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American Dream - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Title: The American Dream: A Discussion and Analysis of Current Myth or Reality “The American Dream” is a term that is thrown around a great deal in the popular culture and is perennially referenced in movies and by politicians…
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Download file to see previous pages As such, it is one of the defining means by which an identity of what it means to be American has been able to be formed throughout the generations of the nation’s history. For instance, James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book entitled The Epic of America first described the American dream in the following way: “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position” (Adams, 2001). As a function of understanding this quote and the appreciation for what America portends to offer, the reader can and should consider some of the contributing factors that have made the American Dream possible within the past. ...
But, in the past three decades the rich are getting richer, while it is becoming increasingly expensive for the poor and the middle class to afford basic necessities. The wealthiest one percent of individuals own more than a third of the total wealth in the United States, making it increasingly difficult for shareholders within the lower classes to break free from the constraints that bind them to their realities. As the article in question referenced, the American dream is under assault from a litany of different areas. For instance, the author references the fact that the United States, and by extension the American dream, was ultimately able to achieve a degree of success due to the fact that it engendered an economic and environmental system that represented cheap, oftentimes free, land, limitless supplies of labor, and the benefit of having a hegemonic level of control over the rest of the world. Whereas it can definitively be stated that the availability of cheap land has all but dried up, the availability of cheap labor has significantly altered over the past several decades; with almost all cheap labor now being found within the developing world. Beyond just this, the reader should note the fact that the hegemony of the United States is something that is fundamentally in question. Whereas it is true that the United States remains the world’s preeminent military power, the dominance of the United States dollar as the currency of exchange is something that has elicited a further degree of debate than ever before. Ultimately, runaway levels of debt, profligate spending, and the uncertainty of global economics creates a situation in which the United States dollar faces a litany ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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