When we moved to San Francisco in August 1980, as students, my dream was to find a job to enable me to pay taxes. Then after I became a mortgage broker in September 1983, my dream was to buy our family home. It was fulfilled in April 1984 (and we still live there). For many years I thought that the term American Dream referenced homeownership in America. As a mortgage broker, I was proud that for over thirty-six years I have helped thousands of clients reach their American Dream. And then on January 31st, I read an article in “The Wall Street Journal” titled, “The American Dream is Alive and Well” by Michael Strain. It started with the sentence “What do President Trump and Bernie Sanders have in common?” Turned out that they, as many other prominent people, “voiced concern about the death of the American Dream.” Mr. Strain is the Director of Economic Policy at The American Enterprise Institute and is the author of his new book, “The American Dream is Not Dead”. In Wikipedia I found out that “The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals of the United States, the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, as well as an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers.”
The article (and probably the book) pointed out that so many “nay sayers” in America are simply wrong. On February 3, 2020 The Washington Post reported “Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin says “the American Dream is best achieved in Nordic countries.”
The article points out that “presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-declared “democratic socialist” has often said that the United States should be more like Scandinavia”. Actually Scandinavia consists of three countries – Denmark, Sweden and Norway. By adding Finland and Iceland it is commonly known as Norden. These are five completely different countries, with different peoples, traditions and history, with a total population of about 27 million, which constitutes about 8% of 327 million of Americans. There is another statistic. 5.52 million Finnish people are considered to be the happiest in the world. They probably accomplished their Finnish Dream. As far as Bernie is concerned, he reached his American Dream, as it was posted recently in an article in Politico “The Secret of Bernie’s Millions”. If he would move to Finland, he would become an honorable senior citizen, since the Prime Minister of Finland Social Democrat Sanna Mirella Maria is thirty-four years young.
P.S. I agree with Michael Strain – the American Dream is alive. While not everyone can reach it, everyone can dream about, like probably these four young people I encountered.
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