WBEZ | American Dream http://www.wbez.org/tags/american-dream Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en American Dream Deferred: The Newsroom 09/24 http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/american-dream-deferred-newsroom-0924-102629 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/newspaper.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/50101227" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="600"></iframe></p><p>As part of our series looking at economic mobility in America, Front &amp; Center recently visited a rally in Milwaukee for President Barack Obama.</p><p>The President addressed a crowd of thousands. He spoke about helping working class families by raising taxes for the wealthy and maintaining more jobs in the United States. Mr. Obama said that &quot;in this country, hard work should pay off.&quot; He added that &quot;everyone should get a shot.&quot;</p><p>Supporters of Republican nominee Mitt Romney said the message was empty rhetoric and expressed concern about the number of young Americans who are unemployed.</p><p>We asked those in attendance what they thought of the American Dream, and whether it&#39;s attainable.</p><p>In other news about climbing the economic ladder.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/21/income-inequality-and-educational-opportunity/" target="_blank"><strong>New York Times: Income Inequality and Educational Opportunity</strong></a></p><p>&quot;The United States is caught in a vicious cycle largely of its own making. Rising income inequality is breeding more inequality in educational opportunity, which results in greater inequality in educational attainment. That, in turn, undermines the intergenerational mobility upon which Americans have always prided themselves and perpetuates income inequality from generation to generation.&quot;</p><p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/census-signs-of-economy-bottoming-out-as-mobility-rises-fewer-young-adults-live-with-parents/2012/09/19/9bb6ffd0-02ce-11e2-9132-f2750cd65f97_story.html" target="_blank"><strong>Associated Press: Census data show rising mobility, other social changes that suggest recovery</strong></a></p><p>&ldquo;There are signs that young adults have turned a corner,&rdquo; said Mark Mather, associate vice president at the Population Reference Bureau. &ldquo;More young adults are staying in school, which will increase their potential earnings when the job market bounces back. It&rsquo;s going to take some time, but we should see more young adults entering the labor force, buying homes and starting families as economic conditions improve.&rdquo;</p><p><a href="http://www.voices4kids.org/number-of-illinois-children-living-in-poverty-increases-to-660000" target="_blank"><strong>Voices for Illinois Children: Number of Illinois Children Living in Poverty Increases to 660,000</strong></a></p><p>&ldquo;Growing up in poverty can have serious and long-lasting effects on children&rsquo;s health, development, and overall well-being. The effects of poverty have a well-documented impact on young children&rsquo;s developing brains. And children who grow up in poverty are more likely to experience harmful levels of stress, more likely to struggle in school, and more likely to have behavioral, social, and emotional problems than their peers.&rdquo;</p><p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/us/politics/struggling-young-adults-pose-challenge-for-campaigns.html?pagewanted=all"><strong>New York Times: Struggling Young Adults Are Question Mark for Campaigns</strong></a></p><p>&quot;At a recent jobs fair in Atlanta, Latasha Kelly, 22, said she was distressed by the hundreds of people who also came out. Ms. Kelly dropped out of college four years ago because she could not afford it. She has completed a city-sponsored job training program in customer service. If she is lucky, she says, she will find work at a store like Walmart.&quot;</p></p> Mon, 24 Sep 2012 13:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/american-dream-deferred-newsroom-0924-102629 Retirement delayed, American Dream deferred http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/retirement-delayed-american-dream-deferred-98672 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/retirement_flickr_401K.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="Do Boomers see retirement ahead? Or just perpetual work? (Flickr/401K)" /></div><p>I remember when I was a boy, my dad knew the exact day he was eligible for retirement. He planned to retire on that that day, and not one day longer. And, in fact, he did, without a moment of hesitation or regret.</p><p>But us Baby Boomers are of mixed mind about retirement. Some of us got lucky in the salad days of the Clinton administration and retired early. Others of us who could afford to retire decided not to, because we loved our jobs and wanted to continue working. But in the last 10 years, and especially since the market collapse of 2008, plenty of people planning to retire have had to rethink their plans. And lots of people who already retired have been forced back to work.</p><p>►In 1996 about 23 percent of the workforce retired at or before the age of 60. But 2011, only about 7 percent of 60 years olds did so.</p><p>►In 1996, less than 9 percent of workers 70 years old and up continued to work. In 2011, 25 percent have stayed on the job.</p><p>►According to government estimates, the over-65 age group is the fastest growing segment of working population. More than 7 million of them are still punching a time-clock, a 27 percent increased since 2007.</p><p>Statistics suggest that workers have deferred their &ldquo;possible&rdquo; retirement or have gone back to work out of necessity and not desire.</p><p>According to <em>Smart Money Magazine</em>, working seniors give the following reasons for staying on the job: 36 percent - the poor economy;</p><p>►16 percent - lack of faith in the social security system.</p><p>►15 percent - employment changes resulting in lower salaries;</p><p>►10 percent - higher cost of living;</p><p>►10 percent - want to accumulate more money in order to retire comfortably;</p><p>►9 percent - need to pay off accumulated bills;</p><p>►6 percent - need to make up for losses in stock market and real estate values;</p><p>Deferring retirement or going back to work because of economic bad times may not be the greatest of hardships --&nbsp; providing one is in good health. But the social implications of these stats are scary. It wasn&rsquo;t until after the Depression and World War II that the majority of middle class Americans had the opportunity to retire. Since then the concept of retirement has been part of the promise, along with home ownership, of the American Dream. The social contract was supposed to be: If you work hard and save &ndash; your reward in later life will be the right to not work. One had the right to leisure, relaxation and play.</p><p>Today, this social contract is in doubt and in danger of being altered irrevocably. To freely choose to wear-out rather than rust-out is one thing. To be forced to work until death do us part is quite another.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 30 Apr 2012 12:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/retirement-delayed-american-dream-deferred-98672