THE AMERICAN DREAM:
AN AMERICAN DELUSION
1. Hidden privelage
2. Realistically impossible
3. Negative social stigma
In America there has been this belief that anyone and everyone has the opportunity to achieve the ‘American Dream’. Yes, the American Dream. It’s a phrase that instantly brings burning images of a white picket fence, a mowed lawn, and owning one or two cars in a suburban neighborhood. The husband has a nine to five job, while the wife stays home and takes care of the house, as well as the kids. The American Dream is why many people/families leave their own country, and go to the U.S. in pursuit of better living. While the whole idea sounds straight out of a movie:
it is. The American Dream is a daydream. It was once a notion that drived the very foundation of the U.S. and why people want to live there, but the reality of that patriotic ideal is it’s unattainable. It’s filled with debt, endless hours job searching, and struggling to make ends meet. Also, there’s a hidden privelage where it’s meant for only those in America, but everyone not in the US should be in awe of the opportunity. Behind all of that however, is a stigma against people who don’t already have the ‘Dream’. If someone says it’s hard to attain financial stability, most responses will be , “ Well you didn’t work hard enough.” or “It takes long, do it for your kids”. While it’s true, parents sacrifice everything for their kids, there’s the fact that most people can’t afford the American Dream that is proudly encouraged to be chased by the nation.
The Social Security Administration released their report on wages in the U.S. in 2014 here and over half of the working force in the U.S. makes less than $30,000 a year. If that number isn’t discouraging enough, there’s a cost of living calculator that will allow you to see how much you need to make annually to be financially okay. To have a nice house, with 2 kids, and 1 or 2 cars, it’ll be $47,000. That isn’t even including vacations, college fund for the kids, or a retirement. The cost of living is way more than what half the population is making, how is that showcasing the American Dream? The American Dream is out of most people’s hands, yet it’s believed with hard work, it’ll be all set.
There are immigrants who come here, who face backlash for attempting to live a better life in America, when they’re the ones being told to come in the first place. They are told that it’s the land of opportunity, but when they are here, they are told they’re stealing opportunities from others. Once they’re told the dream isn’t meant for them, it’s turned into a privilege. You’re not supposed to have this because you’re gonna try, but since you’re trying, let’s make it harder. It’s an endless cycle of mental opression that they aren’t supposed to have this chance. This nation was mean to be the land of opportunity, but it has turned into the land of opportunity if you were already here, if not, feel bad about stealing it. How can this nation say there is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, when it’s only meant for the few, and not for all? That is an example of discrimination, but that is a topic for another article. As a last note however, here are a few words from Cher Horowitz from the movie Clueless,