3 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2021
    1. Diminishing social mobility excludes the middle class from the hope of achieving the American Dream.

      Do we actually need social mobility?

      Social mobility and the goods it can purchase can be a useful social motivation.

      However, social mobility for the poorest amoungst us would be good, but how much additional marginal good does society derive from continued social mobility of the middle and upper classes continuing to gain wealth and moving up?

      Perhaps there's a myth of social mobility confounding the issue with the myth of meritocracy as well.

      Certainly the idea of raw capitalism without caps is at play as well. Could providing better governmental oversight of this be a helpful factor for society? (At least American society at the moment? As international competition may drive other broader problems vis-a-vis other pieces of global domination...)

    2. The “American Dream” is itself a meritocratic notion of rising from rags to riches on hard work and talent alone.

      What other common pieces make up the American dream? This is surely one of the deepest roots which allows others like "buying and owning one's own home".

      Freedom certainly makes a play, but there are certainly freedoms we give up and others that are impinged upon to actually live and exist here with respect to the rest of society.

  2. Sep 2020
    1. In American folklore, the nation was built out of a wilderness by free-booting individuals - the trappers, cowboys, preachers, and settlers of the frontier. Yet this primary myth of the American republic ignores the contradiction at the heart of the American dream: that some individuals can prosper only through the suffering of others. The life of Thomas Jefferson - the man behind the ideal of `Jeffersonian democracy' - clearly demonstrates the double nature of liberal individualism. The man who wrote the inspiring call for democracy and liberty in the American declaration of independence was at the same time one of the largest slave-owners in the country.

      Some profound ideas here about the "American Dream" and the dark underbelly of what it may take to achieve not only for individuals, but to do so at scale.