Carefully listen to the program and/or read the transcript entitled “Is the American Dream Really Dead?” (http://freakonomics.com/podcast/american-dream-really-dead/) and use your own words to write a brief commentary based on the following instructions.
1. Start your commentary with an introduction – a short paragraph which summarizes the main points of the program.
2. Next, you are asked to comment on the following issues more specifically:
(1) What is the American Dream and what is the economics of the American Dream?
(2) What does Prof. Raj Chetty study and why is his research important? Based on his findings, in the US, what percentage of children from the bottom 20 percent income bracket actually make it to the top 20 percent? What are the numbers for other countries? Is it true that “the American Dream” might as well be called “the Canadian Dream”?
(3) What was the “Moving to Opportunity” (MTO) program implemented in the 1990s and what was the main purpose of the program? What did researchers initially conclude from the MTO experiment? And what significantly different results did Chetty find while re-evaluating the MTO data? Do you think the MTO type of program could be effective for the whole country?
(4) According to Chetty, what are the five significant factors which might enhance the probability of achieving the American Dream and how specifically could each factor affect our upward income mobility?
(5) So, do you think the American Dream is still alive? And do you know any person in your life who actually achieved the American Dream?
3. The last paragraph is the conclusion. You should summarize the main points raised in your commentary. Also, be sure to provide your own interpretation or critique of the main issues. Do you generally agree with the program on the main issues? Explain why or why not.
Length of your paper: Minimum 3 pages and maximum 5 pages of text, Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins on all sides.
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