Laurence Shames’ main idea in “The More Factor,” is that human beings are motivated by the need to want more. Aside from selfishness, greed and common desires, Shames believes that our need of “more” came from our history of the frontier, which he refers to as the “habit of more” (57).
There will always be more opportunities, progress, chances, land and hope for success in the eyes of Americans. Americans also believe that there will always be a second chance, such as “another gold rush or Homestead Act” (57).
America has always been viewed as the land of opportunity and the land of the free. The only proof that America has to base this motto on, however, is its dominating cynicism, greed, and empty pursuit of pleasure.
This realization leads to the unspoken reality that the “American Dream”, which is the desire to want more, is a farce. Corrupted by easy money, limitless boundaries, and the loss of social and moral values, the American dream has been tainted with the snowballing desire for money and pleasure. Shames argues, however, that after two decades of wanting “more”, Americans are now left with the fact that there might not be anything left to expand on. Shames describes America “as not being a big enough playground for the full exercise of growth as a population” (61).
America, now forced to come to the realization that success is not based on expansion or opportunity, can now fill their hearts, instead of their pockets, with a newfound hope for the future. This new outlook parallels Shames’ belief of individualism and the pursuit of happiness..
... heard of the sweet American Dream that consisted of great opportunities leaving many people with hope and desire. Several groups and ... taking. Even today, many immigrants believe America to be a land of unthinkable opportunities to help fulfill their wishes and dreams ... their families as well. During 1600-1774 America was truly the land of great opportunity, even though some failed to succeed, ...