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The dream will not die!

Right now, we Americans may be hunkered down and feeling uncertain about the near future, but we’re still Americans. We haven’t lost, even for a moment, our clear vision of the good life – translation: the American dream.

So says a Pew Research Center report just completed that examines where we want to live and what sort of lifestyle we would like to have. It debunks the prognosticators who say, because of the current economic crisis, Americans will repent from over-consumption, move back to the city from the sprawling suburbs and scale down everything from their refrigerators to their cars. Not likely!

The Pew report found that Americans still see themselves moving outward. City dwellers are the least happy with where they live. Only 52 percent of city folk rate their communities “excellent” or “very good,” compared to 68 percent of suburbanites and 71 percent of people living in rural areas. Interestingly, 45 percent of the people surveyed between the ages of 18 and 34 would like to live in New York City. But cities register strongly unattractive to people with families as well as those above age 35.

For example, only 14 percent of Americans 35 and up think living in New York would be desirable. The same applies to those pushing age 65 — only 8 percent of those said living in Los Angeles would be attractive.

The old “go west, young man” still has a strong pull, however. Respondents to the Pew researchers clearly signaled the once most-desirable cities of New York, Chicago and L.A. have now been replaced by San Diego, Denver, Orlando, Tampa and Seattle. (Others in the top 10 included Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, San Francisco and Sacramento.)

When I stop and reflect on these new “most-desirable” metropolitan areas, I get an image of places where people visualize the promise of good living and an active lifestyle in the great outdoors. That leads me to picture driveways and garages filled with boats, water skis, PWC’s and kayaks among other outdoor recreational equipment. Why, what I’m seeing is the America dream — the good life we have always expected in this country.

Obviously, everyone isn’t going to be moving to those new “most-desirable” cities. That’s not the point, of course. In fact, it seems safe to assume most people will stay right where they are due to career, family and other considerations. But, what I particularly like from the research is documentation that the current economic situation hasn’t caused the American dream to be altered. It says to me nothing has changed our basic belief, vision or expectation that we can and will have it all no matter where we live.

When NMMA President Thom Dammrich said in his State of the Industry report in Miami last week, “Boating is not going away,” he was right. I take from the Pew report that for all those who specifically hold the boating dream, this bad economy is only a  temporary postponement of the inevitable – the realization of that dream!

Comments

8 comments on “The dream will not die!

  1. CarlM

    Norm in most of the desired area’s of the country mentioned 90%+ of the folks are working today & being paid the same as last year. The economic trend obviously is down. The days of unfettered get it now, do it now, over indulgance, over reaching ones income are over- we know that. After a big party the hangover & the mess must be addressed. That is where we are. Consumers, Dealers & Manufacturers over reached, over expanded- these are the facts not spilled milk. Every thing I see, read & hear indicates a 30% contraction in boat (recreational – we are not alone folks) related businesses.
    Saying things like “Boating is not going away” gets a big Homer Simpson Duh! Did he have a togga on when he said this?? Remember Horse riding hasn’t gone away, Nascar hasn’t gone away, Golf, Camping, etc. nothing goes away! Of course yachting (I mean boating) will not go away – The participants just modify their behavior to what they percieve the future may bring. Maybe that is why the folks in the Pew study desire smaller, (dare I say) cleaner, percieved newer metropolitan areas that project a more rewarding lifestyle. Interesting most of those cities mentioned are in areas with access to WATER!!!! So your dream of boats in driveways in those area’s are not unfounded.

  2. Boatman11

    Everyone DOES want the Dream. The good life. The toys. Of course that’s what American’s want. The problem is they want it with someone elses money! They want it on credit. That is what has gotten us into this horrible state in the first place! Reality has hit. For many of us the “dream” will remain just that. A dream.

  3. LARRY RODRIGUEZ

    KUDOS TO YOU! FOR THOSE THAT THINK YOU’RE TOO FAR SIDED ON YOUR OUTLOOK HAVE NOT HAD THE PLEASURE OF KNOWING YOU PERSONALLY AND HAVING DEALT WITH YOU, SINCE THIS IS THE WAY YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PRETTY MUCH ALL THE TIME I’VE KNOWN YOU.
    MANY SEEM OBLIVIOUS TO SOME VERY POSITIVE REALITIES OF TODAY!
    TODAY PEOPLE GET TO LIVE LONGER THAN EVER BEFORE IN HISTORY, AND THE HEALTH OF THE POPULATION HAS INCREASED DRAMATICALLY IN COMPARISON TO ANY OTHER TIME IN HISTORY!
    LET’S FACE IT, THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE TODAY THAN EVER BEFORE IN HISTORY, AS WE APPROACH THE 7 BILLION MARK.
    THERE’S MORE MONEY CIRCULATING AROUND THE WORLD TODAY THAN ANY OTHER TIME IN HISTORY!
    THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE WORKING ON JOBS TODAY THAN ANY OTHER TIME IN HISTORY!
    THERE ARE MORE COUNTRIES PRACTICING DEMOCRACY TODAY THAN ANY OTHER TIME IN HISTORY!
    THERE ARE MORE CHOICES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUCCESS TODAY THAN ANY OTHER TIME IN HISTORY!
    THERE ARE MORE CARS IN THE WORLD TODAY THAN EVER BEFORE IN HISTORY!
    THERE ARE MORE BOATS TODAY OFF & ON THE WATER THAN EVER BEFORE IN HISTORY!
    I CAN GO ON, AND ON, AND ON……..
    BOTTOM LINE, THIS MANY PEOPLE REQUIRE GOODS & SERVICES LIKE NO POPULATION ON EARTH HAS EVER NEEDED BEFORE, INCLUDING THE LAST BABY BOOM!
    I SCRATCH MY HEAD AND WONDER……………WHERE’S THE PROBLEM??? DON’T KNOW?
    FEAR & PERCEPTION. (don’t you wonder how much the media enjoys selling fear……laughing all the way to the bank!) THERE ARE MORE CHANNELS REPORTING THE NEWS TODAY THAN ANY OTHER TIME IN TV & RADIO HISTORY!
    THE GLASS IS BEING LOOKED AT AS EMPTY……………..WHEN THE OPPOSITE IS AND COULD NOT BE MORE TRUTH!!
    YOU KNOW I HAD A FRIEND BACK IN COLLEGE THAT WAS COLOR BLIND, AND I’LL NEVER FORGET THAT THOUGH HE COULD NOT DISTINGUISH BETWEEN RED & BLACK, AND HAD MUCH DIFFICULTY TELLING WHAT GREEN OR BLUE WAS, HE USED TO SAY THAT THOSE COLORS HE WAS ABLE TO SEE WAS ALL HIS IMAGINATION NEEDED TO “PICTURE” IN HIS MIND HOW BEAUTIFUL WERE THOSE COLORS HE MISSED SEEING. TODAY HE’S STILL GOING (past 65) AND IS AN EYE DOCTOR, GO FIGURE!

  4. dave boso

    I sold one to a guy that told me he had taken the money out of his 401k to buy the boat. He reckoned that he would rather have the boat than loose any more in the down turn???? He also said he would rather use the money than see some stranger in New Yory get it.
    Sounded OK to me.
    The plight is not as bad as we are made to think, or the “crisis” as the president calls it. We have some business close in this part of the country, but I belive those business were on their way to china anyway this was just a good time to get out. The exects. at those places would be the only ones to buy new boats, most of the workers were $10.00 an hr. jobs, so out of the 400 or so that lost their job we only had a shot at 4 or 5. and that was just a shot not a sure thing.
    What are we up to now 6 or 7 % unemployed well there is always 3 or 4% so add a couple more to that because of “hardTimes” we still have a bunch of boat buyers out there. What we have to do is counter the fear mongering press. I have decided to limit my advertising dollars this year only to outlets that speak words of encourgment, and positive attitudes ( that may not be many) I know my radio ads will be up beat and positive.
    I am a little worried about the finance market, but there are always some outfits that will loan money , may cost more but that is what we pay for not being born rich.. I do belive that when the sun shines and the water is warn boats will sell.
    Be positive

  5. Boatman11

    You forgot some things Larry:

    There are more people losing their savings and retirement accounts today then any other time in history!
    There are more repossessed boats sitting on lots then in any other time in history.
    There are more car dealers going bust then in any other time in history.
    There are more foreclosed homes and bankruptcies then in any other time in history.
    There is more credit card debt then in any other time in history.
    There is more National debt then any other time in history.
    There is more money circulating around, but it is worth less then in any other time in history!

  6. Gordy McKelvey

    I don’t mean to be a party pooper but I think we’ve beat the failing economy horse to a bloody pulp. Folks, it is was it is and sooner or later things will stabilize. We as an industry need to move on. Yes the Stimulus Bill sucks, gasoline will never be $0.99 again and the cost of owning and operating a boat will continue to rise. Deal with it!

  7. Arch

    “Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

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