what are some things that stop or inibhibit people from achieving the "American Dream?"?

In your opinion, what are some things that stop or inibhibit people from achieving the "American Dream?"

Perhaps "people" is relative to class/race, etc...

Would love to hear your thoughts.


9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Most people don't achieve the "American Dream", it's just that stories about how "John Q worked hard and loyally for 50 years at such-and-such plant and still was never able to get out of his inner-city neighborhood" don't make great feel-good-believe-in-the-dream stories.

    The "Dream" doesn't take into account that everyone that has "made it" has always had some type of help: college connection, family support, religious backing, friend of a friend, friend of parent, or simply someone who believed AND had the power to influence, etc. And that those things add up to another type of affirmative action. Bootstraps indeed! Pull up from your bootstraps and you fall over! Engage the support of a network that supersedes class and racial bounderies and you may yet stand.

    Obviously the majority race has more of all of those things. It is not a "race card" argument to simply point that out.

  • 1 decade ago

    There could be many possible approaches to this question. You are correct in stating that "people" is relative to class and race. For the most part, Americans in our society today dream of success, fame and wealth. The dream focuses on having the opportunity to reach goals in life through persistent hard work and perseverance. Here is one possible view:

    For instance, a member of the upper class could technically achieve the "dream" by becoming wealthy or successful in their business. However, if their wealth is attained illegitimately, the meaning of the "dream" is lost. Critic Edwin Fussell states that the American Dream appears to some to be a rich life full of beautiful people in a particular social class where love can be bought or sold. In The Great Gatsby, the main character reveals how greed and narcissism can corrupt the American Dream and make it unobtainable. In the book, Jay Gatsby is unsatisfied with his economic status decides to reinvent himself into a person that is wealthy and happy with their life. Unfortunately, in his attempt to become wealthy, he fails to consider legalities or ethics. Most of his money was attained through "shady business dealings". To Jay Gatsby and many other Americans in the 1920s, the dream became an entitlement as opposed to something earned by hard work.

    Basically, a person can be prohibited from achieving the American Dream if they are motivated by greed and selfishness. These things distort the dream and all that it stands for.

    Source(s): Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby.
  • 5 years ago

    "It's not enough for just some of us to prosper. For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga, a belief that we are all connected as one people." [Obama] "It is thus necessary that the individual should come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole ... that above all the unity of a nation's spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual. .... This state of mind, which subordinates the interests of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture .... we understand only the individual's capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow man." [Adolph Hitler, 1933] There is the great, silent, continuous struggle: the struggle between the State and the Individual; between the State which demands and the individual who attempts to evade such demands. Because the individual, left to himself, unless he be a saint or hero, always refuses to pay taxes, obey laws, or go to war. [Benito Mussolini] "All our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero, and here it comes up again: the glorification of one personality. This is not good at all." [Vladimir Lenin, as quoted in Not by Politics Alone]

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I guess that there are probably several reasons and ?'s raised but i guess most don't know the American dream or what it is. but how can anyone here not know the American dream have an opion on this issue. i see some of these responses as attacks on the lower class people. yes, i agree that education plays a huge role in how successful you can be in our competitive society. But also the poverty rate has been increasing over the Bush(present) years. Our tax dollars to educated our children or medically insure our children are going to fight a war in which we cannot militarily win. The only time poverty was at it lower was when Clintion was in office. But the Rich continue to get richer and the poor continue to get poorer thanks for taxes.

    This topic raises several controversial issues and sorry this is so long.

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  • Judith
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Many people just want security & are fearful of leaving their job for the unknown & possible failure. A lack of education and/or intelligence. No get up and go.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't even know what the "American Dream" is!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    lack of job with typically comes from lack of education and role models in life.

  • 1 decade ago

    Insecurities, low self-esteem, blaming, and failure to endure adversity.

  • 1 decade ago


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