The American Dream is not a Myth

All Americans grow up hoping to live the American dream. Which is best described as everybody having a chance for prosperity and success. However, there has been much debate about with the increase of income inequality if the American dream is a lot less likely than it used to be. Many say that since Ronald Reagan politicians have overwhelmingly contributed to the income gap with their economic policies and although I do agree to some degree I believe that the problems go way deeper and much of the blame should also go on us as citizens.

In my opinion if you are educated and get a college degree you have a great chance to live out the American dream. The problem is that less people are graduating college and therefore there is a huge gap between the kids that get college degrees and those that dropout or don’t go at all. It is feeding the income inequality because those without a degree don’t have the necessary skills or experience to be able to get jobs that will lead to fulfilling the American dream. We need to figure out a way to get more kids through college so that the supply of human capital rises. I believe that one main issue that leads to this problem is the environment and household that kids are growing up in. We need to get parents to do everything in their power to educate their children and although there are a lot of parents that are examples of this there are also many that are lot. The environment that children grow up in affects their entire life and if they are raised thinking that they do not have a chance, then they don’t,

10 thoughts on “The American Dream is not a Myth

  1. nrgood17

    I think it also has a lot to do with income, too. Notice that the highest earners are sending a much higher percentage of kids, because for them it is easier to pay for the outrageous college expenses. However, the problem goes further than this, because it is high income students that attend the private schools and other highly selective high schools with a reputation for pumping kids into college, where as public school kids are very much left to their own devices. The only way a low income student is going to attend school is by outstanding merit, at which point they better hope for a good scholarship. Now I’m not saying that what the high earners children are doing is wrong, in fact its good that they are pushing their children to achieve at the highest level. Especially with such an astounding success rate like 79% going to college. That said we need to do more to promote college to middle class and low income earners. One of the greatest successes in American history was the GI bill that sent thousands of Americans to school after WWII and we reaped the benefits for years. The second that college becomes a solely high income opportunity is the second we lose our American dream. To get more Americans across all levels of wealth to attend college is a daunting task, but one that needs to be addressed.

  2. johnturner27 Post author

    Couldn’t agree more! We need to promote college to all people and make sure that the low income children know that they can make it instead of telling them that they can’t make it out of their current situation.

  3. srgrif16

    I completely agree that in order to address inequality we should make increasing attainment of post-secondary education a priority. This may mean a bachelor’s degree or it may mean some sort of vocational training, both of which significantly raise lifetime earnings. Keeping a focus on what happens at home is smart, because this is where children form the habits that will affect how successful they are in life. Parents who discipline their children well and instill in them a sense of the importance of education will put their children in a better position to succeed. Improved parental guidance may have the highest marginal benefit of all inputs that could improve children’s outcomes. There are many other obstacles to overcome as well. Concentration of low income students in mediocre school districts and rising college costs that have recently been outpacing inflation are additional barriers to the accessibility of quality post-secondary education. It will take a concerted effort to address all of these issues, but the problem is too big to ignore.

  4. tpercy31

    I agree that the biggest obstacle that kids today face when deciding to go to college is the price. I think that we, as a society, have to think of ways to reduce the price of college education, but we cannot allow the reduction in the price of education reduce the quality. That would simply reduce the gains that people today earn when going to college. The obvious solution to this problem is to increase federal and state government aid to college students. When paying for college, many times the poorer in society get the money they need to go to college, the rich can pay for it anyway, but it is the middle class that bear the heaviest burden. Many times the financial aid departments of schools will estimate that a family can pay a certain amount, not realizing that paying that amount breaks that family financially. This deters many middle class families from sending their kids to college. I think that an increase in federal aide to middle class families sending their kids to college would increase enrollment and the betterment of society as a whole.

  5. pdburp17

    Like the previous comments, the clear issue is the price of education. Better options must be put into place for post-high school education as well as adjustments in price for all levels. America’s foundation and future relies on proper education for today’s students, so it is only right that we focus our attention in that direction.

  6. piotrbroda17

    The price of a private college education is certainly a contributing factor to the issue. However, I think the problem starts much earlier as you suggested. Some teenagers don’t understand the value of higher education and opt out of college or even drop out of high school. There should be programs that promote higher education starting early on in children’s lives so that they see how life-changing college can be. School should act as a nurturing environment that encourages students to achieve more rather than seem like a nuisance. If we instill the idea that college education is one of the most important factors in success at an early age, college attendance and graduation rates will rise.

  7. rainde16

    Like most of the comments above the price of education is always a huge topic for discussion because many people cannot afford any sort of education until college. Some families in the United States go through public school because they can’t pay for private schools. Finding better and more suitable ways to get children better education should be a high end goal of our government.

  8. nmlori16

    To respond to the comments above and to help with the price of education, expanding community colleges education levels and course offerings can help provide more students with a higher degree. Community colleges are significantly less expensive than state schools and especially private colleges. If we can provide an education level that is more attractive to students at community colleges, this can help bring more students to college for a lower cost. Community colleges can also be connected to a state school that students can finish out their education for a lower price overall. High schools especially in low income areas can help promote community colleges and state schools to help send more students to college.

  9. Victor Matheson

    Nice post and good comments. Proper preparation for college work is also important. Even if college was available and affordable for all, work everyone be able to handle the level of work required of them at a place like Holy Cross?

  10. jerojas16

    As others stated yes the price of education is the biggest factor. The only thing that worries me is the idealism that everyone should go to college. Personally I don’t think that’s right. Although education is huge I don’t think college is right for everyone. There should be emphasis on having the choice to learn a trade instead which would help people achieve the “American Dream” as someone stated above.


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