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The American Dream is the belief that the government should uphold each individual's right to achieve their own version of happiness. The declaration of independence has always served as a safeguard for the American dream. The state is formed by men in order for them to grow their just powers with the consent of the governed. The American dream, in my opinion, is the idea that everyone in the United States has a chance to be fulfilled and content in life by hard work. The vision has given many people the opportunity to work hard and has aided in the growth of the country as a whole. Furthermore, the dream provides the right to make any choice that would be beneficial in reality. For the goal to be achieved it requires laws and private property rights as well as the economic and political freedoms (Norman 23). Despite the achievements realized through the American dream, there are numerous challenges that are an obstacle to its consistency. Many debates have been raised on whether this dream is entirely achievable and from my point of view, this goal is unattainable. The essay discussion will thus explore the reasons behind this view.
The Reasons why the American Dream is Unattainable
As it is known, the dream was for the idea that people should have a chance to work hard, have a significant home and a family with enough money to support them. In today’s life, it has turned to be a different case since people are facing economic struggles that have subjected them to poor living conditions due to low wages. As mentioned earlier, the purpose of the American dream is to give its citizens an opportunity to enjoy life through hard work and experience fulfilled lives and great happiness. Economic struggles are therefore a barrier to this goal. Poor wages limit people from acquiring basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing which are the central attributes of a comfortable life. Resultantly, lack of these things makes people frustrated, disappointed and tired of living hence hindering them from experiencing happiness. As long as America has vast disparities between the rich and the poor due to a wages’ gap, American dream cannot be attained as these differences show lack of equal happiness and fulfillment across the society.
In the American dream, it is perceived that money cannot buy happiness. In the contemporary world, people have become focused on choosing careers that do not offer them inner fulfillment and happiness only because they hope to acquire more money to stand the shaky and unfavorable global economies. Additionally, when a person chooses a job for the sake of merely earning a lot of money, it does not give them the motivation to work hard which further violates the features of the American dream that requires people to enjoy working in their various job fields. It is therefore evident that the current economic trends are playing a significant role in making society adopt new survival techniques that undermine aspects of the American dream. It is thus factual to say that it is impossible for the vision to be achieved if the elements that constitute it are being ignored.
In the recent past, the US has been known for its seemingly endless opportunities essential to the achievement of the American dream. Unfortunately, much has changed in the American financial structures and culture further affecting the purpose of achieving the American goal. Even though the Americans have every opportunity towards realizing this dream, it has not been their number one priority. Through this, the American dream has always remained a dream, since the leadership systems and the people are not so much into participating in activities that can lead to its attainment. Americans have been believing for a long time that through working hard they are bound to succeed, but this belief is drawn back by the fact that hard work does not always guarantee success. Besides, most Americans do not seem to believe still if the concepts included in the dream are real. Due to this perspective, more and more Americans think that there is not much reason to always focus on the vision and this kills every effort that may be directed to attaining the dream’s objectives. Moreover, financial structures have brought differences among people in society. The wealthy individuals seem to be more comfortable while the still struggling (Neuman 87). Evidently, the variations have created a negative implication for the nation as a whole which has minimized the vision of the American dream.
In the American society today, education counts as a key to any tremendous achievements that every American desire to have. For this reason, people often aspire to attain high education levels in pursuit of success and in that process; they create a mountain of debts since many individuals take loans to facilitate them throughout their educational journey. After college, people discover there exists a significant gap between spending and earning. In this situation, the student debt crushes dreams of success further hindering happiness from reigning in American families, especially the non-wealthy ones. Such instances are a clear indication that it is challenging to attain the American dream since education does not bring immediate success and happiness to households. Any situation that fails to deliver satisfaction to the American society and prosperity, in the long run, is an obstacle to the American dream. As much as education is essential, the debts accrued eventually are a hindrance to happiness, and this factor cannot be quickly eliminated. It thus indicates more reasons why the American dream is unattainable (Graham 157).
Moreover, the living expenses among Americans are not offering a chance for the achievement of the American dream. For this reason, I still insist that the goal is impossible to attain. Most essential services, including the medical services are becoming increasingly unaffordable for most people. It does not mean that people are not working; it is only that their hard work is unfruitful since as years go by, the American cost of living also increases. People struggle excessively to fulfill their basic needs, and their efforts are directed towards this cause, which is basically a working poverty. Consequently, the factors that make up the American dream are forgotten in the process. The more life becomes expensive; the success chances of the American idea depreciate.
Another essential part of the American dream is that starting a family is necessary since it also contributes substantially to happiness and fulfillment. However, with high costs of living, this goal is unattainable for many. An expensive economy means that most families cannot keep up with raising children and maintaining happy families as struggles undermine the existence of contentment. Through all these experiences, the American dream cannot be attained any soon. Additionally, the policy of every family buying a house is also part of the goals the American dream wanted to draw among the Americans. Unfortunately, in today’s America, due to the high demand of homes from mostly wealthy people, the houses have become extremely expensive, making it impossible for most middle and low-class families to buy their own homes. With these living standards and disparities, the American dream is shattered.
Additionally, cases of involvement in unethical activities in pursuit of success have risen significantly in America. From the research carried out in the recent past, most respondents say that the dream was all about personal fulfillment of the Americans. It could only be attained through hard work, determination, and patience of every American. Besides, the dream would have been facilitated by all citizens working together towards a common goal. However, over the years, people became engrossed in life’s struggles hence breaking the strength of achieving the American dream. It is clear that with numerous life challenges among the Americans, it is hard to work together in fulfilling its objectives.
In summary, from my perspective, the American dream was set to inspire the Americans to remain hard-working, focused and satisfied with their lives. Unfortunately, years have gone by; much has changed in America while the dream remains stagnant. Most Americans have stopped believing in the idea, and all they are now focused on is how to cope with the ever-challenging economic. The financial constraints that are facing the low-income families in America have caused a massive gap to the success of the American dream. Since the goal is supposed to be attained by the contribution of all the Americans, the disparities between wealthy and poor Americans is undermining the chances of uniting all the Americans in the realization of the dream. Moreover, the challenges have forced people to direct their focus towards opportunities which may offer them extreme financial satisfaction rather than choosing the ones that provide for them fulfillment in their daily lives. This factor undermines their desire to work hard and be focused on their activities since if an individual never enjoys what they do, frustrations are bound to be experienced. It is thus evident that with all the discussed factors, the American dream cannot be achieved.
It is crucial for both the American administration systems and its citizens to understand that the vision can only be attained if people come together as one and focus on offering opportunities that will make all the people have freedom and equal chances of experiencing fulfilled lives. New approaches have to be strategized in tackling the American dream objectives, including job opportunities, the cost of healthcare services, the debts often accumulated in the educational sector and financial struggles that poor and middle-class Americans are facing. If resources are directed towards settling mentioned problems, chances of reviving the American dream can be realized. Hence it is essential that America decides on if the hope is still vital to them as this will be the immediate step towards its success. However, currently, I still believe if the challenges facing the Americans are not solved, the dream will not be achieved.
Graham, Carol. Happiness for All?: Unequal Hopes and Lives in Pursuit of the American Dream. Princeton University Press, 2017.
Neuman, Susan. “The American Dream: Slipping Away?” On Poverty and Learning: Readings from Educational Leadership (EL Essentials), edited by Marge Scherer, ASCD, 2016, pp.83-93.
Norman, Mailer. An American Dream: A Novel. Random House, 2013.
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