(1) Education - Part of the American Dream is the opportunity for you and your children to receive a quality education, starting with the public elementary education, quality high school, and high level colleges and universities. Education is affordable and accessible to all.
(2) Employment - Part of the American Dream is the opportunity for secure employment with respectable living pay. Hard work, loyalty, and innovation are rewarded with respectable pay and job security. Long term employment is a real and achievable goal. A retirement with respect is attainable with hard work and loyalty. Small business ownership is attainable and a goal of the business community.
(3) Home Ownership - Part of the American Dream is the opportunity to afford an appropriately sized home. This is to both keep a permanent roof over your head, but also to have a permanent stake in this society. Not just for yourself, but for your children and grandchildren. It doesn't have to be an extravagant home by any stretch, but a permanent one that you can keep with security and get with financial responsibility.
(4) Health - Part of the American Dream is health and its many forms. Its the personal health of your family. Its health safety in the workplace. Having a safe, clean hospital in your community or city. It means access to health in all its shapes and forms, including access to a doctor. It also means clean air, food, and water.
(5) Freedom - Part of the American Dream for many outside of this country is the freedoms we offer. It involves being able to speak your mind without fear of repercussion, including from the government. It means being able to protest and assemble without fear for your own safety. Its the freedom to practice your own religion safely and without fear. It is the freedom to participate in the political system without fear for your own safety or even fear of losing your vote.
My parents immigrated to this country for most of if not all of the above reasons. My own experience and their experiences lead me to believe that those are what the American Dream consists of. They lived it. They succeeded within the framework of the American Dream. They left their home country for a better life and got it.
My father got higher education and started his own small business which is still open over thirty years later.
My parents saved up money and own their own home.
They sent all three children to affordable colleges.
They had access to insurance and hospitals when they got ill and when my mother had to give birth to my siblings and I.
They worked hard to become naturalized American citizens and exercise their right to vote in every election, not just presidential ones.
They believe their children can live within this framework. They believe that their children can still achieve their dreams within this framework. They believe that the American Dream is alive for the society of the United States. They are "minorities" (Jewish).
I am seeing cracks in their thinking.
They think its atrocious that not everybody has access to health care, even the poor.
They think its a shame the college education has become financially unattainable for so many compared to when they got their degrees.
They think that attacks on retirement, social security, and medicare are appalling.
They still worry about practicing their religion openly with representatives and presidential politicians speaking about the United States as a Christian Country.
Even they, the responsible homeowners who only bought within their means and extremely carefully, are beginning to wonder how it is that so many people are being foreclosed by Wall St. and the Banks.
My mother typically votes Republican, my father typically votes Democrat. They are registered independents.
If they are having doubts, if there are chinks in the armor, what are people outside the country thinking? What are potential immigrants thinking?
Why should they consider moving to the United States and not elsewhere? What do potential immigrants have left as reasons to move to this country anymore?
It seems that all of the aspects of the American Dream are under attack, being destroyed, or are close to being dead. This comes from the super wealthy and corporate interests, who have no interest in watching the American Dream survive, for that comes at the expense of their own wealth. And if you are a foreigner who is considering starting a new life in the United States, this is a frightening prospect.
So I wonder, from children of immigrants and children of non-immigrants, why would people want to move to the United States?
"The owners of this country know the truth. Its called the American Dream, cause you have to be asleep to believe it." - George Carlin