The modern world is going through all kinds of crises these days. This sad statistic can be observed in Europe and in Asia. Unfortunately, the United States of America is not an exception either. The waves of financial crisis and the growing rate of unemployment keep hitting our country month after month, year after year. Warren E. Buffett has noticed an inconsistency in the American tax system. It turns out that the citizens, who generally could be considered as mega-rich people, have much lower percentage of taxes than the representatives of lower and middle class. Buffett says that he has been “coddled long enough by a millionaire-friendly Congress” (par. 15). Warren Buffett suggests that something has to be done with this inconsistency.
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I agree with this idea. It is a well-known fact that people of lower and middle class have to face lots of problems; biggest ones of them are the impossibility to find a decent job due to the low-quality education. American financial system “needs a reboot and an upgrade, but also does public school system” (Friedman, par. 4). One of the consequences of the poor education in the United States is the fact that our citizens are generally economically uneducated. According to Anna Quindlen, the major reason behind “the tanking of the market, the mess in subprime mortgages and the bailout bills is that Americans don’t understand the basics of the economy” (par. 2). If Warren Buffett’s idea was put into practice, our country would immediately start having additional financial resources to improve the issues in the field of education, start teaching children economy for the future understanding of financial processes and prepare highly qualified specialists, who would not have to suffer from the inability to find a well-paid job.
The world we live in for the last several decades has been the world of numbers, computers, technological and scientific progresses engineering, business and finances. It has become noticeable that people who have graduated with the majors in humanities have faced the problem of finding a suitable job. This time the problem has nothing to do with the quality of education this people get, the cause of the issue is the fact that the number of vacancies of companies offering jobs to people with humanitarian professions is getting lower and lower. The major money making careers include mainly technical and mathematical specialties and requite scientists and specialists in computer technologies and programming. Yet discrimination of humanities should not be allowed and their importance should not be underestimated. Mark Twain saw the humanities and reading artistic literature an “unspeakable means of improvement” (par. 3). Gopnik argues with this point of view saying that “no one was better read than the English upper classes who, a hundred years ago, blundered into the catastrophe of the Great War” (par. 5).
This is true, being a well-read person does not necessarily mean being a good and virtuous person. Though, according to Annie Murphy Paul, reading helps our brain develop “reading circuits” and evolve (par. 7). Besides, reading carries a rare type of pleasure that is almost unachievable through other kinds of mental occupations, especially the ones that include various gadgets and digital devices. The future generation is growing up without learning the art of deep reading. To my mind, reading artistic literature and working on skills needed for the humanitarian specialties is crucial for the harmonic development of personality and mind. The specialists in humanities are needed to teach the children use their brain for reading or writing and not let them end up brought up by the robotic babysitters such as cell phones and computers.
Our self-identity is dictated by the society we live in and by the environment that surrounds us every day of our life. There are known proofs of this statement. As an example, we can take a look at the German society during Berlin Wall period. The society of a country that used to the whole, that once was united by one idea for generations turned out to be separated by the Wall for several decades and fell under the influences of two different ideologies. As a result, the mentality, views and lifestyle of people living in the East Germany and their West German neighbors became absolutely different, the understanding between these two parts of one country sharing one history and same roots was gone and had to be re-established. Our personal identity directly depends on the place we live in. The modern world keeps being concerned with the situation in Muslim countries, where most women are being oppressed and humiliated daily.
Morrison comments on the public whipping in Sudan by saying that this kind of human brutality is “particularly harrowing” (par. 1). Without a doubt, such attitude towards females could not remain without consequences. Most Muslim women are raised to think they have no rights and they belong to men, but, obviously, there are many Islamic women that enjoy all kinds of freedoms living in the Arabic region. Arabic women “vigorously reject the stereotype” of being abused by men and turned into men’s property (Kristof, par. 3). On the contrary, they state that Western women are the toys of men’s power used for men’s satisfaction, forced to wear clothes approved by men and show off their bodies. This example shows how people of different cultures can view the same event in absolutely different ways. Women of both Arabic and Western countries view themselves as free and each other as abused and oppressed.
The American dream is a well-known phenomenon. This dream has been the moving force of the society of the United States for generations. Americans are known to be the workaholic nation focused on building careers and achieving financial goals in order to improve their own quality of life. Though, to my mind, some of the conditions of the American dream have been changed in the contemporary world. For example, our people do not seem to dream of working hard to reach their goals. The new American dream is about wanting everything and wanting to get it fast. This is why modern mass media are so obsessed with the stories of magical turns, lucky breaks and Cinderella stories. One of the most typical examples of such story is the one told in the super famous series of books and movies called “The Twilight Saga”. The main character begins as an average looking girl without any outstanding skills, not highly intelligent, clumsy and very usual. In the end of the story she is a forever young and very pretty nineteen year old married to an incredibly good-looking immortal millionaire and a mother of a beautiful child, who will only take around six years to fully grow up.
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To my mind, this is a typical example of an American dream of the new kind. The girl, who has been no one and has basically done nothing ends up surrounded by eternal happiness, wealth, power and beauty, and within one year achieves everything an average female could possibly dream about. This is just one example of such fairytale. The minds of modern young people are being mesmerized by the fake reality shown on the television. This reality is designed to encourage the desire to have everything and have it all right away. This is why various contests and competitions have gained such huge popularity these days and this is why castings for the TV shows like Top Model or Voice gather millions of people from all over the country.
These shows promise that the winner will receive the most amazing and tempting prize – the dream. This dream used to be earned through years of hard work and career growth. Contemporary world offers alternative ways of achieving the dream. This world promises it as a prize for the chosen ones, the lucky people, the winners, who will be saved a lot of time and effort and given everything they ever wanted right away. I think this metamorphosis has happened because contemporary life is all about high speed and doing everything fast, achieving maximum results in minimum time. Every individual is under the constant social pressure of being behind some kind of a psychological deadline; everyone has a built-in timer that is defined by the achievements of the people around us. Modern life is an unofficial race, exhausting both physically and emotionally.
Buffett, W. E. Stop Coddling the Super-Rich. 2011. Web.
Friedman, T. L. The New Untouchables. 2009. Web.
Gopnik, A. Why Teach English? 2013. Web.
Kristof, N. D. Saudis in Bikinis. 2002. Web.
Morrison, T. On the Justice of a Public Whipping in Sudan. 2011. Web.
Paul, A. M. Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer. 2013. Web.
Twain, M. Advice to Youth. 1882. Web.
Quindlen, A. On the Financial Crisis. 2009. Web.