3 Pages 709 Words November 2014Saved essays
Many people think with the way the world has become, The American Dream is no longer achievable. The American Dream can be envisioned differently by each citizen of America. With that being the case; The American Dream can certainly be achieved by everyone then! It can be defined as the idea of freedom, equality, and opportunity achieved by anyone who is determined and works hard for their dream. This dream started about when immigrants became coming to America seeking freedom and new opportunities which is still around today. Set on by who you are and what your dream is, The American Dream is still achievable by all, but can be harder to attain for some more than others.
America was founded on freedom, which attracted people to want to come to America to fulfill their dreams that their home countries kept them from attaining because of specific laws. One example of this is, my great grandpa Phil coming to America from Italy to achieve many things, like purchasing businesses that he could have never even thought of even starting in Italy. Starting off at the bottom, once he became an American citizen, he began to search for a job. It was very difficult for him to find employment because of discrimination and barriers, but he eventually found one as a coal miner to begin saving money to fulfill his American dream; to start a business. Once he got enough money, he started two taverns and a shoe-store in Springfield! After many years of good service, he soon met my grandma, Sisty, sold the 3 businesses, and then moved to Meredosia. This gave him the opportunity to start up another business! He started a second shoe-store there. No matter how hard things were, my grandpa managed to overcome the struggles. At my grandpas funeral, he expressed his love for America and being able to achieve his vision of The American Dream by requesting to play America, the Beautiful. His hard work had paid off, he did not let any barriers hold him back, and.
American Dream Essay, Research Paper
Willy Loman is a man on a mission. His purpose in life is to achieve a false sense of the ?American Dream. but is this what Willy Loman really wants? In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller analyzes the American Dream by portraying to us a few days in the life of a washed up salesman named Willy Loman. The American Dream is a definite goal of many people, meaning something different to everyone. Willy?s version is different from most people though; his is based more on being well-liked and achieving monetary successes rather than achieving something that will make him happy. Willy never becomes part of the ?American Dream? because he never follows his true dreams and aspirations. He chooses a career that will make him money, but not much, rather than a career that he will enjoy. This is the big mistake that Willy makes in his life and in the end he never overcomes it. Willy never becomes part of the American Dream because he tries to become successful and wealthy rather than spending his life doing something that would bring him and his family joy.
The American Dream. is a term used to summarize the basic ideals held by the American public. Death of a Salesman focuses on this dream and analyses the dreams significance in the American social order. The basic principal behind the ?American Dream? is the belief that if people have an aspiration and they work for it they will achieve their dreams. Furthermore, what lies at the heart of the American Dream is the desire to achieve wealth and power based on one?s looks and appearance rather than the value and quality of their work. The American Dream is supposedly what everyone wants to end up with; a family, a house, a car and a well paying job. The problem is that not everyone wants these things. People all over the world desire to immigrate to America because they have heard of this ?American Dream? and they want to be a part of a country that makes it seem so easy to make a fortune. The problem with this dream is the theory at the basis of it; the fact that success is not assured, but if people work for their dreams they will eventually achieve them. People can work their entire lives thinking that they are contributing to humanity when in fact they are not. They believe that as long as they put something into civilization, at the end of their lives they will receive something in return. Many times this is simply not the way things work out. If people work their entire lives to achieve something that they can enjoy at the end of their life, they will miss the entire journey in between. The American Dream? is the basis of American culture although some ideals at the heart of it seem incorrect.
Willy Loman?s dream is an adaptation of the American Dream. Willy believes that the only things that are important in life are the successes that he achieved and the amount of friends that he made. This is easily illustrated when Willy says. It?s who you know and the smile on your face! … and that?s the wonder, the wonder of this country, that a man can end with diamonds here on the basis of being liked. (Movie). Success is an important part of the American dream, but Willy puts too much importance on the need to achieve success. He neglects the needs of his family and chooses to remain in the mindset that as long as he is well liked he will achieve success. Although he has lost his ability to sell, Willy continues to believe that as long as he works hard good things will happen to him and his family. Willy?s wife Linda realizes this and conveys these thoughts to her sons when she says ?He drives seven hundred miles, and when he gets there no one knows him anymore? what goes through a man?s mind, driving seven hundred miles home without earning a cent. (Movie). Willy has delusional ideas about the American Dream. Even in the end Willy still believes that the only thing Biff needs to be successful is some money to start a business. We learn this when Willy says ?Can you imagine that magnificence [Biff] with twenty thousand dollars in his pocket. (Movie). Willy thinks that as long as Biff has some money to start out with he will find it easy to become successful. Biff knows that his father?s ideas are wrong and all Biff wants is to enjoy his life and for his father to be happy. Willy?s dream is focused entirely on being successful and popular which in itself is wrong.
Willy Loman did not become part of the American Dream because he does not follow his own dreams. Willy is not a salesman at heart, he is happiest when he is working with his hands and Willy never realizes this. After Willy dies, Biff realizes that his father should have worked out in the open, where he could truly be free. We learn this when Biff says. He had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong. and furthermore when Biff says. He never knew who he was. (Movie). Willy thinks that since he can still conceivably work when he becomes eighty years old that a salesman job is the best vocation he could ever want. Throughout the play, we learn that Willy has obviously made a wrong decision about his career and the fact that he never realizes this is the tragedy in the story. Willy does not think about what he himself wants to do, he thinks more about what others have done and then wants to achieve the same heights they have. Willy is never content with just being himself; he always has to be something better. This is evident when Linda tells Willy ?be happy right here, right now. Why must everybody conquer the world? You?re well liked, and the boys love you? (Movie). Willy never listens to his heart and because of this, he follows the wrong dream.
Willy was never really a part of the American Dream. In the end, we see Willy?s foolishness for killing himself. Willy has too much pride to take a job from Charley and would rather end his own life than work under his friend for money. Willy thinks he is helping everyone by giving them his life insurance money but everyone would rather have him still alive than the money. Striving for his dream of becoming well liked and successful leaves Willy with nothing that will make him happy. In the end, Willy?s dream ends up being for Biff to achieve everything that he himself could not achieve. Willy?s plan backfires though when Biff chooses the opposite of what Willy wants and leaves the city to try to find out what will make him happy. In the end, Willy?s obsession with the American Dream is his undoing. Willy never really becomes part of the American Dream because he never understands what he needs to make himself happy.
The American Dream Essay, Research Paper
What is the American Dream? Is the American Dream still achievable? What is an opportunity and how can we plan for it? The questions remain. Everyone?s dream is to own their own business and to be their own manager. Proper steps and timing must be used in order to reach this so called ?American dream. However, it is the steps that deter people from achieving their dream. Opportunity is only available for people that desire to achieve. We live in a market economy.A “market” is a place where goods are bought and sold. This also means that the market or marketplace is the possibility of sale. Goods “find a market. If you have a product, eventually you will find a place in the market where it can be most profitable. There is also a market for services. Services can be bought and sold the same way that commodities are bought and sold. Whether it be a service or a commodity, if there is a demand for it the product and/or commodity will be sold. Markets are opened to those who want to sell their product or commodity. Markets are also available for the convenience of those looking to purchase a particular product or service. The market represents an opportunity for all, buyers, and sellers. A market economy works on market ?pressures? that develop for different commodities. These ?pressures? are defined as an offering of the product, the choice of whether or not the product or service should be bought and time constraints. As business owners glimpse the future, decisions are made on the basis of the following factors: (1) Profit (2) Capital Investments (3) Production results. The owner of the business will review what profit has been made from their production and what losses they have incurred through that process. After reviewing the results of the profit margin, the owner must make decisions to increase volume. This process usually involves hiring more people, buying more materials, and often bidding up their prices to increase competition. When businessmen compete in the same market, it creates increased ?pressure? towards the direction of expansion. On the contrary, as opportunity cost raises so do options and possibilities for competition. When rates increase. pressures? begin to operate against profits. Macroeconomic reforms should translate into a more efficient delivery of public services, equity, social welfare, and social security. This would give the public community a fair allocation of the benefits that are provided.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) has released its findings on American living standards. This report began in the late-1970’s and was issued every year thereafter. The EPI’s report contends that Americans are working more for less money because of slow growth in wages (since 1989). According to the report, a poll was taken on the wages of men in the bottom 80%. Findings show that there has been a decline since 1989. The report also contends that 20% of women have experienced a decline in wages the 1980’s, a period in which wages fell but family income increased because of longer hours at work and increased participation of women in the workforce. Critics assert that the report wrongly focuses on declining wages as a gauge to the income of the American family. Such critics find spending a more appropriate means by which to measure income.(cite 4) One proposal would birng back the 10% income deduction for second earners that was eliminated in the Tax Reform Act of 1986.(cite 5) Under that rule, a couple with two earners can deduct from taxable income 10 percent of the earnings of the spouse with the lower earnings(generally, the wife) up to 30,000 of earnings.(cite 5) Since almost all married working women earn less than 30,000, this is equivalent to a 10 percent reduction in the wife’s marginal tax rate.(cite 5) To get a sense of how substansial this offset would be, consider a typical middle-class two earner couple. The husband earns 45,000 per year, and the wife earns $15,000 per year by working 1,000 hours at $15 per hour. They pay tax at a marginal income tax rate of 28 percent plus a payroll tax of 7.65 percent.(cite 5) They also pay at a typical state income tax rate of 5 percent.(cite 5) As a result, the wife’s $15 per hour wage produces only a net of $8.90 per hour.(cite 5) If she didn’t change her work, the deduction would reduce her taxable earnings from $15,000 to $13,500.(cite 5) With a marginal income tac rate of 28 percent, that would cut her tax payments by 420 per year.(cite 5) That’s how the current method of revenue estimation would evaluate the revenue effect of the deduction, a $420 revenue loss. But the 10 percent cut in her effective marginal income tax rate (which would result from deducting 10 percent of her earnings from taxable income) would raise her net hourly take-home by a little less than 5 percent, from $8.90 per hour to $9.32 per hour.(cite 5) Statistical studies of the labor supply of married women imply that a 5 percent increse in their net wages would increase the average hours worked by about 2 percent. In the current example, the wife would increase her work from 1,000 hours per year to 1,020 hours. The extra hours would raise her pretax earnings by $300. She would pay an additional $46 in Social Security payroll taxes.(cite 5) The tax payments reduce the revenue cost from the “static” $420 to $298.(cite 5) In addition to increasing the average number of hours worked by married working women, the lower marginal tax rate for married women would also encourage more married women to work. That increase in their labor force participation rate would mean more revenue to the Treasury.(cite 5)
More has to be done in our economy to ensure that all business owners have an equal opportunity to be chosen for government contracts. Investigators have suggested that government contracts are awarded to insider’s companies instead of other, better qualified applicants. Therefore calling for a review of the application procedure due to the favortism shown to those with inside contacts and extensive legal support.(cite 6)
The United States Treasury announced its plan to issue a new kind of Government bond that would protect the average investors from inflation while helpng the Government finance the national debt. The new bonds will offer returns that fluxuate in relation to inflation. They will be backed by the Government and priced so unexpected inflation will not erode their value. The new bonds are a way for the Government to tap into the $675 billion 401(k) market.(cite 7) The Congressional Budget Office says Clinton’s 5-year budget package cuts any addition to the federal debt by $433 billion by 1998.(cite 9) The deficit reduction estimates for fiscal 1994 vary from $102 billion from the Whitehouse to the Congressional Budget Office figure of $83 billion provided in deficit reduction in the Fiscal year 1994.(cite 9) A number of factors have helped including the growing economy with low interest rates and inflation which has reduced the annual deficit by cutting interest cost on the ferderal debt. The econommy has also helped by reducing the boosts to indexed Social Security, boosting revenues, and by cutting the costs projected for the savings and loan bailout.(cite 9) This report is backed up by more recent findings by the Treasury department that the Federal budget deficit fell in the fiscal year ending in Sept. 1995, due to the fact that revenue rose more than spending.(cite 8) The deficit was $163.81 billion. This is down from $203.1 billion in Fiscal 1994. The deficit is the smallest it has been since 1989. Revenues for Fiscal 1995 rose to $1.351 trillion, up from $1.257 trillion in Fiscal 1994, while outlays rose to $1.514 trillion, up from $1.461 trillion in Fiscal 1994.(cite 8)
Another sign of economic progress is the more recent rise of the Dow Jones. The New York based company began in 1881 as Charles Henry Dow and his partner Edward Jones invented a way of measuring the industrial average by which investors could make their money. The first index was created on May 26,1896, based on 12 smokestack firms, with the indicator closing at 40.94. After the crash of 1929, the World War II pushed the index up to 192.91 in 1945, with the index reaching the 5,000 mark on November 21, 1995. A record high of 5,778 was recorded on May 22. 1996, rising 13% in the first half on 1996.(cite 10).
Macroeconomists between the early 1980’s and early 1990’s have tried to develop a new kind of model that can be applied to policymaking. This type of model could help determine policies related to deficit reduction. This rational expectation approach offers an alternative to the Keynesian approach, but more research in areas such as forecasting and credibilty is needed. New Keynesian models and real business cycle models have evolved from the rational expectaions model.(cite 13) The lack of representation of macroeconomists among Nobel Prize winners since 1987 reflects the disorganized state of macroeconomics. Macroeconomists have focused more on mathematical theories than real world applications, and they have been unable to explain fluctuations in the business cycle.(cite 12)The most popular theory for economic growth seems to be a change in the approach and interpretation of our economy. Th reason for this seems to be the fact that the problem with today’s economy stems from the economist.(cite ) A common thread unites the research on the politics of macroeconomic policy, policy substitutability, the use of different policy instruments to affect the same goal is implicitly denied. Yet, economic theory indicates that policymakers have multiple policy instruments at their disposal that can be used alternately or in some combination to manipulate their economies.(cite 11) Another problem is that elite economists, including Nobel Prize and John Bates Clark medal winners, have had their papers rejected by journals for reasons ranging from excessive mathematical analysis to using sexist language.(cite 13) Some of the rejected papers have later been hailed as classics and accepted by other journals. We as a society need to give these theories a better look in hopes of finding a better path to economic growth.Conclusion
What is possible today may not be possible tommorrow in our economy because it is forever changing and with that change comes comes unexpected profit and loss that can’t be predicted. The fate of the American economy is virtually impossible to predict but by using past examples we can attempt to find ways to stir up economic growth and find a path to economic stability. (The truth is that in our society we can never really say that you can no longer achieve the American Dream because our economy is forever changing and as long as that holds true their is hope)
American Dream Essay, Research Paper
What is the AMERICAN DREAM? I concluded the matter of dreaming about life?s basics wants that are exclusive to North America. The American Dream is the following: Go to college, get a good job, and finally get your own family. If we think about it, the American Dream is indeed a UNIVERSAL DREAM. The concept of the American Dream is created by this value system. The American Dream is intended to be a way of life attainable to all Americans. Whatever maybe the case, the act of trying to escape reality and the result such an act brings, is evident throughout the three novels Jews without money, by Michael Gold, Street Corner Society by William Whyte, and Passing, by Nella Larsen. All three of these books confront the myth of the American Dream.
The American Dream can either be a reality or a nightmare depending upon the cultural prejudices and availability of freedom. Individuals who are united through some common bond, which may be religion social status of color, create a group or class of people. While individuals are subject to racial prejudices, which often makes up upward mobility not possible. Without equal opportunities to move upwards within society, the American Dream is not attainable. But it is possible in cases where people are willing to sacrifice their heritage culture etc.
Nella Larsen, show us through this novel, that if people want, they can achieve the American Dream, but they would have to ?pay a price for it. This is especially true of Clare Kendry. Her passing is motivated by her desire to improve the conditions of her socioeconomic life. She is successful in achieving her American Dream, but in the end she does face the consequences of her actions. She manages to rise from being a poor girl to settling down in a well household. Using her white skin color and blond hair as commodities, she escapes the reality of her true character. She gained wealth and respect in the community through marrying an affluent successful white man. But the truth is that she paid the price of ?passing? because she couldn?t express who she was and her true identity in the fear of being ?caught? and then left aside abandoned from the ?whites? and the ?black? communities. In her case, her decision to ?pass? was self-initiated. Clare was afraid to face everyone, especially her husband, with her blackness. When one cannot stand in front of a mirror and except him or herself, that person is bound to be doomed. In Clare?s case it resulted in her death. So it can be said, that in this case Clare achieved the dream of being accepted into society and a well off rich husband, but in the end she did pay the price for that sacrifice she made.
Jews Without Money is a novel of life of Jewish immigrants in the tenements of New York City’s Lower East Side in the early part of this century. It’s a day-in-the-life tale of thieves, gangsters and honest folks just trying to get by in a new country. The novel ?Jews without money? by Michael Gold explores the fundamental discrepancy between the ?American Dream? v/s the ?American Reality? due to the warping of poverty. The immigrant Jews step from steerage in search of the American dream and instead find themselves crowded in filthy, roach-ridden tenements, at the mercy of factory owners, and gangsters (the American Reality). Social depression arising due to extreme poverty led to the establishments of ghettos a completely new lifestyle. Thus the fundamental discrepancy between the American Dream v/s the American Reality exists due to the existence of poverty. Poverty seems to be the underlying cause of every misfortune in life, and thus even in their make believe world, everything they vainly want is due to poverty and nothing else. The novel displays different forms of struggles that immigrants go through in order to escape the reality. Michael Gold wishes to be rich, but he is not able to fulfill his dream?s and he believes that the American Dream is a lie. His family is unable to lift itself from the bottom of the ?ladder? and prosper. One of their main struggle, is the fact that they do not know the language and hence fail to communicate with the outside world and a confined to their own ghetto.
Here, we are told at one point in the book, that Michael Gold?s father comes to America in search of a better livelihood, where by he can have his own business. But this is a false hope created by the family and in general many immigrants. According to me this is a false dream, because they are facing more hardships, and are barely making enough money to purchase the vital resources they require. Creating a false American dream, of in this case Nightmare for the families, runs down the moral not only of the bread earner.
In the book Street Corner Society, we are shown the main struggle for power between the different gangs. We can see the social interaction and relationships in the form of Doc and Chick where they try hard to be the gang leaders. Here Doc is portrayed as a friendly person listening to peoples point of views but in his own was assertive. But on the other hand, Chick was more volatile in a way that he never listened to the gang members and he did what he thought was right. Therefore, we can see the struggle only at the TOP of the social structure between the leader and their self-identity is different from the others. The narrator. describes perfectly the constraints put upon the Italians in the society on page 274. Nevertheless, an organized way of life cannot be changed overnight??and if a man wants to forget he is an Italian, the society around him does not let him forget it. He is marked as an inferior person – like all the other Italians? We can clearly see the constraints place upon the minorities. This is a negative attitude, and hinders the progress of a society.
Understanding the relationship between prejudice and social mobility helps put into context the obstacles facing minorities who strive for the American Dream. These minorities are deprived of jobs, and not only that but they are also barred from attaining their dreams. This is the main cause the minorities are held behind. Jews Without Money by Gold, tells us about the immigrant experience and tries to convey that the American dream is a fantasy for the people and in reality it is an American Nightmare- maybe because their lives were worse than they were back in their homelands- and that their hopes were diminished and in many case false hopes. In Passing, Nella Larsen describes the American Dream as a reality, and shows this by saying that people can achieve the dream by ?passing? and sacrificing their past friends and life in general. Whereas the Street Corner Society, shows us struggle within the social structure between two people trying to become more powerful than the other. Therefore, the American Dream is viewed differently by different people and it all depends on the qualities and willingness to take risks.