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Keeping the dream alive?

United States | June 5, 2024

By Luz Mariana Rodríguez

America, the land of diversity, where all nations have created a great neighborhood together. The land that gave birth to the dollar bill. Where emotion is expressed as living a home run at Fenway Park or feeling the sun's rays at the coast of California. America, the land of opportunities, where dreams come true...

U.S. Housing
Redefining the American Dream - Picture iStock | Planeta Venus

During the 1930s, a new term was born, this would be something that transcend the barriers of time and allow future generations to dream of the hope of a resurgent nation after the crisis of 1929. As well as the constant struggle for trade union rights, the demand for better working conditions as well as quality of life.

We are talking about the famous "American Dream" this idea was first raised by author and historian James Truslow Adam, on his Best Seller "The American Epic" written in 1931.

According to Truslow, The American Dream is an offer of freedom, of making small and big decisions, of aspiring to have better possessions and the opportunities to achieve them, as well as the accumulation of wealth, the promise of living a decent life and in accordance with one's own values, even if these are not widely shared or accepted by others.

After all, this is a land of immigrants who created a country where they could become Americans and transfer citizenship to their children, keeping the traditions and customs of their home country in a suburban lifestyle.

Broadly speaking, it could be understood that the elements of this dream boil down to "simple" factors: the idea of a stable job, freedom and a home of one's own.

As the years have gone by, this idea has become a collective thought in American society. However, times have changed and therefore the conditions in which this term used to be understood are not the same as 90 years ago.

Although it is estimated that during March of 2024, the youth employment figure in the United States was around 60%, the uncertainty that the country has been experiencing for some years can´t be ignored with problems that may be associated with the recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the volatility of international markets, which, in the wake of the war in Ukraine, they do nothing but concern.

It is important to mention the upward trend in prices, with services such as transportation, television streaming, insurance, car workshops and housing rentals being the most affected.

It is worth mentioning that in a country in which economic independence of their children is so deeply rooted, the thought of buying a house becomes an increasingly distant challenge to achieve.

A report written during the year of 2022 by the digital media, pointed out that the national average price of housing reached its all-time high by reaching $392,000 dollars in February of that year.

This is alarming, as it points to an annual growth rate of 12.9%. Similarly, the increase per square foot is emphasized by 14.3% year-over-year, as well as the median listing price of a typical 2000-square-foot, single-family home increased by 20.2% compared to 2021.

Picture by Luz Mariana Rodríguez

Although this is not seen as a very motivating scenario for the new generations looking to make their way in society, the report points out that the price of housing depends largely on its location, with the highest costs being in the state of California, with prices ranging from $900,000 dollars in Los Angeles to over $1 million in San Jose and Santa Clara.

Average prices include places like Baltimore, Columbia, Towson, Maryland, between $300,000.

In the state of Kansas, a report from 7/27 Wall Street indicated that homes have an average value of $145,400 dollars, as well as goods and services that are worth 10% less compared to the national average.

Although this study was carried out during the year 2022, the inflation figures facing the country are still worrying, closing last year with 3.4%.

Bringing the debate of uncertainty into the future and making new generations question whether the American dream should be kept alive? Or like everything else, it must evolve along with the resources that are available and the intellectual ideologies that go along with the new generations.

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