Why It’s Hard to Achieve the American Dream

The American Dream, a concept that has been celebrated and revered for generations, is the belief that anyone can succeed in achieving prosperity and success through hard work and determination. For many, this dream still holds true, but for a growing number of Americans, it remains elusive. Here are some reasons why achieving the American Dream is harder than ever before:

Income Inequality

One of the biggest hurdles in achieving the American Dream is income inequality. According to studies, the wealthiest 1% of Americans own nearly 40% of the country’s wealth. Not only does this result in a smaller pool of resources for the majority of Americans, but it also perpetuates a cycle of poverty that’s hard to break out of.

The Rising Cost of Living

The cost of living in many parts of the country has risen dramatically over the past few years. Housing is especially expensive, with rent and mortgages consuming a significant percentage of many people’s incomes. Other expenses like healthcare, education, and food have also become increasingly costly. As a result, many Americans are struggling to make ends meet, let alone achieve prosperity or success.

Lack of Opportunity

Despite the rhetoric about equal opportunities for all, the reality is that many people face significant obstacles in achieving success. Minority groups and people from low-income households often find it much harder to get ahead, with limited access to education, healthcare, and job opportunities. The lack of opportunities creates a significant challenge in pursuing the American Dream.

The Myth of Meritocracy

The American Dream is founded on the idea that anyone can make it big through hard work and determination. However, the reality is that success often depends on factors beyond our control, like our race, gender, and social connections. The myth of meritocracy can be especially damaging for those who work hard but don’t see the same results as others with more privileged backgrounds.


Despite the challenges, achieving the American Dream is still possible for some. However, it’s essential to acknowledge the realities that many people face and work towards creating a more equitable society with equal opportunities for all. By addressing income inequality, rising costs of living, lack of opportunity, and the myth of meritocracy, we can create a more just society where success is attainable for everyone.

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