By Tom Z
11:10 AM EDT, October 5, 2012
There’s a growing sentiment in this country that the “American Dream” – the ability to overcome one’s social class through hard work and perseverance – is dying. Many studies, like this one for example, support that position, claiming that the United States has less social mobility than many other civilized nations. While some people, for example every Presidential candidate ever, claim that the American Dream is alive and well, many smart people are beginning to feel the opposite. One of those smart people is Columbia professor and Nobel Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz. When asked about the American Dream recently, Stiglitz had this to say:
"The American dream has become a myth," Stiglitz, an economics professor at Columbia University, told the German news magazine Der Spiegel in an interview published Tuesday. "The belief in the American dream is not supported by the data."
I think we messed up big time by naming it the American Dream. That implies that you can achieve it in your sleep. When in fact, to go from rags to riches, you really have to go without much sleep at all. I guess the American Wake The Fuck Up And Get To Work didn't have the same ring to it. On a serious note, I believe the American Dream is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe in it, there’s a miniscule chance you might one day achieve it. If you don't believe the American Dream exists, you're pretty much guaranteed to fail. So you sort of HAVE to believe, otherwise you're screwed. It's like believing Tupac is alive. Yeah, you're probably wrong, but do you really want to live in a world where we've given up hope on Pac? Hell no. Thug life forever!
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