“American Dream”



Rebekah Choi, Staff Writer

The U.S. is one of the most developed countries in the world today, and it continues to develop technologically and economically. According to Forbes, the U.S. is currently ranked as one of the richest countries in the world, ranked seventh richest. In the U.S., unemployment in the country has greatly decreased in the last couple of years. Despite such improvements, the gap in income inequality continues to grow. Low-income households in the U.S. struggle to avoid living on a financial brink, and as the gap in income inequality grows, the increase in financial struggles is inevitable. Thus, Americans are left to fight for their lives and the lives of their children. Some Americans use food stamps in order to save money, while others conclude they cannot afford to even live in a home.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the national estimate for homelessness in 2017 stood at a whopping 500,000 people. The income inequality damaged families and considerably disproved the so-called “American Dream.” In order to afford the cost of an average apartment in the U.S., the homeowner must earn at least $16.35 hourly which is more than double the federal minimum wage. Then the question arises: How are employed Americans supposed to place a roof over their heads? On the other hand, many unemployed Americans are battling with health issues that prevent them from living an ideal life making money to support themselves. Others are struggling with addiction and mental illness that isolate them from society. With their lives at stake and their struggles having a tenacious grip on them, many Americans on the streets have been left to fight to live.

The lives at stake could very much be the lives of our beloved friends, family member, or the neighbor across the street. In certain parts of the country that get particularly cold during the winter months, such as the city of Chicago, the homeless there are subject to endure the harsh winter season without the warmth and protection of a home. It is crucial to consider the circumstances that such Americans have come from or the catastrophes they have experienced. Despite the federal government’s efforts to provide homeless shelters and housing for the homeless, their efforts have fallen short. Many shelters are overcrowded while other times it seems the government ignores the number of new homeless Americans every single day. Homeless Americans are fighting for their lives on the streets, defending themselves from all sorts of hazards in a public space, struggling to find food to eat, and living in great despair. This is not the “American dream” we’re promised.