The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea That Shaped a Nation

by Jim Cullen
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How would you summarize the first paragraph in Chapter 6?  

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Summary of the first paragraph in Chapter 6:

Early American pioneers such as the Puritans viewed immigration to the New World as a vehicle for unmitigated success, whether for themselves or for future generations. Their convictions were such that they resolved never to be resigned to a zero-sum solution to their problems. Subsequent generations of Puritans have been less circumspect; their focus is trained on the present, and they prefer to trust that future spiritual reward will be predicated on current decisions and actions.

A word on zero-sum solutions.

Zero sum solutions occur when a win for one party results in a corresponding loss for another party. For example, any money Congress allocates for certain pet projects results in less money for other desired programs. So, in the case of the Puritans, these early American pioneers were not merely interested in securing benefits for their own generation. They resolved to labor for succeeding generations even if they failed to secure the necessary progress critical to their own happiness during this lifetime.



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