Low Income Jobs Used To Begin The American Dream Essay Samples
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Thesis: Low-income jobs no longer represent the American dream, but rather a relic of America’s past that no longer exists.
They do not now
This is due in part to:
Low-income jobs used to provide opportunities
Now they do not
Overqualified people are stuck in them.
They are paying off student loans, further separating them from the American dream.
Low-income jobs in a recession equal no advancement for the individual or their family.
Age of entitlement
Young people think they are owed success.
They do not want to work for it.
They look down on low-income jobs.
They’re American dream is fame, or stumbling into success without really understanding how they got there.
Low-income jobs no longer equal the American dream
They did once, but they longer mean what they once did.
Moreover, people do not view them as the stepping stone they once did.
The American dream has changed over time, and low-income jobs are no longer a part of it.
The American Dream: An Elevator to the Bottom
America: once the country of dreams, it is now sometimes seen as a country in shambles. Recession is a harsh mistress and it has taken no prisoners. There was a time, long ago, when immigrants came to America in droves, looking for a new life. They wanted a better future for themselves and their families. It did not matter if they started at the bottom, beginning their work with a low-income job, because they knew even a low-income job meant something better than what they left behind. What was more, they knew it paved the way for something better for their children, and their children’s children. Low-income jobs were once thought to lay the groundwork for the American dream; they were seen as a stepping-stone. However, with the country still hit hard by the recession and a country full of entitled brats, these jobs are now looked down upon. Low-income jobs no longer represent the American dream, but rather a relic of America’s past that no longer exists.
When the recession affected America, it left few untouched. Many who believed they had achieved the untarnished American dream went bankrupt overnight, and have yet to reclaim what was taken from them. According to Charley Stone and associates’, “Chasing the American Dream: Recent College Graduates and the Great Recession, Work Trends,” typically only those in the 1% were left untouched by the financial crisis . A part of the American dream today is the right to a higher education, which often affords one the opportunity to more gainful employment. This is often akin to what is now the American dream, but, since the recession, there are fewer jobs available for committed, worthy college graduates who are ready to work . What is more, the price of college has inflated in the last sixty years by 105%. Few can cover these costs through scholarships and fewer can pay for them out of pocket. College educated individuals are leaving school with crippling debt but, thanks to the recession, the job market has collapsed, leaving them educated, but in debt, and often working in low income jobs they are over-qualified for. Unless one’s idea of the American dream is being qualified to teach mathematics, while working at a local Safeway, things have definitely changed. In many cases, they are the low-income jobs that helped them get through school. Because the job market has collapsed, and shows only weak signs of life, it is difficult to say with confidence that these jobs still lead to the American dream because, unfortunately, there are few higher paying jobs they lead to anymore.
In the event that low-income jobs began to lead to high paying jobs, pay raises, promotions, or opportunities for one’s offspring as they used to, it would be prudent to say that today’s generation would take full advantage of these opportunities. As stated in Robert J. Samuelsen’s, “The Good Life and Its Discontents: The American Dream in the Age of Entitlement,” we live in an era where the American dream has shifted from working for what you have, to being handed what you have simply because you deserve it . Why do people deserve to be handed anything, least of all the American dream, in the age of entitlement? Simply for being here, for being born, because they asked; any answer will do just as long as they are not given any excuses for a hold up. Today’s generation does not want any hold ups when it comes to their assumed success, and they do not want to work for it either. Today, you are either famous, or you are nothing; there is no in between . It appears fame has become the new American dream. Essentially, few want to work for what they have anymore. Many hear a handful of stories about business tycoons, successful CEOs or rich, talented divas traveling the world and entertaining the masses and think, “Why not me?”
However, today’s generation misses a crucial step in between, “Why not me?” and successful business tycoon called, “hard work.” Many in the age of entitlement fail to realize hard work is a key ingredient to success, as well as the ingredient to the American dream. Furthermore, they do not understand that in many, if not all, cases, starting at the bottom is often what an individual must do in order to make it to the top. One cannot simply walk into a business meeting, proclaim themselves the boss, and be paid a top dollar salary. Children, teen, and adolescents, the primary caretakers of the age of entitlement, never understand this. Even if the country were not in the middle of a financial collapse and low-income jobs allowed one to build a solid life, entitled brats would likely consider these positions below their stations and wait for a managerial post to open up.
In sum, the American dream existed once in a pure form, unsullied by entitlement and fame. It began with the population, locally and globally, coming together to work low-income jobs in the hopes of building something better for themselves and their families. However, as time has gone on, that dream has changed, and may even have been destroyed. The recession has made the promise of better jobs or higher wages after a low-income job improbable, and even impossible. Even individuals who invest in education to get ahead are left behind thanks to high interest student loans. Moreover, the age of entitlement has left the country full of mewling quims, whining about being handed their higher lot in life. They do not want to work their way up from the bottom, assuming low-income jobs gave them a choice any longer. Regrettably, it appears the American dream no longer starts simply, with a low-income job and a song in one’s heart. It is a much more difficult struggle than that now.
Samuelsen, Robert J. The Good Life and Its Discontents: The American Dream in the Age of Entitlement. New York City: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2011. Book.
Stone, Charley, Carl Van Horn and Cliff Zukin. "Chasing the American Dream: Recent College Graduates and the Great Recession. Work Trends." Work Trends (2012): 66-68. Article.
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