it’s called a “dream” cuz it ain’t real

so, i had to look up what this “american dream” is that bloomberg refers to in his “young men’s initiative” press release. as he says:

“all of our young people deserve a shot at the great american dream.”

and yes, that is an honourable sentiment. but if we look at what this “dream” is:

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. ( Library of Congress. American Memory. “What is the American Dream?”, lesson plan)we see that is doesn’t quite jive with reality :
as Jason DeParle writes in the new york times on january 4, 2012, “Harder for Americans to Rise from Lower Rungs”
“In 2006 Professor Corak reviewed more than 50 studies of nine countries. He ranked Canada, Norway, Finland and Denmark as the most mobile, with the United States and Britain roughly tied at the other extreme. Sweden, Germany, and France were scattered across the middle.The causes of America’s mobility problem are a topic of dispute — starting with the debates over poverty. The United States maintains a thinner safety net than other rich countries, leaving more children vulnerable to debilitating hardships.Poor Americans are also more likely than foreign peers to grow up with single mothers. That places them at an elevated risk of experiencing poverty and related problems, a point frequently made by Mr. Santorum, who surged into contention in the Iowa caucuses. The United States also has uniquely high incarceration rates, and a longer history of racial stratification than its peers.”UNFORTUNATELY it seems apparent that the dream is just that for many – a “dream.”


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