theunemploymentchronicles

Is the American Dream Dead?

In American Dream Series on October 11, 2009 at 4:50 pm

My parents are boat-people refugees from Vietnam. After immigrating to America, despite their lack of English speaking skills, they were able to work their way up from the bottom of the social and financial ladder. They did their fair share of work. Amongst other things, my father was a cashier at McDonalds, a grocery clerk, a custodian, and a bellman; my mother — a hotel cleaning maid, a receptionist, and a nurse. Whether they were learning a different language, getting their GED, working menial jobs, or raising a family, they somehow managed to make it work. After 10 plus years of studying, training, and working my mother received a full ride to nursing school, my parents were able to get off of welfare support, and they were able to send their children to college.

Today, they have a nice house, two dogs, two educated daughters, and some savings for retirement. If I recall the standard definition of the American Dream: house with a white picket fence with kids and dogs running around in the yard –- they achieved it. Who could ask for more than secure finances and a healthy and successful family?

What a shock it was four years ago when I worked with the LA Catholic Worker to discover that the American Dream has officially died in many people’s eyes.

Click Here to read on ….

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