Phung Huynh ENG 111 Out Class Essay #2 Final 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 one’s sense of self-reliance and initiative.
Cultural faith described as believing that politicians can improve personal life, he confirms that way can never lead one’s dream be fulfilled. The dream begins individuals taking responsibility for one own life, behavior and success. People should work hard and think smart to brings natural rewards. Individuals in America are free to choose what they want to do do with their lives. The American Dream is liberty. Moreover, Herbert says ,“ consider this startling information from the Pew Hispanic Center: in the year following the official end of the Great Recession in June 2009, foreign-born workers in the U.
S. gained 656,000 jobs while native-born workers lost 1. 2 million. ” (565). He explains that American should not discriminate against these foreign-born workers, but the U. S. government needs to step up and provide everyone jobs that desire to live a comfortable lifestyle. The effects of the recession will be felt for many years due to the lack of ill-advised deficit program that has been in use for the last couple of years. Herbert claims that in order to recover from these troubled times that our country is facing, we need to step back and realize how much trouble we’re truly in.
He adds,“ the wreckage from the recession and the nation’s mindlessly destructive policies in the years leading up to the recession is all around us” (565). He reports the true nightmares that state and local governments have to face, and how they are reducing services, cutting work, and raising taxes and fees from American. One of the most important things back in the day was to educate the young, and it appears that America has forgotten that concept. Our school systems used to be considered the best in the world, and now that is not true.
However, Thomas asserts, “ the rules for achieving the American dream may no longer be taught in and supported by culture, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work” (570). His hope for reaching the American dream is that if people live with high morals and follow good conduct rules in society like studying hard, going to college and graduate degree, getting married on planning, saving and investing for retirements in right way, and being honest will end up fulfilling one’s living dream. He discusses that we need to return to the old methods of good old hard earned prosperity in other to be successful.
People need to work for good fortune; it is not just handed to one on a silver platter. Thomas supports Herbert’s claim that “ America will never get its act together until we recognize how much trouble we’re really in” (570). They both finally agree for one point that people have to acknowledge the obvious realistic life that we are in now. Thomas confirms one more time “ we must also understand what got us here and the path that lead upward. What got us here is unrestrained liberalism” (570). He does not forget to remind us that following on the high moral rules and not laying on the leader too much.
Thus, one way of resurrecting the American dream in Herbert’s opinion is to establish more jobs so that everyone can have a decent living. Herbert claims the New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s will only hurt the schools because of planning to eliminate the jobs of thousands of public school teachers over the next two years. He implies the way how government is acting to lead American people to follow in such a deep slide. He also points out that “ America will never get its act together until we recognize how much trouble we’re really in, and how much effort and shared sacrifice is needed to stop the decline.
Only then will we be able to begin resuscitating the dream” (567). Herbert suggests there should be a united among American people to work together to build up again the used-to-be number one strongest economy of the world – the America. As a consequence, the American Dream is something that humanity wonders about and the answers are vary. Despite of the bad conditions how today economy is, there’re abilities to rebuild it up not only how it was, but also is stronger than before. Both articles are showing to us very clear causes and consequences that presenting in our society, and how government issues is leading us down to path.
Both columnists also suggest American people must realize as soon as possible the big trouble that we are in, and action need to be taken now in order to once again pursue the American Dream. Government should invest and effort into economy and education, because that’s the only way to support our new generation. Many of immigrants sacrificed their jobs, their education levels and their languages at their homelands to start their new live in America and succeed in reaching their dream.
In my opinion, the American Dream embraces a sight of respective prosperity, personal safety and liberty. With America actually being seen as the land of assurances, the American Dream is an associated dream with the freedom and opportunity of recognition, power, triumph and contentment. On the other hand, American people also have to stay out of government’s control and stand on their own foot to achieve the comfortable living standard. The government should have rebuild the system to lead people getting a better life, to reach the American Dream.