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Is The American Dream still alive today or is it beginning to diminish in today's society?

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#1
Raziel

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I was confronted with this question in my English class. Since there are a lot of Americans out here, I want to hear your opinion.

Is The American Dream still alive today or is it beginning to diminish in today's society?

We had some quotations to help us to define 'The American Dream'. I think i just post them here, too.

The American Dream is about fulfilling your potential to the max. It’s not a chase for material goods, it's about learning what inspires you in life and creating a plan to turn it into your life's work.

The way to achieve the Dream is to follow the plan and pay attention to the details because it's those details that make or break you. (Tyra Banks)

The American Dream, whether attainable or not, is to have freedom, freedom in all things. To go as far as ambition impels us, in work, in play, and religion and even in love.

(Maya Angelou)

The American Dream is something that every immigrant brought to this country, as my parents did, and that is the ability to go as far as you can in life, limited only by your own dreams and willingness to work hard.

And above all, the American Dream for these folks meant that your children will have the opportunity to do better than you will.

(Colin Powell)

The American Dream is ownership … a house, a car, a vacation home and, even better, your own business.(Mario Batali)

The American Dream is equal protection under the law and equal opportunity. The American Dream does not promise equal results, but it does promise equal opportunity.(Jesse Jackson)




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#2
AntiThought

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The American Dream is now and has only ever been alive in those who dream of things better than what they have. It is the dream of greed and endless want. It is no different than the dream of those who dreamt and those who still dream of an end of slavery, no different that the dream of the drug dealer, the dream the Irish had to be free of England, or the dream the Gauls had to be free of Rome. It is the same dream that guides China slowly towards capitalism, the assassin to its mark, the dream of food to the starving, or the dream of activists across the world fighting for a better future. No it is not the American dream it is the Human Dream.

The Dream is alive as it will always be, for the dream is tied to the greed at the very core of human essence. As we all know a dream is only a wish for the things that we want but do not have. The dream is more sustaining than food to the wolf in the cage for it is the one thing its captors can not take. We are both the wolf and the captor ever dreaming of freedom yet building our own cage around us, thus limiting our freedom in exchange for the illusion of security. With every law we add to strengthen our cage, with every fear we use to justify the next brick in our wall the dream will become steadily stronger yet ever harder to reach.

#3
SickOne

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Theres an Old italian saying , imho it fits quite good here :

"I came to America because I heard the streets were paved with gold. When I got here, found out three things: First, the streets weren't paved with gold; second, they weren't paved at all: and third, I was expected to pave them."



#4
w!key

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Yes,the American Dream is still alive, but it seems to have a few more strings attached than in previous generations. A business that might have made some mistakes in the 50's and 60's might be able to survive the damages. Take for example the hot coffee in the lap at McDonalds in 1994 (she was awarded 2.8 mil or so, but lowered to 640,000). In the 50's and 60's there would have been no frivious law suit, the resturant would have apoligized, offered a free meal or something and life would have moved on. But today as we can see, that lawsuit would destroy a small business. Not only the settlement, but lawyers fees and other costs as well. Is all it takes is one "accident" and your dream could very well be in someone elses posession. It is still very possible, but producing a product/service, is not as simple as it once was.

I would agree with all those quotes above except for the Tyra Banks one. The American Dream (as I see it) is whatever you want it to be as long as it harms noone, excluding yourself if you chose to go that route. I really don't care if you choose to cover yourself in honey and go poke a grizzly bear with a stick. That is your dream. But along the way, if your dream gets you hurt or killed, that is your fault, do not try to blame the government or a business for not "protecting" you from yourself. But now we are sliding into a basic freedom argument, and that is a whole different subject.

Enjoy lol...

#5
PHANTASM

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"The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man. The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become. "

-Ronald Reagan

"This is our moment. This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can."

-Barack Obama


there you go.

#6
Raziel

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"The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man. The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become. "

-Ronald Reagan

"This is our moment. This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can."

-Barack Obama


there you go.


Well that's not exactly what i am looking for . Still it helps me to get more ideas about the American Dream. But regarding your topic "socialism" do you still believe in the American Dream?

#7
SpiritWalker

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I would say that in some people the American Dream still exists, but it's basically a waste of time, with the way this country is run nowadays we are no better than any other country. Like for example this. The internet is for knowledge people download stuff. When the internet first came into play and people started downloading music and what not no one cared. Now it's lawsuit and jail time to your hearts content. Here is what our lives are reduced to. http://www.thesunday...wnloading-music that's one example. This is the governments response to supposedly stop pirating of music and movies. http://www.huffingto...i_b_739836.html, they plan to control what we can and cant do via the internet. If the bill passes it will give them the right to blacklist any site not based in the us. I know these aren't exactly proper examples but it's a start on how this country is being ran today. Why should the American dream continue to exist when he have a country run by people hellbent on controlling our very lives. Not to mention the economy us owing other countries which practically is bankrupting the US.

#8
-Munch-

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I truly believe the American Dream is still alive.

I've been very lucky to be able to travel to different parts of the world. While this country might have it's flaws they are human flaws built into the system we trust. Frankly I don't know if any system, government, religious, educational, even athletic could exist without these flaws because we are fighting ourselves. It is greed, but it's also caring. It is freedom and it's also slavery. Every where you go the common element is people. In some towns you can clearly see what side is winning, like the Dominican Republic/Haiti before and after the earthquake hit. I was on the Dominican side which has a higher standard of living and I can tell you, it's hard to see those things.

In America there is a huge opportunity to be successful and own a home with a family and claim your piece (small as it may be) of the pie. But it is getting harder, and there are lots of good/bad reasons why it's getting harder for people in this country. BUT it's no where near what other countries have to endure and I think we all are very lucky to be in this place. It's there, the dream may be getting harder and a little more unclear as time rolls on, but it's there.

#9
PHANTASM

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Well that's not exactly what i am looking for . Still it helps me to get more ideas about the American Dream. But regarding your topic "socialism" do you still believe in the American Dream?


Well, I don't know anymore. But the US has been through worse, so maybe in twenty years things will be better. Right now we are in economic collapse, but we have been there before and if we can just get our government to react sanely we can recover.

They just printed $600 billion and all it did was raise the price of food in China. The money was sent out of the country by the banks who were supposed to lend it to US businesses, not invest in global commodities.

Best thing to do is shut down the global derivatives market, or put a 10% tax on it. You have to remember that 98% of the world's money is tied up in the derivatives market. (Now watch I will have a mysterious accident lol).

#10
Pici

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to be honest such places of an American dream like freedom, contentment, and safety are not found in this world.

#11
Thoracic

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I think the American dream is alive however it needs to be adjusted to remove the facets of materialism. According to an article by John Quelch, professor at Harvard, the American dream was first written up in a book by James Truslow Adams, The Epic of America:

"It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."

The important aspect as I see it, is achieving that which we are innately capable, so we all might not own a home, car etc..(material possessions), but we are free to pursue paths and goals to satisfy our soul from within.

Source:
http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6071.html




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