The more that I think about the American Dream, the more that I’m convinced that it’s no longer what it used to be. Although there are many interpretations on what exactly the dream is, the dream ultimately is the belief that everyone who comes to our great country can succeed, make an honest living, and live without some of the everyday problems that trouble those in other countries. While this might remain true in some aspects, I beg to differ that the American Dream is not what it used to be and very near close to dead.
I’ll probably be in the minority on this, but I feel that the two factors that are stopping the American Dream are Education and Healthcare. Education and Healthcare are huge factors that are effecting the so-called dream that we all strive for.
The costs to obtain a college degree in the United States has simply gone past the point of being affordable for most Americans. While an Associate’s Degree is still quite high at $900 per class (3 credits), the cost for a Bachelor’s Degree and above have gone up past the point of being reasonable anymore. Compared to the costs of an Associate’s Degree, the cost to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree is in the neighborhood of $2k/per class. High education costs are definitely contributing to the end of the American Dream. Unlike the United States, several of our wealthy and well known allies across the globe either offer college education at a much lower discounted rate, or for free!
“Please point to a developed nation somewhere else on this globe that has multiple universities with yearly tuition costs higher than the average salaries of most entry-level positions? Oh, wait — you can’t. They don’t exist.” – Michael Restiano
Healthcare, just like education, is hampering the goal of the American Dream. While our allies and neighbors offer their citizens with free healthcare, the United States still works the healthcare system as a stand-alone business. Unlike other developed countries across the globe, citizens in the United States must make the tough decision of going uninsured, paying high co-pay’s and premiums for insurance, or staying with a job that you don’t like to strictly have the benefits. All of these factors with healthcare alone impact one’s ability to live out the dream that we all strive for.
In conclusion, the American Dream is definitely not what it once was. High education and healthcare costs will continue to plague our country and deprive all American’s of their true goal of living out the dream.