The American Dream is something that prevails within us despite the inevitable rises and falls of the economy, is a triumphant hope for progress and prosperity. Brandon King asserts In his essay “The American Dream: Dead, Alive, or on Hold? ” that the American Dream Is “more alive and Important than ever (573) but that Its survival Is dependent on the Imperative support of large businesses and financial institutions to attain economic stability (575-579). I certainly agree with King that the Dream is very much alive, but our ideas about its continuity are in opposition.
The silence of the American Dream is not determined by the headway of big business. The Dream is, above all, reliant on the equality and unity of us, the American people. A statement of King’s that I can really get behind is that the American Dream is based “on perception, on the way someone imagines how to be successful” (575). We all have differing definition of what constitutes success and happiness and prosperity.
I feel, as I believe King does also, that our ideas about success shift over time, thus allowing the American Dream to evolve to match our ever changing world.
The American Dream Is a vision of a country that works for Its diverse population. When It comes to politician and economists, the state of the American Dream seems to constantly be mired In talk of money. The American Dream Is not about making more money than your parents. Financial assets may certainly help to paint the overall picture of freedom, but it does not define the American Dream. Our faith in government or economy may decline, while at the same time our faith in our country and ourselves continues to thrive.
The American Dream is not about corporations and what is happening currently in the stock market or housing market or the economy in general, it is so much broader and deeper. It is about being unified and having the everlasting hope that we can make it. Through the inevitable ups and downs and peaceful plateaus, we continue to have the belief and strength to get through the Journey. I do feel that our human spirits are affected by our sense of financial security, to varying degrees.
King’s Ideas are rooted in financial security and his way of achieving the Dream is by being more modest and frugal In our personal spending and saving and by supporting business mechanisms and policy that sustain economic growth. I feel that King is missing the big picture of our fundamental American and human characteristics. Our dreams are not based in the economy. Sure, we all want to be homeowners and have savings, but even if we don’t and even if the economy is crashing around us, we still believe that things will get better and that we can achieve our dreams… Ell, I believe a larger percentage of us do. If not, we would not have survived as a species or as a citizenry. Kings definition of our big American dream is simplistic in that it really only speaks to one aspect of our complex human scope of needs and greedy. His article speaks, perhaps, to the financial dream, which Is only a part of the full American Dream. Another take on the American Dream Is conservative columnist Cal Thomas’ blaming of “unrestrained liberalism” for the eclipse of the traditional dream, In his column “Is the American Dream Over.
He specifically writes that It Is the “encroaching, over-taxing, over- individual initiative, and personal accountability’ (569). Thomas highlights what he feels are long-taught rules for how to achieve the original American Dream. The rules are based in simple, traditional values like: being committed to your primary and Geiger education, staying away from drugs, getting married before you have children, living with integrity, saving and investing for retirement and living within your means (570). I don’t disagree with Thomas that success and security most often necessitate having an ethical foundation.
I also agree that being drug-free and honest is a smart way to be. However, being prudent and adhering to a certain set of morals are not the only ingredients in the recipe for what is going to progress our diverse and complex community of citizens on an upwardly mobile path of unified prosperity. The recipe must encompass unity and equality. These issues must be tackled in order to ensure freedom and opportunity for all, not Just the elect. The greatest threat to the American Dream is the division of our people, augmented by increasingly disparate political and social party lines.
American prosperity cannot grow in a climate of hatred and heated rhetoric, which are, unfortunately, the rising conditions we face. The United States of America is effectively becoming two countries and unless we break down the barriers that are popularizing this nation, we will not be fully embracing the American dream. We need to follow the example of our American forefathers and forefathers… E need to come together in challenging times, and in doing so, come away stronger. American positivist has managed to overcome fears and depressions over the centuries.
To render sustained life to the American dream, it is imperative that we bridge the many gaps in equality. America is often synonyms with freedom and we, as a people, are not free unless we all have equal rights and opportunities. Equality gaps currently are many and encompass education, income, race, marriage, worker rights, gender, and healthcare. In various current opinion of the American Dream, a controversial and consistent issue is income inequality, for which King does a fair Job analyzing and highlighting different aspects of this tableau.
His own approach to this ongoing argument is clearly illustrated when he says that “supporting the richest sectors of the American economy will bring economic stability and full recovery’ (575) and expands further that “government funding for Wall Street and struggling business make the economy healthier” (575). The other side of this vast income equality debate can be surmised with the words of Paul Grumman, who says “ever since America’s founding, our idea of ourselves has en that of a nation without sharp class distinctions… Gig inequality has turned us into a nation with a much weakened middle class, has a corrosive effect on social relations and politics… ” (587). It’s a well-established fact that the rich are getting richer, while the poor and middle class are falling behind. It is difficult to dispute that income equality positively correlates to economic growth and evidence shows that the vast income disparity is partly to blame for sluggish economic recovery. Beyond economics, it is increasingly clear that income inequality is becoming synonyms with social disparity and assisting with the institution of a glaring class system in this country.
By and large, the American Dream is about freedom. It is about unity, about tearing down divisions. It is about equality. It is about hope. It is about hearts dwelling in possibility and opportunity. It is about dreaming a dream that you never enduring dreams… These are the words that define the American Dream. These words are interconnected and dependent on one another to complete the big picture of the American soul and what our country is all about. The American Dream endures.
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