President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney agree that the American dream is out of reach for too many people today. They disagree on how to fix the problem.
That’s one of the fundamental tensions in this presidential campaign.
On the campaign trail, Romney’s definition of the American dream sounds pretty universal: “If you’re willing to take risk and work hard, get an education, have the right values, anyone can make a better life. We are the land of opportunity.”
That’s a definition Obama could get behind. The parties disagree more over how to make sure the American dream survives, and what to do when it disappears from places like Elyria, Ohio.
“It used to be a thriving area. It’s not thriving anymore because people aren’t working,” says Pam Malcolm, who works as a cashier and is active in the Tea Party movement.
Tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs have left this part of Ohio. But Malcolm says if the government steps in to help, that will just make people sit back and stop trying. She says she sees the impact of government assistance every day. Read more......