A lingering question to many of the less fortunate in America pertains to the existence of the so-called “American dream.” Does this American dream exist and is it attainable? The American dream inspires many immigrants move to America, hoping to better their lives and those of their families. However, in the novel, Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich’s attempt achieve the American dream deems it not possibly attainable. Likewise, today, in the twenty-first century, the American dream is still not attainable.
Since the beginning of time in the United States, the idea of the American Dream has had a heavy influence on society. According to Document C, American Dream is defined as earning enough money to be happy, obtaining a worry-free lifestyle, and running in a high social circle. While working Americans still hold on to the hope of the American Dream, individuals from other countries often move to the United States with the hope that they too may have a piece of the pie. Despite the novelty and allure of the American Dream, it is nothing more than false hope. The American Dream is unachievable in the United States because no matter how hard one works or how hard one tries to save money, the American Dream is simply not accessible to those that begin with nothing.
Americans are still achieving their dreams today by working hard. In the essay “They Live the Dream,” Dan Rather stated, “Delores Kesler… began her career at twenty-two with a series of dead-end jobs, struggling to make ends meet” (41). She was trying to provide for her child,
American Dream Synthesis Essay The dreams of previous generations are still present within the souls of future eras. The guarantee to an equal opportunity to achieve personal enrichment is the foundation of the American Dream, embodying American society as a whole. While our nation has dealt with struggles and times of prosperity, one thing remains consistent: the spirit of the American Dream. Due to the modern focus on economic success and pecuniary priorities of today’s society, the definition of the American Dream has changed, yet it is still achievable for all, no matter the circumstances of one’s upbringing.
The picture perfect life that the American Dream promotes is unrealistic and superficial because money is unable to fill the void of happiness or love. Contrary to earlier days, we now life in a time when even a strong work-ethic does not guarantee money, success or opportunities. While many are so ensorcelled by the illusions of the American Dream, we often fail to realize its falsity and constraints. Whether financially or socially, the society coaxes in the unsuspecting American dreamer, only to then spit them out in a wave of despair, failure and hopelessness. As demonstrated by numerous non-conformist individuals, the Dream lies not in the realm of materialism but rather in that of the intangible; often requiring an extreme leap of faith
It has been contended that the socioeconomics status of an individual does not impact the difficulty of hardships faced while striving towards the American Dream. In “The (futile) Pursuit of the American Dream”, Barbara Ehrenreich suggests “...while blue-collar poverty has become numbingly route, white-collar unemployment and the poverty that often results- remains a rude finger in the face of the American Dream.” To put succinctly Ehrenreich claims all who pursue the American Dream encounter the same difficult hardships. However, the socioeconomic status of an individual impacts the jobs the individual obtains, the education obtained, and ultimately the income of the individual; thus, impacting the difficulty of the hardships faced.
Classism is a major issue that plagues American society. Classism separates groups by their economic status in society. America is perceived to be a middle class society, however in reality the middle class does not hold majority of the nation’s wealth. Most of the nation’s wealth is held by 1% of the population in America which consists of 34% of the nation’s wealth, meanwhile “the richest 20% of Americans hold nearly 85% of the total household wealth in the country” (Adams et al, 2013, p. 151). American citizens that are a part of the upper class are privilege because they have access to majority of the resources.
No matter who you are or where you have come from, you have undoubtedly heard of the American Dream. The idea that no matter who you are or where you have come from, you can do whatever it is you desire in America. What was once one the main driving forces for immigrants to flock to the new world, has slowly changed over the years, but still holds its value in the eyes of those who are looking for a promising new place to live. The American dream might not hold the same awe inspiring sound that it once did, but for many generations before ours it was a beacon of hope that helped build the foundation that the United States was built on. And, still, today the American dream might not be as achievable as it once was, but it is still an important
Annotated Bibliography Cohen, M. (2014, April 26). The American Dream is now just that for its middle classes – a dream. The Guardian, p. 00. “The American Dream is now just that for its middle classes – a dream” by Michael Cohen explains the perception of Americans towards the decline of the middle class. The article details how the middle class was viewed before the elections of President Obama, and how it’s viewed after the creation of the Affordable Care Act.
The American dream at one point was what drew people to American; the right to life, liberty, and the happiness. The American dream is the hope to acquire currency, large homes, raise a middle-class family, and pursue what brings people joy in life. But in the year 2016, the American dream becomes hard to believe in. The American dream may still exist, but it is not equally accessible to all Americans. This is true because the American dream is not affordable for everyone, it is not available to everyone from different degrees of education, and race and ethnicity creates large social barriers.
Over the years, a dream that changed the way the world saw the U.S. was created and it is the American Dream. As the years passed and the U.S. was developing the American Dream as well developed or as many say changed. The American Dream is a term that was introduced in 1931 by James Truslow Adams in his book The Epic of America (Kamp 2). The term “American Dream” started with a meaning that was reachable: “a better, richer and happier life for all citizens of every rank”(3). Throughout the years the term`s meaning changed dramatically. In the 1980`s it changed to extreme success of wealth. Although now the American Dream has changed to the concern of wealth, it started with a happy life for all citizens.
Based on freedom and equality, America is today the country the most unequal amongst developed countries. Today there is a very big difference between the ideal, what Americans think and the reality of the income distribution. There is only a very small share in the middle class. This is a major crisis in the United States indeed, 1 per cent of the rich have 40 per cent of the country’s wealth.
Nowadays, there is a huge gap of income and wealth inequality in the U.S. and that means the richer people are super rich while bottom people are struggling for basic living standard. There are some direct and explicit statistics from Inequality for All graphic package from which we can tell the phenomenon. In 2010, the typical 1% people earn 33 times of typical male workers but in 1978 the ratio is tenth comparing the male workers with the “1%” people. Also, it says “Today, the top 400 richest people have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans put together” (Inequality for All). This shows considerable wealth of the U.S. is controlled in the minority people, which is totally unlike the period of 1950s through 1980s.
The United States is one of the most developed and wealthiest nations on the planet. However, the nation today has more income and wealth inequality as compared to any other key developed nation. In addition, there is a very large gap that exists between extremely rich and the rest of the people. Most of this income and wealth is controlled by a shocking small percentage of individuals. This accrues to only 1 percent of the nation’s total population.