But my dad knew something that we too often forget: There is opportunity in adversity.
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Dad never gave up and he kept his eyes open for opportunity. Early in his high school years he discovered a talent for the precise geometry of construction. He wasn't a skyscraper guy, but he did build his first structure at age sixteen — a two-car frame garage for a neighbor. Pretty soon he was building prefabricated garages for fifty dollars apiece, and not long after that he was building single-family homes in Queens.
When I think of Dad helping other Americans realize their part of the Dream — and let's never forget that home ownership is at the heart of the American Dream — I feel as proud as any son ever felt about his father. His secret was really no secret at all. He worked hard his whole life. And he looked for opportunity even when you would think opportunity had vanished. When the Depression hit, for example, he bought a bankrupt mortgage company and sold it at a profit a year later. Next he built a self-service supermarket in Woodhaven, one of the first of its kind.
All the local tradesmen — butcher, tailor, shoemaker — rented concessions in the space. It was convenient, a natural success. There are many, many similar success stories in this city's history, but the point is this: None of these guys started out from the top. They started small. They grew tall. They stand as examples to all of us.
I wish this list were even longer. I wish more people in America were famous for their remarkable successes. I'm afraid our system has prevented many from being everything they might be and giving everything they might give. Ronald Reagan once said, in America our origins matter less than our destinations. I'm not saying that everyone makes it — not even the bright and talented. Sometimes there's too much to overcome, too much adversity. Kids who are raised in violent neighborhoods, without parents, don't have the chance they ought to have. Many good, bright people never make it because of illness, bad planning, bad luck, or other purely personal reasons.
The bars and crack houses of New York are full of the disappointed. And some choose to achieve goals that don't signify success to everybody. There are artists and teachers and police officers and clergy, and other wonderful Americans who didn't choose their careers to become rich and famous. But they've had a chance to live their dream. We have to do everything possible to keep the dream machine alive.
When we hit hard times, we must protect the heart of our system — opportunity — from the people who will panic and demand that government bureaucrats run the show. And even in the best of times, we need to make sure there are as few obstacles as possible to realizing one's full potential.
This takes us into the political world, where there are many good people but, unfortunately, some very bad ideas. Most of us think the American Dream is a birthright, but I've been around long enough to realize that, without constant care and vigilance, it can and will be whittled down to nothing. The threatening agent is not some foreign power, but people who don't understand the proper relationship between the public and private arenas.
In other words, the greatest threat to the American Dream is the idea that dreamers need close government scrutiny and control. Job one for us is to make sure the public sector does a limited job, and no more. Mayor Giuliani summed it up pretty well: "Government should not and cannot create jobs through government planning.
The best it can do, and what it has a responsibility to do, is to deal with its own finances first, to create a solid budgetary foundation that allows businesses to move the economy forward on the strength of their energy and ideas. The next mayor should stick with Giuliani's basic prescription: Provide everyone with a good, free education and clean, well-stocked libraries.
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Make sure the streets are safe. Ensure reasonable regulation, but no more. It's no secret, however, that for much of this century government has been falling down on the basics, while sometimes becoming excessively involved in areas where it should play a restricted role. It has allowed criminals to have the run of the streets and the subways. Instead of putting the arm on criminals, government at all levels has saddled businessmen and women with ridiculous, dream-killing regulations. We are better off today than we were even a few years ago, thanks to a new breed of politician that recognized the problems that high taxes and rampaging regulations were causing.
But if we forget what has happened in the past, we will be doomed to relive it in the future. I will never forget the s, when reckless regulators were running the show — make that horror show. New York City had a near-death experience when the city budget failed under Mayor Beame. Municipal bonds were worth less than Confederate money.
You'd think that experience would have served as a wake-up call. I thought Dave Dinkins was a decent and well-meaning guy, but the absurdity of those times is preserved in the Kummerfeld Report, which was put together by a "blue-ribbon panel" commissioned by the mayor. This group looked for ways to deal with the enormous and dangerous budget deficit that New York faced in The book touches on so many issues that surrounds us daily as Americans.
I would vote for him as a great leader.
Trump is a successful leader and can show us the American Dream. An amazingly outstanding work of literature.
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One for the ages. Skip to main content. Trump , Hardcover, Revised 10 product ratings 4. About this product. Stock photo. Brand new: lowest price The lowest-priced brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging where packaging is applicable.
The America We Deserve
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About this product Product Information In his no-nonsense, unvarnished manner, one of America's wealthiest entrepreneurs shares his vision of the future, revealing his concerns about the major political issues facing our country, and offering provocative, sometimes dramatic, solutions.
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See details. See all 4 brand new listings. Buy It Now. Add to cart. Trump , Hardcover, Revised. About this product Product Information In his no-nonsense, unvarnished manner, one of America's wealthiest entrepreneurs shares his vision of the future, revealing his concerns about the major political issues facing our country, and offering provocative, sometimes dramatic, solutions. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Show More Show Less. Add to Cart. Any Condition Any Condition. See all Compare similar products. You Are Viewing. Show less Show more. People who bought this also bought.
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