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September8, 2014.

TheAmerican dream

WhenDiana Okechuku left her native Gambian country in the company of herfriend, she was exhilarated that at last she was free from poverty.As she clenched the third retrenchment letter, it dawned on her thatthe American dream was not easy or was great fallacy!

Thisand much more reflections flashed through her mind. Diana had justbeen retrenched, and her night job was not better either. ‘I did mybest, went to college, graduated with CPA accounting profession, andno one seems to offer a good opportunity’ she wondered.

Dianafelt challenged to return home since the American dream was anunattainable goal to her. These and other stories give an insight onperception fallacy that many immigrants have when pursuing theAmerican dream.

TheUnited States was portrayed as the land of unrivalled opportunities,prosperity and the fancy living for many years. Current studiesindicate America as lagging behind other developed countries ineconomic development and standards of living (WorldBank Group. 2014).

Thelower and the middle class in Europe are living more envious livescompared to most Americans. Majority of Americans and immigrants feelthat the government performance is substandard, and less is done toimprove the economic malaise (Moore, 2014).

Mostcitizens feel that the government is wasting more resources throughforeign incursions and providing social services to illegalimmigrants at the expense of struggling American taxpayers. Thetenacious American dream held previously is no longer tenable in theface of eminent massive job cuts, low pay, rising taxes and constantfinancial recessions.

Manypeople feel that opportunities for social development are becomingunaffordable to most parents and their children. Opportunities andresources for further education, homeownership, career advancementand social welfare goals are falling behind the expectations of youngAmericans and their immigrants’ counterparts.

Nevertheless,studies indicate that majority of Americans and the immigrants stillhold the tenacious American dream while the American wealthiestcontinue to outpace many other global peers. The American economy hassuffered greatly in the past seven years since the global depressionin 2008.

Accordingto the current economic status survey by Gall up in 2014, Americansare confidence that the economy will recover and improvesignificantly although it remains in the negative territory (Moore,2014). In 2013, the GDP was indicated to have significantly risenwith unemployment rates declining.

Inaaddition, the stock market is recovering and low interest-rates whichin turn increased the demand for housing. The consumer spending in2013 increased to $88 per day and job creation indicating a two-pointincrement over the past years.

Accordingto the study, the Americans economic confidence is expected tocontinue as positive economic trends continue to rise. KaushikBasu, afinancial analystat World Bank,observed ‘thefinancial health of the United States economy progress has beenpositive’(World Bank Group. 2014).

Assuch, a gradual structuring of the fiscal policy and reforms areneeded to amend the financial brought by the 2008 financialdepression (WorldBank Group. 2014).This is the time to prepare for the next financial crisis’ (Moore,2014).

Aresearch interview on the perception of the American dream among theAmerican citizens and the immigrant Citizens indicated that, theAmerican dream for many in regard to better lives and stable economicconditions are of great concern and have not yet been attained.

VirginiaWang, aged 23 and a NestleSales Representative statesthat, ‘Many Americans in the U.S. are not betterand might take time tomatch their parents’ status.’ This perspective comes as arejoinder to what most respondents, feel about their lives and thatof their own parents.

Accordingto Erin Currier, a director at the Economic Mobility Project of PewCharitable Trusts observes that, ‘this pessimism is a reflection ofthe financial realities most local citizens and the immigrants’families face in their quest for the American dream.’

ErinCurrier further adds that, ‘the economic status of most Americanscan be likened to trading water their incomes are not translatinginto the desired financial security and material acquisitions sodesired’ (Moore,2014).

Davidkuo an interviewee and ChiropracticdoctorAmericandream was getting equal opportunities and achieving more personalgoals. The interview with David confirmed that he had not yetattained the American dream despite working hard, ‘Idoubt one can ever achieve ultimate success.’

Thesesentiments were echoed by others like Kelvin Li, an immigrant fromChina living in Los Angeles, ‘My American dream is to own anapartment in Park Ave….and I have not attained that dream althoughI believe to attain it in the next ten years.’

Inaddition, most interviewees were of the opinion that, futuregenerations may have a better chance than the current generation. Forinstance, Kelvin an immigrant from China observed that he believeshis children will be more Americans and achieve more than him.

ZackLiu another interviewee observed that, future generations would havebetter jobs, more opportunities and higher incomes (WorldBank Group.2014).The overall perception in these interviews reveals that mostAmericans and the immigrants are optimistic that in future thingswill improve.

Accordingto many immigrants, opportunities in America are better compared tothose in their homeland in some ways and not on the totality of theirexpectations. Many immigrants have not achieved their dream jobs,education or better houses as fathomed.

However,many Americans and the immigrants asserted that the American nationprovides better equal opportunities, good environment, food andwater. For instance, Zack says, ‘life in America is good due tobetter air quality, food and water.’

LinaXue concurs by saying, ‘life in America is better because itprovides me chances for higher education that my homeland could notprovide due to high population. ‘Thecosts of Colleges are rising than the inflation rate and the studentloan debtat its worst exploding.’

Manyinterviewees (Zack, Lina, Kelvin and David) observed that thefinancial recession that began in 2008 had greatly affected theirlives in the form of job layoffs, high inflation, taxes and reducedconsumer spending (WorldBank Group. 2014).

However,most interviewees were optimistic that things would be better in thefuture especially if the government cuts on military spending andimprove the local economy. David Kuo stated that, ‘the future looksbetter as more jobs are created, and the society is spending andsaving wisely.’

Theinterviews also sought to understand the immigrants’ perspectivesof what the state and federal governments need to improve theeconomy. Many interviewees suggested that the government should cuton unnecessary foreign warfare expenses and reduce local tax to boostthe economy.

Inaddition, most Americans and the immigrants were of the opinions thatthe government should enforce regulations to combat corruption,improve education accessibility and curb the illegal immigrants’problem. However, most interviewees showed optimism in better livesin future.

KaushikBasu, a financialanalystat World Bank,while responding to the debate on the American dream after the globalfinancial recession observed, ‘majority of the Americans havehigher incomes than that of their parents.’

Manyfinancial analysts give mixed analysis on the future of Americandream some are pessimistic about future generations,on the basis that, thesavings rates are low, and unemployment is still high (World BankGroup. 2014).

Otheranalysts projects that based on the current economic measures put inplace to reduce military spending, job creation and improved healthinsurance scheme, the American dream is attainable(Moore, 2014).

TheAmerican dream is attainable with great hard work and governmentparticipation in creating the right economic infrastructure. Inparticular, the government needs to institute more measures aimed atcushioning most companies from the effects of financial recessions(Moore,2014).

Inthis way, the firms will create and maintain job opportunities to thelocals. Furthermore, the government needs to cut unnecessary expensesand use the resources to enhance the local economy as a way ofboosting the standards of living among the local and immigrantsseeking good opportunities.

Namesand contact information of all people interviewed

David_Kuo………..(Contactinformation)

Jerry_Gao………….(Contactinformation)

Kevin_Li…………….(Contact information)

Zack_Liu……………..(Contact information)

Lina_Xue……………(Contact information)

References

MooreB. (2014). U.S.Economic Confidence Steady So Far in 2014. Retrieved on September 8,2014, fromhttp://www.gallup.com/poll/166829/economic-confidence-steady-far-2014.aspx

WorldBank Group. (2014). Shiftingpriorities, building for the future:Global Economic Prospects. Retrievedon September 8, 2014, fromhttp://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/global-economic-prospects