American Dream And Social Mobility

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Every year, Americans enjoy the bountiful benefits of capitalism. Sales are found around major and minor holidays and many people partake in the crazed event known as Black Friday. As a result, these holidays, such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day, have shifted away from their original values and ideals. Such occasions are now only focused on money, gifts, deals, savings, raises, etc. The same shift has happened in the American Dream. What started as a dream for success in The Land of Opportunity now leaves the hopeful only wanting more money and more possessions. The American Dream shifted its focus from success to commercialism and materialism. The transition from success to materialism originated in the ideals of the Puritans. The Puritans…show more content…
Social mobility entails that one has ability to increase in social status through hard-work and commitment, or decrease in status through lack thereof. Striving for economic mobility is much more prominent in the lower class. Those in the lower class aspire to gain more wealth in hopes of increasing social class and ultimately having a better life. Unfortunately, social mobility is a waning reality. A study done by the Brookings Institution determined that “a child’s family income plays a dominant role in determining his or her future income, and those who start out poor are likely to remain poor” (Greenstone et al.). Many strive to attain social mobility, but this effort is often in vain. A large demographic straining to attain the unattainable means hard-work and effort wastes away. This effort could be directed toward self-betterment and economic improvement, but instead it is directed toward an unrealistic dream. Social mobility diverts efforts away from the possibility of success solely to…show more content…
From the “rags-to-riches” dream, to becoming a rugged individualist, America’s dreams exceed pure commercialistic desires. However, any of these alternative versions of the American Dream are based off of money in some way. The fault of the “rag-to-riches” dream lies within its objective. Similar to social mobility, this dream relies on the poor to sit at the bottom and wish for the top, focusing on money. Even those who have reached success in this dream and become enormously wealthy still only care about their wealth. People such as John D. Rockefeller or Andrew Carnegie built themselves up from nothing, but money remained their only concern. They gave no particular care to their workers or economic monopoly. While rugged individualists may not have the same interests in capital, an entrepreneur or up-and-comer still needs money in some shape or form to survive. Ultimately, this influences their dreams. Whether or not plans go accordingly, money still concerns these people, when it sets the boundaries of what they can and cannot accomplish. Even for those with success in mind, money still dominates opportunity and
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