The American Dream
Everyone! Come to America! You will have a life of happiness and riches! This what people usually consider the American dream, having a good steady job, owning a house, and making enough money for their family and themselves. Just having a happy life for their family and themselves. Many people consider the American Dream to still be alive and still present in today’s society but many also believe that the American Dream is nonexistent. In this essay I will be shedding light on how the authors, Bob Herbert, Brandon King, and Cal Thomas see the American Dream. Bob Herbert considers the American dream to be completely dead. He thinks that no matter how you define the American dream, there is not much left at all (Herbert 564). Cal Thomas on the other hand still believes that the American dream is still alive but it had changed. He thinks it has become more idealistic. He thinks the dream has boiled down to acquiring more material wealth rather than being stable middle-class people (Brandon 573).
Cal Thomas also thinks that the American dream is alive but he thinks that it has a lot of falling family value that used to come with the seemly American dream. In society today he thinks the dream is defined as achieving greater prosperity and consuming more material goods (Thomas 568). People today strive to accomplish their own interpretation of the American Dream, but the reality is that some people do not even believe the American dream still exist. It is up to you do determine if you really consider the American dream to still be alive. Although many people think the American dream is still alive, Bob Herbert would have to disagree. Herbert thinks the American dream is no longer existent. Wherever you choose to look- at the economy and jobs, the public schools, the budget deficits, the nonstop warfare overseas- you’ll see a county in sad shape (Herbert 564). Herbert thinks that over the years America has just lost the true meaning of the so called “American Dream”. He thinks the dream has evolved into a foreign seeking, unfair economy. In June 2009, foreign-born workers in the U. S. gained 656,000 jobs while native-born workers 1.2 million jobs (Herbert 566). The American dream used to include everyone having an equal chance to get work and an equal chance to make as much money as they can.
This changes the economy a lot because while the native- born workers and the foreign- born workers might have been working the same job the foreign- born workers were making much less than the other workers. So that made it harder for the American dream to be achieved. This in Herbert’s eyes was a resurrection of the American dream (Herbert 565). Herbert think the government has drastically changed as the economy shifted. He thinks people such as the sick and disabled are getting punished now if they don’t have enough insurance coverage because the government is hacking away at health and pension benefits (Herbert 565). Herbert is very cynical as he starts to talk about the society today as a whole. He doesn’t have any hope for the American dream to revive itself. We’ve become a hapless cant-do society, and its, frankly, embarrassing (Herbert 566). Even though Herbert thinks the American dream is dead, Brandon King thinks otherwise. King thinks the American dream is still very much alive (King 572). He does think that the American dream has changed over the years. King believes that the dream has become more idealistic. That we prefer to have materialistic things rather than just be happy with what they have already. In America, the dream meant going from dirt poor to filthy rich but now it just consist of a stable, middle- class lifestyle, one in which they can focus on saving money for the future and having a secure employment (King 573). Many people started thinking that taxing the rich a lot more would help the economy get a start on recovery.
Some, however, argue that raising taxes on the rick and on the Americans wealthy businesses is an effective means of closing the income gap (King 576). This could either be very beneficial to the economy or end up solving nothing. The rich could be taxed more and that could help create more jobs, therefore more people making money, therefore more stable families. By taxing the rick that only decreases their spending potential and thus their ability to stimulate the economy (King 576). So since that would change how much they were spending, it would more than likely be a win-lose situation. Nothing would really change. The economy would still be the same, the rich would be less wealthy, and there still would not be much more available jobs helping people accomplish the American dream. As for Cal Thomas, he still believes that the American dream is still alive, but he is skeptical as to how much longer it will stay alive. The American dream that parents used to teach their kids was based on principles that created and have sustained America for more than 200 year (Thomas 568). Thomas does think that the dream has lost some of its family values.
The American dream may no longer be taught in and supported by culture, but that doesn’t mean they do not work (Thomas 570). He agrees that the American dream has changed but it still has the same all around meaning as it did 200 years ago. Thomas thinks that Herbert was is wrong when he is talking about how the American dream is dead. Thomas quotes Herbert on several occasions and then further knowledge’s the reader on how Herberts view, Thomas believes, is leading us down a path to economic and cultural insolvency (Thomas 569). Thomas is more republican so in his mind the American dream is still very much alive and will always be alive, no matter how much the economy changes. Though no one can really prove that the American dream is actually dead or alive, we all have an option on how we each view the dream. Herbert is on his own in this essay, believing that the American dream is dead and it would take a while to recover. On the other hand Thomas and King are hopeful for the American dream and think it is still living and even though it has changed, it can still be considered the American dream. Though we may not all have started out poor and worked our way up to filthy rich, we still manage to live through the American dream we all know of.