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The American Dream Is Alive And Well.

2224 words - 9 pages

The American Dream is Alive and WellIt is part of the ethos of this country that you ought to be rich. You ought to be, unless you have taken some specific vow of poverty such as priesthood, scholarship, teaching, or civil service, because money is the way we keep score. This feeling has been a long time in the making. It goes away sometimes in depressions, when briefly wealth becomes suspect and poverty is not dishonorable. The rest of the time, poverty is very close to criminal. (Smith 249)This is an excerpt from the concluding chapter of The Money Game by the bestselling author Adam Smith, a former mutual fund manager and famous writer on Wall Street in the 1960s. It suggested that Americans by and large strive for wealth and equates becoming rich with success "because money is the way we keep score." The "ought to" means Americans generally believe that becoming rich is within the grasps of many. The fact that "ought to be rich" is part of the ethos of the country suggests that everybody knows somebody personally who has become rich. A father would tell his son that Joe Blow came from no where to making millions. You "ought to" be able to do it too. An industrialist once remarked that Americans are unequally rich while citizens of communist countries are equally poor. To him being rich probably meant having more than one needs. However having more than one needs is certainly desirable but would fall short of a typical American Dream. Becoming rich means starting somewhere, maybe near zero, and ending with a lot more than at the start. So we define the American Dream as (1) having more than one needs and (2) having a lot more eventually than at the start. A person who started out with ten million dollars and ended up with one million dollars would not be as happy as one who started out with ten thousand dollars and ended up with one million dollars. The later would consider his American Dream fulfilled while the former would not even though both had more than they need with one million dollars each. I, a strong believer in the American Dream, happen to think that each of us has more than we need and I will show that later. The key to making more money is better knowledge. When opportunities come we would be better able to seize it with the knowledge at hand. We gain knowledge through education. The late Democratic senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota once said that the key to getting out of poverty is education. I agreed whole heartedly. By education, I don't necessarily mean school education only. After all, life is a school. We can learn a lot from a job. I call this "on the job education," where you are educated through your job experience. We can learn a lot from a hobby and turn a hobby into a way of making money. I call this "self education." You learn by doing it. Through hard work and education everyone has a reasonable chance of attaining the American Dream of becoming rich.College education is a good start in gaining knowledge that...

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