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The promise of the american dream in the united states

Ronald Reagan Place branding is a strategy many communities, regions, states and even nations are adopting to help attract and retain both top talent and capital investment. Investing in place branding is generally seen as a way to raise both awareness of and interest in a location.

Unfortunately, place branding is not well understood by either economic development professionals or elected officials.

Is The American Dream Dead?

As a consequence, the exercise typically devolves into no more than the creation of a new logo and catchy tagline. Then after investing both time and money in the initiative and a launch supported with major fanfare the place branding exercise fails to produce meaningful results. Finally it is judged by local leadership as a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars and ultimately abandoned.

The problem actually is not with the strategic choice to invest in place branding. That is a right strategic choice. Whenever you have the right choice led by the wrong people it is typically a recipe for disaster. Here is a simple definition of place branding that will serve you well — a place brand is a promise. It sets an expectation of an experience.

To be effective, the promise must be relevant, authentic and competitive. In other words, the promise must reflect the reality of your community, region, state or nation. It is a waste of taxpayer dollars. The place promise of every U. The place promise is the same for every location. In branding parlance this is called a category promise or benefit. The point of competitive differentiation between locations actually comes from the unique collection of assets, infrastructure, public policies and programs that together enable the promise to be realized.

American Dream

Instead of wasting money to hire an Agency to define your place promise, hire the Agency to help you understand how your location uniquely enables residents to achieve it. If your community is commonplace, your action step is not to waste taxpayer money on a marketing program. Marketing a parity or competitively weak location simply will not deliver positive results. Then, once your location has created a positive competitive point of differentiation then you can confidently invest in marketing to communicate it.

Understanding the American Dream and how to measure it.

  • It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position;
  • This work led to the definition of 5 super dimensions or sub-indexes;
  • The spread of settlers into Native American lands, slavery, the limitation of the vote originally to white male landowners, and a long list of other injustices and challenges have undermined the realization of the Dream for many who live in the United States;
  • The point of competitive differentiation between locations actually comes from the unique collection of assets, infrastructure, public policies and programs that together enable the promise to be realized;
  • Unions have always been the best anti-poverty, best pro-health care, best pro-family program around;
  • And while many of the ways we used to do business have changed, the American Dream has not.

The American Dream is the national ethos of the United States. Over time, descriptions of the American Dream have been supplemented with ideals. For example — owning a home, upward mobility, success is a result of hard work and determination, and American exceptionalism. But, these descriptions have often served to create confusion rather than provide clarity. A big advance in understanding the Dream happened in 1931, when James Truslow Adams published his book Epic of America.

What is the 'American Dream'

A promise that was not guaranteed but must be earned to be realized. The researchers found the American Dream is actually comprised of 35 dimensions which include: The methodology of the ADCI research is conceptually similar to classic brand equity research.

It relies on a national survey of roughly 1,000 respondents who are statistically representative of the U. The questionnaire is fielded monthly. The questionnaire contains 139 statements pertaining to various aspects of the American Dream.

The statements have been rigorously reviewed to remove any cultural bias and ensure an appropriate reading level. Responses are then combined to create the 35 dimensions that make up the American Dream. These dimensions have been validated to ensure each was internally sound and related to other dimensions in appropriate and predictable ways. In addition, the 35 dimensions were tested to see if they could be grouped into overarching themes. This work led to the definition of 5 super dimensions or sub-indexes.

Each dimension is assigned to only one sub-index. The rigorous approach taken by the researchers at Xavier University has resulted in a statistically sound, valid and unique measure that reveals what people living in the U. Looking at 3-years of data helps ensure a sufficient response numbers at both the state and major MSA level to confidently report results.

  • The answer to that question must include more workers uniting in unions -- the labor movement;
  • On the other hand, a handful of incredibly wealthy people are prospering beyond all comprehension.

However, as a degree of additional caution, the researchers at Xavier University include only states and MSAs where there is a sufficient number of responses to ensure confidence in the results. As a consequence, not every MSA designation is included in the database provided. For perspective, the scores are based on a scale from 0 to 100. The score represents the percent of the way to achieving each dimension and the American Dream overall.

These are the locations where residents feel they are achieving the American Dream to a greater degree than the rest of the nation.

For elected officials and economic development professionals, these locations represent an opportunity to benchmark best in class performance.

Restoring the Promise of the American Dream

The data can be included as part of the local strategic planning process as a starting point for a deep dive exercise to understand the assets, infrastructure, public policies and programs that are drivers of enabling residents in these high performing locations to better achieve their American Dream. At the state and major MSA level, the database can also be used to conduct a gap analysis versus those locations judged directly or indirectly competitive for attracting top talent and capital investment.

For additional information on how to leverage the data for place branding, contact Ed Burghard eburghard mac.

  • The bottom line is this;
  • There is no good moral or economic reason why all workers cannot or should not share in the success and prosperity they helped create.

Is The American Dream Dead? The Media consistently reports on the death of the American Dream. In the article Nathan went on to describe the American Dream as earning more money than your parents.

What is the American Dream?

What does the actual data say? The researchers at Xavier University have been tracking the American Dream data monthly since August 2011. In fact, since the start of tracking residents of the U. For perspective, the highest recorded achievement level was 66.