How Has The American Dream Evolved?

[ 0 ] July 4, 2014 |

The United States is made up of – and was built by – people that came to this country looking for the ‘American Dream’ – a fresh start and a new life. But many people were disillusioned by the idea of the American Dream; it was widely believed that prosperity would just be handed to them on a silver platter. That never was the case – nor has it become – that way over time.

To achieve the American Dream, one has to work hard and stay determined. Everyone’s dreams are different and so, too, are the paths that lead to them.

WATCH as Zoë Eliot Baird, a lawyer and president of the Markle Foundation, talks to genConnect at the Aspen Ideas Festival about the American Dream and how it has transformed over time:

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“The American Dream used to mean that if you worked hard and played by the rules, you could be successful and your kids would be better off than you are,” Baird explains. However, today there are so many components that  lead to success and even more that lead to failure that the American Dream is hard to grasp. “So many people are unsure of what their paths are, everything has changed,” she says.

There are many factors that contribute to the new American Dream, Baird continues: Rising prices, extensive qualifications and tough competition for jobs, as well as the need for higher level education.

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American_Dream_Just_add_money-1024x727“We’ve got to take the very forces that are causing the problem – the forces of globalization and technology – and we have got to make the our friend,” says Baird.

Online training and education is a new concept that can help many full-time workers excel to greater a potential without having to quit their current job. It takes hard work and effort, Baird stresses, but the American Dream was never as easy to obtain as it always seemed.

Follow all of the wisdom from the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival on Twitter @AspenIdeas #AspenIdeas, and genConnect on Facebook and Twitter 

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Category: Aspen Ideas Festival 2014

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About Zoe Eliot Baird: Zoë Baird joined the Markle Foundation as its president in 1998, after a diverse career as a prominent lawyer and public policy expert. At the start of her tenure, as the Internet was poised to [...]
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