The American Dream

The American Dream

​Scholars across the divide in this field understand the American Dream as the postulation that equity and equality of chance are made accessible to any citizen of America, thus allowing the lofty aspirations, desires, and intent to be accomplished. The notion of the American Dream is that it is a set of paragons, encompassing liberty, equality, democracy, and opportunity whereby freedom pertains to equal opportunity to prosper and succeed, the circumstances of birth or social class notwithstanding American citizens. However, the constant growing gap between the wealthy and poor, especially inequality, sharply contrasts with the Declaration of Independence and the American Dream. As such, it suffices it to say that the postulation of the American Dream is a lie because the perception that every American citizen has equal chances of advancing up the ladder of success is blatant mendacity. It is because, over the past decade, there has been a decline in social mobility, stagnation for the median wages, and today’s generation is expected to be fiscally incapacitated than their parents.

Cullen (2004) asserts, however, that the concept and origin of the symbolic phrase, the American Dream has been inadequately discussed in terms of tracing its conception and that its definition is more or less taken for granted. Further, contemporary American society understands that the Dream entails a fuller, better, and more prosperous life. Its definition is in fiscal terms, and one could be tempted to believe that it is the only definition, whilst the Dream has more in-depth and broader definitions. They include political reforms, transformations in religion, sexual expression, educational attainment, just to mention but a few.

​It is unclear whether the circumstances that led to the mnemonic phrase’s coinage, the American Dream. However, James Truslow Adams is credited with coining the words for his book. His publisher opposed the title, but Adams refused and even adduced the phrase in numerous works, and gradually the words became common and spread. Cullen (2004) marvels, there was a time when the words were virtually irrelevant, but they were even used as motivation for battling the influences of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Schlozman (1996) opines that the American Dream notion has been appended on all but everything, from emotional inspiration, fluctuating from immense satisfaction to disillusioned discontentment, and evenreligious freedom.

​The Declaration of Independence stated that all humanity was equally created, with the Creator bestowing upon them the unalienable rights, including happiness pursuit, life, and liberty (Armitage, 2007). As such, infringing on the cardinal rights, including happiness pursuit, freedom, and life, justifies a person from the others.

​In light of this, I am convinced that the American Dream is impracticable for many individuals in America today. The rich-poor gap is widening today, especially when the wealthy class hoard wealth to themselves, is making it onerous for classes to change and reduce the gap. As such, the notion of actuating and realizing the American dream is a fading hypothesis. Today, for instance, the level of inequality only caused by the capitalism of the free market, as it shows a symptom of the negligence of the policymakers in that for several decades, capitalism has succeeded in bolstering wealth, but it has utterly failed at making redistributions of the wealth (Gallo, 2017). Numerous studies show that failure to make redistribution of opportunity and wealth, the capitalism model, and democracy would be jeopardized.

​In the Declaration of Independence, the pursuit of happiness and life are boldly expressed, which seeks life fulfillment for all American citizens. However, the notion implied fails to delve deeper into the American community. According to Laitman (2018), even though Americans are spending enormous amounts of money in efforts to find happiness, the United States has the loftiest use of antidepressant drugs than anywhere else in the world. In America, the per-capita income has almost tripled from the early 1970s, but surprisingly, American citizens’ well-being is declining. Even more troubling is that the World Happiness Report of 2018 showed that the United States was ranked 18th out of 156 nations, which was significantly lower than that of other wealthy countries.

Furthermore, the report editor stated that for America to drop that low against other high-income nations around the globe proved that the trends were disturbing. He poses that this was primarily due to drugs and substance abuse, obesity, and depression, which are some of the problems related to vexation in life. The desire to get happiness has often encouraged persons to look for the fount of happiness. Americans spend tremendous amounts of money on traveling abroad in pursuit of happiness. The amount of money spent is about 118 billion dollars. A company dealing in self-help services and other products which sell apparitions of satisfaction and joy rakes up to 10 billion dollars annually.

To sum up, inasmuch as the postulation of the American Dream is that which entails equity, equality, democracy, and opportunity for all American citizenry to succeed and prosper, the Dream is a false one because the notion that each American has equal chances of excelling economically, socially, and politically is impracticable, especially when we give a critical glance at the broadening gap between the poor and the rich. The wealthy class of individuals amass all the wealth to themselves and not distribute it, further increasing the gap, proving that the American Dream is a fading conjecture.


Armitage, D. (2007). The Declaration of Independence: A global history. Harvard University Press.

Cullen, J. (2004). The American Dream: A short history of an idea that shaped a nation. Oxford University Press, USA.

Gallo, A. (2017). How the American dream turned into greed and inequality. World Economic Forum. Retrieved 20 September 2020, from

Laitman, M. (2018). The Pursuit of Happiness and the Fading American Dream. Medium. Retrieved 20 September 2020, from


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