Atlantic reader XY Qian tells her story:
I was born and raised in Shanghai, China. I have heard about the American Dream often enough in my formative years that I wanted to experience it myself. I landed in the U.S. at the tender age of 23, taking my husband with me.
I received my doctoral degree in a small social science field from a Big Ten university close to the East Coast, and my husband received his Master’s degree in engineering from the same university. We now live in Minnesota, each having a full-time job that provides benefits. We own two good cars and a decent house in a great school district. Our daughter is four months old now, healthy and having received wonderful care, thanks to the very advanced medical resources available in our state.
So yes, on the surface, my American dream has been realized: advanced degrees from a good university, a full-time decent job for each one of us, a decent house in a good school district, two cars, starting a family.
However, why “on the surface”? Because for any “common Joe,” whether U.S. citizens or immigrants, to realize the American Dream, there needs to be courageous leaders, which has been in extremely short supply. Below is the list of things to start with: