My American Dream

My American Dream

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The American Dream is the idea for any person, no matter race, color, or creed to become wealthy in a society by hard work and dedication. The idea starts when you're a child if you see your parents working and earning a living. The idea absorbs in the child’s head to do good in life, so he can succeed and do the same things as them. It all starts when you are 22 coming out of college. During those four years of college you choice your career and hopefully adept to it. After you graduate the job hunt begins with hundreds of people competing for the same spot and you hope that your number one so you can get the job. If you're lucky enough to get the position you have to work hard to adapt to the condition of working, and do good enough to keep the job. Hopefully after hard work for a few years you meet a girl and marry and start a family, and your life goes on.
     Why? Has the freedom to choose and freedom from want disappeared? Is the American Dream, equality of opportunity, comfort, and success, gone for the new generation. Recent pieces in the news media label this “Generation X” or the “Twenty-something Generation.”(Issue One: Historical Economic Forces, pg. 32.) I agree and disagree with the statement. There are many good things going for this generation. One example is that the students are being more educated, they are learning from computers and TV’s, not only from the teacher. Slightly more than 23% of this twenty-something Generation has completed 4 years of college. We have enormous knowledge and power in which we have not even started to use. This American Dream is as much ours as any other generation. It is a potent and long standing part of our nation’s secular faith. Chasing “the Dream” is an act of devotion that all people, regardless of their sectarian beliefs can perform.( Issue One: Historical Economic Forces, pg. 32.(Cohen 6-8)
     One key issue that is declining the development of the United States is poverty. Although it has been a major factor for the last 150 years it is still bothering our economy. The federal government’s role in fighting poverty did not begin until the Great Depression of the 1930’s, after Black Tuesday and the market crash. President Franklin Roosevelt introduced a program to bring the United States back on its feet.

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He introduced federally funded programs suck as social security, unemployment insurance, and job programs to help needy American. During the next fifty years, social programs mushroomed. Today, the federal government helps low-income and retired Americans by supplementing their incomes, paying their medical bills, issuing coupons for food, and helping them find jobs. However, as poverty has gotten worse for many Americans and the cost of these social programs continues to grow, many have called for a reevaluation of government’s role in reducing poverty.(Poverty issue pg. 81) This current year, with President Bill Clinton has been a good year for the economy. The unemployment level is very low, and this is the first year we have ever decreased the budget.
     One of the big social programs today that helps the economy grow is Health Care. Medicaid and Medicare were established in 1965 as part of the Great Society. Medicaid provides people with low incomes with free or subsidized medical care. Medicaid payments, which are funded jointly by federal and state governments, totaled $91.9 billion in the fiscal year of 1994. Medicare pays health care benefits to more than 22 million older and disabled Americans. The government allotted almost $133 billion for Medicare payments in fiscal year 1994.(Poverty Issue, pg. 85)
     The Supplementary Security Income program, created in 1974, provides cash benefits for persons who are blind or disabled, older Americans, and other with special needs and low incomes. In 1994, the federal government paid $19.4 billion through this program to about six million people. (Poverty Issue, pg. 85)
      One major downfall to the economy is the unemployment factor. The unemployment picture is the worst in the cities. Unskilled workers can no longer easily find employment in manufacturing. Many blue-collar jobs have gone to the suburbs. The number of jobs in skilled fields has been increasing. The unskilled, included high school dropouts, are unprepared for all but the lowest-paying service industry jobs in the cities. This change causes a widening of the gap between the rich and the poor in the cities. Industries have left the cities to relocate in the suburbs, rural areas, or in foreign countries where land is cheaper and taxes and labor costs are lower. Along with the industries that move out of the cities go to jobs, the incomes, and the taxes that once were collected.(Economics for Everyone, pg. 518)
     Programs that are in use to reduce poverty and unemployment are designed either to give financial help to the poor or unemployed or enable the poor or unemployed to help themselves. The first approach is through assistance, the second through education, training, and counseling programs. In many causes, a combination of the two approaches in necessary. People receiving income assistance get help in the form of cash payments or by the payment of all or part of their bills for food, housing, and medical care. This aid is called income maintenance. Income programs, in the form of cash, goods, or services, are provided though the social insurance and public assistance. (Economics for Everyone, pg. 530)
     Through out our short lives on this planet, we try our best to succeed and do well in life. For those who don’t succeed did not fail at life but may not of reached to goal they wanted to or reached whatever they thought the American Dream was. Throughout my life though, I am going to try to the best I can in school and work so I can live a life up to my standard of life. The only thing in life that matters the most is not the idea of being rich and having power, but to be liking what you are doing and to have a good time doing it.
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