A Fire in the Basement

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Can You Smell the Smoke?
The problem lies at the very infrastructure of our country, the basement. This is the point that Bob Herbert is trying to argue in his article, “A Fire in The Basement”. He talks about the many injustices that happen in America that often go ignored or excused. This piece was served as an introduction to his collections of editorials from 1995-2004. He is a columnist for the New York Times and they are dedicated to the issues of race and poverty in the United States. Bob Herbert suggests that the United States of America is in serious trouble even though currently it may be more powerful and prosperous than ever before. Herbert uses many examples that asks the question, “what has happened to the values that once made The United States special and different to other nations of the world: the core ideals of ‘freedom, justice, equality, and opportunity’?” (Herbert 398). He believes our society has stopped the chase of accomplishing and maintaining these values. This is the basis of his entire article. His view of the United States is that we have too much corruption, abuse of power, and waste of money. I strongly agree with this viewpoint. I think we need to uproot the powers and find honest people to run this country. The mentality that the United States is represented as the land of freedom and opportunity is false despite the vast number of immigrants in the country. Today there is an increasing amount of men and women unable to find jobs, and as a result of this, these middle class families are winding up in incredible amounts of debt. In Bob Herbert’s travels to different cities in the United States, he found that there are staggering numbers of young adults of approximately 5.5 million across America who are out of school, unemployed, and do not receive any help from the government to find work or further their education (Herbert 400). This finding supports Herbert’s claim that America is moving in the wrong direction since teenagers...
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