(Page 2 of 2)
- “80% say they believe it is still possible to achieve the American dream.” (!!!)
And no wonder. Americans’ sense of what is “normal” has changed a great deal over the years. So many things once thought of as luxuries are now considered necessities. Americans have bigger homes, more gadgets and trinkets, and more access to more types of entertainment than ever before. And Americans buy more food at restaurants (or pre-cooked take-out meals from grocery stores) than they did 20 years ago (and thus pay more for food, rather than pay less to cook at home), and probably (I can’t find the statistics) far more than was the case 30 or 40 years ago.
INDEED, A NEWLY RELEASED SURVEY by ACNielsen shows that Americans recognize that dining out is an expendable luxury, which means the “squeeze” for supposed necessities is somewhat self-selected: “In the United States… consumers cited cutting down on take-out meals as their most popular cost-cutting method.” (Worldwide, the survey showed that the supposedly imperiled middle-class wouldn’t suffer if their finances seemed tight; instead, they would just “cut down on out-of-home entertainment and spend less on new clothes.”)
In other words, the apparent problem isn’t one of economic hardship, but of lifestyle choices and changed cultural expectations. What once would have seemed luxurious now feels, to many middle-class Americans, to be almost an entitlement.
All of which helps explain why, with the national economy booming to an incredible degree, President George W. Bush seems to receive no credit for the good news: Americans don’t realize just how good things are.
It’s especially hard for them to realize it when the mainstream media keeps using pretzel-twisted logic and misleading headlines to convince them that their livelihoods are frighteningly imperiled. But the truth is that the American Dream isn’t merely alive and well, it’s actually not even a dream. Instead, the beautiful dream is reality right here and now — no matter what the headline writers say.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?