On the history of the American Dream, and how it stands in the U.S. today:
The government’s verdict: ‘It is more difficult now than in the past for many people to achieve middle-class status because prices for certain key goods — health care, college and housing — have gone up faster than income.’ Median household income has also remained stagnant for more than a decade; when the figures are adjusted for inflation, Americans are making less now than they were when Bill Clinton was in the White House.
There, in brief, is the crisis of our time. The American Dream may be slipping away. We have overcome such challenges before. To recover the Dream requires knowing where it came from, how it lasted so long and why it matters so much. Emerson once remarked that there is properly no history, only biography. This is the biography of an idea, one that made America great. Whether that idea has much of a future is the question facing Americans now.