American Economic Culture

America is very unique. I might sound like an insane patriot saying this, but there is genuinely something about America that makes it a breeding ground for innovation, change. In some part of this country, not all, it seems as though the rags to riches story is easier to achieve. I mean, we have so many self made millionaires, billionaires, and all this new money. And this dates back to the beginning of this country.

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For instance Alexander Hamilton, one of the key people in the founding of our nation, was an orphan in the Caribbeans at the age of eleven. Yet he managed to rise up the ranks and become the first Secretary of Treasury in the US.  He managed his own trading company and he rose to become one of the wealthiest Americans of his time. He is also responsible for many positive affects on the economy of the time, as he created the first National Bank. Furthermore, he was able to handle America’s massive debt during the time, helping to restart the economy.

In fact, this pattern has occurred throughout America’s history. We, the bold frontier, made the plane, the cell phone, the internet. Hell, we even created all those mixed cocktails in bars during the prohibition era. Our innovators have made America a home for change. In fact, America is seen as a home for opportunity across the world. For most of America’s existence, there have constantly been more people immigrating than leaving the country. The only time that this wasn’t true was when the US set up laws to stop immigration after the first world war.

But even now, the world we live in is full of innovators. From Steve Jobs and his creation/leading of Apple to Elon Musk and his founding of 4 major businesses. In America’s current economy, small businesses are constantly booming and growing. Start ups in Silicon Valley have fueled an age of technological growth. Scientific research is discovering new things everyday. In fact, scientists recently confirmed the last of Albert Einstein’s prediction on Gravity. In short, something about America makes it perfect for individual growth, for people to jump up and down the economic ladder in the blink of an eye.

Another big example is Booker T. Washington and his rise following the end of slavery. In his work, “The Atlanta Exposition Address,” he talks of how the newly freed slaves still have a wide range of job opportunities. He gives a brief story of a distressed ship in need of fresh water, sending calls to other ships. Soon, the captain casts his bucket down into the waters around the boat only to find sparkling fresh water from the river surrounding them. Washington then states that these newly freed slaves need only cast their own buckets in the fields of agriculture and industry. Even Washington himself is an example of the rise from rags to riches. He was a freed slave himself who went through college and began a successful writing career as well as working in various lower paying jobs.

Lastly, we can find another example of America’s ripe conditions in the American Classic “The Grapes of Wrath.” In chapter 19, the author includes a brief history of California and how many farmers who lived there during the time of the story became so rich. Within the story, the narrator describes how the land belonged to Mexicans during the time. Soon, many Californians began flooding into the land to take up small farming jobs. Since majority of the farmers were Americans, they soon over took the land, buying it from the Mexicans until they all left. This brief tale shows how people can climb the economic ladder.

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In the context of the story as a whole, the main characters must leave their home farm in Oklahoma and move to California to find new opportunities. In short, they end up in California to find abysmal conditions where the poor are oppressed and small farmers are being consumed by larger farms. Despite this initially bad setting, the book ends with a massive down poor, signalling the end of the drought and the rise of many more farming jobs. This novel focuses itself on the hope that helped people sustain themselves despite the apparent lack of order and opportunity.

 

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