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Capitalism is an ideology and, like many ideologies, it requires multiple factors that only exist in a textbook to ensure it works 100 percent of the time with 100 percent efficiency. Perfect competition is one example of this economic thought. Perfect competition requires multiple businesses providing a similar product competitively in order to drive the price of their product down to a natural price floor. There are some examples of this in reality that merit value, such as crops in America all essentially being the same price through various vendors, with the only difference being shipping costs. However, one part of capitalism that is not one of its tenets is crony-capitalism, popularly known as corporatism.
The Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary are the first two contests in the race to earn the Democratic or Republican nomination for president. These two states dominate media coverage of the election and candidates spend an enormous amount of time campaigning within these states—but, Iowa and New Hampshire should not be getting the attention that they are.
When I think of democracy, I do not think of the pure incarnation of the political system wherein the majority rule, but rather the philosophical term in which all people, no matter their differences, are considered equal and possess all of the same rights. This is, I would posit, how most people think of democracy – as a set of egalitarian ideals – not as a sort of mob-mentality system of political tyranny. This is fairly straightforward and most people praise this ideology of liberty, but it is being threatened by an ever-expanding and much more powerful system – capitalism, which flaunts the opposite of pure democracy, in that the very few have a monopoly on the many; an even more dangerous model.
Authority in the United States is given too much room for error and interpretation. Allowing authority figures, paid for by the American tax dollars, too much leniency is like two parents telling a child not to open the cookie jar, but then leave him unattended for a week. Eventually the cookie jar will be opened. Unmonitored and unjustified authority can become a hazard to the security of the citizens who no longer pay it any attention.
Presidential candidate for
2016, Bernie Sanders, recently scored a seemingly major win for his campaign,
as he came within eight points of Hillary Clinton in a Wisconsin Democratic
Convention straw poll. However, he has a tough road ahead of him if he’s going
to win the Democratic nomination, because while many Americans agree with his message,
Clinton is a Goliath of an opponent and it may be difficult to claim a victory
Trickle-down economics has become a popular phrase in conservative media since their king, President Ronald Reagan, in the 1980s. The term, according to Alex Andreou at The Guardian, was actually a witty catchphrase created by the Democrats of the 1980 Presidential Race to be thrown at Reagan. Despite Reagan winning the election, the Democrats were correct in their criticism of “Reaganomics” in that the trickle-down effect does not work.
Rand Paul scored a big victory in Congress, as he led a successful filibuster over the renewal of key provisions of the Patriot Act. Despite his more Libertarian stance on domestic surveillance, Paul’s past remarks show that he still holds some troubling views on many domestic issues.
On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that Nebraska became the 19th state to abolish the death penalty, along with the District of Columbia. It is the first predominantly Republican state to abolish capital punishment in more than 40 years. This is an encouraging trend because the death penalty is costly, immoral, dangerous and ineffective at deterring crime.
When it comes to the athletics program at Eastern Michigan University, Mid-American Conference regular season wins, titles, appearances in MAC tournaments and championships are the most important goals for the respective teams. And no team at Eastern Michigan University has exemplified and attained these goals in the past five years more than the women’s soccer team, led by head coach Scott Hall.
According to the American Lung
Association, “smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death
worldwide.” Not only does smoking and tobacco use affect those using it, but
the results from secondhand smoke are just as bad. The American Lung Association
also claims that secondhand smoke causes more than 41,000 deaths each year.
While smoking cigarettes certainly is an unhealthy habit, the idea of banning its use on a public campus infringes upon our rights as individuals. Of course, I’m not denying the health issues associated with smoking or being exposed to second hand smoke, but we cannot ban something that can be avoided in other ways. I think it would be better to require smokers to smoke in designated areas and to be attentive of those around them.
The other week I was scrolling through social media when I came across a page a friend of mine had liked. It was commenting on the Girl Scouts’ inclusion of transgender girls. Upon looking further into it, I was struck by a statement by the American Family Association in their petition asking the Girl Scouts “to restrict its membership to ‘biological girls’,” according to CNN’s website. It read: “Boys in skirts, boys in make-up and boys in tents will become a part of the program. This change will put young innocent girls at risk.” Statements like this are not just misinformed about what it means to be transgender, but they are also constructed in a misguided way that very intentionally perpetuates prejudice and fear of what is “other.”
The TV and movies we watch, the games we play and the music we listen to form a big part of our identity. “Geek culture,” which has become the popular culture of this decade, is a cultural identity entirely based on what media you consume. Dating websites use your favorite music and movies as a means to match you with other people. Essentially, you are what media you consume and that media can influence your behavior and self-image.
If I’m being honest, I’ll admit that I appreciate a full, well-trimmed man-beard. While some people might see a man’s unshaven face as rough and barbaric, I know I’m not alone in viewing a well-kept beard as a sign of maturity, authority, and having a general indie-hipster persona. At first glance, trends like beards or tattoos may initially spark connotations of “deviance” or “relapse” from growing up into sophisticated adulthood. But our Millennial generation is turning the tables so that these trends are viewed alongside innovation and professionalism without as much conflict as before.
In 2013, according to the United States Census Bureau, about
45 million people were living in poverty. At the same time, big corporations
like General Motors continue to bring in millions of dollars in profits – $278
million in 2014, according to Standard & Poor – while paying zero taxes.
That’s right, while millions of Americans are living under the poverty line,
struggling to survive, major corporations are reaping the benefits of loopholes
and policies put in place by special interest lobbyists. This figure should
disturb you, as it does me, because when the focus of the government and its
policies is on the benefit of those with the most economic power, the system is
very clearly broken. Yet, those responsible have somehow managed to avoid any
real blame by shifting the focus to those who have no power at all: the poor.
In times of economic recession and political failure, it is
up to the citizenry to alter the course of history, as we must all be the
change we wish to see in the world. Those who rise to the occasion are the
“sheepdogs” of society, guiding the sheep through the meadows and biting back
at the wolves of corruption and bureaucracy.
When people talk about the oil industry in the United States, conversations tend to spiral downhill as we hope for a greener future, but expect no immediate changes. As college students, we especially feel the stretch in our pockets when we pay about $3.50 a gallon at the pump or sigh at our heating and electric bills, knowing it’s all going to the wealthy few up top. But I see America changing its course, and when it does, people will jump on it.
In a time when the wealthiest people in the nation have more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined, when they hold more influence than those in office, and when the voice of the people has virtually no effect on the policies being put into place, it is entirely evident that we need a major change in the ways we think and do things. We need a paradigm shift in not only our government, but in our culture and society as a whole. I believe that Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is that change.
Every day I see it more and more frequently, students walking around or standing outside classes puffing away, not on traditional cigarettes, but on electronic cigarettes. Some even smoke them inside buildings while walking to class. This alternative to traditional cigarettes has been around for the past few years, but is just now beginning to gain popularity, especially among young people. However, little is known about the potential negative side-effects of this new craze and it worries me.
The comic book film industry has a huge problem with how it portrays its female characters – in that it doesn’t. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe films are massively popular, with over 3 billion dollars grossed over 11 movies, not one single movie featured a woman in the title role. Marvel has 11 more movies planned, but only one of those, “Captain Marvel,” is headlined by a woman.