White Paper Teaser: The Work-Life Balance

Since the 1960s, the United States has seen a wave of social change carry over into the workplace. More than ever before, our society is centered on family life, and the new “necessities” for children, as well as the growing demands of work due to globalization, mean that parents are taking on more and more responsibility. Finding a balance between a career and family has always been tough, but never more so than now. With more women in the workforce, issues surrounding this delicate balance are gaining more attention, as they struggle to find time to manage all of their responsibilities at home and at work. Policies involving leaves for childbearing; support for breast-feeding or childcare; work hours, including flexibility in hours and overtime work; leaves for illness or family care; vacation time; and extra perks, such as food availability, gym accessibility, and other on-site health services can help ease the balance.

DREAM BIG: A Solution for Undocumented Workers Teaser

Immigrant Students Rally In Washington

“Over the past 14 years, I’ve graduated from high school and college and built a career as a journalist, interviewing some of the most famous people in the country. On the surface, I’ve created a good life. I’ve lived the American dream. But I am still an undocumented immigrant. And that means living a different kind of reality. It means going about my day in fear of being found out. It means rarely trusting people, even those closest to me, with who I really am. It means keeping my family photos in a shoebox rather than displaying them on shelves in my home, so friends don’t ask about them. It means reluctantly, even painfully, doing things I know are wrong and unlawful. And it has meant relying on a sort of 21st-century underground railroad of supporters, people who took an interest in my future and took risks for me.”-Jose Antonio Vargas

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White Paper Proposal 3 – Government

For my third white paper proposal, I am looking into government sources. For my governmental sources, I am looking into the United Nations, the European Union, and human rights policies in China. Looking over these governmental sites, it is clear that these countries are all operating with different focuses on human trafficking issues. Continue reading

Immigration Reform across America

This photo shows an American man promoting immigration reduction in Minnesota. He is a member of the tea party and feels strongly enough about this cause to stand outside on a cold looking day to support what he believes in. He is a member of the Tea Party according to the picture caption. I chose this photo because it shows how strongly some people feel about immigration reform all over the country, not just in highly concentrated illegal immigrated to states. I liked that this photo shows the man’s support and love for his country, shown in the American flag next to his sign and his USA hat. I found this image by using the flickr website.

White Paper Proposal 1-Immigration & the Economy

For my white paper I want to explore the topic of illegal immigration in relation to jobs and the economy in America. Many Americans have complained that illegal immigrants are taking many jobs in America while other native citizens are left without jobs. Especially following the Great Recession, many Americans are without jobs, as current unemployment rate is at 7.8%, meaning 2.1 million Americans who are eligible to work do not have jobs. Meanwhile, there has been a constant flow of illegal immigration into America from all over the world, but the majority is from Central America. These people have found jobs in America while American citizens remain jobless. Is this fair?

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Another Incentive Not to Die–Estate Tax

The estate tax is a national tax that is imposed on a deceased person’s money and possessions of value being transferred after death. It is also commonly known as the “death tax.” Not only does the national government impose this estate tax, but many states do as well. The rates at which this estate tax are imposed at are relatively high, ranging from the lowest rate of 18% for gifts under $10,000, to 35% for gifts of $500,000 and over, on top of an already steep base fee for each gift. Additionally, these rates are scheduled to rise from the peak of 35% to 55% next year in some states.

I think it is rather unsettling that death is such a highly taxable event. This high estate tax almost punishes people who have worked hard for the money that they have saved and it is unfair that they are penalized for this with a large tax before passing this money down. This may make some people less devoted to making more money, which would be bad for the economy. If less money can be passed down, there is less potential for economic growth because they money is not being returned into consumer’s hands, but instead the government’s hands. Therefore, imposing a high estate tax is bad for the economy. Continue reading

Why Welfare?

I have always considered myself an independent because I am a socially liberal person but also economically conservative (the quizzes classified me as Libertarian). However, my dad is a staunch republican and we sometimes discuss politics. We argue about topics such as immigration, gay marriage, and healthcare. A while back, he sent me one of those forward-chain emails with a short quip about a father and his college-age daughter discussing politics (sorry- I do not have the original source where he found it).

A Classic conversation:
A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be very liberal, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs, in other words redistribution of wealth.

She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch conservative, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his. One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs.

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Politics, Campaigns, and Such (Blog Theme 6)

The might Blog Council hath proclaimed this the week of Politics and Campaigns.

The debate is this week, after all.

You have THREE choices. See below the jump for more details. Pick ONE of the three here.

  • What is your political philosophy?  Take an online quiz and reflect on what it tells you.
  • Discuss an issue that you are interested in and that is NOT being covered very much.  (I would say that almost any issue except maybe Medicare, US Gov’t Debt, Job Growth is under reported. And even those three are probably badly covered.  SO, really pick any issue). Educate yourself and us about your issue.
  • Explore a “structural” aspect of politics such as campaign finance, voting law and procedures, changes in parties over time, the difficulty of 3rd parties in the US system, the filibuster in the senate, and so on. Continue reading

Dorm Room Diaries

So here I am, sitting at my standard wooden desk, in my typical cement-walled dorm room, at my classic American university listening to the Daisy Retraction podcast from The American Life through the silver speakers of my Macbook Pro. Did I feel a little guilty when the original podcast warned me that the solution that once cleaned this beautiful Macbook Pro might have caused the hands of Chinese workers to shrivel and melt? Yeah, duh.

After hearing the retraction, that feeling of guilt has not disappeared. But it has been slightly overshadowed by a feeling of deception. Like I had been forced to feel helpless regarding the horrible events at Foxconn, forced to accept these terrible working conditions, and even forced to question my position in the world and my decisions in life. I may be a little overzealous in this reaction, but mustering words to describe feelings is a difficult task.

So, here are some of my original thoughts from the first podcast: “Let me get this straight – there were security guards… with guns? What is this, a scene from Prison Break? I think about even the secured French embassy in DC where I had to apply for a French visa for study abroad. They had a guard at the gate and my parents were forced to wait outside for me. But that guard was about as ferocious as a mall cop. But guns – guns evoke fear, even when I can’t see them for myself, or feel the stern eyes of the guards watching me as I pass though the gates.”

In reflection, it seems absurd. My reaction was clearly influenced by my personal prejudices as an American teen who is accustomed to democracy and red, white and blue and all that shit. We have this image of China as a communist nation and apparently it involves gunmen standing outside of office campuses. How would I feel if there were gunmen standing outside the gates of Bucknell, keeping me inside this little dorm room of mine – or maybe their purpose would be to keep other people out.

But anyway, who does Daisey think he is? How can he sleep at night knowing that he played off this irrational image and further solidified this absurd and over-exaggerated pre-conceived notion of how China is run? Or was his goal not to encourage anti-China sentiments, but instead to cast a dark shadow on American enterprise? Guilt, fear, deception. It’s all there. But what can we, as American consumers, really feel guilty about? Can the image of an armed guard standing outside a building on the other side of the world really induce fear? And did Daisey really deceive us, or force us to pay attention to what was really going on? After all, the truth about Foxconn did have to surface eventually.