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The American Dream

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Daniel Cross

Dr. Megan A. Boone

SOC 200-100F

The American Dream

The American Dream is dead as dirt. Originating from a time when someone could emigrate from a foreign nation and come to the United States with nothing but the clothes on their back and build a life for themselves is over. Today if someone were to attempt such an act society would have a name for them, homeless. There was a time in America where no one working 40 hours a week was struggling to feed their kids or put them through college. That time is gone and the top one percent continues to further the gap between the wealthy and poor.  The richer gets richer and keeps the poor in a continuous state of struggle.

Americas as a society likes to think that it promotes contest mobility and it does, but only to an extent. In the workplace if you work hard, keep your nose to the grindstone, stay late, and relinquish your personal life in return you are in turn rewarded with promotions and pay raises. Although these pay raises and promotions are good they generally only provide the worker with enough to finally live comfortably without struggling constantly. The mobility gained from hard work and work ethic is limited. One hired at an entry level can only progress so far because once they get to a certain point there are more educated and better qualified applicants competing for their possible promotion.

The American Dream is dead because the basis of what this dream consists of is gone. No longer is hard work enough to thrive in America.  As college education becomes expected, the content of the degree looses value and the only important part is that the applicant has a degree. It is impossible to make it in America without support. Our economy is in such a terrible place that the U.S. dollar is worthless and the housing market is just beginning to recover from the 2009 downturn. The average age of kids living with their parents has increased significantly over the past twenty years which proves just how difficult it really is to go out into the work and make it on your own. It’s incredibly difficult to find a job even as a kid in high school because grown adults are taking the minimum wage jobs that are meant to be held by workers who are not skilled. As a result of job shortages kids in high school or college can’t find a way to pay for their own bills, so they are living at home longer out of necessity. In addition to the job market being ultimately depressing, minimum wage has been left behind as well. The ratio of productivity expected for wages paid has gone unadjusted since the 1970s. The fat corporate cats cut every corner to increase their profit margin yet keep their employees in a constant state of struggle, utterly killing the American dream.

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