White paint was peeling and shabby fence, shtaketiny pootlomalis. In someone, probably, the election campaign in the United States still support the American Dream, but for many, in these difficult times, it has already melted away like smoke.
PHILADELPHIA, PA — Rob and Marina, of course, not a bit like slackers. They are young enough to have a good education, both work. They have a beautiful home in the heart of Philadelphia, and two wonderful children who are excellent in school and who have inherited the musical talents of Rob.
Very similar to the real embodiment of the American dream, is not it?
In fact, Rob and Marina bankrupt: they are just waiting to be evicted from the house in which they are no longer able to pay, and they can not pay half of their student loans, and their future looks increasingly bleak.
"Our financial situation is pretty sad," admits Rob.
Their story began almost 20 years ago in Moscow.
Rob, a native of Ohio, was passionately in love with Russian music and literature, and went abroad to study. There he met Marina, diligent, hard-working young woman who graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in English literature. When they met, she worked as an office manager in the office of Major U.S. news agency.
They fell in love, got married, and eventually moved to the United States. Thousands of couples, just as they have done the same way.
But Rob and Marina were ambitious. Marina decided to make a career in the field of international relations and a master's degree at the prestigious Fletcher School University. Tufts.
Then they set off together in Durham, North Carolina, where, at Duke University, both received law degree. After that, Rob graduated additional training program in tax law at the University of New York.
"We are incredibly thoroughbred" crooked grins Rob, alluding to the number of diplomas, like show dogs.
With diplomas in hand, they moved to Philadelphia, where both got himself a good job — Marina in international law, and Rob was able to use of all the talents and skills, including fluent Russian.
"I helped Ukrainian oligarchs to launder money by investing in commercial real estate," he explained. "It was very interesting and exciting."
Activity was also quite profitable. The pair bought a townhouse in the heart of Philadelphia for about $ 800,000, raised her children and started to gradually implement its long-standing dream.
And then — disaster.
In 2008, the market crashed, Ukrainian oligarchs are no longer interested in commercial real estate and the work Rob has evaporated. Marina also "cut", and the pair quickly found itself in a difficult position.
"Our revenues have dropped rapidly from 300 million per annum to zero," said Rob. "It was a very sharp drop."
Then the real estate market collapsed. Their town house they bought a few years ago, quickly lost more than a third of its value.
"Right now, it costs less than $ 500,000," says Rob. "The fact is, we are now more than $ 200,000 in the" cons. " But, anyway, we can not pay the mortgage. "
They also have tens of thousands of dollars of loans for education.
Rob now works part-time work in various law firms. Marina each time to calculate the options so that its earnings in temporary jobs exceeded the cost of daycare.
"We do not live, we just exist from day to day," she says.
With the approach of the presidential election, the American dream will become the most important, the central issue of the campaign.
Both candidates (now almost certainly be said that this will be the current President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts governor — Mitt Romney) will try to rehabilitate the notion that the order was tarnished over the past few years.
Romney did not make excuses for his wealth and prosperity — the result, he insists hard work on the land of unlimited possibilities.
In a speech on April 24 "A Better America Begins Tonight" ("Best America starts today"), which was, in fact, the beginning of his campaign, Romney saying what will undoubtedly be one of its main themes.
"I love this country, where my father, who grew up in poverty, never studied in college, could realize their dreams and go all the way to managing a large automotive company. Only in America, people like my father, would become governor of the state where he once sold paint from the trunk of his car. "
America, said Romney, a place where "every one of us could get a little taller and wider than the shoulders to deploy, because we had something that was nobody else in the world. We were Americans. "
Romney implied that Obama took it from us, but it is he is going to return it to the people.
Obama, on the other hand, in his speech on April 18 at the college in Elyria Lorain County, Ohio, struck the same bell. He indirectly objected to his opponent, touting the possibility of a great country.
"I was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth," said he welcomed his audience. "Michelle — too. But someone gave us a chance "
He said that his policies will help to provide a chance to millions of Americans sitting without work, drowning in debt, desperate waiting for a better future.
But people are quick to stop believing the promises: they need to survive.
During his brief stay in the spotlight Rick Santorum often expressed his simple recipe for prosperity:
"Work hard, finish high school and get married before you have any children," he said in his many speeches to voters. He insisted that it guarantees the American income "above the national average."
Well then, Rob and Marina would have to be on the upper rungs of the social ladder.
But they have fallen victim to politics and machinations that they could not foresee or avoid.
In a brilliant work of Ron Suskind, analyzes debacle on Wall Street — "Confidence Men" ("Cheaters"), the author has given us that evokes, just infuriating, the world of unbridled greed, financial fraud and a complete lack of responsibility, which for several years has brought us to where we are today.
The banks were too big to fail, and therefore, for the most part, saved. Bankers who caused the accident, took his multimillion-dollar "golden parachutes" and left.
But millions of others out of luck.
Couples, such as Rob and Marina, who tried to do the right thing, who "played by all the rules," thought they climb up the ladder reliable.
Instead, they are waiting for when they were evicted from the house (they stopped payments on the mortgage a few months ago), and make plans for how to get out of an increasingly desperate situation.
If something does not change soon, they will be forced to leave the country. Rob, thank you mother was born in Montreal, has a Canadian passport. The American dream may soon become a Canadian dream of.
"The public health system, free education and they will pay for tuition Marina French language," Rob said, looking at her small but exquisite garden and sighing. "That sounds pretty good to me"