American Dream In Michael Sandel's 'What Money Can T Buy'

Professor Lisa Led-Aguilar
English 124

American Dreams of Avarice

`Often people become mislead by their desire for wealth, enchanted by the idea of the American Dream. Americans often lay morality by the wayside in the pursuit thereof. What is this American Dream, and what is this “money” that rests at its heart. Is it a mere social construct? Based on the amount of “money” one acquire’s, the overall experience of life can be re-rooted, causing many to do the unimaginable (Kasser, 1996). Everyone has an attitude towards money, for some money is a central issue, for others money is just a tool, yet some use money to control things and people. Although money plays an significantly important role in everyday life, it derails the values of
…show more content…
Of course spending money is a good thing, and it does keep our economy afloat. Usually money is seen in black-and-white terms: Either we have enough of it, or we don't. But money is also a hugely emotional, psychological and symbolic entity in our lives; we each bring our own meanings, emotions and experiences to our relationship with it. Doesn't this say alot about American people in general? In the book What Money Can't Buy, Michael Sandel illustrates a twofold thesis. Initially he acknowledges, when you put a price on something you alter its intrinsic properties, and this can be morally corrosive. Incipiently the past few decades have seen a market economy become replaced by a "market society" in which "everything is for sale.” Markets, he says, "are not neutral instruments, they crowd out values worth caring about.” Values like altruism, human dignity and the common good begin to fade and as a result we have seen a great hollowing-out of communality and public political …show more content…
(1987). The America Freshman: Twenty Year Trends. Los Angeles: Higher Education Research Intstitute, Graduate School of Education, University of California Los Angeles

Argyle, M. (1986). The Psychology of Happiness. London: Methuen

(Bruce Carruthers,1998,

Covey, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic. [Rev. ed.]. New York: Free Press, 2004.

Kasser , T., & Ryan, R. (1996). Further examining the American Dream: Differential correlates of intrinsic and extrinsic goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 280-287

Myers, David, Money Changes Things. The Funds, Friends and Faith of Happy People, 2014 p.15-21

(Richard Trachtman 1998,

Warren, Elizabeth Money Changes Things The Vanishing Middle Class, 2014 p.

Related Documents