Thursday, February 26, 2015

Reich and Rose

I was assigned to evaluate the two arguments. In “Why the Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer,” Robert Reich makes the argument that the 3 different “economic boats” are changing. One being the boat which contains routine producers and is (as Reich claims) sinking very rapidly. The 2nd, the service industry is sinking steadily from having to contain the burden of the backlash that has occurred from the 1st. And the third is, unfortunately, rising steadily from the use of global economic webs and competition for cheap labor across the globe. This is Reich’s position and he wishes to convince his reader of this claim. The medium that he uses is a scholarly journal. This is no surprise to me because the argument is extremely objective and of his own personal views. His argument simply wishes to make the case completely. The most used type of appeal in his argument is logos. He is almost obnoxiously heavy on his logos. His sources are cited. He uses concrete facts and statistics, e.g. “In the early 1950’s, more than 40 percent of this group joined unions; by the late 1980’s, less than 20 percent.” This also adds to his Ethos (the reader thinks of him as a more credible person due to the fact that his not just spewing his opinion; rather he uses cold, hard numbers). However, Mike Rose in his “Blue-Collar Brilliance” makes a quite different type of argumentation. Where Reich makes appeals to reason, Rose makes an appeal to emotion. Through his use of anecdotes (personal accounts of events that have happened), Rose exemplifies pathos because the reader makes a strong emotional connection to the people in the stories. His pathos also helps his Ethos because the reader is much more likely to feel like he/she knows Rose and his family. His ethos is also established through his anecdotes because it makes him seem like a relatable, empathetic person. Another thing that I forgot to mention is the fact that one of the things that the Bedford Handbook told us to look for is whether or not the source is scholarly. Reich’s article is much more scholarly. 
Changing your collar

In Robert Reichs "Why the rich are getting richer" he speaks on the subject of the decline in assembly jobs. In the 1950's to the 1970's most of the american middle class depended on factory jobs to make a living. At the time these type of jobs paid well. The American people were able to make a living and support their family with these jobs. But towards the 1960's the big corperations discovered that other countrys or states were willing to work for less. This began the cycle of outsourcing jobs to other places to save money. This hurt the Amercian people putting alot of people out of work or making them work for far less. This would start the shift in the American work force from blue collar to white collar, which led to competition. He later goes on to share how this meant most of the blue collar workers would not be able to keep up in this new economy. How the poor middle class would only become poorer and the rich richer.
In the article "Blue Collar Brilliance" writer Mike Rose tells us of his personal experience with the blue collar work force which supports Reich's claim of the blue collar work force having more trouble than before. He tells of us his familys struggles to support itself and some of the sacrifices made for each other. But rather than barrage us with page after page of information he tells us stories that show the resourcefulness and competence required of a person in that field.
I feel like Mike Rose proved his point better by trying to personally relate with the reader to point out the troubles of a blue collar worker. Because i as a blue collar worker myself have experienced some of these problems. And i feel that a story is always better remembered and proccesed than a list of facts and a history lesson.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Collars, Blue & White.

In "Blue Collar Brilliance, Rose goes against the norm in American culture that a college degree is a milestone of intelligence. Common thought is that a college education is the only education. Rose offers a different opinion on the matter. He says that waitresses and foremen/forewomen gain knowledge in their respective environments that's just as or even more vital than college credits. Rose states that "anyone who is effective at physical work... ...learned to work smart." To Rose, the intense thinking-on-the-go that's required during manual labor isn't as respected as it should be. This norm feeds tension between classes and tears society apart.
"Why the Rich are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer" Reich tells us about the current economic situation: The poor are getting extremely poor, the middle class is on the decline, and the rich are feeding off of both. Disappearing low-income jobs are making it harder and harder to for the lower class to stay afloat. Going back to the growing disparity mentioned by Rose, Reich also points out the division between people caused by socio-economic status.
To me, Rose had the stronger argument. I found his use of personal experiences to be quite persuasive. The use of this technique made me as the reader feel as if I was hearing the argument from a real person. It was more effective than the barrage of information presented by Reich. Rose's argument feels more legitimate and thus his point was received better.

Collar Color Matters

In the first essay I read, Blue Collar Brilliance, by Mike Rose, the author speaks in depth about work ethic as well as the amount of intelligence different types of jobs take. He gives good examples and seems very credible because everything that he talks about has happened to him and his family and he was able to witness all of this with his own two eyes. He speaks about how he watched his mother work through her job in a diner and how he would watch the cooks and waitresses as well as listen to their conversations and observe their work patterns and how they get things done. I think Mike Rose is trying to make the point that some jobs, although they may be considered in the lower class, take a certain amount of knowledge and skill that most people have to pick up themselves through hard work rather than high school or even college educations. In the second article that I read, “Why the Rich are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer” By Robert Reich, he explains how some work fields are declining faster than others right now because of the growing amount of competition out there caused by the more and more people that are entering the field. Robert Reich explains how blue collar job holders stand no chance any longer and how white collar jobs are now soaring through the roof. He explains very well how the rich are prospering while the poorer, lower class people are still struggling and how that struggle is likely not going to get better. Both articles were very good reads and I enjoyed both, however I agree with, “Why the Rich are getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer” by Robert Reich slightly more than “Blue Collar Brilliance” as written by Mike Rose.

rich getting richer

 Mike rose shares his personal experiences and ideas of cognitive psychology. Rose thinks that the everyday work that most of America does is not mindless. he believes that society today is devaluing the work that these hard working people do on an everyday bases. all the words he uses kind of sugar coats what people really think. This sis what socially separates a fully functioning society and also creates inequality
Robert Reich explains the dilemma we all face as americans of the growing inequality in our falling society. With more and more people joining the work force, the competition for work is harder. all of the low-income jobs today are being stripped away and all the high salary jobs are jumping off the charts. He also explains how these people that rely on the low-income jobs do not even stand a chance in the competition with all the whit-collar jobs that soaring.

Both of these arguments are very convincing, but Robert Reich's is definitely stronger. Mike rose uses a good amount of personal experiences and not a lot of facts. Reich's argument also had more validity due to his formal language and presentation, and the fact that he was a professor. his work is original and his argument has tangible data.
starting with the first assigned article was "Blue-collar brilliance" by Mike Rose tells about his struggles as a child, and what he saw his parents go through at lower-middle class. Back then in the 50's there was a time were the American dream flourished in their lifetime. By his family owning their own restaurant. This story explains in first person the hardships he experienced. Through the eyes of someone personally. Throughout this story he goes through the idea that Certain jobs require workers to make, check and verify calculations, and to collect and interpret data. The blue collar is worker, for most people that don't know is the working class, blue indicting the "dirt" on their shirt. In the blue-collar workplace, directions, plans, and reference books rely on illustrations, some representational and others, like blueprints, that require training to interpret. The second article is "Why the Rich are getting richer and the Poor, Poorer." by Robert Reich. I would have to agree with Reich. When he says " national borders no longer deine our economic fates. We are now in different boats, one sinking rapidly, one sinking more slowly, and the third rising steadily." We in all that means the Government as we know it has gone to complete garbage. We have no money for anything, they can't even supply the states with reinforcements in anything. Slowly the middle class is disappearing. With no money the states cant get money for educational uses. So the richer schools get nicer things while the poorer schools don't. One reason those schools don't make high SAT scores to prepare them for college which they will fail at. Then are blamed for our country's poverty and high crime rate problems. The prices of standard living is going up while wages are falling to almost minimum. When it comes to American losing jobs to foreign natives people get upset. Which i honestly don't understand why, because they do the jobs no one wants to do anyway. and i dont know how i am going to finish this.

Blue-Collar and White-Collar

In “Blue Collar Brilliance”, Mike Rose discusses his experiences and ideas of studying cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychology is the study of the mind and brain function including things like memory, attention span, learning, decision-making, etc. Rose tells us how blue-collar (manual labor) work fields requires more literacy and thinking levels, and social and interactive levels than we tend to see. Rose says, “If we believe everyday work to be mindless, then that will affect the work we create in the future” (Rose 254). Rose thinks that society is devaluing “the full range of everyday cognition” (Rose 254) and identifying “certain” people in society as dumb asses or in his nicer words: “Not that bright” (Rose 245). By doing this we are continuing to socially separate different groups in society.
In “Why the Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer”, Robert Reich explains how routine producers are “sinking rapidly” (Reich 485) by large amounts of competition, and more and more people joining the field. Reich says “In particular the burden is borne by those who no longer have good-paying routine production jobs within advances economies like the United States” (Reich 488). Reich is explaining how people with low-income jobs aren’t standing a chance anymore; how these jobs are vanishing. Salaries and benefits of the U.S.’s wealthiest are soaring while those of other average Americans are declining.
I think that both of these authors make a very strong argument, but I would say that Robert Reich’s “Why the Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer” was the strongest. I believe it made a more effective argument because Reich gave many statistics, examples, studies, and data to prove his argument, while Mike Rose’s was more personal experiences. Reich’s reading was more credible due to his formal language and presentation, and because he is/was a professor at very scholarly universities. He gives original work and data to make his argument. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Reestablishing the American Dream

In Bob Herbert’s “Hiding From Reality”, he argues that our lack of motivation to fix what we are becoming is hurting some of our most vulnerable people. Herbert claims that we are fighting wars that we cannot afford, and in turn cutting spending on many of the things that our society actually needs to grow and thrive, such as public schooling (education). In Cal Thomas’ “Is the American Dream Over?” he takes a different view point arguing that we as a society cannot rely on our government, but instead should rely on ourselves. Thomas urges Americans to focus on the backbone of the American Dream, such as educating ourselves, having good-hearted characteristics, believing in the idea of family, and more. He claims that self-reliance will help us each achieve the American Dream. While I mostly would agree with Thomas, considering we each do have to put our best foot forward to achieve what we want in life for ourselves, I still believe that we must rely on our government to a certain extent and fight to get what we want, and deserve from those that are supposed to be protecting our rights. While Thomas argues that we have to become educated and receive at least an undergraduate degree, that is not always possible due to our government’s budget cuts for good teachers, and proper education. I believe a combination of these two ideas would ultimately work best for us to wake up and see what we are becoming, and help us work together to get what we want, so that we can each achieve our own version of the American Dream.

Monday, February 23, 2015

poverty, education, government

In Bob Herbert's, a columnist for the New York Times, article "Hiding From Reality" he speaks of the dying economy in America and how our society is failing. Thousands upon thousands of people are losing their jobs, many of those being teachers. We used to make our education system a priority, and now it's suffering due to budget cuts, which includes letting go of several teachers. Herbert believes America is in denial about how much trouble our society is really in and the first step to fixing it is realizing it, and then we'll be able to solve it.
Cal Thomas, a panelist on Fox News Watch, responds to Herbert's article by writing that the government and politicians are to blame. He agrees with Herbert's take on our dysfunctional society, but says that people need to not rely on government officials, but on themselves on individuals. Relying on yourself individually will lead to a better life for yourself and our society will grow  into a better, more functional state than if we trust the government to handle everything for us.
Richard Wilkinson, a speaker for TEDGlobal, talks about economic inequality, and how its harming our society. Wilkinson goes on to explain that there are more social problems in countries with greater inequality. There are more murders and mental illness when there's less equality, along with more stress and less trust.
All these writers and speakers have the right idea, and it will take a combination of all these ideas to help our society and rebuild the American Dream. In America's society, we need to realize the importance of education which is a key factor in developing a functional society, as well as believing in ourselves as individuals more and showing more initiative. In doing all these things our main goal should be equality among the rich and the poor, and end poverty. If we combine all these ideals, we will create a more functional society and re-create the American Dream.

The American Dream

In “Hiding from Reality” Bob Herbert gives his opinion on how the American Dream is a fleeting concept.  He talks about the numerous steps the government has took in the past in the face of recession, and how it just continues to hurt children, the sick and the public school system. Herbert believes that America is in denial, and until ‘’we” as society address the various issues we have. Than nothing can be solved, and The American Dream cannot really exist.
In “Is The American Dream Over?” Cal Thomas summarizes Bob Herbert’s passage. Thomas believes that Herbert does not asses blame for why the American Dream is dwindling. Thomas believes that the government is dysfunctional and people shouldn’t place all their hopes and dreams in it. Thomas believes that individual initiative is how one should fulfill their dreams. In this case the American Dream. Thomas agrees with certain aspects of Herbert claims but offers more solutions to actually achieving The American Dream, and Thomas also gives a definition of what the American dream has been for many generations now.

In my opinion I believe that Thomas offers the best way to achieve the American Dream. Thomas said “ The rules are known to previous generations: studying and staying in school; achieving at least an under-graduate degree; avoiding drugs that harm your mind and body; getting married and working hard to stay married…”These are some of the few examples Thomas gives of the American Dream In our society, and how an individual can achieve it. Thomas’s main point is self-initiative. To get what you want or to solve a problem such as poverty people need to have self-motivation to fixing their economic situations. I also agree with certain aspect of Herbert’s argument. Herbert believes that the government continues to add taxes on various things and cut pension and health benefits, which does not help but hurts various people. If it has not worked so far why continue doing so at all? Herbert also believes that the public school system is suffering due to the fact of budget cuts. Herbert believes all of these things are being ignored therefor adding on to our nation’s poverty, and it can only be solved once we stop ignoring these issues. 

The American Dream?

Both these articles share that people are trying to achieve change. In the first article it is centered on money, school systems, war, etc. The second article is about achieving the American Dream and how it has to do with relying on government, and certain expectations. But the second article was written much more optimistically. Bob Herbert uses phrases like "The human suffering in the years required to recover from the recession will continue to be immense." while Cal Thomas talks about why the American Dream has been so hard to reach and less about why everything is terrible. They both asses America's trouble financially and socially but Cal Thomas talks more about the culture and generations and less of "the hole we are in". I agree with both but I would take Cal Thomas' side more securely.

The American Dream

I was not able to open the article that was online so I figured that I should just do the blog on the two readings in, They Say I Say. I will fix it later. In the article, "Hiding From Reality" by Bob Herbert explains why he believes that the American Dream does not exist anymore. He believes that this is caused by many things like many Americans not being able to get jobs, fighting a war that we can not afford to fight, and people getting taxed. The economy is slowly falling apart and unless America fixes it, it is just going to keep getting worse. It will take many years to fix the economy even we do start now.  In the article, " Is the American Dream Over?" by Cal Thomas talks about how he thinks that the American Dream is not caused by the economy , but by the eclipse of liberalisms (government). Due to people encroaching, over-taxing, over-spending, and over-regulating government. He believes that liberals and their policies lead us in a path that is hard to get out of. Thomas believes that if you believe in the government helping you succeed in life, your head is in the wrong place. He does not think the government will help someone. He thinks that if you have faith, stay in school, get married and live the life you want to live then you are living the American Dream. You basically should be setting an example for other people by doing good things. According to Herbert if the economy provides jobs for individuals who do not have jobs and want to work and quit with the budget cuts to help our economy we will be better off in trying to achieve the American Dream. The economy also needs to stop giving so much money to the wealthy. I think if we went with what Herbert believes the people could succeed in living the American Dream. It takes more then the peoples faith and trying to achieve their goals in order to achieve the American Dream. It goes much deeper then hope and faith.

Fixing the American Dream

The first of the two articles, written by Bob Herbert, consists of him complaining about America's politicians wasting money on a war, while we have continuous budget cuts for our public school systems. The second of the two articles, written by Cal Thomas, disagrees with Mr. Herbert, his articles tells us the war that America is in is inevitable and must be fought. Then he goes on to tell us the problem with Americans trying to reach the American Dream is that we rely on a dysfunctional government way too much. The third article would not pull up for me when I clicked on it so I can't summarize that one. However, between the two other articles the best ideas mentioned were, first being from Cal Thomas's article, people rely on the government way too much to try and reach the American Dream. The next best idea was in Cal Thomas's article as well and that was that people need to save, and invest their money while they're working so that they don't have to tax others as much; Social Security. The third best idea between these two articles was also in Cals article when he says that parents need to work hard on their marriage as a good example for their children to not give up on their future marriages.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Persuasion through Format

In the excerpt of “Fat is a Feminist Issue,” Orbach directs the information towards woman as she describes the issues of “Overeating and Obesity” as primarily an issue women deal with. She introduces the topic by explaining the issues being fat as a woman causes. “Feeling out of step with society, believing it’s all their own fault…” She then offers the feministic response to explain how issues such as these became so common in society. Orbach offers multiple feminist views on the issue of obesity stating that it is seen as a “rebellion to society” as they are going against society’s ideal image of a woman. The format of Orbach’s essay contrasts the format of Carrie Packwood Freeman and Debra Merskin’s “Having It His Way: The Construction of Masculinity in Fast-Food TV Advertising.”  In Freeman and Merskin’s Essay, the issue of gendering food in the media is presented much less to a specific gender. To grab attention, the essay starts with an obviously overdone Hummer ad putting the perfect picture to the problem in the media. Freeman also offers large amounts of background information stating connections between eating and hunting for meat between men and women. They then provide feminist critiques to the patriarchal depiction of meat in advertisement and how these “ideals” became a part of society. Merskin and Freeman present reasons for the gendering of meat to the rituals created around hunting creating status for men, as humans were primarily vegetarian before this. They then connect their claims to specific fast food commercials which depict men as dominant and woman as objects. Although these passages have similar themes, the format and structure is very different. Freeman and Merskin offered much more necessary background information and specific examples of the issues they brought forth as well as creating an argument more presentable to both genders. Orbach stated the issue of over eating as primarily feminine presenting reasons why over eating has become so popular but lacks in specific examples of how it is represented today and how it has become so primarily feminine. She also presented an argument directed toward women leaving men unable to connect as well to her argument. The structure and format of “Have It His Way” creates a much more compelling and persuasive argument through providing ample evidence and information to back up their claims.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Nutritional Gender Norms

“Fat Is a Feminist Issue” and “Having It His Way” are two essays that highlight  how media have embedded certain values and points of view. Though the two essays approach their issues from different points of view, one which explains how media controls our views on nutritional gender roles, and another that exemplifies how these norms effect society, they share the same content. “Fat Is a Feminist Issue” by Susie Orbach argues that the primary reason women tend to suffer from compulsive eating, which causes weight gain and countless self-image issues, is to express resilience against the societal expectations of perfection. Orbach writes “My fat says “Screw You” to all who want me to be the perfect mom, sweetheart, (and) maid” which illustrates her belief that women purposely put on pounds in the name of feminism. “Having It His Way: The Construction of Masculinity in Fast-Food TV Advertising” by Carrie Packwood Freeman and Debra Merskin, touches on the same subject of health and nutrition’s roles in gender norms, but from a different perspective. While Orbach’s main point is that healthy = ideal female, Freeman and Merskin argue that meat = ultimate masculinity in today’s American society. Freeman and Merskin support their accusations with examples that we come across everyday, but may not notice. These underlying expectations that men must eat primarily meat and drink beer, despite the resulting unhealthy lifestyle, are evident in advertisements for food products that are considered “masculine.” Freeman and Merskin dissected several TV commercials that not only exhibited, but idolized sex, power, and violence. One that stood out to me was a Burger King ad that showed “a man (who) inspires a crowd of men to march in the streets to reclaim their right to eat meat instead of “chick food.”” The commercial went as far as to play a mocked rendition of the feminist song “I Am Woman Hear me Roar,” which they changed to read “Eat like a man, man.” I believe that this commercial serves as  a strong example of how the expectation that men are supposed do manly things, like eat meat, can threaten feminism. Defining meat as a masculine trait that equates to strength and power sends the message that women, who aren’t necessarily supposed to eat meat, are weak and passive.