Is the American dream still a big house with a picket fence? A wife/husband and three kids? Do people even believe in the American dream anymore? Personally, the American dream is just what it sounds like, a dream. For many immigrants and people living abroad, they are fed this phenomenon of the American Dream that portrays a false notion of the United States.
According to the Complex Story of American Debt, approximately 80% of adult Americans are in debt. Yes, I said it. 80 whole percent! This debt ranges from housing debt such as mortgage to car loans, unpaid credit card debt, and student loans. Americans living in debt are suffering and stuck in the infamous rat race.
Many Americans work to live rather than live to work. Why are we working to make ends meet rather than working with enjoyment, knowing that there is no debt to pay off by the end of the month? It all starts with education. From elementary-high school, I can probably count on one hand the number of finance based lessons I have received. Schools purposefully refrain from incorporating financial literacy within education to ensure that students remain ignorant of the function of money. Understanding the basis of money and how to make it work for you is crucial. Unfortunately, most people do not know this until they make devastating financial mistakes.
I have heard a multitude of stories about college students getting into overwhelming credit card debt because they did not realize that they would have to pay the money back. Many Americans have lived with debt for so long that they don’t even remember life without it. Debt in America has practically become a requisite. It diminishes the quality of life and promotes stress.
Bring financial literacy to our school systems. Educate students on simple concepts such as assets and liabilities. We must stop throwing students into the real-world without real-world knowledge because that is a set-up for failure.