A single-income DC area family with 13 kids in one of the most expensive areas is ‘living large’ by ‘spending small’
Truthfully it never changed, and has always been there in the background. We changed, or at least how we perceived the American Dream changed.
In the past, the American Dream was a dream of family, a piece of property, work, community, fellowship, and neighbors. We can see it in endless movies made before the modern colored movies, a few examples: It's a Wonderful Life, and You Can't Take It With You.
Today the American Dream, outside of immigrant groups, is of having the best, the newest, the most expensive, of pampering oneself, a very large home on a large lot, and a second, vacation home in a tony resort area, of fancy automobiles, dinners out, and sartorial finery. It is about the show of wealth.
I agree with the good Professor, it is easier now to live frugally than it ever has. But we are trapped by our desires to keep up the Joneses, buy only new, and buy things we often neither need, nor even want.
Every day myriad immigrants open businesses, and start on the ladder of the American Dream, ultimately their dream has more in common with the old American Dream, and less with the newer.
The family father has a few thoughts: How to Retire Early with 13 Kids Sage advice in my book.