Archive | October, 2011

Consumer Freedom

26 Oct

After watching this video, some of the points they were making were somewhat confusing to me.  I understand that then Center for Consumer Freedom is portraying both sides to the story and they want us to have knowledge and insight as to what is and what has gone on in the history of these organizations. I agree that they should also stop small groups of people from dictating choices for everyone. We live in a Republic turning Democracy now and should not ever go to a Dictatorship like countries once had before. The Center for Consumer Freedom wants consumers to know the truth about these organizations.

Although I do not know a lot about PETA and The Center for Science in the Public Interest, I found it odd that they had so many contradictory statements and morals before. I found it really interesting and almost surprising that a well known organization such as the Humane Society of the United States was funded so much, yet the donations they constantly receive do not go directly to helping animals. I mean I’m sure they donate a small portion to the animals in need but probably not as much as they are receiving. According to my Marketing class, a “bottleneck” is only allowing a limited amount of information. This can be related to “bottleneck corporations” as Patel also talks about, by them only allowing a limited amount of information to get into the heads of the consumers. For Example, the Center for Science in the Public Interest is about being healthy but they lacked to tell the consumer that before they were against trans fat, they were all for it. Only allowing a certain amount of information out can be a positive and negative thing, but lying to the consumer decreases respect.

According to class discussion and Patel, many of our products are imported from other countries where we are not necessarily told how the product was produced, what kind of conditions and who the employees are, we are simply the consumer who either has enough money to buy locally grown and organic food or the consumer who buys cheap food and still essentially supports the poor conditions that are going on that are also hidden. I think as people grow older they will eventually learn what products to buy but as a college student it is hard to take everything into consideration when in fact we do not have a lot of funds to buy local, organic foods. We merely have to buy what we can afford at the time and possibly occasionally splurge on necessary items. It all breaks down to the value of what you are purchasing and whether or not you care enough to spend more or would rather feed a family for less money.

Referring back to Patel’s statement of “bottleneck corporations”, the consumer should be more aware of what is going on around us, especially in the food industry. Many companies will try to deny and claim that they have no idea what is going on, but how can you not know the ins and outs of your company? When watching the Cocoa video in class, it dawned on me that these huge corporations are blinded and only want to see what is good when in turn they know exactly what is going on with their company. It essentially makes the consumer look respect for such a well known company and when one consumer looses respect it can create a chain effect and many consumers will catch on.

 

Earliest Movement?

19 Oct

 

In 1875 BC, the beginnings of slavery came to at that time, the most powerful nation in the known world.   A nation ruled over the years by many, one at a time with the leadership passed down through succession from father to son.  Most likely not the earliest recorded abuse of a group of people, but probably the best documented in history.  After nearly 350 years, descendants of the early group of slaves under the current tyrannical rule of the current leader, sought the same freedoms reserved only for non-slaves or citizens of that country. One man, an activist and civil rights leader came forward in an attempt to correct this social injustice and free that group of people who had been so badly abused and taken advantage of.  That man Moses, was himself a descendant of a slave.  In approximately 1290 BC and after numerous attempts by this ordinary man with extraordinary talents, freedoms were givien to these slaves. The challenges of life, being able to find a daily meal, shelter and a place to call home took its toll on those who were given this new freedom. Many died in the process and more than 3000 years later in 1946, a Nation was established. Many would argue that this group of people, descendants of these slaves still have no right to land, religion or for that matter life as exemplified by leaders of European countries, Hitler, Stalin and Mousellini as in the recent past and Middle-Eastern counties, Ahmadi-Nejad, Sadat and Hussein currently. Yet, they continue to seek complete freedom and peace but are still discriminated against, sometimes even by the very countries claiming to be their advocates.  The nation of people known in the past as Hebrews is now known as the Nation of Israel. 

So how could a story so tragic reoccur in modern days and in a country founded on those same freedoms? Could history repeat itself, with a leader rising up to set his people free from oppression and discrimination and would the lessons learned from 3000 years earlier help to win the fight for equality? Prior to becoming a nation, in 1526 in what is now South Carolina, people from Africa were shipped in to fulfill the needs of land-owners as slaves, unlike the indentured servants from Europe who would eventually pay for their freedom. This forced-immigration of African tribes people continued throughout the 1800’s and although many were opposed, there was not a  leader strong enough who could rise up and unite these people of African descent.  After hundreds of years, even wars,  the same captivity much like the Hebrews realized, a strong man emerged who would eventually lead his people to at least a portion of those freedoms. This man, much like Moses, a descendant of a slave, an activist and civil rights leader was Martin Luther King Jr. Fighting for the rights of his people to share the same freedoms that those of European roots enjoyed right here in the United States of America. Through church meetings, rallies, marches and protests he fought for equality and freedoms.  And, even after his death in 1963, the fight continues as some would agree that equality has not yet been achieved.  History truly repeats itself but the big question is, can and will the world learn from it?

Affirmative Action

1 Oct

Affirmative action is an effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups and women. This “movement” started in the early 60s and is still prevalent today. According to Salomon, there was a huge issue in San Francisco therefore making job opportunities for minority groups impossible to achieve. Many protests and campaigns were organized in the early 60s to push companies to hire African Americans. Because of World War II, many whites were sent away to go fight for our country. This increased the employment rate of African Americans and they were more likely to receive job opportunities. But as soon as the war was over, the whites got their jobs back and the blacks were kicked to the curb, once again without a job and increasing the unemployment rate for blacks.

Bank of America was “the most powerful bank in the world” employing over 30,000 different raced people. Although the numbers were so small for the minorities, they were still working. I believe and to an extent agree with the bank, they shouldn’t have to raise ‘quota’ or fire employed white workers just to hire more minorities. This is where I believe that the minorities were being in a sense ungrateful  about what they had receive but thought that they could get anything they wanted. They definitely challenged authorities when they decided to picket outside and continually push and push. They did not let go until they got what they had wanted.

 

Especially back then, schooling was limited and you basically had to have money to earn a higher education. Blacks did not have a lot of money and whites tend to have more. This gave them an opportunity to go to school which in turn gave them a better opportunity to receive a job. Yes, it could have been racist, but you have to work your way up in life and if you are lazy you will not be successful. Everyone does deserve and equal chance at certain things but you do also have to be qualified.

Today, I believe that Affirmative action has gone too far and is not about equality now. I have heard of situations, pertaining to education, where a black and a white will have the same qualifications, some differences here and there, but for the most part equal and they will choose to accept the black person over the white person. Now if you ask me that is racist. Sometimes I think that certain ethnicities think that they are higher than one another, and because of history and what happened to their ancestors, think they deserve anything and everything. Especially since the election of Obama, things have definitely changed. I do not think that times are “equal” now. There is always going to be some sort of racism one way or another.

In employment and education applications, why do they even need to have a section where you check your ethnicity? Jobs and schools should base whether they offer or accept you off of your credentials and if you are a good fit for the industry, not to meet a quota or by sympathy.  I think that Affirmative Action is still unfair and that there is a better way of handling things.