Thesis 1: After experiencing college firsthand, I think the best way to prepare high school students prior to graduation is no longer allowing teachers to drop grades, as well as eliminating retakes entirely.
Thesis 2: Popular culture provides a positive depiction of today’s youth, encouraging young people who consume the media to seize the day and make every moment matter.
The article “Is the American Dream Over” raised more questions than it answers. Cal Thomas writes in agreement that the American dream is in fact over by suggesting that there are too many things wrong with the world today. He speaks on subjects such as the monopolistic government and nonstop war-fare as reasons to back this up but to me it does not quite seem to entirely mean the American dream is no longer alive. His arguments are true in the fact that there are many things wrong with the way our nation is today, which nonetheless effects the people that live here. However I do not believe the decrease in the economy has caused the American dream to come tumbling down. If anything, it has just shifted and just transformed a bit from what it once used to be.
Thomas brings up valid points that support the truth on our troubled economy but does not directly tie it back to the central point. I think it would be a much stronger piece if he were to state that the American Dream is not in fact over, but there are many factors like the ones he explained that are slowly killing it.
I also believe Thomas should further elaborate on why he says that the American Dream is not taught or supported by culture. He begins the second to last paragraph by saying this and then continues on to explain the “rules” for achieving this dream as known by pervious generations. Thomas provides to reasoning behind why it is that the new generation is unaware of all of this information whereas the past ones are.
I think this piece was well written but it was just not very convincing to me.
First of all, it is difficult for me to believe that metaphors said by foreigners can be analyzed in a way to find world views of certain cultures. I think bringing up the “What if your language of birth is naturally replete with violent metaphors?” is important because it points out that this method is truly not a secure one. I can definitely understand the difference between a neutral and violent metaphor can make, however not all violent speakers should be categorized as suspicious simply by the manner they express themselves. It is true some people are just violent by nature, not to mention that a handful of metaphors translate to sound something they truly are not. Such as the saying “it’s raining cats and dogs” and “am I talking to a brick wall?” These metaphors directly say things that they don’t literally mean. Saying that it’s raining cats and dogs just means it is raining heavily. Asking someone if you’re talking to a brick wall is a response to let the other person acknowledge that you know they aren’t listening by comparing it to speaking to a wall. I’d say these metaphors would be considered cultural in the U.S. because they are hyperboles. I think that they show our tendencies as Americans to exaggerate or put a strong emphasis on things.
I was introduced to Wal-Mart’s corrupt system back in 7th grade. I was visiting my brother for a week and we were driving to the supermarket and he drove right past Wal-Mart. I asked my brother why we didn’t just go there when he said that he doesn’t support the way the chain operates, so he no longer puts his money into buying from them. This is when he taught me a little bit about how they are unfair to their employees with both pay and health care aspects.
Like Karen Olsen states in Up Against Wal-Mart, I couldn’t understand why a company making over a billion a year was so unjust that it lead my brother to refuse to shop there. I also learned about Olsen’s point of the suing of Wal-Mart for sex discrimination prior to the reading when my AP Stats professor presented the case to the class to show how Statistics is useful in real life. The Statistics behind this lawsuit actually indeed find Wal-Mart guilty of doing this. I think bringing that point up made Olsen’s argument a lot stronger because it served as solid proof on Wal-Mart’s wrongdoings.
I believe my background and values learned about work influences my stand a lot relating to how the corporation handles healthcare. Jennifer McLaughlin is spoken about in the reading as she is an employee at the store that must count on Medicaid to cover her son while she goes without as there is a high deductible taken from each paycheck for it. She puts so much effort in doing her job considering there is not even a sufficient amount of workers for the amount of things that has to get done. I would think decent healthcare would be the last thing she has to worry about for a company that successful. She is not the only one, and it is unfair that employees are victims of this with the tiny exception of managers and those that have been working there for 20+ years.
Sebastian Mallaby mentions many good points in “Progressive Wal-Mart Really.” One that sticks out the most to me is when he acknowledges that the pay at Wal-Mart is much less than the annual salary of those who work at Target and Costco, however the low prices make a huge difference. He says it benefits the poor, which I agree with. Mallaby points out that the percentage of those that are on Medicaid at Wal-Mart is equivalent to that of other large retail forms, making the health care issue seem less than it truly is. This made me second guess my opinion on how I saw the point when reading the chapter prior, so I would say I need to know more about that to settle on a position.