Is the American Dream Alive?

Is the American Dream Alive?

After studying Modules 1 and 2 and learning about capitalism and the distribution of income, we have learned that the United States has the most uneven income distribution of any capitalist country in the world.  We have also learned that 20% of highest earning households earn 50.5% of all incomes. Those are households that make over $130,000 a year.  The U.S. has a very progressive tax system where 1% of taxpayers pays over 37% and the top 20% pay 88% of all taxes.  The bottom 50% (or households with incomes of $63,030 pay only 3%. 

At the same time there are 21 million 951 thousand households whose net worth exceeds $1 million. In 2020 that number increased by 1,7 million This means that 4800 people become millionaires every single day. According to the biggest study of millionaires conducted in 2017/2018 by Dave Ramsey Solutions, American millionaires share the following characteristics:

– Unlike 78% of American who live paycheck to paycheck, 100% of millionaire households save and invest. 

– 84% of them are self-made who received ZERO or small inheritance. 79% received NO inheritance at all. 

– 8 out of 10 millionaires had humble beginnings coming from middle- or lower income families.

– Only 31% of millionaires made over $100,000 every year during their careers, and 33% NEVER made $100,000 in any single year.

– 88% of millionaires graduated from college and 52% of them earned either a master’s or doctoral degree. Almost 2/3 of them graduated from state universities. 68% of them never took a student loan.

– From the moment of when they started investing it took 28 years on average to reach $1 million.

– It took an average millionaire 10.2 years to pay off their principal residence and 67% percent have zero debt which includes mortgage. The great majority of 76% NEVER carried a credit card debt.

– An average millionaire drives a four-year-old car with 41,000 miles on it and lives in a 2600 sq ft home. 
– The three most popular careers among millionaires are: engineers, teachers, and accountants.

Enclosed is also an article written by NC State Senator Joyce Krawiec about income mobility "Are the Poor getting Poorer … Well, No" 

After reading the articles and what we have learned in class so far please comment on whether the American Dream is alive and what you are going to do to live it. I am interested on your opinion on the subject. You are free to use the data provided or your personal experiences to support your point of view.

The due date is Tuesday, February 15, midnight.  The format is 2 pages, double spaced, 12pt font. The submission method is sending it to my email address as either pdf or MsWord attachment.  I will acknowledge the receipt. Please put your name on the essay. Anonymous work won’t be graded or acknowledged. 


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