Over the last few years, the American Dream has taken a potential PR hit. The term was originally coined by writer and historian James Truslow Adams in 1931 to reflect the ethos of a nation founded on freedom of expression, however, ask an average American today what the American Dream means to them and you might be met with an onslaught of cynicism.1
Maybe that’s understandable given what we’ve been through as a nation in the past two years. Many people are stressed, scared, and isolated; many feel unable to achieve the promise of a white picket fence coveted by their parents and grandparents.
But the beauty of the American Dream is that it has always been a concept defined by one’s own passions and self-determination – it is, in essence, limitless. While things may feel especially dire today, taking a hard look at where we are, and where we’ve been, we assert that the American Dream is far from dead.
For many, the American Dream means freedom – freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom to be whomever we want to be. Once received, that freedom can create the free market: entrepreneurs can have opportunities to establish new companies, innovate solutions to problems, and generate a prosperous life. While an impossible concept for some people around the world, being “self-made” in the United States is a possibility. Many of us know someone – a relative, friend, or business partner – who came from nothing and created a life of abundance.
The American Dream is open to interpretation, limited only by the confines of our imaginations. Throughout the history of our country, innovators and entrepreneurs have created their own American Dreams and found ways to make them a reality. “The only thing that means something is great is by doing something about it. It doesn’t mean anything if you don’t do anything.” Mark Matson states.
What would modern society look like if the Wright brothers had never dreamed of flight and had the freedom to fail repeatedly until they got it right? Where would we be without the ideas and innovations of great Americans like Thomas Edison, Martin Luther King Jr., Alexander Graham Bell, or Katherine Johnson? These Americans were able to change the world because they defined, believed in, and pursued their unique versions of the American Dream, and worked to bring their dreams to life for the benefit of all.
The American Dream is why many people from all over the world can hope to start a new life here. We have the opportunity for innovation and creativity; a powerful engine for entrepreneurship. Without the American Dream, the dream of freedom may not have spread globally the way it has over the last century, likely inspiring other nations to follow our model and giving their people the ability to share in the dream. Consider that, for the first time in human history, most of the world’s countries are democracies.2 One thing remains true for Mark and the American Dream, “To create the American Dream, it must be shared.”
The American Dream is for everyone.
At Matson Money, we believe that the American Dream is not just for people in America, but it should be a global phenomenon and that the ideals of the American Dream can not only heal but unite us. We want to help make people’s lives better, and for anyone and everyone to have the opportunity to recapture, reclaim, and realize their American Dream (while eliminating anything that can detract from this, such as speculating and gambling with their money). We can all come together as ONE and accomplish extraordinary things.
To learn more about Matson Money’s American Dream Experience, a 2-day educational event on purpose and investing, click here.
This content is not to be considered investment advice and is not to be relied upon as the basis for entering into any transaction or advisory relationship or making any investment decision. This content is based on the views of Matson Money, Inc. This content includes the opinions, beliefs, or viewpoints of Matson Money and its Co-Advisors. Other financial organizations may analyze investments and take a different approach to investing than that of Matson Money. All investing involves risks and costs. No investment strategy (including asset allocation and diversification strategies) can ensure peace of mind, guarantee profit, or protect against loss.
1. Wills, Matthew. James Trulow Adams: Dreaming Up The American Dream. JSTOR Daily. May 18, 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2022 from https://daily.jstor.org/james-truslow-adams-dreaming-american-dream/
2. Desilver, Drew. Despite global concerns about democracy, more than half of countries are democratic. Pew Research Center. May 14, 2019. Retrieved 6 July 2022 from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/05/14/more-than-half-of-countries-are-democratic/.