POLL: Has the American Dream Changed?

Memorial Day weekend was a celebration of patriotism and the American spirit. But with the economy struggling, college tuition skyrocketing and millions of people still out of work, is the American Dream still attainable?

During Memorial Day weekend, many of the classic sights and sounds of American life were on full display.

American flags.  Barbeque smoke wafting through lush neighborhoods.  Children splashing in backyard pools.

Many of us take for granted these classic symbols of Americana and the lifestyle that makes it possible.  Part of the American Dream involves owning a home, having a couple of cars in the driveway and the guarantee of a steady income.

But as the U.S. economy continues to sputter, is the American Dream still achievable?

Last week, the Sacramento Bee reported that area homeowners are collectively $20.7 billion underwater on their mortgages.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in the greater Sacramento area is 11.6 percent percent—more than 3 points higher than the national average of 8.1 percent.

Future college students have their share of bad news.  As California's public universities hike tuition in the face of budget cuts, more high school graduates are heading out of state for college.  

The question is whether these numbers will eventually rebound or whether our neighborhoods, our cities and our country have entered a new phase where the American Dream is no longer attainable.  What do you think?


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