American Dream or American Nightmare

Published: 2021-10-01 08:15:05
essay essay

Category: Poverty, American Dream, Night, Wealth

Type of paper: Essay

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America and its people have upheld the concept of the “American Dream. ” The meaning of this concept has changed and altered throughout the years. As stated in the Declaration of Independence, every man has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Multitudes of movies and books have depicted their personal versions of this single ideology. All having a stereo typical, happily ever after ending, but is this so-called dream even possible. I believe the American Dream is slowly dying out.
In today’s society, families are struggling to make ends meet, and to ensure a good future for their children. Once upon a time the American Dream was everyone’s reality; however now this fantasy is just that, a far off fairytale, as families fight just to provide basic living needs. “A family of four earning $22,050 a year is living below the federal poverty line (Huffman). ” According to this quote a salary of $22,050 a year can barely manage to keep up with the livelihood of a family of four; whereas an income of that amount ten years ago would have placed families in the middle class bracket.
Over the years American household living costs have greatly increased, causing family to sink lower on the economic level. With monthly bills such as utilities, rent/house payment, groceries, and car payments, and average American family can find themselves in debt quickly. The basic American Dream boasts of prosperity and wealth. In actuality, Americans are realizing the difficulties of being financially secure every month. It doesn’t stop there. To make things more difficult, parents must worry about being able to guarantee a decent future for their children.

Even though public schooling is free for kids, they have other necessities like clothing and school materials. With parents barely making ends meet with bills for the household, children will suffer by having to wear inexpensive clothing and using hand me down things. “For struggling parents, keenly aware that adolescents agonize over the social pecking order,…, there is a small sense of failure in telling a child she cannot have what her classmates take for granted (Johnson 183. ” A parent will want their child to strive towards the highest education possible, but with that comes more expensive costs. The competitive job market today forces people to attend college, just to ensure they will land a job in a secure career field. It’s a deadly Catch 22 with young adults entering the working world. Yet they must go through this battle to be able to support themselves, because parents just can’t afford to put money into a savings. With families lacking the means to give future generations to look forward to, Americans moral is decreasing.
Our perfect American family ideal that this is a land of wealth and opportunity has become endangered. America searches frantically for answers from the government and all other sources to fix the declining economic issues. This nation needs to be reminded what the definition of the American Dream originally was. Not being able to provide for your family while working and children who are not taught the correct values when growing up, will as a result diminish the American dream. Some remain optimistic about this concept, but I remain firm in my belief that if something isn’t done about this growing problem then the fate of this country will be in real danger.
Works Cited

Huffman, Mark. “Having a Job May Not Be Enough to Make Ends Meet” Common Dreams. 1 Apr 2011. Web. 9 Jan 2012.
Johnson, Dirk. “When Money is Everything, Except Hers. ” Introduction to College Reading and Writing. Svetlana Lynch. Boston: Pearson, 2006. 182-186. Print.

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