Sunday, February 20, 2005

Americans' and the American Dream

This interesting article was written in August, 2004. Does this article still hold true today?

by Jeremy Rifkin

In a partisan America, where virtually every value has become fair game for criticism and controversy, there is one value that remains sacrosanct: the American Dream -- the idea that anyone, regardless of the circumstances to which they're born, can make of their lives as they choose, by dint of diligence, determination and hard work. The American Dream unites Americans across ethnic and class divides and gives shared purpose and direction to the American way of life.

The problem is, one-third of all Americans, according to a recent U.S. national survey, no longer believe in the American Dream. Some have lost faith because they worked hard all their lives only to find hardship and despair at the end of the line. Others question the very dream itself, arguing that its underlying tenets have become less relevant in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. For the first time, the American Dream no longer serves as the rallying point for everyone in America.

A new European Dream, meanwhile, is beginning to capture the world's imagination. That dream has now been codified in the form of a draft European constitution, and Europeans are currently debating whether to ratify its contents and accept its underlying values as the core values of a new Europe. Europe's vision of the future may have greater resonance -- a kind of grand reversal, if you will, of what occurred 200 years ago when millions of Europeans looked to America in search of a new vision.

Twenty-five nations, representing 455 million people, have joined together to create a "United States" of Europe. Like the United States of America, this vast political entity has its own empowering myth. Although still in its adolescence, the European Dream is the first transnational vision, one far better suited to the next stage in the human journey. Europeans are beginning to adopt a new global consciousness that extends beyond, and below, the borders of their nation-states, deeply embedding them in an increasingly interconnected world.

Americans are used to thinking of their country as the most successful on Earth. That's no longer the case: The European Union has grown to become the third-largest governing institution in the world. Though its land mass is half the size of the continental United States, its $10.5-trillion (U.S.) gross domestic product now eclipses the U.S. GDP, making it the world's largest economy. The EU is already the world's leading exporter and largest internal trading market. Sixty-one of the 140 biggest companies on the Global Fortune 500 rankings are European; only 50 are U.S. companies.

For full story, click here: American Dream

6 Comments:

Anonymous BlogCruiser said...

A very good story that most Americans I really think don't want to see or believe. However, the facts are the facts and we can't change them by words alone.

1:02 PM  
Blogger ManicBlu said...

How can one believe in the American dream when they can't get a decent job, pay the bills, afford to see the doctor or put there children through school? There are a few that manage to market themselves or get a good con going enough to climb out of the cardboard box. They are the minority. The American dream is just that...a dream.

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