Hum 106 4.3 & 4.4

Hum 106 4.3 & 4.4 - Nicole Barbour 10/16/09 4.3...

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Nicole Barbour 10/16/09 4.3 Work Ethic and American Dream Ethics and Reality To be able to obtain the American dream means to achieve delight and comfort by material wealth as well as having equal opportunity and free will for everyone. However, the ability to achieve these elements is often not accessible for all. For a person to have a strong work ethic means that the person has a conviction that working hard in their daily life will ultimately be an advantage and is significant in helping to build character. In “Billionaires R Us” and “The Sons Also Rise” the ideas of having a strong work ethic and the concept of class distinctions is discussed as factors that have helped to develop our society An element that has attracted much attention is that not everyone has an equality opportunity to achieve the American dream. Collins and Yeskel discuss the problems that arise because of class differences and how they affect our economy. They acknowledge that “one problem is that wealth and power pose a danger to our democratic system” which is then reinforced because people “have not yet considered fairer ways of reducing the deficit by reversing special tax breaks for the rich” (Collins and Yeskel 344). Their main point is that the wealthy continue to become more affluent and have more power within society, which is not to the lower classes benefit. It is unreasonable “that government assistance has been more demonized when it goes to the poor but not when it goes to the rich” (Collins and Yeskel 344). Collins and Yeskel make it evident that “[w]e shouldn’t tolerate this drift towards an economic apartheid society” (344). Society has catered to the wealthy while making the lower income
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families out to be the ones that are at fault. This mentality is not helpful and often has negative effects on people’s everyday living. In “The Sons Also Rise” the concept of class and the effect it has had on work ethic and the American dream is further addressed. We would all like to think that America “is the land of opportunity” and that “[y]our success in life depends on your ability and drive, not on who your father was” (Krugman 378). Paul Krugman starts off with this statement but then develops the essay to center around on how much this is not true within society. One of the main aspects that is represented is that “inherited status is making a comeback,” and for certain people “it has
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Hum 106 4.3 & 4.4 - Nicole Barbour 10/16/09 4.3...

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