Packer The Broken Contract Analysis

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In Packer’s essay, “The Broken Contract”, Packer employs many different techniques in his effort to support his claim that the United States is not as good as it used to be. Among his methods of support was his use of personification, metaphors, fact stating, and the defining of different scenarios. In his writing Packer uses personification as a way to explain his current view on the American situation. Packer begins by referring to the Iraq war as being a stress test of the American body politic. Packer then goes on to mention that, “…every major system and organ failed the test: the executive and legislative branches, the military, the intelligence world, the for-profits, the nonprofits, the media” (173). Packer also states, “It turns …show more content…
Packer typically uses metaphors to highlight his points or provide a vivid picture in the audiences mind. One such example of Packer’s use of metaphors is his reference to the American government’s willingness to unnecessarily improve our technology stating, “We have touch screen voting machines, but last year 40 percent of registered voters turned out, and our political systems are more polarized more choked with its own bile, than any time in history” (Packer 174). Packer uses a metaphor here to highlight the poor condition that our political system is in by saying it is so sick it is beginning to choke. Packer is also hinting that the government is willing to change voting polls to be more technically proficient but it ignores the real issue, which is low voter and a failing political system. Packer also uses a metaphor when referring to simpler times when, “Investment banking, cordoned off by the iron wall of the Glass-Steagall Act was a closed world of private partnerships…” (Packer 173). Packer mentions this when defining how and why commercial banking was stable. This metaphor is used as a way of identifying the cause of the isolation of investment banking as being the Glass-Steagall Act, which Packer later identifies as being repealed. The isolation of investment banking was important because the rich men involved in the trading had to carefully weigh every trade as they were playing with …show more content…
Packer goes on to completely define a family of two in the 1978 time period and asks the audience to, “think how much less pleasant their lives are than yours” (Packer 173). Packer describes the family as, “The man is wearing a brown and gold polyester print shirt with a flared collar and oversize tortoiseshell glasses; she’s got on a high waited, V-neck rayon dress and platform clogs […] they drive and AMC Pacer hatchback, with a nonfunctional air conditioner and a tape deck that keeps eating their eight-tracks…” (Packer 173). Packer then goes on to say, “By contemporary standards, life in 1978 was inconvenient, constrained, and ugly. Things were badly made and didn’t work very well. Highly regulated industries […] The industrial landscape was decaying, but the sleek information revolution had not yet emerged to take its place…” (Packer 173). Packer goes on to mention a few more deficiencies in the era comparing it to a much more progressed time of 2007. However, Packer then goes on to point out that, “[T]he deeper structures, the institution that underpin a healthy democratic society, have fallen into a state of decadence” (Packer 173). Packer began to develop what appeared to be his stance, and then in the end revealed that while 1978 was simpler, the democracy that was held at the time was much more solid than in 2007, which considerable more is

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