these five ESL students proved it to me.

    June 10, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  68. Tom in Desoto Texas

    I first attempted to purchase a home during Carter's administration. Interest rates for homes were 15% and more but the country survived Carter to prosper. We could do the same, under a drastically different course.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  69. Anthony Smith

    Wounded like a lame duck! Unfortunately, it will get much worse before it gets better. Just think, if we would have saved the trillions spent on the war, Nasa, and the Katrina debacle, we all would have healthcare, a great paying job, money in the bank, equity in our homes,and a buck for gas!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    June 10, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  70. Bodo in Ann Arbor

    The dream is dead for the speculators who thought they could make a quick buck by picking up a half a dozen condos, and are now stuck with huge mortgages exceeding their resale value.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  71. Bert, Oak View California

    For the unethical employers, who have had no concience about stealing from American Workers for their own selfish gain, by using illegal labor; they have been rewarded by our government and their American Dream is alive, all at the expense of Legal American Workers, whose American Dream hopes have been dashed.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  72. Chuck in MO

    Put a fork in it. The senate republicans blocking the measures against
    excessive big oil profits and to provide more regulation on speculators
    today was just another demonstration that republicans will do whatever
    they can to keep us on this disastrous course we've been on for some
    time. Anything more than a two class system – the have nots and the
    have lots – is just unacceptable to them.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  73. Lan

    One American Dream has died. It may be time to replace it with a new one since we can't try and re-live the middle of the past century. We'll start to succeed when we adapt to the times.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  74. Adam Mercer Oshawa, Ontario


    The American Dream is not the only dream that is wounded...the dream of every parent that their kids will do better than them is all but dead. We need people who are seriously ready to get the Western World off the Crack we are on (oil). We need electric car and more nuclear plants to run them....then we can start to dream about controlling inflation, the numbers for which should be insane by the end of this year.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  75. William from Sanford, NC

    Jack, I'm 57, worked all my life and tried to save for the future. Instead of looking for deals on cars, condos, or Caribbean cruises I'm shopping for what kind of casket and headstone I can afford so the state won't send my body to the morgue at doctor school. If a normal, comfortable retirement is part of the American dream then it's on life support and the government is doing all it can to pull the plug.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  76. Mark - Asheville, NC

    The "Deam" began unraveling when President Gore was cheated out of the White House in 2000, and the Dems did little or nothing to help him. It seems that nothing has gone right since then: we have had a pretender president who has had his own (or Cheney's) agenda, and it has nothing to do with furthering this Post-WWII ideal. The Dems seem to have their own agenda, and God only knows what it is, I certainly can not fathom it.

    Prospects for the future appear grim: McCain will continue this 21st Century program of stumbling towards somthing (or maybe nothing). Oil and the Middle East will define much of this century, until we get the idea that we can become energy independent (like Brazil), and then perhaps some new and inproved version of The American Dream can pick up where it was left to die in 2000.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  77. Helen from Mifflin County, PA

    Dreaming ended when the Bush administration came to power; now all we have are nightmares. Nightmares about terrorists who grow in power and anger because Bush operates with cowboy diplomacy; nightmares of living on the street as foreclosures leave more people out in the cold; even if you have your home you have the nightmare of losing the job that supports the mortgage payments; nightmares of our soldiers coming home in flag-draped coffins; nightmares that McCain will be elected and we will forget how to dream of anything good.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  78. Jerry,OK

    The worker asks, "why don't they divide all the money up so we all have the same amount?"
    "Well don't you believe the rich would get all the money back"...replied the boss.
    "Yes", responded the worker," but...I mean...they should divide it up every week!"

    Jerry N/Tulsa

    June 10, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  79. Raj, Toronto

    Have you heard of fascism or corporatism Jack? The military industrial complex and special interests have a hold on the republic and what its needed is education for the American people. The blue collar people must understand that they are under attack by these people and they need to be stopped, and that will only be done but voting for change. Change means transparency, accountability, truth, diplomacy, policies in favour of Americans, educated, healthy, good wages, etc.

    Thats means to vote for Obama

    June 10, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  80. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Bush and the republicans have tried their best to destroy middle
    class America, ie the American Dream, but they do not realize
    how tough, resourceful and determined we are to not let
    this happen.
    Goals will be harder and take longer to obtain, especially
    with all the unemployed, and other diasters they hav e
    brought to our country, but we will not give up. If we can not
    hope and dream, work hard to accomplish these, than
    what do we have left?
    We will not let them destroy us.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  81. angie

    well jack the american dream is a nightmare right now but it would be totally gone if mccain becomes president if he gets elected jack im seriously considering leaving the country!!!!!!

    June 10, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  82. Don-Ocala, FL.

    If our government continues to cater the the rich one percent the American Dream will not only die but our country will move toward a revolution just as other democracies have done down through history. "If we cannot learn from the past, we arm doomed to repeat it!"

    June 10, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  83. Dick B

    Define the "American Dream". Look, if money was everything Jack would not be so crabby.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  84. LaVerne E Brison

    Jack: Eight years of George Bush and the Republicans have put it on life support. If John McCain gets elected he will pull the plug. LaVerne from Los Angeles,Ca.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  85. Dan, Chantilly Va

    The point of the American dream was that you "could" make a decent living. There have never been any guarantees. Besides, the only dream that has died so far is the "I can live well beyond my means and never worry about repercussions" dream. If you work hard, get an education, and manage your money, you can still do well in this economy. The trick is to forgo luxuries every now and then. I would like to know how many people actually have to chose between gas and groceries and how many are chosing between gas, groceries, an xbox, an HD TV, the newest cell phone, a blu-ray player, tons of clothes they never wear, etc.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  86. sandy in Ohio

    Jack, The American dream is alive. The recent Democrate primaries where a woman and an African-American could run for the presidential nomination, is proof of that. We live in a time when the dream of success, as measured by wealth , is harder to achieve but this is still a great country. We just need to put Obama in the White House so people can turn their hopes into dreams and their dreams into realities.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  87. Ben Johnson

    Dreams never die, Jack. The "American Dream" is in a deep coma however. Due to the enormous amount of public debt & public obligations, either taxes will need to be raised across the board, or the government will inflate the money supply enough to take care of the debt. Either way the middle & lower classes will be hit the hardest. As long as public spending continues to grow, the middle and lower classes will pay for it the most, as politicians always find a way to help their friends.

    Ben, Chicago IL

    June 10, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  88. Julianna

    Not for people like Brad and Angelina.

    Biloxi, MS

    June 10, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  89. Roaring Moose; Poland, NY

    Jake; I'm 60 years old and I still want My first home unfortunatly it looks more like what I'll end up with is the old folks home. If I'm lucky.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  90. Mary, Alabama

    This country has been severely wounded by two wars resulting in oil prices going sky high, the economy faltering and rising inflation. Two shows are taking place in the same theater- global warming is taking its toll on the planet as the world's economy takes a tumble. If the USA will just say NO to John McCain and a third Bush term, I think things can be turned around. I have great faith in an Obama presidency.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  91. Kay, Philadelphia

    No. It's just a dream temporarily deferred until real change occurs in Washington and Bush packs his bags and moves back to his ranch in Texas. He's used to smelling menure anyway. But, the next administration will still have to hold their noses as they scoop all the poop left behind.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  92. Shafi Alam

    A person cannot achieve his dream to be a reality if the person is forced to be in an environment causing confusion in people’s mind. Lack of job security, price of food and gas spiraling, paying a major part of income for health care, taxpayer’s money being used not for people’s well being but for a war causing groups of people killing each other, means of entertainment being used to get the people lost far away from truth and so on are not helpful for any dream to be alive including American dream.

    Shafi Alam
    Austin, Texas
    Now Tokyo, Japan

    June 10, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  93. Warren, Detroit

    The American Dream just got old; it's not what people want anymore. A house, a family, a job; who needs that? We have forclosures, divorce, and unemployment.

    Lets be honest, we can just depend on the government to send out another $50 billion stimulous loan from China to reignite the American Dream... or would that be the Chinese Dream?

    June 10, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  94. John

    Just wounded. Fortunately everything can be readily cured by the miraculous Doctor Obama. Stay tuned to hear more about next year's program. But first a lot of words from our many sponsors.

    Fort Collins, CO

    June 10, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  95. Frank From Selwyn

    Jack I couldn't be more content. I worked in a factory for 30 years and retired. My entire family and I have never spent a cent on medical coverage despite some serious health issues and a couple of bad accidents. We have always gone to a doctor of our choice and a hospital of our choice without any problems and any payments. We have never paid more than thirty five cents for any perscription drug. During this time we've never paid for any dental procedures but did have to pay a little extra for eye glass frames we chose over and above the amount we were allowed to claim.

    Now both my spouse and I each receive 2 government pensions deposited directly into our bank accounts as well as my company pension. I am living the American dream BUT unfortunately I am Canadian.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  96. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    Jack what exactly is the American dream? If it’s all about money and financial growth then let it stay dead. That’s why so many families are in debt and housing foreclosures are on an all time rise. We as a country measure success by all the wrong things. Lets get are priorities in order like rebuilding the institution of families, divorce is at an all time high also. Today folks aren’t just trying to keep of with the Jones, they are spending like they are the Jones. Live within your means focus on your family and education. Material things will always be here but people come and go. The “golden age” was golden because people just thought differently… it was not all about greed. We are a greedy society that lives in the now instead of planning for the future. Change our mindset and the American dream will live again.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  97. Mary Wethersfield CT

    If the "American Dream" is dead, then why are so many trying to cross our borders illegally? The government isn't to blame for your credit card debt, your huge mortgage, or living beyond your means, each individual controls that.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  98. Quinton

    Bush is lauhging right now as he sees Carlyle do well in the stock market, and also Cheney is snickering as well as he watches Halliburtons stock soar..while all the dummies that voted for Bush try to scrape pennies together ..loll

    Quinton Pierce in San Antonio

    June 10, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  99. Cynthia

    The American dream? Some people are fine, some have one foot on a banana peel and still others have one foot in the grave. That about sums it up.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  100. Jeremiah in VA

    Quite frankly Jack, "The American Dream" is on life support. Many American citizens are standing around it's hospital bed, with flowers, filled with nostalgia, worried about their old friend. This election will be the determining factor as to whether the dream will survive or not. It is probably one of the reasons my age group "The Millennials" are so energized. After years of food recalls, toy recalls, home forclosures, and an all around feeling that the government is not listening, people just want to feel like they have the potential to be better off in the future than they are today.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  101. RJ From Northwestern Pennsylvania

    To the rich it is a reality. To the middle class, it is wounded, until Barack Obama becomes president.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  102. Boston Ben

    The American dream is as alive and well as it has ever been. Mr. Obama is a case in point. The American dream survived the Great Depression; it still beckons millions to our shores. It has always been a dream of opportunity and never has been a guarantee of success. Sometimes its harder to pursue, sometimes easier; but the dream, itself lives on.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  103. James, FL

    Oh my god, is that lady serious? The American dream died when Clinton wasn't nominated? Really! I didn't know she was the representative of all 200+ years of accomplishment in this country. Get over it lady. So a woman won't be President next year, whoopty doo. The sun doesn't rise and fall based on the sex of our next President. If anyone is being sexist it's all you women out there stomping your feet and throwing a hissy fit cause you didn't get your way. Alot like my 5 year old daughter. And then you feel fit to complain that it's male hatred for women that kept Hillary out of office and not her poor skills as a manager. (20 million in the hole) Gimme a break. Grow up and show the level of maturity you claim to have over men. Girl power, right! And what a selfrightious power it must be.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  104. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    As long as there is an America there will be the dream. To bad that along with it comes the odd nightmare like George Bush.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  105. Bill

    the american dream is what you make of it. Bush did not kill it democrats stop him from doing anything for eight years, we would be energy independent if democrats did not stop Bush on his policy to drill here, and use more coal, nuclear etc.. but all political partys now fight about everything and nothing gets done!!!!!!!! Its not all Bush's fault!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 10, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  106. Bill,Al.

    It will be dead for many for a while,but like all Americans,you can't keep us down forever. We'll be back in full swing before you know it. But the financial institutions will never be quite the same! America is going to feel like they are "George" trying to get a loan out of Mr. Potter....for a long time to come.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  107. Uncle Whitey in KY

    Mortally wounded thanks to George Bush and Dick Cheney and friends.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  108. Kevin

    Jack, the "American Dream" is only achievable if your adaptable. If you think a High School Diploma and a dwindling factory Union job is your only future, leave the country. Only the driven diverse will be successful in the 21st century. So let's keep cutting the funding for music and art programs in our schools and eliminate creative thinking all together. So the word "dream" is becoming a falsity.

    Warren, MI

    June 10, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  109. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    The American Dream is pretty much unattainable by the next generation. We are so far behind most of the developed countries in the world in alternate energy, transportation, universal healthcare, and education, that it will take 60 years to repair the neglect of the last 30. Five percent of the population gets it .

    June 10, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  110. RC in Illinois

    Jack, as your children grow, you have high hopes that one day they will be more successful than you if they work hard and invest wisely. When I graduated from college in 1969, only 1 of 5 graduates had a job offer, unemployment was high, the Viet Nam war was costing us dearly in lives and money, and we were demonstrating in the streets. Today, most of our children have surpassed their parents in income and standard of living within a few years of graduation. The American Dream is not dead, its future might look bleak in many eyes today, but it lives on in our children. They will overcome today's recession and the Iraq war...just as America did in the 60s and 70s.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  111. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    That is just what it is today, a "dream". In the "good old days" China or any other country did not own us. You were secure in your employment. We were able to purchase our homes in the 60's and keep them. Gas was cheap and so was food. I worry about the kind of future facing my grandchildren who wonder how things will be when they finish college.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  112. Judy, Exeter, Ca

    Looking back over history, and the economy in my lifetime, I see peaks and valleys. No depression, but certainly recession. Some longer and deeper than others. We have always rebounded, and I have no doubt we will now. A change in the goverment surely will lead to something better for the middle class american. On the positive side (if you can call it that) we are not having to wait in line for our gasoline.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  113. James

    I heard today that one cannot even get a beer without getting vetoed so I guess the American and German dream is dead!

    June 10, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  114. Paul, Columbia, SC

    The American dream died due to a lack of honesty, integrity and complacency. The funeral will be in November. The burial will be in January. Judging from the path we are on; the grieving will last forever.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  115. Jerry -Roselle, Illinois

    Maybe if we all tried just once to live by " The Ten Commandments'
    we could have an American Dream.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  116. rick Viburnum Mo.

    My American dream is alive and well it has four wheels and I can move it almost anywhere.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  117. Billy G in Las Vegas

    the American Dream is NOT dead yet but it is going to die unless there is a major change in this countries trade policies. in the last decade the the goverment have allowed the Wall Street Weasels and Corporate Quislings to sell out the American worker to the likes of the Chinese Communists and Saudi Oil Sheiks.

    just about every heavy industry in America has been destroyed except for aircraft manufacturing and even that is in decline. the US Air Force want's to outsource their new refueling tankers to Airbus. what's next? fighter jets made in Russia and warships made in China?

    America can't even make basic steel anymore. good thing the current crop of corporate "managers" were not around before WWII or we would all be speaking German and Japanese.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  118. David NH

    The American dream, at least for me, was wounded. As Obama would say, they've boiled all the hope out of me. But I've taken solace and new determination from my kids and thousands across America just like them.
    They are doing what my generation only hoped for. They've wired their determination together as one strong voice. I hope they're as angry and fed up as I am. It's time the fat cats in Washington were wondering if they'd get a paycheck next month.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  119. Tony from Torrington

    It is wounded. If we try to go back to the days of Jimmy Carter, and become more of a socialist country, then we will probably hear the death nell. Hello Barack Obama.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  120. Joe in DE

    I hope it can be revived – that remains to be seen.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  121. Dave from Erin, Ontario

    The American Dream is on its death bed. Unfortunately, it's not PC to receive Christian last rites, nor is there anyone to pay for the funeral. So the rich are funding life support, and the poor 88% have no choice but to thank them for keeping the American Dream alive.

    June 10, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  122. Tony Vila, Hackensack New Jersey

    The American Dream is dying quick and at a frightening speed. Since the cost of gas was blamed on us, this too must be our fault. I got to live it for a while but I’m afraid that my children and their children will only hear the rumor of it, like camalot.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  123. Bruce St Paul MN

    The dream is still alive, but not for everyone. We need to end the marriage between corporate America and the U.S. Government. The govt should be pro-business, but not at the expense of the greater good. We need to move to universal healthcare and leave the insurance companies out of the loop. They have abused their power for too long. In short, we need to take care of the 99% . With fewer people in the work force in coming years, there is hope for the next generation if we give ourselves the type of society we deserve.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  124. ron canada

    the american dream is just that. once it was attainable, now it's being turned into a hope. the American people have been turned into a people that is more and more dependant on the state to get through their life. they have this preconceived notion that the country owes them they no longer have respect for anything or any body the black deadbeats blame the whites and the white deadbeats blame the government and nobody gets off their rear ends and works towards the American dream and those who do are criticised and blamed for one thing or another they are becoming a nation of wimps who want but will not work to get. they join the armed forces but go AWOL if they have to fight, then try to say they are fighting to end the war in a different way. the country needs somebody who will bring back the spirit of the USA i use to look up to not what it's become

    June 10, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  125. jim lee

    if you want to kill the dream ,vote republican. they seem to cater to the weathly. !!

    June 10, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  126. Richard Green

    The American Dream isn't dead yet, but it needs to be put on life support and quickly. McCain has already told us he knows nothing about the economy; and his use of Phil Graham as an economic adviser ,shows that he doesn't really care about it either. The infamous former senator isn't called "Foreclosure Phil" for nothing.
    The dream needs a team that cares about all of us and not just the richest and most powerful. As I recall, under Bush, all of their dreams have come true!

    June 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  127. Mary, Portland Or

    Dead or wounded depends on who wins in the fall. Bush's policies have put a severe strain on our social fabric, McCain’s would pour kerosene on it and light a match.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  128. Ben, Chicago IL

    Dreams never die, Jack. The “American Dream” is in a deep coma however. Due to the enormous amount of public debt & public obligations, either taxes will need to be raised across the board, or the government will inflate the money supply enough to take care of the debt. Either way the middle & lower classes will be hit the hardest. As long as public spending continues to grow, the middle and lower classes will pay for it the most, as politicians always find a way to help their friends.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  129. Dave of Oregon

    I am encouraging my daughter, a potential home buyer, to wait for another year until the median price of homes drops to an average of $160,000. Until then no reason to get into the market only to have what equity one has erode that much further. I would expect others to have similar aversions for home buying for the very same reasons, that is, of course, unless one has to make an immediate decision about either selling or buying due to economic conditions, but I surmise that most buyers, such as my daughter, will sit this one out on the sidelines until this time next year despite those crying for home buyers now, such as realtors, home builders, and erstwhile sellers who will take it in the pocketbooks.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  130. Michael M Phx AZ

    I managed a store in Harrison AR in 1997-98, and saw what Clinton's NAFTA did to a local Levi plant in town....it was closed and the production was shifted to Mexico (probably to China or some other flea bitten Asian country since)...that move put 200 employees out of work in a town of 12,000. One of the largest employers in town was WallyWorld (WalMart to the uninformed). And since "Chuckle Nuts" Bush became President it got worse with more and more jobs being sent overseas. I still wonder what George was going to have the newly unemplolyed US citizens "retrained" to do by his implication they could back to a trade school or a community college, to learn what? The middle class has almost vanished thanks to both Bush and Congress.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  131. Richard Green

    The American Dream isn’t dead yet, but it needs to be put on life support and quickly. McCain has already told us he knows nothing about the economy; and his use of Phil Graham as an economic adviser ,shows that he doesn’t really care about it either. The infamous former senator isn’t called “Foreclosure Phil” for nothing.
    The dream needs a team that cares about all of us and not just the richest and most powerful. As I recall, under Bush, all of their dreams have come true!
    Richard Green
    San Clemente, California

    June 10, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  132. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    The American Dream? Wow, that doesn't sound too politically correct for our times. What a quaint old term. Maybe it should be changed to, "The Global Communist / Capitalist Lowest Common Denominator Dream". The American Dream doesn't mean anything to those who profit at our expense. Unfortunately, that appears to be our own government.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  133. Ralph-Corpus Christi- Texas

    Jack, the American Dream is still alive and well, however, it's been dealing with a major sleep disorder for the past 8 years!

    June 10, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  134. Raymond Duke/Gatesville,Tx.

    The american dream is wounded but not dead. Most of this was caused by lenders packaging and shafting the investors who bought the bad paper. About 80% of the people who are losing their homes should n't have ever been giving the loans in the first place. People who could not afford the house but thought hell i'll buy it anyway and the other taxpayers can bail me out. The old and disabled and the ones who lost their houses because of long term Layoff's or loss of jobs i feel they should be helped. These idiots who bought a 300'000 home and couldn't afford a 100'000 home through the bums out and put their kids somewhere safe until they can pay their own way.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  135. Dee in Denver

    How is American life different than it was before 1973? One difference is that, in those earlier years, people lived within their means. An economy built on mounds of credit is a house of cards. A government that encourages its citizens to spend beyond their means is irresponsible. Americans seem finally to be wising up and cutting back on spending. If that continues, and the government acts more responsibly in financial and trade policies, the American dream of economic prosperity may be only wounded.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  136. Ron, Asheville, NC

    Jack, at my age, the Dream's in a coma. I can barely pay my bills, I have no chance of ever owning my own home, I see nothing that tells me that things will get better before I retire.
    And at this juncture, that's gonna be when John McBush turns 130.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  137. ginger Hunterdon, NJ


    It's sad but true...The problem is not what happened to the American dream but rather what happened to the American dreamers?

    In this dog eat dog, negative world we all live in, Americans have become far too cynical and no longer trust themselves to dream., lest they experience even more disappointment.

    But then, just when you think all is lost, some one the likes of Obama comes along and gives the young and old, rich and poor, the hope to dream again!!

    June 10, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  138. Mary

    Well if it is not dead it's badly wounded. The Bush Team has raped our constitution, and destroyed ever department of government. It's going to take a lot of people getting involved in governmemt to pull us back from the brink.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  139. Matt

    Jack, the "American Dream" isn't what it used to be and is constantly evolving- not always for the better. We can survive this and will, in spite of politicians.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  140. Carol Keltner, Coulterville, CA

    What dream? The only people who still think there is an American dream are people who enter this country illegally. For the rest of us, it is a nightmare.
    Coulterville, CA

    June 10, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  141. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    The American dream is just in debt.

    A trillion dollar budget is $3500.00 a registered American, an that does not include the States or Municipalities. A 3.1 Trillion Dollar budget is $10 000.00 a register American again not including the States or Municpalities.

    All that taxation must be paid by a registered American unless it is a tax on importation, exportation, tourism, or in some other method passed to a separate nation.

    This means the treasury prints the notes, and those notes hold a set value in the market equal not to itself but to the goods and services you'll use, nationally that does not matter much, but when trading with an international market...

    To be real: money can only be used once, it must then become a processed receipt. The system must find a zero.

    We are finite in comparison to the nation, the people must be aloud to function while finding real value with conscience and only find a reflection of material wealth equal to the duty paid to humanity.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  142. LAllen

    Was there ever an american dream? I never saw it.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  143. Derek New Jersey

    The American Dream has been seriously wounded for a very long time. We are lucky and fortunate to have Sen. Obama run and redefine what the American Dream is all about.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  144. Steven S.

    That depends Jack...

    If the American Dream is to have a secure job, own a modest house, raise your children, and assist them with a college education, then I don't believe it is dead. I firmly believe that these are all things I can (and am on a path to) achieve in my lifetime.

    If, however, the American Dream was nothing more than a desire to keep up with the Jonses, I'm not sure it was ever healthy to start with; and if it's dead now, then good riddance. The sooner our nation's dream stops being associated with three cars, five bedrooms, and 6 flat screen TV's, the better off we'll be.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  145. Colleen

    The American Dream. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. No manufacturing, no access to health care, no access to education, a crumbling infrastructure, a corporate government, and a government/corporate controlled media that lies us into war and God knows what else. Sounds like the American Nightmare. But who cares? Let's start a race war.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  146. Casey

    The American Dream is certainly wounded, but I think we are the type of people who will find a way to bounce back.

    We've been trying to sell a million-dollar property in CA. for a while and the price has been drastically reduced because of this market – fortunately, it's all equity and no loans. That said, we may have found our buyer today, so maybe things are looking up.

    We've got an accepted offer on a new place in Missouri – so we'll be moving out there and campaigning for Obama, of course!

    Missouri will go to Obama.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  147. Maria Minnesota

    It's now become a nightmare with the Reps in charge. But dreams never die!

    June 10, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  148. Jamie from Fort Worth, Texas

    Well if you ask John McCain the American Dream is fine, seeing as the fundamentals of the economy are good. Yet if you ask a sane person, he or she will tell you the American Dream is on life support.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  149. Bobby Webber


    The American Dream?
    You're dreaming!

    Stockton, CA

    June 10, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  150. Ralph, Long Island, NY

    We are not in a small down bump. Our standard of living will never again be where it was. Every necessity has gone up in price, and we are now spending a much higher percentage of our income on them, and will continue to do so, forever. In addition Medicare and Social Security are insolvency disasters on the horizon. I'm an ashamed American at what my generation is leaving for our grandchildren.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  151. Justin C.

    I sure hope it hasn't died, but we'll know for certain if John McCain wins in November

    June 10, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  152. Morgan

    The American dream is just that, a dream, that is, for most. The American dream is alive for people who can afford it, but for millions, it's just a dream. With the Iraq War, oil prices, and a growing recession, I'm starting to think of the "Canadian dream" as an alternative.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  153. Sherlyn Meinz

    Dead as a door nail, Jack.
    But there are still quite a few people living in dreamland with their blinders on... including many in the media!

    Sherlyn in Vermont

    June 10, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  154. blake from alabama

    yes, the dream is alive more than ever! Cause of a great President George W. Bush! Who has stoop up for American interest's and safety! I hate to see him leave office! And I Hope McCain wins! And not the dumb hopeless liar Obama! He has no expierence but McCain does!! Obama is like other typical democrats stupid! And Jack Cafferty is old and grumpy and unfair and not balanced!

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  155. Brittany

    I believe the American dream died when Reagan got elected. He was a man who almost got our nation bombed by Russia, and all of the GOP leaders think he is fantastic. I just can't believe it. I'm not even 21 yet, and thanks to the "good ol' party", I have lost faith in my country.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  156. Robert P. Forbes

    Over the last seven years, the American Dream has turned into a nightmare. Fortunately, America is finally waking up.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  157. Jessy

    These days the American Dream is a gameshow. Forget about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. Our best hope today is getting on "Deal or No Deal."


    Manhattan Kansas

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  158. Richard Donald Eldridge III

    Wounded. I believe this began with the focus on supply Side Economics. The idea that employers will hire more if they make more money and pay less taxes is a nice idea on paper, but it doesn't work. But under administrations that put the focus on workers, and we see real economic growth and a revival of the American Dream.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  159. David Park


    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  160. Robert in South Texas

    The American Dream is not dead. It WAS, however, bought the rich and powerful and is now resold back to us in small 'chunks' at highly inflated prices. When we question this we are branded as unpatriotic and that we should be happy with what we have.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  161. Dan

    It ain't dead Jack. It's alive and well ..... in China.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  162. martin

    The American dream has always just been a dream. It was killed by the Bush administration that turned that dream into a nightmare that contains, inflation, loss of jobs, war and the prospect of a depression.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  163. Sun.

    It's dead and Obama's tax hikes are going to make it worse. People had better wake up and listen.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  164. Robin L.


    Are the Republicans dead or just wounded?

    Robin L.
    Los Angeles

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  165. Monty

    Neither, Its being held hostage by high gas prices predatory creditors an outgoing president that thinks the american people are all ignorant and 2 presidential candidates who have no clue what its like to be a lower middle class american

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  166. Kaffee

    The American dream is currently fighting a global war on terror... please leave your message after the tone.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  167. Jeanie

    The American Deam is dead. The American people have not controlled (had a voice) in this country for some times. Lobbyist are in complete control of our legisative body and have been for some time. Look at Speaker Nancy Pelosi votting record as an example.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  168. Frank

    WOUNDED JACK, I mean badly wounded. Bush and his GOP officials have wounded our economy badly. That is why we need Obama to come in and fix it. Four more years of McBush's admin will collapse the economy beyond repairs. The time is now and I hope Americans here this voice crying in the desert.
    Frank, KY.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  169. Brad B.

    Americans may think it's dying. Mexicans think it's alive and well. The rest of the world is laughing.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  170. matthew

    Its on life support and the insurance company doesn't want to pay for the life saving procedure.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  171. Stiff Mittens

    Well Jack,

    We can always dream. After all, dreaming is free... oh... maybe that's the plan.

    Stiff Mittens
    Chicago, IL

    June 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  172. Charlie in Bremerton, WA

    Its in a coma, Jack. Only those who truly believe think The American Dream is alive in some form, the rest of us move on.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  173. Ryan Loney

    The American dream isn't dead, but it is dying. We need new leadership with a new agenda to bring it back to life. We need to elect Barack Obama and heal 8 years worth of wounds from the Bush Administration and irresponsible Republican leadership.

    19, Davis, California

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  174. Deepesh, New Jersey

    The every-man is struggling. The dream is there, but it's not attainable anymore. It was that the American Dream could be called the "American Goal," but nowadays it's becoming more and more of a mirage.

    It's starting to seem like that oasis in the desert, you don't know if it's even there anymore. It's rapidly escaping the grasp of the public.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  175. Ellie, Wilmington DE

    Wounded but capable of recovery if we take drastic action NOW to right the ship. If John McCain gets elected and we are faced with four more years of crime and greed-driven government, then the American Dream will be only a memory.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  176. DT

    Obama sets the tone for the American Dream!
    The Dream is alive we just need to come together not only as Democrats but as Americans!
    Love the non-biased opinion Mr.. Cafferty you say whats on your mind and not what your bosses are telling you to say.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  177. Allen from Hartwell Georgia

    Jack, I think "American dream" is a good phrase, and "wounded" is as good a desciption for it as any. We "common" Americans have been given shock treatment to remind us that the rich always have bigger and better toys, and no matter how much we dream and run up debts, the middle class will remain just that. The sooner we learn this lesson, and learn to live within our means, the better off we will be. Personally I don't dream to live like a rich man – just an honest one.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  178. Mike

    The American Dream is still alive, Jack. It's just laid up in an ICU unit in serious condition, waiting for Dr. Obama's much-needed care!

    Mike, Pittsburgh

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  179. debbie

    Dear Jack:

    The american dream is now officially on life support; only a miracle can bring us back to full consciousness! Should we pull the plug!!!

    Felton, PA

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  180. Clarissa Barton

    It was dead since George W. Bush reign and has been decomposing for the past 7 years.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  181. ~ Cher~

    Not unless people live within their means and we as a nation become ONE NATION, not a divided one.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  182. Andy from Ohio

    the American dream is alive, just harder to achieve! People just need to realize that they can achieve anything if they work hard enough for it! We dont need washington to solve our problems, we need the american people to step up like we always do, to overcome our challenges and prove once again WE CAN DO ANYTHING, WE CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING, WE ARE UNITED!!

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  183. Judith

    Dear Jack,
    The american dream is not wounded, but hidden in a box.
    Waiting for Obama to get released.
    To be lived after that over and over again.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  184. Phil

    As a 20 year old in the 2nd poorest city in the nation, it is hard for me not to believe that the American dream is dead. Social Security will cease to exist almost ten years before I am eligible to receive it, and our currency is supported solely by the trading of oil in dollars. Politicians need to stop waxing philosophical about life in this country and realize that our golden age is indeed ending.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  185. Rapid

    The American Dream isn't dead...it's comatose and waiting for a cure.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  186. Rick

    The American Dream is buried alive under the piles of money made by Bush's buddies in the oil business. Once dug out of that, it should be fine.

    Springdale, AR

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  187. Yusef

    as long as we have people that still believe in the American dream, "we will be . I do however think the dream is wounded right now, but we have to remember that we have so many things in this country we take for granted, that other people around the world would die for, we should be proud to live there and cherish everything we have

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  188. Robert Hildebrand

    given the cost of fuel, the mortgage crisis, and the never-ending war in Iraq, it's pretty much dead if you don't have a university degree – which means over 70% of the over 25-aged American people. The conservative dogma since Reagan is directly responsible for the deregulation that have cost the average American trillions of dollars, and continues to favor big corporations over the common worker.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  189. Lee in Keith Ellison's 5th Distict Mpls.

    We need to make those making over $300,000.00, who made 3/4ths of the wealth since Reagan, pay their fair share. We in the middleclass have been taking the brunt of the tax shift, as it has been shifted to local government.

    We could start by having folks earning over $100,000.00 start paying their share of Social Security.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  190. Michael W. Shore

    The American Dream is neither dead nor wounded. Its been replaced by the World's Dream. Instead of American taking a grossly disproportionate share of the world's wealth, it is fighting for its pieces with a hyper-capitalistic Asia, combined Europe and a Third World that is waking up to realize world markets exist for both their goods and labor. We cannot protect ourselves from this new World Dream, so we have to adapt to it, and that takes what we lack most in the country, leadership.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  191. Kevin

    It's wounded and Cheney's holding the smoking gun saying it was an accident.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  192. Elizabeth Ricketson

    The American dream is not 'on life support, but John Mcsame wants to pull the plug and burry it. If he is elected we can kiss this great country goodbye along with what is left of the jobs in this country. He wants to fly on the same plane with Barack because he can't afford the gas for his plane either.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  193. Eileen Currás

    The American Dream is Wounded by the reluctant attitude from politictians that do not want to listen. The Health problem has gottone way out hand. The reason is clear "politictians that do not want to listen."

    How bad has to get? Whom should be next and when will it matter?

    June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  194. Nick

    Jack, the American dream has been on life support for the past 7 years. The sooner we moved in a new direction, the better our chances of curing the economic and social malaise that have bedevilled the country otherwise we must begin writing its obituary after November particulalrly if Americans vote for more of the same.


    Silver Spring, Maryland

    June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  195. Martin

    The american dream may be wounded but will never die!!

    June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  196. William Sheffield

    I had it tough as a kid. My parents both worked and my sister of 18 months older was our babysitter. This was when I was 5 years old she being 7 years old herself at the time. It has been tough, but I worked hard to get a higher education. It has paid off. Better than the stock market I would say. I will not give up on the American Dream. Never.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  197. Chris

    As a senior in college, I am constantly struggling to keep up with the mounting debt that I am incurring every time I register for a semester of classes. I pay all my bills because I feel my parents already did their job when they sent me out into the collegiate world. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the American Dream, or the one that I have heard of all my life, is severely wounded. In one year I will graduate and try to find my place in this world, but I am a little scared as to what world I will find. This dream is not the dream that I had hoped for when I entered college. I find it hard to believe that the economy is on the mend, when all I see are prices going up on everything, from food to especially gas.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  198. Allison Young

    The American Dream is on life support. If John "I don't know anything about economics" McCain is elected, we might as well go ahead and pull the plug.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  199. Brad B.

    By the way, I'm an American living in Argentina.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  200. Nathan W.

    If we get more of what these past two years have given us by the lowest rated Congress in history, then yes the American dream will be over.

    Congress has done absolutely NOTHING since gaining power!

    It IS time for change. Get rid of this current crop.

    (Gee, I wonder if you'll post this being that it doesn't fit your slant)

    June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  201. Alexandra

    It is neither dead, nor wounded. People have given up on working for it and depend on the government for everything. The government should not be responsible for making people's dreams come true, we SHOULD have to work hard to accomplish our own goals. We are not a socialist or communist country!

    June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  202. dust

    yes,the american dream is more real than ever, Bush making peace with our allies, obama is really running for president and the economy will turn around and we will be free of mideast oil.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  203. Matt Florida

    The American Dream is not dead. You can't kill a dream. It is severely wounded, however, and we must work hard to improve its chances of living strong in the minds of Americans. And it isn't just one person's job. We all have to sacrifice to make life better in this country. Who ever heard of a group of people surviving when one person was doing all the work? We all need to pull together-Government, Americans, the world's society-to make sure that we all live in prosperity. Isn't that the American dream?

    June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  204. Lerome Brock

    Neither, it's being held hostage by the Bush administration.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  205. Harry

    The American dream is very much alive. The problem lies with the "day" dreamers that are being awakened from their afternoon nap and being told to get back to work or else.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  206. Bisher

    The American dream wil never be dead. We just have elected people who are trying to stifle it. Once we bring in honest people to play the game without cheeting, we will be in better shape. Life is about hoensty, integrity, and understanding.Our circumstances depend on the quality of leadership. Now we are suffering from poor leardship.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  207. Toni Boersig

    After the last 28 years of "do it yourself" & "trickle down economics" I feel the American Dream I was raised with (I'm 66 yrs old) is mortally wounded. It has been replaced with less of a sense of community & more of a sense of self.
    The younger generation seems to have a group of wonderfully altruistic people, a goup of very self centered people & way too many "just getting along "people.
    We older people seem to have lived through the best of the American Dream, even considering the wars.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  208. Bill Patterson

    My generation has been a terrible custodian of the American dream. This dream may not be dead but it is a shambles. However, I am optimistic that our young people are going to take charge (where my generation completely missed the boat) and right a rapidly sinking ship. We have at the very least , been complacent and self satisfied and look at where that got us!#$%^&*

    Bill Patterson
    Waldport Or.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  209. Nathan W. West Palm Bch, FL

    Maybe if we all get on welfare and become Marxists like the Dems then the dream is over. I don't, nor never will depend on the government for my livelihood.

    I feel sorry for those that feel "dependent"

    June 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  210. Bob Haider

    Dear Jack,

    What makes the global economy so frightful is that jobs outsourced overseas are replaced with low end, ten dollar an hour Walmart/Home Depot jobs.

    Nothing is replacing the jobs we are losing. No industry stands in their place as the airline and automobile industries once replaced the railroad industry.

    How long can we continue this without declining economically, militarily and politically?

    The answer is that America must lead the world in an industry, some innovation, that no one has-yet everyone wants. Something that will create good paying jobs in America that cannot be outsourced overseas.

    How about an alternative energy source?

    Bob Haider

    June 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  211. Michele M from Michigan

    American Dream? American Dream? Jack, it's more like "American Nightmare." It's been on life support for some time now; just waiting for the plug to be pulled. The American "Dream" is dead but perhaps Obama can give it CPR and bring it back to life...

    June 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  212. Ross F Bonny Jr

    You could make it much easier to find a way to comment on your website. You'd get more response.

    'Trickle Down' economics is a smokescreen. When corporate leaders are taking outrageous compensation packages, even when their companies suffer or go bankrupt, the workers don't enjoy the fruits of sucess or any protection from failure. Voodoo economics serve only the rich. The Republicans have pulled the wool over the eyes of American workers for long enough. It's time for the management types to share in the failures, rather than walking off with secured pensions while their workers are left twisting in the wind.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  213. Cecelia

    A lot of us have been pretty depressed about the dream. Dont you know that's why we hang our hopes on Obama?

    He seems to see, as we do, the problem is that ego and greed have taken over the process of life in America and the American government. He is perceived by many, me included, as holding our last hope in his hands. If we dont take the country back, yes, Jack. The dream will be as dead as a doornail.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  214. Mike W

    I say the "American Dream" is undead. It's like a zombie thats just lumbering around trying to eat people. And we're all running away from it or trying to get that...BOOM HEADSHOT!

    June 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  215. Jeannie

    I remember many years ago listening to Lester C. Thurow . MIT economist and Dean of the Sloan School of management at MIT.
    He said the only way the United States can compete in a world economy is to reduce our standard of living. He was dead right.
    CEOs have reduced the standard of living for all their employees while reaping enormous compensation packages for doing such a great job.
    We're all doomed Jack.


    June 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  216. Gerald, Acworth, GA

    Thanks to the current administration, the American dream is on life support. If we elect Dr. McCain, he'll ll pull the plug. If we choose Dr. Obama, at least we can hold out hope for successful exploratory surgery.
    When Republicans can stand in front of cameras, and deny the obvious with so much vigor, our choice for the chance to survive this mess becomes very clear. Bush just called the problem a "slowing of growth." What growth is he talking about? How can I get some of whatever he's smoking? At least if I'm numb, I'll go peacefully, and with less pain! I'll do better when I'm dreaming in the ground, than above it, the way things are looking, right now.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  217. Emilie- Las Cruces, NM

    The American Dream is severely wounded, but not dead. The only way to heal it will be for ordinary Americans to begin demanding that Washington listen to the needs and struggles of the middle class, working class, and poor. Our representative democracy has failed to represent the majority of Americans. What we need is a citizenry that is inclined to participate in politics rather than stand passively to the side as corporate America and other special interests hijack our democracy.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  218. Brendan

    I would love to say it is only wounded but unless the people in this country learn not to focus minor petty differences, the dream is dead. We have lost our sence of nationalism and it has been replaced with greed and fear. Unless this changes soon the American dream may be lost forever.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  219. Tom C Pasadena, CA

    The American Dream is alive, but criminals like Bush and Cheney have compromised it to the point where it's becoming the American Nightmare. But not even they can diminish this flame that burns so bright in the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere. Despite all of their incompetence and secret scheming, the dream remains...

    June 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  220. chad from missori

    The American dream has been dead, it's like movie full of zombies walking around with no direction.The working poor will turn into the working homeless in a fast and short time.Then Congress will pass a bill saying that a worker does not need an address to keep on working,and they will stick their chest out and say they did us(the working poor who turned into the working homeless) a huge favor because we still have a job and still can not buy anything.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  221. Kevin from Springfield, Virginia

    The American Dream is alive and well, we just need to remember its recipe. We need to roll up our sleeves and get to work on the tough challenges facing our country - and do so together. Challenges are good for our nation; they always have been. They inspire innovation and spawn new, better ways of living. We've always come out of the backside of our problems stronger than ever as a nation - and that comes from our desire for achieving the American Dream, as individuals and a nation.

    What's tough right now is how easy it is to divide our nation over inconsequential matters. We worry too much about playing "gotcha," tearing others down and pointing fingers of blame. And I'm speaking of the American people - the politicians and media are just following our lead and feeding our hunger for this cynicism.

    The American Dream is about coming together and building up our country together - neighbor with neighbor. We need to rise above the nonsense, stop playing the blame game, and work together to solve our tough problems - even if it means some self-sacrifice.

    We'll figure it out. I'm optimistic. And I'm very optimistic that if we don't figure it out, our kids will. As our youth have always been the heart-and-soul of the American Dream.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  222. Don

    Note how Obama's tax plan is targeted at "... the workers". He isn't concerned with business owners at all, only wage serfs. Unless workers consider business opportunities for themselves, and don't listen to his socialist siren song, the chances of getting ahead beyond a home with a mortgage are shrinking fast.

    Wages will not rise as fast as oil-driven costs, so we all have to get beyond paychecks by putting every ounce of our brains to work.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  223. Patrick Duetschler

    After many years under President Bush, the U.S. lost so much sympathy in Europe. Now with Barack Obama everyone here gets interested and hopeful about a changed America. I believe that that there still is something magic about America and that the American Dream is held on many places over the world (also in rich countries like Switzerland).
    Patrick, Switzerland

    June 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  224. David A Morse, Stoneham, MA


    Let me make this perfectly clear, American Dream R.I.P, Happy days are gone. The question should be, "Are you better off today than you were 8 years ago?" Its the economy again stupid. What a joke, John McCain, who said himself that he doesn't understand the economy, has the guts to claim Obama can't be trusted?

    June 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  225. Kenneth

    Jack I wacthed the Filibuster today on the Senate floor. What I witnessed today, the American dream is dead if the poor people do not call their Senators who voted to not proceed with the Bill and tell them that they are sick and tired of being sick and tired of their constantly representing Big Oil and not their interest.

    And they will be fired the next time they run for reelection if they fail ever again to represent their interest

    June 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  226. John Watson

    Time Changes Everything. The American dream is not dead, but it is severely injured. The American Culture will always evolve, and will have it's cycles. The rest of the world wants us to give up on ourselves, but the American People will come together rich and poor and this country will survive if only for the American Dream not to die.
    Pampa, TX

    June 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  227. Jaycie, Los Angeles

    Last week I waw an amazing chart on CNN which showed that the economy had been substantially BETTER under Democratic presidents than under Republicans. So, if we have any chance at all of reclaiming the American Dream of a better life for our children, we had better elect Obama as our next president!

    June 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  228. Bernie Borcz

    I graduated from high school in '72 and entered the Army in 73' because the good paying jobs that had always been there were fading away. While in the Army the town I came from went from being the world's largest manufacturer of railroad cars (Pullman-Standard of Butler Pa.) to a town that was dying. Some progress has been made since then but for me, I've spent the past 30 years in Sacramento, Ca were once again I am watching more dreams of more people being shattered by a corrupt government and money mongering corporations.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  229. matt

    will soon be dead if we don't get these issues underway. green way of energy more better paying jobs and cheaper food will be a great start

    June 10, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  230. John S.


    American's will always have dreams and aspirations. It's the American way.

    In the meantime, please call a paramedic before we need a coroner!

    John S.

    Bedford, MA

    June 10, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  231. nychele

    Its so sad when a grown man looks at his daughters and know he can't feed her today because his job has been shipped over seas. We live in America and the majority of our lively hood depends on foreign products and goods. Since corporations are sending American jobs overseas, let their country buy their goods since they are working more than we are. The American Dream is not dead, it has been shipped over seas.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  232. Ben

    The black son of a Kenyan goat herder just got nominated for President. I would say the American dream is alive.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  233. jasmine

    The American Dream is not dead,but fading rapidly due to the war,high gas prices,and foreclosure.Citizens have little to no faith during this economic decline in the country.

    Bush being in office is the worst travesty ever,in my opinion.Americans are making life decisions at the gas station,which is an upset, because we were ONCE the greatest superpower.Were in so much debt and it only increases.

    The only resolution is to have a democrate(Obama)in office to turn america around!

    June 10, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  234. John


    DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! Dead, Buried & Decomposing since January 2001! The American Dream is Dead for all Americans, save the blessed 1%, and its degree of Decomposition makes Resurrection no longer possible. Dead, Jack, Dead!

    LA, CA

    June 10, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  235. Don

    One word "GONE"

    June 10, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  236. Tim Campbell

    I'm about to have to close my bussiness do to over regulation and hiigh gas prices. Not sure how much longer I can keep my house. And if thats not enough I am about to loose my health insurance.
    Jack, I think the American DREAM is alive and well, just on life support.
    thank you Mr. Bush and the Congress

    June 10, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  237. Marguerite Strohl, Kansas

    The dream is not dead, and it will take more than an idiot, such as Bush and his cronies to kill it. Damaged, you bet. I say never die. That is not the American way. Too many good men and women have died to provide this luxury for our nation, and it will take an awakening of the people, to cure this evil that has been inflicted upon us. Oh yes, we will long remember BUSH, Cheney, etc.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:39 pm |