What is American Dream
An American dream is a vision that aims at building a cohesive experience. It aims at the creation of equal opportunities for all race, gender, and age to pursue various tasks. The dream seeks to offer children same opportunities for education as well as a career without artificial barriers. The rights of the citizen should be protected, and people should exercise their rights freely. The government should protect the people from domestic and international threats. The laws of the land should be enforced in a just manner. However, achieving the above dream is not an easy task. Hard work, dedication, patience, and resources are required. A specific strategy must be put in place to ensure that the dream is made a reality.
James Truslow Adams was an American writer and historian. He began his writing career after saving enough capital to enable him to shift his career from investment banking. In his book The Epic of America, he defines the American dream as a vision where the lives of all individuals are more prosperous, better, and fuller as opposed to the situation of the society at the time. In his dream, everyone was presented with the same opportunities based on abilities of the individuals. His vision did not entail acquiring motor cars and high wages but a social order that enabled both genders to attain to the fullest stature of which the individuals are capable. It also entailed recognition of people for who they are and not based on circumstances of birth or position. However, Adams' dream has changed and what he thought the country would be has changed. The following are reasons why his dream has turned, and his expectations are no longer the reality (Adams 404).
Education expenses have skyrocketed in the current generation. Educating a child till she or he gets employment have become difficult especially for middle-class citizens. The government and other private school owners have taken the opportunity to exploit people in the name of education. The government has even come up with a loan program where individuals are offered capital to help them pursue education. However, there is an interest rate charged on every beneficiary of the program. As a result of this, students from average backgrounds have no option rather than acquire the loan if they have to finish school. The interest grows with time, and since these individuals cannot pay the loan at once even after getting a job, the loan accumulates burying them in debts and making their lives difficult. If the situation is analyzed critically, the conclusion is that the government is taking advantage of its poor citizen and exploiting them. When the government makes education cost high then takes advantage of offering those who can't afford loans only to charge them high-interest rates, is a clear evidence that the American dream has changed. This is not how the visionaries projected the future to be since the idea sought to achieve equal education opportunities without artificial barriers (Canode 75).
The generation present is made up of two major groups; those who are debt-free and the others. The debt-free people are the rich who have many business operations all over the country. These are owners of the big corporations where the ordinary citizens work. They are the individuals who make the rules since some of these people are politicians or have political influence. These people are the real estate owners where the poor rent and they decide when to raise the rent or lower it. The poor on the other hand have to depend on wages for survival. Most of them work in corporations where the new technology is making them more irrelevant as time goes by. Due to the reduced labor demand, competition for the available jobs increases. This leads to low payment of wages due to the surplus labor. In order to survive, these individuals are forced to take up loans to fulfill various tasks. These loans are offered at high rates that make it difficult for the poor to progress economically. The American dream emphasized on equal opportunities for everyone, and since this is not the case, it means that the dream has failed (Callahan 267).
The citizens' lives are prioritized in the American dream. People cannot perform various functions if they are unwell and weak. Therefore, proper healthcare services should be provided to all citizens. People should access these facilities when they feel sick not when they have money. The living cost has skyrocketed, and people are unable to afford healthcare facilities. Those who are employed have medical insurances. However, the medical insurance is unable to cover all the costs required for treatment. Due to this, people are forced to use their savings to carter for the remaining cost. The corporations on the hand are shifting the healthcare costs on individuals so that they can reduce expenses and increase profits. The income for these individuals has stagnated due to low demand for human labor. As a result of this, people's lives have hardened due to increase in healthcare burden. The American vision aimed at an affordable provision of health services and the dream has failed to achieve the above (Canode 80).
A great emphasis is put on family welfare in the American dream. In the vision, the family's needs should be met at ease where one parent can work while the other one takes cares of the children. The wages of the working individual should be able to satisfy the needs of the family without other sources of income. This is the projected American dream which it is up to now. Stay-at-home parenting is a thing of the past due to the high cost of living and low wages offered in the most working environment. Both parents are forced to work while they leave their responsibilities to other individuals. They do so with the aim of increasing the revenue of the family so that the family can be able to acquire the essential commodities required and invest some for future use. While doing so, the parent-child bonding has been lost and the relationship between the two affected. It is clear that the dream has not been actualized since the projected objectives have not been achieved. Therefore, the American dream has failed to meet its vision (Hauhart 148).
All work with no play makes Jack a dull boy. As the saying goes, people need time away from work to refresh and involve themselves in curriculum activities. These activities help the individuals develop social skills to enable them to interact freely with each other as they spend personal time with their loved ones. During this period, people travel to different areas to undertake vacations and to refresh. During these periods, money and resources are spent as well as time. According to the American dream, people should be in a capacity to do the above. However, very few have the capability of undertaking a vacation. The capital available is insufficient for such expenditures. People would rather save than spend it for luxurious activities. People view vacations as wastage of time. Time in peoples mind is money since every minute spent doing nothing could be used to create wealth. Those who may be willing to undertake such vacations are finding themselves in a terrible place since the corporations they work for find it difficult to release them. The reason for this is when they are away, they will be getting an income they have not worked for. In order to maintain one's job, people are doing away with vacations working throughout the year. Therefore, this shows that the American dream has failed (Callahan 258).
In the American dream, the governing bodies such as the government should be at the front line of ensuring fairness for all. These institutions should ensure that there is fairness in everywhere doing whatever is necessary to achieve this. However, this is not the case. The government is suppressing the small businesses by putting up regulations that prevent them from expanding or carrying out the expected targeted activity. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are unable to start up their ideas. Through this, the big and established companies benefit since there is reduced competition from the new businesses. Through this, the American dream is dying since these government regulations have increased the poverty levels and increased overreliance on employment as a source of income. The government should come up with ways make business startup process easy to achieve the vision (Hauhart 153).
The projection of the American dream has failed to be accomplished in almost all levels. People existing in the present generation are faced with many challenges that could have been addressed by the American dream. People are suffering in many ways while the gap between the poor and the rich have widened. The government that is supposed to protect everyone is siding with the rich in suppressing the poor. The reason for this is the fact that majority of those in the state is the rich and may fail to understand the struggles of the ordinary citizens. The fairness in education, health, religion, and ethnicity among others is yet to be achieved. Therefore, the American dream has failed in achieving its core objective.
Adams, James T. The Epic of America. 2017.
Callahan, William A. ""Dreaming as a critical discourse of national belonging: China Dream, American Dream and world dream."" Nations and Nationalism, vol. 23, no.? 2,? 2017, pp. 248-270.
Canode, Jillian L. ""Hunting the American Dream."" Supernatural and Philosophy, 2013, pp.? 74-82.
Hauhart, Robert C. ""The American Dream Critically Examined."" Seeking the American Dream, 2016, pp.? 135-155.