“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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October 27, 2017 12:21 pm

Sam, I was very interested in your post at first because of the clever title. Then I read the first sentence and it continued to draw me in. I really like the quote and I think it ties into your essay perfectly. I agree with what you think the American dream is becoming. It truly is being focused on money and greed and less about uniting together as an equal society. I hope that when people read this, they think about what the American dream has become and work towards fixing it. Great Work!!!

October 27, 2017 12:18 pm

SAM! Your post was very intriguing, it brought up a lot of good points. Our society is centered majorly on money and financial success, like you said, “America is a self-centered country full of self-centered people” and I completely agree. Humans are naturally selfish beings who will do almost anything to achieve their “American dream” which can become very clouded by the obsession of being more successful then their neighbor. We live in a world muddled with jealousy, hate, and competition, and like you said within your post that is not the American dream and it never should be.

October 27, 2017 12:08 pm

Great post! You did a great job of making your opinion clear and easy to follow and backed it up with some support from texts. Well done. Although your post was wonderful, I do have some conflicting views that I’d enjoy to discuss. The main fact that I disagree with is that people do not achieve their dreams because they are too lazy. Even though that is sometimes the case, I feel like most of the time that isn’t what’s occurring. Many times people don’t have trouble keeping their jobs because they are lazy in the workspace but because they get laid off. Many times people go into financial debt because their houses are destroyed by a natural disaster, or there is an accident and a loved one is seriously injured, not because they spend all of their paycheck on alcohol and drugs. That is a very small percentage of the population. Although I might not agree with the point I mentioned, I definitely that the American dream nowadays is focused on material things that people buy, not values and freedoms like it used to be. Do you think the current American dream is worse? Or even is it better? Or do you think that it shapes to the time and will fit the best needs of the current population?

Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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