“What would you do?”

What would you do if a friend or family member were in great need of food, shelter, and/or clothing? Would you be willing to help? To many people, the answer to that question would be yes. However, would you give the same aid that you would give to a friend or family member to a complete stranger? In this week’s reading, it makes us question if we would go out of our way to help complete strangers such as ruining our wardrobe to save a person from drowning. However, the examples that it uses are pretty much “no brianers”. You would have to be a pretty disturbed person to prefer preserving your clothing than to save another human’s life. However, it made me question events that are more likely to occur in our daily life. Such as, “what would you do if you find a stranger laying on the ground helpless?” Would you help them? Again, I believe many people would say yes. However, shown in “What would you do?” video, many people would actually pass by the stranger without giving him/her a second look. In the video, it shows three incidents: a businesswomen laying in the sidewalk, a homeless man, and the same homeless man with a beer can in his hand. It was amazing to see how people can easily over look a person who may be in need.
In the first incident, it showed a businesswoman clasping in the middle of the sidewalk. It took a total of 6 seconds for someone to respond. Yet, with the homeless man, it took 3 minutes before someone stopped and helped him. In the third and final incident, the same homeless man clasped in the middle of the sidewalk but with a beer can. This time, nobody stopped. It took another homeless person to help him. It was depressing to see how many people assume that the homeless man was drunk. People passed by, not even checking if he was alive. Instead of asking, “would you help a person from drowning,” one should ask, “would you check if that person laying in the middle of the sidewalk is still alive?”

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What is “News” anymore?

After reading the chapter on “managing the news” in our book, felt that there would be many good examples of how the news and media is swayed to portray the views of one political party over another’s or show a company in a favorable light or bring attention away from situations that could incite panic, and there are many examples of these things….far too many examples to exhibit in one blog post. These are not things that happen every one in a while, these happen every day, multiple times a day. This is our generation’s “news”. At least on television, there is no more objective source and there is no news anchor that will give you a story without voicing their opinion or the opinion of the companies which finance or own that news station. The news has been completely and thoroughly managed. To the point that I am not entirely sure that I have heard of any news story that had not been swayed to be more favorable to a certain group of people over another. I personally find it difficult to watch mainstream news channels because I have no desire to pick through the fluff news and subjective commentary to find the bare bones of what the original story was. Somewhere between a celebrity arrest and an extremist group’s protest there may be some thirty seconds dedicated to foreign affairs or government dealings but it is not without heavy criticism from one political side or another.

And while smaller news sources such as Huffington Post may do a better job at delivering actual news items, will they ever receive as much or more recognition than large news stations without selling out to sponsors as well? 

All I know is that watching a news broadcast nowadays makes my head spin and that is exactly what it is intended to do. An example of politics, corporations, lobbyists or anything else “managing the news”?…I’ll just point you to a television. Because the example is the news, day in and day out. I would urge someone to find an example of news that has not been touched by any influence and I would be very impressed if someone were to find one.

Capitalism and Poverty

http://www.dsausa.org/capitalism_and_poverty

 

Being that I have many socialist beliefs as far as how America and the world runs governments, business, social issues, etc., Peter Singer’s “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” was an intriguing read.  It’s just not that complicated.  As he often reiterates in various forms. “if it is in our power to prevent something very bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything morally significant, we ought, morally, to do it.”  Singer wrote this essay in the 1970’s.  I do not know if he is still alive, but if he is I am sure his heart is heavy living now in our “global village” of concentrated and mass Capitalism.  Although, poverty did exist before the Capitalist boom, it has done nothing to reduce or alleviate it.  Capitalism has made the rich become uber rich and the uber rich become godly rich.  The traditional forms of poverty still exist – there is still famine and hunger across the globe.  One thing that has happened is an additional form of poverty.  Capitalism has bred a “fast food” way of living.  In America, specifically, there may not be an enormous amount of “hungry” adults and children, there is however, a dire increase in obesity due to the fast food lifestyles of the economically disadvantaged.  There is poverty by which people are not obtaining proper nutrition which leads without denial, to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, the list goes on.  Capitalism has made healthy and nutritious foods highly unattainable to the average citizen because of the high prices of vegetables and non-processed foods and the dirt cheap costs of harmful and unhealthy foods.

Singer states that when all is said and spoken for – nothing really makes a difference unless these applications and theories are practiced.  The sad part is that but for the work of a few NGO’s, not only are we not getting the job done to attempt to abolish poverty and the new forms of poverty, but we are not even having the discussion on the center stage.

One less buffet a day takes starvation away…

world starvation map

Here are some facts to set things off:
In a Asia, Africa, and Latin American countries well over 500 million are living in absolute poverty. Drowning.
Every year 15 million children die of hunger. Drowning.
1 of 12 people worldwide is malnourished, including 160 million children under the age of 5. Drowning.
Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger. Drowning.

All of these people are drowning and we are far enough from them to run over and save them. The question is should we save these people, if there are capable people closer to them than we are? Why doesn’t the best swimmer go save them? Or the person with a boat? Are the people who are already disabled morally wrong for standing by and watching them drown?

Peter singer takes Famine, Affluence, and Morality and gives an excellent direction on the right thing to do. I absolutely agree that if there is a child drowing in a shallow pond we ought to save that child in exchange for muddied clothes. This world has millions of drowing kids but we spend so much time pointing fingers at who should be helping them instead of actually going. By the time we’ve made the biggest boat and the bred the fastest swimmers, all those drowing children are 20 feet deep. Thats the nature of our society. I feel in the deep recesses of our minds we believe if it’s not immediately affecting us then the degree of morality to do something is lessened. For example, a kid get bullied. You or your best friend are not getting bullied so for you to walk by and not notice is not completely morally wrong because you and your best friend felt like it was wrong. Its a division between action and thought and this division is prominent in all “drown” cases.

Peter indirectly states that drowning is as bad as dying from starvation. Factually, you die faster from drowning (Personally, I’d rather drown than die from starvation). He says philosophically everything in his literary piece is meaningless if it is not acted upon but it has to start somewhere. Although we (as a society) have implemented foundation after foundation to save these millions of “drowning” people, it is never enough. Forum boards yell, “don’t make so many babies; get help from your own government; learn to fish; make a change for yourself; help yourselves.” These forum board discussers have never drowned or came close to it. The reality is government surpress, food is scarce, and life is unfair. I’m not sure where you all stand but I’m on board with Singers point of view. If we can save a life then it is morally right to do so if the cost is not our own life. My question is where can society start.

If we shut down all the buffets in America, how many starving kids will survive? No, Vegas won’t allow that. I guess we can wait for the cure all pill to be discovered but then at that point what will we do about overpopulation?

buffet

 

The Truth, The Lie and The News

The Truth, The Lie and The News

The News like any other business does what it does for profit. This is why more people need to be critical about the news. The news will be misleading and skew their headlines to keep viewers watching. The news do this in different ways it can be just with the title to make you watch the entire clip or by using it as a teaser. They may have a big headline and mention it before each break to stay tune and the “big headline” could be nothing or just pretty much what they already said. The headline being skew can be seen on television or newspapers. Part of the headline could be true and as long as a portion of it is correct nobody questions it.
In addition to headlines being skewed images can also be skewed. That is why I chose this picture.You can see the entire image as one thing going on. In the screen it looks like the complete opposite. News can have a basic story and run in any direct they choose. This happens because as I mentioned earlier the news is in it for the money. They will show and talk about whatever will keep your interest and continue to watch their channel. Today there are many news channels to choose from which keeps them blowing stories out proportion. This causes them to get sloppy and sometimes they don’t even check their facts which most of the times they can get away with. Other times they get into trouble for example recently with the Manti Te’o fake girlfriend case. Nobody checked any sources and this fake girlfriend of an elite college football player who was supposedly sick and died from cancer never actually exist. On must also consider who the news works for. They will always try to put their own people in a good light in politics products or any other thing. The news is made to inform us but is the information really reliable? If not why do we still bother to watch?

How Moral Ideals Create Conflict in Society ?

light-bulb-idea

Moral ideas are taught to us as humans at a young age. Moral ideals like honesty, justice, courage, gratitude and etc. In different life situation these ideas come in conflict of one another and forces you to choose one the best fit for you. Each moral ideal justifies our daily decision whether its right or wrong but has society warp these moral ideals to the point that they have lost there meaning. I have a couple of example that will bring to light what we need to be aware of.

burglar

Let start with what keeps us safe justice. the laws put in place to protect society of wrong doings and one that does commits wrong. I’m reminded of a story where a burglar was committing burglary of a private homeowners home and fell through the skylight in the roof landing on a butcher knife that was laying out. The justice that should be served in this situation is to arrest the burglar the end. this story take a weird twist by having the burglar sue the homeowner for falling through the skylight and being injured. This moral ideal of justice was twisted to help someone doing wrong. For our justice system to even consider the case is an injustice to the people of  our country. It also does not allow for the homeowner to be able to forgive the burglar or our justice system for failing them.

13938a

The next example of moral ideals is demonstrated by those who are homeless and on the side of the road pan handling for money  to eat. This is where human compassion is taken advantage of and people play the role of a homeless person for personal gain.  A news report did an investigative story behind this a few years ago. The report revealed that these so-called homeless pan handlers were making six figures begging for money. For those really in need are seen as dishonest. The compassion felt for homelessness is now unable to  determine a homeless person as honest or dishonest. There are many example like this for every moral ideal, but do moral ideals protect us from conflict or create new conflict in our decision-making?

Welfare Reforms in the UK, Good or Bad?

Today I read an article on welfare reforms in the UK that are changing lives.  The question is, are these changes positive or negative?  Well here is some background…

Passing welfare reforms into law and presenting the biggest welfare to work program the UK has ever seen for a promising future has been introduced by Conservatives.  Their goal is to help people escape poverty, not trap them in it, which is why they are reforming welfare, universal credit, caping benefits, getting people back to work, including the young and reforming disability benefits.  The government believes that they’re delivering the reform their country needs.

Changes towards Getting People Back to Work, Reforming Disability Benefits and Getting Young People Into Work include…

Since the Conservatives came to power, nearly 1.2 million new jobs in the private sector were created since the election, leading to 700,000 more people in work .  They presented the ‘Benefits Cap’ so that those out of work cannot get more benefits than the average person earns in work.  They combined work-related benefits and tax credits into one, creating the ‘Universal Credit’ that ensures going to work will always pay more than remaining on benefits. Also, the goal is to reform Disability Living Allowance to the Personal Independence Payment, including a more objective assessment process so that disabled people get the support they need. It is the biggest welfare program the UK has ever seen, by tackling benefit fraud, replacing job initiatives with a single program that helps people back into work and gives them the support they need. A Youth Contract has also been set up to help tackle youth unemployment, which gives wage incentives for businesses who take on 18-24 year olds.  Conservatives are committed to continue spending over £40 billion a year on support services for disabled people, but to be sure that the support is going to those who need it most, they’re moving forward with the Disability Living Allowance.  By 2014 they will have reassessed 1.5 million people who receive the Incapacity Benefit, through the Work Capability Assessment.  The priority is to support those facing the greatest barriers to living an independent life.

Along with these reforms, thousands will lose legal aid.  Branded by Labour a “day of shame” for the legal aid system, the cutoff to claim legal aid will be a household income of £32,000, and those earning between £14,000 and £32,000 will have to take a means test. Family law cases including divorce, child custody, immigration and employment cases will be badly affected.  A bedroom tax will also be introduced, the aim is to tackle overcrowding and encourage a more efficient use of social housing. “Working age housing benefit and unemployment claimants deemed to have one spare bedroom in social housing will lose 14% of their housing benefit and those with two or more spare bedrooms will lose 25%. An estimated 1m households with extra bedrooms are paid housing benefit. Critics say it is an inefficient policy as in the north of England, families with a spare rooms outnumber overcrowded families by three to one, so thousands will be hit with the tax when there is no local need for them to move. Two-thirds of the people hit by the bedroom tax are disabled.”  This reform estimates savings of £465m a year. As many as 660,000 people in social housing will lose an average of £728 a year.

Now the question is, are these actions to date and planned actions the UK’s prospering present and promising future? With sweeping changes in the fields of welfare, justice, health and tax… What do the people think of the UK’s reforms and changes?  There is a lot of negative responses to these changes.  There will be many people affected by these cuts and people find it hard to understand how these reforms are going to save money and not cost more in the long term.  Do you think the government is hurting the poor and the disabled by making them vulnerable through these reforms, or do you think this is the positive and necessary change their country needs?

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne welfare changes

Chancellor, George Osborne defends welfare reforms as necessary to fix a broken system as protests against change grow louder.  Osborne insists welfare changes are a positive reform of a bloated system in the increasingly bitter war over welfare.

http://www.gov.uk/governement/policies