Is the American Dream A Reality?
For many many years people have talked about the American Dream. But is the American Dream a reality? To me the american dream is all about happiness and people can achieve it in many different ways. But is it still a reality today?
Capitalism vs Socialism
Capitalism is a economic system where the country is run by private own business rather than the government controlling the trade industry. Socialism is where it's economic system is controlled by the government. Both economic systems could make people richer depending on what system is being used like in the American Dream.
The Industrial Revolution began in the late 1800's and it began in Great Britain. This revolution was a economic and it changed the way goods were produced. Before the Industrial Revolution most people live in the country and were farmers. But then people started quitting the jobs as farmers and moving to the city where there factories. Cities become over populated and soon they couldn't support the people. At the factories men, woman, and kids over 6 were working in these factories. Everyone had to work long hard hours especially the kids who work 19 hours a day with small breaks that add up to a hour. At this time kids weren't required to go to school. Talk of the American dream hadn't started yet. But people wanted to make more money so they thought that if they moved to the city and leave their farms they would have better lives and be richer. Just like the James Truslow Adams said "Life should be better and richer."
During (1890-1920) the Progressive Era factory workers were fighting for workers rights and child labor laws. The workers were getting tired of their money hungry bosses and many children dying. Minimum wage was enacted to improve the amount of income workers received. Also during this time laws were enacted to make working environments safer. While all of this was happening women were fight for the right to vote and to be able to run for office. There was no way that in this time woman could achieve in the American Dream.
In the last few years there has been talk about if the minimum wage should be raised. Many people are against this idea one being Douglas Holtz-Eakin who said "If you take the fast food industry you know you raise the minimum wage and suddenly the costumers the same fast food who are largely low income are paying higher prices, so you've take the money from one poor person and given it to another." In other words Holtz-Eakin feels that nothing would really change anything cause the prices would go with everything else. That wasn't the only problem thought of when the talk began about raising it people felt that some people would lose their jobs because people couldn't handle all those workers and raise their wages too. "It will hurt young people." Chris Edwards said. Meaning that it would be hard for teens to get jobs because adults that are looking for jobs will take their places.
On the other hand a lot of people are for raising the minimum wage to a living wage like Christine Owens. "I think fast food workers like many low wage workers around the country have just had far too much of too little for years." The minimum wage hasn't been changed in years and people are upset about this inflation and are really ready for a change to happen sometime soon. "28% of the lowest paid workers have children?" Mark Pocan said. How can a family live off of $7.25 a hour these days when prices of stuff are always going up. Some people say why can't they find a better job? If they have a family why are they working at McDonald's? Well did you know that about 30% of fast food workers are teens from the ages of 16-19. That means 70% are adults so it really wouldn't be a total lost for teens. Plus about 1/3 of the workers there have a college degree or at least a diploma and 52.6% are woman. Even if we raise the minimum wage I don't think it will put people closer to being able to achieve the American Dream.
Is it a Reality?
When the American Dream was first talked about in 1931 in James Truslow Adams book he defined the dream like this"life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement." I feel like back in that time since America was going through The Great Depression(1929-1941) I feel like he wanted to give hope to Americans that were affected by the depression. I feel like as an American today we can't achieve it. In a book that I read called Dark Water by Laura McNeal it was about a girl named Pearl and her family that had to move in with her uncle on his avocado farm in in Fallbrook, California. She move there after her father left her mother. In the book she falls in love with one of the uncle's migrant workers named Amiel. One day there was a fire and Amiel was afraid to evacuate the town because he didn't want to get caught and sent back to Mexico. "One day after the fire, I dreamed Amiel was dead. He was facedown in the water, and the water was gray." After the fire Pearl didn't know what happen to him because they got seperated and she didn't know what happen with him. Another major thing that happen during that fire was that he uncle was killed when he went to look for her. "I wanted, when I felt the ability to want anything besides not having killed my uncle, to go to the river and look for Amiel." When I read this in the book I know that her American Dream died when she lost Amiel and felt like she killed he uncle. This is why I feel like the American Dream isn't a reality for Americans these days.