Sound familiar, as you can see, it was written in 1991. This very same scenario can be seen in new articles from 1943, 1980, 1991, and now 2008. The American people say that they do not want to reward greed by bailing out the corporations but greed is not the real problem. The real problem is that it fails the American dream.
How might we define the American dream? It is more than cars and money. James Adams was the first to actually attempt to define it. That definition was of “a land in which life could be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” This is a dream that European upper classes might have some difficulty in interpreting and now many of our own are having trouble hanging on to. Americans have become weary and mistrustful of it. It is a dream about a social order in which each man and woman shall attain their fullest potential of which they are innately capable of being recognized by others for what they are regardless of the circumstances from which they came. This is the dream that is being lost to Americans who are working hard and losing to companies who are not.
From the time we are young children, we are taught, if we work hard and do well, we will be rewarded. Essential to the American dream is the belief that you will be rewarded if you are successful. This is so much a part of the society and culture that it also becomes part of the ethics of the culture. If you work hard throughout your life, you will have what you want and maybe more. This is where the anger really comes from.
Greed is part of the American dream. All Americans are greedy. Americans do not hope to have just enough, they hope to have everything they can get but they expect to get it by working hard, doing a good job, and being successful (Sandel, 2009) anything else is considered theft. Why then, are we rewarding with millions of dollars those companies