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Lecture 4

Week 4 – The American Dream.docx

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Week 4The American Dream With the fall of communism the American Dream has become the de facto global model for the welfare state and consumer capitalism has become synonymous with the good lifeThis victory has brought it to the attention of new rivals and critics from the nonWestern world Last Lecture We traced the emergence of the welfare ideal and its manifestation into two different forms in Europe the Communist East Peoples Democracy and Democratic West Social DemocracyoSocial Democracy A general term that describes the basic form of the postwar state in Western Europe based on representative government the promotion of welfare policies to benefit the ordinary person and the use of Keynesian principles to intervene in the economyThis concept is useful for distinguishing the Western European state model from that prevailing in Eastern Europe and North AmericaThis lecture We examine the consumer driven manifestation of the welfare ideal that emerged in North America which I term the American Dream but which might also be termed consumer welfare in reference to the fact that rather than looking to the state corporations and consumers were allowed to search out the good life in much more unregulated fashionThe welfare state wasnt a huge concept of a welfare state bc there was less devastation and no destruction war wasnt fought hereThe American Dream 19461970When the GIs came home they wanted to enjoy lifebaby boom but they were living in familys housecreated cheap town houses so they could move out and have their own family and house Out of the three welfare state models the American dream triumphed and people from around the world started to strive for it IWelfare in AmericaLesserfaire capitalism modelwork for what you haveThe idea of having your own house a shelter from the pressures of society surrounded by your nuclear family and this would make you happy Roots of the American Dreamothe idea of America as a land of liberty never waned the only thing holding you back is your own effortsgiven the opportunity to get the American dreamo The principle of equality of opportunity was always a myth that fell short of reality but it remained powerful in so far that in all the world America ran closest to this idealoRags to riches stories might have been uncommon but millions of immigrants who landed and eked out a hard life on farmsteads in the dry lands of plains did earn a measure of
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