The Great Seduction
In his article “The Great Seduction” (NY Times June 2008), David Brooks claims that “our most rampant decadence today is financial decadence” (1). What he means by this is that America is falling apart in terms of money. Early America's ideals of hard work and saving for the future are gone. Most of society is in debt and has no hope for repaying it. I agree with Brooks' ideals because a large portion of Americans are spending more money than they are saving. Not only are many Americans spending more than saving, but this group of people is spending money that they don't have. According to Brooks, credit card debt skyrocketed to $692 billion in 2001, and “by last year, it was up to $937 billion” (1). A large portion of society, usually consisting of those of those who are more at risk or more vulnerable to being roped into scams and what not, are burying themselves alive in debts they cannot afford pay off. Brooks says there are two classes here, one has “tax deferred savings plans, as well as an army of financial advisors” (1). These are usually the more educated, more wealthy Americans, who can afford these luxuries such as financial advisors. They focus on saving, making their money last. “On the other hand, there is the lottery class, people with little access to 401 K's or financial planning, but plenty of access to pay day lenders, credit cards, and lottery agents” (2), Brooks says. I agree with Brooks when he writes that “state governments have played a role” (2). They encourage the advertisement of this facade of striking it rich by means o f random selection. You, along with thousands, millions of people can pay a fee to get your name entered into a lottery system where you could potentially win it big. How contradictory is this of our very own government, “the guardian of order, telling people that they don't have to work hard to build for the future?” (2) Furthermore our...
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