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One cannot raise the bottom of society without benefiting everyone above--Michael Harrington The Other America Work keeps us from the three great evils boredom vice and want--Voltaire Candide 1759 The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those that have little--FDR Inaugural address 1937 Once there was an American dream With self-discipline education and persistence a child could become and do whatever heshe desired The mythical formula found in the Horatio Alger novels delighted so many millions of Americans not simply because they were delightful stories but because they actually could come true And did In this free country poverty was no bar to a persons success The term Horatio Alger success story was used to describe the careers of men like Andrew Carnegie Henry Ford Vanderbilt Rockefeller and Kennedy The formula was like an ABCs for success A for abilities B for breaks and C for courage He believed in trying harder wanting more and contributing to the community chest from ones success Doing so was not always easy certainly Demands on the individual were rigorous and much was expected of them Ben Franklin the greatest American spokesman said the way to wealthdepends chiefly on two words industry and frugality However the mere accumulation wealth was not the sole measure of success Part of the gospel of American success was the idea of stewardship and social responsibility Andrew Carnegie was one of Americas most successful men and he spent millions to establish libraries and give back to society He believed that the community was a partner in the creation of wealth and that wealth should be returned to it Horatio Algers stories simply repeated themes that Americans already believed were true The rest of the world believed them as well as witnessed by the millions who immigrated to this country in search
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