The American Dream and Federal Foreclosure

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2 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    Also of interest is the relatively unexamined assumption (certainly present in this blog post and its title) amid all the talk about the mortgage meltdown that home ownership is part of, and perhaps at the core of, the American dream. I’m not sure when this idea developed (perhaps following WWII, when home ownership became much more widespread?). But it might be interesting to investigate how the idea that owning a home is somehow coterminous with success as an American may be harmful. It certainly explains why people went so far beyond their means during the leadup to the mortgage meltdown. It also suggests that those of us who don’t own homes aren’t yet fully realized Americans, and that doesn’t seem fair or right because it makes being fully American equivalent to having a substantial income. There are, of course, well-rehearsed reasons that home ownership may be good for the economy, and it may be related to a deeply rooted acquisitive instinct. But I think the easy elision of owning a home and achieving the Platonic ideal of American-ness is more complex and troubling than we commonly recognize.

  2. Lawrence Cunningham says:


    Thanks. I looked at the “home-dream” assumption in a post on this blog available at the following link:

    My current post’s title and conclusion indulged editorial license to frame the substantive point, though the substantive points remain.