Archive | September, 2011

Youth Resistance

22 Sep

After reading, discussing and taking notes on this article, I would have to say that there are some statements that I agree with and some statements that I disagree with. As far as Social Security is concerned, I agree with the 76% that said no. I do believe that there will be little to no Social Security around by the time we are old enough to receive it because of the increasing debt, but I disagree with the statement of “more fairly payroll-taxing the wealthy”.  I believe that if you work hard for your money that you deserve every penny of it. I know of many situations where men and women both have gone to extensive schooling, employed at young ages and worked extremely hard to be where they are at today. It would be unjust of the government to cover up their mistakes and tax the wealthy. I also disagree with the statement “most appear resigned to having more money deducted from their paychecks for Social Security”. Even though there is not a whole lot you would be able to do about it, I believe also that the action of taking more money out of one’s paycheck is unfair. Why would we want more money being taken out when we could possibly never see it again? I guess it would just be another way for the government to cover up mistakes.

Accepting debt is a natural part of life, yes I believe that students are being submissive to the consequences of student loans but those are the consequences you have to take if you want to go to school and potentially become successful. One of the concerns I do not understand is why the government feels the need to increase tuition. We Americans already know that it is hard enough to pay for college; increasing tuition is not only potentially putting students in debt but also fueling the fire to our economic debt.  If one needs loans, financial aid, scholarships what not, where is all that money coming from? The government. I don’t think the government has a ton of money lying around to hand out to people right now.

Now, as far as schools that educate for compliance and not for democracy, I disagree with the statement, “ The nature of most classrooms, regardless of the subject matter, socializes students to be passive and directed by other, to follows orders…” , as a child I was taught by my parents to obey and to listen to what people have to say because it is respectful. Growing up children need some sort of stability in their life and if it comes from teachers then so be it. I do not believe that teachers are purposely trying to take control; rather teachers are trying to teach etiquette and factual evidence.  

Another statement that I do not agree with is “Americans who lack college degrees are increasingly shamed as ‘losers’”.  I know of many situations where people I know have only received high school diplomas, yet they are successful. It is a choice whether or not you want to pursue a higher education.

4 additional issues that reflect on the issue of youth and social change:

  1. Frivolous Spending: At this day and age, especially teenagers, many engage in over spending on unneeded items. It is also evident with older men and women who have a pretentious vibe about their personalities. Many will over spend to fit in with society and use credit to purchase things they think they need but can’t afford. This also contributes to the increasing debt in our economy. As an Apparel Merchandising major, I can understand how people would like to engage in this over spending but there are ways to cut back. I have made many of my own articles of clothing and used consignment goods to restore a vintage look. There are alternatives out there!
  2. Political Participation: I believe that young men and women both need to more actively involved in politics. We are the future and if we have no idea what is going on with today, how can we ever be educated enough for our future? I also don’t understand how one cannot have any particular view or care about politics, we are what runs our country, what would it be like if we have someone run our country who knew nothing? In my personal experience, I am always surrounded by politics. Although it is hard to keep up with current news here in Pullman, I know that when I go home to both of my houses, I can count on Fox News to be playing daily, whether it is the O’Reily Factor or daily news, to keep me in track. I am so thankful that my dad has informed me and is always continually willing to teach me more about politics.
  3. Parent dependency :  As young children you know nothing but to depend on your parents, it starts to become a problem when adults are still asking their parents for money. I believe that to an extent your parents should help you. I know I still occasionally ask my parents for money but I also know of others who depend on their parents to do basic tasks like laundry and dishes. If their parents don’t teach them these basics tasks when they are young then they will never have any independence when they are older. I think this is a huge issue especially for students who enter college. You need to be taught to learn how to do things on your own or else you could potentially fail in the future.
  4. Excessive Freedom:  Some parents allow their young children too much freedom. Whether it be extremely late curfews, being lenient on underage drinking or freedom to drive anywhere without permission. There needs to be enough control of your children to do what is right. Although as a child I thought in some situations that my parents were being overprotected, it was needed…to an extent. I feel like they have raised me in a way that is morally correct. By allowing excessive freedom to your children, often time they can become radical and out of control.

Branding in our Economy

14 Sep

From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, I probably see over 100 different brands enter and leave my day, from my Quaker Oats oatmeal and Dasani water bottle to the many Nike and Underarmour work out attire to the Macbooks and HP laptops that surround me while at home, brands are always around.  It is normal for me to experience this and I don’t even really know any different. Since I am a Fashion Merchandising major, all I know is brands and how they can express your personal lifestyles, profit a company and sell goods to consumers.  So for me branding is a positive thing. I have learned in my Fashion Forecasting class that consumers get on a personal level with brands, not only by what the producers make but also with what they stand for. I know that I have certain brands that I draw near towards and many that I steer clear of.

Brands make a person. How do you think it would be if there were no brands? No differentiation? A world without branding would be wrong and boring. No one could really express who they are and what they stand for. If you were to ask a person what they like I bet the majority of them would list multiple brands while explaining to you. It is just our culture to be branded. Being able to wear, buy, express what you want and who you want to be is life and it is not socially unjust to do so. Because merchandising is my major, I have learned many things about the behaviors, trends, social status’ and everything about branding and related topics. Yes, sometimes wearing specific apparel and/or brands people tend to judge but it also makes the merchandising and business industry thrive because people are buying their specific brand. Therefore, because of brands, companies are able to thrive in our economy. Brands help promote and profit small and big companies. One may think branding is wrong because smaller business don’t have enough money to advertise like big corporations do but those big corporations started off small also.

However, branding can also be socially unjust in the mere fact that if an economic class is unable to afford specific brands they may feel like they do not fit into society. The alternative to that are knockoff items or apparel that may have the same look but purchased at a discount store. For example, when Coach purses were the trend, many consumers owned different styles of this specific brand. Soon, it was adopted by the lower income classes in a knockoff form. They would purchase purses that may have looked like the real Coach purse from far away but they indeed were not. Branding can sometimes get to one’s head and think that certain brands are what they need to fit in.  Being able to have these different options with styles and prices is good for the consumers but can be a little difficult when it comes to the outsourcing that is involved.

Because of globalization many different pieces of merchandise can be produced for an inexpensive price. This is good for the companies because they are able to make a larger profit but it is usually bad for the people that are working in the market because they work in poor conditions and are in a sense abused. Many workers are paid very little amounts of money and work strenuous hours of the day.

Major brands such as Nike, Puma, Gap, Banana Republic, etc. are still contributing to sweatshops in India and most of the workers are women. Although it can be beneficial to our economy, it is horrible conditions for them. But because our economy is in such debt, companies can’t help but linger towards the most inexpensive cost.  

Where a brand can be beneficial to one consumer it also can be detrimental to another person that has the hands on experience producing merchandise. Branding vs. Social Justice vs. Globalization all has its pro’s and con’s therefore saying one is worse than the other  is hard to determine.