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Dispatches: The Changing American Dream

Patch is launching new series of stories. Tell us your situation and watch for our reports.

We're excited to inaugurate a new series for our Patch Readers: "Dispatches: The Changing American Dream."

Every day, the national media is full of stories about how American families, businesses, and neighbors are adjusting to these trying times. There are so many changes happening so fast that it's dizzying: national debates about unemployment, foreclosures, debt, religion, government and private enterprise all touch on fundamental ways in which we see ourselves and our communities. At Patch, we want to explore that conversation on a daily basis so we can better understand how our neighbors are adjusting to the challenges and opportunities that surround us.

We don't think there's one American Dream, but a multitude of American Dreams which a multitude of people are working toward. Looking out across nearly almost 900 Patch sites, we see businesses holding their breath deciding whether to expand; college graduates returning home because they can't find jobs; and senior citizens bringing boarders into their homes to help pay their bills. We also see bold new volunteer efforts, inspiring stories of local businesses that succeed because they innovated, and locals who've taken these trying times as a signal to engage more, not less, in their government.

At the purely local level, we want to know where we, as Sherman Oaks neighbors, fit along these fault lines.

Nationally, there's a debate about which government-building efforts are "shovel-ready."

Nationally, there's a debate about the education system, which is at the center of our dreams of a better life for our children.

"Dispatches" will be built upon the compelling vignettes and snapshots we unearth across all of our Patch sites.

And, of course, we want your help: Tell us what issues and what stories in Sherman Oaks go to the heart of your American Dream.

 This is a unique moment in the history of our country, and Patch is uniquely positioned to explore and amplify the stories that capture that moment.



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Deb August 15, 2011 at 05:23 PM
A couple years ago, we heard from political leaders local and national that WE as taxpayers had to share in the burden of the economy. Okay, we said if everyone shared then maybe we could see the economy turn around. Wrong. What happen to you and me (speaking generally). We started to accept our faith at the time, and started doing our part, doing more for less. However, the element of surprise came when our salaries were cut by 10%, no problem, right? Wrong. If we had a line of credit, it was snatch without warning bringing the loan amount to the outstanding debt. Creditors caused a nightmare to us. While others argue, you should not have been living on credit Line in the first place, but failed to acknowledge that this is how our economy was really striving. For instance, you had a good credit rating based upon your ability to pay, and you were current with all of your bills, and had some saved. You did not see your salary being cut because that had never happen in the past. Lesson learned.
Deb August 15, 2011 at 05:24 PM
What happen? Your credit rating suffers because of missed payment due to loss of wages, family losing their homes, your lifestyles changed overnight. Recently, listening to the GOP debate, and hearing Candidate Mitt Romney say that you should not be spending more money then you are bringing in. I thought, okay that makes sense but does he realize that you had the income but your employer slashed your wages, and now you are faced with choices. Furthermore, was it not true that real property was considered real cash? Nevertheless, this does not change the outcome. You are basically in tub water and sinking fast.
Deb August 15, 2011 at 05:24 PM
How does this affect my community? I no longer can give to charitable organizations, somebody does not get paid, and social issues are of concern but the reality is there but the grace of God goes me. If any thing this crisis has awakened many of us to stop being risk takers, and when we get out of the hold, to never spend on credit again, and this has a direct impact on the economy. The majority of people do not live on old money/or inheritance money, they live on hard earn working money and that is a difference when you are trying to fulfill the American Dream. This is my opinion only and subject to change.

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