Road to American Dream riddled with potholes

Editor’s Note: Freshmen students in Sean Campbell’s class at Homer High School have been writing opinion pieces. The Homer News plans to publish several over the next few weeks. Here are two.

Doesn’t it stink how life isn’t fair sometimes? How few have everything handed to them on a silver platter? Well, that’s how life is. 

Maybe if you work hard in your life, and with some luck, you can one day afford spoons made out of that precious metal, but that’s a big if. That’s how it was a generation ago, but now, that American Dream is sort of a rarity.

Now, more than ever, you have a higher chance going down than up. A hostile climate to new businesses, lack of government services, price of rent and much more are to blame for that. 

Public services, like schools, hospitals, etc., are crucial. If hospitals can’t help the sick or schools can’t teach children, what’s going to happen to them? Maybe they can go somewhere else, but if you’re in inner cities or rural areas, there might not be anything you can turn to, and that’s the case for a lot of people. 

Before Detroit filed for bankruptcy there were over a dozen hospitals, now, there are only four. Inner city hospitals have the highest closure rates of any hospitals. Also, inner city school districts report having higher student to teacher ratios.

Earlier this year, Walmart closed 104 of its stores across the nation. Small rural towns, like Juneau, rely deeply on those superstores not only to shop but as a source of employment as well. The Walmart in Kimball, W.V., was also closed. Kimball, a town of 300, used to have a local grocery store. But two months after the Walmart opened, the mom and pop store went out of business, leaving Kimball and its surrounding areas without a store. 

Neighborhoods like Brooklyn and Oakland have become very popular in recent years, due to tech startups and cultural shifts. In 1999, the population of Oakland was more than 70 percent African-American; last year, the population of Oakland was 28 percent African-American. In San Francisco, a four bedroom house was $975 a month in 1980; in 2016, a four-bedroom house is $1,400 a month. 

With the price of property that high, great paying jobs must be around, and they are, in the southern San Francisco Bay Area, or Silicon Valley. Companies like Google, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram are all headquartered there. It seems like gold has been replaced with code. 

But in the Silicon Valley a little more than a quarter of those working are nonwhite.

So as you can see, the road to success is riddled with detours and potholes. It’s unjust and unconstitutional. It is like the cycle of poverty will never end. But it does; and that’s the real American Dream, not being a multimillionaire, but doing better than when you started.

Garrett Cooper is 14. He was born in Anchorage and moved to Anchor Point when he was in kindergarten. He likes biking, drawing and playing video games.


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