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this is the state of things i mean if you're living in poverty as twelve percent of north carolinians do is the american dream something within reach or lose it the american myth of before you answer that is the american dream isn't a house with a picket fences that the photogenic family of high achievers or does american dream means simply living in more comfort then you knew as a kid social mobility it's called and it has been a source of pride for mexicans that one needed be born into the nobility to succeed so let's re frame the questions how much social mobility is that these days what are the chances that someone of poverty rise out of this hour on the state of things we examine social mobility poverty and the american dream and this book this is the state of things i knew in the pan cover what is the american dream and they made a whole lot of the war or of going out there
were more gray freedom in this country and holder the nice whole winter carnival of a nice to play a job and a man i think if you're a middle class white caucasian male yes i think there are estimates that the work will hire an american dream to me is the notion that people coming outside america have an immigrant's they feel that they can aspire for something that's better than what they're experiencing america or fancy nancy some diners outside of bullocks barbecue restaurant in durham this week reflecting on the american dream and today the state of things we consider the american dream what exactly is it end in particular where the american dream is as attainable as it used to be more americans are owning their own homes and sending their kids to college than ever before
but americans at all income levels are taking on more in death to make some of those dreams come true and the gap between the rich and the poor in the us is widening poverty still falls disproportionately along racial lines in north carolina quarter of black and hispanic residents of the state live in poverty while the overall poverty rate is at twelve percent this hour we consider it the american dream and we welcome your calls the number's one eight seven seven nine six to nine eight six to do you believe in the american dream is it possible to lift yourself out of poverty simply by working hard and who's been left out of the american dream to today's immigrants have an equal shot at again the number is one eight seven seven nine six to nine eight six two we are starting off today with noah pickus he is a professor of public policy at the sanford institute at duke university where he's also associate director of the kenya institute for ethics and noah pickus joins us today from the studios at harvard university where he's attending a conference on immigration welcome know i think you're going to the lowest level for us how do you
define the american dream well i think the most common definition for the american dream is about material success in common security but i also think as some of the the folks you play who are outside of bullocks indicated it's more broadly really about the chance to succeed not the guarantee that you'll succeed but the chance that you're going to succeed in that president clinton wants to put that if you work hard and you play by the rules you audie but to get ahead on both in terms of economic terms and in terms of your personal goals and your goals for your family and your country so is getting ahead then the american dream at ers may be a step ahead of as well as your parents may have done is does that mean you're detained in a dream while i think that's a big part of that but i think one of the things that's critical here is not to narrow this too quickly to victory of success when that's absolutely central hear the picket fence the going to college and the separation often that happens and moving ahead of your parents but i'm always reminded
of the cartoon from the new yorker from years ago where it shows to pilgrims getting off the boat and one says to the other that you know on the short run i'm here for religious freedom but in the long run i'm looking to get into real estate and that gets at is it's always been intertwined in our history that the american dream is is economic but it's more than economic it's also people seeking political and religious freedom who wannabe the best dancers or why have the freedom to say things in public and it's also more than individual it's it's our aspirations for our families for ethnic and religious groups it's for our nation people want to come to a place where they can govern themselves not only in terms of their individual ability to get ahead but as a nation one of your interviewer said the interviewees said that that it's about america as much as it is about individuals in america in many ways the american dream and the country itself is an immigration
story aside from the native americans all of us are descended from immigrants one where the other and he came here voluntarily or involuntarily an immigrant's arrival us with often with nothing and end the story goes make a better life for their children their grandchildren he is is that is that the story as you see it and it is it does the american dream resonate more with immigrants perhaps than the descendents of immigrants several generations removed well i think it plays out differently you certainly new immigrants coming to this country often have a plan perhaps of a gun and sometimes a realistic understanding of what it is actually possible to to achieve but by and large will eat they have achieved a great deal in this country and they have done it the succeeding against a lot of different barriers odd that have made it difficult at times to to succeed economically and
socially and politically in this country but by large that the history of the american dream for a lot of people is remarkable people have more choice in this country and have achieved more than they are able to do in lots of other places in the world and you see that show up in in surveys which indicate the extent to which americans overwhelmingly compared to say europeans believe that they have a chance to get ahead are and that that basic faith that that sense of risk and entrepreneurial energy is captured in immigrants just as the what you might call the darker side of the american dream has captured which we can talk more about it is the timing of the dark side of what i think the dark side is the is that and you see it especially in immigrants but but it's more broad than that if anyone can get ahead in america if they play by the rules and the rules are fair that means if you're failing there must be something wrong with you it's it's a personal failing it's not our
that's not the fault of society it's your fault or if your group hasn't made as much advancement as others then it's hard to account for the kind of barriers that might have kept you from doing that and for immigrants there's a specially i think the pain of loss that comes from succeeding at getting ahead me and what often happens is and the children of immigrants do do better than their parents economically and that takes them away from their family they learn english they move into the middle class and the mainstream and that that's a very painful process it's not earth it's always a happy story we're talking this hour about the american dream as it relates is well to poverty in the us and in north carolina where noah pickus is with this he is a professor of public policy at the sanford institute at duke university and joining us now are rick martino sue is an opinion writer with the raleigh news and observer well correct and also with us is andre harrison is president of the north carolina institute for minority economic development into what's your take on the american dream what you've
heard no ticket sales start with rick well i think the american dream has never been more vital than alive and our opportunity has never been more plentiful it's a it's a great time to be had in this country i think her for three particular reasons one has been we're very rich country which means that there's a lot of access to capital you can get a day alone on the internet these days for a for a mortgage theres a lot of people has been tricky apple is you're always looking for the next big thing the other aspect is technology the dead digital revolution that we have allows people to do or acquire professional services you don't need a stockbroker in more if you want to try her hand and the internet a lot of things she had to little lawyer you can do for yourself on the internet the amount of research that is available to use an individual it is a tremendous compared to what it was prior to the digital revolution and lastly something that always are tends to get overlooked
is the success of the civil rights movement there's a tremendous amount of opportunity for how minorities the fact that one woman is hosting this program and has is talking to two people of color about the american dream would have been unthinkable just thirty forty years ago so it's a great time for that american dream is really odd thriving today and hear harris oh i guess i'd have to take a different take on that i believe that that is this is a town of tremendous opportunity i think there's always been a lot more opportunity in this country that in most of the places so that is still something to celebrate a hard map the american dream is sad not sure that i agree it's in as healthy a state as i would like to see it but if the american dream is about widely shared prosperity then i don't believe that prosperity is as widely shared as it could be or bored or should be and it's about to get the as someone mentioned earlier make reference to our net worth and assets and
all of that and as you look to day i really think that we've moved into a time we're on one hand we do see lots of business development ownership and capital except but also think we moved into a plywood people realize and tears there is also profit in poverty and poverty is deepening because there is some recognition that those who our own struggling every day to making ends meet and buy for themselves are having even more difficulties so they're out many who have tried to meet those challenges but also loved that causing people to be even much deeper poverty is harder it is essential question i'd like to get to here as well as the overall discussion about the american dream but is it harder for those in poverty now to rise out of it now than if not rigged i'll just have to say no in fact assuming that there's not an external force apart research as a
catastrophic illness or crest of that family event it's relatively easy not to be poor in this country only have to do two things in this is according to a gentleman named william coulson who was a presidential advisor to the president there i took when he said three things stand apart when he got to graduate high school the second thing you have to do is be married when you have children and number three have those children when you're in your twenties and if you do that there's a ninety two percent chance that he will escape poverty that's not real hard to do talking about the american dream and poverty and we'll be getting to your calls in just a moment when a seven seven nine six to ninety six to continue our conversation with rick martinez no tickets and andrea harris get your calls all of that just ahead on the state of things to support for the state of things comes from the corporation for public broadcasting and businesses for north carolina public radio that we humans are this is the state of things
i'm linda hancock is the final day of our series north carolina voices understanding poverty and were wrapping it up by talking about the american dream after some the american dream conjures up these images of homeownership material things such as the two cars in the garage were perhaps less tangible things such as comfort happiness today we're considering what is the american dream what it takes to achieve it and where there is is attainable as it might once have been we're joined by noah pickus is a professor of public policy and associate director of the kenyan institute for ethics at duke university rick martinez is with us as well he's an editorial columnist for the raleigh news and observer and andrea harrison is president of the north carolina institute for minority economic development are numbers one eight seven seven nine six to ninety six to if you want to join the conversation and i just before the break and hey you want to respond to other recruiters say that the american dream is indeed attainable for those who are in poverty in particular has listened to let us own death row for many who live in iran
inner cities or center cities than any rule communities if a lot of communities that are experiencing even deepening poverty than all we need to do with their have put in place them initiatives that suggest that you know you have your children between married and have children should we all know that that increases the likelihood of chewing comes naturally would be better than one at the same time we need that should be the finish high school or whatever else in the scottish or corn of what he says that they will have greater kansas city but you know i live in a rural community that has ahead perhaps the highest unemployment for the most of the months of the last two years and the people in my community were caught and for those who may leave the community and go off to college and come back one of the things that we know is at duke well if you're person of color the likelihood of the opportunity for a job
lightly rest in the public sector either going to the school system more into social services a summit to do like that but it's highly improbable that you really get the full access to opportunities in the private sector and i don't argue the point that he's made but also say that it is not is it is not that simple the cost of living has truly outpaced basic wages and so if you look at what we say may be what it ever does for family for an eighteen thousand dollars a year can you live in a family court to bolivia fought for those dollars if they were above that you know money and poverty you know disregarding out and a huge so you live in a rural community that in henderson living in north of the trial north of the china when you're saying that that folks there were would their opportunities will be in the government sector is is that people who remain in the county there or is that for all african americans it's a largely for people who remain in the county and look it we have these the access is accessed opportunity
and upward mobility then if you do need a community and you'll get that on the greater the greater degree you were young the likelihood of accessing employment allow with us some decent level of wage or will be in the public sector not in the private sector investors that is a fact to collect the people call i think that i would get back to another point cause i think the american dream is about only access to opportunity equal access to opportunity in the belief that you can succeed other people believe that for once for oil for a long time but i also think to date is purely for people around being able to meet their basic needs needs and necessities stress free trade is one of the stress because of as the american dream is just not ideas adjacent don't think people are looking to we talk about social mobility and i would when asked sometimes what is that is it out i am i are we quitting social
mobility and with something that says ok you're not in poverty if you can move up socially so what what is social mobility is my is in my level of influence on value is it about class what is that about because for me in many respects it truly is about our net worth is about economic status is about ink long i am so i think we need to sift through that and i figure well what are we talking about when we talk about social mobility modern american estimate plays out what about the discussion with rick and andrea this is fascinating and i think it points in some ways to difference is that different communities and individuals can have toward the american dream not i i share ricks faith and dog austin's about what is possible today and about the sensuality of family and making that happen but it's also true that there are changes in our economy that we have more of an hourglass economy
that means that the middle is wrong is often missing and it can be harder for people to move ahead from low wage jobs into and out of the middle class but i think even more important is not just the objective economic changes it's it's the circumstances that you're you can your community find yourself in and the attitudes that you'd have toward that african americans in this country often ask how far have we come from where we were or sorry they ask why how far are we from where we ought to be in terms of equality and immigrants often ask how far have we come how much better off orally and so you have a strong degree of faith in a lot of immigrants out whether they're poor middle class in the possibility of the american dream whereas which you find in some of the surveys for african americans is that paradoxically the better off you
do economically as an african american the more doubt you have about the american dream where is that you're actually put a poor african american surveys indicate that you have a strong belief and so where you are in this community and your circumstances change very much i think your attitude toward the americans added race aside i wonder if that's just because the dream is a dream when you don't have much in your striving to do to get there and then leave me the counterpoint of theirs is reality and tear yeah you could go on to any kind of thing that ends up in song lyrics about money can't buy me love et cetera but but you've you detain that level and then it's not the dream anymore and it's just the reality you're dealing with is that possible or wants to comment because i think that that's possible i think that that within the african american community is surely they may be for those who attained certain economic lives of economical social success what's recognized is that the institutions and systems have to really not changed some
areas some reality it and that what we may have as many of the changes that we thought had occurred and in terms of racial progress may not have occurred because we still see more indebted instead they are these bits these institutions maybe if all the sea a different way but as an african american and i see a much different way with latinas mr imam i mean just you know you know i was because of my family background my economic background i've i've been around a lot of people including immigrants who have who i'm a successful transitions in the americans and we just don't seem to talk about all this stress about how we we now are looking at we now want anomaly one material success and social success we also want our pain and stress free i just have not heard that come up and you know when we talk we talk amongst ourselves you know we understand the times in order to be discriminated that
those anti discrimination against us the channel open so what you know that's nothing new and that's something that we're going to overcome on amazon and i don't hear all but while we talk about our of our group and the challenges that our group faces we tend to get concerned maybe a little bit despondent but individually we were you know were very optimistic that holy mackerel i was able to do this in this came through in and it you know it i you know it those guys are are corrupt or that theirs is an obstacle there but this is where howe we're forgetting getting aside that so i just i just didn't see all of this discussion of of all the difficulty it has to to make the american dream as a lot of people who are just going out and doing that we have victory on the line from raleigh hi there victoria right they were like yeah quite we
know that we have created a lot of blatant white thank you believe it's very future of our schools are are our bills are police force anything at a blt every day so i think that he's going to come down to information act that information especially people of color or people who are coming from a lawyer clive they don't know that they have that they dont know that though things are available to deter way what's your american dream my american dream i guess one of the local ithaca ny and now why don't you have that notorious holding it is actually helpful it because by all by
all if i should be able to do that but it and i just wanted to come out the standards that you were just saying you're off to as we talk about stress free stress remained exactly what she's saying that you know when you go a little like you wanna know that i will have a house that i'm not worried about with that eerie your lights will be one off whether that you have transportation to get to work and not get work with a lobbyist who would like you can provide for your family your kids or whatever unless we as i don't want to it's misinterpreted talk about stress free i think people are willing to work hard to get about it was to work on is not that people don't want to do their part not willing to struggle but also there are they are barriers to get up to that upward mobility and i also don't want to victimize people who are victims of poverty
and neither do i want them to be often viewed as being just irresponsible because we often pay people who are in poverty whether they are the working poor are not working that is if it's your own individual doing that you find yourself in this situation and you can move out of it it is because there is something that that you'd make you as a he citizen should be doing which are irresponsible in some way and we have to stop painting that picture then for the old school pop or bad when irrespective of the circle when they share one day reality is all we must be of value to what it is that they say their experiences are and not be bombed and i think that's one of the that if there's anything that is painful for me you know as i watch let the last night i watched as people applied for home for loans to try to keep as small businesses going small amounts of
money and i listen to the struggles and the stories and some people were people who also were displaced in transit there's an opportunity to start a business i would not want people to look at them there were big they are important to say that it is your circumstance to put you here it is your irresponsibility that put you here and that it is something that you are not doing you should that you should be doing and if you want that opportunity noah pickus know what i'm trying to go and flush out at that but it's just i don't want to label people as being irresponsible and not give value to be a voice you know and i just want to jump in there because i have it we all ought to be careful of labels but i feel like we're re running a debate from ten or more years ago here some people who are poor or who are struggling are doing it as a result of irresponsibility and the
difficulties in their circumstances that have made it that way the breakdown of the family in some communities as a critical element here we also have responsibilities when there are barriers to remove them but the notion that the barriers are so significant now that but we should avoid talking about individual responsibility and only talk about the institutional discrimination out there that's what i thought clinton moved both parties beyond when we talked about things like work for or when john edwards talks about everyone going to college and making that possible these are efforts to say we have communal responsibilities the american dream is not just individual but individuals have responsibilities as well we got to make sure the rules are fair they gotta make sure that they worked hard to get ahead and just treating it as an either or seems like a sure way to go down the called the second hand up in a dead end i agree with her professor
pinker some and you know not to speak from a personal basis does this is a conversation that had most recently with barbara goodman of the other fletcher foundation and you know what i don't care about someone's background i care about their choices i don't care about everybody has is as a sad song singing when i did talk to an individual who is who has a porsche or wants to do to achieve the american dream i want to hear what they want to do what their aspirations and what we gonna do to get to if you come from anderson and you don't have opportunities in the private sector but you do have some in the public sector to pursue in the public sector if you want to go on and pursue i'm in the private sector will then i have to go somewhere else to make that dream that i want here is to why things can happen or why there's institutional racism been there done that it's always going to be there i want to hear what you do what an individual going to do to overcome that and wanting to you know there it is again it's rigged doesn't want to hear anything about the individual in there about what led to i mean i can see us on your professor above my god my background how tough it wasn't the
ossicles of my parents and my grandparents and their eyes victims of discrimination it's a trip separate not knowing the language centers are the end of the day it really doesn't matter i mean what really matters is what at the person as an individual who's going to bring to the table and what he is going to offer what he is going to do to overcome those obstacles and achieve the american dream see i share that completely in that your emphasis on openness on energy on dr are not getting wrapped up in the stress i couldn't agree more with how powerful that is i think it matters to a lot of people immigrants bring it as part of our entrepreneurial economy and yet what good it does to talk about other kinds of barriers is to focus on which ones are real border things that hold people back in what ways they may be different in different communities urban or rural african american or hispanic and to focus on what needs to happen there take immigrants for example immigrants to a lot of the tough
jobs in this country legal and illegal and what is difficult for them in an hourglass economy right now is how to move out of that surely many do but a lot of what happens is they have to go through a transformation they have to go from leaving living on private small family existence into this larger bureaucratic american complicated sprawling country and our institutions don't do good as good a job today as they used to and helping immigrants bridge that gap so i'm not saying make this about should we have affirmative action and i'm saying look at both sides and aunt and bring them together rather than pretend that you should only focus on discrimination or only focus on success won eight seven seven nine six to ninety six to his own number and jon is in chapel hill i don't find work every monday give a quick coming before a break whatever the american dream is
and admittedly even though that they were well that the important to focus on the individual that the facts are a lot of individual oh i think of the american dream for my generation african american fifty seven for instance was integration what we got was the segregation though my dream hasn't happened and everything that happens to me happens to the prison and that experience i don't think you can spell that drop into the current that would that's not the case like you make a regular people are talking about a play by the rules and i think if you this is the mentality about that phantom when actual a very different for people all based on their call bacon or a mentor you need to one quick question for you if if we are to define american dream is doing better than your parents would do that would qualify as having obtained the american dream yourself a man talk about you as an individual here there have
been very well ok ok we'll find sourcing of bicycling and john were talking this hour about the american dream and with us or the hour are andrea harrison is president of the north carolina city for minority economic development noah pink as noah pickus who is a professor of public policy at duke and rick martinez editorial writers at the raleigh news and observer just ahead we'll get to more of your calls one eight seven seven nine six to nine eight sixteen what is the american dream however you define it and attainable is it easy to get or is it more difficult to get for those who are living in part one eight seven seven nine six to nineteen sixty was a number of the state of things today this is the state of things i melinda uncover we're talking this hour about the
american dream and how possible it is to retain especially for those living in poverty with this are rick martinez who is on the op ed page with the rowing is an observer he's here in the studio today also with us is andrea harrison is president of the north carolina institute for minority economic development and on the line from harvard where he's attending a conference is noah pickus is a professor of public policy and associate director of the kenya institute for ethics at duke university and he's taking time out of a conference that he's attending to talk with us today we are taking your calls one eight seven seven nine six to ninety six to kathy as in johnson county hi jacki well welcome to the show it is if you like to be like the one from the company there are third party in our lives whether they're trying to have a triangular system of healthcare it whether
it is how mothers like her the other day on the radio like that you will i pay for cable for them it's a heated phillies leather television free why did you want to do any of it republican like i feel like you have been there really anything or are growing aware are individual it with a opportunity to do that then the body of the fighting because of the economic situation on that you will do this in your individual circumstances he retained the american dream on ahead i i yeah you know why i think of things like the league i can do what i wanted to make her property here i think they care for children they've made a good
enough living allowance today that at the same time we're going to have to work harder than my parents' bed that we have from health issues that they could cart theory wrote is the curator that a lag time i filthy opportunity there and it's more a matter that he had a we were creatively to overcome the problem on rather than a well within the defendant's hair put your past tourists quickly i thank you so much your car kathy i'm rene and i can understand some of what cheese which you sank and he points to the fort to the fact that for many who are today in poverty it is even more difficult to negotiate a system wind in many respects you do have such large global corporations in it and i don't have to say it was like to try that move through that system could i think a simple weave olive had those experiences
so in and in that vein just give me an opportunity to just hold up a celebrated support small businesses and the contributions that they make him into a locally economy what rick martinez may be kathy have mentioned the possibility that you have there there's a health issue there and i wonder if with the rising cost of healthcare putting it out of reach for more people to just look at the premiums and decide to go without insurance across the premiums a critic of the health care thing threaten the american dream yeah i think that it could become or what we need to do is get back to more consumer based on healthcare system because i know of working of folks who have made as the choice not to add it to take health care but our banking the premiums vary our premiums and keeping and they're making a decision and a part of that decision is is that when they go to the doctor they call may ask what is the price those of us who aren't
health insurance we don't know what the prices we dont care because the insurance company is going to pay for it there's been a tremendous amount of deterioration of the american ethos of of self reliance in and paying as you go and i think that when we get their health care situation back toward the individual consumer becomes empowered through it's a personal medical savings accounts and so forth her to see the medical system become less of a threat to the american dream no i did it have a kind of you know if i can if this is a slightly different one from what cathy raised it seems to me that which is put on the table is this isn't just about how different groups within this country still view the american dream and whether to terrible or not but there's a larger sense that many of us have that we're increasingly losing control over the forces that govern our lives and that globalization is part of that the extent to which corporations play the kind of role that you know whether it's payday lending or or the number of
credit cards both of which have an individual responsibility to mention there but my senses americans have never been as troubled about economic inequality as europeans for instance have both where i worry is that we are losing faith that our institutions are fair in the sense that the kind of scandals that we see in the military in the church on wall street and universities there's a sense with the rules need to be fair and that means the institutions need to be on balance operating properly and that loss of faith is what could swamp all of us i think for more than that individuals with particular groups concern continues with us from rocky mount ida ten well greetings you're lending in both
parties jones grew strongly and they sell this product that's what i feel and for more about you with the finer things all the other ocean and like how many of you have about prime that all the cooperation part of the bank corp partly active role in the educational process young children very elementary school with are a lot of different flavor like feel the bill showed that what the credit it you know over a generation we could put a lot of the problems i'd have jumped through proper education and so education and financial education in health care education or three you know get the hospitals or doctors' group to come in and give them an hour you know that the trial the middle of the value that's what
made you know things like that i think it's a great idea that we need to treat each year our young folks in our old folks in every way of greater life skills especially when it comes to to the economic decisions i don't understand math is not that difficult to prove to prevent someone you're not to go to a predatory furniture outlet or a predatory aria a payday calm sometimes it is sometimes in neighborhoods where people are poor and that's that's the bank arrogant people are cashing the checks and taking a substantial chunk that would you know make us were our eyes i think you can go to any of the first citizens or work of it and have a bank account their mean the chunk that they take out of but you know and i am not a big disagreement over but again the important thing to note is that it's an individual's choice to walk into the two that payday lending ads the individual's choice to walk in and to rent feed the big screen tv now because you can go without
and then i'll just you know my wife is not to be too crazy about this when we first got married or furniture rather than going to one of his rent to own deal's was was cardboard boxes and that would give us the bridge so that we could eventually to bypass the ring tone and end and by some assets as opposed to so that you know again i don't want to deny that the predatory aspect but there's also a matter of you know one's forcing the person to go in the payday loans forcing a person to go and ceo of the furniture store that will basically has peripheral and the next you know what i care that that even though the personal choices of an option people have to go to work in north carolina and other places they need transportation of the limited income then i have to do the best i can to get access to the transportation delays what i pay for car it and would be used it's going to be more than the poem i ain't come but i have to get paid because public transportation
gemma does not take people were that i would be our choice is also many people we may get you to use rattled not buying big screen televisions might be by babes or stoves are refrigerators or what have you but again i say that when you look at a lot of this and you look at the terms out here along the area is a growing industry but built around meeting that credit needs of low wealthy individuals and taking real advantage of those individuals that's just a fact and that is also deepening holiday we can call it a personal choice to make them saying irresponsible it's really always will be people may not make the best choices that they also a people who live in trying to do the right thing and trying to meet basic meet basic necessities i just have to always and then so it doesn't look like people who are in poverty are they are
because they had just irresponsible individuals we have some serious needs around financially case of financial literacy and that should be a part of the basic job both middle school and high school curriculum it should just be over a quiet course of study and i would say court because i think to be a course of that i think it should be something that can happen in a row one session or semester whatever but i think that is very very very important right now because what i would just say that i agree with what i understand even if folks are by using bad credit to fight color tvs or plasma screens or whatever it is now dead this goes to the heart of what we mean by the american dream is about us as individuals or is it also about us as a community and as a nation and are there places where you folks have been
intractable property for generations are not getting out in the way that rick identify so many people can't but they're not what is our obligation to step in is it to limit payday a predatory lending those are specific targeted ways in which we can do that and i think it's about the direct responsibility we have to make sure everyone has an opportunity at least a chance i'm living the american dream we've been talking this hour about the american dream and whether it still attainable especially for those who are trying to rise out of poverty and we've been trying to find ourselves in iowa one of the back to the source material on the sound from what i could find in a couple of hours of looking for the first reference to the american dream that phrase came back to nineteen thirty one and it was in a book by james to sell adams and hears what he wrote he wrote that the american dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement it is a difficult dream for the european upper classes to interpret adequately and too many of us are celts
are grown weary and mistrustful of it he's writing a nineteen thirty one here it is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable and be recognized by others for what they are regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position and i'm wondering are on the table here in and they're at harvard i know i did you agree with that assessment of what the american dream is no yeah i like i like that broad gauged way of saying things it doesn't mean that you're guaranteed to succeed in this country but the question is if we truly define it as individual i mean before it before there was even an america john locke political theorist wrote that in the beginning all the world was america in other words there were limitless resources and all we had to do is come up and if we succeeded it was cause we were virtuous and work hard if we failed it
was the opposite and all i'm saying is again it's a both and hear that the american dream has the obstacles that prevent it and we ought to look for where we can work on those and their downsides to the american dream is still the most remarkable dream to my mind in human history it's why so many people come here but there is a downside to it and there are losses that come with it and we ought to pay attention to those outlets go to david interim hi there david carl how did those shows where it all there's something that so that haven't been addressed yet the maps of the ability to screw up well let's go economic drunk driving arrests
he could go bankrupt a couple of companies and in that can happen to anybody but he had the ability to bounce back because of those positions and the people who work in an economic hard this great they don't get all those chances so they make a mistake once early in their life it's really hard it's ignorance all of that hole there isn't that talk about the american the american novel is that there's a reset second chapter that so la but it is in perhaps that i'm the president started out hired so it may have fallen but he like a rubber ball he bounced higher and those who start lower don't have that same balance of a maritime to my own light bulb my grandfather would've homeowner and now i make a living writing book world would be a better living for them both the video and the point
is is in my early life i made mistakes and have i been cost however lest this paul wanted that had i been caught it would've put me into a very very people that i don't think i could do that it would be a lot harder to climb somebody with wit when david meyer thank you for joining us today and i believe we have run out of time for today show but i like to thank our guests are andrea harris who is with the president of the north carolina city for minority economic development rick martinez who is an opinion writer for the raleigh news and observer and noah pickus professor of public policy at the sanford institute thank you all for being with us today to talk about the american dream thanks and thanks to harvard university for the technical assistance today thank you for listening if you have a comment about the program or email as s o t a w and c dub a largely and if you have comments on our poverty series you can give a so called had one eight seven seventh three weeks is
support for north carolina voices understanding poverty come to aj fletcher foundation the center for documentary studies at duke university doug and katie abrams the jew in price family foundation martin taylor ph and michael and laurel greater iraq a foundation and a north carolina humanities council support for the state of things comes from the corporation for public broadcasting and when
The State of Things
North Carolina Voices:Understanding Poverty
Paths Out of Poverty: Today's American Dream
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WUNC (Radio station : Chapel Hill, N.C.)
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WUNC (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
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Episode Description
This episode examines social mobility, poverty and the American Dream.
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North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty is a series of reports, documentaries and call-in programs that aired on North Carolina Public Radio-WUNC in April 2005.
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The State of Things is a live program devoted to bringing the issues, personalities, and places of North Carolina to our listeners.
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Talk Show
Social Issues
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Executive Producer: Hanford, Emily
Guest: Harris, Andrea
Guest: Martinez, Rick
Guest: Pickus, Noah
Host: Penkava, Melinda
Producing Organization: WUNC (Radio station : Chapel Hill, N.C.)
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North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC
Identifier: NCP9906 (WUNC)
Format: Audio CD
Duration: 50:25
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Chicago: “The State of Things; North Carolina Voices:Understanding Poverty; Paths Out of Poverty: Today's American Dream,” 2005-04-00, WUNC, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 2, 2024,
MLA: “The State of Things; North Carolina Voices:Understanding Poverty; Paths Out of Poverty: Today's American Dream.” 2005-04-00. WUNC, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 2, 2024. <>.
APA: The State of Things; North Carolina Voices:Understanding Poverty; Paths Out of Poverty: Today's American Dream. Boston, MA: WUNC, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from