American Dream Is Alive
The American Dream has always been considered an irreplaceable part of the United States culture and way of life. However, as the situation in the country began to change with time, many scholars and academics started to question the existence, meaning, and importance of the American Dream for the society. The US researchers Cal Thomas and Brandon King have different points of view on the aforementioned issue. This essay will compare and contrast their visions of the topic and prove that despite numerous challenges, hardships, and transformations, the American Dream is still alive nowadays.
Throughout history, both the American Dream and the US society had underwent numerous transformations that changed the nature of the notion of the American Dream and its understanding by people. The academic point of view on the issue also changed, and many scholars nowadays claim that due to global recession and economic depression trends, the American Dream is dead because people no longer have the same ideals and values, and because they are simply unable to achieve their dreams. Both Thomas (2010) and King (2009) share the optimistic idea of the American Dream’s present and future, agreeing with the fact that this notion is changing its meaning.
Brandon King stresses that the American Dream is still alive, but it was partly redefined due to the economic and social changes that occurred in the US in the last several years. He defines today’s American Dream as “the potential to work for an honest, secure way of life and save for the future” (King, 2009). Even today, according to The New York Times survey data, approximately 72% of US citizens think that it is possible for a poor person to become rich in the USA if the person works hard (Seelye, 2015). However, in contrast to the American Dream of the past, the main attention now is placed only on the ownership of various expensive items, such as homes, cars, and luxury goods. Thus, living the today’s American Dream in the US means “going from dirt poor to filthy rich and becoming more than you could have ever imagined” (King, 2009).
Thomas (2010) also supports the point of view mentioned above, stating that as long as people think that they have at least a certain chance of living a better life, the American Dream is alive. However, the scholar states that the economic situation in the United States is complicated: “Wherever you choose to look, at the economy and jobs, the public schools, the budget deficits, the nonstop warfare overseas…you’ll see a country in sad shape” (Thomas, 2010). Such depressive data suggest that the American Dream is dead. However, Thomas sees this problem as an opportunity. The scholar states that it is necessary to work hard to improve the situation and to support the foundation values of the US culture, namely obtaining education, living an honest life, demonstrating personal integrity, investing in retirement not to burden relatives and taxpayers, supporting family values, and avoiding using drugs not to harm body and mind.
In conclusion, the works of Thomas and King clearly demonstrate that the American Dream is still alive, despite global depression and trends of economic recession in the United States. All in all, the American Dream will continue to exist as a part of the US culture and psyche, remaining the driving force that encourages people to improve the standards of living. However, it is necessary to support the business mechanisms that support and sustain the US economy, which serves as the foundation for the American Dream, to have new hope in a better personal and professional life for future generations.
King, B. (2009). The American Dream: Dead, alive, or on hold? In G. Graff, C. Birkenstein, & R. K. Durst (Eds.), They say/I say: The moves that matter in academic writing: With readings. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.
Thomas, C. (2010). Is the American Dream over? Townhall. Retrieved from //townhall.com/columnists/calthomas/2010/11/23/is-the-american-dream-over-n729426
Seelye, K. Q. (2009). What happens to the American Dream in a recession? The New York Times. Retrieved from //www.nytimes.com/2009/05/08/us/08dreampoll.html?_r=0