Response to David Callahan's "Cheating Culture"

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In his book the “Cheating Culture” David Callahan presents what he thinks is a moral decline in the behavior of Americans. He suggests a number of ways to mend the social contract and reverse this trend. I will argue that one of the solutions is more important than the others. I believe a society in which citizens are less insecure about the well being of their basic needs will help reduce cheating and corruption.

Callahan’s first suggestion is to make work pay by raising minimum wage and increasing tax credits for low income families. The second solution is to expand access to higher education and adopt universal higher education. The third proposal is the implementation of programs to help people build wealth and assets. The final suggestion is to create programs to reduce insecurities such as health care and pensions.

First of all, I believe higher education is available to those who desire it. While the top universities may not be available to the majority of people, state and community colleges provide technical training for decent jobs. A growing argument is that costs for higher education continue to grow. This seems to be a complaint of my wealthier middle class friends who don’t get many grants and whose parents shoulder most of the cost. With programs such as affirmative action it is easier than ever for lower income minorities to attend universities and receive grants from the government. Growing up in a mixed income K-12 school system I was able to see that higher education is possible for all. Fellow students regardless of their family’s financial situation were granted the same education. Student who were willing to excel were rewarded with good grades without having to study endless hours. This is a very different picture than the example Callahan uses in his book in which high school students slave away to receive good grades. Even as a Caucasian male I was able to receive a large scholarship from a private university. Since I came from a...
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