TheObstacles to Achieving the American Dream
Theideal where every citizen of the U.S. is entitled to prosperity andsuccess though determination, initiative, and hard work is commonlyreferred to as the American Dream.1In the ancient days, this philosophy only extended to the whiteproperty owners. Nonetheless, the ideology of inalienable rightsbrought about regulations which ensured that slaves, non-propertyowners, and women could also embrace this dream. In the 1920s, thedesire for the creation of a better life for all the American peoplehad already transformed into the need for material thingsacquisition. Many leaders of the time also came out in support of theidea of equal opportunities for all people regardless of the gender,race, or religious beliefs. For instance, President Lincoln grantedthe slaves equal opportunities desire to become great. PresidentWilson advocated for the voting rights of the women. Additionally,Johnson promoted the regulations of Title VII which protected workersfrom discriminative policies and eliminated segregation in thelearning institutions. Although the American Dream is still existentand individuals still struggle to achieve it, efforts of some groupsof people towards this achievement are futile. Therefore, this paperseeks to analyze the obstacles towards the attainment of the AmericanDream as well as identify the groups which are most vulnerable tothese challenges.
Tenout of eight affluent households believe that the American Dream isharder to achieve as compared to the past. In a survey conducted todetermine the extent to which various obstacles affect the dreams ofcitizens, it was proven that the political climate is the principalchallenge. However, the middle class and the poor did not show muchconcern regarding this factor. Affluent investors blame theinadequacy of the government gridlock for the high costs ofinvestment and the failure to meet the expected returns.
Accordingto people, the high cost of education is one of the significantfactors limiting the ability of the citizens to improve their livingconditions.2This factor particularly reduces the chances of education for thechildren from low-income families. Most successful people attributecollege degree as the major contributor to their success. Therefore,denying an individual the opportunity to join a college is likecasting him/her to poverty and failure in life. The college degree isa necessity in today`s’ workplaces. Other social problems such asdrug abuse among the youths, early pregnancies, and criminalactivities in a society where people are denied their right toeducation. Consequently, the society is further impoverished limitingthe ability of the citizens to acquire their American dream.3
Moreover,the struggling economy is also to blame for the failure of a highnumber of people to meet their dreams. Weak economic growth resultsin the inability of the government and large businesses to offer thecitizens adequate opportunities for improving their lives.
Themigrants and the black people communities are cited in the literatureas the ones who are profoundly affected by the obstacles. Forinstance, for immigrants acquiring accreditation for the skillslearned at their homes is often faced with a lot of barriers.Although these individuals might have the necessary skills andknowledge for employment or to further their education, they oftenspend years trying to secure these services. This conditionfacilitates their failure in the promotion of personal success. Onthe other hand, the immigrants lack access to insurance and otheressential benefits of the state. The Legislature Bill 465 cuts allthe state benefits for the immigrants who have been living in thecountry for less than five years.4Therefore, immigrants suffer as they try to fit in a society whichdoesn’t offer the primary benefits to them.
Discriminationagainst the immigrants is evident in Garnette’s text the WalkingWhile Black. The author says, “In the city exuberant streets,walking became a complex and often oppressive negotiation.” Thisstatement shows how the blacks are denied they very right of socialengagement. The author has to cross the streets when he sees a whiteperson approaching to reassure them that he meant no harm to them. Inthis kind of environment, the black people cannot be said to bereceiving the best education. He describes how he wasn’t safe byexplaining how the whites bought guns to defend themselves againstthe blacks. A stranger even slaps him after assuming that he was acriminal through the judgment of his race. This text proves that theethnicity plays a role in the determination and achievement of theAmerican dream among the citizens. On the other hand, MicheleAlexander describes how the black families have not been allowed tovote for some generations. The author says that “The family wassubject to legalized discrimination in employment, housing,education, public, and jury service.” This racism denies the blackpeople equal opportunities to compete with the whites in an attemptto meet their American Dreams.
Inconclusion, as evident in this paper, the obstacles to achieving theAmerican dream include unequal work and education opportunities,inadequate political direction and a recessionary economy. Althoughthese disadvantages affect the entire population, the blacks and themigrants in the U.S. are highly affected. This examination of thehurdles to reaching the dream can serve as a starting point fordevising policies that will bring overall well-being for society,families, and individuals.
Wyatt-Nichol,Heather. "The Enduring Myth of the American Dream: Mobility,Marginalization, and Hope." (2016): 21 – 50.
1 Wyatt-Nichol, Heather. "The Enduring Myth of the American Dream: Mobility, Marginalization, and Hope." (2016): 22.
2 Wyatt-Nichol, Heather. "The Enduring Myth of the American Dream: Mobility, Marginalization, and Hope." (2016): 23.
3 Wyatt-Nichol, Enduring Myth of the American Dream, 24
4 Wyatt-Nichol, Heather. "The Enduring Myth of the American Dream: Mobility, Marginalization, and Hope." (2016): 34.