The American Dream
Is Not Supposed
to Work Like This!
The American dream is quite simple. It is the idea that anyone can succeed through hard work and that everybody has the potential to lead a happy, successful life.
EVG Research Team here. We’ve been helping people all across the globe live the “American Dream” with some out-of the ordinary methods … no matter where they’re located.
But during the last half century, a big part of achieving the American Dream (at least in the United States) has been working hard to earn a college degree.
After all, a college degree will get you a better job, and a better job will get you higher pay, and higher pay will bring you the happiness you seek.
Or so the story goes.
It didn’t quite work that way for Steve.
Steve sat in his one-bedroom apartment at a makeshift desk.
He scanned through the note he had just written. He wanted to make sure everything was right.
He read each word over carefully. He paused and reflected after each sentence.
He had so much else he wanted to say. But this would have to do.
With a silent nod of approval at what he’d written, he let out a long sigh and put the pen to the paper one final time.
The last words he wrote were simply:
He placed the pen down on top of the note and picked up the only other object on his desktop.
Before he could second guess himself, Steve raised his right hand, closed his eyes and pulled the trigger.
It was a tragic end to what was supposed to be a promising career.
Seven years earlier, Steve had decided to pursue his dream of becoming an architect.
Although he considered going to a community college, his high school counselor encouraged him to dream big. Go to a good college and work for a big firm. Make the big bucks.
So Steve checked around. He found that one of the best schools for architecture was right in his Southern California hometown of Los Angeles.
So he enrolled at the large elite University.
The Cost of Higher Education
The problem was, it was expensive. Steve’s parents couldn’t afford it and Steve’s High School grades were only average. He didn’t qualify for any scholarships.
But thanks to student loans and a desire to succeed, Steve studied hard and managed to graduate in five years … and in the top 25% of his class academically.
But the joyous time of graduation was clouded by two major concerns.
Number one: Steve had yet to land a job. Number two: his student loan repayments would soon begin.
Steve continued to send out as many resumes as he could throughout that summer.
He held on to his job as a waiter at a local restaurant. It had provided him spending money throughout his college years … and sometimes the tips were ok.
But it wasn’t enough to live on AND make a dent in the student loan debt.
Steve soon found out that his college degree was not the golden ticket to a high paying job like he thought it would be.
Part of the problem was his chosen profession.
The ‘Great Recession’ Hurt Some
Job Markets Worse Than Others
The housing crisis of 2007 and the financial meltdown in 2008 hurt the architecture job market because of its close association with the housing and construction industry.
In fact, a recent report by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce showed that architecture was the worst hit industry.
New architect graduates felt the pinch of a 13.9% jobless rate in 2011, and that’s using the government’s “toned down” unemployment stats.
For Steve, it didn’t matter what the stats were. He couldn’t find a job. For him, unemployment in his chosen career was 100%.
And with each passing day he was getting more depressed about his prospects of ever finding a job as an architect.
Then the economy got even worse. People started tightening their wallets more. And started eating out less.
By the following December, Steve had lost his job as a waiter.
And when his resumes and applications didn’t land him any interviews, Steve turned to the bottle.
By February the depression was so bad that he did the unthinkable. Just like that, his job search came to an abrupt end.
When the police were gathering evidence in his apartment, they dropped Steve’s note into a plastic bag along with a loan repayment statement they found nearby.
Later in the station, as the officer began to type his report, he read Steve’s note one more time. Then he looked at the loan bill. It read:
Amount owed: $83,417.32
The officer shook his head silently. He tossed the bill onto the desk and typed “Suicide” in his report.
The Unspoken Crisis of
Student Loan Debt
Sadly, the story of Steve is repeated (in various ways) each day throughout the country.
Overwhelmed by student loan debt, and depressed by the fragile job market, many young adults are calling it quits rather than facing the heavy burden.
No official statistics are kept on causes of suicide. But suicide hotline workers say student loan debt is increasingly mentioned during their interventions.
The American Association of Suicidology lists financial stress as one of the triggering stimuli for heightened suicide risk. When you mix high student loan debt with high unemployment and a rising cost of living, it can easily (and quickly) create toxic levels of financial stress.
So how much student loan debt is outstanding?
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, student loan debt now tops $1.3 trillion dollars in the United States alone. It’s a staggering amount.
In fact, it’s more than ALL other consumer debt in the US combined. Even credit card debt is only $820 billion.
America's average student graduates with a debt load of around $26,500.
With the real unemployment rate among all workers hovering around 23%, most of these young debtors have no means to repay.
Americans are also increasingly embittered over student debt. Fewer Americans believe going to college is worth the ball and chain of student loan debt.
In 2008, 81 percent of adults thought college was a good investment. This year, that number dropped to 57 percent, according to a survey done by Country Financial and compiled by Rasmussen Reports.
We’d have to agree that…
College Isn’t For Everyone
At EVG, we’re convinced the “college-for-all” crusade has outlived its usefulness.
It’s similar to the campaign to make all Americans homeowners.
Both movements ended up doing more harm than good.
Back in 1940, fewer than 5 percent of Americans had a college degree.
It was a privilege reserved for the brightest (or most affluent) high-school graduates.
Today, nearly 40 percent of Americans have some sort of college degree.
But it has come at a heavy price for most.
And the old ways can’t continue if college debt keeps rising at its current rate.
College used to be viewed as the ticket to the middle class for the underprivileged.
And that mantra drove public policy. If you didn’t go to college, you failed.
So guidance counselors pushed more and more kids into college … only to accumulate more and more debt.
The fact is, we, as a society, overdid it.
The future holds many changes in the ways we educate our youth, and employ ourselves.
For example, apprenticeship programs (successful in Europe) are few and far between in America. But they are making a comeback.
And freelance jobs are becoming the norm in many industries.
Rather than going to college to find a single career path, today’s students may be better off educating themselves with hirable skills, staying nimble, and being flexible in their work situations.
At The Elevation Group, we firmly believe that starting your own business is the number one way to increase your cash flow and the fastest way to attain the “American Dream.”
How to Improve Your Future
In a Bad Job Market
So whether you are already in a career, looking to make a change, or need to pay off some student loans of your own, EVG is here to help.
The first step is to look at your current talents. Then discover what you can do to make yourself more valuable.
Be willing to spend time and money on your own self-development.
If you do that, and work hard at it, you’ll find many more doors open to you.
The next step is to start your own business and leverage all the expertise you’ve gained.
That’s exactly how EVG founder Mike Dillard went from waiting tables to a multi-millionaire business owner in a span of a few short years.
If you’ve got the desire to follow in his path, that’s great. But realize it won’t happen overnight. It’ll require some hard work. And a plan.
The Elevation Group offers a blueprint to success.
We’ll show you how to build a solid foundation for financial success.
Then we’ll show you how to secure the things that matter most to you – your own retirement and your family’s well being.
Finally, you’ll be ready to grow your own personal wealth through the innovative strategies we’ve discovered for you.
Don’t get left behind.
Your Partner in Prosperity
The EVG Research Team