Free Paper Answering Some Questions on Society and Politics

Published: 2022-05-05 07:26:41
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1 Why is the pursuit of individual profit not the best route to the common good?

The pursuit of individual profits has led to 20% of the population mostly billionaires consuming around 90% of the goods and services produced while the poorest 20% consume only 1%. The world 20 richest people have a combined wealth equal to that of one billion poorest people (Bauman, 2013, p.8). These increased inequalities have adverse effects on economic performance and quality of life. For instance, potential entrepreneurs lack access to loans for lack of collaterals. Additionally, the rise of education cost will prevent talented children from low-income families acquire skills they can use to develop their talents (Bauman).Moreover, cases of insecurity such as theft increases as the poor find ways to meet their basic needs.

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2 Alan Greenspan policies that created the 2008 financial crisis

Alan Greenspan deregulates the financial markets which led to the housing bubble. He chopped up mortgage debt, concealed bad loans as AAA-rated investments, and sold all mess off on a secondary market as securities (Taibbi, 2011, p.73). The mortgage debt increased tremendously between 2003 and 2005 to around $3.7 trillion. The previously unsuitable borrowers were now able to borrow such tremendous amount. Greenspan printed trillions of dollars which made it to devalue. This led to the collapse of the real estate marked which wiped out approximately 40% of the world's wealth.

The financial crisis worsened the economic inequality as evident by the fact that pretax incomes of the wealthiest Americans have been reducing between 2007 and 2010. They are yet to recover the losses they incurred during the crisis. According to the graph below, the incomes are yet to reach the 2007 peak (Leonhardt, 2015).

The income comprises of the capital gains and is adjusted for inflation.

Source: Emmanuel Saez data analysis (Leonhardt, 2015)

3 How did Tony Blair's victory speech promote the idea of "failed citizens" (Tyler)?

Tony Blair's speech focused on a society built on meritocracy. Meritocracy involves the rule by talent and merit. In such as society, the income, social status, and wealth are shared through competition. He asserted that majority of the minorities were a workless class which did not contribute to the growth of the economy. His desire to bring the workless class to play a part in building the society promoted the idea of failed citizens. Previously, the Aylesbury Estate was viewed as a barrack of parasitical dysfunctional underclass citizens (Tyler, 2013).

The speech increased stigmatization and blaming of the workless that poverty was their choice. The New Labour Party legitimized the punishment of the poor. This contributed to economic inequalities. Additionally, there were proposed benefit cuts for delinquent families. Similarly, 3605 new criminal offences between 1997 and 2008 were introduced targeting the urban poor. Equally, it led to the myth that poverty of aspiration and failure to make right choices resulted in intergenerational cultures of worklessness.

5 How Biometrics Criminalize Poverty (Magnet)

According to Eubank (2006:96), the welfare beneficiaries who have teenage infractions that are electronically recorded and cannot access public housing due to poverty are prevented from attaining support by the caseworker who uses criminalize behaviours (Magnet, 2011, p.17). Biometric technology has allowed police to track down the poor fathers of children who receive temporary assistance after failing to make payments. The welfare beneficiaries are required to provide home addresses when their fingerprints are taken. This information is provided to the government who track down the poor families to pay for services (Magnet, 2011). They may end up going to prison when they fail to pay.

The biometric technology integration in the welfare provision made millions of dollars at the expense of depriving the poor access to necessities including housing and food. Additionally, the use of biometric on immigrants and poor people are criminalized when expanded procedures demanding them to identify every name found in their pockets when flipped are used.

6 What is a moral panic? How is race central to the fear of crime (Hall)?

Moral panic is used as a symbolic term for poverty, breakdown of law and order, black threat, violence, and street crime, which raises the community fear of rising crimes and social crisis (Hall, 2013).

Mugging was used as a language of racism. The mass media used the term to refer to the robberies with violence which was committed by the black youths. In the 1960s, mugging became a central symbol for social problems and tensions among the American political and social life. The blacks became drug addicts and engaged in crimes. Black ghettos expanded as well as the growth of black political and social militancy which increased the crime panic. The black ghetto regions were the main venue for muggings. After the black ghetto rebellion in mid-1960, the issues of black crime became an alarming topic. The whites blamed the black for the increased crimes in cities (Hall, 2013).

7 Melancholic Migrants (Ahmed)

"Melancholia is mentally profound painful depression, a loss of interest in outside world..." (Ahmed, 2010, p.141). Immigrants are under augmented pressure to assimilate to enjoy multicultural happiness. Bend it Like Beckham presents British multicultural happiness with a risk of melancholia. Racism explains the suffering of the migrant when fun is made about the turban. The turban is an attachment to religion, culture, or homeland. Therefore, the immigrant is melancholic that he has to give up the turban to embrace the British national ideal. The migrant is unhappy about being teased about the turban which ties it with the history of racism. Additionally, the immigrant is upset by a disavowal of his customs, culture, and language to embrace the happiness of integrating with the British and letting go of racism (Ahmed, 2010).

8 Consequences of Consumption (Szeman and O'Brien)

Consumption is the product of exchanging goods and services by institutions and individuals. It involves all the practices involved after the end of the production process. Consumption and consumerism have both adverse and positive consequences.

According to Richard Robbin's examination of the development of beef and sugar industries increased the demand for sugar in the Western which led to the growth of the plantation economy between 18th and 19th centuries. Similarly, millions of people were displaced from their lands which led to their sufferings as they were used as slaves in these plantations. Conversely, the modern beef industry has led to a devastating impact on the environment globally. The large-scale ranching has led to environmental degradation (Szeman and O'Brien, 2017). This is due to impacts of deforestation, the spread of diseases, and pollution of atmosphere and groundwater associated with large-scale ranching.

The contemporary consumption such as the use of automobiles has led to depletion of ozone layer and non-renewable resources and increased health risks to humans due to high ultraviolet radiations and smog. Similarly, increased consumption of all kinds of shopper items has an impact on the health of global markets and national economies. This leads to improved sales which increases the income of a country. Countries such as Brazil and China has progressed due to increase in consumption.

9 Angry White Men (Kimmel)

White men believed that they have been displaced from all the power positions in America. Additionally, they are bitter that President Obama's administration is putting more effort into health care other than creating employment opportunities (Kimmel, 2017). Kimmel contends that the lack of fulfilling the American dream is what is infuriating the white men.

Kimmel does not believe that the white men are an oppressed class to the extent of advocating genocide and mass murder. He claims that they are suffering from aggrieved entitlement hence misplaced. This distress is a privilege symptom and not a result of deprivation. Therefore, the white should not blame the wrong people (immigrants, women, or minorities) for their failures. However, they should be angered at the government.

10 What are the demands of civilization according to Sigmund Freud? What problems does it cause?

Civilization is a tactic used to relinquish dominant individual pleasures with the sporadic and unpredictable occurrence. According to Freud, civilization asks for too much and protect humans from nature (Freud, 1961). He cited the demands of civilization to include sanctioned unions, heterosexuality, and monogamy. The excess demand by civilization causes unhappiness to many people. This is because civilization endeavours to coerce a person into its needs thus denying the individual happiness.

Civilization has negative effects which produces unhappiness in humans. Civilization weakens the freedom and liberty of an individual. Additionally, according to the Freud's theory, the conditions of civilization demands us to renounce our instincts. This is difficult to do as humans are inherently egotistic and driven to satisfy our instincts. Freud believes that the renounced instincts can come back and haunt us.

11 Hunting Girls (Oliver Kelly)

Lead female actors face the violence of being beaten and sexual abuse. The rape of the sleeping beauty shows incidences of unconscious girls being drugged and raped. These films put women in violence to show that violence especially sexual assault is inevitable and is perhaps a celebrated part of women's maturity.

According to the books and films used such as Twilight, The Hunger Game, and Divergent, the media is changing people's attitude towards sexual abuse and reporting of rape cases. Oliver argues that these films functions to regularize the violence against girls and women through making viewers contented and accustomed to seeing women and girls been beaten and battered (Kelly, 2016, p.35). They want to normalize violent among girls to show that it is part of their maturity.

References

Ahmed, S. (2010). The promise of happiness. Duke University Press.

Bauman, Z. (2013). Does the richness of the few benefit us all? Polity.

Leonhardt, D (2015, Feb 17). Inequality Has Actually Not Risen Since the Financial Crisis. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/17/upshot/inequality-has-actually-not-risen-since-the-financial-crisis.htmlFreud, S. (1961). Civilizations and its discontents. Library of Congress.

Hall, S., Critcher, C., Jefferson, T., Clarke, J., & Roberts, B. (2013). Policing the crisis: Mugging, the state and law and order. Palgrave Macmillan.

Kimmel, M. (2017). Angry white men: American masculinity at the end of an era. Hachette UK.

Magnet, S. (2011). When biometrics fail: Gender, race, and the technology of identity. Duke University Press.

Oliver, K. (2016). Hunting girls: sexual violence from The hunger games to campus rape. Columbia University Press.

Szeman, I., & O'Brien, S. Introducing Popular Culture. Popular Culture: A User's Guide, International Edition, 1-28.

Taibbi, M. (2011). Griftopia: A story of bankers, politicians, and the most audacious power grab in American history. Random House Digital, Inc.

Tyler, D. I. (2013). Revolting subjects: Social abjection and resistance in neoliberal Britain. Zed Books Ltd..

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