The American Dream: The Destruction Of The American Dream

1389 Words6 Pages
The middle class American, your average Joe. This is the kind of person you meet almost everywhere you go. They make enough money to get by in life and enjoy a few pleasures. Most people would settle for being middle class, having a stable job, a family, and their own house. This is the modern American Dream. Striving to get by rather than ahead. This is a drastic change from the past hundred years when the American Dream used to be about becoming successful both economically and socially. It has become increasingly difficult for the lower class citizens to become successful, or just to leave their current social class. Of the many causes for this, it is income inequality that keeps the lower classes pinned down. To many, the American Dream…show more content…
The author, Brandon King, states “I would redefine the American Dream today as the potential to work for an honest, secure way of life and save for the future” (King, 611). King seems to think that the American Dream is more alive than it ever has been and is just changing with society. He believes people are satisfied with a stable job and middle-class lifestyle. King says, “As a nation, we have dealt with economic downturns in the past, and the American Dream has faced trials and tests before” (King, 615). It seems King believes that although the American Dream may become bruised or seem dead, it is here to stay within our society while adapting to how we evolve. The ocean of wealth that separates the rich and the poor is not there because of hard work and determination, it is there because of income inequality. Income inequality is defined as “The unequal distribution of household or individual income across the various participants in an economy” (Investopedia). Edward N. Wolff, a professor of Economics at NYU, states that “[the] median wealth plummeted over the years 2007 to 2010, and by 2010 was at its lowest level since 1969” (Wolff). So during the Great Recession, middle and lower class people suffered a sharp decline in…show more content…
Vassar College president, Catharine Bond Hill, states that “getting a postsecondary degree—in particular a bachelor’s degree—generally results in higher incomes, greater job choice, satisfaction, and security” (Hill). Attaining a higher level of education can be one of the keys of the lower class getting out of the rut they are in and being able to achieve the American Dream. However, Catharine Bond Hill also states that “But access to higher education depends to a large extent on family income and race as well as merit. Higher education is not currently supporting equal opportunity and social mobility as much as it should” (Hill). With the cost of attending college being at an all-time high, it is difficult for the lower class to afford tuition and other costs of school. Therefore, one of the poor’s doors to a better life is shut and locked unless they want to go into debt for the rest of their
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