Problems with the American Dream

Although a highly celebrated ideal in the United States, the American Dream does have its series of setbacks, and many Americans do feel as if the ideology itself is rather "backwards" and not worth it. Famed authors, namely John Steinbeck and F. Scott Fitzgerald have criticized it in some of their works.

What do you perceive as a problem based on the American Dream.

The Top Ten

1 It's an ideology almost completely based on materialism

Sadly this is shown in our society - SirSheep

And so society should depend upon spiritualism and a false sense of leisure? I'm an idealistic man of the left but you won't go anywhere in life without working hard and hoarding wealth. In addition, I agree with the visitor's statement and this is coming from a half-Russian. - Bolshoy_Brat

Much of the American Dream is driven towards living a good life. But the method to attaining this is linked towards profit. The ideal is to earn as much money as possible to ensure your own life. Personally, I don't see much of a motivation in that. In fact, "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck exploits the negatives of Materialism very harshly. Not everyone can attain it. It's a tragedy in fact. - CrimsonShark

Yes, it's so horrible here, that more people are trying to get into the USA than virtually all other nations combined, and those who got in illegally are doing their utmost to stay.

2 It's meaning is a lie

Yeah. Yes I live in America and it is a great country. It does have a lot of problems such as racism, some of the people that live there, etc. Immigration I think has become too selective (thanks to that stupid travel ban). Sure most immigrants came to America, there are people who try to seek refuge from their own country if it's at war, if it's poor, or if society is crumbling. Also, I can't even believe how controversial the Trump Administration is. I don't like involving in political drama, but the Trump administration has been doing some very questionable things like the Travel ban, etc. Just, America is great, but has a lot of problems. - PhoenixAura81

"Accomplish your dreams" my butt. The United States is in debt, even before 9/11, and the Middle Class and Lower Class are suffering a lot in money. And going back on Steinbeck's work, you could wind up in a tragedy that you may never going to recover from. There are other contributing factors to this, like desensitization and undeserving attention, which distorts what a wonderful life should be about. This heavily contradicts the American Dream as a result. - CrimsonShark

More than 40 million people live in the USA who were foreign-born, substantially more than any other nation on earth, and in fact a number larger than the majority of countries total population. If it's so bad, why did they go there?

"Do you know why they call it the American DREAM? Because you have to be asleep to believe it." - George Carlin - THC13

3 It's influence is huge, and not in a good way

Its an ideology dating back to the 18th Century, and is seen as an American Identity, so its no surprise its well known. However, considering it is synonymous with rich people and wealth, it can lead to a very materialistic mindset should people start adopting it. This does go back to my first reasoning, and emphasizing on how it affects people. - CrimsonShark

If the foreign-born population of the USA was a separate country, they would be larger than over 160 others in the world. Just slightly larger than Canada, and slightly smaller than Argentina. That is correct; there are more foreign-born people in the USA than the total population of Canada, period.

4 It only benefits the upper class and big corporations

Very true as is the case with most laissez-faire capitalist nations. Bernie Sanders was their last chance in redemption and they blew it. - Bolshoy_Brat

Donald Trump and Ajit Pai are certainly living this dream. Corporations are still making vault-tons of money every year and will continue to profit. Meanwhile, much of the American populace are finding it difficult and sometimes even painful to meet their financial demands and debts. Lots are Americans are angry due to how they're treated via class hierarchy, because this severely damages the population physically and emotionally. - CrimsonShark

ya duhh

5 It's too difficult to reach the expected standard

The Great Depression, the amount of money the American government has spent on foreign trade and warfare and various events have left the United States in serious debt. I feel bad for the Middle-Lower Class people, due to how much they struggle coping with money and how their opportunities continue to dwindle in spite of their efforts, whereas the rich get more money. - CrimsonShark

6 The American youth is very susceptible to it's influence

Materialism plays a prominent role in why so many Americans happen to be rather dumb these days. Nowadays, they want to brag about their wealth and what they posses, going as far as to make fun of solely based upon that. That, and for the Middle-Lower Class, they may not get the education they deserve, which contradicts what the American Dream is meant to stand for. - CrimsonShark

7 Fame is given to those who don't deserve it

I think most of the proletarians of America are more concerned with getting fair wages for ends meet rather than getting famous. - Bolshoy_Brat

Kim Kardashian wherever we go, the media is glorifying either Kim Kardashian or anybody related to the Kardashians, because they're filthy rich. Meanwhile, actual people and heroes who worked hard to get what they want or wanted to contribute to change are glossed out or even forgotten. It doesn't matter if you're a veteran soldier, someone who helped out in 9/11 or a doctor who discovered a breakthrough cure, if you're not rich, your popularity is obsolete. This would explain why much of the youth has little general knowledge outside of their interests, which is honestly sad. - CrimsonShark

Yes, it was totally ridiculous that Kim Kardashian made $150,000 just to show up for the grand opening of an ice cream parlor in Dubai. Oh wait.

This is very true in recent times. The Kardashians are obvious examples.

8 It hasn't aged well

There are ideologies that are several centuries or even a millennia old and they're somehow managed to withstand the test of time. The American Dream however, has a lot of "backwards" content, particularly how women are depicted in this ideology. Its viewpoint on wealth is also somewhat primitive compared to the present day. - CrimsonShark

9 It causes people to succumb to self-entitlement

Which in turn, can influence them in becoming bullies and egotists, which does not fit in very well with the American Dream context. Jake Paul is a notable example, he's made a lot of money, yet chooses it for very worthless and boastful spending. Also, Gene Simmons also fits in this bill well enough. - CrimsonShark

Self entitlement is a plague at this point.

10 It contributes to inequality

This one enforces the points of self-entitlement and the benefits thrown onto the Upper Class. True, there are rich people who genuinely care about the poor, but most are rather concerned about themselves and their statuses. - CrimsonShark

The Contenders

11 It benefits people who are over 18
12 It requires dedication and hard work

That could interfere with your right to play video games all the time.

Which means a lot of people just don't feel like doing it.

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