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Critical Essay on Whether The American Dream is a True Dream

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Lots of Americans believe in the American dream today, but does the American dream truly existent? In this paper on the American dream, I would argue that it is not a true thing, because this is not a reality for every American since money, not just hard work ensures the ease of success.

For the introduction to this essay, let’s look at the US Pew Charitable Trusts Economic Mobility Project study shows that although 40% of Americans are still convinced that starting from poverty to wealth is quite common, only 4% of them are actually successful. The article said that more Americans born in poor families can’t get rid of poverty for a lifetime, and the United States should do more to improve social mobility.

If you are born in the lower class, it’s so hard for you to go to the higher class. 25% of Americans are born into the lowest class. After a decade, 46% of them are still in the same class, 27% of them go to a higher level, 17% of them go to the middle class, 9% of them go to the second class, and only one percent of them go to the upper class.

Being born into poverty will give you less chance to move up the social class than people born into wealth. Wealthier people will have an easier time moving to a higher class than poorer people. Poor people tend to stay poor their entire lives.

In the past four decades, the income of the middle population has remained stagnant, and the income of the upper 1% has tripled. Just as in the mid-20th century, the top 10% of American earners took one-third of the country’s total income. Today it’s closer to 50%. In the mid-20th century, the top 1% of wealthy households received 10% of the total national income. Today, 1% of upper households take home 25% of the total income. If you are one of the lucky ones, I hope that you will be grateful and don’t think that everything should be like this.

The difference between each class makes the American dream harder to come true. On Constitution Avenue near the White House, a pair of middle-aged couples covered themselves with newspapers and slept in the open near the subway entrance. Not far away, the Trump International Hotel, which recently opened, features a luxurious interior and sky-high room rates only the wealthy can afford. On the other side of the Newspaper Museum, workers are changing the front cover of the newspaper in dozens of windows to propagate the country‘s ‘Freedom’ and ‘democracy.’ The rich can live in their own house, drive their luxury cars to work, while most people are forced to walk, take the bus or subway to work because they can’t afford to own a car. These will all make the difference between wealth and poor people developed gradually.

Just like The Great Gatsby, Nick, Gatsby, and Daisy all intend to realize their dreams from the Midwest to the East. The pursuit of money, reputation, success, and excitement make Daisy will not marry a man who is unnamed. Her Life with Tom is made up of luxury houses, polo, travel and how to waste daily time; and Gatsby only earns a lot of money through various illegal ways, living in a beach house and a life with billions of dollars. After all these, Gatsby finally has the brave to try to let Daisy back, and this is his American dream. He is eager to use the money to win back the feelings of Daisy, but he is not aware that a woman who is like a Western woman has no real feelings, she only care who can give her better life.

What does American dream mean to you? Many would answer “money”, but having enough money not means you join the upper society. In the American bourgeoisie, there are not only differences in wealth, but also the difference between ‘new’ and ‘old’. Therefore, there is always an insurmountable gap between Gatsby’s world and the privileged world. Even he has a big party in his house every week and has attracted many celebrities from all walks of life, but everyone is just using Gatsby’s home as a free entertainment place. They are looking for fun cozily, at the same time not letting go of any opportunity to express contempt for the master, there are all kinds of gossip about him.

To continue the essay, maybe you will say in The Pursuit of Happyness, Chris Gardner finally gets success by hard work, but the truth is he gets success because he has the talent. Success equals 99% perspiration and 1% talent, but often 1% talent is more important than 99% perspiration. Chris Gardner has the talent on Math, that’s why he can get the job.

Many teenagers work hard just like what American dream said, but the thing happen is that mostly they don’t success. After they graduate from college, most of the teenagers decide to go to work. Just like every healthy middle-class, you’ll have a decent job, stable housing, affordable education and healthcare, and a clear route to retirement. After twenty years, you will see them still in the same post. And you even can’t move to a new place, this wouldn’t just mean uprooting the kids; it would mean leaving the dynamic labor market. It’s hard to find a new job with a good salary.

Harvard researchers concluded that our collective lack of economic mobility is driven by income inequality. To help solve this problem, the government gives money and entitlements to poor people in an attempt to make them more equal to the more fortunate. This doesn’t help in The long run because the tendency is for people to stagnate at this level and lose ambition to improve their situation since most of their basic needs are being met by government subsidies.

In fact, 20 percent of households own more than 84 percent of the wealth. This makes it harder for low or no income families to better themselves because the money from The wealthiest portion of the population does not trickle down to the lower class. If you don’t have money from the start, it’s harder for you to go to a higher class and life becomes a vicious circle of generational poverty.

So, as shown in this essay, social inequality under oligarchic politics and the decline of class mobility are social crises that are more profound than the impact of economic crisis. Social wealth weakens the state’s ability to govern after. When wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few, the majority of the Population has less to spend, leading to an overall negative effect on a country’s economy. Serious inequality has eroded the cornerstone of the ‘American Dream.’ American democracy has taken off its gorgeous coat, and has efficiently revealed the truth that ‘the rich have, the rich control, and the rich enjoy.’ 

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Critical Essay on Whether the American Dream is a True Dream. (2021, January 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from
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