Can the American Dream be Achieved Today?
The American Dream, a term popularized in the 1930s by the writer James Truslow Adams, is a belief that in America, anyone can achieve financial and social success through hard work, perseverance, and determination. It is the idea that with grit, determination, and perseverance, one can become whoever they want to be, regardless of their background, upbringing or social status. But with the current economic landscape and social challenges, can the American Dream still be achieved today?
The Prospects of the American Dream in 2021
The truth is, the prospects of achieving the American Dream in 2021 have become bleak. Today, we live in a society that is plagued by widening wealth disparities, increasing social injustices, and systemic inequalities. And as the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis have shown us, these disparities have only intensified, making the dream seem all the more unattainable.
As per a study conducted by the Center of American Progress, only 50% of the Americans born in 1984 out-earned their parents, compared with 90% of those born in 1940; meaning that the chances have drastically decreased in the last few decades. Meanwhile, the top 1% continues to amass disproportionate wealth, leaving a majority of Americans struggling to make ends meet.
Falling Short of the Dream
One reason for the failing American Dream is that the United States continually under invests in its people, particularly in subjects like healthcare, education, and transportation. This, in turn, harms social mobility, making it difficult for people to thrive and succeed. Additionally, several structural factors, such as income inequality, systemic racism, and unfair tax laws, make it challenging for anyone, especially those living in poverty, to make any real progress.
The Role of Technology
Fortunately, technology could help level the playing field to some extent. From online learning platforms to remote job opportunities, the Internet has opened up new avenues for people of all backgrounds to access the tools and resources they need to succeed. Digital transformation has pathed the way for new industries that provide opportunities for economic advancement. As businesses move online, there is a level of flexibility, and people can choose to work from home, creating a work-life balance that hasn’t been possible in decades.
A Future for the American Dream
While there’s no denying that the American Dream faces significant challenges today, we believe that the future still holds promise. There is an increasing awareness of the systemic inequities that are holding us back, and many individuals and organizations are actively working to address them. It’s possible that the dream might just mean something different now. Perhaps it’s the opportunity to live a fulfilling life, regardless of wealth or status. Or maybe it’s the chance to make a positive impact on the world around you. But until we collectively work towards breaking free from the constraints that are holding us back, the American Dream will remain a far-away reality for millions.
Overall, the American Dream may not be as attainable as it was before, but it remains an essential aspiration for many Americans. There is a need for collective action to ensure equal opportunity and social advancement. It’s crucial to recognize that achieving the American Dream requires systemic changes, and it’s up to us as individuals and as a society to make those changes to ensure that the dream doesn’t remain elusive for future generations.