If This is the American Dream, Somebody Wake Me Up! Posted on July 1, 2009 in Business Share3 Share Tweet Pin Stumble Share3 Share Tweet Pin Stumble Previous Post: TerreStar Launches World’s Biggest Commercial Satellite Next Post: 16 Catalogs Still Worth Ordering In The Internet Age Scott Lovingood It is only because we have allowed the media to define what wealth and the American dream means. The past 20 years has seen an explosion in the idea of material wealth at any cost, including our physical, spiritual and relationship wealth. Only when we redefine wealth to include all of them can we escape the prison of debt. Green Man Right on Scott! What is interesting, though, is that the large home + car(s) + conspicuous consumption American Dream Model is now the cultural ideal in China, India and other Emerging Markets. This must be more than a media defined phenomenon – this must be a pre-existing psychological condition in modern humans that can be easily stimulated by advertisers, salesmen and media producers. Excessive materialism at the expense of physical & spiritual health must be some sort of widespread mental health condition. Perhaps it is initially an unconscious reaction to the free floating anxiety of hypercompetitive socialization into a narcissistic, self-absorbed society? Gustafson I have a bit of an issue with the chart. Comparing an annual salary to the debt of the house that has a 30 year loan isn’t a reasonable comparison. A better comparison is to also compare the expense of one year of Mortgage Payments to the annual income so that the time periods match up better. Understanding the principles of cash flow are far more important then quantity of debt. For example, I have a mortgage on a 3 unit property. that is a lot of debt. Because 2 units are rentals, the income is greater then the mortgage, insurance and taxes. If I had a mortgage on a single unit that had no income, I would be losing massive amounts of money and it would probably make more sense to rent.