Childhood Obesity in America


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Childhood obesity has become a national epidemic in the United States, but only recently has the issue gotten significant attention. The rate of obese and overweight children in the United States has doubled in the last 20 years and will continue to increase if changes aren’t made to children’s lifestyles.  Continue reading

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What are we feeding our kids?


ljnewlfnwsfAs childhood obesity becomes a bigger problem in the United States, there is the question of what we are feeding children in schools. In order to prevent bad habits and teach a healthy lifestyle, I believe schools should offer healthier food in their cafeterias. When I was growing up, elementary through high school, I noticed that school lunches are quite unhealthy. A lot of the time, they offer foods such as pizza and fries, instead of foods that have nutritional value. I would like to see more vegetables and fruits and less fatty/sugary foods. I think that if kids learn to eat healthier when they are young, they will most likely keep the same good habits as they get older which will decrease the risk of the many diseases associated with obesity.

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Put the Phone Down


cell-phone-lightsAs a “Roving Node” according to the tech user quiz, I am personally quite involved with technology. I enjoy using my phone and computer in order to be productive in school and also for my social life. I also enjoy many different social media outlets because they allow me to stay in touch with friends and family, while also allowing access to all different types of information. At the same time, I realize that social media and technology can sometimes take away from face to face social interactions. I think a lot of us, including myself, are guilty of being too immersed in their phones or other types of technology and we end up not paying full attention to the people around us. Continue reading

Love is Love


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The issue of legalizing gay marriage is one that is evolving into a growing social movement in the United States today. In recent years, numerous states have legalized gay marriage and it is likely that more and more states will follow in the near future. I chose to comment on the song Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert. First of all, this song has a very powerful social message. Continue reading

Whole Foods and the Organic Food Industry


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In the past, people did not generally analyze the consequences of the food they ate, but recently, more and more people have been considering the potentially positive or negative effects of food. The ways in which food is grown, produced, and manufactured has been looked into more than ever and there is more emphasis on the “organic” types of food because they are seen as healthier. Whole Foods is a company that tries to be ethically sound in the production and sale of food. They sell organic foods but also carry main staple items that are found in regular grocery stores, so that people can one-stop shop there. Whole Foods is in the business of promoting “less processed, healthier, more sustainable food” (Koehn, Miller, 2007). The business has been steadily growing in the recent years, which shows society’s newfound emphasis on being healthy and eating food that is more “ethical.”

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We Are What We Eat


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For paper 2, I plan on looking into Whole Foods and the food industry ethics. I don’t have much experience looking in the library for books, but it wasn’t too difficult for me to find one that will help me with my paper. I found the book called “Food Politics: how the food industry influences nutrition and health” by first searching the library catalog.

I think this book will help me because it talks about the food industry’s marketing methods and how they affect the way people purchase food. It also talks about the food industry’s use of political power in order to obtain the highest profits possible even if it doesn’t operate in such a way that is beneficial to consumers. Continue reading

Are children being helped or hurt by the extension of CHIP?


I was excited to hear that we’d be learning about the PPACA for this blog because it’s a topic I didn’t know much about. I think it’s important to be informed about current events, especially politically related since certain laws could have major effects on people. While taking the quiz, I felt like I wouldn’t get more than a few right, but I ended up getting a 5/10. Although I knew more than I thought, I still didn’t feel educated enough. The first question in the quiz brought up what is probably the most controversial aspect of Obamacare. I was surprised to learn that people will have to pay a fine if they don’t have health insurance starting in 2014. There are some exceptions such as religious objections, but for the most part, Americans are going to be required to have health insurance.

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One of the aspects of the PPACA that I wanted to learn more about was the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Chip was signed into law in 1997 and provides health coverage to about 8 million children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid, but not high enough to afford private health care coverage.

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Is The Government Shutdown Going Too Far?


I really enjoyed taking the quiz to see where I fall on the political spectrum. I wasn’t surprised when I got a moderate rating because I have always believed myself to be economically conservative and socially liberal. I strongly believe in same sex marriage and I am pro-choice, but as my quiz results stated, I’m strongly pro-business. I attribute my slight lean towards the right to the fact that I grew up in a strongly conservative household, but as I got older, I started to change some of my views and think for myself. I feel as though my views are still changing and will probably continue to change as a result of getting older and more informed about political happenings in the America.

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A Problem Too Big To Solve


Although the concept of “too big to fail” was clearly seen in the financial crisis of 2008, I believe it still exists today.  In fact, “too big to fail” is probably an even bigger concern now because of the rapid growing of the few largest banks in the United States. This is an issue because banks are able to get away with risky behaviors since they know that they won’t be allowed to fail. We haven’t learned from our past failures. Instead of the government finding ways to fix this problem, it seems to be getting worse. We can’t deny that these major banks are at the center of our economy and that we need them to be in business in order for our economy to function properly.

The major banks in the United States take up a large percentage of the economy as a whole. For this reason, it is impossible to let one of these large banks collapse, because the economy would then collapse as well. Since these banks are only getting larger, the problem persists. Just as it is common for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer, the major banks are gaining more and more control of the United States economy, while smaller banks are being pushed out. The distribution of the economy as a whole is getting less and less. The government has no chance but to step in in the event of a crisis, because without their help, the economy would turn to disaster. Where does this end? A solution is needed in order to take the risk out of our economy. So much of our society is dependent on our large banks and it is likely that they will keep getting larger. The question becomes, should we implement policies to force these banks to downsize, or should we let them go and risk the possibility of the government having to provide bailouts?

Understanding Chinese Culture


I really enjoyed the performance because it effectively pointed out the lies of Mike Daisey’s story in a creative way. One of the most important issues I realized while watching was that, even though we think we have an idea, most of us Americans really don’t know what it’s like in China. We all use electronics and other products made in China but we often ignore the details of how these products were made, what the factories are like, or how the workers are treated. As the professor said, the issue is not whether or not Mike Daisey lied, but that Americans don’t understand China’s culture. We don’t see that these jobs are sometimes the only way to escape poverty.

A statistic that stood out to me was that 50% of all of the world’s electronics were made at Foxconn. Yet, many Americans have never heard of the city of Shenzhen. It seems ironic that we don’t know anything about a city where a lot of the electronics we use were made. Apple products have become central to many American’s lives that it’s almost like a religion. Still, most people don’t seem to care where these products come from or how they were made because it simply doesn’t matter to them. The fact is, most of us don’t understand what it’s like to live in a country where so many workers are treated so poorly to make products that are shipped off to place that doesn’t care about the manufacturing process.

I do not personally know any students here that are from China, but I think it would be very interesting to hear their perspectives on this issue. As I learned from reading “The Working Poor” for another class, bad working conditions are in all parts of the world, including America. The book pointed out that people who work hard should not be treated as poorly as they often are. I immediately thought of the foxconn workers who seem to be working very hard but not getting rewarded accordingly.

Response to “Retraction”


My first reaction to “Retraction” was frustration because I couldn’t believe that I listened to Mike Daisey’s entire monologue without even thinking if he could be lying or not. I assumed that since he was talking about his personal experiences that the things he was saying were true. Now, after discovering the numerous lies Daisey told, I realize that I shouldn’t be surprised. Daisey’s monologue was not journalism; it was purely his attempt of being entertaining. In this case, it seems as though Daisey is nothing more than an actor since so much of his story was found out to be false.

At one point in “Retraction,” Daisey apologizes. In my opinion, he also owes an apology to Apple. Although we know that there are poor working conditions at factories that produce Apple products, the content in Daisey’s monologue was clearly exaggerated. With a high volume of listeners, I would assume that many of these listeners had a worsened image of Apple as a company after hearing Daisey’s story. This effect isn’t fair to Apple, considering many of the issues presented were exaggerated or made up altogether. This makes me wonder if Daisey had other motives besides just trying to put on a show and be entertaining.

It was disturbing for me to hear how many of the ideas presented were actually lies. I don’t understand why Daisey felt the need to tell a completely different story compared to what he actually experienced. When asked questions about his lies, he took a while to answer and when he finally answered, he didn’t seem confident in what he was saying. Could he have lied in that interview as well? Although he admits to his lies, he still tries to explain himself and stand behind his story. In my eyes, Daisey lost all credibility and nothing he says should be trusted. People tend to believe others who are talking about personal experiences, but it is probably wise to look out for people who might have other motives and could be lying or exaggerating the truth.

Mr. Daisey and Apple


Although I’ve previously learned about the poor working conditions in China as it relates to manufacturing Apple products, this monologue provided personal experiences of the workers, which really opened my eyes to how unfair such practices are. As an owner of a MacBook Pro, iPad, and iPhone, listening to how miserable the working conditions are for the people who make these products saddened me. It seems as though everyone I know has at least one Apple product. I love using Apple products but I am now thinking twice about what it means to support a company that treats its workers so poorly.

Some of the statistics mentioned were horrifying. People working up to 16 hours a day, people getting injured on the job and then fired for being slow, and the high suicide rate were just some of the disturbing facts that really caught my ear. Also, the fact that the electronics are all put together by hand was shocking to me. I would have thought that machines played a bigger role in the process. Another shocking part was when the man who worked with iPads had never even seen one on.

The line that stood out to me the most was when Mike said, “Do you really think Apple doesn’t know? A company obsessed with the details? Or do they do what everyone else is doing, do they just see what they want to see?” It seems to me that many people only see what they want to see when using products that were made in the factories like the ones described in the monologue. No one is willing to give up their iPhone because of working conditions in China that don’t affect them personally. I feel as though many people are ignorant to the facts of what really goes on in factories such as Foxconn because they are not personally being harmed. This shouldn’t change the fact that the way these workers are getting treated is extremely unjust.

MLB


An organization/company I am familiar with is a professional sports team, specifically a Major League Baseball team. MLB teams have social responsibility similar to large corporations. They try to maximize profits in order to buy the best players so that there will be a greater chance of winning. The stakeholders of an MLB team are concerned with the corporate side of the team because their actions will likely affect them. For example, the players are major stakeholders because they are the employees and their salary and contracts depend on what happens in upper management. Profits are also important to keep people going to games, and paying for tickets and other items while they are there. If a team has a large profit, they will have better players, win more games, and attract more fans. This cycle is key to bringing as much money in as possible.

The business process of an MLB team goes along with what Milton Friedman says about the social responsibility of business. His point that the only social responsibility of business is to make a profit and be fair is exactly what MLB teams aim for. A player could be a great guy to have around but if he is not performing, the team is going to let him go so that they can hire another player that will produce more for the team, leading to higher profits in the long run. It was interesting when Freidman said that many businessmen are “far-sighted and clearheaded in matters that are internal to their business and short-sighted and muddle-headed in matters that are outside their business but affect the possible survival of the business in general.” I thought this statement related to how the owners and upper management of a team work. It seems as though they are very concerned with internal matters that they sometimes forget about external factors that could affect them such as minor league teams and younger players that could potentially move up to the major leagues one day.