Lack of education and work opportunities, a depressed or recessionary economy, inadequate political direction and global factors are all seen by most Americans as significant obstacles to achieving the American Dream. Disadvantages are even more acute for recent immigrants although they apply to all demographics.
The American Dream essentially states that the opportunity to improve an individual's living conditions is equal for anyone living in the United States. However, many point to the rising cost of education as a significant barrier to pursuing that goal.
When the economy is struggling, job opportunities are fewer and large companies and the government, which historically were the primary engines of economic growth, provide fewer and fewer opportunities for individuals to improve their circumstances.
For recent immigrants, is it often a major struggle to get accreditation for skills learned in their home countries, as well as access relevant services.