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Is the American Dream Under Threat?


New collaborative tool enables public to share ideas for preserving the American Dream at

(St. Paul, Minn. & Los Angeles, Calif.) — Marketplace,® public radio’s popular business program, announced today it is inviting listeners to propose and debate ideas for resolving the economic anxiety that pervades this country with a new Web 2.0 tool called the Idea Generator.

The American Dream is in trouble. A March 2007 poll by Lake Research Partners found 75 percent of non-supervisory workers doubt they can achieve it. Issues like social security solvency, rising income inequality, health coverage, globalization, the mortgage meltdown and immigration are putting pressure on the dream that every American can have a home, a comfortable life, and a secure retirement.

American Public Media,™ distributor of public radio programs such as A Prairie Home Companion® and Marketplace, is the creator of Public Insight Journalism,reg; a set of principles and tools for letting the public inform its news and feature coverage. The American Dream Idea Generator is part of that effort on the Web at

“The Idea Generator software is an online think tank that is open to all comers,” says Michael Skoler, who created Public Insight Journalism as executive director of the Center for Innovation in Journalism at American Public Media. “Marketplace is using it to gather the wisdom of the country about the most important economic and social issues that candidates should be addressing in the coming election.”

The Idea Generator is an engaging space for fact-based discussions where participants can access the latest research on several economic issues, share ideas on preserving the American Dream, collaborate with other users and help inform Marketplace’s upcoming coverage of the critical issues around the 2008 presidential election. Participants become part of American Public Media’s growing Public Insight Network,® which includes more than 35,000 people who share their knowledge and experience regularly to make American Public Media news and feature coverage stronger and deeper.

American Public Media uses other Web 2.0 tools to gather public insight, like its new “serious” game about sustainability called Consumer Consequences at


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