The Lost Dream

Posted by Lillian G. Michigan
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The United States has lost its common luster known as the American Dream. Through my essay, I explain the problems caused by the parts of the American Dream that have been lost and how those parts affects the American people today.

In the thriving 1950s of the United States, it was known as the land of the “American Dream” with the promise of prosperity, happiness, money, and a perfect family. The idea of the dream was planted not only into the minds of the American people but also the immigrants that envied what America had. Later on, thousands of immigrants would be moving to America to try to get what was already the crumbling frame of the “dream”. Ultimately, to gain the American Dream was to turn their vision into a reality. However, this common dream has become more of a fantasy than ever before due to low wages, impoverished people, and high unemployment rates. Through those three factors, many in the United States are left without anything to help themselves to gain a foothold to pull themselves back up into the normal money bracket of the people. The resounding question of where do you stand in the economy is left for the people to fight for after rising in the back of people’s minds.

The erosion of the hope of having an attainable successful life is now a factor in a person’s everyday life. Although many are left with nothing and have nothing to give, there are high costs of being poor in America due to jobs being left for the rich causing a wave of poverty to come over who is left without a job. Originally, the American Dream was known as the ideals that set America as a land of success and prosperity with upward social mobility. However, now, the government is brushing all the problems under the table to handle later. The strategy being used does not work for this situation anymore because too many are left without the dream that they were promised by coming or living in America. The fight against the three factors of the loss of the American Dream can only be remedied by the people who stand up and appeal to the government to help with their cause.

Low wages are the main problem that the American people have to fight against to acquire the American Dream that so many desire. Although with new studies, it has been found, “there isn't a single country in the world – including the U.S. – where the average worker can afford to finance the American dream” (Soergel). The reason for such a world is that most of the money in is funneled completely to the rich that are in no need for such money since they already have it. Additionally, consequences for this include that only the richest could pay for their children’s educations and life development overall because they have the resources to do so. On the other hand, workers who have a pay that is not capable of paying off prices like those struggle to keep up with the numbers that keep piling up in their bank accounts. The gap between the two economic brackets splits our society into two because one side is given too much while the other side is deprived of the right resources. As low wages create more unpaid workers, at the same time it will increase the amount of students without adequate information because the workers wouldn’t be able to pay it off. Many reasons come together for why low wages are such a bad part of our society that creates a call for change and new ideals.

Now, many people now have lost their desire to look for new jobs in the US due to the high unemployment rate created by companies. Although people have been laid off of their work, it doesn’t mean that they were not respectable and good workers for their companies. As a result of the high unemployment, the people become discouraged that the American Dream has become a hope that is unattainable and distant. Later on, this discouragement turns into a much worse situation, stated by CNN, “Because nearly one-third of the American middle class, mostly families with children, have fallen into poverty or are one paycheck away from poverty” (CNN). By this statement, people start seeing the true ruins of the American Dream that once provided true happiness, not poverty from endless unemployment. The main cause for such unemployment was due to the new developments of the 1970s that caused companies to face greater competition which led to the loss of their power. Eventually, the loss of power would turn into companies starting to lay off workers since they do not have the money to support them anymore. With support decreasing and unemployment increasing, our world has the wrong proportions for what should skyrocket and what shouldn’t. Because of this, many are left without a job and are in desperate need of one without the help of the government to provide them with most of what is needed.

Poverty is an overwhelming factor of many Americans lives now due to a variety of different reasons including, the loss of the American Dream. As stated in the two paragraphs earlier, Americans have struggled through their lives because as wage gaps and unemployment increases the more people are put out onto the streets without much food, water, or money. An article proves this point by stating, “While 90% of the children born in 1940 ended up in higher ranks of the income distribution than their parents, only 40% of those born in 1980 have done so” (The Guardian). The percentages given in the quote are telltale signs of what has actually become of the American Dream from the start of the 1980s. With poverty on the rise, a new vision of the United States is created, one of despair and unhappiness.

The main reason for all of this is to bring to light the parts of our world that are neglected and that are failed to be worked on. Through my piece of work, I create a way for people to look at the “American Dream” in another way that they didn’t know before. Also, even though it is a negative outlook on the dream now I still want to educate others of what is occuring without the need for a positive background to say everything is okay. To have such a society without much help from the government for poverty, low wages, and unemployment, Americans need to show what problems that have to be dealt with to continue a good society. Everyday we live in a society that’s broken by the factors stated previously because no one is taking action so in doing this passage I try to bring in the reasons why. Our world can never become perfect and prestine, but by taking action America can take it to the closest it can be to perfect.

The American Dream has had its ups and downs as it has been a constant in our everyday lives starting from the 1900s. However, now it has been mostly a moment of down, Americans can still come together to appeal to what needs to be done to be made right in the United States. The American people through doing that can finally get back redemption for what the American Dream actually is and what it was to the people in the 1900s. Low wages, poverty, and unemployment all come into play while doing this that make a much harder to challenge to fight against. However, with the resources that the US has, anything can be done since they have more than sky’s the limit. The continuation of help can be made into a huge impact on the world for change that leads to one last question, what will the people impact?

Citations:

Woods, Leslie G. “American Dream, American Nightmare: Poverty Today.” Reflections, Yale University, 2011, reflections.yale.edu/article/womens-journeys-progress-and-peril/american-dream-american-nightmare-poverty-today.

Graham, Carol. “Is the American Dream Really Dead?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 20 June 2017, 9:30, www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/jun/20/is-the-american-dream-really-dead.

“Income Inequality Impairs The American Dream Of Upward Mobility.” IQ2US Debates, Intelligence Squared US, 22 Feb. 2018, www.intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/income-inequality-impairs-american-dream-upward-mobility.

Soergel, Andrew. “Even Americans Can't Afford the American Dream.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, 3 Feb. 2016, 5:45 PM, www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2016/02/03/even-americans-cant-afford-the-american-dream.

Eisenberg, Richard. “Prosperity in America? Not for Low-Income People – Chasing the Dream.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 6 Feb. 2018, www.pbs.org/wnet/chasing-the-dream/stories/prosperity-america-not-low-income-people/.

MacGillis, Alec, and Propublica. “The Original Underclass.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 21 Dec. 2016, www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/09/the-original-underclass/492731/.





Published on Jan 4, 2019
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