The American Dream: Income Inequality In America

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Death of the American Dream For centuries, America has been known as a place that has been a melting pot of opportunities for people from all over the world. The entire country has grown and been established on the fact that any one person can come from any background. From any country, and build a foundation and a life for themselves on American soil. This belief of acceptance and opportunity to build a life from nothing birthed what has come to be known as The American Dream. The definition of “The American Dream” varies it is not set in stone. But one common factor in each person’s individual American Dream is the ability to experience upward mobility from nothing. To go from the bottom of the ladder and climb the rungs until one has reached …show more content…
Once the income inequality in America is addressed it can be fixed and this can create the ability for American’s to achieve upward mobility in society. According to Susan B Neuman, professor at University of Michigan and her writing on the American dream, “Between 1977 and 2007, the income of families at the 99th percentile increased by 90 percent; the income of those at the bottom 20th percentile, by just 7 percent” (Neuman 18). This statistic shows income inequality is continually growing. High-income families have seen a dramatic increase in income. While this has happened during the same period of time low-income families have not even seen half of that growth in their incomes. In order for there to be upward mobility for all Americans there must be ability for all Americans to experience economic …show more content…
If upward mobility is something that the average American worker should be able to find first the American educational standards must be reset. The United States runs a system of funding schools based on property taxes. This means that the education a child receives is based off the value of the surrounding neighborhoods. According to Greg Duncan an economist and professor at University of California, Irvine, “In the early 1970s, high-income families spent just under $3,000 more per year (in 2012 dollars) on child enrichment than low-income families. By 2006, this gap had nearly tripled, to $8,000” (Duncan). What this information shows us is that once in America the gap between what high-income families could afford to spend on their children’s educations was significantly lower than the gap in 2006. What is seen happening here is low-income families being incapable of spending much money on their children’s educations. Education is a significant part of being able to better oneself. It is exceptionally rare that without an education one would be capable of growing economically or experiencing any type of upward

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