The State of the American Dream

Editor's Note by Brittney Bain, Editor of The Catalyst

What does the American dream look like today? Can it still be realized?

The American dream in 2021 is complicated.

For some, the idea still harkens back to our country’s founding. A belief that America provides a better life, even today, and that freedoms in our country afford anyone the opportunity to succeed.

For others, the concept is a fantasy. The realities of inequality, income mobility, the pandemic, and a broken immigration system send clear wake-up calls that the dream cannot be reached by everyone.

This issue of The Catalyst attempts to examine just what the American dream means today. We present voices across the board, from immigrants and their children, to Americans who have risen above their own challenges, to thought leaders who look at the history of the idea, the economy, and immigration reform.

It’s not an easy conversation but an important and often inspiring one. The essays are realistic about the challenges we face, but there is also optimism about the future of our country.

Perhaps most importantly, we are reminded that despite our disagreements, we tend to have more in common than we realize. And that ultimately, we are all striving to achieve the same things for ourselves and our families. This is the state of the American dream today.

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