🇺🇸 Is the American Dream still alive?

Monday, June 7, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures
_What Snackers said the American Dream means to them_

What Snackers said the American Dream means to them

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Hey Snackers,

We thought seltzer-ification had reached its limits with Natty Light seltzer. We were wrong: Hallmark (yes, the greeting card company) dropped a rosé seltzer.

Stocks ticked up for the short week. AMC shares rallied, but fell after the theater chain sold millions of shares and warned investors against buying its stock.

USA
1. Is the American Dream still alive? We're diving into your answers

Dream on... This month marks the 90th anniversary of the American Dream — or at least, when the term was first coined. Historian James Truslow Adams described it as "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement." Ninety years later, thousands of Snackers told us whether they think the American Dream is still alive.

  • The TLDR: It was 50-50. Most of you think the American Dream is alive, but some think it's dying — and some think it's dead, but could return.
  • The core of the Dream: 26% said financial freedom, 17% said equal opportunity, and 40% said a combo of those plus material ownership and racial equity.
  • Key to achieving the Dream: 40% said hard work, and 43% said a combo of hard work, luck, and privilege.

Lay down the stats... Generations of Americans have climbed the economic ladder for decades, but there are signs that economic mobility is waning. The fraction of Americans who earn more than their parents has shrunk from 90% of those born in the 1940s to 50% of those born in the 1980s. Income inequality in the US has been rising for decades, and is wider between Black and white Americans.

In your words... We asked what the American Dream means to you today:

  • “The ability to move above the station you were born in life through hard work and perseverance.”
  • "To fail and have continuous opportunity to get back on our feet regardless of discrimination."
  • “Filling up my gas tank without checking my bank balance first.”
  • "Exists because people are still willing to do anything to get to America."
THE TAKEAWAY

The dream is what you make of it... For some, it aligns with Adams' first description: opportunity to succeed, regardless of your background. For others, it's a lie. And for some, it's changing: thanks to stimulus spending, US households have saved $2T more than they would have normally. In April, US household income was 11% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Biden's presidency could further shape this trajectory, with trillions in proposed spending on social initiatives.

Events

What do you meme?... GameStop reports on Wednesday. ICYMI: GameStop shares have soared 1,400% this year as retail traders rallied around the money-losing video game company. Some are bullish about its new, ecomm-savvy board. But annual sales have fallen each year since 2017. In April, GameStop raised $551M by selling new shares and said its CEO is stepping down. Investors will likely be watching for signs of ecommerce progress.

After Cream of Mushroom Monday... and Tomato Bisque Tuesday: Campbell Soup serves up earnings on Wednesday. The canned soup legend thrived early in the pandemic, as people stocked up on Campbell classics like Snyder's pretzels and Goldfish. After nearly a decade of falling sales, Campbell's soup sales started growing again. But growth has slowed as we return to a lifestyle that involves less can-hoarding. Campbell is trying to keep momentum going with Millennial-friendly recipes — we'll see if it's succeeding.

Zoom Out

Recovery is chugging along... Jobless claims fell to a new pandemic low, and wages are growing. On the flip side: prices are rising faster than expected as the US economy revs up and shortages abound. Prime example: Ubers are getting pricier (and they're always 24 minutes away). Companies are struggling to bring workers back, since 42% of people on enhanced unemployment earn more than they did at their jobs.

Crypto ransoms intensify... Cyber attacks are continuing to target critical infrastructure. Last week, Earth's largest meat producer was forced to shut beef plants after a ransomware attack. Last month, the US' largest fuel pipeline was also hit — and paid $4.4M in Bitcoin to reclaim its systems. Experts believe Russia is funding "the ransomware plague." We'll be looking to see if the US government takes a stronger stance. President Biden meets with Russian president Putin next week.

ICYMI
  • Popcorn: AMC debuted a loyalty program for individual investors (feat. free popcorn), as shares soared. It's catering to the retail investor.
  • Blue: Twitter launched its first subscription service, "Twitter Blue," for ~$3/month — but will people pay for social?
What else we’re Snackin’
  • Read: How to stop wasting time on things you hate — even if they feel good in the moment.
  • Wake: Five morning habits that will start your day with purpose.
  • Mapped: The world's 25 richest countries, in terms of GDP per capita.
  • Talk: How to support a friend who’s struggling with their mental health.
Snacks Daily Podcast

"Stretchy still sells."

Lululemon's sales jumped nearly 90% last quarter, but investors didn't care about the leggings – it's all about the Mirror(s) now.

Tune in to our snackable 15-minute pod for more.

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Monday
  • Monday: Earnings expected from Stitch Fix, Vail Resorts, and Coupa Software
  • Tuesday: Earnings expected from Casey's General Stores and Thor Industries
  • Wednesday: Earnings expected from GameStop and Campbell Soup
  • Thursday: Weekly jobless claims. Earnings expected from Chewy and Signet Jewelers
  • Friday: Consumer sentiment index. Earnings expected from Nathan's Famous

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