Effects on the American Dream, Both Positive and Negative

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Effects on the American Dream, Both Positive and Negative

The editors of Forbes called on these writers: James Q. Wilson, Katherine Newman, Robert Reich, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Natwar M. Gandhi, and Charles Derber. To answer this following question: If things are so good, why do we feel so bad? The American Dream has both positive and negative effects on the country, but in the end people will ultimately create their own fates.

There are many positive effects that the American Dream has such immigrant origins, to the United States. Americans have a higher standard of living, that’s why immigrants come to the United States to have freedom, self-expression, and also to have a better standard of living as well (Wilson 437). Wilson mentions that Americans should take a trip to travel elsewhere to meet people who want to know how to immigrate to the United States (437). Wilson also states that Americans “purchasing power equivalents” (437) are the highest in the world, and how America’s taxes are also the lowest in the world. Reich observes a story that’s been heard over a hundreds of times; he uses the story of George. This American morality tale, it is retold in many versions, “it is about how we should live our lives in this country”(Reich 390). Reich notes that “everyone had a favorite variation, but the basic theme is the same arid speaks to the essence of our national self-image: Ours is a nation of humble, immigrant origins, built out of nothing and into greatness through hard work; generous to those in need, those who cannot make it on their own; a loner among nations, suspicious of foreign entanglements, but willing to stand up against tyranny; and forever vigilant against corruption and special privilege (Reich 391).” Gandhi mentions that the country is forming a “melting pot” and how the “new generation of immigrants bring vitality” (Gandhi 429). America is constantly evolving, which draws the immigrants here; also, it attracts the best and the brightest from other countries. Because the other countries see the opportunities Americans have, and they also want to achieve them but they want to achieve their dreams here in America.

One negative effect on the American Dream is freedom; freedom reduced authority in the United States, freedom also caused crime to spread way out of proportion. Wilson acknowledges that freedom leads to a lack of order, having the power of freedom made people bring out their self- expression which made them lose their self-control to stop the bad things they were doing. Wilson states that “the expansion in personal freedom has been accompanied by a deep distrust” (Wilson 434). Wilson mentions an example of personal freedom which is: mentally ill people having freedom meant that they could not be forced to go to a clinic if they didn’t want to, which lead the mentally ill to be homeless. Derber proclaims that Americans twisted the American Dream as in using it to act selfish and commit heinous crimes. “The readings of history and anthropology… give us no reason to believe that societies have built in self-preservative systems.” - Margaret Mead (Derber 411). The crimes of freedom caused “wilding” this is the word that describes the behavior Americans were showing. Derber observes that “the fear of wilding became fear of the other: those locked outside of the American Dream. They had not yet invaded the world most Americans felt part of, but they menaced it” (Derber 412). Wilding infected corporations and the government also to individuals of every race, class, and gender. Derbers examples of crimes caused by freedom are: a group of teenagers attacked a wealthy woman who was just jogging through central park they “repeatedly cut her with a knife, and left her for dead. Derbers second example is about Charles and Carol Stuart, they had just left a birthing class within minutes of leaving Carol was shot point blank in the head. Charles wanted the insurance money to open a restaurant for...
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