“That’s why they call it the American dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.” -George Carlin. America is too focused on financial and material success. Many Americans believe that due to the unattainability and materialistic views of the American dream, that it is not worth working towards. Others believe that the American dream is available to all you just have to work harder than others to attain it. Because of modern American materialism and laziness the American dream has died.
The American dream is too hard to attain and almost not worth attaining because the modern dream is financial and not idealistic. In a recent study for Xavier’s Institute for Politics and the American Dream, fifty-eight percent of Americans surveyed said that the American dream was solely about financial stability and prosperity (Good). I agree with this statement as I have noticed that the phrase ‘married to the money’ is becoming increasingly popular. This phrase indicates the idea that the more money you have the more of an American you are. “Many people in America still believe that government will solve their problems or that big business will fuel the economy in a way that gets us back to normal” (Llopis). People rely too much on the government and big business to keep the economy in check when really it’s our problem. We work too much and put all of our money into consumerism when we should be keeping part of it in savings, giving the big business too much power over us as consumers. In another study called the American Values Survey it was found that 41 percent of the 4,500 Americans surveyed that they said that they were in “good” financial conditions compared to associates, friends and family but were in “very poor” financial conditions based on their own standings from four years prior. They found that this affected the way people thought about the American dream (Pathe). According to this evidence the financialism of the american dream “doesn’t add any fulfillment to one’s life.” People have expectations of an extravagant and lavish lifestyle that are not being fulfilled due to inadequate funds.
American dream is failing because people are too lazy to keep steady jobs and the money made at these few jobs is mainly spent on drugs and alcohol. “People have grown lazy and lost their hunger to compete,” (Waldschmidt). People are too lazy to try and find better jobs, to provide for better lives. Those that do find these jobs spend the money on drugs and alcohol. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a book that begins with portraying Las Vegas as an amazing city of dreams and good fortune but as you continue to read you learn that ultimately it’s a city of bankruptcy, hostility and morally insensitive to everything and everyone. By saying this I mean that Las Vegas/America is a failing society with a dream that looks amazing and wonderful on the outside but the more you learn and understand about American culture the more you realize that America is a self-centered country full of self-centered people that don’t care what goes on as long as they’re happy. But that’s a lie too they’re not really happy, they just think they are. Just because you have a house, a car, and money doesn’t mean that you’re happy and living the American dream.
The American dream is all about material and financial success. Americans are too lazy to keep a job and to work towards their goals and to reach the American dream, all it takes is a little effort but people are just too lazy. Is the American Dream altered by financial statuses in life? Is that what our society’s goal is as of now? Are big houses and money goals for us as a society to value?
Gilliam, Terry, and Hunter S. Thompson. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Universal, 2007.
Good, Chris. “American Dream in Decline?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 15 Mar. 2010, www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/03/american-dream-in-decline/37472/.
Llopis, Glenn. “Why Most People Will Never Achieve The American Dream.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 5 Sept. 2012, www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/09/03/why-most-people-will-never-achieve-the-american-dream/#25ece7b75dd4.
Pathe, Simone. “Why Half of U.S. Adults No Longer Believe in the American Dream.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 24 Sept. 2014, www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/making-sense/why-half-of-u-s-adults-no-longer-believe-in-the-american-dream.
Waldschmidt, Dan. “How Lazy Intellectualism Destroyed the American Dream.” Edgy, Edgy, www.danwaldschmidt.com/articles/2011/11/business/how-lazy-intellectualism-destroyed-the-american-dream/.
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