The concept of the American Dream has been a trademark of the country for centuries, but it has recently been said that the idea has changed as time goes on. Authors Bob Herbert, Cal Thomas, Paul Grumman and Karen Olsson give their views on what they think has happened to the American dream and how we as a people may bring the dream back. In his essay “Hiding from Reality,” Herbert claims that the American dream is a thing of the past. Thomas elaborates on this In his essay “Is the American Dream Over? By placing the blame for the downfall, as well as suggested solutions.
Grumman takes a deeper look at how equality has Impaired the American dream In his essay “Confronting Inequality. ” In Lesson’s essay “Up Against Walter,” she discusses the financial aspects Influencing the American dream though her examples of Wall-Mart employees and the company Itself. Some might say that the biggest problem affecting the American dream Idea Is social inequality. Grumman discusses how market inequality negatively affects society. Along tit that, Thomas argues that the blame for the downward spiral of the American dream should go to the liberals who influence the government.
Both Grumman and Olsson explain how inequality is present when discussing the topic of low wages, specifically minimum wage. Olsson gives a specific example of low pay though Wall- Mart employees. These men and women are overworked and underpaid because this huge company is able to get way with understanding and low pay. Along with this, the policies of Wall-Mart are strictly against any form of union efforts. If a worker attempts to organize any kind of retaliation, they are quickly punished and are usually left unemployed.
Through these examples, it is clear to see how inequality is repressing the American dream. Another aspect in the fading away of the American dream is the problem of money. Herbert shares the example of how America spends money it doesn’t have, to finance wars. As a result, these wars lead to masses of debt for the country. Grumman points out that this debt is to the wealthy of the country, leading to power and control that actively affects the middle and lower class. He explains how this inequality damages policy and harms democracy. These kinds of actions cause a lack of trust in the government and society.
Aside from the problems Introduced by these authors, they all seem to offer solutions. Thomas argues that the rules of reaching the American dream are no being taught In culture anymore even though they are the same as they have always been -He gives several examples of these rules, “studying and staying In school; achieving at least an undergraduate degree; evolving drugs hat harm your mind and body; getting married before you have children and working hard to stay married as an example to those children to benefit society; saving and investing for retirement… (570). Herbert argues that to undo the damage done to the American dream, there is a lot of hard work and sacrifice to be done. Grumman suggest that taxes on the wealthy should be raised. He proposes closing the loopholes that allow unfair tax breaks, reforming healthcare, raising minimum o unionize and increase wages, the communities need to help people get involved in unions.
Though out all of these essays, each author has given an opinion on how the American dream is beginning to drift away from what it once was, and they all discuss the challenges to come in trying to revive it and make it even better than before. But they all seem to agree that although it is going to take a lot of work and dedication to get the country back to the way it once was, it is still possible.