American Dream Summary

“The American Dream” There is not much left of the “American Dream”. Standard of living is declining and American parents believe that their children will inherit a very bad deal (564). Essentially, Herbert believes that Americans are in denial about how bad the economy really is. The government is not adding jobs to the economy nor are they funding public schools as they should. The government is steadily cutting back on hiring teachers and firing more to “save money”.
Herbert considered research from the Pew Hipic Center that after the Recession, which ended June 2009; the foreign workers gained 69,000 jobs while United States workers lost 1. 2 million jobs. According to Herbert, it is not that the United States should discriminate against the employment of foreign workers but they need to develop a full employment economy that provides jobs for all families to enjoy a decent standard of living (565). Herbert believes Americans should not put their faith into the government in order for them to live the “American Dream”.
The dream will never be fulfilled (570). In “The American Dream is Over” Cal Thomas responds to Herbert’s “Hiding from Reality”. Thomas believes that Herbert did not assess who is the blame for the bad economy in America. That anyone who thinks dysfunctional government is going to help achieve their dreams is putting their faith in the wrong place (569). Although Thomas believes that the rules to achieve the American Dream can no longer be taught, he does believe that they can and will work (570). Thomas lists the rules that were known to previous generations.

The rules are simple. You go to college, obtain at least an undergraduate degree, get a job/career, buy a home with a white picket fence, get married and have children, save money for your retirement and live a long prosperous life (570). The rules that Thomas noted and believes in can actually work, but there are some obstacles that can stand in the way of some Americans. For instance, all Americans are not able to afford college. Their parents were not able to and could not start a college fund for their children.
Instead, in this bad economy, they had to choose to feed and cloth their children with not enough monies left for any type of savings, let alone for college. There are other instances where being the product of a bad environment can deter other Americans from living the “American Dream”. Some do not feel that they have the knowledge of the know how to go to college and get a job/career. They live off of their street knowledge and believe that is all they need. And being that the marriage rate in America is decreasing and the pregnancy rate in increasing, well you have a good idea about the getting married and white picket fence part.
You also have other Americans that did not have any education at all. They had to go to work, with little or no education and for employers that offer no benefit plan such as retirement benefits, so there goes bye to the retirement safety net. These obstacles, according to what Herbert might respond, might be overcome if the government added more jobs to the economy and provided more funding for education instead of the funding of useless wars. Herbert states the government needs “a resurrection of the American dream” (565).

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