As an American, do you still believe in living ''The American dream''????
Though I am not an American, I have always felt driven by the slogan 'living the american dream'. But in recent years with all that is happening in the states, I can feel that passion die away slowly. Is it only me?
I'm not American, either-- but in the course of the 30+ years I have lived in this country, I've noticed the "American Dream" change quite a bit. Once upon a time, it seemed defined by working hard, having a nice house, a couple of cars, taking vacations, putting your kids through college and perhaps retiring comfortably to some warm beachfront locale to play golf and fish. In recent years? It more and more seems like we're "failing" to accomplish the "American Dream" unless we strive to become Donald Trump or Bill Gates... there's this sad element of "I must have EVERYTHING" and "I have to rule the WORLD" added to the original idea...
I guess I would observe that the "Dream" seems more tarnished by greed than it used to be, and more people have given up on it (maybe that's what you feel when it seems like "the passion has died away)... because what "defines" it has grown bigger to the point where fewer people have the hope of actually reaching it. It's a very complex topic...
Just my $0.02 worth,
i agree with you 100%. Greed has truly robbed one and all of the American dream...my sentiments exactly.
Very well put. The American Dream was about working hard and making it through. Now, we live in a time where bankers flip numbers on computers, gambling with your/our money (which does not account as work) while hard-working people are on the street
And indeed a fantastic 2 cents. Well said.
The United States has always provided unlimited opportunities to some, but not all. For instance, there were no opportunities for African Americans during slavery. The American Indians had zero opportunities upon the arrival of the "White man." However, with time and changing laws more opportunities opened up to those with an idea, determination, drive, a useful product or service and the fortitude to withstand setbacks in an ongoing effort to keep trudging forward.
The unfortunate reality in today's climate is how nastiness in radio, print and television has transformed many into inhaling the toxic views of others and consequently becoming zealots on a myriad of subjects. The end result is now a culture of fear, doom and gloom. We have gradually been transformed into vilifying teachers, universities, unions, the government, infrastructure, and basically, things necessary to give people an education and a hand up, instead of keeping them in a rut of acceptance that corporations and big business are the supreme rulers.
A result of the never ending vitriol being spewed 24/7 is how we and the world now view us. People feel defeated before they even try a new venture. I once owned a business that employed 10 people. I self financed my operation, without banking assistance. Licensing fees, insurance policies, payroll costs, accountants, lawyers, security systems, federal taxes, state taxes, sales taxes and government inspections can and do take a toll on a small business person. All of these outside forces can be overwhelming and it proves to be a constant test of one's stamina, but the rewards hopefully far exceed all of the stumbling blocks.
So, to make a long story short, I can only say that people need to ignore the naysayers and follow your dreams because "Yes" the United States does still offer the "American Dream" and it is there for those that want to grab the brass ring.
I think "The American Dream" is a popular figure of speech used in connection with the US, without specifically naming it "The United States Dream."
As I began by saying, I am not an American, neither do I live in the states...but growing up I lived by the American dream. And as Denmarkguy states, it is only a figure of speech. hope I have made it clearer. In short am referring to the USA.
I have no idea why, but MickS refuses to let go of his disdain for people referring to "America" as the United States. It is an ongoing bone of contention of his. Notice he didn't answer the question?
As an American born in 1960, I have had many views of the American dream. The personal American dream has two levels: Two chickens in every pot and a car in every garage is where it started, and that seems reasonable. May we all have enough to eat, and have the tools to go where we need to go and do what we need to do. But that became excessive by the 1970s when we began to feel we were entitled to have everything that would make us happy.
The professional level contained an assumption that if I learned a profession, I could be gainfully employed for life. That stopped being true in the 1970s, as well.
The global level - that everyone would have enough food,education, and opportunity for a healthy life is still a wonderful ideal.
But the American dream has always had it's thorough unworkable adn false elements. Man of these can be corrected if one studies the original leaders of the American vision of freedom.
The pursuit of happiness meant, according to Adams and others who originated the phrase, the spiritual and intellectual freedom to pursue our own understanding of the Divine and live accordingly. It was not materialistic at all.
The assumption that the nuclear family - parents with children livnig separately from clan, village, or extended community, has proven completely ineffective. In this way, much of the world - the parts of the world that still have villages - are better off than the citizens of the United States, who are trapped in a socioeconomic structure that cannot possibly work.
Much of the late 20th century American dream was created as a trick to fulfill the dreams of greedy American businesses. Henry Ford's dream of selling lots of cars became a reality because everyone thought that they needed a car. But such extravagance is neither economically nor ecologically sustainable.
I've invested my life in correcting and expanding the American dream. I envision - dream - a world in which everyone has clean water and healthy sanitation, nourishing food, valuable education, and necessary medical care. And also where everyone wants only that much for themselves and their own family or community, then seeks that all the world has the same, while natural balance is restored and maintained as well.
Most of the joys of life do not come through material success. Simple living and spiritual abundance is much more sustainable.for all.
I was limited in the manner in which I answered this question. You, however, touched on the heart of the matter and I agree with you 100%. Great response!
Its a pleasure to see you here and your answer is just amazing.The 2nd last paragraph sells it for me.The misconception of the Dream being about cars money and the fast life is sad...Education, health, food and water for all...that is a worthy dream
Great answer and as a past history major, I see this answer as a primary resource in respect to what You said about the 70s - priceless. The strive for globalization has changed everything - Small villages are under attack world-wide by corporations.
I was going to say something to this effect. But before I could start to muster my thoughts, I read your answer. I doubt I can put it more eloquently. Instead, I will say, Cutler, I think this deserves the best answer.
Thanks to all of you for your recognition. Now, let's keep reading, leaning, and roll up our sleeves and get to work to make it real.
I certainly do but have seen many that are allowing the drive to die away as you said. Many people cannot seem to get a foothold to climb upwards to their dreams, let alone get ahead. It is sad. There are a combination of factors at work, some under each own person's control and others not so. After trying and failing at something just once, twice, or three times, most people give up not wanting to feel the pain of failing also giving up the potential joy of finally breaking through. That is their choice if they see fit. I agree with Pagesvoice's answer to this question, these things are day in and day out but people refuse to turn that depressing crap off. Again, their choice and sooner or later it might color their opinions, goals, and hopes. Nevertheless, I and many others in the US still believe wholeheartedly in the American dream.
I believe in the American dream although it has become extremely difficult to live it these days. Having a home or your own even if you share it with your family is very important to me. We need to focus on a little less waste and more creativity to make this all happen this decade.
The American Dream is dead. Long live the Dream.
The old post-war, fossil fuel fired dream of a house in the 'burbs, two cars in the garage and 3.2 children is about as outdated as an Eisenhower jacket. The sooner we let that one R.I.P., the better. The legacy of that largely unsustainable dream is critical depletion of natural resources, chronic stress-related illnesses, wide-spread obesity, corporate greed and climate shift.
The good news is we are well placed to forge a new dream, a global dream, where one tenth of the global population does not consume one fourth of global resources. Several of us here on HubPages are actively involved in building a new dream and not merely an "American Dream". It's called Humanity One World, H.O.W. Look for us. We're not hard to find.
I believe the lense has been fogged a bit as to just what is meant by "the American dream". Few can really say they are "living the American dream" even though they might have it a bit better than most. For most of us, the "American Dream" is having the freedom and liberty to chase that opportunity; to try our hand and possibly see the big payoff so that we can actually live the dream. Most of us will not get there but we will enjoy the challenge of trying and we will deal with the challenges which confront us. If we do get there, then we will also remember how we did it...the determination, the long hours, the sweat, the risk...all those things that were put on the line. If we don't make it, most of us will still prize the liberty and freedom which allows us to try and try again. The real danger in America today is those freedoms are liberties are being eroded from within the country. Far too many among us are more than willing to trade them away to an all powerful government which makes empty promises of security and welfare. If the American dream is indeed disappearing, it is due in large part to a government willing lto take away the opportunity and a people more than willing to give it up. ~WB
Wayne you have stated the the facts in a very eloquent manner. I could not agree more. Freedom is the American Dream - freedom to work hard and achieve a certain level of success for a comfortable life. Everyone can participate...
I couldn't agree with you more. A dream dies when the dreamers stop dreaming.
Cuttler, "The American Dream" is different for everybody. It may range from things like owning a company, being in the entertainment business, writing books to living a quiet life with family on a farm. I do believe that this still exists and how someone achieves that depends solely on them - persistent, hard work, dedication and faith, despite challenges. The passion is still there in many people and I believe that it will be showcased in the many success stories of those who choose to keep pressing towards their goals/aspirations.
That's my opinion ... great question by the way!
I think the American Dream was not a reality to hold on to. There are elements of that way of life we can get back if people choose virtuous qualities such as honesty, compassion, wisdom, generosity, etc. The recognition of the individual is valuable but without seeing the bigger picture of how the individuals are to work together to create a greater whole, is dangerous. We need and upgrade in our worldview and how we relate--to build something together instead of just for self. My opinion. :-) Good question!
I definitely think the American dream is still alive! It's not dead and every American seeks to live a life that is fulfilling. As an American I am thankful for so much and I constantly seek a way to reach all of my dreams.
I'm sure its not only you cuttler but we hope and pray the American Dream continues! It may be a little harder and a little more difficult to reach but as an American I refuse to give up on it. Opportunities are still here, they're just not as easy to find or attain. Freedom is still here though it is being infringed on by forces outside our control. Like the rest of the world we are going through changes we didn't forsee or plan for.
In spite of it all, America is still the best country in the world!
Eventually, things will come around...not just here, but worldwide, and when they do the American Dream will be on top again.
Absolutely! The beauty of living in America is to pursue the lifestyle that is impossible to achieve in any other country. Sadly, there are too many Americans who simply do not appreciate the Freedom of this country and as a result, pursuing the American dream is a lot tougher than it used to be, and I fear will eventually no longer exist.
The feeling is not as strong. But, I still believe that if you work hard enough, it will pay off big. To me, that is the American Dream; getting rewarded for your hard work.
I feel like I am living the American Dream. We have a house over our heads, heat, water and adequate food and two cars. In our grandparents day, they never dreamed of big vacations and didn't own half of what we have.
Sadly, the homeless, children that aren't fed enough and the unemployed might not see it the same way.
That is very true. For the less fortunate the A dream is just an illusion
Barbara, your open hearts points to a solution. Many who have fulfilled the American dream find life empty without better goals. Perhaps our goal should be to help the less fortunate share in what we have, rather than seeking for more for ourselves.
The "American Dream" lives on television for sure. However, for most of us, hope, toil and disappointment is all we get. Some Americans live the dream, but most just die hoping for it, leaving behind a legacy of debt, and children doomed to the same plight. Happiness is but a succession of fleeting moments upon which we value our existence. It is my hope that one day human life will have more meaning, and substance. It is my dream that society becomes advanced enough to end oppression, taxes, sickness, and greed.
To some extent yes I do still believe in the American dream, but it sure has gotten a lot harder and more expensive to live the American dream. For those who don't know what that expression means, it means achieving a comfortable life with a decent house, car, etc.
There are many reasons why the American dream is harder and more expensive to achieve now than in past generations. The increasing price of oil and other commodities certainly plays a big role. Oil is (currently) central to the American suburban lifestyle. However, other factors contribute to the difficulty of achieving a comfortable life in America in the 21s Century. For one thing, the government has changed the way it calculates inflation, which keeps wage increases low, but does not reflect the real inflation rate that is at least two times the official rate, and at times and for certain items many times the official rate. Another factor is the off-shoring of tens of millions of good paying jobs, which not only means less job opportunities in America but also lower wages. Then there are all the creature comforts that cost a lot of money, from cell phones to paid television and Internet, etc. It's no wonder that many no longer believe in the American dream.
The American Dream of owning a house, failed with the housing bubble collapse.As the country lets the government do more for them, the American Dream vanishes.because the individual disappears into the group.
Well the dream is still there, only harder to achieve right?
It's the fault of most American women that adult American males are given the option of being total geeks or being alone. You see...all the qualities that would help America and lead to the American dream being achieved for so many millions...are considered nerdy. Physicists are looked down on in America. Physicists! Community volunteers are considered wimps. Kindness and modesty as well. Compromise. Peace. All that stuff is frowned upon. Thanks to American women. And thus, not only does nothing function properly whether it's mechanical or administrative or even judicial in this country, but absolutely nobody can bare to take responsibility for these failures when they cause them. We men here are pricks, that's for sure...but we just like to have respect and/or alot of sex. We don't have this biological predication to sink the world the way American womankind does. Oh they'll swear up and down that you don't know what you're talking about and how dare you if you ever point this out...which further assures the problem will only get worse. I'm not saying a woman doesn't have a right to get guys to compete over them...but keep in mind ladies that most guys are idiots, and given that they all want to impress you, you have to expect to see alot of idiotic and thoughtless actions on the part of stupid, greedy, heartless men. Essentially on your behalf.
I'm born and raised in America but I never wanted to live the "American Dream" because it's a lie. No such thing, it's just an idea.
What about America being the land of freedom and opportunity, is that also a lie or a worn out ideology?
It was a lie since the banksters and the politicians lay down with eachother over 100 years ago.
Is any dream ore than idea? To me, a dream is an idea. When we make it our own dream, then we get to work to make it real. That makes it a project. One person's dream is another person's con game, is another person's joyful reality.
Well I'm going to chase my dreams be they "american" or otherwise. I don't pursue happiness though. I find it in anyway possible. I choose not to depend on cliches like "american dream" because you have to be asleep to believe it.
Agreed. What matters is discovering within ourselves our own dream, and making it real. Some people can make a shared dream their own. Others must find their own bliss.
Depends on what the American dream means, if it means living in a decent house, neighborhood and having a job that puts food on the table than yes. If it is the delusion that people have that living here or coming here is their ticket to becoming rich, than probably not. You can make it big in the western world but only if you have something significant to offer that most others don't and even then you have to be the lucky one that gets recognized for it.
I believe their are a lot losing it, But not me I came from nothing.. I have big dreams and slowly but surely I am reaching and leaping and you should too.
Thank you guys for taking your time to share in this question. I believe we have all gained some perspective into the American Dream. A dream that transcends past America and is a beacon of light to other peoples of the world. I feel the dream reawakening in me and I it is time I turned it to reality. Thanks to Denmarkguy, Wayne Brown, Pagesvoice, and Sidkemp for your very comprehensive answers. It has offered a wealth of information that has answered my question fully.
I have decided to chose Sidkemp's answer as best coz it sheds light on many angles of the dream and how it has changed over time. I appreciate all your answers. Happy hubbing guys.
The American dream is inherent in our Constitution. As long as that document is revered, respected and kept intact, we will have the American Dream. When a president is allowed (by We the People) to tamper with it, we are in for big trouble. We must fight to understand, value and keep the Constitution of the United States. Read the biography of Alexander Hamilton, (by Ron Chernow). Alexander grew up with nothing and had nothing when he arrived as a teen in Boston from the Island of St. Croix. He eventually became one of the Founding Fathers and helped to bring forth the principles of freedom that would give anyone and everyone an opportunity to achieve and succeed in life.
It takes a dream. The forces of the universe will pour forth assistance according to the vivid and persistent dreams of individuals. Opportunities will always abound here in America when dreams are pursued along with hard work and consistent interaction with one's environment. Shutting down incentive for success is our biggest threat. WE must keep Ourselves free from an excess of Needlessly Restrictive Regulations and
T o o M u c h T a x a t i o n...
(Occasional revolts are always vital to keep the government on its toes, according to Thomas Jefferson.
Keep Alert. Keep Vigilant. Do not give up...
and Wake Up, if you don't know what is being discussed!
I am a United States Marine Veteran. I have mixed feelings on the "American Dream". First off, we are all different and we all come from different cultures, families, backgrounds, etc. No matter what time frame you grew up in, society has it's ways of dictating what success means.
Our forefathers wanted to create a country that allowed a person to pursue life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. We leaned that for the most part the patriarchs of our countries constitution, gave up their material possessions for what they believed was a greater cause which was their prosperity.
World War II often we all associate as the "survivors" and seem to hold them as the BOLD and BRAVE members in our history. As times dictate our needs, the means to survive were paramount.
In the 60s, most Americans would agree that our country had split. Either you were on the level of earning respect as a human being all the while, coping with racism and fighting for equal rights, or expressing your individualism that historians lay claim as the decay of social order.
Today, we find that "The American Dream" that our country seems to believe more in a materialistic society, which is contrary to what this country was built on. Divorce, individuality, social media and reality tv seem to plague society and the true meaning of the American Dream.
In conclusion I wish to add the following. Unemployment, government hand-outs, equal rights for men/woman and/or equal opportunities in the work place, does not always translate into hiring the most qualified, hardest working employee earning their job and the progression of our countries growth as a nation. In reality all we are doing is handicapping society and the suppression of the ideals of our forefathers. Free rides create hostility. A person working 2 jobs to live in his home and provide for his family is down played when the unemployed living in the same environment are giving all the advantages only to be taken for granted and abused by a flawed system. How then can one feel the pride that comes with hard work and dedication when others are served the same dish on a silver platter?
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