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Chris Sloan

Period 1
9/24/2014
Mrs. Buescher
Declaration Ideals
The Declaration of Independence is a document that upon creation had massive political and
Societal implications. In a way, it was a major building block in the creation of our nation. Yet, it is
believed by some that we have shifted away from the ideals that were once the very fabric of our
country contained within the Declaration of Independence. However, since my birth, the nation seems
to have gone off course from the ideals listed in the Declaration of independence, with the three main
which we have gone astray from being: equality, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
One of the fundamental freedoms listed in the Declaration is liberty. However, it seems as if
America has drifted away from this idea. A good instance of this is the recent violation of privacy by
government agencies like the NSA. On the 22nd of June, Verizon Wireless, the national largest wireless
provider released data stating that in 2013, U.S federal, state and local authorities made over 320,000
requests for costumer data, topping the number of requests in years prior. This is a very frightening
statistic. A large part of liberty is the freedom to determine your own level of privacy; yet, the
increasing prevalence of forced surveillance is making that reality seem far away. A second instance of
our loss of liberty is the reduction in the diversity of the media. In 1984 the number of companies
owning a controlling interest in Americas media was 50, while it sits at 6 today. This startling data
shows how the consolidation of American media has lead to a less diverse media. As a result, we are in
a way loosing our right to participate in society as equally informed citizens, due to the unvaried nature
of todays media. All in all, it is growing increasingly evident that we as a country have strayed away
from the liberty discussed so prominently in the Declaration of Independence.
A second ideal listed in the Declaration of independence that we have strayed away from in
recent years has been the pursuit of happiness. According to a Forbes article, tuition costs have
consistently outpaced inflation over the past 30 years. This alarming data is evidence of the increasing
inaccessibility of higher education. With higher education becoming a ever increasing non-option for
Americans, the American dream is seeming further and further out of reach. Another example of the
inability to pursue happiness is the ever-growing American national debt, which is sitting at 17.7
trillion American dollars and continues to climb, according to the usdebtclock.org. Like a house of
cards it will all come crumbling down inevitably if we don't change our course. This debt looming over
the American populace is inhibiting the ability to pursue happiness. Overall, the pursuit of happiness is
becoming more and more of a pipe-dream with each passing day.
Last but not least, equality, especially in regards to American wages has been an ideal that has
seemingly been put on the back burner in recent years. A big part of this is the ever increasing income
gap between the top 1% and the remaining 99%, with the top 1% enjoying a wage income increase
over 10 times that of the other 99% between 1979 and 2007, according to epi.org. This frightening data
shows that income inequality is a very real problem in the states. The between the rich and poor is
growing at a unprecedented rate. Going off of government data released in early September of 2014,
the income of the middle class continues to stagnate, with the middle class not seeing a real raise in
income in the past 15 years. This piece of data is puzzling when the American economy is pulling out
of the seemingly never ending rut it was in after the American economic downfall of 2008. One would
think wages would grow with the economy, not plateau. This dark reality is one that Americans are
going to feel the financial burden of if it persists.
In conclusion, it is growing increasingly apparent that the ideals laid out in the Declaration of

independence that were intended to be the backbone of our nation, are to some extent being disregarded
. Whether its equality, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, these principals have been left uncared for
like a dilapidated old house. However, hope is not lost, there is still potential for a turnaround.
However, if corrective action isn't taken in a timely manner, then we may be unable to decide our fate,
it may already be decided for us.