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06/13/2011

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Luciano D.

1.It would be easy to think that Pollitt’s title is her main argument, but it isn’t. What is Pollitt really arguing? What is her main point?

Pollitt’s article starts out by contrasting Western Europe, specifically Germany, with America in terms of which country has more benefits. Although the people of Western Europe do seem to have a more pleasurable democratic system (such as job security, retirement pensions, and affordable colleges) Pollitt argues that this might be the cause of ethnic homogeneity and the willingness to help people with the same background. Pollitt also states that this might also be the same reason why Americans have been stubborn to adopt such benefits that are enjoyed by the people of Germany. She supports this claim by saying, “Americans would rather not have something than see black and Latino Americans get it too.” Even though Europe seems to be well of, the author leaves us wondering if such a lifestyle will still be attainable with the immigration of different ethnic backgrounds such as Muslims. In short, Pollitt argues that it is not America’s open invitation to immigration that has caused a weak safety net in our country but rather our people’s unwillingness to see beyond “the color line.”

Carla Gonzalez-Baruch

Having lived in the United States my whole life definitely makes me assertive in saying this is the greatest country ever. However, for that same reason of having lived and grown up here for so long, one also notices and takes into consideration all of the bad aspects, and we realize what needs to be changed and why. When the United States is unfavorable compared to another, I try not to let it discompose the way I already feel about my country. Instead, I listen to what other people have to say about other countries, and the great aspects about them, and I acknowledge the benefits of living there. This not only allows me to keep my mind open about other opinions, but it allows me to develop a stronger standpoint and opinions as to what policies would make our country more favorable amongst the others. That being said, my response to reading Pollitt's argument was a reserved almost unemotional one. What it did do was make me think differently about the people that live in this country and what everyones efforts are in achieving the" American Dream".

Margarita Savkina

I completely agree with Katha Pollitt, life in Europe --with their social democratic system-- seems to benefit everyone a lot more. Coming from Russia to the United States made me see that the U.S. is actaully a lot more structured and has a firm belief in a strong work ethic. But sometimes a strong work ethic doesn't get you that far. After having the expereinces of traveling to many European nations, Pollitt is right. The people have a very free life style as opposed to us where we are constantly rushing to get omething done, and barely have any vacation times. My "emotional" response to this article is I feel kind of dispointed in the fact that I'll probably just turn into that average American, who keeps to themselves, prefers not to share, rishes from home to work and back, and no vacations. Life really is better out in Europe, people tend to live a more of a "fun" life. I feel dissatisfied with what is yet to come then if all Americans seem to follow the same unbreakable trend.

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