Does the american dream still exist


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Does the american dream still exist

  1. 1. Name 1 Name Surname Composition 2 College Name November 16, 2012 Does the American Dream Still Exist? Traditionally, the American dream is considered to be a belief in people’s success in life. It is supposed to concern all spheres of life: business, social, political, and personal life. According to the American dream concept, any person (regardless his or her origin) can gain wealth and fame by his or her talents and industry. People have gone to America in search of new life conditions since the discovery of America, as it was reckoned to be a land of equal opportunities where everybody can realize his or her ambitions. In spite of the fact that quick development of new technologies, increasing gap between rich and poor people, and cycling economic crisis have made Americans hesitate in their prominent future, the American dream still exists and help the USA citizens put their ideas into practice. Thesis: The American Dream still exists and will exist in future regardless of economic situation in the country. It can be explained by Americans’ self-confidence, industry, their mentality, their religion, good education, and their upbringing based on the principles of democracy. First of all, our statement that the American Dream still exists is proved by the statistic surveys made in 2009-2012 years. According to the survey conducted by Pew Charitable Trusts' Economic Mobility Project, 68 percent of Americans believe they have already gained or will gain the American Dream (Michael De Groote, 2012). In comparison with 2009, when the world suffered from the economic crisis, the number of people who believe in the American dream has increased for 12%. Thus, Zogby Separate Interactive Polls which were conducted in January, 2009 showed that 56% of Americans continued being confident in their abilities to achieve the American dream (John Zogby, 2012). What is interesting, even the global financial crisis that damaged the economy of many countries did not affect Americans’ aspirations greatly. Thus, John Zogby emphasized that “the percentage of likely voters saying they believe in the American Dream dropped from 67% immediately after the election to 56% in the second week of January” (2009). Moreover, the statistics shows that 93% of people who were born in families which were “at the bottom fifth” (with less than $28,900 a year) managed “to do better” than their parents (Michael De Groote, 2012). Besides, 84
  2. 2. Name 2 percent of Americans got more income than their parents (Michael De Groote, 2012). On the one side, such dynamic shows the positive tendencies in the American society in general and strengthens Americans’ hopes for better future. On the other side, it assured us in Americans’ ability to overcome difficulties and be steady in their purpose. The USA citizens’ strong belief in the fulfillment of the American dream can be explained by the Americans’ self-confidence, industry, their mentality, their religion, good education, and their upbringing based on the principles of democracy. First of all, Americans’ self-confidence helps to overcome difficulties in their life. They are used to being optimists regardless of the objective reality. In spite of economic situation of the country or their own positions at work, they continue to believe that they will cope with difficulties and make a good career. Such self-confidence and self- efficacy give them strength to struggle and not miss a chance to fulfill their ideas. Thus, John Zogby emphasized that 59% of respondents explained that they were sure in their future success because of their intelligence and industry, while 25% of supporters of the American dream were going to achieve it to their optimism. Then, Americans’ mentality supports their hopes for the American dream fulfillment. Nowadays the USA nation still believes in its uniqueness that has been taken on for ages. The American dream is not only associated with financial freedom and business development now, but with exceptionalism of the American nation and opportunities for self-realization of each personality in the USA. The custom to be ahead in the world in political ideas, innovations, and social life, made Americans feel necessity to work harder and do their best to implement their ideas. It can be compared with the “effect of an A student”: when you got used to taking the lead in study, you transfer these customs to your private and social life, and try to correspond with other people expectations for all life. Besides, Americans are accustomed to the fact that the USA is the land of great opportunities where everything is possible. Thus, according to statistics, more than half of respondents proved that the USA provided everybody with equal opportunities. As a result, the confidence in the USA exceptionalism support citizens and make them stronger. What is more, religion continues taking important place in the citizens’ lives in the USA. In fact, Thus, John Zogby noticed that “forty-nine percent of frequent church goers attribute their optimism to their religious faith” (2009). In fact, religious faith was always a great source of energy
  3. 3. Name 3 and strength for people. Besides, the main points of religion demand moderation and protestant ethic from believers. It allows church goers achieving their dreams through economy and industry. Then, people who have better education are usually more optimistic. They hope to make better career. It can be explained by the fact that rapid development of technologies and industry demand thorough knowledge and skills from employees. As a result, skilled workers with high education are more valued. Finally, the citizens of the USA are brought up in the democratic society where each person adjusts to ideas from the childhood that every human being has equal rights irrespective of the race, nation, or social position. It gives them more confidence that their efforts will be rewarded. They were used to being sure in the support and protection of the government. However, growth of terrorism and cycling economic crisis threats, and decrease of economic mobility of the USA make many people hesitate in justice of the world, right political decisions of the American government, and exceptionalism of their nation. The analysts have heard pessimistic sayings as "The powers that be don't care about people like me," "Americans shouldn't think of themselves as special and entitled to an ideal life," and "Where I live, it costs too much, and the American Dream is just out of reach" more often for the last decades (2009). In 2010 43% of people were not sure if the American dream would ever be achieved. In comparison, in 1995 a Business Week/Harris poll found out three-thirds of Americans thought that it would be more difficult to achieve the American dream in the next decade than it was before but it was still possible (Gregory Rodriguez, 2010). The problem is that most of Americans were disappointed either in Democrats or Republicans. Besides, terrorists’ actions have eroded the stability of the country and Americans’ belief in their power. What is more, nowadays economic mobility of the USA is not as high as it was in the twentieth century. It means that people are not able quickly to move up the social ladder “from one generation to the next”. The difference between people with high and low incomes is too big in order to allow poor people climbing up to the top of the social ladder. In comparison, “Canada is 2.5 times more mobile”, while “Denmark is three times” more mobile than the USA (2012). In conclusion, it is necessary to say that the American dream still exists. It can be explained by Americans’ mentality, self-confidence, industry, their mentality, their religion, good education, and their upbringing based on the principles of democracy. However, growth of terrorism and cycling
  4. 4. Name 4 economic crisis threats, and decrease of economic mobility of the USA make many people hesitate in possibility to achieve the American dream. For the last decades the number of people who are not sure that they would ever achieve the American dream has been increased. Works Cited: Groote, Michael De. Moving on up: Can the American Dream still become a reality today? July 21 2012. Dream-still-become-a-reality-today.html?pg=all Rodriguez,Gregory. The American dream: Is it slipping away? September 27, 2010. Zogby, John. The American Dream Is Still Strong. January, 2009. columnists_0129_john_zogby.html