Rather than focusing on home ownership, American social policy should probably be looking at small business formation as the key to mass middle class prosperity in the next fifty years.
The American Dream is not in the last analysis a farm or a home and a good job. It is the dream that through hard work and good choices the average American can be prosperous and independent, and that ordinary people with these life experiences can govern themselves wisely and well without the ‘guidance’ of their ‘betters’.
That dream is timelessly valid, and it is still the thing that people around the world admire most about the United States. We are going to have to re-imagine and re-engineer the dream to keep it alive in the decades ahead, but that shouldn’t daunt us. America is a nation of dreamers; building the future by following those dreams is what we do best.
Walter Russell Mead on The Death of the American Dream II