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The American Dream - Essay Example

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AMERICAN DREAM More than ever before the American dream is available to all Americans. In recent years there has been some grumbling that the dream was getting farther and farther away. People have suggested that with high unemployment and many houses being foreclosed, the dream is dead…
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The American Dream
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"The American Dream"

Download file to see previous pages Far from being dead, the American dream is alive and kicking. For many people, home-ownership has been a large part of the American dream. Owning your own house means controlling your own destiny and having a large asset to borrow against. For many years, the government encouraged this idea and provided tax breaks and other incentives to ensure that people would be able to buy their own homes. While some suggest that these policies helped to create a housing bubble, this does not mean the dream is wrong. The problem begins when a dream is subsidized by the government. Governments are not responsible for giving us our dreams. They should move out of the way and let people be free to pursue their own ideas. Rather than killing the American dream, the governments program of subsidizing home ownership effectively distorted the dream out of recognition. Now it is back again as the economy recovers. Furthermore, the dream is expanding around the world. In Russia, almost 70 per cent of people live in apartment buildings and do not own their own homes. The Russian government wants to encourage more home ownership and copy this element of the American dream (Ustinova). There are other elements of the American dream which play an important role in the idea that the dream is alive and kicking. No one can dispute that America has had problems with racial issues in the past. Until the Civil War and emancipation, it can be argued that there was no such thing as the American dream, that it simply did not exist because a large number of Americans were enslaved. Following Reconstruction there was still a lot of racial problems and schools in the South were not desegregated until the 1950s. Perhaps then the dream really came to life as it became at least possible for African-Americans to achieve success in America. But in recent years this dream has come thrillingly to life. With the election of Barack Obama in 2008, America showed that the dream is more alive than ever. Indeed the long-standing American dream of upward mobility and fairness for all was wedded powerfully to Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of racial equality. For the first time a black man was in the White House. Anything was possible. Some people dispute this and suggest that President Obama's father was African and not African-American and therefore did not have to fight the civil rights battles, but could simply walk into an American university unopposed. But this idea overlooks the true power of the American dream. If the American dream were dead, why would so many people wish to live in America. Why would America continue to be a beacon of hope and prosperity to the rest of the world. Americans live some of the most comfortable lives in the world (Ownby). Consumer and luxury goods are plentiful and available for excellent prices everywhere. Life for most Americans is good and getting better. Unemployment issues will soon be resolved. America is on path to make a more perfect union, welcoming new immigrants to share in their prosperity. Recent problems will not last. The dream is alive and well. It is so strong is cannot be knocked off course by a minor financial crisis. The truth is that America is not in decline. Its system is working fine and the current problems are just a blip on the radar. American is a powerful country that believes in freedom. Its home ownership market is improving and the economy is recovering. Minorities have never had as many opportunities as they do today and Barack Obama is President. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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