This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Social Mobility: Is The American Dream Slipping Away?

5606 words - 22 pages

Social Mobility: Is The American Dream Slipping Away?This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Lynn Neary, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. It's an American story as old as Horatio Alger: Hard work, determination and presto, you can change your station in life. But increasingly many Americans find themselves stuck where they are on the economic ladder, that American dream just out of reach.A recent study from the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts finds that 83 percent of adult children make more money than their parents did, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're better off socially or economically. We'll hear more about that study in a bit, but we also want to hear your stories today.Tell us about a moment when you realized you were moving up or down the economic ladder? What happened? Our number is 800-989-8255. Our email address is talk@npr.org. And you can join the conversation at our website. Go to npr.org, and click on TALK OF THE NATION.Later in the program, ghostwriting for Sweet Valley High. But first: Is it still possible for Americans to move up the economic ladder? Marilyn Geewax is a senior business editor for NPR News, and she joins us now in Studio 3A. Welcome to the program, Marilyn, good to have you with us.MARILYN GEEWAX, BYLINE: Hi Lynn.NEARY: So economic mobility seems to be on the minds of people on both the left and the right. Jeb Bush had this to say on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" earlier this week.(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, 'MORNING JOE')JEB BUSH: I think going forward we have to deal with our longer structural problems. The biggest one, as far as I'm concerned, is that we're no longer socially mobile as a country. You have people that are born poor, and there's a higher and higher probability they're going to stay poor; and you have people that are born rich, and there's a greater probability they're going to stay rich.MIKA BRZEZINSKI: They'll get richer.BUSH: It's just - it is so un-American.NEARY: Un-American. Is it, Marilyn?GEEWAX: Well, it's certainly true that the idea of economic mobility is a core principle for Americans. It's what the American dream is all about. But we have to separate out a couple of ideas. One is the idea of income inequality and the other is economic mobility. So the first idea is that we have some people who are very rich and some people who are very poor.And in the United States, we've always had a pretty high tolerance, actually, for income inequality because we're a nation of immigrants. People show up, they don't have five cents in their pocket, you know that. You don't expect to become a millionaire the next day. But you do want to come to the United States and feel like you can move up, that you can change where you started out.So this is a - these are two separate ideas. We tolerate income inequality a great deal, but we want to know that we can move up and down based on our own efforts and not just who our parents were. So this is very important to our idea of how our economy...

Find Another Essay On Social Mobility: Is The American Dream Slipping Away?

The American Dream...It is a "dream"

998 words - 4 pages Slamming the car door, Christie furiously ran away from her silver Lexus into her beautiful white, Victorian home in Los Angeles, California. Collapsing on her oversized waterbed, and struggling through tears, she cried, "Why am I not happy?" This portrait of a discontented life is all too often displayed in the lives of American citizens. In this country, the United States of America, society thrives on the goal of achieving eternal happiness

The American Dream Is Just a Dream

1071 words - 5 pages that what he thinks – and he is ready to take her away the next day. Then Mr. Wilson comes and shots him dead, and all of Gatsby’s hopes to achieve the American dream are crushed and his life is over. In the F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby the American dream is explored. Fitzgerald uses a green light at the end of a dock, a man that mysteriously comes about a lot of money, and a very intense love between two individuals to show

What is The American Dream?

1115 words - 4 pages The American Dream can be defined in many different perspectives. A generalization of the american dream can be summed up as, “a national ethos of the United States, a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work,” (Wikipedia). This may sound very punctual for an audience that are already of the American background. For foriegners

What Is the American Dream?

1182 words - 5 pages What is the American dream? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the American Dream as, “An American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and material prosperity.” The American Dream has always encompassed that general idea, but different aspects of it have evolved during specific time periods. The idea of the American dream was first introduced in the late 1800s with the sudden influx of immigrants. For millions of immigrants, America

What is the american dream

1710 words - 7 pages , and this land is not done yet supplying inspiration and happiness. “Americans have so far put up with inequality because they felt they could change their status. They didn't mind others being rich, as long as they had a path to move up as well. The American Dream is all about social mobility in a sense - the idea that anyone can make it.” ~Fareed Zakaria

Is the american dream achievable?

1007 words - 4 pages of the American Dream; it is called the stereotypical dream. The Oxford dictionary states that the American Dream is, "The traditional social ideals of the US, such as equality, democracy and material prosperity." However, I firmly believe the American Dream is to be accepted, to be free and to be equal; overall the dream is to pursue personal happiness. I strongly believe that the American Dream was not attainable in the past, is not attainable

What is the American Dream?

845 words - 3 pages What is the American Dream?Ever since America has been explored and colonized, the conception of an ideolgicaldream has been at the forefront. America has continually provided an arena for those individualsseeking economic, governmental, religious expansion and purification. Even though centurieshave passed, the fundemental priniciples that define the American dream have remained essentiallythe same. Through history and American literature, one

Social Mobility in the United States

2262 words - 9 pages them. However, I will veer away from a definitive answer, and instead turn to The Huffington Post where economist Howard Steven Friedman gives his take of the "American myth of social mobility". It is more or less a re-iteration of the views of the authors from Introduction to Political Economy, treating the American Dream as nothing short of a fallacy in today's trying times. Again, we see the comparisons of our social mobility to that of

Social mobility in The Great Gatsby

836 words - 3 pages This essay discusses the role of social mobility in The Great Gatsby. It argues that not all people can reach the highest social class, this is a class you must belong to from the beginning of life or marry in to. However, the characters are living the American dream which makes social mobility to the other social classes available. The essay addresses the American Dream, the difference in social class between the main characters and how some

Is the American Dream Still Possible?

834 words - 3 pages better fifty years ago than it is today. People are in greater debt now and the United States is in higher debt than it was fifty years ago. The American Dream is still possible despite the lack of improvement within social mobility in American society over the past years. The American dream is achievable by being able to live a middle-class lifestyle and that lifestyle is obtainable through hard work and perseverance, even in light of obstacles

The American Dream, Is It For You?

1707 words - 7 pages of our social classes, and unlike in your grandparents time, you have the ability to change that class. Today society has made it easier for everyone to make it, by creating laws of equality and programs to help people in their struggle. However, life is still an unsure game in which we don't have all of the rules and outcomes. But if people work hard and plan for their future, and take into consideration that it is possible to succeed, they will have prepared themselves for what the world is willing to give them. And if motivation to accomplish these goals requires them to put some of their faith into the American dream, then it has served it's purpose.

Similar Essays

Social Mobility: Is The American Dream Slipping Away?

5606 words - 22 pages Social Mobility: Is The American Dream Slipping Away?This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Lynn Neary, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. It's an American story as old as Horatio Alger: Hard work, determination and presto, you can change your station in life. But increasingly many Americans find themselves stuck where they are on the economic ladder, that American dream just out of reach.A recent study from the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew

Is The American Dream Changing Or Fading Away?

780 words - 4 pages In the 1920s, the American Dream was much different from what we believe the American Dream is today. Although it is changing, the American Dream is also fading and people are making their own dreams. The American Dream is the traditional social ideals of the United States and many people’s lives revolve around trying to achieve what they perceive this dream as. “Childhood was better when I was a kid.” Being a teenager that statement is used a

The American Dream And Upward Mobility For Minorities

2313 words - 9 pages a system that handicaps them, without being able to explain, or accept, their persistent low levels of achievement. TV stereotypes of black people divert attention away from the class-based causes of racial inequality. Without a conscious knowledge of these class based inequalities social media will continue to feed the American Dream to the public, and the lower class will aspire to achieve upward mobility, while the fact that the American

Is The American Dream Just A Dream

852 words - 4 pages your neighbor; with the availability of social media, rich people can influence people all over the world” (“Is the American Dream Becoming too Materialistic”). What this means is that our neighbors aren’t just the ones next door. Our neighbors have become The Kardashians and every celebrity on MTV cribs. For the average American, keeping up with what famous people have is impossible, but for some strange reason, they still try. Mostly, this