The American Dream is an elusive, unachievable notion that has been around since the founding of the nation. The idea of working hard and achieving success, the potential to become anything one wants to be, and the capability of moving up the social ladder are all popular characteristics that exemplify this delusion. Although it was once achievable, the American Dream has long since faded away due to the large income gap that exists between the low and high classes resulting in the inability to move up the social ladder and the inequality of education which inhibits the ability of applying to bigger and higher paying jobs. .
The inequality of income is a major cause of the American Dream's deterioration. The American Dream foolishly asserts that the hard work of an individual is all that is required for one's income to increase substantially. However, a person's income in the United states rarely ever sees growth, and wages have increased less than one percent since 2000 (Zuckerman). According to U.S. News, the top 1% earn 23% of the nation's income, and 19 percent of the U.S. population are low wage, earners (Zuckerman). The wealthy show no signs of stopping while the middle and low classes continue to suffer. Low wage earners are still not able to make a proper living. A wage increase has not occurred for many years and leaves families that make less than 30,000 a year facing many economic challenges. Furthermore, in the last 30 years, worker output has gone up by 90%, yet the wages of middle-class families has gone up only 8 percent (Reswan). Despite the increase in hard work by Americans resulting in the productivity growth, the rise in income still hasn't happened. This decrease in mobility is the main reason why the American Dream is dead. No matter how much hard work put in, wages continue to decrease or stay stagnant, showing that the American Dream's promise of upward mobility is forgotten.