What Happened To Being Equal? Essay

1549 words - 7 pages

The American Dream was the main reason that the pilgrims decided to come to America in the first place. The idea of being able to all start from one place and work your way up to the top based on the effort that you put in. That’s what we all believed, isn’t it? The idea that every person has equal opportunity in work, education and resources so that success is earned in an upward mobile fashion. This dream was derived from the United States Declaration of Independence which states that, “All mean are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
The idea for the american dream came from ...view middle of the document...

Fair and Equal opportunity is that in which every person is given the same chance and no one is above the other until it has been earned. With that being said, Education as part of the American Dream is no longer an equal opportunity because it is overrun by income inequality.
Income inequality has separated the standards for individuals which is the opposite effect of what the american dream had intended. Bob Herbert explains this is his statement from his article, Hiding from Reality, “There was a time when the United States understood the importance of educating its young people and led the way in compulsory public schooling. It also built the finest higher education system in the world. Now, although no one will admit it publicly, we’ve decided to go in another direction” (Herbert 566). Having a “compulsory public school” and the finest higher education system was the foundation of bringing about equal opportunity for citizens to earn their way to the top. By gaining the same standard of education as everyone else and starting at the same level, it was guaranteed that you would earn your position and social status. Those who worked hard would receive the benefits.
If there was still equality in opportunity, then I would have the same options in life as celebrities and public figures. Sadly this is not the case. In order for an individual in the middle class to get a well paying job they must complete high school, college and then go on to get a masters. This is, frankly, the only route in order to keep up with the demands of life. Celebrity teenagers, on the other hand, do not have to go to college yet can still land high paying jobs just because of family connections. This shows how off balance our society is on the importance of an equal opportunistic education. Paul Krugman sums up this sad reality by saying, “What this tells us is that the idea that we have anything close to equality of opportunity is clearly a fantasy” (Krugman 591). The gap is even larger when you compare those who live in poor neighborhoods with a poor education system with that of those who are born into fame and fortune. Krugman explains that, “Inequality means that the desirable school districts are growing fewer in number, and more expensive to live in.” Kids who are born in areas like Detroit typically won’t get the proper required education, let alone any higher education. This means that these kids will not have a promising future with a steady income but instead they will have to seek out other pass times like getting involved with gangs. Getting dealt a bad hand from the start typically ends with the loss of the game. Krugman points this out from the view point of the parents, “And they’re right to be worried: A bad start can ruin a child’s chances for life” (Krugman 590).
There are several effects that unequal opportunities brings to our society. The first mentioned earlier was that a bad start can ruin a child’s life. If a child is not presented with...

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