The lives of the American society is concentrated on working to live and spend money, under a capitalist system that are
The book “The Other America”, written by Michael Harrington, describes poverty in America in the 1950s and 1960s, when America became one of the most affluent and advanced nations in the world. The book was written in 1962, and Harrington states that there were about 50,000,000 (about 25% of the total population) poor in America at that time. The author did extensive research with respect to the family income levels to derive the poverty numbers, and used his own observations and experiences to write this book. This book addresses the reasons for poverty, the nature of poverty, the culture of poverty, the blindness of Middle Class America with respect to poverty, and the responsibility of all Americans in addressing the issue of poverty in America.
Additionally, all of the above comes coupled with the moral criticisms that have been leveled at the American way of running its business, or, more precisely, the way business has been allowed a nearly free reign in running America. The hands-off policies of capitalism, many argue, are solely responsible for the fact that that a small minority of the population currently enjoys a greater share of the national wealth than that of some three quarters of the nation combined. The reaction of many writers and speakers to the barrage of hurdles faced by the American way of life has been to, in effect, flush the entire experiment.
As seen throughout the semester, the debates surrounding capitalism and its role in society are extensive and transcends generations. By virtue of the nature of debates, two broad positions on capitalism evolved in North American Protestantism – one position defends capitalism while the other protests capitalism. The defense of capitalism developed in the 19th century. Being one of the many authors to do so, Charles Sellers attributes the development of capitalism to the Market and Industrial Revolution (Sellers, 21). Consequently, the Second Great Awakening increased religious awareness and significance in the daily lives of Americans (Sellers, 202). Sellers argues it was only through religion that Americans could cope with the stresses of
In America, most of our parents at a very early age that we should be grateful for what we have. Even with these teachings Americans are finding it hard to do just that. American Capitalism is built off of the concept that anybody can buy property, open a practice/start a business, and profit off of it. One thing that both “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck teach us is that the system of American capitalism isn’t perfect. Both of these books show both sides of capitalism, those who make it and those who don’t. In both books the rich are ignoring the bad things they inflict on the poor because it makes them richer and more powerful. As Rick Danko said, “As time goes on we get closer to that
Before taking this course, I always looked at films and read books just as the average person does; interesting plot and how long will it hold my interest, but this course gave me an entire different perspective when watching films and reading books. Now that I have taken this course and have watched the required films, the most important thing when watching other movies and reading books, is the meaning behind each scene and how they relate and affect our world. For this paper, I will discuss a book that I read a long time ago, which is She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb and how this book relates to this course.
If you examine a vehicle, you may agree that it is greater than the sum its parts. Individually, the engine, battery, tires, steering wheel, and steel body can’t haul a teen to school or an associate to work like they can when they are all working together as a cohesive unit. Just like any vehicle, the common wealth of a community is greater than the needs of the individuals that make up the community. When the individuals of a community entangle themselves in a web of wants and selfish desires, they tend to loose sight of the well being of the people who surround them, the environment in which they thrive off of, and, in the long-run, themselves. In conjunction, author Scott Russell Sanders’ article titled “Defending Our Common Wealth” highlights these points as well as emphasizes creating a new vision of wealth, encouraging community over consumption and consumerism to his audience.
With an end to the First World War, Americans at long last were able to concern themselves with personal matters, needs, and desires, as opposed to those of the country’s in wartime t. This development of a high value placed on self-treatment resulted in the rise of a consumer culture that entailed the rise of industry and the manufacture of goods. Consumerism and industry go hand-in-hand at the time, with consumer products becoming “symbols and proofs of excellence” (Doc. 1). The desire for new products and purchasing goods initiates the rise of a new religion in America, replacing
J.D. Salinger’s world-renowned book The Catcher in the Rye and director Sean Penn’s dramatic feature film Into the Wild both give us a unique perspective of society through a collection of descriptive imagery and riveting plot development. Both materials present us with protagonists Holden Caulfield and Chris McCandless, whom are deeply encompassed by self-introspection and who seem to be on a quest to find true happiness and meaning to their bland, corrupt lives. A recurring theme in both works is the process of discovering one’s true identity, which can only be achieved through a journey of spiritual self-discovery.
Alexander and Shaler state that “at the beginning of the 21st century, for rich and poor people alike, jobs disappear on short notice, communities are weak and unstable, people routinely change lovers, families, occupations, coworkers, technical skills, languages, nationalities, therapists, spiritual beliefs, and ideologies as they navigate the shopping malls, real estate markets and employment agencies.” (4) A free market society is supposed to maximize people’s wellbeing, happiness and wealth, but the truth is people are forced to compete against each other and lose their sense of belonging, meaning and identity, eventually turning into slaves in a money-oriented society. Whether rich or poor, people become disconnected from their cultural identity and fail to fail to establish their intimate relationships with friends, communities an co-workers. According to Alexander and Shaler, this is when people “cannot achieve a reasonable degree of psychosocial integration” (5) and become dislocated from the society. Dislocation cannot simply be eliminated by food, shelter or the attainment of wealth. The poverty of spirit leads people to search for a substitute lifestyle to fill the emptiness of fast-moving life. As a result, people turn to substitute lifestyles that can be dangerous and addictive. Bruce and Shaler argue that today’s free market ignore all previously understood limits and have gone too far to the extreme.
TCITR explores the challenges of living life on your own terms amidst the social pressures of the 1950’s, through the idea of individuality. Similarly TPOBAW, examines the struggles of teenagers being individuals amidst social cliques, facades and peer pressures of the 1990s’.The challenges of being an individual in America is shaped in the 1950’s context, where the protagonist, Holden, in TCITR is considered an outcast by rebelling against 1950’s parental values that held social advancement through academia and goes on a manic quest to New York searching for identity and deep meaning in life. Holden’s quest for individuality is accentuated through symbolism of his red hunting hat, a symbol of his uniqueness and internal struggles. “I swung
Individuals’ perceptions and relations towards each other can cause strife when comparing on terms of monetary worth and value. Americans dislike the division of income and wealth into the commonly categorized 99 percent of the majority population and one percent wealthy. Interestingly enough, though, despite the large increases in economic inequality since 1970, the majority of Americans do not support the redistribution of wealth (Ashok, Kuziemko, Washington). Notwithstanding, capitalism still draws criticisms that if more businesses were Christian-like in their practices, such divisions may not exist. This notion clearly demonstrates a misunderstanding in wealth distribution in America, as well as a misunderstanding in God’s perception of material inequality.
The United States is a capitalistic country in which a person’s status in society is
According to Western Culture Global the American economic system is “Characterized by saving and capital accumulation, exchange, profit motive, freedoms of economic competition and economic inequality, economic progress and material self-interests of all the individuals who participate in it” (Western Culture Global). These characteristics of capitalism are vital for a successful development and maintenance of businesses in the Western Hemisphere. With that being said, capitalism encourages a higher standard of living of the overall quality of life in the US, through successful accomplishments of many businesses, corporations, and banks that are the heartbeat of the American capitalism (Ellis). In addition, there are other contributions made to improve the welfare and quality of life in society and that is in the form of charities, grants, scholarships, and other indirect ways by wealthy business owners, banks, and corporations which in turn boosted the development of society and advancing the general population of the US.
Capitalism started up as a system of investing and sharing money in order to increase the value of resources in the future. Capitalism was just an economic system, but then soon turned into a complex system of ethical practices. Harari defines capitalism as, “a set of teachings about how people should behave, educate their children and even think” (Harari 314). This economic system evolved along with the people that were endorsing it. Capitalism enables the rich to get richer, while the poor continue to get poorer. There are many benefits to capitalism, but there are downfalls as well, and these downfalls tend to be masked because of the rapid speed capitalists grow at. Harari first presents a definition for capitalism, and soon goes into great detail on why capitalism, while fast paced and unforgiving, is able to stand unwavered while other productions fail.