Does the American Dream Still Exist?

Wikipedia says the American Dream is the national ethos where 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.[1]

The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life.

However many people today say that the idea of what the American Dream is has changed over time. In fact, the original dream was a new world with land untold and the opportunity for low cost land to own a farm.

In the 19th century many Jews fled Germany and came to the US for the opportunity of religious freedom.

Our parents and grandparents had the belief in an American Dream where each generation would have improved financial and educational opportunities. However, with the national unemployment rate at 8.3% as of January 2012 and many mid-career Americans unemployed or under employed, the idea of what the American Dream was and is may have to be revised.

The American Dream still exists however; we each have to take individual responsibility to ensure our own employment and career mobility. There are no longer organizations or corporations that will take us on a career journey throughout our entire lives until retirement.

Today’s American dream will have to be made up of employees as individual contractors. We will work in positions as long as they suit our needs or the organizations needs. Retraining ourselves throughout our career is now a necessity. The new employee will have to be aware and prepared for a changing, fluctuating job market.

We can no longer rely on the government to provide or create jobs. In today’s environment priorities will change on a whim of political ideals. And entrepreneurship will be the key to a positive impact on society.

In essence, I believe that America is still the land of Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The notion of an American Dream still exists.

However, for those of us currently in the work force and for generations to come, there will be a much larger need for individual action and direction in choosing a career and having the ability to look over the horizon and anticipate what direction the job market is going.

Can anyone say Green Jobs?

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