Jun 18, 2008

We've Got a Bigger Problem Now

Today on the Yahoo Finance Web page, columnist Anya Kamenetz asks, Whose American Dream Is It, Anyway?

This brings up a question I’ve been asking myself for years, back since I was partially brain-washed by the Dead Kennedys and Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death was part of my regular cassette tape rotation. At that time I didn't believe everything that Jello Biafra was telling me just like I don't buy all of what Kamenetz is selling. I do however believe that far too many people in this country (consumers, developers, and politicians) believed that the American Dream could only be lived by residing in the suburbs under the roof of a tract home.

Now look what we have; transportation problems, a fuel crisis, and a sinking housing market. All of it contributing to the failing economy. Sounds more like the American Nightmare.

Now, I’m not complaining about growing up in the suburbs. I’m just saying that we’re beginning to pay the price for the impracticality of the suburb infrastructure model. The Roman Empire crumbled for its faults. Who’s to say ours won’t?

Kamenetz suggests that more people are now opting for “Time, Not Stuff” meaning they’re willing to give up material objects as a trade for working and commuting less - in turn they have more free time. More free time to ride, hike, travel, swim, and relax. This sounds less like the American Dream and more like my own personal dreams.

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