Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Majority-4 Announce: "The American Dream Is Dead"

The Majority-4 have announced that the American Dream of "... Marriage, A Single Family House, A Car, and Kids" is dead.

Forget any hope you may have of selling your house one day. No one is ever going to want to buy a single family home.  Forget any hope of getting a decent job. There are no decent jobs.  Forget marriage. That's out too. Young people don't want to get married.

The 3 Majority-4 council candidates pronounced the dream dead at the Oro Valley Chamber Candidate Forum.  Mayor Hiremath announced it dead at the SunCity Candidate Forum.  They announced it as a reason why building apartments in Oro Valley is so absolutely critical.

Council Member Snider reminded us at that forum that Oro Valley needs apartments. Besides, she noted, apartments are in the general plan.

What Snider did not say is that the Majority-4 approved amendments to the zoning code for the apartments that are being built along Oracle Road.  That is not according to the general plan.

Snider drew her conclusion that the american dream is dead from a study published by the University of Arizona's "APlus" which is part of the University's "Take Charge Institute."  APlus focuses on the transition period to adulthood life stage.  The goal of the APlus study is to determine financial habits of young adults.

We found the study to which Council Member Snider refers. It is called: "Life After College: Drivers for Young Adult Success" The study had followed student financial behaviors for 5 years.

Our conclusion upon analyzing this study is that it is by no means a valid basis to draw a sweeping conclusion that the American Dream is dead. In fact, it actually supports the fact that the dream is alive and well.

First, the study is not a random survey.  Therefore, its conclusions should not be generalized.

APlus started in 2007 by surveying 2,098 freshmen.  This was 32% of 2007 University of Arizona class.  38% were male. 62% were female.  33% were minority.  This is most certainly not a representative cross section of youth.

Second, the survey reports the responses of some of the original participants, less than half of whom participated in the original survey.   In 2013, the study reconnected with 1,010 of the students.  Again, this was not a random survey. 67% of the respondents were women.

Third, the study then erroneously concluded:
"For previous generations, becoming an adult meant an observable series of life events in dependable order: college graduation, career, marriage, buying a home, having children. Implicit in that transition from adolescent dependence to adulthood was the understanding that financial self-sufficiency followed college graduation and preceded everything else. 
For today’s young adults, however, those life events are no longer so predictable: young people may marry earlier, later or not at all, they may or may not have children, they may not want to own a home. 
We also see APLUS participants reporting that traditional goals of adulthood — including marriage, having children and owning a home — are not important to them."
Finally, most of the respondents to the survey actually said that marriage, home ownership and family are of importance to them.

The report includes a chart that shows "life goals not important to individuals."  We've added to this chart by highlighting, in blue, those who feel that the life goals are important.

As you can see, the vast majority of respondents believe the the american dream is alive. According to them:
  • 72% do think that getting married is at least of some importance.
  • 73% say that becoming a parent is at least of some importance
  • 81% say homeownership is at least of some importance
Candidate Mary Snider based her conclusion that the american dream is dead on a non random survey of some 23-26 year olds, mostly females who had started at the Univerisity of Arizona in 2007, some of whom chose to respond to a survey in 2013.  Most of these respondents said that getting married, becoming a parent, and purchasing a home were of importance to them.

Our conclusion: "The American Dream Is Not Dead!"

What do you think?


Richard Furash, MBA said...

The American Dream is definitely not dead. It's why people come here. It's just been put on hold for the last several years.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Well, let's look at their history of reporting the "facts"...

(1) They claimed that there is no division on the council because there were 99 votes of 7-0, but they left out the part about how those 7-0 votes were for non-controversial items such as liquor licenses and how the 4-3 votes were for controversial items such as the budget, plat amendments, Chief of Police reporting structure, a Master Sign Program, etc.

(2) They claimed to have turned a $3 million deficit into a $1.7 million surplus when there was never a deficit in the first place.

(3) And now they claim, based on a faulty study, that apartments are necessary because 19 percent of students in the survey said they're not interested in buying a single family home. Except that it means that 81 percent of them ARE still interested in doing that. Snider focuses on the 19 percent figure as being the important one. Waters fumbled through his response, meaning that even he didn't believe what he was pitching.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

"...young people may marry earlier, later, or not at all, they may or may not have children, they may not want to own a home." Gee, I could have told you that without the benefit of a "study." That statement is true of every generation; mine, my parents, my grandparents. What an absurd statement to put in a "study."

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Well with the overbuilding of so many apartments, I don't know if people will want to come to OV. I have nothing against apartments, but I think the Dentist and his lackeys have gone a bit overboard.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Those apartments can only be filled by low-income, subsidized people.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Is that specific or just your opinion?

Richard Furash, MBA said...

My opinion. Look at Lopez's record in Tucson, and you will see where I'm coming from. Furthermore, there are not enough well-paying jobs in the Tucson area to support the number of apartment dwellers that have to inhabit those hives, We are looking at the future northwest slums.

Richard Furash, MBA said...


I'm sorry, but the dream is dead for young people. Burdened with a college mortgagee, low paying job prospects and few career options in this town, few of them see a real future here. And folks like you want to ensure that they don't even have an affordable place to live in OV. It's pretty clear that none of you have kids since you also oppose any facilities or summer rec for them. If they something constructive to do like skate parks or bike trails or real rec facilities, they wouldn't be bored and be looking for what ever.

If you want to keep the dream alive for all residents, you need to invest in it and provide for everyone's needs. Young people and families live here too. If you want an old folks community without kids, move to Sun City. They don't pay property tax for schools there. Otherwise, stop whining!
Try thinking about your kids for once.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

I'm pretty sure those are the app'ts he tried to put in at Rancho Vistoso and Woodburne. THAT would have been a disaster! We fought tooth and nail and the Council backed down on approving them. One of the few common sense decisions they made.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

As toughteri states, look at Lopez's record in Tucson. He is a very controversial character. I, for one, would not sup with that devil. I bet he ate the dentist for lunch.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

If there are few career options in this town (I agree) and the jobs that are here are low paying (also agree), then why would these college grads want to remain living here? After graduating college, many people leave their hometowns or the town where they went to college in order to pursue job opportunities. They go where the high-paying jobs are located. So why do we need all these apartments for all these college grads who won't want to live here anyway?

Richard Furash, MBA said...

I just completed and sent in my ballot.
I voted for the four folks in office. Here in a nutshell is why. After watching the three candidate interviews it was clear that the challengers were unprepared. The mayor candidate never gave a vision for the future. He only talked about his personal process for decision making. The council candidate was a poor public speaker and stumbled repeatedly. He too didn't have any forward thinking specifics.
It is pretty obvious that Oro Valley is the crown jewel of the area. That indicates good management.
Lastly this forum has never given any reasons to vote for the challengers. You only speak against things. It seems like everybody on here with few exceptions is angry.
So that's my small contribution.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

It is clear that you did some homework and should be applauded for your efforts. The exception that I find with your analysis is the one that permeates American politics. That being, it is the believe that those in power are too heavily influenced by special interest groups. If you want to so some more homework take a look at who is financing the campaigns of the 4 folks in office.