Sacrifices Of Pursuing A Dream

What is the Cost of Pursuing a Dream?

What Is The American Dream?

The American Dream is when you strike it rich and are able to provide for your family. This dream can also be idealized and looked as a goal for to accomplish throughout their lifetime which can take many long years of work. This approach can take decades to accomplish and is not something that can be completed right away. The Novel The Great Gatsby, The Wolf of Wall Street, Gordon Gecko's "Greed is Good" speech, "Junk Mortgages Under The Microscopes", and the movie "Inside Job". It become evident that the true cost of accomplishing the American Dream is the loss of your satisfaction with your current life and the things you have.
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Why Satisfaction?

Jay Gatsby many could say achieved his American Dream, but he achieved it illegally and created his own past ""The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself...So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end” (Fitzgerald 98)." He was unsatisfied with his past life, social status, and his wealth which he achieved all three with the purchase of "side-street drug stores", selling "grain alcohol over the counter" (Fitzgerald 133). Let's take a look at another example, The Wolf of Wall Street.

The Wolf of Wall Street started out his American Dream as a stock broker whose company went bankrupt and left him scrapping to make ends meet. He began his own company Stratton-Oakmont which was a penny stock broiler room and began to take client's money and put them in pink sheet stocks which would give him a huge commission in turn. His lust and greed for money made him become unsatisfied with his life and turned to prostitutes, money, and drugs. He was also unsatisfied with his "American Dream" salary which only gave him 49 Million a year instead of 50 Million.

Inside Job tells how when Lehman Brothers and AIG went bankrupt it sent the world into the financial crisis. These companies sold risky investments to their clients which they knew could potentially fail, but followed through because they were unsatisfied with their company's income and this would bring them a lot of income and would allow the high ranking employees to paid millions which we saw by the end of the movie. These companies soon went bankrupt.

In these three cases, the subjects were unsatisfied with their amount of income before they achieved their American Dream. They also didn't care that they were cheating clients out of their money and pocketing it for themselves, which made them lose their satisfaction of helping people. Ultimately satisfaction is lost in the chase of them achieving their monetary needs.

The Wolf of Wall Street Official Trailer #2

"Greed is Good" and "Junk Mortgages Under The Microscope"

Gordon Gecko in his speech "Greed is Good" from the movie Wall Street is saying that "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed". So greed could be good. It could work for people. But do greed and satisfaction go together? No they do not, when one becomes too greedy they are satisfied with what the are given. Greedy people lose their satisfaction for everything because they always want the best for themselves. Gecko states that you need greed to achieve the American Dream which would make you lose your satisfaction.

In "Junk Mortgages Under the Microscope", which is brought up in Inside Job, Goldman Sachs issued securities backed by clustered, sub-prime mortgages. The mortgages were "mortgages of dubious quality" and had "less than 1% equity" (Sloan). Goldman Sachs knew this was risky and knew that these securities had false ratings. These rating agencies had been paid money to bump securities up to AAA to make them more attractive and look safe. Goldman Sachs sold these mortgages to their clients knowing that the returns were guaranteed for them, but not for their clients which shows how they were unsatisfied with the amount of money they were bringing in for themselves.

Satisfaction is what keeps people in balance without satisfaction we would all be greedy and cold hearted. Satisfaction is not something that is inherited, but learned from growing up as a small child. Most parents know to not spoil their children and make them work for the things they want, so they will be satisfied with what they are given and what they have worked for. Goldman and Gecko believe that the loss of satisfaction is key to achieving the American Dream and that you should be greedy in order to survive the world today.

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