Out Class Essay #2
How to Pursue the American Dream
For an immigrant, the American Dream is to achieve economic well-being and a good quality of life through hard work, entrepreneurship, and perseverance. It is the driving force behind most immigration, and its realization is the achievement dimension of the American Dream to reach to the fullest life. What is the American dream? And how can one pursue it? Does it still exist, or is it over? Carl Thomas's article “ Is the American Dream Over?,” states that the American Dream is still around and people have to work hard to achieve it or to reclaim it. Thomas's argument that the government is leading us to a path of economic downfall sheds light on Bob Herbert's analysis of the recession in our country to recognize how much trouble we're in. In particular, Thomas's analysis of the causes, consequences, and solutions helps us understand Herbert's essay more clearly on what the main roots to achieve a better economy and standard of living are.
“For generations, parents have told their children about “the American dream.” Basically it has meant building a life based on the foundational principles that created and have sustained America for more than 200 years”(568), Thomas starts off by describing how this life was supposed to be getting better and better as each new generation rose and succeeded past those of their ancestors, or that's how it was explained in the American dream. But as of recently the recession has brought on a new style of the American dream, one that includes declining standards of living and over regulating government issues. He blames the government is leading us to go a wrong way and we also, as a society have become too dependent on the leaders. He lists the reasons, in his own words, “ setting aside war, which was imposed on America, the eclipse of liberalism's American dream has been largely caused by expanding, encroaching, over-taxing, over spending, and over-regulating government. This has produced a country of government addicts with an entitlement mentality” (569). Thomas does not hesitate to put direct blame about American's failing dream on government's policy to make people see as clear as the economy is in bad shape. He believes people should not rely on the government too much, that we have to work for our own benefit.
In contrast, Thomas goes on to say that he disagrees with Herbert's claim that those who strive for the American Dream can still earn it. Herbert claims, “ we've become a hapless, can't do society, and it's. frankly embarrassing” (566), Thomas points out “ is it not the politicians who lead a people increasingly dependent on them who are responsible for this? The liberals among them and their policies are leading us down a path to economic and cultural insolvency” (569). Thomas states what causes of our society is failing public schools, and produce graduates who are not up to par with other nations standards to Herbert' claiming on economy. Herbert explains his view on how the American Dream is slowly become less and less reachable and what we need to focus on in order for the restoration of the dream. Herbert state, “ wherever you choose to look at the economy and jobs, the public schools, the budget deficits, the nonstop warfare overseas--you'll see a country in sad shape” (564). Not only does he state the factors which are slowly causing this dream to become less attainable, but he believes that the American people are doing nothing about it and everyone is in denial.
Furthermore, Thomas strongly insists “ the creation of a government that is out of control, and thus out of touch robs every citizen, preventing fulfillment of the original American Dream” (569). His tones in this passage is disappointed on dysfunctional government that putting their faith in the wrong place. Allowing politicians to have such a strong influence on individual takes away...