Response - Essay Example

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The PBS’s Frontline documentary “Two American Families” by Bill Moyers is identifying multiple socioeconomic factors which have governed the lives of two families Stanleys and Neumanns in the last two decades. They started living being satisfied and contended with their…
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Two American Families The PBS’s Frontline documentary “Two American Families” by Bill Moyers is identifying multiple socioeconomic factors which have governed the lives of two families Stanleys and Neumanns in the last two decades. They started living being satisfied and contended with their lifestyle, but gradually the change in American infrastructure and increase in responsibilities left them with a devastating condition (Moyers).
Response on Comments
“As I was watching Frontlines excellent documentary tonight I couldnt help but feel frustration and anger at todays America. Todays America has failed the American people. On the backs of the working poor Americas CEOs are raping the world economy. And on the other side, the military industrial complex is draining the blood and treasure from Americas economy. Why is it that Corporate keptocrats from Wall Street are able to keep their obscene bonuses, when ordinary hard working people are losing their homes because American businesses refuse to pay them a living wage. Repeatedly the subjects of the documentary were asked if they felt like failures. I should like to emphatically assure them that it is America that has failed them” (Moyers).
This documentary depicts the true American face. The picture of successful and flourishing America that government uses to portray in front of the world is simply a disguise. Not only the migrants suffer from the inappropriate economic infrastructure of the country, but the local citizens of America also suffer from the same deprivation. The documentary clearly shows that both families were dedicated, hardworking and legally following government rules, but still they failed to make it in the end. The flaw was not with their efforts but the monetary infrastructure, economic downturn and government policies that are making rich richer and the poor poorer. As the commentator states, the world economy is completely occupied by America and the entire focus of American fiscal strategies is to spend on military ventures which result in shedding blood and wasting millions of lives. Thus, the American government policies and infrastructure is not intended to bring betterment in the lives of citizens, but only to enhance its power and authority.
“These two families are fine examples of people who are willing to work hard, 
but we cant continue with the fiction that this is enough. We need to teach young people to 1) stay in school, 2) actually learn something, and 3) know something about financial literacy early in their lives. I wish Bill Moyers had just said this somewhere in this documentary. Only one of the children from these two families, Keith Stanley, will have a better life than his parents, and this is because he acquired a college degree and is willing to work hard. Claude Stanley works hard, perhaps harder than anyone I know and is as dignified as anyone can be, but he even he cant get ahead” (Moyers).
Among many factors, one most important factor which I realized while watching this documentary is the lack of professional education. The heads of both families belong to the working class and did not have proper college education. It is deduced that in order to survive in current American culture, it is extremely integral to let your children have sound college and university education. Education is the key factor to lead people in a particular direction towards success as expressed in the documentary. Keith Stanley, is the only child who received proper college education and is directed to live a life better than his parents just because of the degree and the potential he got. Otherwise, being stuck up with the low wages and technical jobs without higher education, the chances of getting bigger and prosper is far lower. So, it is very important to change the mindset and concentrate on gaining education first instead of getting involved with low income jobs in the middle.
Questions to consider
a) The important factor indicated in the comment drew my attention towards it, as education is the main problem which found lacking in both families. Where as in the other comment, the American government strategies and business magnet’s philosophies expressed by the commentator is similar to my perception.
b) I completely agree with the points made in the comments.
c) The documentary is not a depiction of real life, it is rather the actual life scenario of two families which struggled for around two decades to earn a living. It is obvious that the comments indicate the absolute factors, however, there are certain other sub-factors which are related to the key reason. For example: In the American society, gaining higher education needs money. People from lower working class, although willing to get their children higher education, but unable to do so because of the expensive fee structure or while struggling to maintain a living balance (mortgages, rents, taxes, food, etc.) in American society they left with no money for higher education.
d) As the commentator pointed out and I also affirmed that getting a college education is an important factor which lacked in both families. The producer did not mention this in the movie. Although a number of other factors have been mentioned and discussed such as government policies, economic infrastructure, etc. but how lack of education contributed in worsening the situations of both families is not addressed by the producer in the documentary.
Works Cited
Moyers, Bill. "Frontline." 09 July 2013. Two American Families. Web. 23 June 2014 . Read More
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