Goodbye to the American Dream

In John Truslow Adams’ 1931 book The Epic of America, he describes the American dream as “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”

According to a recent survey by the Marlin Company, though, the fabled American Dream is considered unreachable by 52% of American workers. This statistic obviously depends on a person’s individual interpretation of the term American Dream, but I’m still disappointed by the pessimism in our working class. Perhaps I’m merely deluding myself with dreams of great success. My father told me that he hope I would be more successful than he was, and I work toward that goal.

I am not an aristocrat. My only major piece of property is my car with 100,000 miles. So why do I look at the future with optimism when over half of my workforce colleagues have given up?

UPDATE: I was skimming today’s posts on the EconLog Blog and I found an entry on Rational Optimism. It referenced a new blog entitled “The Rational Optimist.” The author has only written an initial welcome essay, but his ideas look interesting and promising. Most notably, he agrees with my aforementioned philosophy:

“…pessimism and happiness are ultimately at odds. The satisfactions of smug gloominess are thin gruel compared to the hearty nourishment of a positive, cheerful outlook. And without hope, why even get out of bed in the morning?”

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One Response to “Goodbye to the American Dream”

  1. Links Says:

    Snarky words for someone who has never had to deal with life. Fucking cheerleaders would want you to see something positive in having your family harmed and destroyed before your eyes. The truth is, why get up in the morning?

    Instead of trying to make it worth getting up in the morning the optimist, like a religious nut case, want’s you to believe. And that is half the battle, right? Again, this only proves the people who believe this shit don’t want to look out there window and actually get their hands dirty but instead want us to put on rose colored glasses. Get off your fucking asses and start helping you optimistic pricks! We don’t need more snarky words, we need solutions to raise up our society while we are being economically raped by the global wealthy and through market arbitrage disguised as free trade.

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