The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The American Harsh Reality

Editor+in+chief+Brian+Donovan+%28The+DVC+Inquirer%29
Editor in chief Brian Donovan (The DVC Inquirer)

Ah…the American Dream. What is that anyway?

Well, according to the Library of Congress, which cites James Truslow Adams, the American Dream is “that 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.”

So how well are we doing achieving that dream?

First off, it is kind of hard for one in six Americans to live that dream when they are depending on food stamps to eat. But I think it is even more difficult if a third of Americans work for Wal-Mart wages according to U.S. government estimates. 

A member of the National Writers Union, Jack Rasmus, wrote that the average hourly wage back in 1979 was equal to $15.91/hour. By the end of the Reagan administration in 1989, it went up to only $16.63/hour. Good job Mr. Reagan. Workers gained 7 cents per year on average when you were president.

It even gets better. In 1988 the average income was $33,400 annually. In 2008, the average actually decreased to $33,000 annually according to CNN.

While wages have remained stagnate for over 30 years, inflation has run rampant. According to the U.S. inflation calculator, what would cost $1 in 1979 now costs $3.14, which is a 213.6 percent increase.

What about college then? The Huffington Post reported that college graduates and advanced degree holders are as vulnerable as high school dropout to long-term joblessness. Didn’t there used to be a time when a high school graduate could afford to raise a family? 

Hate to burst fantasy bubbles, but George Carlin put it best: “The owners of this country know the truth: It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

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About the Contributor
Brian Donovan
Brian Donovan, Editor-in-chief
Editor-in-chief, spring 2012. Staff member, spring and fall 2011.

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The American Harsh Reality