9th May 2017Chief EditorFox Business Dear Neil Cavuto,I am writing to you in response to an outrageous Fox Business article that was written by Steve Tobak, published on the 22nd August 2016 regarding the current state of the American Dream. Frankly, this article, ironically categorised under ‘critical thinking’, ‘sells a bill of goods’ and is flawed. While the author, Steve Tobak, is constantly lingering in his idealistic world, where the American Dream is only unachievable by ‘those who believe it’s unattainable’, he is also constantly contradicting himself with his conflicting arguments that are just unsubstantial with nil information whatsoever. Furthermore, his unprofessional tone does not bode well with the gravity of the issue. Although he does discuss some of the ‘factors’, he fails to realise the precedent issues of inequality and has completely undermined the basis of the American Dream- which shows he lacks understanding and is falsely informing the public.
“The American Dream is alive and well”. Well… Puzzling. According to Mr Tobak, it is ‘alive and well’ due to this statistic he draws, from millennials- where half of the aged 18-29 surveyed said that the dream is still alive. Therefore, it is alive..
. right? (I find it completely bizarre and fictitious as these are purely opinions from an ambiguous source) The author conjures opinions into facts… Utterly Irksome. A quick research states this- according to the studies of the Economic Policy Institute: “the bottom 90% only received 55.
5% of all income and held only 23.3% of all wealth”, while the rest is funneled towards the wealth, which Mr Tobak conveniently ignores and instead calls these occurrences ‘factors’.According to Mr Tobak, these are ‘factors’ that James Truslow Adams failed to mention.
“Attaining the American dream is a function of intelligence, capability, personal choice, work ethic, achievement, upbringing and luck.” While these factors stated do contribute to your chances, however, it is obvious that the author has only been slightly acquainted with the Dream when he completely bashed on its fundamentals. Mr Tobak’s hypocritical stance is shown when he says that he “couldn’t have come up with a better description” himself (which he nicely contradicts, discussing the lacking aspects- ‘upbringing and luck’). This completely undermines the egalitarian aspect- where everyone has equal opportunities “regardless of fortuitous circumstances of birth or position” (James Truslow Adam) if he says ‘luck’ plays a role. Although he does say that these are factors Adams “failed to mention”, however, shouldn’t we follow the definitions defined by James Truslow Adams, the historian who coined the terminology? Furthermore, throughout the article, Steve Tobak has again glaringly emitted one of the greatest aspects barricading many from the American Dream: Race.
Due to racial prejudice, minorities, especially African Americans, are not given the equal opportunities of a typical White American. A study by MIT states that “Blacks are twice as likely to be poor as compared to other races”. Furthermore, prejudice is emphasised when a test, to show whether “applicants with black-sounding names received fair treatment while applying for jobs”, was investigated by MIT and the University of Chicago School of Business.
5,000 resumes were submitted to 1,250 advertisers. The “‘white sounding names’ received 50 percent more responses than their counterparts with black-sounding names although they had equal credentials.” These glaring facts about race were not mentioned whatsoever! I believe Mr Tobak omits this as it is an indisputable fact which brings blemish to his ‘amazing’ theory.
Finally, Mr Tobak has a fascinating theory. Instead of saying it is dead, he alters the American Dream’s concept, saying the Dream is not ‘a guaranteed outcome’ but an ‘ideal’. This irrational statement is then refuted by Mr Tobak himself, in the last statement of his article, when he says that it is “achievable by each and every one of us, except those who believe it’s unattainable” (connoting that the Dream is a promise for determined individuals). According to Mr Tobak, in America, position does not matter, unlike other countries where “position is far more important in determining a life’s outcome”. It is true that this is the ideal of the American Dream, however, is this currently evident? No! In America- “There has been no upward mobility for the past 30 years”.
Obviously Mr Tobak was trying to subtly stick to the conservative, anti-socialism perspective of Fox however, Mr Cavuto, I would like you to imagine this. Two runners, running a race -one with Nike shoes and the other with cement shoes… who would win? Obviously the one with Nike shoes- which exemplifies the American’s plight. He does mention famous individuals with “rags to riches” stories such as “Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey… Ralph Lauren” but he fails to realise that those are the minute few out of 43 million Americans in poverty. Moreover, Mr Tobak, for some reason, then goes on a complete U-turn when he says that position does matter when he comments on how “Adams was aware that his upbringing played a role”. Once again… Contradictory.
To conclude, I feel I must expostulate with the overall text that ‘sells a bill of goods’- from its flawed theories to its completely contradictory and bewildered stances which completely undermines the fundamentals of the American Dream. Regards,Jing Hui