We need changes to revive American dream

In his book, “The Epic of America,” James Truslow Adams stated 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.” I have analyzed more than 10,000 loan applications and financial statements over the past 35 years, and most have been wage earners and small-business owners in the middle class of Northern California. Through this business experience, I have been privileged to a valuable education on what it takes to achieve the American dream and financial happiness. It would take me 5,000 words to describe all the details of what to do and what not to do, so for the purposes of this short column, I will try to point out just a few ideas on what this country needs to revive the American dream. First of all, the government needs to balance our checkbook. It is hard for people to dream and be optimistic when they are overdrawn at their bank. I remember being overdrawn in my personal bank account a few times in 1986 and 1987. It was stressful for me considering I was responsible for a wife and four little kids. Our country is overdrawn by $19 trillion today and this is stressful to all of us and makes it difficult to dream about our future. Second, in a recent survey, our younger generation spends an average of eight-plus hours per day on some type of phone or television. I am no expert on education, but this feels dangerous considering how many problems this next generation will need to solve to revive the American dream. This country needs more educated people and a very hard-working, dedicated workforce that is motivated to work for their success. Finally, we need leadership, other than the old career politicians, who are willing to look for new solutions, but return to the values which reinforce the idea that the American dream is not for the privileged few, but for all Americans who hope for a better future for themselves and their children.