The American Dream: It's Not All About Money Essay

1187 Words 5 Pages
As individuals, we have our own ideas of what the American Dream consists of. To some it may be the realm of possibilities, while to others it may be fame and fortune. America is the only country in which the idea of a national dream has been continually upheld, and we have been a model for other nations to follow. Foreigners have come here to live the dream, and all the while Americans are still struggling to find it. As we continue to search high and low for how to find or how we can buy the dream and make it a reality, Americans have promiscuously thrown their money around in hopes of obtaining the dream and consequently are broke and more miserable than ever. Does the American Dream actually exist, and if so, is there really a …show more content…
The American Dream has been altered many times over. Americans have wanted more for the next generation than what they themselves had. The coinage “American Dream” didn't come from our forefathers as some probably think, but from the book The Epic of America, by James Truslow Adams in 1931. “Yet there was never any promise...of extreme success [with the American Dream]” (Kamp). Adams version of the dream, however, was no longer equality but “according to his ability or achievement.” Thus, in 1935, the Social Security Act was put into place, resulting in benefits paid out to retirees “with built-in protection from penury” (Kamp). This was the first specific goal placed on the American Dream. Another tenet set on the dream was home ownership. “Owning a home lies at the heart of the American Dream” says President Bush according to economist Paul Krugman in a 2008 New York Times Column. Politicians made it out that Americans who didn't own a home, were considered second class and not a real native. William J. Levitt, where “Levittown” comes from, played a another role in “making home ownership a new tenet of the American Dream” (Kamp). The dream was transforming from aspirations to specific goals, more often than not, purchased goals. It now included a house, a car or two, a television, and being able to send one's children to college. The American Dream was becoming focused on