Dishonesty in Dream-Following

The word is defined in the dictionary as an unrealistic or self deluding fantasy. Dreams are not achieved by everyone who has them; and when they are, they are achieved with a cost on the way. Even in children’s films, it can be shown that dreams can not be achieved without a downfall. In the Disney film The Little Mermaid, Ariel’s dream was to get out of the ocean into the real world, and her cost for her dream was her voice. One of the most noticeable differences in movies and in real life is that in the real world, the dreams and costs aren't romantic, but rather on the ugly side. What is the cost of pursuing a dream? This question can be answered in single word: honesty. Honesty and the trustworthiness of a person is often lost in the way of pursuing a dream.

The clam-mouth

Dishonesty is a lot more than just downright lying to a person. Dishonesty can take shape in all sizes and forms. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby, dishonesty can be found in almost all of the characters. The narrator, Nick Carraway, has a dream of being a successful money-maker. He initially describes himself as “one of the few honest people that [he has] ever known” (Fitzgerald 59). However, as he spends time in the eggs, he becomes less and less honest; he doesn't reveal the fact that Daisy Buchanan, his wealthy cousin, is having an affair on Tom Buchanan, a close acquaintance, or that Tom Buchanan is having an affair on Daisy Buchanan. He also hides the fact that Daisy was the one that killed Myrtle Wilson, Tom's mistress.


Nick Carraway’s characteristic personality of the clammed-mouth can be found almost everywhere, for example, in the documentary Food Inc. In Food Inc., Carraway can be seen in a big factory of beef, who, after a two-and-a-half year old boy died a painful death of E-Coli from eating a hamburger, tried to cover up the truth that their meat was contaminated. If the factory was to admit to the public that their meat was contaminated, that would result in the shutdown of the factory and stronger regulation. This anonymous company had the dream of money, and their cost was the same of Nick Carraway: honesty. The company tried to hide the truth in order to keep in the path of its dream.

A quote from Food Inc

“It will be seven years since my son died. All I wanted the company to do, was say, 'we’re sorry, we produced this defective product that killed your child, and this is what we’re going to do to make sure it doesn't happen again'.That’s all we wanted. And they couldn't give us that" ("Food Inc.").


The successful-with-fraud

Another form of dishonesty can be found in Jay Gatsby of The Great Gatsby. Gatsby’s ultimate life goal was to earn money and gain Daisy. In the process, however, in order to reach his dream in minimal time, he got into some illegal business: one of his business partners was “the man who fixed the World’s Series back in 1919” (Fitzgerald 73). Gatsby lost his honesty because the way the money was earned was not in a honest way. The trait of Gatsby can be found in many people mentioned in the documentary, Inside Job. One of the many Gatsbys is Charles Keating, who worked with Alan Greenspan to trick customers into buying corrupt stock. Charles Keating and Alan Grenspan ultimately became Gatsby and Whitemeyer in the real world.

These people all have one thing in their mind: money. The financial fraud leading companies mentioned in Inside Job such as Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Wall Street were all focused on their own dream for money that their level of honesty dropped so dramatically: In order to make the most profit for themselves, they lied to their customers about the trustworthiness of their troublesome stocks. The parallelism between Gatsby and these people are great in the way that all of these had money as their dream and they would not stop at any moral obstacles.

The paid

There is one more significant type of dishonesty that is often used by dream-pursuers : The paid. This more or less ties in with the clam-mouth type of dishonest people, but is different in the way that some people are bribed to be dishonest, or to be clam-mouthed. In Inside Job, Alan Greenspan was reportedly paid $40,000 to write a praising letter to the regulators about Charles Keatin. In Junk mortgages under the microscope, Allan Sloan advised his readers to not “rely on the underwriter and the rating agencies” to do all of their “homework”, because they give only the “illusion of safety”. Also, he informed his readers that "68%" of GSAMP individual loans "was rated AAA...as secure as U.S. Treasury bonds", and ultimately, 93% of what looked like "financial toxic waste," was rated investment grade. In The Biggest Financial Deception of the Decade, the readers are informed about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and how he praised Fraddie Mac and Fannie Mae as “adequately capitalized” and “in no danger of failing” 28 days before both were nationalized.

Like every other dream before, these people mentioned above have the dream of money. They do not care that some people are being blindfolded into robbery by their statements or ratings, they are paid to be dishonest.


Citations

Ferguson, Charles, dir. Inside Job. Sony Pictures Classics, 2010. Film. 8 Jan 2014.

Kenner, Robert, dir. Food Inc. Magnolia Pictures, 2009. Film. 8 Jan 2014.

Clark, Jeff. "The Biggest Financial Deception of the Decade." Daily Reckoning. n. page. Web. 8 Jan. 2014. <http://dailyreckoning.com/the-biggest-financial-deception-of-the-decade/>

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Scribner, 1925. Print.

Sloan, Allen. "Junk Mortgages Under the Microscope." CNN Monet. n. page. Web. 8 Jan. 2014. <http://money.cnn.com/2007/10/15/markets/junk_mortgages.fortune/>.