Thursday, January 31, 2013

Anybody Can Make It In America If They Just Work Hard Enough...Right?

The questions above touches on one of the most fundamental principles relating to America:  opportunity.  Many Americans, and just about every politician out there, pride themselves on the idea that America is the land of opportunity.  And for some, that statement is 100% accurate.  However, that doesn't seem to be the case for everybody.  I think most Americans are probably ok with notion that the American Dream (ie. opportunity) does not happen for every single person in America just so long as it happens for most Americans -- especially the ones who try hard.  But is it still true for most of us?  Even if we try hard?

A few years back we did a post on the fallacy of the American Dream which answered these questions in the negative.  It seems we are not alone in our observation.  A group has recently put out a documentary on this topic which just so happens to take place in my fair town of New York City.  The documentary, entitled "Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream?" asks a powerful question in its introduction:   In today's America, what are the chances that somebody who starts their life on this Park Avenue [in the South Bronx] will end up living on this Park Avenue [on the Upper East Side of Manhattan]?

Admittedly the documentary is a little long (about an hour) but just watch the first 2 minutes and 45 seconds to get the gist of it:

1. Does our country allow most people born into poverty the opportunity to get out of poverty?
2 .Is "Hard Work" enough?
3. If not, then why do we repeatedly say that it is?
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