The American Dream or The American Scheme?
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The American Dream or The American Scheme?

The American Dream may be known as the American Scheme. The United States is known for freedom, prosperity and rights.

The American Dream has been the staple of our culture and nation since 1931 when James Truslow Adams defined it as, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement, regardless of social class or circumstances of birth”. Just like many encouraging documents and statements this definitely sounds like more of a dream than a reality for most of us. The idea of the American Dream has its roots in the United States Declaration of Independence which says that “all men are created equal” and also that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

Although many of us have heard of the American Dream we all have a different view of what this means. There has always been one variable that remains constant in everyone’s definition of the American Dream and that is wealth. The United States since its founding has preached the idea of freedom, prosperity and success. There are two main components that really separated America from everyone else and that is the availability to own low-cost land and the choice to worship freely. Even with this grand idea of free enterprise and everyone being equal our founding fathers had to know that only a certain amount of people would be able to achieve this dream. Especially since at the time slavery, discrimination, sexism, segregation and other social issues ailed the country.

Essentially, Americans believed that the American Dream of success, fame and fortune could be achieved through hard work and dedication. The industrialization of the 19th and 20th centuries brought about a new way to make money and make it to the top. The internet provides many Americans with the opportunity to make their entire income online. Other get rich schemes like the lottery, television game shows and reality shows have turned the American Dream into the American Scheme. Anyone can become wealthy these days, the only thing you need is a computer, cell phone or some lose change!

There are many Americans that want to work hard and earn their place amongst the wealthy and elite. While some Americans climb the ladder of success there are still obstacles that prevent many Americans from achieving their full potential. There are still social issues that penetrate the very fabric of American life as we know it, issues as I described earlier such as, discrimination, sexism, racism, homophobia and religious biases make it tougher than it should have to be. All men may be created equal but all men are not treated equal. But what we do know is that Americans and those who come to America for a better life are willing to go to great lengths in order to provide for their families and overcome any odds to achieve their own American Dream.

The American Dream may be unique for every single individual but what is certain is that we all have a dream. We all want to be successful and be a provider for our families. The evolution of our society has stretched the idea of what the American Dream means. If it is true that the American Dream is rooted out of the Declaration of Independence then we have to be true to those words that it states as well as the religions we claim. The American Dream is only valid as long as the citizens in America feel that it is something that all can work for. As the years go by, we will continue to see new ideas and adaptations to what we consider the American Dream to be.


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