On this July 4, 2015, it is a good time for Americans to be patriotic and think of things close to home. Just for a moment, put aside TPP, AGOA and foreign retailers like Uniqlo and H&M who are battling for retail dollars on American soil. What was the American Dream in our early days of 1776? And where are we today?

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States. It is a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, gained through hard work in a society with few barriers. According to American writer and historian James Truslow Adams’ definition of the American Dream in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.

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