Is the American Dream viable?

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The viability of the American Dream is a complex issue, with various perspectives and factors to consider. The American Dream traditionally holds that anyone who works hard can achieve economic success, perhaps even rise from rags to riches. However, recent research suggests that the United States has less mobility and equality of opportunity today than the European Union or other OECD countries. The definition of the American Dream has evolved over time. A recent GoDaddy survey found that 54% of respondents defined it as "feeling happy in life," and 49% said it involved "freedom to follow my passions." Only 56% cited wealth as a motivator, indicating a shift away from the traditional focus on economic success. Similarly, a Pew Research Center survey found that only 11% of the public said "being wealthy" is essential to their view of the American Dream, while majorities said "freedom of choice in how to live" and having a good family life are essential. However, there are significant obstacles to achieving the American Dream. These include economic challenges such as high inflation, rising interest rates, and elevated consumer debt. Other barriers include lack of access to technology, education, and affordable healthcare. There are also disparities based on race, ethnicity, and education level. For example, a survey conducted by NORC – University of Chicago found that nearly twice as many people with only a high school diploma say the American Dream is out of reach compared to those with a college degree. In conclusion, while the American Dream remains a powerful cultural concept, its viability is increasingly questioned due to economic challenges and social disparities. However, the evolving definition of the American Dream, shifting away from purely economic success towards personal happiness and freedom, suggests that it may still hold relevance for many Americans.
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