Causal Reprieve

The Causal Argument Task

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Musical Interlude: The Weight

Please share links to music worth sharing.

Put it in the MyMusic category.

Thanks!

 

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Classes moving to Zoom

I’ll produce an Agenda for every class as usual and publish the link to the Zoom meeting as part of the Agenda. All you need to prep for class is to open the daily Agenda, click the link, and activate your video and audio.

Other questions? Listen to the video.

Comments? Leave a Reply.

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Definition–Tenere84

Fame-Seeking School Shooters: Who Are They?

It’s 2020, and the rate of school shootings has never shown any sign of slowing down. But over recent years, the idea that media sensationalism has become a cause of school shootings has gained some traction. In short, the media has had such an influence that the school shooters of today are now young kids who want posthumous notoriety. But there’s a fundamental issue with this argument that renders it shortsighted. Imagine a seventeen-year-old male student who has everything going for him in his life. He’s got loving parents, he’s in good mental, emotional, and physical shape, and he’s doing well in school. But let’s say he wants international fame in the media, due to seeing how it has created a celebrity culture that “glorifies” school shooters. He marches into his school with an AR-15 and shoots down dozens of students, staff, and faculty.

See the problem here? It’s true that the rate of school shootings has risen significantly along with the rate of media coverage of the perpetrators. It’s true that school shooters are younger than ever before. But no reasonable person would assert that anyone in their right mind is capable of making the decision to commit mass murder, no matter how much they want fame. It’s just not worth the moral cost. Most school shooters are really just emotionally and/or mentally disturbed people with little to no morals who have likely suffered unfortunate circumstances in the household.

Contrary to popular belief, the motivations of school shooters don’t boil down to bullying, exposure to violence, or a desire for internet fame. It’s psychological issues and trauma. Peter Langman, director of KidsPeace, an organization that treats at-risk youth, suggests, in his book, Why Kids Kill, that “these are not ordinary kids who want to be famous. These are simply not ordinary kids. These are kids with serious psychological problems. This fact has been missed or minimized in reports on school shooters.” He strategically divided known mass shooters into categories: Psychopathic, Psychotic, and Traumatized. According to Langman’s findings, sadism and exposure to gun culture contribute to creating psychopathic shooters, excessive substance abuse and parental rejection contribute to creating psychotic shooters, and violent fathers contribute to creating traumatized shooters who are more likely to falter under peer pressure.

To explain how mass shootings are caused and planned out, authors Jack Levin and Eric Madfis proposed a five-stage model in which multiple criminological theories (such as strain theory, control theory, and routine activities theory) were integrated. Such a model suggested that long-term frustrations experienced early in life or in adolescence—whether in home or at school—lead to social isolations. These strains and the child’s lack of support systems cause any short-term negative event to be devastating, rendering him mentally and emotionally disturbed. This leads to the planning stage, during which the child fantasizes about situations in which they are the perpetrators of mass murder. Then the massacre eventually happens. The analysises of multiple school shootings such as the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre seemed to be consistent with Levin and Madfis’ model.

The analyses of Levin, Madfis, and Langman all point to the conclusion that no amount of desire for fame will ever make a child want to commit mass murder if they are stable people. Aside from that, 80 school shootings ended in the shooter committing suicide, and 18 ended with the shooter being killed by law enforcement. Is it really logical to assert that some short-lived media notoriety alone would satisfy someone if it meant killing dozens of innocent children? The short answer is no. This desire may be a small factor when disturbed children are taken into consideration, but little more.

America has a deep problem with psychological illnesses that the media has neglected to notice. We need to find a way to effectively detect and address such problems early in people’s childhood and perhaps limit their access to weapons. We should not let limiting or outright banning media coverage of shooters become our primary concern.

References

Chen, Lisa, “The Effects of Media Coverage on Mass Shootings in the United States” (2018). Advanced Writing: Pop Culture Intersections. 31. https://scholarcommons.scu.edu/engl_176/31

Langman, Peter. Why Kids Kill: inside the Minds of School Shooters. Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. https://books.google.com/books?id=UUTtO5P6DncC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Madfis, Eric. “In Search of Meaning: Are School Rampage Shootings Random and Senseless Violence?” Taylor & Francis, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00223980.2016.1196161.

“Ten Years of Mass Shootings in the United States.” EverytownResearch.org, everytownresearch.org/massshootingsreports/mass-shootings-in-america-2009-2019/.

Posted in Definition Argument, Tenere84 | 3 Comments

Definition – Dupreeh

As time goes by the issue of global warming becomes more and more of a reality. Global warming is caused by carbon dioxide or “greenhouse gases” being released in the atmosphere. Of course, gas powered cars release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere helping global warming. But, a large majority of carbon emissions are produced by power sources like coal plants that release carbon into the atmosphere. These coal plants produce the most amount of carbon dioxide in the air than any other sources. The cheap price and the easiness of producing power with coal is a big factor in why society is still using these power plants. But According to the article “Coal Plants Lock in 300 Billion Tons of CO2 Emissions” written by Bobby Magill. Magill explains “Coal-fired power plants are the largest contributors to the atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which last year reached 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history.” To counter this many are suggesting switching to carbon-free sources of power. Carbon free sources would be able to produce the same amount of energy as coal power plants but at the same time being environmentally conscious. For example, wind, solar, and nuclear are carbon-free sources of power that can prove to be great counters to produce energy.

To better understand carbon free energy society needs to first understand what they are currently putting in their atmosphere. Currently the largest source of power in the United States is burning coal. Coal plants heat up coal to produce steam and turn a turbine to power a generator. Even though this process of burning coal is extremely cheap, doing this releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide or greenhouse gasses is the main cause of global warming. Amanda MacMillan in her article “Global Warming 101” MacMillan puts global warming in perspective by describing, “Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history.” Basically, global warming is the overall average temperature increasing from the increase levels of carbon dioxide that we are currently putting into the atmosphere. This increase in temperature can become extremely damaging to our environment. Carbon free refers to absolutely zero power plants operating in a way the produces carbon dioxide. Meaning if carbon free would take full effect all carbon-based power plants would need to be shut down and replaced with carbon free alternatives that are good for the environment.

Renewable sources like wind and solar are great renewable sources to produce clean energy. Renewable sources operate by taking in zero one use materials like coal. Instead renewable sources use resources like wind and sunlight to operate and produce energy, releasing zero carbon into the atmosphere. Wind power plants operate similar to how a sail on a sailboat operates. A sailboat uses wind to move itself in the direction of the wind. But unlike sailboats wind turbines harness the power of the wind to turn larges blades that move a rotor powering a generator to produce energy. From the article “How Do Wind Turbines Work” from the office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy they state, “A wind turbine turns wind energy into electricity using the aerodynamic force from the rotor blades, which work like an airplane wing or helicopter rotor blade.” ­Another viable renewable energy source that has been gaining large amounts of popularity is solar power. From Live Science in their article “How Do Solar Panels Work?” the author explains “a solar panel works by allowing photons, or particles of light, to knock electrons free from atoms, generating a flow of electricity.” Solar panels do have an advantage over wind turbines, instead of needed a large space almost anyone can install solar panels. A popular trend currently is to install solar panels on the roofs of houses. This makes solar panels extremely desirable to average homeowners making solar panels a great addition to a network of carbon free energy sources.

When society first thinks about clean carbon free energy sources most will just think of renewable sources like wind and solar. But nuclear power in another great energy source that is completely carbon free. In the article “How a Nuclear Reactor Works” From Nei, the author states, “Coal, natural gas, oil and nuclear energy use their fuel to turn water into steam and use that steam to turn the turbine.” But where nuclear differs from coal plants is they do not heat anything to create steam to turn turbines. The uranium atoms do all the work and create fission that turns the turbines to create energy.  Most concern around nuclear power is the safety issue but, reactors have become extremely safe with new technological advancements. The high upfront price of building nuclear reactors have turned many away, but nuclear power plants produce a large amount of energy and can operate for a large period. This makes nuclear power plants extremely efficient in the carbon free energy system,

Carbon free refers to power plants that can operate and generate energy in a clean way that does not emit greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.  In the article “Going ‘Zero Carbon’ Is All the Rage. But Will It Slow Climate Change?” Nathan Rott describes Carbon free as, “A state would be getting all of its electricity from renewable or clean sources like solar, wind or nuclear.” Essentially carbon free is releasing zero carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. To stop the rapid growing problem of global warming and the average temperature growing carbon free energy is by far the best counter. Even though society relies on coal plants and other sources of energy that release carbon it is possible to go completely carbon free with clean sources of energy. Instead of just using complete renewable energy systems like wind and solar to produce clean carbon free energy society should be looking to expand. Utilizing more of nuclear power with the use of renewable sources can push society into a complete carbon free power grid.

References

Magill, B., & @bobbymagill, F. (2014, August 28). Coal Plants Lock in 300 Billion Tons ofCO2 Emissions. Retrieved from https://www.climatecentral.org/news/coal-plants-lock-in-300-billion-tons-of-co2-emissions-17950/

MacMillan, A. (2020, March 9). Global Warming 101. Retrieved from https://www.nrdc.org/stories/global-warming-101

How Do Wind Turbines Work? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/how-do-wind-turbines-work

How Do Solar Panels Work? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/41995-how-do-solar-panels-work.html

How a Nuclear Reactor Works. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nei.org/fundamentals/how-a-nuclear-reactor-works

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Definition- egyqueen

Breaks and Productivity

Sitting down for hours to complete a project is an extremely difficult task for many people. People are likely to wander off after a certain amount of time spent working on the same topic. breaks are usually looked down upon and can be used to argue time management problems. It is typical of students to get side tracked while taking a break. Going on your phone is an extremely dangerous thing to do when you are avoiding distractions. If you are taking a 9 minute break for every 51 minutes you spent studying, you are essentially wasting 9 minutes that you could have spent studying. Is it really considered wasting time though? 

 Kenneth T. Strongman and Christopher D.B. Burt, conducted two studies to examine the difference between taking breaks from physical and mental labor. Participants were quick to name more reasons for taking short breaks from mental work rather than physical work. It seems that participants believed there is more leeway when it comes to mental work whereas physical work is often assigned by an employer. Results showed that general reasons for taking breaks fall into three categories such as one’s own state and needings, things to do with activity such as walking, talking, etc.); or, lastly, things to do for other people. Results of the study also concluded that taking more breaks can lead to a better academic performance and those of higher academic success are prompted to take shorter and more frequent breaks. The article emphasizes the importance of perseverance when it comes to trying these methods. It is much more painless to in the moment to extend your break, but that will only hurt you later. 

A famous study conducted by Shai Danziger, Jonathan Levav, and Liora Avnaim- Pesso examined the factors that go into judicial rulings. “Are judicial rulings based solely on laws and facts?” is the main question being answered in the study. The results of the study conclude that there are factors influencing judges’ decisions that should have no bearing. Judges were found to be more likely to agree to a favorable ruling at the very beginning of the day or right after a food break. The probability of a favorable ruling decreases as the day goes by and increases right after break. The study is unable to detect whether a break in general helped their moods since it did not measure their moods and breaks were strictly taken to eat a meal. According to author S.J. Scott, “the need to make frequent decisions throughout your day can wear down your willpower and reasoning ability.” Scott used this study to point out that “decision fatigue” is real and “leads to simplistic decision-making and procrastination.” In other words, the judges were taking the safest and easiest option by saying no. Saying no does not involve much thinking or paperwork.  

It is crucial to understand the difference between interruptions and breaks. Interruptions are unplanned moments where you are forced to pause your task. During a break you choose the perfect time to take a break which led to solving more insight problems. In conclusion, constant sitting at your desk or computer increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity. A small break to walk or stretch can be beneficial from the side effects. According to author Nir Eyal, “When we work, our prefrontal cortex makes every effort to help us execute our goals. But for a challenging task that requires our sustained attention, research shows briefly taking our minds off the goal can renew and strengthen motivation later on.” It is necessary to get your brain thinking about other things in order to have a fresh set of eyes when resuming your work. 

Working for a long period of time is known to lead to exhaustion. Not just physical exhaustion, but mental as well. Sleep is known to help rest our brain and consolidate memories. Sleep assists our brain in memorizing and learning new material, but evidence shows resting while awake improves memory formation as well.

References

https://www.pnas.org/content/108/17/6889

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00223980009600864?needAccess=true

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Definition-Walmaarts

Needs a Title

The date is December 31st 2019 and the coronavirus (COVID19) was identified at a local wet market in Wuhan, China. Wuhan is home to over 11 million people making it the worst spot for the virus to start. Silently and undetected the virus crept around China infecting thousands of people with flu like symptoms and horrible respiratory/pneumonia effects. Being like the flu the virus spreads very easily if not faster than influenza. The date is now January 20th 2020 and a cruise ship named the “Diamond Princess” docks on the coast of Japan. Multiple passengers are reporting flu like symptoms, a mandatory quarantine is held on the ship to ensure the virus is contained. What happened next shaped the coronavirus into what it is today. At the time, facts about the coronavirus weren’t yet confirmed and passengers were able to leave after a 2 week period of quarantine. Their method of travel after the quarantine was via commercial airlines. The incubation period for the virus is around 3-4 weeks meaning the virus can still be contagious within that 3-4 week period. With the average spread of the coronavirus being 3-4 people per every infected person the coronavirus epidemic was born. On February 12th 2020, the United States reported its first death meaning the coronavirus was here to stay in the United States. This all sounds very bad but let’s look over the facts behind everything instead of acting irrational and panicking.  

To start the coronavirus is basically the flu with a higher mortality rate. According to KWQC a news outlet in Wisconsin quoted the CDC in saying that the mortality rate of the virus is around 2% meaning the whole population won’t get wiped out by this virus. This isn’t entirely good news because the last time a virus had a 2% fatality rate was the Spanish Flu. This silent killer infected 500 million and killed around 50 million. We must take into account the time period and lack of technology that was around during this time. Doctors are hard at work coming up with vaccines and treating those with severe cases. On top of this the mortality rate per age group varies. For example, 10-19 year olds have 0.1% fatality rate (which is lower than the flu) whereas people over 80+ have a 14.8% fatality rate. This isn’t entirely good news for the elderly but shows that survival is still possible. Anothing piece of information to keep into account is the amount of people that die from the flu compared to the coronavirus. Currently in American mass panic is already flooding the streets and popular news outlets. According to the President of the United States and the WHO the flu kills on average “27,000 to 70,000 people per year in the United States” As of now in the United States the coronavirus has affected “523 people with around 25 deaths”. This virus still has so much potential to become even deadlier but panic isn’t a way to handle this situation.

Arguably, the United States has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. This is clearly shown when fighting the novel coronavirus. In other countries like China hospitals had to be constructed because of the overpopulation in Wuhan. In the United States on the other hand hospitals are open and available for treatment as people contract the virus. With new information coming out about death rates United States hospitals can manage their patients and only accept severely ill patients. According to an article from The Washington Post “the fatality rate of the virus is expected to be in the range of 0.1 to 1 percent.” These numbers are nowhere near other countries. Italy (the epicenter of the virus in Europe) reports that death rates are reaching upwards of 3-4 percent. On top of this other reports are coming out saying that the virus results are being skewed by the first week due to the lack of preparation by the Chinese government. In the same article the WHO, Chinese reporters and 6 United States reporters announced that “People who became sick in the first 10 days of January experienced a 17.3 percent death rate, But among people developing symptoms after Feb. 1, the fatality rate has been 0.7 percent”. This means that about 1 in every 1,500 people will pass from the virus. This information could mean one of two things. The virus is slowing down and weakening as time goes on or the United States and other countries health care systems are evolving and conquering the virus. Either one of these outcomes is outstanding news and shows how the world together can fight off the novel coronavirus.

In the meantime, it is still important to take the proper precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. To combat this, coronavirus testing just became available at the local level . According to an article written by Brett Samuels and Jessie Hellmann from The Hill states that “2.1 million tests will be shipped by Monday to commercial labs” these tests would then “translate to roughly 850,000 patients who could be tested”. This is crucial in containing the virus and preventing further cases from infecting people. As time progresses the limit for test in the United States won’t be 850,000 as more test kits are being created by the CDC and other third party manufactures which can drastically limit the spread of the virus.

In the end, will the virus kill off the entire population? No. During times like this we must come together, stay calm, accept any closures and follow quarantine procedures. If all of these steps are followed we will beat the novel coronavirus and life will return to normal.

References

CDC has tested 1,583 people for coronavirus.” The Hill. 8 Mar. 2020. Web. 10 March 2020.

CDC Reports 13 Million Flu Cases.” ContagionLive. 22 Jan. 2020. Web. 10 March 2020.

There’s a Virus Spreading in U.S. That’s Killed 10,000: The FluU.S.News 7 Feb. 2020. Web. 10 March 2020.

U.S. coronavirus fatality rate could be lower than global rate so farWashington Post 6 Mar. 2020. Web. 10 March 2020.

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Definition-Dancestar10

When you think of music you think about different sounds working together simultaneously to make a beat with lyrics. Music has been around for a long time. Though there is no known source of when music started we know that our ancestors have been listening to music for centuries . They used to beat on things to make a beat and start singing. Music is part of everyone’s culture. 

Nowadays everyone mostly listens to music . Either they listen to music that singers or rappers create or they create their own music but everyone has each has a form of music they listen to . To some it is very important because it’s their way of expressing themselves but they all have their own form of music for example rap, African music , Haitian music , Spanish music . Electronic , country . Each form is used to show one culture which is amazing .People use music in many different ways, to help them focus when they are studying, improve their mood or others moods , to exercise , help motivate them to do something, etc.  I believe that music is very important because something that everyone loves and it helps distract you from everything around you .

The musicians who have created music have had a big part in why music is so important today. Many artists nowadays are still inspired by artists from the old days because the music they have created is very unique.  For many artists music is a way they can express how they feel mentally/ physically and a way to talk about many subjects that society doesn’t really talk about or consider wrong without feeling judged . It helps people think about what their artists are singing about if you truly. Artists have also created different ways of forming music like notes and different genres.

As I said before music can be used as distraction for example slaves used to sing songs while working to remind them of home and to distract themselves from the type of environment they were in . Singing is very important in African culture since to them it is a form of communication. They were able to look for kin and countrymen during their voyages through singing . They were able to express joy , sadness , and anger through songs . To them singing was their freedom . It was the only thing that made them feel free and helped survive the terrible things they were going through during those times . 

To me old music was more inspirational than music nowadays because in the old days music was just getting started and artists use that as an opportunity to help people express themselves, to fight for what they believe in . It was a very inspirational time because we were getting many different types of music forms. The old musical made you feel deeply and emotionally. It helped you remember those good types and the bad times . Musicians would talk about nature , the struggles of life and love. It was easier to relate yourself to the old music because music back then talked about everyday things . Music nowadays is harder to relate to because it mostly talks about drugs and money . 

It even shows that old music sells better than new music due to the fact that people like music that is familiar to them . They tend to attach those old songs to specific memories . I wish I was able to explore more of the old music during the old days . It would be a whole different experience . Even though music is still important to people these days, the new generation would never be able to feel music the way it was when it was just getting started .

Music is truly an art . It’s very hard to learn and create but when you do you can create this unique sound that motivates everyone. To me people who learn and create music are genius and very talented in their own way . 

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Defining A Minimum Wage

Initially upheld by a supreme court decision in 1938 the national minimum wage has grown to ensure an increasing number of U.S. workers are paid no less than the given nationally established value. This value has increased over time but by the end of July this year the U.S. minimum wage will have remained at its current value of $7.25 an hour for over a decade. As the current wage stagnates there are also workers within the U.S. that are still able to be legally paid less than the current $7.25 an hour. These workers have a somewhat truer definition for their minimum wage: whatever they can get their employer to consistently pay them.

In most U.S. states the legal minimum wage is determined by the statewide minimum wage. These 29 states individually determined that the national minimum wage is unsuitable for their workers, and legally determined that the statewide minimum wage would be higher than the national minimum. For these states it would be illegal for a worker to be paid the national minimum wage as it would be less than the state’s legal minimum wage. For many of these states there are more than a simple singular minimum wage. The legal minimum wage is determined by total weekly hours and/or employer statistics. Like the federal minimum wage many states have determined that any hours worked beyond a predetermined weekly value will result in a higher required minimum wage. At the same time, it is common for states to have minimum wages determined by gross employer receipts or total number of employees in the given business. Beyond these values it is also common for employees that frequently receive tips to be able to be paid an exceedingly low hourly wage. As a result, it can be difficult for workers to know exactly what wage they are entitled to earn. This difficulty in defining the minimum wage can lead to laborers working for less than the minimum wage they were meant to legally receive.

While it is true that every U.S. citizen has the right to be paid the federally mandated minimum hourly wage, some Americans forgo this right and are paid an illegal wage. This wage is unknown and untaxed by the U.S. government and so it can dip below the legal minimum wage. For these low wage employees, the U.S. minimum wage is not the least they will make. Instead, their employer will save money by paying them somewhat less than minimum wage and in turn the employee can save money by not reporting their income to be taxed or garnished. Currently within the U.S. it is believed that nearly 2 million U.S. citizens are paid less than the national minimum. While such low wages are illegal it does demonstrate that the U.S. government can not define the lowest possible wage when it comes to illegal employment. At the same time there remains an even greater number of laborers within the U.S. earning less than minimum wage.

As of the end of 2019 the current number of illegal immigrants within the U.S. is estimated to be as high as 12 million. Due to their coming to the United States illegally these people are frequently unable to use the justice system to support a minimum wage for their labor. Julie Beck in her article “Illegal immigrants can sue for wages for work actually performed,” for publisher InsideCounsel notes that “The defendants tried to combat the FLSA with the Immigration Reform Control Act (IRCA), arguing that because it’s illegal under the IRCA for an employer to hire an undocumented worker and because the employees are working illegally, their wages can’t be protected by the FLSA.” With this prevailing legal opposition, it is common for these worker to be forced to work for a wage at less than the current U.S. minimum. For these workers the minimum wage they receive is dictated by what their employer is willing to pay and demand for the job at that pay rate. In regions with few illegal workers the demand for their labor is high relative to the supply so they can make close to minimum wage. In areas with significant numbers of illegal worker, employers may be able to leverage these employees into working for cripplingly low pay. The minimum wage for these lowest paid U.S. workers, the minimum wage is simply the lowest wage anyone is willing to work for.

Prior to the 1938 decision to enforce a national minimum wage, employers could legally pay their workers as much as they deemed fit. Wages could be seen as an agreement between the business owner and the given employee. If the employee believed their pay rate undercut their value to the company, they could threaten to cease working for their current wage. At the same time employers could deny wage raises if they believed they could hire a new employee for the same or lower wage. In the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization article “Employment and distribution effects of the minimum wage,” authors Fabián Slonimczyk and Peter Skott claim that “In this setting, one solution is for firms to use the threat of dismissal as a way to elicit effort.” Therefore, the minimum wage received by these workers was largely determined by the individual. A worker with exceptional skill and experience could demand a high wage or threaten to leave for better employment elsewhere. Unfortunately, most workers are unskilled and had been exploited, especially in the latter half of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. As a result, Americans agreed on a minimum wage to protect some of the more vulnerable workers in the country. The minimum wage went from being the lowest amount you and your employer could agree on, to a legally defined minimum value.

Over time there have be numerous definitions for what determines a minimum wage. Even solely within the U.S. the exact definition has changed constantly over time. Many would consider the minimum wage to be the lowest amount allowed by the government. Despite this, millions of workers in the U.S. earn less than the government mandated amount. As a result, it is clear that the minimum wage is something other than what the government decides. For many low wage earners the minimum wage is and always has been what they and their employer can agree supply and demand has already dictated for their job.

References

Illegal immigrants can sue for wages for work actually performed. (2013). Inside Counsel24(267), 52–53. 

Slonimczyk, F., & Skott, P. (2010). Employment and Distribution Effects of the Minimum WageJournal of Economic Behavior & Organization84(1), 245–264. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.1596005 

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Definition – Rose

Defining a Perfect Childhood

Everyone one is raised differently. Not even siblings share the same experiences and standards their parents put them through. The definition of an ideal upbringing is interchanging between families, and continues to change with time. Most people don’t think that they have experienced the ideal upbringing if you asked them. They would come up with something that their parents may have done that has affected them negatively in their upbringing, and it may not be considered a serious issue to others. This is because most people have a pre-existing idea of what a childhood should entail. 

In many minds including my own, when thinking about an ideal upbringing the famous picket fence idea comes up . The picket fence idea concept is an iconic status in the United States. It symbolizes an ideal middle-class suburban life. The idea includes a family with 2-3 children and a dog, a big house and an overall peaceful lifestyle. The husband has a good job that pays well so the wife can stay home and take care of the kids. And the children are free to pursue the things they want including sports, music, anything that they show interest in. This may be what defines a perfect lifestyle, but not an ideal upbringing. There are many factors that go into the white picket fence idea that agree with the claims of Julie Noonan, author of “What makes a good childhood” for the publisher, Berry Street Childhood Institute Knowledge to Action, such as having children feel valued and respected for who they are. “A good childhood is characterized by stable, responsive, caring relationships in families and in the community. Children thrive in nurturing environments that encourage them to explore and engage safely with the world around them, and support them to fulfill their potential.” This is what pops up when “perfect childhood definition” is googled, and most people would agree that these factors would create the groundwork of a stable upbringing. 

Some factors mentioned that families and their children have little to no control over includes: the employment of young people and the pressures families feel when trying to afford housing and their everyday expenses. There are several outside factors that affect families, and the raising of one’s child. What should be discussed more is that if a family has something like a “white picket fence” life, and the child’s basic needs are being met, then there could be certain alterations made to better that child in the long-run. This idea is addressed in Julia Noonan’s chapter on Childhood Wellbeing: Good Childhood Domains, “For all children to survive, they need to have the very basic material resources in place – food, water and shelter. In order for children to thrive, they need much more than the basics.” Many families have a lifestyle that is more or less like the white picket fence fantasy, but they fail to realize the potential they are giving their children as well as the potential life lessons they could be teaching them. Most parents have the natural instinct of wanting to give their children everything they never had when they grew up, and this continues on through each generation. What some may not realize is that by attempting to give their children everything they could ever want or need, can cause them more damage than benefit them. As Julie Noonan would describe it as one of her main factors to her chapters, “Childhood wellbeing is not just about the immediate lives of children, but also the long-term outcomes.” What some parents fail to realize is that their children’s upbringing is a very brief, but very critical time in their lives where they must develop skills in order to better be prepared once they enter the real world. 

Some may say that an ideal upbringing would involve preparing one’s child for the world. This idea includes giving children responsibilities at an early age and having them gain a sense of self accomplishment through working hard in order to get what they really want. Some parents may want to focus solely on their academics, or maybe just their sports. Both of these things gives the child a feeling of self pride after making certain accomplishments in those fields. In which I believe is something that needs to be implemented into raising a child into a respectable adult. 

Ultimately someone’s upbringing does play a major part in the type of individual they grow up to be. It all depends on what that particular family values and what life lessons they want to pass on to their children. There are families that value education above everything else, others may view becoming a contributing member to society as the most important thing their child can do, and some believe that kids just need a chance to be kids. “The changing nature of how we have defined and understood ‘childhood’ over many centuries’ highlights that it is not a constant but an ever-shifting construct” as Julia Noonan perfectly states on page 14 in her book.  There are many different opinions on how to raise one’s children and it continues to change through the years as economical factors fluctuate and people’s morals change. Even though there are some things that can be agreed upon, the concept of an ideal upbringing will never be agreed on and will continue to change throughout families and time. 

References:

Noonan, J. (2017) What makes a good childhood? Melbourne: Berry Street Childhood Institute.

Dolan, M. How Did the White Picket Fence Become a Symbol of the Suburbs? (2019, April 1).

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