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Crumbling American Dreams

Timing is a funny thing—I just read this piece entitled Crumbling American Dreams via the NY Times blog by Robert D. Putnam, since my family spent the last week in Ohio, visiting the friends that we made while living there for almost six years. The featured town (Port Clinton) is like many other towns in Ohio and throughout our country. This is a story about opportunity, and then lack of opportunity. I didn’t know much about the devastation caused by the outsourcing boom until I moved to Ohio…and visited Michigan…and visited Pennsylvania…and Illinois.

While cities like Detroit are filing for bankruptcy, its suburbs are some of the wealthiest in the country.

I love this quote from Putnam’s feature:

“The crumbling of the American dream is a purple problem, obscured by solely red or solely blue lenses. Its economic and cultural roots are entangled, a mixture of government, private sector, community and personal failings. But the deepest root is our radically shriveled sense of “we.””

By now, you can sense a recurring theme in most of my posts about the USA made movement. To me, supporting USA made brands, shopping local, and supporting small business will be the only way to make sure that the American dream still exists for everyone, including my daughter and her generation. As individuals, our economic decisions send a message. As a collective, our economic decisions are powerful and create change.

While CEOS of Fortune 500 companies are choosing between exotic vacations and adding to their car collections while wearing designer clothes, the average American is deciding between which basic need can go unmet, or what meal they can afford on food stamps to feed their family.

Rebuilding our country so that everyone who is willing to work hard to make a life for oneself, now that’s the American dream.

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