What’s the American Dream? It’s an old concept yet is one of the main reasons people throughout the world want to immigrate to the United States. Many people have heard of the term but you might be surprised to learn where the term originated from.
The general concept is that many people around the world have the hope of enjoying a better life for them and their families by immigrating to the US. The idea is that anyone can succeed in the country regardless of their situation. That includes their race, gender, age, social class, religion, and so on. There’s been a lot of debate in recent decades about whether or not the American Dream is still alive. That’s due mainly to the widening gap between the wealthy and middle/working classes. This has certainly made it tougher for many people to achieve financial success.
However, it should be noted that the US still has the most millionaires in the world at 15.7 (2015). This doesn’t mean that everyone can become rich but it’s certainly more likely in the US than many other countries in the world. In fact, there are many success stories about people who grew up in middle/low tax brackets yet achieved success through hard work and innovation.
That’s basically what the American Dream is all about. For example, there are several famous people in the tech world who became rich and famous by starting a small company that eventually became successful. Some examples include Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg. In many cases, the companies’ founders became very successful even though they didn’t finish college.
The term “American Dream” actually originated from the 1931 book “The Epic of America.” An irony is that at that time the US was in the middle of the Great Depression. The author Truslow Adams used the book to describe various beliefs, promises, and expectations.
Since then the term has gone one to represent the idea of the American Way of Life. An irony of sorts is that the concept was promoted by presidential candidate Herbert Hoover during the 1928 presidential campaign. He promised that if he were elected every US home would have a “chicken in every pot” and a “car in every garage.” An irony is that after he was elected the US stock market crashed in 1929 and the Great Recession started.
The concept of the American Dream has been debated for several decades since Adams first mentioned the term in 1931. He wrote that everyone should have a better, richer, and fuller life, and people should have more opportunities based on their abilities and achievements.
The main take away from the idea is that US immigrants still have an opportunity to live a better life if they move to the US. There’s no guarantee that will happen. However, even if they don’t become very rich and famous there’s often a chance they can live a better life than they are in their home country. That can give people hope that they’ll at least have the opportunity to live a better quality of life or enjoy more freedoms, for example.