11/28/2007 - Few phrases in our political vocabulary are more abused than "the American dream." The standards for achieving the dream have become so open-ended and expansive that, inevitably, we must fail. Does it mean becoming a homeowner? Enjoying increased living standards? Having "opportunity"? Rising above your parents' class? Achieving economic security if you "play by the rules"? Or all of the above -- and more?
It's a mushy concept that inspires endless debates over who's been cheated and why. What's lost in these noisy controversies is the bedrock reality that we're more prosperous than at any time in our history. But the selective and highly critical reading of economic and social trends distorts our vision. Consider as a case in point a well-publicized report from the Economic Mobility Project, a group established by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Read the full article The Impossible Dream on The Washington Post Web site.