What the American Dream Means to Me “However you want to define the American Dream, there is not much of it that is left anymore”, says Thomas in his essay “Is the American Dream Really Over. ” Thomas is saying that the American Dream, given the state of the current economy, is a false hope. The American Dream is a deceiving idea instilled in our mind by individuals possessing control over resources in the United States, which lends permission to blame individuals for their own position in society. Most people view the American Dream as having the ability and opportunity to become whatever he or she desires to be.
Living the “American Dream” would provide a stress free life and financial stability. Thirty years ago, more people believed in the American Dream, but today, most people realize that this is a fantasy, not a reality. On the Daily Circuit radio show Ford stated that “Only 1 out of 5 Americans will be more successful (financially) then their parents. ” On the same radio show they did a survey between 18-34 year olds and asked them if they thought they would achieve the American Dream in their lifetime, and three-fourths of the people surveyed believed they would.
This shows that most people are optimistic when they look at the American Dream, but I think the results would be very different if these same individuals were surveyed ten years from now. Many adults living in poor neighborhoods understand that the idea of the American Dream is phony, because they have worked hard and are still in the same place they started. People of power in the United States have made us believe that if people are living in poverty, it must be because they are lazy and didn’t work hard enough. Not everyone is provided the same opportunities, especially within education.
Many students of minorities attend failing schools without proper resources, and without a good education, the American Dream is completely unattainable. The quality of education for many children who don’t come from wealthy families is completely out of their control. Most are unable to afford private school educations or transportation to better schools. Without access to the same opportunities that individuals of wealthier status possess, the wealth gap between executives and individuals of the lower and working classes continues to increase.
Wealth inequality in the United States is a huge problem in the United States. Financial stability is a major factor of the American Dream. I think the American Dream, as defined today, doesn’t explain how individuals are supposed to gain access to the resources that will get them closer to their goals. In my opinion, there is no American Dream. In order to make the American Dream a reality for many people, we would have to create equal opportunities for everyone and decrease the wealth inequality in the United States. I think that the American Dream should put more focus on a person’s happiness and fulfillment in life.
Everyone has different goals in life, but I believe that everyone desires happiness. However, false ideas about the attainability of the American Dream continue to persist throughout our nation. Even though the American Dream is slowly dying, it is the foreign immigrants that give it life. It is not Americans that keep the idea of the American Dream alive, but the immigrants that are striving to obtain an improved quality of life. Immigrants come to America because they believe they will have the opportunity to achieve their personal goals, which they wouldn’t be able to attain in their home country.
The American Dream gives them hope and a chance to start a new life to do anything they desire. However, many immigrants are faced with extreme hardship and find it much more difficult to achieve the American Dream than they initially thought. Even after hard work, the economy has made it even more difficult for them to get ahead. The land of opportunity may not be so full of opportunity after all. I believe that citizens from other countries wishing to come to America for freedom and an easy life, are only hearing the good things about America.
When individuals migrate here, they may see that life in America isn’t exactly what they thought it would be. In his essay “Hiding From Reality,” Herbert says that “Where ever you choose to look—at the economy and jobs, the public schools, the budget deficits, the nonstop warfare overseas—you’ll see a country in sad shape. ” Herbert later goes on to say “We’re in denial about the extent of the rot in the system, and the effort that would be required to turn things around. It will likely take many years, perhaps a decade or more. When looking at the poverty rates and disparity in the US, you can see that America and the economy is actually in an extremely rough state. I believe that America never was as full of opportunity as the idea of the American Dream implies. Within every generation, there have been some individuals who have prospered while others struggled in poverty. The American Dream has always been more attainable for some people, and is perceived differently by many. “The American Dream is based on perception, on the way someone imagines how to be successful. ” King suggests in his article “The American Dream: Dead, Alive, or on Hold? I completely agree with this, because the American Dream is simply unrealistic and unachievable for some Americans. Even though the American Dream provides hope, in a way it is a lie because not everyone has the same opportunities for achievement. Like I said earlier, the American Dream is false hope. Some people believe China is becoming the new America. China’s economy is becoming greater and greater every day, while ours has been steadily declining. They are becoming a global powerhouse with over 1. 3 billion citizens and they are the leading country in many critical categories such as technology and the military.
China has been characterized as a “potential superpower” by a number of academics, military analysts, and economic analysts. If China keeps growing like it has been, I would not be surprised if it becomes the “New America”. Maybe twenty years from now, there will be a “Chinese Dream” instead of the “American Dream. ” However, they may experience the same infrastructural problems that the United States face. For example, many U. S. companies outsource their cheap labor to China, where thousands of workers, including children, are exploited.
This shows that, while China is advancing into becoming a new superpower, the country has some serious problems within their government and economy. In his essay “Hiding from Reality” Herbert closes by saying, “America will never get its act together until we recognize how much trouble we’re really in,” and explains how much effort and shared sacrifice is needed to stop the decline. “Only then will we be able to begin resuscitating the dream. ” People are starting to realize that our country is in a bad economic state, and hopefully we start taking the proper steps to improve the attainability of the American Dream.
A refreshing version of the American Dream would focus on liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and equal opportunity for all. These changes would promote a realistic American Dream and help positively influence the minds and dedication of today’s youth. Works Cited Herbert, Bob. Hiding from Reality. New York: WW Norton & Company, 2006. Print. King, Brandon. The American Dream: Dead, Alive, or on Hold? New York: WW Norton & Company, 2006. Print. Thomas, Cal. Is the American Dream Over? New York: WW Norton & Company, 2006. Print. “What is the American Dream Today? ” The Daily Circuit. 19 March 2012. Radio.