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10/09/2013

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DIma

Dmitriy Klyagin
English 205
Professor Safdie
July 21, 2014
Are we slipping?
1. Fortunately, the author and co-authors did not provide their own opinions. This careful piece of writing of different perspectives of view on the issue allows it to be transparent and unbiased.
2. I don't believe that the selection of interviewees was inconsistent but the complete opposite. This careful selection allows it to show different sides of the issue regarding the American Dream. It allows the reader to become engaged with the writing by relating with one of the sides. However, I do feel there were more negatives than positives regarding the economy in the article. This is mostly due to the fact that negatives were presented with concrete statistics and comparisons while the positives were mostly presented with the use of positive interviews.
3. The author provides several key important statistics and comparisons. However, I found this to be the closest representation of a summary on the issue;
"Washington gets the most blame in the poll for the lack of good-paying jobs. Nearly seven in 10 people cite political gridlock as a top culprit, followed by competition from cheap overseas labor. More than half say the Democratic and Republican parties as well as President Obama are not offering effective solutions to help the middle class.
Democrats are more likely than Republicans to pin the blame on high executive pay, Wall Street and corporations not investing enough. Republicans are more likely to cite high business taxes and regulations, the cost of health care and American workers themselves." (Morello)
Washington is at fault and it has been proven time and time again regarding their policies. The divide is too sharp between the democrats and republicans on issues that concern all the people of America. Instead of compromising and moving forward, nothing gets done. I feel that the author and the co-authors provided a good amount of statistics and interviews in order for the reader to form their own opinion. Nothing has been left out or missing and nothing needs to be removed or changed. The article is for the lack of a better word; raw. It provides statistics, polls, interviews, and comparisons. The rest is on the reader.
After reviewing both of essays, "More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American Dream” by Carol Morello, Peyton M. Craighill and Scott Clement and "The Hourglass Society" by Stewart Lansley, I must say that I do not enjoy thinking about this issue. I have studied politics since I was a teenager and since then I came to a conclusion. America has a very bright, gorgeous, and hot flame. However, this flame is bright, gorgeous, and hot because it burns faster and uses more fuel. In other words, America hasn't paced itself with the economy properly unlike the nations of Europe that have withstood time. America can still be considered new and fresh country that hasn't experienced the same trials as other nations. The government hasn't played their hand slowly and effectively but rather rashly and unpredictably.
While I do see a possibility of redemption in our economic prosperity, I believe it will be short lived. There needs to be way too many radical ideas implemented concerning the wages, medicare coverage, social security, and taxes, to have a long sustaining future. Right now, we are on a very thin gray line that people choose to overlook in hopes of believing that the recession is over. It's not and won't be while we have a seventeen trillion dollar debt.
As for myself, I will continue to strive towards a better future for myself and my family. I believe that hard work and perseverance can go a long way towards success. However, even while striving, I am continuously reminded that there are, with each semester of school, more educated people without jobs. Will I make it in time before there is too much competition in order to achieve my American Dream?


Works Cited
Morello, Carol, Peyton M. Craighill, and Scott Clement. "More People Express Uncertainty in Chance to Achieve the American Dream." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 21 July 2014. .

Juliann Fritz

2. In the first few paragraphs, Morello and co-authors are painting a bleak portrait. Yet some of their interviewees present more hopeful views. What does the inconsistency contribute to the article as a whole? How do the authors balance these opposing pictures? Do they do so effectively? Why or why not?

2.) I think the inconsistency helps the article rather then hurt it. The opposing viewpoints on the American Dream show that their are different experiences going on in this country right now. The author presents these opposing pictures by including examples of different experiences. I think this is effective because it supports the claim that the american dream is starting to become less attainable, or easily taken away. This is balanced with people in the article who have a more hopeful view, people who think they may be able to rise above the faltering American Dream. Isn't that what the american dream should be about? Making it through hard times and coming out a better and stronger person? Maybe it needs to be defined differently these days.

3.)The authors offer several types of evidence about the current state of the American Dream. Which piece of evidence is most persuasive to you and why? Did any of the evidence seem unnecessary? Was any important evidence missing? Please explain.

The most persuasive piece of evidence are the statistics presented. They represented a factual example of the fear that many americans are feeling right now. "More than six in 10 workers worry they will lose their jobs because of the economy"(Morello). The statistics are supported with actual example of people struggling in today's economy. This gives a face to all doubt felt about the American Dream. The most personable was the example of Mary Edwards, the former stay at home mom who had to return to the workforce after her husband was laid off.
" 'My dream has gone out the window,” said Edwards, 56, a former stay-at-home mom who reentered the workforce doing inventory at a firm near her home in Martinsburg, W.Va"(Morello). Using that quote from Edwards further supports the authors claim. I do not believe any evidence in the article was unnecessary.

Work Cited:
Morello, Carol. Clement, Scott and Craighill, Peyton M. "More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American Dream." The Washington Post. 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 July 2014.

Xuan Ta

Xuan Ta
English 205
Professor Joseph Safdie
07/24/2014
Respond to question 2
I believe that the inconsistency does not make any mistake, but helps the article pull the attention of many readers. The opposing viewpoints on the American dream are carefully selected and help to show many different sides of the issue. Besides, these different sides will allow readers to connect with the article wherever they find themselves relate to one of any sides here. The inconsistency is very effective. It helps support the authors’ claim that the American dream is not easy to achieve. On the other hand, to balance these opposing pictures, the authors also use the hopeful views of people who think they can move forward and achieve the American dream.

Respond to question 3
The authors offer several types of evidence about the current state of the American Dream. I believe that all evidences in the article support the author’s claim really well and they are all necessary. Many important or key evidences are provided here. However, the most persuasive piece of evidence in the article is the statistics which said “six in 10 workers worry they will lose their jobs because of the economy” (Morello). It shows the uncertainty of the American dream really clear.
Beside, using personal quotes is also persuasive. For example, using a quote of Jim Betterwick which said “I’m not sure if I can retire at 66; I think I might have to work a lot longer” (Morello), or another quote of Mary Edwards which said “My dream has gone out the window” (Morello) further supports the authors claim.

My feelings about the “American Dream”
After reading two essays, “More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American dream” by Carol Morello, Peyton Craighill, and Scott Clement, and “The hourglass society” by Steward Landley, I feel so painful. I am sure many people have had a truly rough time. Is the “American dream” still alive? Well, it is not an easy question to answer, especially in this current times when full of uncertainty in our work and our lives.
The “American Dream” makes me recall to our own story. When my husband family moved from Vietnam to America in 1985, they had nothing more than their old clothes and about 50 dollars. When my husband asked his dad why he brought the whole family here, he always answered, “for a better opportunity”. Over the years as my husband grew up, serving as a waiter in a Chinese restaurant, delivering newspaper in a small town, he thought there was the formula for success and happiness in America. As he grew up and moved into his career, he worked even harder. He felt happy in his life. But then things changed, especially since 2008. He found himself stuck. He tried to figure out what happened to the American dream which his family came looking for not too long ago.
Well, whether in Vietnam, America, or any nation in the world, life is not linear. My husband had not gotten here in a straight line and he was not going to move forward in a straight line. There are no guarantees in America, only better chances. I and my husband recognize that while many people may have lost “American Dream”, it still remains in our family. It is because, in American, we have choices and chances which we did not have in Vietnam. I believe the “American Dream” is still alive in each of us who wish to move forward and try to build a better America.

Work Cited
Morello, Carol. Clement, Scott and Craighill, Peyton M. “More People Express Uncertainty in Chance to Achieve the American Dream.” Washington Post. The Washington Post. 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 July 2014.

Jerrodo Butler

The bleak versus hopeful concept can be seen as a coexisting relationship. I believe that although there are views of the economy that are negative, there has to be hope for the future, especially from those of a younger generation, in order to maintain a positive outlook on our society's future. This difference in thought contributes reasons for readers to come to their own conclusion about their financial future; instead of having one side of a very complex issue. I think they do an effective job of balancing both aspects of the subject, although, I think it would have been even more though-provoking if the set-up of the article placed a negative story, followed by a positive story, and so on. Even though there was a "dash" of optimism, the article stills ends up saying, "But for all the optimism of youth, nearly one in six Americans younger than 30 do not believe they will pull ahead financially in the near future" (Morello). But I say that even though times look disastrous in the future, the best step anyone can do is to educate themselves on what is happening, and take further steps to mitigate what could happen to them financially. Every situation is different, but I refuse to believe that this article is tells the entire story of our future.

The evidence given concerning the American Dream is only as valuable as the time period it covers. Yes; if you asked someone about homeownership 50 or even 25 years ago, they would have said that "owning a home is a cornerstone of the American Dream" (Morello). But I do not believe you can compare the world of 2000s to the world or the 1950's - 80's. Our world is constantly changing, and you either have to change with it, or influence its change in a positive direction. Either way, the concept of financial success is different now. Homeownership, today, is not always the best choice for people; as it may have been decades ago.

Work Cited
Morello, Carol. Clement, Scott and Craighill, Peyton M. “More People Express Uncertainty in Chance to Achieve the American Dream.” Washington Post. The Washington Post. 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 25 July 2014.

Eliza

The American Dream
1) Morello and co-authors present divergent views on the current state of the American Dream. What is their own view? Where and how is it expressed most clearly?

In the first few paragraphs, Morello and co-authors begin with is a dystopian view of how we as Americans view the current "American Dream." I believe they agree with the majority of the individuals surveyed based on whom they chose to quote throughout their article. There was one voice describing trust in the American Dream, as he will make more than his farmer father. In the first paragraph when referencing the American Dream elusive, a description that made the authors’ view very apparent

2)In the first few paragraphs, Morello and co-authors are painting a bleak portrait. Yet some of their interviewees present more hopeful views. What does the inconsistency contribute to the article as a whole? How do the authors balance these opposing pictures? Do they do so effectively? Why or why not?

The difference in opinions is using a technique known as planting a naysayer. It is important when creating a point to recognize opposing views otherwise one can sound closed-minded. Including other arguments makes the author look like a broad-minded person who is open to other ideas or is open to debate. Likewise the authors included many views that reinforce their point that the majority of Americans are feeling farther from the American Dream than in the past. Including opposing views can turn off readers as well creating an inconsistency in message but I felt the authors did this effectively. When quoting someone hopeful about the economy the writer returns with a counterpoint: "But for all the optimism of youth, nearly one in six Americans younger than 30 do not believe they will pull ahead financially in the near future."

I personally still believe in the American Dream. But like the others I am more worried each day that the Dream is drifting farther away. I never had dreams to surpass my parents income but did expect to have my children grow up in the middle class environment like I did. I am already a little behind "the dream." I am still unmarried without a family and do not have a bachelors degree. All things my parents had at my age. I do agree with both articles that believe the arguments in Washington are making the inequality in our nation worse not better

Geneva Galban

I don’t think the authors presented their views or opinions but rather other peoples, to be unbiased.
I believe the inconsistency doesn’t hurt the article but benefits it. As for the opposing viewpoints on the American dream, the different accounts shows that each citizen has unique experiences which allows the readers to connect with the claims, therefore; the inconsistency is effective due to the support of the authors’ claims that the American dream is difficult to achieve. The authors balance the opposing picture by presenting view of the people who believe that the dream is obtainable.
The authors provided several types of evidence about the current state of the American dream. The most persuasive evidence us the statitistics that states "more than six in 10 workers worry they will lose their jobs because of the economy"(Morello). This quote allows the readers to understand that the American dream cannot be reached without extremely working hard or cannot be reached at all.
After reading the essays “More People Express Uncertainty in Chance to Achieve the American Dream” by Morello, Craighill, and Clement, and “The Hourglass Society” by Steward Lansley, I felt absolutely blessed that my family is not struggling to pay their bills and is not living paycheck to paycheck like many of the people in this society. I also felt pained by other people’s suffering due to the economy and want to help out in some way so ease their pain. However, even though a many of people in this nation endure loss of money, I still believe there is hope in achieving the American dream but making it is going to be rare.

Vanessa Duenas

Vanessa Duenas
English 205
Joe Safdie
July 27, 2014
The American Dream
2) I think the inconsistency in the article helped it instead of bring it down. By showing different viewpoints, the authors showed that there are different experiences that can happen when trying to achieve the American Dream. The authors balance the opposing pictures by placing more positive view points through the article. Everyone has a different experience when it comes to going after the American Dream and the authors show this by placing both positive and negative experiences in the article. I think by placing different experiences of the opposing pictures shows, that for some, the American Dream isn’t in reaching distance like it used to be years ago. However by the authors placing more positive pictures in the article it shows that the typical look of the American Dream has changed over the years but can still be achieved.

3) I think that all of the evidence that was presented was necessary and help support the article. The most persuasive piece of evidence were the statistics presented for example, “More than six in 10 workers worry they will lose their jobs because of the economy”(Morello). This statistic shows how uncertain many Americans feel about the American Dream in present time. Many of the statistics that were presented were followed by examples of real people who have struggled with the American Dream. An example of this would be from Jim Butterwick, 61, who says, “We’re told almost every day to lower our expectations. I’m not sure if I can retire at 66. I think I might have to work a lot longer”(Morello). Jim Butterwick owned a graphic design company but had close it and ended up becoming a substitute teacher.
I personally still believe in the American Dream but in more of a scene of having a job, no debt, a reliable car, and a happy family. However I do think that the chance of all those things happening can slip away in a minute. I am already beyond parts of the American Dream then my parents were at my age and in some parts behind. I have a job, reliable car, no debt, but I don’t have a family yet like my parents did at my age. With everything that goes on now a days I am still working toward my future every day in hopes that I will one day reach my goals and be able to feel secure and live in the middle class level. There are still people out there that are stuck and don’t know how to move forward and for them, they might not see things the way I do and believe the American Dream as a thing of the past.

Work Cited:
Morello, Carol. Clement, Scott and Craighill, Peyton M. "More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American Dream." The Washington Post. 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 26 July 2014.

Kayla

The Doubt of the American Dream
2. Within the first few paragraphs of the article, Morello and co-authors reasoning to be bleak, I believe, are to give a counter argument of what his or her hopeful interviewees are portraying for their American Dreams. The author’s inconsistency helps contribute to the article by providing a naysayer’s point of view of the positive and reinforcing view of these people’s American Dream. One way the authors balance these opposing pictures is by providing quotes of both hopeful and less hopeful interviewees, even though their stance on the issue is that most Americans are not as ambitious about obtaining and living the American Dream. When talking about the ongoing struggle of American’s being far out of reach of the American Dream in the subsection “An intensifying struggle”, the authors format the interviews of those struggling along with interviews of interviewees who are hopeful. For example, the authors mention the positive views of young, 19-year-old Mitchell Baker who is hopeful for providing himself a better living standard than of his father’s through hard work and connections through his fraternity. However, before this interview, it is mentioned previously a few paragraphs above how one elderly interviewee wishes to die and leave some estate money for their grandchildren to live on rather than wasting that money on living in a nursing home. From these examples, the author’s balance between the opposing pictures helps give their readers an accurate view of what other American’s believe the American dream is about in both negative and positive aspects.
3. One piece of evidence the author’s mention about the current state of the American Dream that was most persuasive to me is how they mentioned statistics relating to receiving a college education and it’s effects of finding a job in today’s economy:
And while education is still seen as a critical part of getting ahead, the dream of a college degree has lost some of its appeal over three decades. Just over half now say going to college is very much part of the American Dream, down from 68 percent who said this in 1986. More than three-quarters say it has become more difficult to pay for college in the past few years, and over half believe colleges are not doing enough to prepare students to find jobs in today’s economy.
This caught my attention because as a college student myself, I feel that it is true that the appeal of getting a good education has lost value because of how colleges aren’t helping enough to better prepare us for a financially stable future. I feel that colleges are representing the American Dream in a less realistic point of view for college students by telling he or she to be more ambitious and chase our dream job rather than being more blunt to the fact that most student’s dream jobs will most likely not keep them financially stable and also have to work harder for nothing more than to keep a steady lifestyle through struggle. To support my statement, the authors provide a quote from interviewee David Borck who states how he was told in school to work hard to get what you want but end up getting nothing for working:
The American Dream I always was told about in school was you work hard, you study hard and you’ll be able to do whatever you want to do,” he said. “But now you’re given things for doing nothing, and you get nothing for working. (Borck)
I believe that this article had no unnecessary or important evidence missing. They gave a clear view of both positive and negative aspects of the American Dream and by giving multiple examples of both sides through an interview process and statistics helps give reader’s a better understanding of the American Dream among today’s economy

Works Cited
Morello, Carol, Peyton M. Craighill, and Scott Clement. "More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American Dream." The Washington Post. 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 28 July. 2014.

Whitney Adams

1. Morello and co-authors present divergent views on the current state of the American Dream. What is their own view? Where and how is it expressed most clearly?
Morello and the co-authors begin this article by painting a very grim picture of the current American reality. Even though the authors don't directly state their opinions in this article; the quotes and people they chose to interview would suggest they do agree with this idea of uncertainty we face. Their views seem to be most strongly expressed throughout the first few paragraphs; they chose to start the article with data and evidence used to suggest that the economy hasn't improved much since the recession, and to show how this has affected the opinions of many Americans. For example the authors stated, "Many Americans say they have not recovered from the recession of 2007 to 2009, according to the poll of 1,509 adults" (Morello). This is a great way to introduce their subjects who all have heart breaking stories about the recession and how they are still affected. I found both the evidence and the use of ethos throughout this article to subtlety convey the authors opinions.

2. In the first few paragraphs, Morello and co-authors are painting a bleak portrait. Yet some of their interviewees present more hopeful views. What does the inconsistency contribute to the article as a whole? How do the authors balance these opposing pictures? Do they do so effectively? Why or why not?
The inconsistency between their interviewees' opinions, was used to present a different demographics opinion on the same topic. If you notice all of these optimistic views are given by people under the age of 30 and many of them were college students. I think this inconsistency helps create dimension in the article and offers another viewpoint on the subject. However, I don't feel that the authors balanced these two opposing ideas. The negative responses were backed up with statistical evidence showing that the economy was still affecting Americans. Where as the data shown with the more optimistic comments only showed that many people under the age of 30 were in agreement about their fate; because of these imbalances I feel that they did not show these ideas effectively. They were effective in showing that even despite some opinions, the American dream is becoming harder to reach.

Works Cited
Morello, Carol, Peyton M. Craighill, and Scott Clement. "More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American Dream." The Washington Post. 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 28 July. 2014.

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