America is the most powerful country in the world. The American economy has been
a symbol of the wealth of a nation. The efforts of our forefathers and present
geniuses have created economic values, which have caused Americans to thrive.
Two of these influences are Bill Gates and Ben Franklin who through genius and
hard work, have made huge advances in economic values. Although their efforts
spaced by hundreds of years, they believe similarly in the success of workers.
Two articles “The Way to Wealth”, by Ben Franklin and “Microserfs”,
by David Coupland, support economic values of their specific time periods.
Franklins essay is written in 1733, when agriculture was the way of life.
David Couplands essay is a present day description of technology and how
Microsoft has had such an impact on our lives. Both essays, each defining
different eras, come together to portray the epitome of economic values. The
writerss depiction of work, from their respected eras, show how these
American economic values has not changed. Poor Richard Saunders advice
symbolizes what American workers economic values should be. Poor Richard is a
character Franklin uses to push his economic values, and he believes that firm
economic values will create wealth. He explains “get what you can, and what
you get hold; Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into
gold”(Franklin 551). Having good economic values can give you the gold
touch. Good time management and sound management of ones money are the keys
to success. Hence Franklins famous sayings “a penny saved is a penny
earned” and “early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy,
wealthy, and wise”(Franklin 545). The sayings of Richard Saunders are for
the ages, as well as the agricultural life as he knew it. Douglas Couplands
character analysis of emailprotected serves as the icon of a modern day
American technological worker. emailprotected is an employee of Bill
Gatess corporation Microsoft which “employs more than 32000 people in 60
countries”( Bill Gates Web Site-Biography). emailprotected is a
prize employee who is loyal, hardworking, and relentless; he describes his life
as “work, sleep, work, sleep, work, sleep”(Coupland 598). The
Microsoft employee does not know the meaning of leisure as his work schedule
goes “In at 9:30 a.m.; out at 11:30 p.m.”(Coupland 599). He describes
his “universe consists of home, Microsoft, and Costco”(Coupland 597).
Even in such a technological world emailprotected does not forget the
age-old values of being smart with time and money. The American economic values
of today are similar to the values of several hundred years ago. Richard
Saunders advice of his time still remains relevant to the technological world
of the present. The values Coupland depicts in emailprotected correlate
directly to the messages Poor Richard teaches. Wealth always goes to who work
the hardest. America is a capitalist country based on the economic values
discussed in the featured essays, and Franklin is a brilliant man whose values
have withstood the test of time. Like anything else, the lifestyles depicted in
the articles are not perfect. There are negatives to the economic values
discussed, but the positives still outweigh the negatives. Wealth is a symbol of
the ideal American lifestyle, and if a person works hard enough he or she
obtains it. Wealth is important, but it does not complete a person. Both essays
contain inferences to mistrust in leisure and how the characters lack leisure
time. emailprotected explains “I fell like my body is a station
wagon in which I drive my brain around, like a suburban mother taking the kids
to hockey practice”(598). This Microsoft employee definitely needs more
leisure time. He even goes on to say “I know a few Microsoft employees who
try to fake having a life-many a Redmond garage contains a never-used kayak
collecting dust”(Coupland 598). People must learn the importance of leisure
time. Success can be balanced with some leisure time; a happy median between
work and play can be found. Economic values of American lives have not changed
over the past several hundred years. From the adages of Ben Franklin, to the
genius of Bill Gates, Americans are economically the same. In the article “Microserfs,”
the highlight of the story was when an employee got emailed by Bill himself.
Gates has been described as spending “a significant person of his time to.
. . staying in contact with Microsoft employees around the world though
email(Bill Gates Web Site-Biography). Bill Gates is an idol amongst his
colleagues. America needs more people like Ben Franklin and Bill Gates, to teach
the importance of sound economic values. One must not forget about leisure time,
because it is important to the success of a human being. Leisure time and work
go together as people chase the American dream toward a prosperous life.
Bill Gates Web Site-Biography. Microsoft Corporation 1999 <
http://www.microsoft.com/billgates/bio.htm>. Coupland, Douglas. “Microserfs.”
Lunsford 595-606. Franklin, Benjamin. “The Way to Wealth.” Lusford
545-553. Lunsford, Andrea A. , John J. Ruszkewicz. ed. The Presence of Others.
New York: St. Martins Press: 1997.