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One Road to the American Dream

January 02, 1988

Rita J. Simon seems to be defending people, particularly immigrants, who turn to crime in order to achieve the "American Dream." Granted, she is not condoning crime by anyone, but neither does she point out that the dream driving all of us has for some time had decidedly psychedelic overtones: Not just a home, food on the table, freedom from want--but a bigger home, faster car, fancier clothes, more, more, more!

How strange that on the same page should appear Margaret Holub's article "The Hurdles Are High for Homeless Who Try to Get General Relief." If economic success (however it is defined) is the American Dream, surely economic failure is the American Nightmare.

It's too bad that America's poor and homeless can't find a way to emigrate to certain European countries where they might find a better life in a more socialist society.

In neither of the above "visions" is there enough--enough money on the one hand, or enough human kindness and caring on the other. Can't we wake up and create an American Reality where the "have nots" receive enough to survive as human beings and the "haves" make do with a little less of their "too much?" I think it's time we gave it a try.

SANDRA K. KNAPP

Los Angeles

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