The American Dream is predicated on the idea that people who work hard and follow the recommendations of the social consensus will be rewarded with prosperity. And what is the ultimate symbol of that prosperity? Owning your own home.
But the premise of the American Dream is getting shakier by the year. The United States has become a starkly unequal plutocracy whose class structure is far more calcified than social democracies in Europe. Still, even though the fact of inequality has become widely accepted, the aspirational creed of homeownership remains woven with the idea of America itself, both in terms of policy and culture.