SOURCE: Author G. Web Ross

Author G. Web Ross

October 21, 2009 14:50 ET

Whatever Happened to the American Dream?

Retired CEO Says Lack of Character to Blame -- NOT the Recession

LITTLE ROCK, AR--(Marketwire - October 21, 2009) - The American Dream is starting to fade.

According to a survey by the U.S. Census bureau, fewer people than ever are buying homes, obtaining healthcare coverage and getting married. More people are out of work and those who aren't are earning less. This sweeping look at life from the viewpoint of more than 3 million American homes blames many of the maladies striking Americans on the recession.

However, one retired CEO believes that it is the changing values of our business leaders that is to blame for our woes.

G. Web Ross, author of "Rescuing the American Dream: The Entrepreneur's Way" (www.rescuingthedream.com), said Americans today have a greater sense of entitlement and a lesser sense of values, and that combination is dragging the country, and the dream, downward. For him, it's all about character.

"For more than 500 years, people have risked it all to come here for one simple reason: to live a life that realizes its fullest potential, and the chance to carve out one's own destiny," Ross said.

Having spent 40 years in the newsprint business -- 30 of them as a company executive -- provided Ross first-hand experience at running a business through two recessions. He said what helped him navigate the rough spots was a strong sense of values and integrity.

"We keep reading about scandal after scandal in the business section," he said. "If I had to point to one primary crisis in business today, it wouldn't be the lack of stable economic footing -- it would be the lack of honesty," he added. "Whether it's the middle managers who lie to their bosses to save their jobs, or the CEOs who lie to the board of directors and the press, it seems that we are discovering that the foundation of many large corporations has been built on lies. In all my years, I have never seen it this bad. But if we can find our character again, we can make it better."

About G. Web Ross

G. Web Ross, author of "Rescuing the American Dream: The Entrepreneur's Way" has charted more than 40 years experience in the paper industry, eventually retiring as the CEO of a large newsprint manufacturing company. After retirement, he became an advisor to two start-up companies.

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