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The Impossible American Dream Essay

1225 words - 5 pages

The American Dream is known to be a hope for a better, richer, happier life for all citizens of every class. For almost all Americans, this entails earning a college degree, gaining a good job, buying a house, and starting a family. Although this seems wonderful, a large amount of the American population believes that the Dream has changed immensely because of increased prices in today’s society, the price of tuition being highly unaffordable, as well as the unemployment rate skyrocketing and weaker job growth. While some American citizens believe it has changed, others believe that the American Dream has not changed, but point out it is harder to obtain.
There are multiple factors that make the American Dream come true. Researchers show that almost all American citizens believe the American Dream is still what it was when it first came about. The mindset of the American Dream is not necessarily changing. What are changing are the factors that make the American Dream come true. With prices changing drastically since 1966, to tuition being unaffordable, and unemployment rising and weaker job growth, most of the population believe it takes a lot more work to achieve this Dream than it did back in Generation X.
In 1931 when the American Dream arose, Americans believed that the harder one worked, the more one would prosper (Meacham, 2012). In other words, they strongly believed that the American Dream was gaining a better, richer, happier life. Today, the American Dream is still hoping to earn a college degree, get a good job, buy a house, and start a family, but according to MetLife’s fifth annual survey, 41% of the respondents said it was about personal fulfillment, while most American’s say it is out of reach for many (White, 2011).
A large amount of the American population has stated that the American Dream has changed drastically since Generation X. Generation X began around 1966-1976. The prices of normal goods/ items have generally increased in today’s society (Foroohar, 2011). With newer technology and more efficient ways of living, everything has gone up. One important part of the American Dream is to start a family. With the cost estimating around $241,080.00 for a middle-income couple to raise a child for 18 years, most families can’t keep up (Hicken, 2013). If you do not have a stable job bringing a child you can’t support into today’s society is very difficult. The estimated cost of raising a child does not include college or other endless counts of “wants”. Another part of the American Dream is buying your own home. Recently, the real estate and credit crises caused housing prices to skyrocket, making it impossible for most middle class families to buy homes (Foroohar, 2011). Because demand has been high, it has driven the prices higher, along with mortgage rates. With the government shutdown, mortgage rates slowly increasing, and weaker job growth, less and less families have been able to purchase homes (Home prices rise at...

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