Taken from Wikipedia, The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
I think we have greatly evolved from the original meaning of the “American Dream”. I agree that everyone deserves the opportunity to prosper and be successful and that it should be possible to move upward socially and financially, but I don’t think our forefathers would be happy with the amount of debt that Americans have racked up in order to achieve their so called success.
One large part of The American Dream is owning your own home. For years it was easy to get a loan from the bank to purchase a home with no money down. You really didn’t have to have great credit to get approved for the loan. Banks and lending companies are now realizing that tighter restrictions should have been in place when lending money. I’m not sure we should have ever moved away from the ear when you had to pay at least 20% down on a home loan. As a result of our irresponsible lending behavior, our economy has taken a major blow to it’s financial success and now “The American Dream” may be forever out of reach for many Americans.
What exactly is the “American Dream” today? I personally think it’s became more about keeping up with the Jones’ than personal success through hard work. Greed and envy are dangerous emotions and if uncontrolled can take control of your life. Don’t dig yourself into debt trying to live the American Dream. Work hard, spend the money you earn and live your own successful rewarding life, not your neighbors.