The Plight of the Common Man

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I live in a country where it is entirely possible for the common man to achieve "The American Dream," if only he works hard enough...

Or is it?  

Is it possible for Joe Smith to marry a great girl, have 2.4 children, and then build a beautiful house with a white picket fence that tells the story of coming from rags to riches and living happily ever after?  Maybe these stories don't occur as often as they once did.  

The recent financial crisis in America has not only left millions (over seven million, to be exact) of citizens without jobs, but it has also left them without hope.  Well-qualified individuals are struggling to provide for their families, and not for lack of trying.  While three million jobs have been recovered, our country still has far to go before reaching its pre-recession status.  

The housing market is suffering, too.  Sellers are frustrated because their homes have lost value, and buyers are frustrated because they cannot get loans to buy these affordable residences.  Forget the white picket fences.  I think the common man will just be thankful to have any sort of fence at all these days.

2013 looks to be a more promising year than the last few, but I can't help but wonder when the middle class will catch a break.  I might be cynical because I am the middle class, and I honestly have nothing to complain about because my husband and I both have great jobs and a lovely home.  However, it strikes me as curious that the richest folks of America have continued to stay rich in the midst of one of the greatest recessions in the United States.  For the rest of us, "The American Dream" is starting to look more like staying afloat than building a lavish life in Pleasantville, USA.  

About the author


Mary Rachel Fenrick is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education and a minor in Spanish. She currently teaches Special Education and English for Norman Public Schools in Norman, Oklahoma. Some of her passions include reading, writing, editing, teaching, distance running,…

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