I want to see The Great Gatsby. And then I hope Hollywood will churn out ‘Grapes of Wrath’ and ‘Death of a Salesman’ soon after. History rhymes, and once again we’re at this junction in time when the younger generations are reexamining the validity of the American Dream. The millennials were taught to believe in pep-talk and the ‘sky is the limit’ type motivational speeches instead of hard statistical realities, like the fact that their student loans would one day eat their lunch. “Everything is possible if you just believe in yourself” was well-meaning advice during the roaring ‘90s, but as they say – the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Will younger cohorts change the American Dream from one of ownership and status symbols to one of access and participation? The guys at Shareable.net think so. More to come on the “sharing economy” in the near future when I interview Neal Gorenflo.
Update: 10/09/13: In July this year PBS reported on lan Krueger, outgoing chair of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, who called our current economic syste The Great Gatsby Curve. With current levels of economic inequality there is very little upward mobility and the American Dream is becoming ever more distant.