The Economic Perspective: “What Is the American Dream?”

Mary: This is Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program asks, what is the American Dream.  Mike, the American Dream has been a part of our national culture almost since the beginning of the country. Some say the American Dream is still alive; others say it is floundering.  But before that question can be answered, we first must establish what exactly is the American Dream.


Mike:  Summary Answer

  • If read, it has four parts
  • First, equal opportunity for all to get ahead, particularly by providing equal opportunity for education
  • Second, do better economically than parents
  • Third, be able to participate in ownership – homeownership
  • Fourth – no systemic blocks to anyone trying to fulfill their dreams
  • I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.