Although the definition of the American Dream isn't set in stone and has been recalibrated over the years, there's little denying that Americans in general still teach their kids that this dream is one they, too, can enjoy. Whether or not that's a reality is another matter, but that's a question for different day.
At an emotional level, the American Dream evokes feelings of freedom to avenues of opportunity and equal access to paths of prosperity for anyone willing to work hard to achieve it. At a more practical level, many argue that achieving the American Dream has become equated with consumerism and ownership instead of the more purist notions at its core. Regardless of where the truth lies, it's still a national tradition to pass down the idea that the American Dream is achievable in each generation.
On the next page, we'll look at a less savory example of passing down values to the next generation.