Ladies on the Lot: Women, Car Sales, and the Pursuit of the American Dream

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Heartbreaking and emotionally raw, this bleak portrait of a man whose natural sales skills fail him at the worst possible moment was originally broadcast on PBS television.

Another ‘American Idol’ shocker - today > entertainment - Reality TV -

Diane Keaton stars as J. When she inherits a toddler from deceased relatives, this high-powered management consultant learns that raising a child requires more tenacity than negotiating a million-dollar contract. After losing her job and buying a ramshackle farm, the overstressed Wiatt discovers her true calling when she starts selling her own brand of organic baby food. Charged by his firm with training a younger replacement, an unlikely friendship develops between the cross-generational partners, culminating in their unexpected visit to a rundown massage parlor, where a second chance at love just might await our widowed hero.

This Stunning Coachbuilt Corvette Is The American Dream

Charting the rise and fall of a small-arms dealer who moves from distributing handguns in his New York City neighborhood to delivering guided-missiles to rogue nations, this darkly comic thriller stars Nicolas Cage in one of his most fascinating roles. Will Smith earned an Academy Award nomination for his role as Chris Gardner, a fitfully employed salesman who finds himself and his five-year-old son homeless after a series of unlucky financial breaks. This Oscar-nominated film tells the true story of Billy Beane Brad Pitt , the general manager of the downtrodden Oakland Athletics baseball team.

With a tight budget and the help of recent Yale economics graduate Peter Brand Jonah Hill , Beane pioneers the sabermetric approach to baseball recruiting. It's a story of big bets, questioning the status quo, and turning meagre resources into big results -- something all salespeople have encountered at one time or another.

The film picks up with Joy, played by Jennifer Lawrence, as a divorced mother of two working as an airline booking clerk.

Mangano gets her big break when QVC offers her self-wringing mops a spot on one of their telethons. Unfortunately, the spot flops due to a salesman's poor execution. Mangano fights for the chance to star in the infomercial herself and success soon follows. Ray Kroc is the year-old milkshake machine salesman who built a fast food empire.

Michael Keaton's Oscar-nominated portrayal of Kroc isn't always likable, but it's a display of the "whatever-it-takes" mindset that has skyrocketed more than one entrepreneur to success.

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It's also sure to leave you craving a cheeseburger. The "boiler room" is where aggressive brokers sell to unsuspecting buyers over the phone and are rewarded with mansions, sports cars, and other luxury goods. The story centers around Giovanni Ribisi, who plays a college dropout who gets a job as a broker at a suburban investment firm.

With his new career and lucrative income, he's back in his father's good graces. But when he discovers the firm isn't exactly legitimate, he's faced with the ultimate decision. One of Tom Cruise's most famous roles, his turn as Jerry Maguire tells the story of a sports agent who has a moral epiphany -- and loses his job for sharing it.

With his former secretary and one very difficult athlete played by Cuba Gooding Jr. Arguably a new generation's "Wall Street," this film staring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort tells the true story of Belfort's meteoric rise from an entry-level Wall Street broker to the fortune-hunting owner of his own firm. Drugs and illicit financial practices eventually lead to his downfall -- and jail time -- but viewers might still walk away from the film feeling Belfort's empire of excess was only his first act.

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Fair warning, the clip below is NSFW. Joey O'Brien, played by Robin Williams, is in financial trouble and has two days to sell a dozen cars in order to pay back his debts. This task might sound difficult enough to most salespeople, but things get even hairier when the husband of the dealership's secretary takes the dealership hostage in an effort to find out why O'Brien has been having an affair with his wife. In his January speech, he framed the slogan as though it were an entrepreneurial aspiration. Carson has explicitly said that homeownership is a central part of the Dream.

Ladies on the Lot : Women, Car Sales, and the Pursuit of the American Dream

The American dream was a trajectory to a promising future, a model for the United States and for the whole world. During these years, it rarely, if ever, referred to business success or homeownership. By , shortly after World War II and the triumph against fascism, it was still about freedom and equality.

The term began to be used extensively in the s. But as the term became more commonplace, its connection with notions of equality and community weakened. Thanks in part to the deluge of advertisements, many people came to associate the American Dream with homeownership, with some unfortunate results. Increasing home sales became public policy. In , President George W.

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Bush signed the American Dream Downpayment Act , subsidizing home purchases during a period in which a housing bubble — the one that would lead to the financial crisis — was already growing at a 10 percent annual rate, according to the S. Corelogic Case-Shiller U.

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National Home Price index which I helped to create. This kind of characterization is commonplace today, and very different from the original spirit of the American dream. One thing is clear: Bringing back the fevered housing dream of a decade ago would not be in the public interest.