The American Dream

by: Ryan Liese

What is the cost of pursuing a dream

The cost of one's dream is their social status. People are willing to do anything for their dream and sometimes the thing that is required is not socially acceptable.


"Inside Job", a documentary about the economic crisis of 2008, shows the corrupt banks, rating agencies, and insurance companies that caused the crisis. Banks such as AIG loaned large sums of money to people who they knew couldn't repay them. Rating agencies such as Moody's gave inaccurate ratings to unworthy bonds. These top executives later went to court, where they are trailed for fraud. The executives' dream was wealth and they acquired that wealth through "opinionated" AAA ratings. As the top executives escape with their fortunes, the global economy is left in ruins and are therefore hated by the citizens of the world.

Gordon Gekko, a character in the film "Wall Street", is essentially one of the corrupt stock brokers from the economic crisis. Gekko argues that "greed is good". He gives a speech in the film about how greed motivates consumers and business men to work hard. Therefore greed stimulates and drives the economy. In Gekko's fictional world, he is the eighth richest man in the world and hated for the same reasons as the the men in "Inside Job".

Gordon Gekko's Greatest Hits (Wall Street 1987)


In "The Great Gatsby", Daisy kills Myrtle. Jay Gatsby loves Daisy so much that he takes he blame for Myrtle's murder. When Nick finds Gatsby on the night of the murder, Gatsby makes Nick promise "to never tell the truth". Gatsby gave up his life so his love could be free.

"NFL Members In The Military" tells a few stories of men who gave up their career in the NFL for their country. Caleb Campbell was drafted to the Detroit Lions in 2010. After earning his dream of being a professional football player, he gave it up to join the military. He gave up his status of pro football player to defended his country. He loved his country more than his personal status.


"From the Archives: Bill Gates" is an article discussing Gates' success story. He was a genius all throughout his schooling. He reached a limit though, during his sophomore year at Harvard he decided to drop out to start his business. Dropping out of school is socially unacceptable, so he had a bad reputation for a while. To him, starting a business was more important to his success than continuing his education.

Works Cited

"American Rhetoric: Movie Speech: Wall Street - Gordon Gekko Addresses Teldar Shareholders - Greed Is Good." American Rhetoric: Movie Speech: Wall Street - Gordon Gekko Addresses Teldar Shareholders - Greed Is Good. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2014.

"From the Archives: Bill Gates." SUCCESS. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2014.

"Inside Job"

"NFL Members in the Military." N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.

"The Great Gatsby"