Saturday, October 30, 2010

On the American Dream

   One of the most inspirational aspects of American culture is the belief in the American Dream, the idea that every individual, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or creed, has the opportunity to live freely, to have peace and stability, and to have financial security.  This dream has been the motivation for countless numbers who have flocked to this country for centuries.  Some observers today begun a death watch for the Dream, arguing that it is slowly dying due to today's economy and the rapid technological changes that are changing the face of our society. This discussion of its death evokes the question of its birth; when was it born and what does its passing say about American society?  Truly, the American Dream was born at the same time that the Declaration of Independence was written, so the idea of natural rights goes hand in hand with the Dream.   All men are created equal, so all men have a right to dream the Dream.  Thus, if the Dream is dying, what does that say about the once very uniquely American belief in equality?  Is it dying as well?  Economists argue today that the gap between the rich and the poor is at its widest point it has ever been.  It does seem that greed has become acceptable today, and the idea of noblesse oblige is absolutely nonexistent.   We are moving toward a two class society, which does not bode well for the idea of equality.  May the Dream live on!

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