The American Dream Is Broken For Hawaii's Middle Class

America’s dream was once lined with white picket fences.

Homes glowed with the flickering of first-generation televisions, but also with a world of possibility for the middle-class families inside. After World War II, parents worked hard, but they were usually getting ahead — and they generally felt like they were setting their children up for the future.

The implicit promise of the American dream, of course, predated Hawaii becoming the 50th state. And in that era, many island residents who earned mid-range incomes could enjoy a middle-class lifestyle, albeit with fewer creature comforts than on much of the mainland. Much of Hawaii’s burgeoning middle class enjoyed growing buying power, good prospects for a solid retirement and better prospects for the kids.

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