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Author Archives: gabrielle0301

Clearly, we, Americans, have a problem. While we have many issues to be with which to be concerned, the growing inequality gap is one of our most critical issues. This issue must be improved immediately because as the wealthy grow wealthier, the American Dream becomes less and less tangible for those not born into a middle class or upper class family. In fact, the late Nelson Mandela has stated that, “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity; it is an act of justice.” However, the cruel reality in America does not support this profound – and true – statement. Last year in America, the 46.5 million Americans were living in poverty. Within these 46.5 million Americans, 16.1 million children and 3.9 million senior citizens lived in poverty. In fact, our childhood poverty rate is one of the highest, besides that of Romania. This is unacceptable – especially if similar issues have occurred within a little over a decade ago.

As I mentioned earlier, America has experienced economic inequality for several decades throughout American history. This theme of an increasingly wide inequality gap is central to the “Gilded Age,” a term given by Mark Twain in his remarking that this time was tarnished. Similar to our current situation, wealth was in the hands of a few – the incredibly wealthy business owners. Additionally, workers had very few rights and easily could be replaced. The cities were overrun by the ghettos and crime.

     One would believe America would learn from its past of economic inequality, but this is far from the case. America’s policies and attitudes are not reflecting our vast knowledge of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Reforms to alleviate some of the economic injustice occurring at the time. For this reason, not only are we experiencing the issues of the Gilded Age, but we are experiencing those same issues (but in an elevated sense) and new issues that have risen from racism, education issues, affirmative action in education and employment, and many other current issues. 

For these reasons and many more, I present you with a charge: to demand economic equality in order to close the inequality gap. Maybe then will Americans be able to reach the American Dream.

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Default

 

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The Art of Compromise

Compromises. There is so much in the world that we have to compromise on – such as the show we watch on T.V. and especially our opinion. While we all understand the importance of making compromises, we can empathize with others when they choose not to compromise for we have often felt the same urge. An example of our not wanting to compromise is found in our childhood. Do you remember those play- dates with a classmate in Kindergarten when you insisted that your Barbie drives the Mustang instead of the Miata although your friend insisted the same car?  I remember that in order to solve this conflict, one would have to compromise. Because I was the guest, my friend was made to compromise by her parents and allow my Barbie to drive the Mustang. If she protested about compromising with me, her parents would threaten her with the end of a play- date and a potential time-out in her room.  Although we did not appreciate learning the art of compromise at this age, it is a lesson we have come to value as we have matured and grown to realize the critical role it plays in our daily lives.

However, some Americans seemed to have forgotten this childhood lesson of compromise. For example, because of the controversial debate over “The Affordable Care Act”, which both the Democrats and Republicans have strong opinions, there has been no action taken to agree on legislation needed to keep our National Government open. Thus, Americans have been outraged because of Congress’ lack of ability to compromise, which has resulted in a shutdown of our Federal Government. In fact, one could even call their refusal to compromise with one another an act of “political grandstanding” as President Obama calls it – or a tantrum. Yes, ladies and gentlemen! Our Congressional Representatives are throwing a tantrum and they need a time-out: childhood style. Who is going to put Congress in time- out? “We, the People” will put our representatives in Congress in time- out by using our democratic- republic to achieve our goal: the grand re- opening of the Federal Government. In times of American disproval of the actions taken by our government, it is especially important that we take advantage of our civil liberties of freedom of speech and our government system and communicate with our Senators and Representatives. We must share with them our feelings of disappointment and defeat and tell them our views on “The Affordable Care Act” in order for them to best represent us. Due to our government structure, if our elected officials do not represent us in our democratic- republic, then we can elect someone that will actually represent our voices in this nation. We must emphasize the importance of our government re-opening because a closed government sends a message to the world: that we are too divided to reach our goals. We, as Americans, know that this message is not the truth at all for we are strong people united in making our democratic- republic the “city upon a hill” it was intended to be. Therefore it is crucial that we require Congress to compromise in order to re- open our federal government.

 

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