THE AMERICAN DREAM
Michael F. Ford, the founding director of the Xavier University’s Center for the Study of the American Dream, wrote an article published in the Washington Post about the Center’s second annual “State of the American Dream” survey. The study revealed five myths about the American dream. My favorite myth was the one about the importance of money. Ford wrote: “In a national survey of more than 1,300 adults we completed in March, only 6 percent of Americans ranked “wealth” as their first or second definition of the American dream. Forty-five percent named “a good life for my family,” while 34 percent put “financial security” — material comfort that is not necessarily synonymous with Bill Gates-like riches — on top.
While money may certainly be part of a good life, the American dream isn’t just about dollars and cents. Thirty-two percent of our respondents pointed to “freedom” as their dream; 29 percent to “opportunity”; and 21 percent to the “pursuit of happiness.” A fat bank account can be a means to these ends, but only a small minority believe that money is a worthy end in itself.” So, if only 6% of Americans think wealth is important, why are the “99%” complaining about rich people?
WATCH THE BOUNCING BALL
When Sharon Sharp was Director of the Illinois Lottery, she invited me to be ball number 11 at a promotional party for the lottery. I had a lot of fun. I don’t play the lottery; probably because there are no lottery outlets by my home. But millions of people in
Recently, some winners of the
The lottery has apologized to the affected people and will pay for any bank charges that occurred because of the rubber checks. The losing winners will also receive some free scratch off cards as an apology.
Since only 6% of Americans care about wealth, I am sure it did not bother the lottery ticket holders at all when their winning checks bounced because they are likely a part of the 94% who do not see wealth as a major priority. They probably just played the game for the thrill of it.