« Do the Math: Elizabeth Kolbert on High School Sports and Academics | Main | Brainy Scarecrow: Elizabeth Weiss on Chipotle’s New Spokestoon »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Dmitriy Klyagin
English 205
Professor Safdie
July 21, 2014
Are we slipping?
1. Fortunately, the author and co-authors did not provide their own opinions. This careful piece of writing of different perspectives of view on the issue allows it to be transparent and unbiased.
2. I don't believe that the selection of interviewees was inconsistent but the complete opposite. This careful selection allows it to show different sides of the issue regarding the American Dream. It allows the reader to become engaged with the writing by relating with one of the sides. However, I do feel there were more negatives than positives regarding the economy in the article. This is mostly due to the fact that negatives were presented with concrete statistics and comparisons while the positives were mostly presented with the use of positive interviews.
3. The author provides several key important statistics and comparisons. However, I found this to be the closest representation of a summary on the issue;
"Washington gets the most blame in the poll for the lack of good-paying jobs. Nearly seven in 10 people cite political gridlock as a top culprit, followed by competition from cheap overseas labor. More than half say the Democratic and Republican parties as well as President Obama are not offering effective solutions to help the middle class.
Democrats are more likely than Republicans to pin the blame on high executive pay, Wall Street and corporations not investing enough. Republicans are more likely to cite high business taxes and regulations, the cost of health care and American workers themselves." (Morello)
Washington is at fault and it has been proven time and time again regarding their policies. The divide is too sharp between the democrats and republicans on issues that concern all the people of America. Instead of compromising and moving forward, nothing gets done. I feel that the author and the co-authors provided a good amount of statistics and interviews in order for the reader to form their own opinion. Nothing has been left out or missing and nothing needs to be removed or changed. The article is for the lack of a better word; raw. It provides statistics, polls, interviews, and comparisons. The rest is on the reader.
After reviewing both of essays, "More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American Dream” by Carol Morello, Peyton M. Craighill and Scott Clement and "The Hourglass Society" by Stewart Lansley, I must say that I do not enjoy thinking about this issue. I have studied politics since I was a teenager and since then I came to a conclusion. America has a very bright, gorgeous, and hot flame. However, this flame is bright, gorgeous, and hot because it burns faster and uses more fuel. In other words, America hasn't paced itself with the economy properly unlike the nations of Europe that have withstood time. America can still be considered new and fresh country that hasn't experienced the same trials as other nations. The government hasn't played their hand slowly and effectively but rather rashly and unpredictably.
While I do see a possibility of redemption in our economic prosperity, I believe it will be short lived. There needs to be way too many radical ideas implemented concerning the wages, medicare coverage, social security, and taxes, to have a long sustaining future. Right now, we are on a very thin gray line that people choose to overlook in hopes of believing that the recession is over. It's not and won't be while we have a seventeen trillion dollar debt.
As for myself, I will continue to strive towards a better future for myself and my family. I believe that hard work and perseverance can go a long way towards success. However, even while striving, I am continuously reminded that there are, with each semester of school, more educated people without jobs. Will I make it in time before there is too much competition in order to achieve my American Dream?

Works Cited
Morello, Carol, Peyton M. Craighill, and Scott Clement. "More People Express Uncertainty in Chance to Achieve the American Dream." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 21 July 2014. .

Juliann Fritz

2. In the first few paragraphs, Morello and co-authors are painting a bleak portrait. Yet some of their interviewees present more hopeful views. What does the inconsistency contribute to the article as a whole? How do the authors balance these opposing pictures? Do they do so effectively? Why or why not?

2.) I think the inconsistency helps the article rather then hurt it. The opposing viewpoints on the American Dream show that their are different experiences going on in this country right now. The author presents these opposing pictures by including examples of different experiences. I think this is effective because it supports the claim that the american dream is starting to become less attainable, or easily taken away. This is balanced with people in the article who have a more hopeful view, people who think they may be able to rise above the faltering American Dream. Isn't that what the american dream should be about? Making it through hard times and coming out a better and stronger person? Maybe it needs to be defined differently these days.

3.)The authors offer several types of evidence about the current state of the American Dream. Which piece of evidence is most persuasive to you and why? Did any of the evidence seem unnecessary? Was any important evidence missing? Please explain.

The most persuasive piece of evidence are the statistics presented. They represented a factual example of the fear that many americans are feeling right now. "More than six in 10 workers worry they will lose their jobs because of the economy"(Morello). The statistics are supported with actual example of people struggling in today's economy. This gives a face to all doubt felt about the American Dream. The most personable was the example of Mary Edwards, the former stay at home mom who had to return to the workforce after her husband was laid off.
" 'My dream has gone out the window,” said Edwards, 56, a former stay-at-home mom who reentered the workforce doing inventory at a firm near her home in Martinsburg, W.Va"(Morello). Using that quote from Edwards further supports the authors claim. I do not believe any evidence in the article was unnecessary.

Work Cited:
Morello, Carol. Clement, Scott and Craighill, Peyton M. "More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American Dream." The Washington Post. 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 July 2014.

Xuan Ta

Xuan Ta
English 205
Professor Joseph Safdie
Respond to question 2
I believe that the inconsistency does not make any mistake, but helps the article pull the attention of many readers. The opposing viewpoints on the American dream are carefully selected and help to show many different sides of the issue. Besides, these different sides will allow readers to connect with the article wherever they find themselves relate to one of any sides here. The inconsistency is very effective. It helps support the authors’ claim that the American dream is not easy to achieve. On the other hand, to balance these opposing pictures, the authors also use the hopeful views of people who think they can move forward and achieve the American dream.

Respond to question 3
The authors offer several types of evidence about the current state of the American Dream. I believe that all evidences in the article support the author’s claim really well and they are all necessary. Many important or key evidences are provided here. However, the most persuasive piece of evidence in the article is the statistics which said “six in 10 workers worry they will lose their jobs because of the economy” (Morello). It shows the uncertainty of the American dream really clear.
Beside, using personal quotes is also persuasive. For example, using a quote of Jim Betterwick which said “I’m not sure if I can retire at 66; I think I might have to work a lot longer” (Morello), or another quote of Mary Edwards which said “My dream has gone out the window” (Morello) further supports the authors claim.

My feelings about the “American Dream”
After reading two essays, “More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American dream” by Carol Morello, Peyton Craighill, and Scott Clement, and “The hourglass society” by Steward Landley, I feel so painful. I am sure many people have had a truly rough time. Is the “American dream” still alive? Well, it is not an easy question to answer, especially in this current times when full of uncertainty in our work and our lives.
The “American Dream” makes me recall to our own story. When my husband family moved from Vietnam to America in 1985, they had nothing more than their old clothes and about 50 dollars. When my husband asked his dad why he brought the whole family here, he always answered, “for a better opportunity”. Over the years as my husband grew up, serving as a waiter in a Chinese restaurant, delivering newspaper in a small town, he thought there was the formula for success and happiness in America. As he grew up and moved into his career, he worked even harder. He felt happy in his life. But then things changed, especially since 2008. He found himself stuck. He tried to figure out what happened to the American dream which his family came looking for not too long ago.
Well, whether in Vietnam, America, or any nation in the world, life is not linear. My husband had not gotten here in a straight line and he was not going to move forward in a straight line. There are no guarantees in America, only better chances. I and my husband recognize that while many people may have lost “American Dream”, it still remains in our family. It is because, in American, we have choices and chances which we did not have in Vietnam. I believe the “American Dream” is still alive in each of us who wish to move forward and try to build a better America.

Work Cited
Morello, Carol. Clement, Scott and Craighill, Peyton M. “More People Express Uncertainty in Chance to Achieve the American Dream.” Washington Post. The Washington Post. 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 July 2014.

Jerrodo Butler

The bleak versus hopeful concept can be seen as a coexisting relationship. I believe that although there are views of the economy that are negative, there has to be hope for the future, especially from those of a younger generation, in order to maintain a positive outlook on our society's future. This difference in thought contributes reasons for readers to come to their own conclusion about their financial future; instead of having one side of a very complex issue. I think they do an effective job of balancing both aspects of the subject, although, I think it would have been even more though-provoking if the set-up of the article placed a negative story, followed by a positive story, and so on. Even though there was a "dash" of optimism, the article stills ends up saying, "But for all the optimism of youth, nearly one in six Americans younger than 30 do not believe they will pull ahead financially in the near future" (Morello). But I say that even though times look disastrous in the future, the best step anyone can do is to educate themselves on what is happening, and take further steps to mitigate what could happen to them financially. Every situation is different, but I refuse to believe that this article is tells the entire story of our future.

The evidence given concerning the American Dream is only as valuable as the time period it covers. Yes; if you asked someone about homeownership 50 or even 25 years ago, they would have said that "owning a home is a cornerstone of the American Dream" (Morello). But I do not believe you can compare the world of 2000s to the world or the 1950's - 80's. Our world is constantly changing, and you either have to change with it, or influence its change in a positive direction. Either way, the concept of financial success is different now. Homeownership, today, is not always the best choice for people; as it may have been decades ago.

Work Cited
Morello, Carol. Clement, Scott and Craighill, Peyton M. “More People Express Uncertainty in Chance to Achieve the American Dream.” Washington Post. The Washington Post. 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 25 July 2014.


The American Dream
1) Morello and co-authors present divergent views on the current state of the American Dream. What is their own view? Where and how is it expressed most clearly?

In the first few paragraphs, Morello and co-authors begin with is a dystopian view of how we as Americans view the current "American Dream." I believe they agree with the majority of the individuals surveyed based on whom they chose to quote throughout their article. There was one voice describing trust in the American Dream, as he will make more than his farmer father. In the first paragraph when referencing the American Dream elusive, a description that made the authors’ view very apparent

2)In the first few paragraphs, Morello and co-authors are painting a bleak portrait. Yet some of their interviewees present more hopeful views. What does the inconsistency contribute to the article as a whole? How do the authors balance these opposing pictures? Do they do so effectively? Why or why not?

The difference in opinions is using a technique known as planting a naysayer. It is important when creating a point to recognize opposing views otherwise one can sound closed-minded. Including other arguments makes the author look like a broad-minded person who is open to other ideas or is open to debate. Likewise the authors included many views that reinforce their point that the majority of Americans are feeling farther from the American Dream than in the past. Including opposing views can turn off readers as well creating an inconsistency in message but I felt the authors did this effectively. When quoting someone hopeful about the economy the writer returns with a counterpoint: "But for all the optimism of youth, nearly one in six Americans younger than 30 do not believe they will pull ahead financially in the near future."

I personally still believe in the American Dream. But like the others I am more worried each day that the Dream is drifting farther away. I never had dreams to surpass my parents income but did expect to have my children grow up in the middle class environment like I did. I am already a little behind "the dream." I am still unmarried without a family and do not have a bachelors degree. All things my parents had at my age. I do agree with both articles that believe the arguments in Washington are making the inequality in our nation worse not better

Geneva Galban

I don’t think the authors presented their views or opinions but rather other peoples, to be unbiased.
I believe the inconsistency doesn’t hurt the article but benefits it. As for the opposing viewpoints on the American dream, the different accounts shows that each citizen has unique experiences which allows the readers to connect with the claims, therefore; the inconsistency is effective due to the support of the authors’ claims that the American dream is difficult to achieve. The authors balance the opposing picture by presenting view of the people who believe that the dream is obtainable.
The authors provided several types of evidence about the current state of the American dream. The most persuasive evidence us the statitistics that states "more than six in 10 workers worry they will lose their jobs because of the economy"(Morello). This quote allows the readers to understand that the American dream cannot be reached without extremely working hard or cannot be reached at all.
After reading the essays “More People Express Uncertainty in Chance to Achieve the American Dream” by Morello, Craighill, and Clement, and “The Hourglass Society” by Steward Lansley, I felt absolutely blessed that my family is not struggling to pay their bills and is not living paycheck to paycheck like many of the people in this society. I also felt pained by other people’s suffering due to the economy and want to help out in some way so ease their pain. However, even though a many of people in this nation endure loss of money, I still believe there is hope in achieving the American dream but making it is going to be rare.

Vanessa Duenas

Vanessa Duenas
English 205
Joe Safdie
July 27, 2014
The American Dream
2) I think the inconsistency in the article helped it instead of bring it down. By showing different viewpoints, the authors showed that there are different experiences that can happen when trying to achieve the American Dream. The authors balance the opposing pictures by placing more positive view points through the article. Everyone has a different experience when it comes to going after the American Dream and the authors show this by placing both positive and negative experiences in the article. I think by placing different experiences of the opposing pictures shows, that for some, the American Dream isn’t in reaching distance like it used to be years ago. However by the authors placing more positive pictures in the article it shows that the typical look of the American Dream has changed over the years but can still be achieved.

3) I think that all of the evidence that was presented was necessary and help support the article. The most persuasive piece of evidence were the statistics presented for example, “More than six in 10 workers worry they will lose their jobs because of the economy”(Morello). This statistic shows how uncertain many Americans feel about the American Dream in present time. Many of the statistics that were presented were followed by examples of real people who have struggled with the American Dream. An example of this would be from Jim Butterwick, 61, who says, “We’re told almost every day to lower our expectations. I’m not sure if I can retire at 66. I think I might have to work a lot longer”(Morello). Jim Butterwick owned a graphic design company but had close it and ended up becoming a substitute teacher.
I personally still believe in the American Dream but in more of a scene of having a job, no debt, a reliable car, and a happy family. However I do think that the chance of all those things happening can slip away in a minute. I am already beyond parts of the American Dream then my parents were at my age and in some parts behind. I have a job, reliable car, no debt, but I don’t have a family yet like my parents did at my age. With everything that goes on now a days I am still working toward my future every day in hopes that I will one day reach my goals and be able to feel secure and live in the middle class level. There are still people out there that are stuck and don’t know how to move forward and for them, they might not see things the way I do and believe the American Dream as a thing of the past.

Work Cited:
Morello, Carol. Clement, Scott and Craighill, Peyton M. "More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American Dream." The Washington Post. 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 26 July 2014.


The Doubt of the American Dream
2. Within the first few paragraphs of the article, Morello and co-authors reasoning to be bleak, I believe, are to give a counter argument of what his or her hopeful interviewees are portraying for their American Dreams. The author’s inconsistency helps contribute to the article by providing a naysayer’s point of view of the positive and reinforcing view of these people’s American Dream. One way the authors balance these opposing pictures is by providing quotes of both hopeful and less hopeful interviewees, even though their stance on the issue is that most Americans are not as ambitious about obtaining and living the American Dream. When talking about the ongoing struggle of American’s being far out of reach of the American Dream in the subsection “An intensifying struggle”, the authors format the interviews of those struggling along with interviews of interviewees who are hopeful. For example, the authors mention the positive views of young, 19-year-old Mitchell Baker who is hopeful for providing himself a better living standard than of his father’s through hard work and connections through his fraternity. However, before this interview, it is mentioned previously a few paragraphs above how one elderly interviewee wishes to die and leave some estate money for their grandchildren to live on rather than wasting that money on living in a nursing home. From these examples, the author’s balance between the opposing pictures helps give their readers an accurate view of what other American’s believe the American dream is about in both negative and positive aspects.
3. One piece of evidence the author’s mention about the current state of the American Dream that was most persuasive to me is how they mentioned statistics relating to receiving a college education and it’s effects of finding a job in today’s economy:
And while education is still seen as a critical part of getting ahead, the dream of a college degree has lost some of its appeal over three decades. Just over half now say going to college is very much part of the American Dream, down from 68 percent who said this in 1986. More than three-quarters say it has become more difficult to pay for college in the past few years, and over half believe colleges are not doing enough to prepare students to find jobs in today’s economy.
This caught my attention because as a college student myself, I feel that it is true that the appeal of getting a good education has lost value because of how colleges aren’t helping enough to better prepare us for a financially stable future. I feel that colleges are representing the American Dream in a less realistic point of view for college students by telling he or she to be more ambitious and chase our dream job rather than being more blunt to the fact that most student’s dream jobs will most likely not keep them financially stable and also have to work harder for nothing more than to keep a steady lifestyle through struggle. To support my statement, the authors provide a quote from interviewee David Borck who states how he was told in school to work hard to get what you want but end up getting nothing for working:
The American Dream I always was told about in school was you work hard, you study hard and you’ll be able to do whatever you want to do,” he said. “But now you’re given things for doing nothing, and you get nothing for working. (Borck)
I believe that this article had no unnecessary or important evidence missing. They gave a clear view of both positive and negative aspects of the American Dream and by giving multiple examples of both sides through an interview process and statistics helps give reader’s a better understanding of the American Dream among today’s economy

Works Cited
Morello, Carol, Peyton M. Craighill, and Scott Clement. "More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American Dream." The Washington Post. 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 28 July. 2014.

Whitney Adams

1. Morello and co-authors present divergent views on the current state of the American Dream. What is their own view? Where and how is it expressed most clearly?
Morello and the co-authors begin this article by painting a very grim picture of the current American reality. Even though the authors don't directly state their opinions in this article; the quotes and people they chose to interview would suggest they do agree with this idea of uncertainty we face. Their views seem to be most strongly expressed throughout the first few paragraphs; they chose to start the article with data and evidence used to suggest that the economy hasn't improved much since the recession, and to show how this has affected the opinions of many Americans. For example the authors stated, "Many Americans say they have not recovered from the recession of 2007 to 2009, according to the poll of 1,509 adults" (Morello). This is a great way to introduce their subjects who all have heart breaking stories about the recession and how they are still affected. I found both the evidence and the use of ethos throughout this article to subtlety convey the authors opinions.

2. In the first few paragraphs, Morello and co-authors are painting a bleak portrait. Yet some of their interviewees present more hopeful views. What does the inconsistency contribute to the article as a whole? How do the authors balance these opposing pictures? Do they do so effectively? Why or why not?
The inconsistency between their interviewees' opinions, was used to present a different demographics opinion on the same topic. If you notice all of these optimistic views are given by people under the age of 30 and many of them were college students. I think this inconsistency helps create dimension in the article and offers another viewpoint on the subject. However, I don't feel that the authors balanced these two opposing ideas. The negative responses were backed up with statistical evidence showing that the economy was still affecting Americans. Where as the data shown with the more optimistic comments only showed that many people under the age of 30 were in agreement about their fate; because of these imbalances I feel that they did not show these ideas effectively. They were effective in showing that even despite some opinions, the American dream is becoming harder to reach.

Works Cited
Morello, Carol, Peyton M. Craighill, and Scott Clement. "More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American Dream." The Washington Post. 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 28 July. 2014.

Rosa Pamer

In discussions of the American dream, a controversial issue is whether it is still the same or has the definition changed for many Americans. While some argue that it is still the same and can be achieved, others contend that it is hard to achieve it this day in age.
If I had been one of the interviewers, I believe the first question would have been, what is your idea of the American Dream? In reading this article it seemed like many Americans had the same idea. I would have to agree with their idea that it consists of a house with a white picket fence and the ability to achieve your goals for financial stability in order to care for your family. This used to be the American Dream, from the responses of the interviewees, I can tell their ideas have changed. Now days, Americans worry about how they will ever be able to achieve the standard of the American Dream. In the article, Ken Reichard states, “The American Dream used to be a white picket fence and a house. Now most people are just happy to make the mortgage.” Reichard explains how the idea of home ownership was the key component to achieving the American Dream and now days, most Americans are barely able to keep up on their mortgage loans. I would agree with Reichard because when I used to work as a bank teller two years ago, I heard many stories about how people were barely able to afford their homes.
Another question that might have been asked was, what worries you about trying to achieve the American Dream today? There seemed to be four areas of concern: financial stability, success at work, losing one’s job due to the economy, and worries for the next generation’s standard of living. Although many Americans are worried about what the future holds, there was one idea that many still believed in. The idea that putting in the hard work will help you be successful. For example, there was a college student that told the story of how this idea had been instilled in him by his parents since he was younger, and he had a bright outlook on his future because of it. In the article, you could gather that young Americans (18-39) still believed in the American Dream as long as you put the hard work in, it’s definitely achievable.

Desire M

These conclusions, which Morello, Craighill, and Clement discuss in the article, add weight to the argument that as years pass and as we get closer to the future, the American dream changes due to state of society and the lessening amount of opportunities. As it is mentioned in the article, people think that if you work hard enough and get a good education, you will have a lot of job opportunities and a bright, stable future. However, that is not the case anymore since job opportunities are dwindling and they are becoming harder to find. The future of the next generation is supposed to be better economically but based on the statistics provided by this article, most people worry that they will not be able to pay the bills or find jobs. The authors state that people, mostly the middle-class, are trying to achieve something that is far less than the American dream and more realistic, yet is is still difficult. Adding to Morello's argument, I would point out that nowadays, people are just working and paying off their bills, or taking care of their family, with the money they earn. People do not even have the chance to try and achieve the American Dream. In order for us to reach this dream and turn it into reality, some things have to change.


The evidence definitely shows that the "American dream" is slowly fading away. People are going to college to find better paying jobs in the field and that is becoming unrealistic. There are little to no jobs left. Jobs are running out and the one you usually end up with after college is the one you are stuck with. People expect to upgrade in their jobs but that is now not necessarily an option. Adding to Morello's argument, I would like to point out that the little money families are making, they are either spending on their student debts or paying off bills they owe for their regular daily needs. Its hard out there these days. Speaking from my beliefs, after I graduate high school, I expect to go off to college and eventually find a decent job out in the field I chose to major in. Looking at all these facts, that may not be as easy as I thought. There are little to no jobs and people are fighting for them. When i get older I want to have kids and be able to afford my life with a house, and be able to take vacations and have the "American dream" life. I still hope and pray that that opportunity will come to me, but the facts are showing it may not be that easy.


From what Morello and the co-authors mentioned in the article, the stereotypical white picket fence "American dream" that everyone wants is sadly becoming unrealistic. In order to get that perfect lifestyle, you would need a job with a good salary, yet people are already struggling to find jobs in today's society. With the amount of debt and bills people have to pay, it's nearly impossible to have financial freedom these days. Adding to what Morello said, it's true that in order to "prove" you're good at something, it's necessary to go to college. After I graduate, I plan on going to college and getting a decent career, and hopefully by that time the financial circumstances improve. I would love to be able to live the "American dream" lifestyle and never be in debt, but with the facts Morello and co-authors stated, that dream is proving to be more difficult than expected.


After reading their article, the reader can clearly see that all three writers; Morello, Craighill, and Clement agree that as the United States is moving towards its future, and as it progresses technologically, the American dream is slowly diminishing. Now, instead of having the American dream being a house surrounded by a white picket fence and family, people are struggling to make ends meet. Although some people may seem to disagree, I agree with the fact that the American Dream is slowly dying, and in order to achieve it many things have to change. People are spending their days more at work than with their families, and the good relationships that people would have had with their families don’t exist anymore. Hopefully when I graduate, this changes and the American dream will be easier to achieve for people, although I continue to have doubts that this will occur.


Morello and her fellow writers of the article make their point clear to us that the American Dream is slowly but surely dying. It is made clear that more and more people today have been struggling financially and not being able to provide for their families. I agree that the American Dream is dying, a point that needs emphasizing since so many people still believe in the American Dream. My view, however, contrary to Morello has argued, is that the reason why it is dying is because we've taken education for granted and no longer apply ourselves the way we should. I take my education as seriously as I can while some ignore the fact that in some places, it is a delicacy or even illegal for kids to get an education. People are lazy and not taking the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. My Grandfather came over to America with nothing to his name. Today he owns a Restaurant and works a managerial position at the Eastern States Exposition. The American Dream is still around, but we are letting it die.


According to all three authors, the American dream is slowly vanishing as we progress towards the future. The American dream was originally owning a house with a white picket fence and so on, but it's getting more and more difficult to achieve that. Relationships aren't as strong, and work takes over our lives. I wholeheartedly endorse what they call the American dream, but I believe that things need to change in order for people to be able to reach that goal.


Morello and the other authors make it easy to see how the majority of Americans (themselves included) think the coveted ‘American Dream’ is fading away. Success is hard to come by now, and there are different ways to it. I completely agree with how people’s definitions of success will change throughout time. As the authors mention, many people are only obsessed with money. So, they go through their whole life with the goal of rising up the economic ladder. However, I disagree with the common person. I can see how the they think money is the most important. It almost guarantees comfort in life, with minimal worries on how they’ll put money on the table or pay their bills. I believe that success is measured in knowledge, because that is what I value most. I wholeheartedly agree with Craighill that “The luster of homeownership, which had been shorthand for the American Dream, is fading”. Homeownership is too basic for the majority of people, since most Americans are middle class. Those from the middle class want to rise to the upper class, because they will be looked upon by those “lower” than them.

Barry Bernard Boy Of Destiny

The article brings forth a problem not addressed aggressively enough by the general populous in our current period. The author sates the American dream isn't dead(yet), but in some kind of bizarre transformation. Hard work doesn't pay off the way it once did. The average Joe can tell you the American dream easily “The American Dream is to have your own house with a white picket fence, a dog running around the back yard and a happy family,” but really, how commonly is that seen anymore? I see the change. The dream is becoming to live without working. The goal is no longer that happy family with the white picket fence, but the parasitic life that so many lead. The author brings to light the critical issues surrounding the economy, job market, and general American mentality and the statements made are all too true.

Mo B

According to both Morello and her co-authors, the American Dream has changed. While it used to simply be a nice home with a safe and secure life, there are now much bigger worries and some people would be happy with just paying their mortgage. I agree with the author's opinions, and that the American Dream is slowly dying as our economy changes. To achieve the American Dream, you need a good income and a steady job, maybe even one where promotions are possible. Unfortunately, this is nearly unattainable these days. In addition to the concern of jobs, everything is very expensive, such as college and mortgage. So much so that many are expected to have late retirements. To conclude, in my opinion, Morello and her co-authors have written an article that speaks the truth to many and warns young adults of the threatening future.


I say that Morello and co-authors include views that are both positive and negative to make the reader think. If they included only one type of view, the reader might get a false idea on what the American Dream is (or what people perceive it to be), because to successfully argue a point you need counterarguments just as much as your main idea. Adding to Morello's argument that the American Dream is changing, I would point out that the people are changing too. This claim is supported by what interviewee Rachel Bryant said, "I am the American Dream. But it’s not what it used to be. It was a lot easier for my mom and dad to get where they are than my generation. I’m scared to death for my children. They say Social Security is going to be running out. I’m worried to death where the country is going". The evidence shows that yes, the American Dream is changing, but as a result of how the people are changing. America is obviously not so white-picket fency anymore.


In their article titled, “More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American Dream”, Morello, Craighill and Clement discuss the varying opinions regarding the country’s economic state, and its effect on the success and ability to live comfortably of the middle class. According to 28 year old Rachel Bryant of Aurora, IL, “The American Dream is to have your own house with a white picket fence, a dog running around the back yard and a happy family.” I would agree, as my “American Dream” involves owning a house of my own, as well as a success in my career and a comfortable lifestyle. A majority of people today believe that the “American Dream” is becoming more “elusive”, or more difficult to achieve and maintain. Recent studies, as cited by the authors of the article show an increasing unease in the 30-70 age group regarding financial state and economic class. However, the same studies conducted on those aged 30 and younger contrast this, showing a surprising sense of positivity regarding their financial state, and hope that their economic status will rise in the future. I have not yet entered the economy as a working citizen, so I find it difficult to state my position on the matter. However, the alarming increase in worry and lack of hope for the country’s future gives me a sense of worry for my future. The authors reference the words of a few parents in their article, who display immense concern for their children’s future in the working class. Their concern, as well as the concern of large numbers of adults makes me unsettled and less excited for the future to come.

Vasya MI

The american dream is defined as a,“dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” Is this dream actually true? Are people achieving the american dream? Do you see Americans with a house, no mortgages, no debt, a degree, and a white picket fence? Instead what i started to see more and more on American faces is fear and stress. Why fear? Morello insists that “Fear of being thrown out of work is greater than it has been in polls taken since the 1970s. More than six in 10 workers worry they will lose their jobs because of the economy. Today’s worries exceed those in 1975”. Another point that Morello addresses is many American that want to retire actually don’t. Why? because in Morello’s discussions with these people they say at one point they had retirement money and lost most of it. The American Dream is starting to slowly shift away from its “old meaning” of success. That ethos still has meaning in the lives of most people, but on the other hand the definition is shifting for many. But many people still have faith and believe in this American dream. And so do I. With hard work and knowledge I think it is a dream that any person, any American willing to Accomplish can Accomplish and will accomplish. I love America even though we have flaws, but our successes and achievements are What defines this great country. Let’s make this American dream live on.


In the article, “More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American Dream”, Morello, Craighill and Clement offer several evidences about the current state of the american dream. They say that the very definition of the American Dream -- atleast for the middle class, has changed. It is not about having a home with a family and a dog. Now it is about paying mortgage successfully. Adding to their argument, I agree that yes, the definition has changed. People are struggling to climb up the economic ladder to a successful life, but I believe that the american dream is different for each person. I think the American Dream is the ability to have enough free time do anything. I do not believe that money is essential for the American Dream. Therefore, I value my education and knowledge I gain from it, as it can help to my American Dream.


I would say that the authors of this article are right about how the decaying idea of the “American dream” is making people and our society feel uncertain about what is ahead. This simplistic idea of having everyone be able to rely on hard work for good opportunities and for everyone to have faith in a brighter future has been killed by the harshness and cruelty of what life is today. The main problem in our society is the lack of jobs and the high price for a decent education found in college. The system is a paradox, since one needs education for a job but the job one gets is mostly paying for the cost of education due to the crippling debt that comes with most student loans. How can one even hope for “a house with a white picket fence” when a person can barely make ends meet, due to how quickly debt can crush the very idea of livelihood? I wholeheartedly endorse what these authors said about the elusive American dream and we both seem to believe that the faith people have for this dream is fading, which puts our society in an uncertain position.

Joanna B

According to both Morello and her co-authors, the "American Dream" which provided many Americans with hope and goals for the future is quickly slipping away. The United States is not what it used to be, and neither is its economy. Common people are not seeing improvement in their lives; in fact most are unhappy. They are constantly burdened with the task of paying the never-ending bills, and working two-three jobs that they have stopped enjoying their lives. The evidence shows that people under the age of thirty are able to keep a better, higher paying job and have more hope for the future than people over thirty. There aren't as many jobs available to citizens as there once was; and the constant fear of being laid off lingers at the back of everyone's mind. It does not help the fact either that there are thousands of people that are damaging the economy because, they would rather receive money for doing absolutely nothing than actually working. I wholeheartedly endorse the idea of the "American Dream" however, I'm not sure if in today's economy it is achievable.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

By signing up you agree to W. W. Norton’s
privacy policy and terms of use.

About They Say / I Blog

  • New readings posted monthly, on the same issues that are covered in “They Say / I Say” with Readings—and with a space where readers can comment, and join the conversation.

Follow us on Twitter to get updates about new posts and more! @NortonWrite

Become a Fan