8 Reasons Why Your American Dream Is Dying


A tattered American flag signifies the broken American dream. | John Moore/Getty Images

8 Reasons Why Your American Dream Is Dying

The American dream means differentِ things toِ differentِ people.
For some, it’s a tangible achievement, suchِ asِ owning yourِ ownِ home.
There areِ many otherِ criticisms andِ details toِ goِ through, asِ well.

1. Productivity and wage growth have been decoupled

Since theِ mid-1970s andِ early 1980s, productivity hasِ continued toِ increase whileِ wage growth hasِ stagnated — orِ evenِ reversed.
What thisِ tells usِ isِ we’re able toِ produce moreِ with less.
Our businesses areِ more efficient, andِ we canِ get moreِ out ofِ our workers andِ raw inputs.

Productivity has increased, but wages haven’t. | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Next: The economy

2. The basis of the economy has changed

We knowِ businesses areِ more efficient, andِ that hasِ led toِ structural economic changes.
We’ve seenِ the results firsthand overِ the pastِ several years, asِ we’ve evolved intoِ a service-based economy, ratherِ than a manufacturing-based economy.
For example, anِ American factory mayِ haveِ employed 500 workers 50 years ago.

Next: Education

3. Education costs are skyrocketing

The U.S. is now a service-based economy. | Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

When moreِ jobs require additional training orِ schooling, moreِ people start signing upِ forِ it.
But asِ more people haveِ started goingِ to college, theِ cost hasِ subsequently goneِ up significantly.
This isِ why we’re seeingِ so manyِ young people graduating withِ bachelor’s degrees andِ anِ average ofِ $37,000 orِ so inِ debt.

Next: Income inequality

4. Income inequality is increasing

What doِ allِ of theِ aforementioned factors lead upِ to.
That’s what’s reallyِ killing theِ American dream.
In fact, weِ haven’t seenِ this big ofِ a rift betweenِ the rich andِ poor sinceِ 1928.

Workers staff the front desk of the University of Michigan’s Undergraduate Admissions office. | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Next: The government

5. The government impedes businesses

It’s notِ allِ the big, bad capitalists andِ rich people toِ blame.
There areِ mountains ofِ regulations thatِ oftenِ stifle small businesses orِ prevent would-be entrepreneurs fromِ taking a chance.
Although mostِ of theseِ rules exist forِ justifiable reasons orِ areِ attempting toِ correct someِ societal ill — minimum wage increases, forِ example, attempt toِ keepِ workers outِ ofِ poverty — theyِ causeِ significant problems forِ small companies tryingِ toِ push forward.

Next: Isolation

Income inequality is killing the American dream. | iStock.com/gonzalo_harogonzalo_haro

6. Isolationism changes the country’s image

Harvard Business School dean Nitin Nohria writes forِ the Financial Times thatِ anti-immigrant rhetoric andِ isolationism areِ detrimental toِ theِ American dream.
“People abroad view America asِ a place withِ unprecedented socioeconomic mobility, andِ this perception leads ambitious people toِ immigrate here,” Nohria says.
wouldِ lose itsِ competitive edge andِ status asِ a world leader.

Next: Life expectancy

7. Life expectancy is rising

Medical advances areِ allowing people toِ live longer.
And duringِ those long lives, theyِ rack upِ moreِ expenses.
Funds thatِ mightِ haveِ beenِ used toِ start a newِ business orِ finance education areِ allocated towardِ health care andِ living costs.

Next: Retirement

8. Retirement is out of reach

At theِ endِ of theِ day, theِ American dream isِ allِ aboutِ achieving success andِ prosperity.
And a successful career shouldِ lead toِ a prosperous retirement.
So people areِ forced toِ keepِ their noses toِ theِ grindstone inِ their oldِ age toِ makeِ ends meet, unable toِ sail offِ intoِ the sunset andِ fulfill theirِ American dream.