by

December 6, 2022

 

The article ” Drowning in debt ” ( upfront, Bubar, 2020) discusses how many students want to have their apartment and live on their own but face hard difficulties. many students move back into their parent’s houses others decide to get help from student loans. In my opinion, if I were in a situation like this I would limit my spending wisely and only save up for food, rent, car payment, or on things I need to pay for. I wouldn’t spend 300 dollars on some new shoes or a new shirt, in general, I wouldn’t spend money on video games, or objects that aren’t worth it. with this being done my next option would be to get out of a student loan if I still seemed to be struggling and I did anything possible to keep track of my money spending I would 100 percent get help from student loans. This text, also says that today’s generation of students is in the most debt ever compared to others in the past. it is mainly Americans that spend the most money on tuition was less than 5,000 per year years ago in today’s dollars. private colleges were at 18,000 and in today’s generation for attending a private college the price is more than 36,000.
think that two problems cause college students to drown in debt. I believe the first one is that through the years the process of many things gets more expensive as I said earlier in the text 30 years ago tuition was about 5,000 or less and in today’s generation the tuition is about 9,000 or a little more depending. since everything went up such as wages, rent, and gas it impacted colleges to raise their coast a lot more. that’s why I believe there are students in today’s generation that have hardships with debt. my second reason I believe students face hard times is that half of the college students still believe that it is as easy living as they were with their parents so they aren’t as prepared or responsible as the other college students. some college students get help from their families and they seem to still face a hard time with their spending because sometimes they chose bad decisions and spend money on unnecessary things other than what they should be considering their priorities. All in all, this is why I believe why most students are in student loan debt.
Do you think student debt should be forgiven?


The Effects of Student Debt

In the article, “Drowning in Debt” (Upfront, Bubar, 2020) I learned that those colleges who take advantage of the loans later have to pay back all that they got even if they didn’t use it all. It takes the students’ years to pay back the money and while they are trying to pay that, they have to set money aside for all other payments they need to make. Inflation also plays a big role in the amount of money they have to pay back because since 1996, the debt has gone up $13,000. According to many students, their main concern is having to pay back the debt which can cause a strain to their mental health.

I think that the government should lower college debt because of how much Americans still owe money to this day. I feel like they stress too much about having to pay not only that but other bills as well. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders have come up with a proposal to cancel existing loans & making public and community college tuition-free for all students. This proposal would relieve students in an increasingly manner.

How do you feel about debt in general? Should it be canceled?


College Readiness and Coronavirus

Staying in state for college is something that a lot of kids don’t want to do. Some people want to stay because of the comfort they receive from knowing their way around town, but others want to get that experience of leaving their home and living completely on their own. One of the things that often stop kids from leaving the state for college is tuition. Out of state tuition is extremely expensive unless you can get a large scholarship. In State Tuition is often a lot cheaper. According to College Express, “Out-of-state students pay more simply because they do not pay taxes to the state in which the university is located.” (This only applies to public universities). To receive in-state tuition, you have to have a driver’s license from that state, in state employment, car registration, etc.

If the child decides they have enough funds to go out of state, they will most likely do it. “Some yearn for independence”, however in the NY Times article I explored, a lot of kids in Utah actually happen to stay in Utah. Only 636 residents leave Utah and most of those students end up going to North Carolina. Utah does receive a lot of students as well from California and other states. I think it would be interesting to see how these statistics have changed with the Corona Virus because I know that a lot of high school graduates last year went in state due to quarantine and schools not opening. 

Being a student of the class of 2021 is very interesting. A lot of our application processes are different and I know that a lot of people don’t know if they will end up going to the college they have dreamt of going to for years. Many students will probably go to the University of Utah or SLCC just because they will receive in state tuition. This is sad for the students who have worked so hard and won’t be able to attend their dream school, but we have to remember that you can still explore other states for grad school. Statistically in the future, I think most students will go in-state for their undergraduate degree and then leave and explore for grad school.


Why Are Many College Students In Debt?

In the article, “Drowning in Debt” I learned that college graduates struggle for years to pay off their college debt. Many students find it hard to pay their tuition because college is expensive. Over the past 30 years, college tuition has risen tremendously due to the rising salaries of professors, dorms, and other facilities.  According to a study from Wisconsin University in 2017, they found that it usually takes around 20 years for graduates to pay off their debt. Many students do apply for financial aid, but sometimes that isn’t enough help or others don’t qualify for the aid. Their alternative will then be to take out loans. 

These high tuition prices have caused controversy between politicians. Some like Bernie Sanders have proposed canceling existing student loan debt and making both public and community college tuition-free for every student. Many schools have opposed this idea because if tuition is free they won’t be able to offer the same quality of education for their students.

The problem of debt leaves many students asking themselves if college is worth it. Some students say their debt is all they have in their mind and they feel like they’re just drowning. On the other hand, economists believe that college is worth it because it’s been proven that those with a college degree will be better off than those who only have a high school diploma as they have better chances of succeeding. 

Personally, I don’t think I will ever take out loans. My parents have told me that they will support me throughout college so that I won’t have to worry later about being in debt. But unfortunately, others don’t have the same support or they don’t qualify to get assistance, so their only other option is loans.  And since some are afraid of being in debt they will get discouraged and not want to go to college or they take a year off to save up some money.  This is why I think they should make more resources to help students pay for college and not end up as badly in debt.

-Should college tuition be free?


Is it worth giving Americans $1,000?

The US is debating on giving people $1,000 to help them support their family and to get bills and or necessities out of the way. Yes, this sounds great but where is it coming from? That money doesn’t just grow on trees that money will be taken out of the national bank, which just digs us deeper into the national debt. That will backfire with-in a couple years because all of us taxpayers will be the ones paying the debt. “We want to make sure that Americans get money in their pocket quickly,” (https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/salvadorhernandez/coronavirus-trump-mnuchin-1000-check-economy). The government should not be doing it, great depression 2…?


AMERICA IS IN 22 TRILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT!!!

America is now in a debt of 22 TRILLION DOLLARS!!!!! This amount is hard to even imagine so let me explain what 22 trillion looks like. 22 trillion looks like this: 22,000,000,000,000 THAT IS 12 ZEROS!!! If we put one trillion into seconds then pyramids had not been built yet and saber tooth tigers roamed the planet. It is crazy to think that America is in a national debt of a number that put in seconds the Earth wouldn’t be around! It is important to realize that 16.2 trillion dollars of national debt is held by the public and 5.9 trillion dollars is held by the government. 

Now that we realize how much debt we are in the next question is how did America get in so much debt? According to Jerry Robinson, “The rise in America’s national debt has been largely due to something economists call deficit spending. Deficit spending is an economic term for spending more than you earn.” The reason America is using deficit spending is because we buy so much from foreign countries such as China and Taiwan. We buy from these foriegn countries because it is “cheap” but because we do not have the money immediately the “cheap” stuff add up into 22 trillion dollars. According to Kimberly Amadeo five factors have caused U.S. debt to burgeon enormously they are: “accumulation of budget deficits; loans from the Social Security Trust Fund to fuel government spending; issuance of Treasurys to countries, such as China and Japan, which want to keep the value of their exports low; and low interest rates which contributed to budget deficits and continuous raising of the debt ceiling by Congress.” The debt ceiling is “[T]he legal limit on the total amount of federal debt the government can accrue. The limit applies to almost all federal debt, including the roughly $16.2 trillion of debt held by the public and the roughly $5.9 trillion the government owes itself as a result of borrowing from various government accounts, like the Social Security and Medicare trust funds.”  

So what can America do to get out of debt? According to Tim Begany there are 5 possibilities to help us get out of national debt:

  1. “Opening our borders to willing workers from all over the world would accelerate the creation of businesses that pay taxes desperately needed to reduce the debt.”
  2. “Having Americans retire a lot later, perhaps in their 70s instead of their 60s, could help fix the national debt by increasing the amount of time people pay income taxes and shortening their reliance on Social Security.”
  3. “The regulation of businesses damages the economy to the tune of $1 trillion a year by increasing costs and inefficiency. Thus, many economists and politicians advocate reducing regulation to help shrink the national debt.”
  4. “To reduce the national debt and jump-start the economy, some senators have suggested things like lowering income tax rates, abolishing about $1 trillion in popular tax breaks for individuals and corporations and raising the gas tax.”
  5. Following other countries leads such as Canada. “In Canada there’s a 5% national sales tax – a consumption levy many economists prefer to higher taxes on income or investments since those discourage work and saving. Harvard Business School economist Matthew Weinzierl has said that Australia is smart because it varies income tax rates by age. [In Australia] people pay less tax when they’re younger and more when they’re older and typically better able to pay higher taxes [when they are older].”

Hopefully the American government will take one of these options and capitalize on it and bring our nation out of the 22 trillion dollars it has been buried under.


College can cost an arm and a leg, but it wasn’t always like this. What happened?

For boomers and many other of the older generations, college tuition is similar to a walk in the park.   But it’s similar for the younger generations, except everything is on fire, because it’s hell. For instance, in the mid 1950s, tuition was affordable, even for the lower middle class.  The University of Chicago cost around $850 per year ($7000 adjusted to inflation), and it was the most expensive school at the time. Now, average tuition is $59,000 per year, with the current most expensive school being Harvey Mudd college, at a whopping $70,000 a year.  So what happened? 

Back in the day, most people didn’t go to college, and those who usually worked it off as they went along.  As the years passed, more and more people started going to college. In 1970, approximately 8.5 million went to college, where in 1990 it rocketed up to a staggering 13.8 million.  To keep up with the sudden increase in people going to college, schools started increasing the price to keep up with demand, but it wasn’t anything to extraordinary until about the late 1980s when these prices seemed to skyrocket, and it was starting to cost more to attend schools than it was for the average cost of living.  But the real culprit, was when the government was facing really big budget deficits.  Politicians panicked to put as much of this money as they could towards education, but they couldn’t keep up with it, so to compensate the colleges raise tuition for the mass flow of students into their schools. Which is the reason why college is now through the roof expensive.


Why is important to save moeny?

Let’s start by saying you need money your entire life and especially for emergencies. A good way to start saving money is opening a bank account and dropping money off every time you can. Trying to get a job as young as possible is a good way to go. Saving money for college is a big thing especially if you choose a big career. This can help pay your college off or mostly part of it. Saving money also helps you for your retirement, basically what you’re going to live off after you retire from your job. Money is a big resource that we use everyday and we most know how to spend it.


Opposing Viewpoint: Regulation v. Deregulation of the Financial sector

Pro Regulation of Financial Sectors 

  • Claim: Neutral
  • Evidence: Cited Sources

This source discusses that financial regulation is both good and bad. It provides evidence that supports the bank deregulation and how this negatively affects the consumers and how regulation of the financial sector help the consumers and hurt the banks. One reason why the national government regulates the bank is to protect the consumers/taxpayers. If the banks aren’t regulated it could potentially lead to another recession or depression if the banks start borrowing money or lending money to people that don’t qualify for loans. 

Con Regulation of Financial Sectors  

  • Claim: Neutral 
  • Evidence: Cited Sources 

With no regulation for the banks or financial sectors they will not have to report to the National Government. They could lend money to people that aren’t reliable and can mismanage the funds and ask for a bailout without any consequences. The banks unregulated will hurt all the consumers and lead to the rich getting richer and the poor stay where they are. The banks unregulated can lead to the big banks dictating politics. 

I agree that there needs to be regulation of the banks because without them there can be mismanagement of the funds and lead to the finance sector throwing or influencing the market/economy in their favor. This will only help the people with millions and billions while the middle class and the lower class will be hurt by this because they don’t have an inside scoop like the rich will if there is no regulation on this sector. The regulation of banks and the financial sector can be a positive for both. The people and the banks themselves are protected because the National Government will bail the people out so the banks don’t default which leads to people having no money to spend, which has a negative effect on the economy causing loss of  billions for the GDP of the U.S

Transition sentence 

  • The people and the banks themselves are protected because the National Government will bail the people out so the banks don’t default which leads to people having no money to spend, which has a negative effect on the economy causing loss of  billions for the GDP of the U.S, where as if there were no regulation the national government would only protect the banks and not the people.
  • The people and the banks themselves are protected because the National Government will bail the people out so the banks don’t default which then would lead to people having no money to spend, which has a negative effect on the economy causing loss of  billions for the GDP of the U.S. 
  • In brief with no regulation for the banks or financial sectors they will not have to report to the National Government. They could lend money to people that reliable and can mismanage the funds and ask for a bailout without any consequences. The banks unregulated will hurt all the consumers and lead to the rich getting richer and the poor stay where they are. The banks unregulated can lead to the big banks dictating politics which can lead to a more free and hyper competitive economy which leads to lowering of prices which is good for consumers boosting the economy as a whole  

Counter Claims

  • Although a deregulated financial sector will open the economy creating a faster pace and more peaks creating more chances for people to generate wealth it will undoubtedly come with its lows creating quick panic creating a situation similar to the recession or the Great Depression. The only difference would be that the banks would be bailed out and the people would suffer. 
  • Even though a deregulated financial sector will open the economy creating a faster pace and more peaks creating more chances for people to generate wealth it will undoubtedly come with its lows creating quick panic creating a situation similar to the recession or the Great Depression. The only difference would be that the banks would be bailed out and the people would suffer.

Although due to the fact having a regulated financial sector it stagnates the economy creating a slowing growth because of all the requirements that people need to pass so that the banks can lend them money. With all these regulations it kills the growth and hurts the economy in the long run


Explaining College Prices

When choosing a college that is right for students many people look at academics, location, programs, and size. However, for most seniors looking at colleges, the main concern is how much will it cost and how much debt they will be in. Student loan hero reports that the cost of higher education has grown 67% since 1970 and the average debt students are in after their 4 year degree is 30,000$. Student loan debt is estimated to be about 1.5 trillion dollars and expected to grow even higher. There are many reasons that can help answer the question on why college has become so expensive, but it can all be boiled down to more people are going to college and universities can not keep up. 

The Department of Education estimated that about 20 million college students in 2017 which is about 5 million more than in 2000. The reason for the massive increase in college students is the want for higher paying jobs. The reward of a degree helps students cope with the idea of having student debts. There is also an increase in pressure of going into higher education than pursuing straight into a career or going into the military. Students see the massive debt and the pressure of others to go into higher education which has caused the increase of college students and the cost of college itself. 

With more young adults seeking higher education colleges and universities have to hire more staff to accommodate more students. The staff is not just hiring more professors (that expect a high paying job), but a cluster of other employees like janitors, maintenance, cleaners, and cooks to help manage the new wave of college students. The universities can not handle paying for all these workers from the same funds as before, so colleges have to raise the price of tuition which in turn the students have to borrow more money and be deeper in debt.  

Another reason why college is more expensive is that State governments are giving very little money to their public universities. The College Board estimated the money given to universities per full time students is about 11 percent which has gone down in the last 10 years. The funding that is given to higher education can not keep up with the demand as more students seek higher education. About 80% of college students are attending public universities and since government can not keep up with funding, tuition is raised and the cycle continues. 

Reason after reason pile up to the rise of college tuition, but the main problem is that more people are seeking higher education. Universities can not keep with the same price as before because more people are going to college, so the universities need more money to give students a higher education. More staff and room is needed to handle the wave of students, so more money is needed. The more money needed raises the tuition and raises the debt for millions of Americans. States need to give more money to higher education to help with over a trillion dollars of debt Americans as more people want to seek higher education.

sources: https://www.businessinsider.com/why-is-college-so-expensive-2018-4

https://trends.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/2017-trends-in-college-pricing_0.pdf


The Discriminatory Student Debt Crisis

I am extremely interested in the student debt crisis that currently plagues college graduates. As I apply to colleges, I cannot help but notice their astronomically high price tags. Throughout my lifetime, tuition prices have been increasing and financial aid has not, which has resulted in the current economic crisis young adults are facing. The price of tuition has made a college education unattainable for some and has forced many into extreme debt. As with most cases of social and economic injustice, minorities and women are hit the hardest by student loan debt. According to The Balance and research done by the American Association of University Women, “women own nearly two-thirds of the student loan debt in the U.S.,” and “as of 2018, women working full-time earn approximately 80% of what men are paid.” The gender pay gap results in women paying off their loans for a significantly longer period of time, therefore, it is much more difficult for them to get ahead financially after college. Additionally, The Balance reports that, “hispanic and black students are more likely to graduate with higher levels of debt than white students.” 


OUSD Budget

Janie Otero

Humanities 9

Ms. Portugal

12/21/18

                                                                           OUSD Budget


OUSD has spent so much money on hiring people with high salaries and spending more money that is necessary on people who work in the district, that it  will cause 24 schools in Oakland to shut down. The fact that the district will cause 24 schools to shut down means that the district needs to do something to improve what they are doing.
 Also many parents aren’t being informed about how the district is using their money unwisely.

 

Why is OUSD in debt? OUSD is in debt because of the amount of money that is spent on unnecessary items. So all that money that was spent on those items or on hiring people with a large salary made the district  go into debt which will cause OUSD schools. Specifically 24 schools in Oakland will have to shut down because the district cannot afford to keep those schools open which will affect both parents and student in a horrible way because they’ll have to look for other schools for their kids or if there isn’t another school near them which will cause them to look farther away for a school. Therefore, OUSD is not using their money correctly  and responsibly and it is having huge issue for students and schools.

 

Firstly, OUSD has  used their money irresponsibly with salaries. OUSD is spending money in a way that wouldn’t effects the schools in a good way and would decrease the amount of money that they are getting. To begin in an interview with  one of the principles that works in an OUSD school called LIfe Academy and has knowledge about what’s happening in the OUSD, Aryn Salazar Bowman said “We over spend on something else he hired people whose salary was large and we went into debt” (Bowman). This means that OUSD wasn’t using there money in a helpful way or in any way that would help OUSD. OUSD spent their money on hiring people with a big salary and getting better offices which cost them a lot of money. They are hiring people with a big salary which will put the schools  more in debt. To add, in the article “Potential Solutions to OUSD Budget Crisis” by Gloria Lee, she  talked about how OUSD is in debt and what OUSD can do to find money through cutting these big salaries. Gloria Lee said But in a daunting situation like this, we think it’s important to send a strong message that everyone needs to sacrifice. If the top 20 leaders take a 5% pay cut, it could save the jobs of a several employees working at minimum wage without affecting students in the classroom.(Lee). This quote means that people who are working in the district are benefiting from the 5% pay cut because it will save her job but it wouldn’t help students in any way. Which means that they aren’t helping Oakland school in any way or helping them receive what they need. This will mean that the district doesn’t have empathy for students and only care for their paycheck\

 

OUSD also in debt because it was  spending their money irresponsibly by hiring consultants which did not  help improve schools in any good way because they aren’t doing nothing now to improve the  schools. In the article, “OUSD Overspent by Millions on Admin and Consultants” by Robert Gammen talked about how much money was being spent  unnecessarily by OUSD. Gammen said “The district spent $22.3 million on administrators and supervisors last year, but the school board only authorized $10.4 million,  in 2014 the district spent $22.6 million on consultants, when the board only approved $7.1 million. The school board must slash $15.1 million from this year’s budget to avoid state receivership” (Gammen). This means that much of the massive overspending was done by former Superintendent Antwan Wilson before he left earlier this year for Washington, D.C. which caused OUSD to be in debt because they used too much money on workers that weren’t that necessary, for example they were only able to use $7.1 million for consultants but instead the district ended up spending $22.6 million just on consultants and they didn’t use that money for schools. That money should’ve been used in schools because what are the consultants doing at this moment to help improve schools in OUSD.. OUSD didn’t make a good choice spending more money than  was necessary just to hire worker because they were only offered a specific amount of money but they ended up using much more of that money or using more money that is necessary on either hiring consultants, administrators and supervisors which is good but we don’t need to spend a huge amount of money just on that we should just be able to use the amount that is necessary.

 

Parents are questioning if there kids are getting what they need to become successful from OUSD because of this budget crisis. In an interview with  Isabel Rodriguez, a mom who has two kids in an OUSD school, she said “The district is just using money in a way that would only benefit people who work at the district and I’m not sure if kids who go to a OUSD school are getting the education they need” (Rodriguez). Parents that have kids in an OUSD school district are also worried about their kids education and there doubting that OUSD can provide there kids with the education they need because of how OUSD is just using their money of people who work at the district and not giving enough money to schools. Parents should be doubting the OUSD to provide there kids with a good education because that there job to help improve school and make them better.

In conclusion,  OUSD is not using their money correctly – responsibly and it is having huge issues for students and schools. This will cause the OUSD to not work successfully with schools because there just spending money on what will only benefit people who work at OUSD it will not affect the school. They use a plethora amount on money on hiring people , they are using much more money than they are supposed to use, also many parents with kids in OUSD are questioning if OUSD is actually doing their  best to help kids in OUSD schools succeed and giving them the resources they need. This means that there is a lot of improvement that need to be made to improve our district and the fact that the district isn’t already trying to do this means the community needs to talk about it and educate others so that OUSD can improve.

 

Work Cited

Bowman, Aryn Salazar. “Interview with Aryn Salazar Bowman.” 12 Dec. 2018.

In this interview we talked about what OUSD is doing to help OUSD schools and what the district is doing to help schools around Oakland. She is theprincible of one of the schools in Oakland.

 

Gammon, Robert. “Friday’s Briefing: OUSD Overspent by Millions on Admin and Consultants; Half of Bay Area Renters Are ‘Economically Burdened’.” East Bay Express, East Bay Express, 3 Dec. 2018, www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2017/11/10/fridays-briefing-ousd-overspent-by-millions-on-admin-and-consultants-half-of-bay-area-renters-are-economically-burdened.

This article describes how OUSD is spending much more than they are suppose to use and they are only supposed to use a certain amount but they end up spending money on what would only benefit people who work at the office and will not benefit the schools.

 

Lee, Gloria. “Potential Solutions to OUSD Budget Crisis.” Educate78, 18 June 2018, educate78.org/potential-solutions-ousds-budget-crisis/.

This article talked about how the OUSD district is in a budget crisis and what OUSD can do to fix this problem is also explained why and how this problem started to happen. This is credible because she is an assistant director.

 

Rodriguez, Isabel. “Interview with Isabel Rodriguez.” 12 Dec. 2018.

I interviewed a mother who has 2 children who are in the OUSD school district and she shared her opinion on how she feels about how OUSD is spending there money not wisely.


The debt we must pay

American students owe 1.5 trillion in student debt. As the numbers it costs to get a college education continue to rise, students feel the pressure to compromise their educations. The issue of the student debt crisis is one that can be turned around. Systems in other countries, where students can leave their education with minimal debt can serve as models for solutions that we can adapt in the U.S. Creating a new system by implementing new rules that have been shown to be effective is necessary for fixing the student loan crisis.   

A student in Australia borrows roughly the same amount of money that a student in the U.S. would to pay for college. Although, the differences between the U.S. system of debt payment and the Australian system differ greatly. In the U.S. student loan payments begin right after graduation although in Australia, payments don’t begin until the borrowers salary reaches a threshold of 40,000 Australian dollars(about $28,300). Another difference between the two systems is that in Australia payments fluctuate based on pay increases and decreases, whereas in America student debt payments are consistent. These leniencies in the Australian system of student debt make paying for college a more realistic choice for students.

In order to fix the student debt crisis we must implement new rules into our current system to prevent universities, especially for-profit universities, from misusing government subsidies. An article by Forbes magazine included the quote “For-profits make up only 12% of enrollment in the higher education sector, but they take 25% of all federal aid and represent half of all student defaults.” The same article proposes not giving private universities grants at all or eliminating student loans from these institutions.

The student loan crisis is an issue that can be solved in time with the right implementation of new systems and rules. Other countries can be used as an example for the direction that our student loan system should take, and light needs to be shed on universities that are taking advantage of money for financial aid. With these things in mind the student loan crisis can be greatly lessened with time.

https://nowcomment.com/documents/118086#.W-7tlpNKg2w

Works Cited

Leonhardt, Megan. “This Map Shows the States Where the Student Loan Crisis Hits the

Hardest.” CNBC, CNBC, 1 Aug. 2018,

www.cnbc.com/2018/08/01/states-with-highest-student-loan-debt.html.

Dynarski, Susan. “America Can Fix Its Student Loan Crisis. Just Ask Australia.” The New York

Times, The New York Times, 9 July 2016,

www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/upshot/america-can-fix-its-student-loan-crisis-just-ask-au

stralia.html.

Dvorkin, Howard. “The Solution To The Student Loan Crisis? Implement New Rules.” Forbes,

Forbes Magazine, 30 Oct. 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/forbesfinancecouncil/2017/10/19/the-solution-to-the-student-loan-crisis-implement-new-rules/#78d6eae44eca .

“Currency Calculator Converter Australian Dollar to US Dollar.” Currency Calculator (Australian Dollar, US Dollar) – X-Rates, www.x-rates.com/calculator/?from=AUD&to=USD&amount=40,000.

 


Drowning in Debt: The Student Loan Crisis

Our society’s idea of success relies heavily on a college education. However, the exorbitant cost of tuition requires students to take out loans. Wages are not rising to match the pattern of increasing tuition, leaving students with debt that’s impossible to pay off. This topic is one that frustrates anyone dealing with student-loan debt, and various sources are frantically working to come up with a solution. Many people are largely uninformed about the depth and reality of this crisis.
The United States has reached an overwhelming total of $1.5 trillion in student debt. This has been the case for six years, and our country has done nothing to alleviate it. Many people are advocating for student-loan debt to be forgiven altogether. According to Katrina vanden Heuvel, “The reason for the debt crisis is clear: The cost of college has exploded in recent decades while median household-income growth has been relatively flat.” Heuvel goes on to argue that the rising tuition is a result of states failing to keep up with the cost and leaving it up to families to account for. She also states that there is obscene growth in college administration salaries, even though the education quality is not increasing. As a student about to attend college, this is extremely frustrating. I feel obligated to attend a decent university, but realize that the cost of tuition cannot be justified with the quality of the education. It is an understatement that university administration are overpaid. I believe that the cost of college needs to be reevaluated, and ultimately realigned with what the university is actually providing students.
The effects of student-loan debt are devastating. Farzon A. Nahvi, an emergency medicine physician graduated from medical school five years ago. He said, “I cannot afford to buy a house, still ride my bicycle to work and continue to skimp on meals in order to cover more than $3,000 in monthly loan payments.” This man dedicated an overwhelming amount of money, time, and work to become a physician. He is living like a poor college student. The idea that professions in law and medicine (and others) are no longer paying enough to keep up with a decent lifestyle is devastating. When advanced fields of work cannot reward individuals, they are no longer worth the time and effort. Why would I spend so much time and money to become a doctor when I’ll barely be able to afford three meals a day? If our nation does not properly deal with the debt crisis, we will see a dramatic decline in the quality of healthcare, law, business, and other areas of work that require college degrees. People will no longer have the work ethic to keep up with the demands of a modern lifestyle. Families will sacrifice everything they’ve worked for just to afford a mediocre education. I am terrified of my future as a college student. The burden that will be placed on my family to provide me with an education is not worth the outcome. As my generation enters the era of “higher education,” I question the sensibility behind college and the incredible burden it will introduce into my life.

 

Here are the articles I annotated on this topic:

https://nowcomment.com/documents/116114#.W-MFw3r0k0o


Will Robots Take Over?

I think that robots will one day take over the world and we need to put a stop to it before it gets out of hand. According to the movie i,Robot were robots were supposed to follow the 3 laws of robotics a robot cannot harm a human or cannot allow a human to come to harm, a robot must follow a humans orders unless it interferes with the first law, and a robot must protect its own existence unless it interferes with the first or second law. In the movie i,Robot Viki the artificial intelligence supercomputer was enslaving mankind in order to save them but she was killing humans and in her mind she was following 3 laws of robotics because she was seeing them from a different point of view which was the lives of few for the lives of many. In the the movie Viki also was able to control a mass produced robot army because she was a superior AI and if this happened in real life robots will cause an exponential amount of damage to cities and to humans themselves.
Another example of robots changing and altering mankind is shown in the article “Robot Dreams” written by Isaac Asimov where he talks about a robot named Elvex and a doctor named Dr.Calvin and doctor Calvin put a new brain pattern in Elvex head and later he has a dream and was shot because of what he dreamed.
The article said that there was just a single man and every one else was a robot then the man said free my people and he was referring to robots then they asked Elvex if he the man in the dream and he said yes it was me and Elvex was shot after. I think that Elvex was shot because humans were scared of what robots could have evolved to and if he thought of himself as equal or superior they can fear for their life.
An example of a current advanced AI is sophia the robot can make many facial expressions and looks very human and even became a saudi arabian citizen. Sophia was the start of a advanced AIs who have been all over the news because they can think for themselves and some have said she has given crypted messages.
I believe that even if there’s laws put in place so that robots don’t take over they will eventually outsmart us and will not find a need for us anymore.Going back to the i,Robot movie there was a scene where robots were building robots and the detective who was sceptical about it though it was a bad idea because of that ended up happening with Viki. I believe that the 3 laws of robotics should be slightly altered so they cannot be manipulated as easily as Viki made it seem in the i,Robot movie. Another thing that can be done is to completely stop auto mation from progressing any further so that AIs don’t get to the point where they don’t need us.


Student Loans: A Crisis for Those Who Want to Succeed

The issue presented is student loan debt that is caused because college tuitions are too high for students to afford. Therefore, many students get student loans from banks. Around 80% of students graduate with debt at around $20,000. This is a real issue because education should be accessible for all students no matter their income. This discriminates against people with lower income and everyone deserves a chance at becoming successful.

 

I knew this was a problem for anyone with low income but what I didn’t know, was that the majority of college students graduate with debt and some might not be able to pay it off. The fact that diplomas are more demanding, give colleges power because they know that competition will get higher and can easily raise the prices even higher for their own gain.


“Having the College Money Talk”

In the article Having the College Money Talk, author addressed some questions and suggestions that every family need to consider before they make any decision about colleges. Money is one of the biggest factors of making the choice. On average, a four-year education at a public university will cost approximately $78,000, which includes tuition, fees, and rooms; the amount of money for a four-year education at a private school is more than double of public’s. However, how much a student pay depends on his/her family’s financial situation, the student’s academic record, and other factors that influence how much a school offers in grants and scholarships, both types of free money that don’t need to be paid back. Net price – how much a student pays after subtracting scholarships and grants – is the true cost of a university. According to a new Consumer Reports nationally representative survey of more than 1,500 student loan borrowers, “44% of those who have left college say they have had to cut back on daily living expenses, and 28 percent have had to delay major goals like buying a house and 37 percent put off saving for retirement. The financial impact is so daunting that 45 percent of borrowers say knowing what they know now, their college experience wasn’t worth the cost”.

Although student loan is the fastest way to make college affordable, it may not be the best way. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, “the average starting salary for a person with a bachelor’s degree is $50,000. But if you don’t know what you want to pursue as a career, be more conservative, he advises. If you earn $50,000 after graduation and borrowed that much, expect to pay about $555 per month under the standard 10-year repayment plan, assuming a 6 percent interest rate. Annually, that’s about 13 percent of your salary toward your loans”. First debt payment is due six months after graduation on most federal student loans which means that student needs to find a job quickly right after they graduate. One of the suggestions that the author gives is that students should avoid private loans. Otherwise, it is likely that the total amount of loans that a student talke will exceed the salary he/she expects to earn annually in his/her early years so that it is even harder for students to pay off their debt.

Furthermore, parents and students need to think outside of the box. “One mistake families often make is assuming that their state university will be the most affordable option”, says Palmasani. But actually, some private colleges, even highly selective ones, can be cheaper than state schools, too. “That’s because public colleges generally award smaller and fewer scholarships than private colleges, which may have richer endowments”, says Zee Santiago, director of college counseling at the Collegiate Institute for Math and Science high school in New York City. “With cutbacks to state funding, state schools don’t have the money to give out that private schools do,” says Santiago.

 

Citation:

Donna, Rosato. “Having the College Money Talk.” EBSCOhost, Consumer Reports, Aug2016, Vol. 81 Issue 8, p35, 5pweb.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=2&sid=65c2afd3-55f7-43a3-a7e5-0889167e170d%40sessionmgr101&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=116189498&db=tth.

Accessed 14 Feb. 2018.


Multi-Level Marketing and its Uncanny Resemblance to the Pyramid Scheme

In business, there exists a competitive craving to be smarter, faster, and bigger than everyone else. This urge stems from the initial experience of success that has the ability to intoxicate people. If success isn’t approached with correct moral and ethical judgement, this infatuating addiction can prove harmful to the parties involved. This is how notorious and successful businessman Bernie Madoff became involved with one of the most systematically thought out forms of stock fraud; otherwise known as the pyramid scheme. This scheme works exactly as it sounds; like a pyramid. The top investor recruits individuals who will “make money” beneath them if they promise to recruit more investors that will “make money” beneath them, and so on. This scheme works and eventually makes a never ending pyramid of investors that only make money if they recruit more and more investors below them, however the issue is that the pyramid can’t go on forever, and there will be investors sitting at the bottom of the pyramid who will fail to make any money at all while the few people sitting at the top of the pyramid will make exponentially increasing sums of money that stem from the empty promises of the bottom level investors. This practice has now been criminalized and landed Bernie Madoff the title of one of the most notorious criminals in history as well as a 150 year sentence to federal prison. This is where the concept of multi-level marketing comes in. This business concept begins with few individuals who have a product that they want to sell. They then recruit a larger group of individuals below them to sell that product. This group of individuals then recruits more sellers below them and the cycle continues on and on while the original sellers make more and more money. In short, the largest group of sellers at the bottom of the scheme end up with a closet full of products that they are unable to sell while the individuals above them make copious amounts of cash. This business scheme holds an uncanny resemblance to the investment scheme discussed earlier. The only difference is that only one of them is considered illegal in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service. So if these two business schemes are essentially the same thing with different labels, what is it that separates them in legality?

I found the information very useful in this article by the Better Business Bureau.  The hyperlink provided will take you to my hypothes.is annotation of the document.  It blatantly states the red flags of multi level marketing schemes that closely resemble the pyramid scheme, or Ponzi Scheme.  I found it intriguing how close the qualifying criteria for legal and illegal forms of this marketing seem to be.  This article sparked inquiry about how companies can find legal loopholes to disguise unethical marketing schemes as enticing financial opportunities that comply with legal business regulations.  I believe this document shows how easy it is for corporations to advertise misleading and many times, fruitless schemes to recruit individuals into their market.  The article does state that not all multi-level markets are to be considered “scams,” however many of these product distribution corporations fall into the notorious category.  

I found another article very intriguing.  This government document gives an overview of how certain corporations target young marketing and finance students as recruitment candidates for their products.  It provides numerous guidelines for these students to see if they are being recruited into legitimate market opportunities and not fraudulent organizations.  It examines the risk involved with these types of sales positions and the precautions that should be taken before considering them.   I found this very helpful in showing the main demographic that is at risk when it comes to these types of schemes.  

I am looking forward to researching more on this topic and examining what it is that makes these schemes fall on the spectrum of legality in the eyes of the IRS, and United States Corporate Law.

 


Should the United States decriminalize Drugs?

The United States does not tolerate drugs at all, since Ronald Reagan started the war on drugs. If someone is using drugs they are not scared of the consequences from the federal government, they are just thinking of the best way to hide it from authorities. More people are being incarcerated for petty crimes that involve drugs, than any other crime combined. Almost 50% of inmates in federal prisons are in for drug offenses, and in state prisons 16% of inmates are in for drug offenses. That is about 207,000 inmates in federal prisons, and just about 1,400,000 inmates in state prisons. Putting these people in prisons is not doing anything to stop the drug issue in this country.

If the United States is to follow the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Italy in decriminalizing drugs, it would benefit us more than ever. People are being saved by special works in place that make sure no one overdoses on drugs. The country would be much safer with less violence. We would have more money to put toward much more important things, more space in prison, and no need to build new ones. The UN has partnered with many different organizations, including health groups, like the red cross and the American Public Health Association, which all have endorsed the decriminalization of  drugs. Why won’t the US government, stop looking at what will benefit them the greatest, instead of what will benefit the citizens of this nation the greatest.


Do you want minimum wage to be raised?

The minimum wage in the United States is normally $7.25 an hour. This makes it very hard for people to make a living especially if they are trying to pay for housing and food on their own. There are many different situations that can leave people in debt. A big problem we see is single parents trying to support their children. If they are working at a job that only pays minimum wage, there is no possible way they could support their family.

In the US people are frustrated with the minimum wage especially when the costs of everything surrounding us are rising. If you are fortunate enough to grow up in a household with two parents that have good jobs, you may not have to worry about this problem. However, in our day and age a lot of children don’t have this kind of support. Reading this you may think that the only people being paid minimum wage are teenagers but three out of four minimum wage workers are over the age of 20 years old. And even worse is that a full time worker making $7.25 an hour makes less than $300 a week. To find even more statistics like these, the article Minimum Wage Increase helps explain the positive and negative parts of raising minimum wage.

The reason why many are against raising minimum wage is because it will make it harder for bosses to start off “entry-level” workers that may be working for the first time in their life. The article Proof That Raising the Minimum Wage is a Bad Idea dives deeper into the reasons why it would be a poor decision. Also, they have conducted a few studies on this and found that the hours for lower earners will be cut and new jobs for younger employees will be harder and harder to find. It would be a lot harder to get into businesses because everyone would be fighting for the hours.

I would love to hear others opinions about these circumstances and compare if it is only younger people seeking a higher wage, or also middle aged people. I think this is a topic that is causing problems in our country right now and it needs to be solved.


Student Loan Debt

Rapidly rising college tuition puts lots of pressure on many parents and students. However, student loan will be offered to students. A student loan is a loan offered to students which is used to pay off education-related expenses, such as college tuition, room and board at the university, or textbooks. Many of these loans are offered to students at a lower interest rate. In general, students are not required to pay back these loans until the end of a grace period, which usually begins after they have completed their education.

Although student loan helped many students be able to go to expensive colleges, student loan has a lasting impact on students.. According to Student Loan Debt Statistics for 2018, “Americans owe over $1.48 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 44 million borrowers. That’s about $620 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt. In fact, the average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, up six percent from last year”. So, on average, every student who has student loan need to pay $351 each month lasting for 20 to 30 years in order to pay off their loans.

According to a survey done by U.S. News, “62 percent of respondents said their student debt posed a hardship on their personal budget when combined with all other household spending. Specifically, 35 percent said they found it difficult to buy daily necessities because of their student loans; 52 percent said their debt affected their ability to make larger purchases such as a car; and 55 percent indicated that student loan debt affected their decision or ability to purchase a home”. Hence, is student loan helping students or hurting students? The purpose of student loan is obviously helping students, but, government grants and support for post-secondary education have failed to keep pace with increases in college costs which cause student loan debt increase. In conclusion, student loan debt should be decreased by government and colleges should be more affordable for students.


The Achievement Gap

The achievement gap is the measurable disparity of the socioeconomic statuses and educational performance of different groups of people in the United States. The achievement gap usually falls along socioeconomic and racial/ethnic lines.The achievement gap is a complex issue with many causes. It is propelled by factors that exist within the K-12 school system, the home, and post high school. The gaps in these groups show that only a select group of Americans are performing at high levels and that there is a clear pattern to who performs highly and who doesn’t. In this essay, the causes of this gap will be explained and discussed. As well as possible and practical solutions.
Causes from inside the home.

Of the multiple causes of the achievement gap that stem from the home, the first one I’d like to focus on is health and health care challenges. The state of one’s health permeates every aspect of individual lives and every aspect of society, so it comes as no surprise, that subpar health and healthcare greatly contributes to the widening achievement gap in this country. Two different health problems that greatly contribute to the widening health gap are low birth weights of children and childhood obesity. Also discussed here is how the general lack of consistent and quality health care makes the most vulnerable students even more vulnerable. In addition to health concerns familial and cultural factors will also be discussed in this first section of the paper.

Low birth weight
Infants born with low birth weights (under 5 pounds 8 ounces) are at a high risk of impaired cognitive development (Barton, 2004, p. 8). They can also suffer from attention problems, which can impact their performance at school(Aarnoudse-Moens, C. S., Weisglas-Kuperus, N., Van, J. B., & Oosterlaan, J., 2009 ). When children already have deficits in their cognitive development, no matter how hard they try in school, and no matter what their parents or teachers do to support them in school, they will never be able to perform at the level that they would have performed at had they not had these deficits. Infants with low birth weights are more likely to be born to, moms with chronic illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes (March of Dimes, 2014, p11). Black women more likely than any other woman to experience these health challenges, meaning that black infants are more likely than others to be born with a low birth weight, causing these intellectual deficits. (Mayo Clinic, 2017)

Health-related absenteeism
Another example of how poor healthcare and health related issues can lead to/have led to the achievement gap is in the form of health related absenteeism. Absenteeism is one of the worst things for a student who wants to succeed in their education. Research shows that missing only 10 percent of school days(commonly referred to as chronically absent) whether the absences are excused or unexcused negatively affects school performance. (10 facts, 2013). In The Importance of Being in School: A Report on Absenteeism in the Nation’s Public Schools, Robert Balfanz, and Vaughan Byrnes detail the havoc that missing school can wreak. In their report, this was said “ Achievement, especially in math, is very sensitive to attendance, and absence of even two weeks during one school year matters. Attendance also strongly affects standardized test scores and graduation and dropout rates. Educators and policymakers cannot truly understand achievement gaps or efforts to close them without considering chronic absenteeism.” (new every 1 graduates 2013 ). Students whose parents are less affluent often miss more school for many reasons but particularly health reasons. Children who live in poverty often suffer from asthma more than their richer counterparts. This is usually because they don’t have access to the nutritional food that children of richer adults do, as well as the fact that they are most likely exposed to air that is of a lower quality; both of which can either cause or exacerbate the condition. When those same children do have asthma, it can be more difficult for them to receive the proper care, whether that is because they don’t have health insurance or their parents simply can’t take off of work in order to take them. When asthma is not treated it manifests itself in the form of coughing, shortness of breath and tightness of chest (Asthma Attack, 2014) AKA common symptoms that would cause either children to want to stay home from school, or parents to want to keep their kids home from school.

A difference in parenting styles
The achievement gap also has causes that are more familial and cultural (even if they do still ultimately stem from economic troubles). Differences in parenting styles can affect the achievement gap. Often African American and Hispanic families, as well as poor families, employ the “natural growth” parenting style. It emphasizes free-play, discipline, and hierarchy. They interact less with their children than more affluent parents. Richer parents are more likely to read to their kids, sing to their kids and play with their kids than parents who make less money. Although these things may seem trivial, that time spent with children is critical to their academic success. One study of language acquisition showed that, by age 3, the children of professionals had vocabularies of about 1,100 words; those of parents on welfare had mastered only 525 words. The difference was reflected in IQ scores: an average of 117 for the first group, and 79 for the second(Ireland, C., 2007). When one group of children have a lower IQ score than another whole group it should reflect in their achievement. Although there can be outliers; children with lower IQs outperforming children with higher IQs and vice versa, on average there has to be an achievement gap.

Opposition
Often, when discussions about the achievement gap, its causes, and its solutions take place, many try to place the blame solely on the (public) school system. As we’ve seen from the evidence earlier, there are multiple factors that take place outside of the school system that contribute to the achievement gap. To some, the earlier mentioned differences in IQ could look inherent to different races, and not purely environment based. The health of the parents and of the children, education and work status of the parents all contribute to the achievement gap.
Intraschool causes of the achievement gap

There are also many causes of the achievement gap that takes place in the K-12 school system. These include academic track programs in school and bias in the teachers.

Factors that have to do with college
The achievement gap is a wide-reaching problem with a wide variety of causes. This section will focus on causes that take place post the k-12 school system. Different causes include racial bias in the doling out of scholarships and financial aid. Another one of the causes is anti-black and anti-latino hiring practices.

Scholarship Bias
One way that the achievement gap is perpetrated outside of the K-12 school system and the home life is through bias in the allocation of scholarships and grants for college. White students ( who make up 61.8 percent of all students) receive 75.6 percent of merit grants (academic and other types) While minority students receive only 24.3 percent. According to Kantrowitz, these grants are often awarded to students by semi-selective colleges as a “form of financial aid leveraging,”(https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/09/06/merit_based_and_private_scholarships_disproportionately_favor_white_students) to dazzle middle- and upper-class applicants who can pay sizable portions of their tuition “A full-pay student — even with a significant discount in the form of a merit-based grant — still yields more net revenue to the college than low or moderate-income students,” he writes. This bias in scholarship allocation can greatly impact the achievement gap simply because on average people who don’t go to college usually achieve less than that college-educated counterparts. People with bachelor’s degrees, earn vastly more than counterparts with some college ($1.55 million/lifetime earnings) or a high school diploma ($1.30 million/ lifetime) simply earning a four-year degree is often integral to financial success later in life. When minority students are kept from college due to missing out on scholarships, it gravely impacts how much money they’ll make in their lifetime which will manifest itself in the achievement gap.(https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2011/08/05/how-higher-education-affects-lifetime-salary) The Georgetown Center for Education and Workforce director said “It’s still true that, on average, it’s better to get the higher degree”

Racist Hiring Practices
Yet another cause of the achievement gap is racist hiring policies. Black and latinx candidates often receive fewer job callbacks than their white counterparts regardless of their preparedness for the job. Having fewer job offers usually translates into less leverage when arguing for a wage which translates to lower wages for them if they do get the job. As seen in table one, whether or not the different racial groups went to college, a large gap still exists in income between the different racial groups. In table 2 you can see the same type of gap between different races in net worth in both college graduates and noncollege graduates.

Solutions
The achievement gap is not by any means a solutionless problem. Although the solutions vary in terms of practicality and helpfulness, any combination of these problems is sure to help. Teach parents how to better help- sing to them, read with them, try your best to feed them healthy food. If parents are taught to do these things, they can help give their children a head start even before they start school. Another partial solution would be to do away with track programs in school- this will help with self-esteem, and hopefully, keep teachers expectations equally high of every student. In order to help fend off health-related cause of the achievement gap having a national health care -children will have lower absentee rates-increasing in better grades and test scores and a greater chance at going to college and succeeding in college. And one final way to help end the achievement gap—make a way for everybody to go to college.

References
Aarnoudse-Moens, C. S., Weisglas-Kuperus, N., Van, J. B., & Oosterlaan, J. (2009, August). Meta-analysis of neurobehavioral outcomes in very preterm and/or very low birth weight children. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19651588

A. (n.d.). Why Does the Gap Persist? Retrieved December 06, 2017, from
http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov04/vol62/num03/Why-Does-the-Gap-Persist%C2%A2.aspx

Asthma Attack. (n.d.). Retrieved December 12, 2017, from https://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/asthma-attack#1

Carnoy, M., & Garcia, E. (n.d.). Five key trends in U.S. student performance: Progress by blacks and Hispanics, the takeoff of Asians, the stall of non-English speakers, the persistence of socioeconomic gaps, and the damaging effect of highly segregated schools. Retrieved November 28, 2017, from http://www.epi.org/publication/five-key-trends-in-u-s-student-performance-progress-by-blacks-and-hispanics-the-takeoff-of-asians-the-stall-of-non-english-speakers-the-persistence-of-socioeconomic-gaps-and-the-damaging-effect/

Grant Recipients and Race. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/09/06/merit_based_and_private_scholarships_disproportionately_favor_white_students By Hilary Hurd Anyaso. (.September 12, 2017). Northwestern Now. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2017/september/research-finds-entrenched-hiring-bias-against-african-americans/

Ireland, C. (2007, March 22). The achievement gap, a look into causes. Retrieved November 28, 2017, from https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2007/03/the-achievement-gap-a-look-into-causes/

March of Dimes. (n.d.). Low birthweight. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/low-birthweight.aspx

Mind the (achievement) gap. (2007, November 26). Retrieved December 06, 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/la-op-dustup26nov26-story.html

Obesity in America | Who is Affected? (2016, June 08). Retrieved December 12, 2017, from http://www.publichealth.org/public-awareness/obesity/affected/

Sherman, E. (2017, September 18). Hiring Bias Blacks And Latinos Face Hasn’t Improved In 25 Years. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/eriksherman/2017/09/16/job-discrimination-against-blacks-and-latinos-has-changed-little-or-none-in-25-years/#5682491d51e3

Valant, J., & Newark, D. (2017, August 15). Race, class, and Americans’ perspectives of achievement gaps. Retrieved November 28, 2017, from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2017/01/16/race-class-and-americans-perspectives-of-achievement-gaps/

10 Facts About School Attendance. Retrieved December 18, 2017, from http://www.attendanceworks.org/chronic-absence/the-problem/10-facts-about-school-attendance/


Neocolonialism in Africa

To Whomever Cares to Listen,

“Without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third [world] power,” these words were spoken by the former French President, Jacques Chirac in 2008 (voicofafrica). He was referencing all of the resources and money that France and other large countries have effectively siphoned from Africa. He was referencing neocolonialism. Neocolonialism is the use of economic, political, cultural, or other pressures to control or influence other countries, especially former dependencies (dictionary). Neocolonialism has had and continues to have a massive effect on the continent of Africa, it is partially responsible for why Africa’s economy cannot grow at a faster rate. Neocolonialism takes many different forms under which it can operate.

One of the ways that neocolonialism disguises itself is through unfair trade deals. On the surface these deal are a great idea a country receives some type of natural resource from Africa and provides Africa with some type of infrastructure, however these deals are oftentimes lopsided, in favor of the larger country. These deals have also been criticized for not transferring any skills to Africans, and instead opting to utilize Chinese labor in Africa(economist). There has also been backlash because Chinese companies have been accused of buying Africa’s primary goods, and selling back ready made skills, again without the transference of skills (economist).  Lamido Sanusi, Nigeria’s former central bank governor, says Africa is opening itself up to a “new form of imperialism” by engaging in these deals (economist).

Foreign aid is also a culprit in neocolonialism. Studies have shown that foreign aid does not help poverty ridden countries develop in the long run. Because it encourages rent seeking instead of productive activities it leaves the country that was on the receiving side of the aid not doing well economically and thus more susceptible to other, more direct forms of neocolonialism.

Another way that neocolonialism takes shape is a bit specific to France, but it should still be included. When France’s hand was forced to let it’s 14 African colonies have their independence, they put all their former colonies in a group of “compulsory solidarities”. They then required all counties in the group to give 65% of their foreign currency reserves into the French treasury, plus another 20% for “financial liabilities” this means that each African former French colonies only ever has access to 15% of their own money, AND if they would like to borrow the money the belongs to them they are only allowed to do so at commercial rates. France also has the right of first refusal to every natural resource found in any of their former colonies(this is africa).  

Neocolonialism is a massive problem that reaps devastative effects on Africa, while lining the pockets of larger countries who take advantage. If more people can call attention to this issue, we will be able to pressure the neocolonial powers into not only stopping the theft but returning money and resources.


NeoColonialism in Africa Video


College Tuition is Ruining our Lives

https://www.canva.com/design/DACWniJaM50/view

Lauryn Sanders

Jasmine Rucker


Abolish the Federal Reserve

Dear President Trump,

Since 1913, America has become indebted to the point where we don’t own ourselves anymore. The Federal Reserve, created in that year, has allowed our government to live beyond its means. We would have been a much poorer country without it. Which is great and all, except that we don’t own any of our money. We borrow all of our money from the Federal Reserve with high interest rates and it’s worth very little because they just keep printing more and more whenever they want it. The Fed isn’t even a government agency, it’s just as federal as Federal Express. If we continue to use the Fed, we will be worth nothing. The United States Government will be owned, forever in debt. This is not the route we want to go.

JFK gave us a way to get rid of it and save ourselves. Executive order 11110 was put in place 5 months before he was assassinated. It gave Congress the power to print money from the government-owned United States Treasury, backed by real wealth. For the first time, a good president defied the Fed and started to do things right. But then LBJ became president and immediately stopped the printing of U.S. dollars. If we had continued to use it after JFK’s death, we would have our own money and a free market that manages itself. After all, why do we need a bunch of private bank owners around the world to set interest and inflation rates for the whole country?

A free market can manage itself. I’m sure that JFK’s death was a warning to all presidents about the danger of messing with the machine, but something needs to be done. A president with good intentions, business experience, and a mind for money can get it done without screwing America over. This needs to be dealt with before it gets any worse than it already is.

Sincerely,

Connor Solomon


Interstate Commerce Clause

The Interstate Commerce Clause impacts the general public in many ways. Any product that traveled on the interstate to reach us is called commerce. Anything that is transported across a state line and going to be sold has a tax on it. Interstate commerce makes up much of the money the government uses to spend on our roads. But the government has been stretching their power with this clause regulating things that are not related to commerce, like forcing Americans to buy Obamacare or pay a fine because you are putting yourself and others at risk. People of the U.S. have been trying to put a limit on what the government can do with this clause, but it is hard to reword something that is written in the Constitution.

The Interstate Commerce Clause states that the government has the power “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” If Congress can figure out how to relate something to commerce, they will put a tax or restriction on it if they need to, such as forcing Americans to either buy Obamacare or pay a fee. They relate this to the Commerce Clause because the health business is an interstate business such as there is constant flow of drugs, patients, doctors, donations, research money, health payments health reimbursements beyond state lines. Not only does Congress have the power to control just interstate transactions, it also manages the activities that influence the interstate industry.

We must reword this clause with a better definition that gives the people a better understanding of this clause and also sets a barrier on what this clause can actually do. Right now the Commerce Clause is really broad. It doesn’t really say what the government can do or what they can not do. The economic/non-economic line isn’t enough of a constraint on federal power. If the government can relate a product to interstate markets in some way, they will “combine” economic impact into it. That allows Congress an excessive amount of power.

The Commerce Clause is not just about commerce, it’s about Interstate Commerce. The Supreme Court could take a more prohibitive view of federal power than the existing common law reflects. But while the economic/non-economic line may not be enough of a limitation, it’s not accurate to say that it makes the Federal Government one of unlimited power. At this point in time, it’s important that we keep the Commerce Clause in place because our country wouldn’t operate correctly; however, even if it is going to be quite a challenge, we should still rein in some of the Commerce Clause’s power by amending the Constitution.


Culture and Healthcare

This research project focuses on differences that immigrants face when they encounter a foreign healthcare system, and superficially delves into different articles and psychology experiments that focus on these barriers and how to lessen their impact. From small exchanges to institutional organization, immigrants face many barriers, including a different doctor-patient interaction, health education, and health insurance issues, in addition to differences in daily life and environment, such as religion, language, and cultural traditions. Although the United States cannot change their healthcare system completely, these hurdles can be overcome with more culture-oriented education for healthcare providers, as well as development of patient navigation programs.

A link to a pdf of my Researchpaperdraft-3.


Can illegal drugs be Beneficial or harmful for adolescents???????????

 

Can illegal drug  Beneficial or harmful for adolescents.

“Everyday 4,000 12-17 year olds use drugs for the first time”(Drug-Free Communities). Is this Beneficial or harmful? This means that teens are willing to try drugs. Some say that it’s bad because teens could go from a small drug like weed to a harder drug like heroin. Some people say drugs are good because it helps them. But, when can when can we know they are using them as a “medicinal drug” or when they are just abusing them for the feeling.

 

Why are drugs Good/Helpful for teens.

Let’s start with the most used drug used by teens which is marijuana/weed/cannabis. This drug is legal, but in most states it’s only legal to obtain at the age of 21. Even though that’s the law, weed is very accessible through street dealers because of how easy it is to grow. Reading from multiple sources all you really need is one room that can contain at least five large pots for the seeds and have space for full spectrum LEDs and some hydroponic nutrients to keep the plant at neutral(ph)  That being said, teens usually are peer pressured to smoke weed and if they like the feeling they usually keep trying until they realise that this drug keeps them calm so therefore they keep going.A piece of evidence that I have to support this comes from a interview I did with my neighbor and they said “I was peer pressured by some friend to smoke weed one day after school and haven’t stopped since”. Some teens do research on the drug and usually they find that weed can be used as a stress reliever so they end trying it and a lot of times it works. A piece of evidence that proves this claim comes from another interview I did with my neighbor and his name is Tyler Clarck and he said, “I smoked weed because of school and because of my parents. I was just so stressed and then I decided to try weed and it made me feel problem free”.  Moreover this technically is the medicinal purpose for weed because weed is used as a stress reliever, anxiety relief, and pain relief. This is the start for most teens it’s a useful drug but when does become bad for a teen.

 

Why are these drugs bad for teens.

With the introduction to drugs a lot of older teens start getting bored and somehow there hands and harder drugs like cocaine,heroin,and meth.Mario who I interviewed said “I was bored with weed I needed something new” When that happens that’s the point of no return for a lot of people as they start get addicted. Additionally, these harder drugs really almost don’t really have a medical purpose so these addictions are just for the feeling they get once these drugs are in the system. But once this happens these teens start spending probably about 1000-2000 dollars on drugs I got this from Mario,Tyler, and C.R when I asked them how much they would spend on drugs each month and averaged it. Eventually they are going have to be living on their on and with this addiction they will spend more money on drugs then buying things to help them live on there own. And eventually they go broke and homeless and have nothing but themselves. According HUD’s 2014 Point-in-Time Report, About 80% of homeless youth (aged 12-21) use drugs or alcohol as a means to self-medicate to deal with the traumatic experiences and abuse they face.Then they go through withdraw which could potentially kill them. Also is they get caught with drugs as teens they go to juvenile hall and they miss out on their education. If they get to the point where they are using these hard drugs and they get caught they go to prison and then they’re really in a hole.

 

Can we prevent teens from using drugs?

My answer would be no, but we can decrease the number of teens using them  because teens will always somehow get in contact with drugs. A solution that could be used to decrease the number of teens using drugs would be that they should have some 3 week program that is about drugs. Have people who have faced the battle with drugs come in and talk about it and show them what they can do to a person. This just one option that could help teens stop or prevent them from using drugs. I got this idea from a program I attend at my my school called Teens on Target they taught me this option.

 

Sources

https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-homeless-teens

Tyler Clarck

Mario E

C.R

Teens on target program


Brother and Sister (remix)

This story talks about how two siblings (brother and sister) that live in poverty. One day three old women asked them if they could come in and rest and the  sister kindly said yes. As a thank you present the old lady gave the sister powers. The sister thought that it was a ll a joke but when she tried them out, it actually worked. She told the brother that she has made pearls by brushing her hair and the brother quickly went to town to sell the pearls. The king stopped right before he was about to enter the store and accused  him of stealing the pearls. What will the brother do now? Will he tell the truth or lie to the king? Watch the animation to find out.

My animation:

[iframe allowtransparency=”true” width=”485″ height=”402″ src=”//scratch.mit.edu/projects/embed/134572347/?autostart=false” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>]

To complete my animation there was a process to do first. At first I had to chose a story that could tell a moral lesson. When I chose Brother and Sister it really didn’t tell a moral lesson so I had to adjust it. I changed the story so that the brother could’ve lied to the king or tell him the truth of his sister having powers. I made my script based around these moral decisions and this is a link to my script so you can look at it.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SD8rgkzA4hDpCNOrk3B0nzQUheZbUS8sZ00FX5kFUfU/edit?usp=sharing

Based on my script I had to make storyboards. So I got the most significant ideas/parts since their was limited amount of space/cells to fit the story. I made my act 1 with 14 cells which was the most important events that happened. I then made my act 2’s with 10 cells each and that was because they were about the same length each. These was my guideline for making my animation which was the big part.

My storyboards:

This was the guide line of my animation along with everything else. In order to make my animation interactive, I had to use “If the button _ is pressed then” button. I used x to represent the original ending and I used y to represent the alternate ending. I followed my script as much as I could and I made sure that all parts of my storyboard was incorporated into my animation. Both endings was over a minute long which was he requirements.


Dear Next President, Have You Thought About Our Debt?

Dear Next President,

Congratulations for your success in becoming the next president. We understand as president; there are many responsibilities and problems that will occur during your term, and it will be impossible to solve all of them. However, if you look into the issues and concerns of the people, most of them are related to the economy, specifically inflation. The only way to stop this problem is to increase to limit the circulation of cash and its production. This proposal will lead to deflation, lowering the prices of goods and services while increasing the value of the USD on the world scale. This would stimulate the economy by increasing more investment towards American trade, more exports, more investment in our stocks, and increase our currency. By this increase, we would be able to pay our debts with less money, so our debt would decrease.

Limiting the circulation of cash and the production of money will cause deflation. At a mere glance, people might panic, however, as you know it will be a catalyst to boosting our economy. Limiting the amount of money in society means that there would be an increased value of the dollar due to its scarcity. This wouldn’t affect the working place due to labor union contracts, so the employed will face a salary cut. Also, this means that the government can give out less money as welfare because there is less money to go around. Prices will drop for goods and services as there is less money stream in society, causing more people to spend. This would help many businesses and boost many of them, stimulating the economy.

Creating deflation would increase the value of our currency. This causes many benefits for the U.S economy, and one is that it limits our debt. Restricting the amount of money in the form of cash will decrease the interest rate of debt, and it lowers the value of the debt. As countries pay off their debt from other countries, the money gets converted to the other country’s currency. If deflation can overcome our inflation and strike it down so that the dollar is worth more than the Yen or Euro, then we would be able to pay off our debts to other countries and public sectors much more rapidly.

Limiting the circulation of the dollar also causes an economic boom in foreign trade. At first, traders and speculators may recognize this as a threat to the economy, because of increasing the exchange. However, as the currency stabilizes into a high-value currency, foreign speculators would rely on this currency and invest in businesses and stocks based in the US. This speculation towards American companies would cause more revenue, which would lead to manufacturing more of the product or more performance of the service. These companies would need more people to perform these tasks, so more jobs would be needed in order to build upon the corporation, which would decrease the unemployment rate. There are downsides to limiting the amount of money in circulation. There is a chance that consumers may hold onto their money and spend less on non-essential items. Deflation also increases the real value of debt, making it harder to pay off. Just as real debt rises, so do real interest rates. Real wages rise during times of deflation and could raise the level of unemployment.

Before you attempt to initiate any reforms, dear president, think about the current issues that implicate many predicaments which ultimately harm our American government and society, which is inflation. Using your executive power, you can start an amelioration to improve this nation by enhancing the value of the dollar. Other dominant sectors of society and the government cannot perform this task. Through this, not only will you attain a name left that will be remembered, but you will save the people and this nation from falling into an economic crisis.

Sincerely,

Joseph and Tyler 


The book I have continued reading, is the book Homelessness by Karen Latchana Kenny. I have continued reading this for the past couple of weeks. As I get further and further in the book I notice and realize more things about the homeless. Like for example, how would you feel if you lived in the street, with no money, living of some little donations you get from people? In my opinion I wouldn’t want to live like that because imagine the difficulties you would have. Some difficulties might be depression or a mental illness. These things can happen to you when you’re homeless because you can’t hardly find food and you start getting depressed. Life isn’t easy being homeless, and we the people continue to judge homeless without even knowing there back story or how they got there. Instead of judging we


Easing the High Cost of College

As a senior in high school who is currently applying to college, the cost of attending a 4-year university is on my mind. Education is something that is so important to many people, yet the price of attaining a higher level of knowledge may deter some from going to college. It is hard to say what our nation should do about this problem, especially since everyone has their own view. The article “Is College Tuition Really Too High?” Adam Davidson talks about how tuition at private institutions has risen about three times since 1974, and public college tuition has increased by about four times. It was very jarring to read about how much the price of getting a higher education has increased in a world that values it so much. It is unfortunate that the price of going to school could be detrimental to that person. I wanted to do some research about how people in this situation could alleviate some of these high prices until hopefully something is done about the growing college prices. In “23 Ways To Lower College Tuition” Vanessa McGrady covers ways to help pay for college, such as taking summer courses or aiming to finish courses in three years. Although, these options may not work for some, it was interesting to see the ways to be smart about money. The articles I read show that college prices have been and are going to keep rising and that until this trend is stopped, there are ways to try and ease the steep prices.

Image

 


BitCoins

Bitcoins are a new type of online currency, that only exists on the internet. Bitcoins are not controlled or regulated by any government, which begs the question. How can bitcoins be regulated and used only for legal transactions? Since if bitcoins are unregulated they can be used to buy illegal items, like drugs, hacks, or other illegal activities. Bitcoins are acquired by programming things for other people on the internet and only a few websites use bitcoins for transactions on their websites. Bitcoins are very complicated since you have to acquire them through programmers or programming on the internet and are not that well explained since Bitcoins have only been in use for the past 5 years.

 

 


How Can You Help with the School and Work Juggle?

Dear Mr./Mrs. President,

The topic I choose to write to the president about is college prices. Tuition prices and debt is too high. College students fear this every day and it stresses them out. “Seven out of ten college students are stressed about their personal finances…Nearly 60 percent said they worry about having enough money to pay for school, while half are concerned about paying their monthly expenses.” Having to juggle that stress plus the stress of school work that college already puts on you, breaks a student down. A number of students to drop out not because of their grades, but because they can’t financially stay in school. Having to drop out of the school of your dreams, or the school that will help you set off

Having to juggle that stress plus the stress of school work that college already puts on you, breaks a student down. A number of students to drop out not because of their grades, but because they can’t financially stay in school. Having to drop out of the school of your dreams, or the school that will help you set off your career will genuinely hurt that student. Now, some people make it during their college years. They afford everything at the time but then here’s comes College debt. Adults mature with children are still facing their college debt. Can you imagine getting ready to pay for your child’s college and you’re still paying for your own?

They afford everything at the time but then here’s comes College debt. Adults mature with children are still facing their college debt. Can you imagine getting ready to pay for your child’s college and you’re still paying for your own? Especially if you’re sending multiple kids to college within the same years and you’re still paying for yours. That disadvantages everyone involved. Also, not being able to pay for your child to go to college puts a lot of emotional and financial stress on the parents, especially when they still have kids at home.

Parents want the best for their children and not being able to send them to college and give them the best start they can in the world breaks a parent’s heart. I would express to the president that the upcoming generation, the future of our country would benefit generously with lowered college prices and debt. Our future would be brighter having more educated people in each area

Also, not being able to pay for your child to go to college puts a lot of emotional and financial stress on the parents, especially when they still have kids at home. Parents want the best for their children and not being able to send them to college and give them the best start they can in the world breaks a parent’s heart. I would express to the president that the upcoming generation, the future of our country would benefit generously with lowered college prices and debt. Our future would be brighter having more educated people in each area.


Federal Debt

The federal budget is one impending topic in the 2016 election. One question is who are we indebted to? According to CNN, 67.5% of the the federal debt is held by U.S citizens and agencies in pensions in bonds.

Some of those agencies include local governments, pension funds, and mutual funds. 32.5%  the debt is held by foreign countries. As of May, 12.9 trillion of the debt was owned by American Citizens. Many times, retirees will purchase these bonds for their grandchildren or themselves to allow them to save up money and grow it over time.

The current debt is on it’s way to reaching 20 trillion. This will be a topic which will come up frequently heading towards the election in November to see who will be the next one to deal and inherit it.


College Debt is a Growing US Problem

Dear Future President,

It would be great if you could address the high costs of colleges, because students all over the US are struggling with student debt during and after college. Education is greatly valued in the US, but the cost of college is becoming too high for students. According to Student Loan Hero’s statistics, “US has 1.26 trillion dollars in student loan debt.” Tuition costs keep rising every year, and students are being affected by this problem years and years after they graduate. But what if they decide to change their major or don’t get the job they want? According to Khan Academy, “even having a four-year degree from college can nearly double the average amount of money you make in your lifetime.”

Although colleges add more classes to provide more variety, I think it’s a great idea to cut some unnecessary classes to reduce the price of tuition. When a college adds more classes, they need more faculty to teach in those classes, which would lead to needing more students. When there are more students, the tuition will rise up even more because space is being occupied. It is a never-ending cycle that will continue to increase tuition if these useless classes are not eliminated.

Moreover, some might say there are scholarships to cover college expenses. However, not many students are able to qualify for scholarships. They might even begin to wonder if college is really worth the price and enter into workforce by skipping college. People want to look forward to their futures, not on their future debt.

Again, I believe the high price of college tuition and the rising college debt in the US is overwhelming to the students and there must be a way to lower the cost. I really hope you consider this problem seriously, because we need your help in reducing the amount of student debt for a better future in the US.

 

 

“The High Cost of College.” By Taylor G. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.
“Lowering College Tuition Fees.” By Hannah C. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.

Lower College Costs

www.forbes.com/sites/vanessamcgrady/2015/09/25/23ways/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-carlos-campo/reduce-college-tuition_b_1913576.html

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/16/why-college-costs-are-so-high-and-rising.html

http://ideas.time.com/2011/10/27/why-college-tuition-should-be-regulated/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/opinion/sunday/the-real-reason-college-tuition-costs-so-much.html?_r=0

 

http://prospect.org/article/argument-tuition-free-college

http://www.npr.org/2014/03/18/290868013/how-the-cost-of-college-went-from-affordable-to-sky-high

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/13/magazine/is-college-tuition-too-high.html?_r=0

 

College tuition has always been an issue for most people in the United States. Over the years, college has become more important than ever to get a decent job and make a decent living. That’s why I think the next president should focus on finding ways to lower college tuition or enable free college altogether. But there is no such thing as having “free” college because someone will be paying for people to go to school. Mentioned in The New York Times, one of the ways college tuition is growing is because colleges are adding several  new random electives to show that they are diverse and helps allow people to get their credits, but in reality it is costing a lot for the teachers and supplies. It would be better to eliminate those classes all together to save money. Another reason it’s costing so much to go to college is tuition is rising faster than inflation which means that colleges are in need for a lot more money. For each college, their situation is a little different but most need to make lots of money for many different costs.   

Some ways that could make lower tuition possible are raising taxes/creating an education tax, offering more scholarships and grants by colleges and the government, and eliminating student loans altogether etc. Raising taxes would allow colleges to earn more and allow them to charge students less to go to their schools. More scholarships and grants would give more students money that they need to allow them to have a higher chance of not being in as much college debt. Finally, eliminating student loans would prevent most people from being able to afford to go to college. This means more and more colleges would lose money so over time it would cause them to lower their prices so everyday people could afford to go to their school. College costs can affect people with long term debt and can hold them back and can ruin people’s lives. By ruining lives, I mean relationships and bank accounts. These are a few ideas that I would like to address because I believe that lowering college cost can benefit everyone and allow people to live the lives they want to live.

https://www.youthvoices.live/category/civic-engagement/debt/