The American Dream is what we’ve been taught since an early age that makes the United States an exceptional place to live. Home ownership has always been a key part of the American Dream. However, events in recent years has not only shaken the American Dream to its core, but has also caused a lot of people to rethink what the “American Dream” is all about as we move forward.
When we think about what the American Dream really means, a few key things come to mind. First, it’s about social mobility. The idea is that this is a meritocracy and if you work hard enough, you’re bound to succeed on the merits of your work. A necessary part of that is home ownership, at least according to the traditional notion. But is that really necessary anymore? The reality is that in recent years most people have looked at home ownership as an investment opportunity.
Many have argued that as our economy has become more and more sophisticated and with advances in modern telecommunications and the internet, there are so many new ways to achieve the “American Dream” without the need for traditional home ownership.
It used to be the case that only institutional and moneyed investors were able to invest in the stock market or utilize some other form of investment vehicle to generate income. That’s no longer the case. These days, anyone with a laptop and an internet connection is capable of investing and trading in a wide range of things.
So instead of using the traditional notion of home ownership as an appreciating asset, many argue, why not invest and trade in binary options, forex, or even alternative currencies such as Bitcoin? This may not be as crazy as it sounds given how the mortgage meltdown resulted in millions of Americans losing everything including their savings in such as short amount of time. At a time where most middle class families are being priced out of the real estate markets across the country, we may have to revise what we mean when we consider what the American Dream actually means. It’s simply no longer the case that the median income level earners can buy a decent home in many cities across the US.
San Francisco is ground zero for the housing market bubble. The median home price in San Francisco is well over $900,000 and for first time home buyers, they’re often priced out of the market because investors can swoop in and make cash offers well over the listing price. Ultimately, this raises the question, is the idea of home ownership even feasible for most people in many cities across the US now?
For this reason, people have got to start thinking outside the box when it comes to getting ahead. Otherwise, this country will face an ever-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots.
Basically, the silver lining here is that technology has the potential of saving the day. Technology provides freedom of choice when it comes to investment opportunities, which may be the only way to save the American Dream. This may truly be the saving grace of our time. All you need is a laptop and an Internet connection and you can generate income through investing and trading online. So, in a way, the reality of modern economy presents a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the tech bubble led to a housing bubble, which continues to this day. On the other hand, we have so much more freedom when it comes to deciding how we want to invest our money.
Therefore, some have argued that, perhaps the future of the American Dream should not focus so much on home ownership, but should instead focus on social mobility, and what that means in today’s world. After all, as I mentioned, that’s what the American Dream is all about—social mobility. It’s time we’ve had an honest conversation about this and stop living in the twenty-first century as if it were still the twentieth century. I truly believe this is the only way we are going to continue to thrive as a society!