The American Dream… Revisited….

February 7, 2013

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HomeI am going to tell you up front that this post is a little whacky but then again that is the type of person I am.   I am always asking questions as to why things are the way they are. This idea is a paradigm shift that very likely will never happen.

The twentieth century American dream was always  about home ownership. We all dreamed of putting down a small deposit on  our own place and then paying a mortgage on it for the next thirty some years until it is finally ours.  The problem with that nowadays is that we find ourselves changing jobs every half dozen years or sometimes more often and those future jobs are likely not be in the area where we currently live. When that is the case then home ownership is more of an anchor than a blessing.

Maybe home ownership is not really the thing to dream about in the twenty-first century. It prevents us from having the mobility to seek employment elsewhere.  It is time to re-think the American dream.  Maybe it is time to put home ownership in the hands of permanent landlords instead of average workers. Flexibility seems to be an absolute necessity during these times. It is said the average person will change jobs over seven times during his/her career.  When we initially go to college or trade school to learn a craft we need to realize that in a few years everything might change and require us to go a different path in life.

If we need any evidence of this trend just look at the city of  Detroit Michigan. There are probably more abandoned home there than almost anywhere in America. But, in the 1960s through 80s Detroit was the place to be for the average American worker. Almost all our automobiles were made there and therefore that is where the high paying jobs were.  But like everything else things changed and as a result many lives were also dramatically changed.

RV Sue whose blog URL is on the right side of these posts lives in a seventeen foot trailer with her two dogs and seems to be having the time of her life. That is total mobility; she pretty much pulls up stakes and moves wherever she wants.  I must admit that at certain times I envy her that freedom.  Maybe she is living the true twenty-first century dream of independent living.

Let’s remake the American dream to being able to fluidly move from one job opportunity to another. My fathers generation who grew up during the Great Depression was the first to commonly have mobility. Before that most people pretty much were born, lived and died within a small geographic area. My generation extended that trend. We have brothers and sisters spread out across the country.

Too bad we can’t just pick up our homes and move them to where the current jobs are…

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