Reflection on American Mindset: Opinion Essay

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The American Mindset is the way Americans think, interact and act socially. These ways are constructed by the things we do daily that vary anywhere from watching tv in our own homes to looking at billboards on the street. The American dream regards having equal opportunities and availabilities which allow Americans the highest aspirations and goals. As Americans, we are mentally challenged everyday to be superior than our fellow Americans. This superiority usually always means financial stance. This means that as an American you try to be up to date with the latest trends, releases of technology, have the newest model of a car or own the nicest house. In most cases this might even mean being in debt, but what happens when we aren’t? What happens when the American Dream was not served to us on a silver platter? Some people migrate to the US from countries that do not offer as many opportunities in search of the American Dream. You may wonder, What is the American Dream? Does the American Dream still exist or is it just an ideal by which Americans are believed to live by?

How do we as Americans develop the idea that being wealthy means you are succeeding? According to the article How the American Dream Has Changed over theYears, “ the American Dream was seen extensively in advertisements for home builders to directly tie the idea of buying or building a house to the vision of the country and what it meant to be a true citizen.” Having the financial stability to build your own home played a huge role in what living the American Dream supposedly was. Education has also played a huge role in the working class and financial stance. It is believed that the further you expand your education the higher chances you have of being wealthier. Everyone in America is eligible for free K-12 education. After 12, there is government help provided for students who qualify. Most U.S citizens take advantage of this opportunity because education in America is extremely expensive. Some undocumented students tend to put forward their best effort given the circumstances that they do not have the same opportunites as U.S citizen students. They are brought to the United States in search for a better life, therefore they feel compelled to show gratitude for their parents efforts. Altough it seems that highering your education is showing grattitude towars your parents, some of the children that come from undocumented families decide to do field work instead. Although to them it might seem like the best option at the moment, when it comes to the long run they will have a hard time finding and maintaining a stable job due to the fact that they did not even acquire their highschool diploma.

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Legal status in America especially in the latest decades has put a label on people. Legal status determines who you are, the help, opportunities and the resources you receive from the government. As U.S citizens you are naturally born in a land full of opportunities, at least that’s what people outside the U.S tend to believe. America is one of the top countries for free government assistance whether that be for monetary, health care or employment assistance. Taxes funded by all Americans are used to fund government programs such as financial aid, EBT food stamps, Section 8, free health and many more. Therefore, many U.S Republicans, are pro-wall. America’s current president Donald Trump’s campaign for building a wall that will make it harder for immigrants to come into the U.S for a better life are being denied this right. Previous Democratic, U.S president Barack Obama, created government health assistance called Obamacare. Our current president Donald Trump, now fighting against this free health care and is trying to get it removed. Something as critical as health care should be free to anyone living in the US especially considering that health care is extremely expensive. Donald Trump is deporting immigrants and building a wall that is supposed to stop the illegal crossings over the border. Deportations skyrocketed with our previous president, Obama, over 3 million illegal immigrants were deported during his presidential term. This is significantly larger than Donald Trump. Although Obama has deported significantly more immigrants than Trump, Trump is most hated by the public due to his racist public comments, and critical behavior against other races trying to populate the United States.

The American Dream was created to emphasize the opportunities possible in the United States for anyone living in it. However, what happens when the financial, educational and employment opportunities aren't equal for everyone? In that case, does the American Dream still exists, and if it does who is truly taking advantage of it? The truth is that when it comes to opportunities like education and employment, it is much more of a struggle to have fair access to these things. Although racism has been frowned upon by society for many years, just recently society has found it acceptable to publicly portray these values and beliefs do the shift in our presidency. Discrimination against immigrants in the U.S has become unfortunetley common in our society. In the article Racism and Discrimination in the US it states, “Although the United States has come a long way since the days of slavery, and huge steps were made towards granting equal rights on the basis of race in the 1960s, racism is still a very pressing problem in the US today. Sometimes it is blatant and open, but often it can be more subtle, or even built into the system, as seen by racial profiling by law enforcement officers and other government officials, and the near impossibility for some groups...” Therefore, although the US has significantly progressed since the days of slavery, racism is still pretty much present in modern day USA and now more than ever before seen out in the open, as opposed to behind closed doors.

The working class within the U.S, are usually labeled as those without higher education, and low income. They compose small but significant number of the American social class stricture. According to the article The Class Structure in the U.S, “...the working class comprises between 30 percent and 35 percent of the population, roughly the same percentage as the lower middle class. Those in the working class are commonly employed in low-skilled occupations, including clerical and retail positions and blue collar or manual labor occupations...Education, for example, can pose an especially intransigent barrier in the United States. Members of the working class commonly have only a high school diploma, although some may have minimal college courses to their credit as well.” Most of the people within this structure are people without a good education which can technically mean that illegal immigrants or immigrant field workers can and most likely fall under this category.

The American Dream and the working class go hand in hand because this means that more of the undocumented students who try to achieve a higher education have the possibilty of leaving the working class and entering the middle class. According to the article These U.S. industries can’t work without illegal immigrants, “About 8 million of them have jobs, making up 5 percent of the U.S. workforce, figures that have remained more or less steady for the past decade.” Most of these agricultural jobs require physical and mental strength. Not biased to say that Americans don’t have these characteristics but when it comes to enduring physical labor, someone with a college degree would not participate in such tedious tasks willingly. The agricultural industry is one of the biggest industries in the United States, most of America’s income is drawn from this industry. In the same article we see that agricute is very reliant on undoucmanted field workers, “Since agriculture is the industry that's most reliant on undocumented workers... the agricultural industry in the United States has been on the decline since 1950. Back then, farming was a family business that employed more than 10 million workers, 77 percent of whom were classified as 'family.' As of 2000 – the latest such data available – only 3 million work on farms, and as noted earlier, an estimated half are undocumented.” Most undocumented immigrants play a huge role in this industry, and make up most of it. The reality is that almost everyone struggles in the US, however the American Mindset allows people to work their way out of it. The determination that comes with this mentality allows people to higher education which gets them out of poverty or this “stage”. Immigrants without higher education will dedicate their lives to field work because it’s one of the easiest ways for people without a proper education to find employment. Parents of children with the possibility of attending college come to America in search for a better life for their children.

When it comes to the opportunities provided in America who takes more advantage of them? Although it is true that some Americans receive government help immigrants that come to the U.S tend to take the most advantage of programs like Welfare, Section 8, EBT, Free Health care. The help received in most occasions is necessary, however some people take this help for granted and take advantage of it even if they might not really need it. This causes people who are pro-wall to disagree with the help being provided to those who claim they need it.

The American Dream no longer exists because the goal now is to live day by day financially. People now would rather live day by day and spend their money even if that means not having anything to eat the next day or not having enough money to pay rent the following month. The determination to move forward and work toward getting out of poverty no longer exists. The only way to accomplish this is by furthering your education and getting a college degree. The American Mindset has altered over time because of the shifts within the American Dream such as government assistance, wealth, legal status and financial stance.

Is the american dream compromised by significant American traits? When it comes to the American Dream who is realy taking advantage of it?

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Reflection on American Mindset: Opinion Essay. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from
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