According to USA Today, it costs about $130,000 for a household (of 2 parents and 2 children) in the United States to live the American Dream—to purchase the essentials, enjoy some extras, pay taxes, and put aside some money for retirement. (Yes, it surprised me, too.)
The issue of the American Dream comes up in many courses I teach. A typical definition?
the belief that with hard work and the freedom to pursue your destiny you can achieve success and provide better opportunities for your children.
Many of my students believe the American Dream has been achieved, or at least is within reach, for most people.
The problem is, according to the Census Bureau [pdf], only 15 percent of U.S. households (in 2012) had that kind of income. The rest may be chasing—but, in current circumstances, they’re falling short of achieving—that dream.