The thoughts, principles, histories, and opinions expressed on this site are the culmination of a half-century of contemplation of and participation in the American Dream. And although, up to the present moment, the words on these pages have been the work of just the site founder, much of what you see here is the result of many long hours of discussion with a wide array of people, some of whom have college degrees ranging from finance and economics to history, psychology, and religion, and others of whom have received their well-respected and hard-won wisdom from the experience of life. Very dear friends and associates of the site founder range from almost every corner of the United States as well as such diverse places as Mexico, China, Europe, India, Vietnam, Japan and Russia.
But even so, with such a wide range of potential subjects to be included under such a large umbrella, the future vision for this site includes having the biographies of numerous well-qualified people included on this page. For now, though, here is a little background:
Site Founder: Peter Kosen
I grew up as a Southern California kid in the 1960’s in what was then the city-with-a-small-town-attitude of San Diego. After graduating from Clairemont High School in 1974 (only four years before Cameron Crowe did his under-cover research on that school which resulted in the infamous book and movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”) I went to the University of San Diego, which happened to be across the street from our house. On the second day of freshman year in college, I met the girl who five years later became my wife. We both ended up graduating with degrees in Business Administration and Accounting and, due partly to the school’s Catholic affiliation, studied a decent amount of religion and philosophy. The classes we really enjoyed, though, were in the newly established Computer Science minor where one of our professors was playing around with a box of the same basic configuration that some guys that nobody had heard of at the time named Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniacki that same year (1977) turned into the Apple II.
My own enjoyment of computers eventually turned into a good bit of creativity in a career in the corporate offices of a large Southern California aerospace company where I learned over the years that the greatest amount of success, as well as fun in life comes from helping other people become successful.
Looking way back, I realize that one of my most significant memories even as a kid was the realization of a great dichotomy in our society. I understood that I and my family were very fortunate and that the fortunes of others were not necessarily as good. And it wasn’t just because of the fact that the 1960’s civil rights protests were on the nightly television news. It was more personal than that. One major source of my realization was a story that my mother used to tell of a time when she was a young girl living in a neighborhood near downtown San Diego. Up until the time that she was a teenager, most of her friends had been Japanese simply because of the community who lived at the bottom of the hill where her mother owned a modest set of apartments. She was impressed by how nice, polite, respectful, and even patriotic her friends’ families were. Then, all of a sudden, early in 1942 — three months after the Japanese navy bombed Pearl Harbor — when my mother was 16 years old, all of her best friends and their entire families were rounded up by the United States government and shipped off to live in concentration camps for no apparent reason other than their race.
More recently – in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century – my wife and I and our family went through a more personal set of experiences. Through a desire to build our own part in the story of the American Dream and contribute to the lives and success of others, we undertook a multifamily housing development project in a primarily African American neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee. The vision was to take an almost entirely run-down but structurally sound apartment complex, renovate it, and create a business based on supplying housing near an apparently successful commercial neighborhood. We met, worked with, and in some cases employed, a number of very wonderful people – mostly African American – during the several years of that project. And we also got to know on a personal level quite a few who were struggling in life, as well as some who were, shall we say, not all that well respected within their own community. Unfortunately, we initiated this project just a couple years before the crash of 2008, so we also had the opportunity of experiencing the some of the more disastrous consequences of an economic downturn on a very personal level. So, while I and my family have always been deeply patriotic toward the principles and potentials of what the United States of America can be and should be (and actually is for many millions of people) we have also been very much aware that there are serious problems and inequities in our country. And it is to both that wonderful potential and to the exposing of problems and inequities and discussing their solutions that this site is dedicated.