American Dream Entails That Anyone Term Paper

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In this way the American Dream became even less accessible to poor persons, who in the past may have expected help from the more fortunate sectors of society. Instead they were forced to see the rich grow increasingly richer without any chance for access to prosperity. Unemployment and disparate income rates exacerbate the problem. Those employed in the most worthy of caring professions are often at the lowest end of the poverty scale, according to Malveaux (in Rothenberg, 2004, p. 293). She also blames the blind eye of policy makers for creating and maintaining this policy by means of elements such as welfare and minimum wage policies. In terms of employment, there is also still much discrimination against both women and black people.

Malveaux further blames both the government and society for the inaccessibility of the dream to some when citing the events of 9/11 (in Rothenberg, 2004, p. 294). The government places unequal value on a life when compensation is offered for the loss of income created by the tragic events in 2001. Persons with higher incomes are compensated with greater funds than those (of color for example) with lower incomes. This reinforces the idea that some lives are more important than others.

In terms of the social paradigm, the nationwide shock and horror at the events of 9/11 show the racial bias prevalent in society. Great losses of life have been experienced in history. Nonetheless, none of the atrocities resulting in the deaths of millions of poor or nonwhite people inspired the wholesale mourning for the upper-class workers who died in 2001. Many turn a blind eye to this issue, perpetuating the myth that the American Dream actually exists. President Bush's continued reference to "our way of living" and the threats posed to this way of living is evident of this. Furthermore, the way in which the Muslim community in the United States has been marginalized is evidence of the unequal paradigm still persisting in the country.
The American Dream in all its idealistic vigor is a possibility. It is possible for all persons to have equal access to the benefits of the dream. This is shown in the Matewan film. People from a wide diversity of classes and races join together in a common goal: to overcome injustice. The question is however whether the American Dream currently exists in the country, and whether this dream is constructive or destructive.

As the situation currently presents itself, I do think that the concept of the American Dream is more harmful than helpful. An immigrant may for example enter the country under the impression that he or she will truly have the equal opportunities presented by the myth. When it becomes clear that the myth is just that - far from reality - it is too late to turn back.

The myth is also harmful in terms of the citizens of the United States. Average Americans are lulled into a belief that upliftment from poverty is a choice that the poor can make without help. This robs the poor of the opportunity for upliftment, and as the gap between rich and poor widens, so does inequality.

The American Dream thus leads to more inequality, which is the exact opposite of its ideals. The very mythological nature of the concept is responsible for this phenomenon. Because the perception is that the United States is a country of opportunity for everybody, many immigrants move away from their home countries, believing that a better life exists in the United States. The reality is however that the current economic downturn and events such as 9/11, together with the somewhat unwise actions taken by the American government, has moved the country further away from the American Dream. The concept is therefore now truly a myth. It is a pity then that so many still cling to the ideals of the Dream as if it can offer the salvation that in.....

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