What does the American Dream mean to you? Whether or not you live in the USA everyone has an opinion.
To me the American Dream stands for opportunity. Whatever opportunity you choose to chase. It may be owning that mansion on the hill or going to college. It might be owning your own business or following your talents.
For me, my American Dream is for my voice to be heard through my writing.
The American Dream is a cruel myth. It is nothing more than a carrot on a stick that entices the foolish, the lowly, and those without hope into a form of servitude that is not unlike the vassals of old serving their masters. I liken the American Dream to two other catchphrases: "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here," and "Arbeit Macht Frei."
Consider the American Dream of owning a house. In the days of old one bought a property, and with hard work the home was paid for. Today, the price of a house is so outrageous that, even with a steady income over a lifetime, the house will never be paid off. The hapless buyer is little more than a caretaker living and dying in a four-walled container that is forever owned by some unseen entity. Factor in costs of upkeep, city and county taxes, and cost of living and the American Dream is little short of enslavement.
But the American Dream can be construed in other ways. There are opportunities to further one's goals such as self-employment, financial investments, and education. But even these come at a terrible price.
"Get an education and further yourself !" was the mantra of old. But consider that colleges and universities have raised tuition fees to historic highs. Graduating with a four-year degree is an accomplishment. But with it is a debt load of $50,000 or more. Then comes the daunting task of finding a job that pays for not only the education but also for some semblance of lifestyle. The confused graduate usually ends up in a job that has nothing to do with the hard-earned degree.
The American Dream is dependent on numerous factors that the individual cannot control -- almost all of it hinging on money and economy. If the economy is in a freefall, as it is today, then the American Dream -- regardless of how it's defined -- becomes almost impossible to obtain.
Of course, much depends on the starting point. Consider Mary and Maria. Mary is born into a middle class family. It's a struggle to make ends meet. Maria comes from a poor, dusty village in Mexico. For Maria anything north of the U.S. border is an American Dream.
With globalization comes fewer opportunities not more as is commonly portrayed. Imagine the proverbial carrot on the stick. As globalization intensifies, more and more people reach for that elusive carrot -- for they all want the same thing -- but most realize it will never be attainable. So the majority end up plodding through a life of dashed dreams.
The American Dream is a marketing ploy. Nothing more. If the dream is taken too seriously, it becomes a freefall into an abyss of lifelong debt and servitude.
You are reading too much into it - and subsequently dashing your own hopes of achieving it.
Yes the economy can play a major part, especially in terms of inflation. Most modern Americans have no concept of going without in order to achieve, after all why should they have to struggle when they live in America? Nothing in life is free, not even The American Dream.
What I am asking is: outside of being the richest person on the planet, What Does The American Dream Mean To You? on a personal level?
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