Economics With Financial Literacy

The Crisis of Flint Michigan and How It Hurts Us All

395 million.

It costs 395 million dollars to save Flint

Or, in more recognizable terms, 131% of the entire Kardashian families net worth that continues to grow yearly.

Or, 1/1515.18th of the US’ military budget

Or, or 1/8.86th of our presidents net worth

Or, in the simplest terms, a completely and entirely doable task. A task so seemingly simple that it seems like it should be done by now. Why isn’t it?

Greed. Greed is why.

Greed is why Governor Snyder gave the poorest, blackest area of Michigan the most at risk water supply and gave Michigan corporations huge tax breaks and gave the rich huge tax breaks.

Greed is why people are dying in their homes that they can’t sell because the homes water supply is unsafe, so poor residents in black cities are trapped in their homes as their kids brains die from lead poisoning, why people are avoiding drinking water at all costs.

But why does this impact you? How can something in a state you may not live in hurt you?

It’s what they did. It’s what they’ve shown. They’ve shown if you’re poor and black you are not safe in their hands, they have shown if you live in a poor black area your water could be contaminated. They’ve shown their tax breaks mean more than your brain cells. This is a human issue because we are losing other humans over the deliberate lack of care for poor black residents. We are a community of humans who realize we aren’t safe under the rich, that they have their boot on our necks. Unless you’re rich, living in a historically white area you are not safe from this. Your republican representatives are not fighting for you, they’re fighting for the corporations.

What can you do?

  • CALL YOUR REPRESENTITIVE. Even if you don’t mention a bill (it’s better if you do0 call them. Call them outraged. Call their secretaries and tell their secretaries how awful this is. Call your representatives through 8508989912. Better yet- look through their record. If they have a history of voting for atrocious budget allocations like the one that caused flint to tell them, I will not vote for your re-election. Tell their secretaries, too. Tell them you’re keeping an eye on them and what they vote to do.
  • VOTE: vote for every local representative you possibly can. Put your voting ballot where your priorities are. Issues like this come from apoliticism, people who vote once every four years and act like they made a difference, that is not how things work. VOTE.
  • SEND WATER AND SUPPLIES TO FLINT:

SOURCES:

http://michaelmoore.com/10FactsOnFlint/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Snyder

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/05/19/michigan-corporations-pay-0-taxes-year-despite-crises-flint-and-detroit

https://www.nationalpriorities.org/campaigns/military-spending-united-states/

https://www.forbes.com/profile/donald-trump/

http://time.com/4441471/flint-water-lead-poisoning-costs/

http://www.instyle.co.uk/celebrity/news/the-kardashian-rich-list-what-are-they-all-worth-individually

Economics With Financial Literacy

The Result of the Bush and Obama Era Economic Stimulus Packages

An assignment for Honors Economics, lesson 4.05, by Sarah Knezel

The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 was an act that gave middle and working class citizens an extra 300 to 600 dollars in their tax returns, with the intention of the citizens using it to stimulate the economy to fight the results of a recession, with a projected cost of 152 billion dollars, yearly. It is unknown what exact percentage of the budget it consumed for the 2 years it was active. For all it cost to the taxpayer, and the controversy surrounding it, was it worth it?


    

In my opinion, a bill is empowered by its intentions, this bill was a success by most measures. Its impact on the GDP was immaculate, and by any professional opinion that is good, domestic manufacturing must produce jobs, that’s how things are made. Any discrepancies related to the bill were related to, but not caused by. I feel like this should be a go to bill for post-recession cleanup.

Works Cited

Amadeo, Kimberly. “How Congress Really Spends Your Money.” The Balance. The Balance, 22 Mar. 2017. Web. 27 Mar. 2017. <https://www.thebalance.com/current-u-s-federal-government-spending-3305763&gt;.

Broda, Christian, and Jonathan Parker. “Did the 2008 US Tax Rebates Work? | VOX, CEPR’s Policy Portal.” Did the 2008 US Tax Rebates Work? Voxeu, 15 Aug. 2008. Web. 27 Mar. 2017. <http://voxeu.org/article/did-2008-us-tax-rebates-work&gt;.

“Economic Stimulus Payment Q&As: Eligibility.” Economic Stimulus Payment Q&As: Eligibility. IRS, 16 July 2008. Web. 27 Mar. 2017. <https://www.irs.gov/uac/Economic-Stimulus-Payment-Q&As:-Eligibility-&gt;.

Haugen, Steven E. “Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers in 2002.” Monthly Labor Review 126.9 (2003): 37-40. Web. 22 Mar. 2017. <https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/minimum-wage/archive/characteristics-of-minimum-wage-workers-2014.pdf&gt;.

“H.R. 5140 (110th): Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.” GovTrack.us. Govtrack, 8 Feb. 2008. Web. 27 Mar. 2017. <https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/hr5140/text&gt;.

Pacitti, Aaron. “Raising the Minimum Wage Boosts Growth and Does Not Cause Unemployment.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 27 Apr. 2015. Web. 22 Mar. 2017. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aaron-pacitti/raising-the-minimum-wage-_3_b_7152976.html&gt;.

Riedl, Brian. “Why Government Spending Does Not Stimulate Economic Growth: Answering the Critics.” The Heritage Foundation. N.p., 5 Jan. 2010. Web. 27 Mar. 2017. <http://www.heritage.org/budget-and-spending/report/why-government-spending-does-not-stimulate-economic-growth-answering-the&gt;.

Silversmith, David, CPA, CFE. “Review of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.” Review of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 (n.d.): 1-4. Akmcpa. Web. 27 Mar. 2017. <http://akmcpa.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Review-of-Economic-Stimulus-Act-of-2008.pdf&gt;.

ThinkProgress. “Study: A Minimum Wage Hike Would Stimulate The Economy.” ThinkProgress. ThinkProgress, 08 July 2013. Web. 22 Mar. 2017. <https://thinkprogress.org/study-a-minimum-wage-hike-would-stimulate-the-economy-f02ca75732fc#.j9lij2kxf&gt;.

Economics With Financial Literacy

The Rise of Betsey Johnsons Brand

Economics – 3.1

Betsey Johnson was born in the 40s in Terryville, Connecticut, here is where her love of dance, and eventually art, blossomed. Throughout her youth, she trained in multiple types of dance, with dance came a story, and a story meant a wardrobe. Because a large portion of dance is aesthetics, she had a teacher who allowed her to make her own costumes. This combined with her interest in art led to a want to create fashion, and a brand to establish. She later received an internship at a prestigious brand as a designer, gaining traction and eventually making her own brand. Throughout her career, she saw the rise of punk and youthquake, capitalizing on both to create a distinct brand that is known for its youthfulness and unique style. She became the punk rock wild child of the fashion industry, inspiring a plethora of designers and culture along the way.

Throughout her career, she’s had to alter her brand for the sake of making something. Specifically, in the 70s. She reverted to making older, more maternal clothing with no youthfulness after the youthquake movement died down, but she had to continue designing to stay active with her brand. So she made generic tailored clothing, that is until the 70’s. When punk hit she was re-invented, she began feeling her passion again. This was a pivotal point for her brand and impact.

Within her 30 year career, she has made all types of apparel, from swim to active to formal to shoes, she inserted her unique, youthful vision into every thread and inspired designers everywhere. Throughout this, she has beat breast cancer and still manages to cartwheel down the runway at all of her shows.

 

Works Cited

“The Best Spring 2014 Make Up.” Zimbio. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.

“Betsey Johnson.” Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 20 Sept. 2016. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.

“TOP 50 Best Fashion Designers.” Boca Do Lobos Inspirational World RSS. N.p., 30 Mar. 2016. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.


 

Law Studies

An Analysis of Government Programs Used to Assist Marginalized Groups

For Law Studies, assignment 4.14, by Sarah Knezel

    To analyze the use of Affirmative Action & other forms of policies that attempt to help marginalized people, you have to analyze the official amendments and definitions regarding these social services.

14th Amendment of the US Constitution
Definition of Affirmative Action via The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, quote during John F. Kennedys executive order for Affirmative Action
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and culture from which they have been historically excluded.”
“to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.

    The discrepancies between the definition of Affirmative Action and the 14th Amendment is the word privilege, owning a slave was a privilege, being treated favorably for being a white male is a privilege, being treated fairly by institutions is (even now) still a privilege; those who don’t have that privilege, by the same amendment, have every right to deny you that privilege based on the use of the word “equal.” Equality is there being no inherent privileges. Privilege relies on someone having less than you, and you being entitled to something others are not. The premise of Affirmative Action is to remove those opportunities only privileged people get, and to even the playing field in the best way they can as a government.

        The controversy surrounding Affirmative Action is the belief that Affirmative Actions demand for equality is revoking their privilege, (commonly misunderstood as a “right”) would make it nearly impossible to get than it would be before or without Affirmative Action. An example of this being University of California V. Bakke, Bakke believed that he was

PRIVILEGE

priv·i·lege

ˈpriv(ə)lij/

noun


  1. a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

“education is a right, not a privilege”

 

 

“It’s an American responsibility to ensure that the humanity of the historically disenfranchised is recognized and respected, that their voices are heard”

discriminated against for being a white male, claiming “reverse discrimination” (which, by the scholarly definition of racism, is incorrect.) The courts agreed that the schools quotas were too harsh while simultaneously defending Affirmative Action. The ruling showed that, despite it being law, there is times where the use of Affirmative action can be misused. This, however, did not apply to Grutter V. Bollinger, where Grutter attempted to blame Affirmative Action on her not getting accepted. It was later found that the school had their own racial quotas and didn’t go by Affirmative Actions, and that her assumption that less qualified applicants got in for their race was wrong, her baseless accusations of reverse-racism warranted the judge to side with the college and Affirmative Action.

    Another case regarding Affirmative Action is US V. Virginia, where a military university of Virginia refused to admit women, claiming that it’d lower the quality of the education. By Affirmative Action this was illegal, the court ruled. The issue wasn’t that they were a boy’s school, the issue was that they were an extremely prestigious school who claimed that women would disrupt the environment they’d made, deeming women as inferior and distracting inherently. When they did try to make a women’s version, it was low quality and deemed illegal as well. By Affirmative Action women got access to one of the best military academies at the time.

    My personal issue regarding Affirmative Action is that it’s a band-aid for societies issues, enabling the issue to stay the same but creating a flimsy cover up. The government tried to do what the government can’t ultimately, constitutionally do, and that is to force the idea of feminism or egalitarianism into the lives of its citizens. It doesn’t acknowledge the reason marginalized groups are hired less, it just forced workplaces to hire the groups by quota. A true fix for racism, sexism, and all other types of bigotry is through us, the population. It’s up to us to give our friends a dirty look when they make a bigoted comment, it’s up to us to educate that ignorant family member, it’s an American responsibility to ensure that the humanity of the historically disenfranchised is recognized and respected, that their voices are heard, Affirmative Action just gave us a band-aid for the real problem and told us that we didn’t have to do that, the real problem that is us not putting in the effort to help and keep people from believing these anti-American, anti-minority beliefs.

    Overall, the question of whether it’s constitutional or not is- in the simplest terms a really, really, loaded question. It’s a question guided by everything from political beliefs to interpretations of the constitution, and this is just mine. My interpretation is that as a government policy, it helps, but by no means does it truly help with the root issue, it helps with the economic struggle many people of color face, but gives us an excuse to ignore the whole issue. Philosophically, it’s up for interpretation, based on what you consider a privilege or a right, based on if you truly believe the constitution should be what governs right or wrong, and even more questions I can’t fathom because of how vast the interpretations of the constitution is.

SOURCES AND SUGGESTED READING:

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/affirmative-action/

http://learn.flvs.net/webdav/educator_lawstudies_v16/module04/04_14_00a.htm Copyright accredited to Robert Fullinwider

http://www.oeod.uci.edu/aa.html

https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/matthewclair/files/sociology_of_racism_clairandenis_2015.pdf

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2013/04/09/59731/how-pay-inequity-hurts-women-of-color/ by Sophia Kerby

http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2015/03/26/the-racial-wealth-gap-why-a-typical-white-household-has-16-times-the-wealth-of-a-black-one/#1b48dc4f6c5b by Laura Shin

http://fortune.com/2014/11/04/hiring-racial-bias/ by Brett Arends

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/542517_2 by Heather Stuart

https://hbr.org/2013/09/women-in-the-workplace-a-research-roundup


US History

US History: Imperialism, Isolationism, and Interventionism.

I’ll be covering 3 events that represent isolationism, imperialism, and intervention

  • The 1900 annex of Hawaii- imperialism
  • Refusing to give aid to the Hungarian Patriots in 1849- Isolationism
  • The Open Door policy of 1899- Interventionism

The Annex Of Hawaii

”im·pe·ri·al·ism

imˈpirēəˌlizəm/

noun

  1. a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through diplomacy or military force.

“the struggle against imperialism”

The annexation of Hawaii began after US citizens living in Hawaii and the Marines overthrew Queen Liliuokalani on January 17th, 1893 in Oahu. The US annexed Hawaii for 2 main reasons, the Queen was trying to reinstate a monarchy, which would lessen the US’ influence on Hawaii, a large sugar exporter, and because the nationalism caused by the Spanish-American war made it so Hawaiian natives began to reject Anglo-Saxon influence that the US was trying to spread. By stealing Hawaii, the US secured its major exporter of sugar, among other goods, and furthered the spread of a culture it deemed as best. The US officially annexed Hawaii in 1900 after the queen peacefully resigned, fearing the US’ reputation for the murder of citizens for imperialistic goals.

There is no better example of imperialism than Hawaii, viewed today as a hotspot for white American vacationers to become enriched in an “authentic ethnic experience”, they were annexed via intimidation for financial gain and forced cultural assimilation.

The Hungarian Patriots

“i·so·la·tion·ism

ˌīsəˈlāSHəˌnizəm

noun

  1. a policy of remaining apart from the affairs or interests of other groups, especially the political affairs of other countries.”

When Hungarians became deeply dissatisfied with European rule in Hungary, they decided to revolt. Starting in 1848, Hungarians started forming, even looking at US revolts as a model for proper protests. Throughout this, many people from the revolt and Hungarian administration attempted to recruit US officials as intermediaries. Despite the Hungarians need for help, Hungary was recognized as European territory; getting involved with their revolt would go outside of the US’ isolationist foreign policy. This policy was built out of a fear of war, and the US felt the only way to avoid war was to avoid any global politics whatsoever.

This was isolationism to the T, this was a common case of avoiding global affairs to preserve international affairs, fading into the background until attacked was the US’ goal. Despite the citizen’s sympathies with the Hungarian population, the government viewed it as a huge risk.

1899 Open Door Policy

Interventionism is a term for a policy of non-defensive (proactive) activity undertaken by a nation-state, or other geo-political jurisdiction of a lesser or greater nature, to manipulate an economy and/or society.”

Due to the economic boom in China in the 1800s, there was a heavy interest in the country; imperialistic European powers had a special interest in gaining control over Chinese ports. The Open Door policy of 1899 was a policy demanding that China has control over tariffs and that China has open trade with all countries. They did this by barring any special interest deals to be enforced, while it was legally ineffective, it was a common agreement.

When the US did this, their intention was keeping financial ties with China while remaining isolated from issues within China. For instance, had they said “I demand to have access to your ports for financial gain,” there’d be a pressure to interact with them politically. Through the façade of the equal investment in Chinese ports, they can claim to protect China from imperialistic forces seizing their ports, make a profit, and stay out of their political climate by not mentioning the US directly. It is, by definition, interventionism; they manipulated the economy for profit under the idea of equal trade opportunity.

SOURCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isolationism

https://www.hungaryfoundation.org/us-1848-hungarian-revolution/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interventionism_(politics)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Door_Policy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperialism

https://2001-2009.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/gp/17661.htm

http://www.markedbyteachers.com/gcse/history/why-did-the-united-states-annex-hawaii-why-did-the-united-states-become-involved-in-wars-with-spain-and-its-former-colonies.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overthrow_of_the_Kingdom_of_Hawaii#United_States_involvement

Economics With Financial Literacy

T-Bonds, Futures, and Money Market; The Dichotomy Between Aggressive, Moderate, and Conservative Investment.

An Analysis of 3 Major Economic Investments and Their Future.

Economics assignment 2.04 HONORS, by Sarah Knezel.

Despite the safety of this option- the use of it is going down; according to the national statistics, only about 10% savings are bonds, a staggeringly low rate- considering T-Bonds are extremely safe and conservative. So why don’t we want bonds? The US Gov’s treasury reports the cou20-34-editpon equivalent (which is the ultimate comparison figure for nominal and discount rates), the rate is far less than the US’ inflation rate of 2.07%; except for the 13th week, there has been a general decrease in interest, making bonds an irresponsible pick in regards to what you get back. The future of government bonds looks bleak and practically nonexistent, notwithstanding its major security benefits.

The main issue with futures isn’t the futures themselves but finding information on them. Futures are high-risk private contracts between sellers and buyers, ensuring one will buy a large quantity of a product from the other at a set rate. An example of this would be you predicting a large boom in the cow population sometime next year, and signing into a future agreeing to buy a 350 dollars-worth of milk for 200 dollars. What makes this risky is that it’s an actual gamble, despite this, they do not seem to be uncommon. The fascination surround futures is the fascination of legalized betting and gambling.

Money markets are the very definition of a moderate investment option, they’re the ultimate moderate option, for high payments they offer a higher rate of return, such as anywhere from .8 to .11%, this accounts for their growing popularity in recent years. In Europe, 2009-2010, the average investor with a money market account increasedImage result for money market figures their payments from 0.59 to 0.85 percent which is no surprise considering money markets accounts persistence on keeping a competitive interest rate.

 

SOURCES:

http://www.investinginbonds.com/learnmore.asp?catid=9&subcatid=50&id=97https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=billrateshttps://www.statbureau.org/en/united-states/inflationhttp://www.bankrate.com/finance/investing/treasury-bonds-pay-interest.aspxhttps://www.personalcapital.com/blog/investing/america-turns-back-bonds/https://www.treasury-management.com/article/4/198/1710/the-continuing-popularity-of-constant-nav-money-market-funds.htmlhttps://www.fdic.gov/regulations/resources/rates/