America is Not Free, Despite any Argument
Many claim that America is still the land of the free; however, evidence shows otherwise. Since the Declaration of Independence was signed, Americas still has been a country of slavery. African Americans were forced into bondage for the first 90 years after the Declaration was signed. Bondage is not present in today’s America; however, a new type of slavery has emerged. The new modern American slavery come in the form of the poverty are being ruled and misrepresented by the American government. Arguers say that America is still the land of the free, where all men have an opportunity to prosper. David Azzerad writes in his article for heritage.org, “America is the land of the free. That all men and women possess an equal right to liberty is one of the great self-evident truths proclaimed by the Declaration of Independence.” Azzerad gives the argument that America is in fact the land of the free, where everyone can become a success.
Azzerad claims that income inequality is a poor measure in determining the freedom of all Americans. “A rise in income inequality does not lead to a decline in economic mobility or to an economic slowdown and therefore does not threaten the American Dream.” This claim may seem to make sense; however, it is wrong. Income inequality does indeed lead to a decline in economic mobility. It is rather simple, as the economy gets shifted more in favor of the wealthy the poor get forgotten. The poor do not have the same economic mobility or economic tools to prosper. Many are stuck in poverty with no way out. Jeremy Ashkenas of the New York Times reports, “The average pretax earnings of an American in the bottom 50 percent by income was $16,197 in 2014, a nearly invisible 2.6 percent gain over 40 years. Over the same period, the top 10 percent of Americans saw their pretax incomes grow by 231 percent.” As American economic mobility declines, so does the overall American dream.
Arguers like to put forth the claim that those in poverty in America would be considered rich in many countries around the world. They claim all Americans are fortunate to be able to live in this great country and no matter the situation be it poor or rich, Americans should be entirely grateful, as Azzerad claims, “Even those who fail to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by this country or who do not succeed in their ventures will still benefit from the general prosperity generated by the American commercial republic.” Unfortunately the commercial republic that once helped all Americans (even the poor) has been exterminated. In present day America those in poverty are having difficulty attaining simple necessities, such as housing and healthcare. Not having housing is not benefiting from general prosperity of America. That is a definition of poverty in any county, and explains why America is falling on the world economy scale as well.
Americans are claimed to be free in all aspects of life by Azzerad, “Though the term economic freedom does not appear in the Founders’ writings, it underpins their vision of a commercial republic and perfectly captures their overarching commitment to property rights, the rule of law, and free markets.” For many years, America had been the most economic free country in the world. Giving advantages for all people to prosper no matter where they start. Unfortunately in the 2016 Fraser Institute Economic Freedom list, America has fallen down to number 16. This is largely due to entrepreneurs not investing in companies anymore. The government has created a more complex tax code, more regulations, and the complexity of healthcare in the country. Citizens are becoming more and more stricken by the big government. We are becoming slaves to them. Only a few Americans have economic freedom, counter to Azzerad’s claim.
Arguers claim that America is the land of the free even as more liberties are being stripped away from the people. The wealthy government aids the rich while the poor get forgotten. In a country that is supposed to be equal, not everyone is equal. Through bondage, a corrupt government, and unequal rights, America has shown that it is not the land of the free.
“Economic Freedom of the World.” Fraser Institute. N.p., 28 Dec. 2016.
Hederman, Rea. “Defending the Dream: Why Income Inequality Doesn’t Threaten Opportunity.” The Heritage Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
Ashkenas, Jeremy. “Nine New Findings About Inequality in the United States.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 16 Dec. 2016