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I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the sentence, “We want our children to have a better life than we do,” or something similar, but it’s been a lot. I’m hearing the sentiment even more now that politicians are wrangling over who will be the next Republican presidential candidate.

This is almost always said in relation to the American Dream, wherein parents want to bestow the absolute best of culture, experiences, consumer goods, and money on their children. When do we reach a point of diminishing returns on such a dream? In my estimation, if a certain set of parents already has a really good life – i.e. everything they could ever dream of – than how could their children ever hope to have life better? Maybe, in order to have a better life, said children need to have somewhat less than their parents, especially if they have always been given everything they want by their parents and come to have a sense of entitlement about all of life. (Btw, children don’t necessarily have to come out of wealthy households to learn this sense of entitlement.)

I don’t have any answers to this, but it does make me ponder. If I have a great life, do my children have to be in competition with me to have a better one, or can we all have great lives, but different great lives?

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