Monday, 28 September 2015

America: Land of the Poor.

The first image, is the view from the $95 million penthouse in 432 Park Avenue, New York City, which at 1396ft its the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere. This image also shows an iconic view of Manhattan, NYC. 

Within the picture, the Empire State Building and One World Trade Centre can be seen. Construction for the Empire State Building started in 1930 and it became a symbol of how the United States withstood the Great Depression economic crisis. One World Trade Centre, also known as Freedom Tower, is also a symbol of how the States can withstand global opposition and rebuild even after a disaster such as 9/11.

The penthouse is the embodiment of everything Americans are brought up believing they can achieve. This is the image of wealth and strength the United States projects to the world, everything the “American Dream” can provide. 

The second image is of a homeless man covered in an american flag. It shows the extreme poverty and homelessness that faces a minimum of 500,000 Americans. According to the Huffington Post, as part of the recovery from the latest recession the Republican controlled congress had cut $9billion from the food stamp program in 2014 and ended extended unemployment benefits. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 45 million Americans are below poverty line.

The Library of Congress, the United States de facto national library, describes how ‘James Truslow Adams, in his book The Epic of America, which was written in 1931, stated that the American dream is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”’ 

These images question how the national ethos of the 'American Dream' exists when half a million of the U.S’s inhabitants don't even have a home, and despite its world leading GDP of 16.77 trillion USD, its government reduces still support for those in need. 

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