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Gaining The American Dream

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The American dream is “the belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone.” It can be further explained as “the freedom to aspire to bigger and better things and the possibility of achieving them,” and “the freedom to accumulate wealth. Home ownership is frequently cited as an example of attaining the American dream. It is a symbol of financial success and independence, and it means having the ability to control one’s own piece of property instead of being subjected to the whims of a landlord.” (Investopedia) Money is a major aspect of American culture. A majority of a family’s income is spent on housing,…show more content…
Today, normal middle class people will buy expensive name brand items to raise their social status even if they can’t afford it. There are a variety of factors driving this extravagant spending. The desire to show off our success, the need to have what other people have, prolific advertising and product placements, and a society that favors instant gratification over hard work are a few reasons. (Investopedia) According to a Federal Reserve Board study, 43% of American families spend more than they earn and approximately 2,039,214 consumer bankruptcies were filed in 2005. Many people wonder why there has been such a jump in spending over the last decade. This spending could be due to an increase in sales in recent years. Department stores and other companies are trying to get people into their stores and buying their products. These companies know that once they can get a consumer into the store the consumer will most likely be walking out with some product. Many companies, like Kohl’s and JCPenny, do this by sending coupons to people’s homes and holding sales almost every other weekend. This makes the consumer think that they are receiving a deal and that in the long run they are saving money on these products. However, what consumers don’t realize is that they end up buying products that they wouldn’t have purchased otherwise. Also,…show more content…
This would increase the flow of money in the economy. If more people are spending their money then businesses will be making a greater profit. This means that these major companies will hire more people and will further increase the wealth of the country as well as continue to increase cash flow into the business. However, what these people don’t realize is that this doesn’t actually work in the long run. The idea of giving corporations more money will help fuel the economy was tested with the trickle-down effect tax policies. When looking from 1954 to 2003, the top tax bracket rate trended downward over this period, however, the annual change in unemployment doesn't seem to change what so ever. (faireconomy.org) It can be seen that that cutting taxes for the richest Americans did not improve the economic standing of the lower and middle classes or the nation as a whole, so why would the companies change their business model if they received and increase in
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