The American Dream – the idea that America is a land of opportunity – is virtually dead. America is not so much a land of promise anymore, and a huge share of the population feels at least a little disappointed.
The country faces a serious problem of economic inequality. The gap between the poorest of the poor who sleep on the streets and the wealthiest of the wealthy, has been growing so fast in the past two decades. The wealthiest 5% of people in the United States have more wealth than the rest of the country. The four richest men in America – Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg – probably have enough wealth to feed the entire country for more than a year! And while there are many thousands of poor homeless people, one man, Bill Gates is now paying off some of his country’s debts.
On the other hand, the wealth held by majority of the country is a pale shadow compared with what is owned by those at the very top. The bottom 50% owns just about 1% of the national wealth. And every year, the gap gets wider, with the people at the top getting majority of the wealth which is created. One reason of course, is that the rich spend more on better education.
It would seem farfetched, and yet in America, there are now many old people who’re supposed to be on pension, hopping from one low wage job to another, just to make a living. There are thousands of people who don’t have any savings and who will struggle to raise $500 for an urgent emergency. And there are part-time university lecturers (adjunct professors) who don’t own a house and who are barely managing, living on their salary from month to month. In 2017, one of them revealed to a journalist that she had now turned to part-time sex work to support herself!
Although some people are making it big, it’s that bad in America now for a huge section of the population.
So would it be wise to go to the US as an economic migrant looking for greener pastures? Maybe not. Not if you don’t have a solid plan to integrate yourself at a comfortable place in the economy. If you’re going there with virtually nothing, hoping to prosper, you’re a big dreamer who could get a rude awakening there.
There’s little doubt now that if you can’t make it in your country, you probably don’t stand much of a chance in America. The American Dream is gone.