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Thesis| The American Dream of each generation doing better than the previous generation is ALIVE. Capitalism, a commitment to being thrifty, favorable economic trends and government policies have helped the dream to thrive. The social contract between generations remains intact. OR The American Dream of each generation doing better than the previous generation is DEAD. The faults of capitalism, over consumption, adverse economic trends and government policies have contributed to the demise of the dream. The social contract between generations has been broken.

Trend Report and Final Paper

 

 

1. Take a stand on the American Dream

 

Select a Thesis Statement

The American Dream of each generation doing better than the previous generation is ALIVE. Capitalism, a commitment to being thrifty, favorable economic trends and government policies have helped the dream to thrive. The social contract between generations remains intact.

OR

The American Dream of each generation doing better than the previous generation is DEAD. The faults of capitalism, over consumption, adverse economic trends and government policies have contributed to the demise of the dream. The social contract between generations has been broken.

 

 

2. Define Well-Being [5 points]: define well-being so clearly that your grandmother would understand what you mean. Use the results of your individual and group work on this question. Consider, when we say that the American Dream is to “achieve a level of success equal to or better than the previous generation” what do we really mean? What is and is not included in the word “success” or its equivalent terms “well-being” or “life quality”?

 

3.Measure Well-Being in 3 major parts of American life [30 points]:

a. Select topics

 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Economic Well-Being

Quality of Life

Community Well-Being

Select ONE of the Topics below

 

Select ONE of the Topics below

Wages (not minimum wage)

Spirituality / life purpose

Housing

Jobs

 

Environment

Wealth

 

Culture

Poverty

 

Recreation and Leisure

Health

 

Education

   

Transportation

 

b. Select measures

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Economic Well-Being

Quality of Life

Community Well-Being

Your Topic:

Spirituality / life purpose

Your Topic:
Your Measure:

 

 

 

Your Measure: Your Measure:

 

c. Research trends for each of your 3 measures:

1. Describe what has happened over the past 25 years. If historical data are hard to locate, describe trends as far back as you can. Consider using figures to summarize trends for presentation.

2. Evaluate reasons for the trend. Why has moved the trend line up or down?

3. Assess who has been affected by the trend. Has the effect been positive or negative? Does the effect differ by group (e.g. level of education, age, race/ethnicity, work status, etc.) Explain.

4. Argue persuasively for one or two changes in law or society that would alter the trend.

5. Anticipate the arguments that your critics will have. Acknowledge the counter arguments and explain why they are incomplete or incorrect.

This section of your paper, MUST include, at a minimum:

  • at least one table and one figure/graph/chart properly formatted and referenced in your paper
  • two specific supporting quotes from State of Working America
  • one supporting quote from any other reading material used in the class during the semester
  • one reference from an outside source that is relevant to the assignment

 

4. Evaluate effectiveness of federal government rules and laws in improving family/household economic well-being [10 points]

 

Go to: http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/economy Select ONE laws/proposals that President Obama has either signed into law or has advocated that is directly related to household economic resources. Specify the action that the federal government is proposing to take or has taken in detail. Critically evaluate the potential effect of the given federal government action on more than one type of household (e.g. those in poverty vs those not; households stratified by income level, race, region, etc.). What exactly would happen, to whom, why, and how long? Compare your findings for the different household types. Would outcomes be similar or different? Why?

 

State whether or not you believe the proposed action will help or harm families in the short and long run. Consider implications of the legislation carefully. Often, laws designed to fix one problem will lead to other problems. Avoid simplistic generalizations, evaluations, or conclusions.

 

5. Compare what you found out about your 3 trends with

a. What is currently happening in Missouri [15 points]

b. The economic life history of someone aged 65 and older [10 points]

 

6. Reflect on your work [5 points]

a. Restate your position on whether or not your generation can realize the American Dream. Recap the specific reasons why you believe the dream is or is not still in reach. To support your stand, give evidence from: (1) your research on trends in three components of well-being; (2) your assessment of well-being in Missouri using those measures; (3) your assessment of intergenerational differences in economic and social conditions from your interview.

 

b. After completing the assignment, briefly respond to each of the following questions:

1. What did you find was the most difficult aspect of measuring well-being?

2. What was your most surprising finding? What made it so?

3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of measuring well-being? Is it better to use quantitative or qualitative, objective or subjective, absolute or relative measures? Explain.

4. What role do you see values playing in choosing the items to include in well-being and in choosing how to measure those items

5. What can we learn from measures of well-being? What can’t we learn from such measures?

6. How “culture bound” are the measures you have used? To what extent could you use them to compare the United States with other countries? How do your measures compare with the ones that SWA authors use to compare the performance of the US to other countries?

 

7. Write well [10 points]: Your paper WILL

1. Have a title page

2. Stay within page length guidelines

3. Include page numbers printed at the bottom of the page, in the center; page 1 is first page of text

4. Be double spaced, 10 point font or larger, Times Roman or similar typeface.

5. Include at least one table and one graph, figure, or chart integrated into the text. Correctly title and label

source of information below table/figure.

6. Use headers to separate sections. Place header flush left margin, bold, triple space before and double space after.

7. Have correct citations in text and reference list (see examples on BB)

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