10/14/2005

The American Dream

Everyone has their own version of the American dream. Forbes recently did some research to see just how much it would cost to live the upper-middleclass American dream. The article makes many assumptions of what the American dream is including a vacation home, 2 nice cars, family of 4, a kid in college, ect. So what does it cost to live this lifestyle, only an income of $370,000 in California or around $200,000 in Montana. These numbers surprised me a bit as I thought low six figures was plenty to live large. I guess if someone wants to live the American dream, a typical 40hr a week job will not due.

12 comments:

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Connor said...

It all depends on what you consider to be your own dream lifestyle. Also, one must consider the cost of living in each area. To be honest, I thought $370,000 was a lot lower of a requirement for California and the $200,000 seemed high for Montana. I believe you can make these wages working a 40 hour/week job...just not here in southern Utah! My brother is proof enough for me concerning this matter.

Chloe said...

I think it's difficult to live off a 40 hour/week job regardless of what it is. That's why investing is so important, sure you win some and you lose some, but I think if you really want to build up your savings and net worth, a job that pays by the hour just isn't going to cut it. It's not just about how much you make, but what you choose to do with that money.

Elijah said...

I agree with a little bit of what everyone has said but i don't think that you have to be making $200,000+ the live the "American Dream." Especially in Southern Utah. Yeah, people might call B.S. on that one here considering the recent increases in Real Estate, but what exactly do we need? That's the problem, not only to people need a couple cars and a home paid off, but they have to Bentley's and the biggest house in the county. Our problem is not being able to afford our the necessities, but rather not being able to afford our lifestyle. Just like Chloe said, we need to manage our money better, not necessarily make more of it.

Elijah said...

.....sorry, insert "do" and "be" where they are needed......

Savannah said...

It may sound funny but it is a fact that your wants always increase to take up your income. The more people make the more things they feel they need. Many people live their whole life working a 40-hour a week job and making less then six figures and feel that they are living the dream. So I guess it all depends on what someone wants out of life.

sara said...

You’re just mad because I had some valid arguments that discredited your last blog. It was kind of funny how you tried to retaliate but you didn’t even go to the mountain plains meeting that I was referring to; so you made yourself look even less intelligent.

Dan said...

Sara your right, that argument you made against my baseball blog (which I clearly stated was just an attempt to relate it to economics) was mind blowing. Are you considering law school? If so you should send Yale some of your blogger arguments and I'm sure your intelligence and argumentive skills would make you a shoe in. I also like the response you made to my GM remarks. You obviously dismantled those as well. Sara, stick to trying to get blogger dates because I'm not going to get into a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent. Zing

PS: I would like to know your real name so that I can talk shit about you in class because I take this blogger beef serious.

maddy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
maddy said...

The "American Dream" in our day and age is definately flawed by materialism and affluecy to some degree. In my opinion the opportunity cost of living this kind of lifestyle has increased since our anscestors first sailed here to find it. If you want to make that kind of money and live that dream you'd better plan on a lot of schooling, a lot of competition, a long work week, and never enough time to go to that vacation home that you work so hard to pay for. The American Dream has gone from the idea of America being land of opportunity to America becoming a land of opportunity costs. If you want to beat the Jones you'll have to give up more than income.

Alex said...

I agree with Maddy. If we want to live the so called "American dream" we are going to have to do a lot more than just get an education and a good job. We will have to give up valuable family, friends and don't forget personal time. I would rather live a little on the cheap side and have to save my money than not be able to see my spouse for more than two hours a week. I'm not saying that every rich person in America works 60+ hours a week, I'm just saying a lot of them do.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Maddy's comments for spelling errors. I'll let Elijah slide for at least being attentive.

That seems kind of on the high side to me ... but maybe not.

I'm guessing that they're making some assumptions that aren't typical. For example, the 80th percentile (the lower cutoff for "rich") in adjusted gross income in the U.S. is about $75K. That's substantially less than the $200K in Montana.

So, if you go and check the article, those folks are living pretty large - home in Brentwood, second home in Lake Tahoe, a BMW and a Lexus, kids in private schools and so on. Really ... just about like no one you've ever met.