I've said it before and I'll say it again: contrary to what the Ayn Rand followers or the Rush Limbaugh acolytes will tell you, the American Dream is not to be richer than Croesus, although that's certainly one of the appeals of the American system. Most Americans are practical sorts and to them it is the dream of middle class security --- a house of your own, a good job, the chance to educate your children well and retire with dignity. Those things are becoming out of reach for more and more of us. Young people are in debt, middle aged people are squeezed by the need to care for their parents and their children, and the elderly are living longer with less. Workers aren't as physically mobile as their parents were, burdened with homes they cannot sell and their freedom curtailed by a job market that forces them to cling to work they hate for fear of not finding anything better. The idea of an average person starting a business feels like a suicidal leap without a net. Of course there have always been those who were closed off from the American Dream due to systemic bigotry and suffocating poverty but for a time the dream was even opening up to those who had been denied --- racial and ethnic minorities were able to become middle class workers and enjoy many of the economic and social benefits that came with it. But with the shrinking or the public sector and the unions, that toe hold into the middle class is becoming tenuous again.
This country would be a Randian hellscape if it weren't for unions. I've always been classified as a professional employee as an adult and not eligible for a union. But I am aware of enough history to know that the labor movement is responsible for the worker protections that benefit all of us. Too many people don't seem to realize that.