English 3, Period 4
15 December 2010
The American Dream: Still a Dream
“The American dream…used to be a college education, a steady job, a nice house (and a family to fill it), and a better financial picture than what your parents had” (Trunk, para1). American citizens are beginning to doubt if they are still capable of obtaining this fantasy. Although it may still be possible, it is getting harder and less common to reach the goal, the American dream.
An extremely important part of achieving the American dream is finances. The optimists of this country like to say money is not a factor. According to Ariel Freiberg, “It is not what will make our lives secure and it will not help us define ourselves” (Trunk, para 3). Income certainly does not define who a person is and how they live their life. To some people money will not interfere with what they want to do with their lives. However, to a certain extent, money is what builds a person’s strong foundation. In the process of pursuing the American dream, “The first step…is to save money to ensure flexibility” (Trunk, para 8). A huge element of the dream is to have a nice house and the ability to support kids. How can anyone achieve that without a steady income? The dream gets harder to attain everyday.
Another luxury of the American dream is being able to retire comfortably and with money left over. But for many Americans, the term “leftover money” does not exist in their vocabulary. Statistics from the Commerce Department prove, “The savings rate for Americans is the lowest it has been in 73 years” (Wallechinsky, para 10). Saving money is nearly impossible, let alone paying monthly bills. Also, benefits from jobs such as healthcare and bonuses are decreasing along with businesses being stricter about missing work. When Richard Oden was not able to return to work fast enough after getting a major surgery, unfortunately, “to help support his family, Oden had to dip into his 401(k) fund,...