1 Pages


American Dream. Overcoming the obstacles and challenges facing our young and wealth-poor households is less about character and more about capacity building. The evidence offered here suggests that teaching different attitudes toward credit or longer planning horizons will likely bear modest fruit. Instead, these results offer a different source of hope. Programs that assist households in acquiring assets like a home or even starting a business could help them gain better access to the Asset Appreciation pathway. As the results show, this pathway offers these households the greatest promise of a financial nest egg. At the same time, these programs must be designed to mitigate the risks that asset ownership necessarily entails. In the next chapter, I examine some of these risks as they increased the vulnerabilities of households to the financial turbulence of the Great Recession.