Posts Tagged ‘time magazine’

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Do you like where you are financially in life currently? Are you happy with the exchange of power and wealth gap between the poor and the rich? What do you think is wrong with this country’s overall look at the way it handles its finances? I ask these questions because a person by the name of Karl Marx, the father of socialism and communism who was an economic theorist and philosopher. Marx theorized that capitalism would inevitably impoverish the globe, all the while dollars were a focus on too much profiting the money into their own back accounts. It seems that the social classes are at each others throat and economic crisis seems unavoidable. “Accumulation of wealth at one pole is at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole,” Marx wrote.

Some say he may be right. A study done in September by the Economic Policy Institute says that the median annual earnings of a full-time male worker in the US in 2011 was at $48,202 which was smaller than it was in 1973. Between 1983 and 2010 74% of the gains in wealth in the US went to the top richest 5%, on the other hand 60% suffered a decline, the EPI calculated. What would Marx say today? “Some variation of: ‘I told you so,’” says Richard Wolff, a Marxist economist at the New School in New York. “The income gap is producing a level of tension that I have not seen in my lifetime.” Tensions between the social classes are on the rise, the perceived split between the “99%” and the “1%” with us the regular every day working class being the “99%” and the “1%” being the top portion gets the crumbs after the rich are done with them. A Pew research Center Poll released in 2012 says two-thirds of the respondents believe the US suffers from “strong” or “very strong” conflict between the rich and the poor. This is a 19 point increase from 2009 making its ranking the no. 1 reason for division in society.

In countries like China, France and Holland, where capitalism is the law of the land. The land is now facing the backlash of the air bubble, vacuum that decades of greed and power have set. In those societies much like our own the poor and middle class are disheveled told “Pick yourself up by your bootstraps,” all the while watching the top percent shave away the “boot strap”. Some countries have had enough, in Holland planned to hike the income tax rate as high as 75%. The idea was shot down, but the determination to is to show they are on the side of the “common man”.  In China the social divide is more evident even though it is being marked as “workers paradise” by the US since it has cheap labor. 8 out of 10 workers believe that the “rich get richer while the poor get poorer”. “People from the outside see our lives as very bountiful, but the real life in the factory is very different,” says factory worker Peng Ming in the southern industrial enclave of Shenzhen.“The way the rich get money is through exploiting the workers,” says Guan Guohau, another Shenzhen factory employee. “Communism is what we are looking forward to.” Unless the government takes greater action to improve their welfare, they say, the laborers will become more and more willing to take action themselves. “Workers will organize more,” Peng predicts. “All the workers should be united.”

China is at a point of social unrest, even though that has been some attempt to help the conditions for the workers. Increase in wages, tougher labor laws for more protection, but workers say this is still not enough and government is on the side of big business, not the workers. China’s proletarian dictatorship is under scrutiny and the populace has become distrustful. Communists “openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions,” Marx wrote. “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.” Protesters, says Jacques Rancière, an expert on Marxism at the University of Paris, aren’t aiming to replace capitalism, as Marx had forecast, but merely to reform it. “We’re not seeing a protesting classes, call for an overthrow or destruction of socioeconomic systems in place,” he explains. “What class conflict produces today is called to fix systems so they become more viable and sustainable for the long run by redistributing the wealth created.”

According to an article in Rolling Stone there are five specific indications that show Marx was right about capitalism over 100 years ago. The first thing the article mentions is the Great Recession, in which Marx explains this is a by-product of greedy, relentless profit driven businesses. In the pursuit of this company’s mechanized their workplaces, producing more goods, but squeezing wages from workers so much purchasing the products they created seems unimaginable. Marx coined the phrase “fictitious capital” -this can be interpreted as stocks and credit default swaps. The housing market crash came from decades of the subprime borrowing scheme.

” A contriving and ever-calculating subservience to inhuman, sophisticated, unnatural and imaginary appetites.” Marx made this reference when he talked about the way capitalism focused on high value for essentially frivolous products. In the article Rolling Stone makes reference to the IPHONE 5, but really any product made in this technological age can be counted in as a product we never endingly look to upgrade or keep adding advancements to the original. It’s like our hunger for the next “newer” product mirrors our own unsatisfactory discontentment with keeping things the way they are. As human were never satisfied and we keep looking for the goal or marker to reach instead of finding appeasement with what we accomplished.

Globalization was also apart of Marx’s theories about overproduction leading to searches for new markets.

“The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe,” he wrote. “It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere.” Marx wrote about this back in 1848 when the concept was hundred years away. He was right about what happened and why it happened. The never-ending pursuit of cheap labor and new markets along with an unrelenting demand for natural resources.

Marx believed with that the market power was more centralized in large monopoly firms as businesses “eat up” each other. This might have struck his 19th-century readers as odd: As Richard Hofstadter writes, “Americans came to take it for granted that property would be widely diffused, that economic and political power would decentralized.”  Mom and Pop shops are taken over more and more by elephantine corporations like Wal-Mart and small banks have been taken over by the likes of J.P. Morgan. Start up are constantly being vacuumed into megacorps.

Last Marx believed that wages would be held down by a “reserve army of labor,” in which he explains by using classical economic techniques: Capitalists prefer to pay as little as possible for labor, which is easy when the worker pool is overflowing with available candidates. In this market, Marx predicted that when the recession hit says that high unemployment would keep wages stagnant and workers are less likely to challenge it in fear of losing their jobs. “Lately, the U.S. recovery has been displaying some Marxian traits. Corporate profits are on a tear, and rising productivity has allowed companies to grow without doing much to reduce the vast ranks of the unemployed.” It’s no surprise that the best time for equitable growth is during times of “full employment,” when unemployment is low and workers can threaten to take another job.

As Robert L. Heilbroner writes, “We turn to Marx, therefore, not because he is infallible, but because he is inescapable.” Today, in a world of both unheard-of wealth and abject poverty, where the richest 85 people have more wealth than the poorest 3 billion, the famous cry, “Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains,” has yet to lose its potency. To me Marx as pragmatic as he was prophetic in his messages. While his accuracy is not spot on the mark with all the woes of or economy. He probably didn’t get to see unions, importing, exporting of goods, the bailouts and the healthcare system setting the parcity away from undeniable collapse. We still look as Marx’s work and believe that the key into his style of cuneiform is realizing what he indicated to us over a century ago. Rome wasn’t built-in a day,but it can end in a much shorter time than one.

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It still amazes me when the divorce rate is over 50% and shows like the Bachelor has ratings that are at a all time high that we still look for austere relationships in our society, when we clearly are losing touch with the morals, ethics and values that was the mucilage for such partnerships to exists. Today more than ever we are more into self-indulgence than self-restraint. In the past if you were hit on while in a committed relationship a majority we pass on the advancement knowing what they have at home and not jeopardize it. Today it’s a crap shoot. Men and women are both guilty nowadays the interconnection that was once held up on a pedestal is not on the ground floor. Open relationships seem like the more modern way  to having a loving partnership and still be satisfied where your lover may be lacking.

In an article in Vogue Magazine columnist Karley Sciortino explains her nine months “open” relationship with her girlfriend. She explains the sexual freedom she feels of not being pinned down with one sexual partner and how she during her run with her girlfriend how she would still find herself having sex with guys she met from various mediums whether online or a night club or a random hookup. Sciortino explains that she never really liked being monogamous in her male/female relationships and in her current one she explained to her girlfriend that she wanted to have sexual freedom. Now she still has the jealousy issues that a normal relationship has when her girlfriend has “company” over, but Sciortino says it’s a small price to pay. Author Dan Savage argues that sexual fidelity is not a prerequisite for a committed relationship.

Feeling the emotions of jealousy and discontent the author turned to somebody they knew who had an “open” relationship and was able to find their comfort zone within their homogeneousness parameters. “We wanted to be together, but we didn’t want to feel tied down,” Samantha told me. She explained that she and her boyfriend were the type of people who want to challenge societal standards. “Personally, I wanted to deconstruct the common idea of what a romantic relationship should be, and for our relationship to stand on its own.” The friend had even thought to bring a third person into the relationship to enhance the excitement and bonding experience. She also thought bringing in friends and people they both knew was acceptable, but the boyfriend wanted random hookups and strangers over her practical requests.

Still trust, respect and communication are the foundational elements that can make an open relationship work just like in monogamous ones. Rules are a good way to set the boundaries. They should realistic and incorporate the other feelings into consideration. For Sciortino she noted that her rules were: no sleeping with mutual friends, no sleepovers, no regulars and no sex within an hour of meeting them. Let’s hope that works

Another article I read in the New York Post was about a “triad” couple Ezza, Rachel and Matt who found themselves online and decided to meet in person back in 2009. The couple had chemistry and shared views on dating, love and relationships and immediately hit it off. “I was really excited to meet people who felt the same way,” she says of her ongoing relationship with the married couple, both 34-year-old self-employed artists, who declined to use their last names because of privacy reasons. Gette Levy of open love NY is a local support group for open relationships which now has over 1,000 members and has increased it’s numbers since forming in 2009. “Dating has changed over the past 50 years,” says Levy. “Many adults of all ages are finding that monogamy does not suit them and is no longer a fiscal and social requirement.”

To be honest with TV shows like “Sister Wives” and “Polyamory: Married & Dating” and celebrities like Robin Thicke grabbing Lana Scalaro’s behind and not face consequences with his wife Paula Patton. Even power couple Will and Jada Smith are rumored to have a “open” relationship,so how can it not entice the average person to see what’s it’s like? To add onto that Dolly Parton, Mo’ Nique, Tilda Swinton and even politician Newt Gengrich’s wife Marianne asked for a “open marriage”. Researchers in Germany and in the University of Wisconsin show that the women are the ones usually to initiate an “open” relationships after becoming bored physically with their partners who they’re been with multiple years.

Ezzo’s partner Matt agrees: “The biggest misconception people have about open relationships is that it’s a nonstop party. We only have 24 hours in a day and most of that is taken up with work, sleep and responsibilities to the home and each other. To see someone else takes a lot of planning. We live by the calendar more than the bedroom.”  “I feel like monogamy sets us up to fail in so many ways….that this one person is going to meet all of our needs — emotional, sexual, physical, spiritual, financial, physical — and that’s impossible,” says Taormino.

According to Time magazine most creatures including humans are not monogamous for the reasons you might previously would have thought of. One reason comes from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which finds that primitive males stayed with the female to ensure that their young were not killed by another male. The study was based on findings from the parenting behaviors of 230 different primate species over several generations. The males began the balance of spreading their gene pool and protecting their young. Other males would kill the young so they could breed with the mother and spread their gene pool. So monogamy in this case was more of a way to protect the lineage rather than a sense of a obligation to the sexual partner. “This is the first time that the theories for the evolution of monogamy have been systematically tested, conclusively showing that infanticide is the driver of monogamy,” trumpeted Christopher Opie, a research fellow in the Anthropology Department of University College London, in a statement. “This brings to a close the long running debate about the origin of monogamy in primates.”

The other theory about how monogamy came to be came from the journal “Science” made another similar analysis that used over 2,500 mammals. The findings from this research show that primates may have been monogamous because of location and supply for their counterpart. “Monogamy develops where females live at low density,” says Lukas. Males cannot fend off rival suitors from more than one female at a time because they’re too spread out. Therefore, they cannot ensure their young are the ones the female is carrying, so they stick with one female. “It’s a consequence of resource defense.” The Science study notes that in mammalian species that are monogamous, the females tend to be solitary and intolerant of other females. Unlike ungulates, who are rarely monogamous, these mammals’ nutritional needs are greater, and they therefore shoo off competitors for the food resources.The Science study is more speculative. “We are cautious on making any definite statement. Humans are such unusual animals,” says Lukas. Adds Clutton-Brock: “I’m far from convinced that humans are indeed monogamous.”

Do I think having an open relationship is the way to go? For me no, I having a loving strong relationship with my wife and do not want to jeopardize that. However, I can see why people choose to look outside their current relationship. I don’t understand when people want to demonize individuals for being honest when they say they want to be in a relationship with more than one person at a time. It’s those same people who will brand you with the Scarlet letter that need to clean their own house and get priorities in order. Sometimes your partner can have everything you want in a relationship, except one or two attributes you really want. While they might not be deal breakers for the relationship it might be something you still really want. Put it like this too many relationships I see today have too many secrets,no trust, no love and they think they are still living some antediluvian religious moral code by staying together because it’s just the two of them. What if having an “open” relationship is the answer to a hard question one of you wants to ask?, but doesn’t because of the fear of sounding like a sexual deviant.

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For many parents and other authority figures there is a long debate over whether children should or should not be beaten as a form of discipline. The question is also does the child benefit in the long run? For my wife and I we do differ in our parenting approach about this issue. I really don’t see the bad side to spanking or hitting a child as long as it’s not excessive and restrained and the child is made aware of why you did what you did. My mother took the same approach with me, if I did something bad I would get a spanking and then afterwards she would sit me down(if I could sit) and explain to me why I was disciplined the way I was. My wife on the other hand was not brought with her parents spanking her so to her hitting is just another form of child abuse she doesn’t condone. I wanted to see what the experts say and if there are other ways that have been proven affective to discipline a child.

The Argument for-

One stat I found interesting is that 90% of parents say they beat or at least have hit their child even though they say they don’t want to. One thing I can say is the negative phantasm is that if you even say YES I hit my child when they act up it’s like you admitted that you worship the devil and those who you know see you as a archfiend of terror instead of a caring nurturing parent. Also people don’t want to admit that they beat their children, because their afraid social services will take their child away or make surprise visits. While the population of parents who think spanking is necessary fell from 94 to 70% over 90% admit to actually spanking their children.Today’s do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do attitude toward spanking is nothing short of disingenuous, says the Rev. Eugene Rivers, a Boston-based activist who admits his own views on corporal punishment have evolved. “Spanking is yet another serious issue for which we’ve allowed ourselves to set different standards for what we claim we believe,” he says. “People are saying: ‘We’re modern now. We’re smarter now. We don’t believe in this.’ But behind closed doors, they still do it.”

A psychologist and professor at Michigan’s Calvin College Marjorie Gunnoe looked at surveys of over 200 teenagers and found that in those who have been spanked between the ages of 2- 6 years old performed slightly better academically and got along better with peers than those children who were not spanked. In 2007 Kathleen Wolf that would have made Massachusetts the first state to ban spanking at home. The bill died due to public outrage and resistance from citizens advocate for the right for personal privacy and to use whatever disciplinary tactics that are legal. Another college professor studied data on 11,000 families and found that 89% of the black parents spanked their kids, which is more than any other racial group that was studied. Alvin Poussaint a professor of psychiatry in African-American studies feels this spanking culture has deep roots in slavery.“It is ingrained in so many black people to believe that without physical force, their children will not turn out right,” . The same study showed that 80% of Hispanics, 79% of whites and 73% of Asian Americans spank their kids.

The Argument Against

An article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal states a new analysis that used 20 years of research pointing to the evidence that spanking children on a long-term basis can disrupt long-term development. “We find children who are physically punished get more aggressive over time and those who are not physically punished get less aggressive over time,” says Joan Durrant, the article’s lead author and a child clinical psychologist and professor of family social sciences at the University of Manitoba.They go on to say that only 80 studies out of the thousands that have been researched show the effects of physical abuse in a positive light.

They go on to say that children that are spanked may feel depressed and devalued and their sense of self-worth may suffer. Plus punishments that use spanking or other forms of physical discipline may end up backfiring because it may encourage lying in order to avoid punishment. There have been links to physical punishment and mental health problems, alcohol and drug abuse, depression and anxiety. There is neuroimaging evidence that suggests that physical punishment may alter parts of the brain that we rely on for IQ tests, likelihood of substance abuse, emotion and stress regulation.

In 1979 Sweden was the first of 32 countries to outlaw physical discipline of children which includes, Europe, Costa Rica, Israel, Tunisia and Kenya to name a few of them.

Neither the U.S. nor Canada has gotten on board. “Whenever I mention the law, there is an assumption that this is government telling me how to raise my child,” says Durrant. “[But in Sweden] they see it as a way to make sure children get the best start possible in life.” In Sweden new parents are given support groups and information about developmental stages instead of using spanking as a form of discipline. “When children see someone resolve conflict with aggression, they are more likely to learn that behavior,” says Durrant. “Two-year-olds are the most aggressive people in the world. They don’t understand the impact of their behavior, and they can’t inhibit themselves. So the more a child sees someone resolving conflict with aggression, the more aggressive they become.”

Alternatives to Spanking-

For those of you who are not into spanking at all and your among the 10% who have never spanked your child or even if you want another way to discipline your child then you may want to take notes. Among the most popular ideas is called “Time Out” in which you isolate the child in a safe area of the house or home. Typically the child is to remain cut off for each minute of age, example, my oldest is four years old, so I have tried time outs before and she remains in time out for four minutes. Another way is to let them know their actions have consequences. The hard part about this one is if you have young children, they may not understand what they did was wrong or they may not understand your explanation. One way they say that is effective is to custom fit the solution to your child. For a child who is always losing something may need a reminder system in place to help them. Also talking to your pediatrician may help tailor your discipline tactic to your child and what your comfortable with.

Other methods of discipline include the Incompatible Alternative Principle which gives the child something to do instead of misbehaving. For example “Help me pick out what cereal you want” while grocery shopping or help me with picking out these oranges. Talk about the child positively to others is another tactic, honestly parents should be doing this anyway!!! The Positive Closure Principle at the end of the day remind the child that they are special and loved. Help them find something special about the day that is good and what the next day lies ahead. The one I have used in the past and works for me is the “Eye Level Principle” which is when you get down to the child’s eye level and speak to them softly. I use more of a stern voice, but the tactic is the same.

One thing I thought about someone brought to my attention is using some of the same drills and discipline tactics that the military and other authority enforcements use. No I don’t mean do one hundred push ups or stand in the rain and do drills like you see in the movies, but a conversation I had with a co-worker who had a military backward says for her children she had one of them crouch on their knees while holding a piece of paper in their hand for a limited amount of time. While this doesn’t seem all to bad a punishment you have to think that the child legs will get tired and the piece of paper that ways less than a gram will feel like a 60lbs. weight on each arm after period of time. She enforces this type of discipline all while explaining to them why what they did is wrong and that the behavior is not acceptable.

One form of alternative discipline that has not been discussed is boot camp. When the concept was introduced in the 90’s the harsh element of corporal punishment, lack of training and  lack of setting real life goals for themselves. One thing to look for is making sure whatever program you choose that the staff is properly trained and is not understaffed. If so they may end hiring someone off the street that is not qualified. Look to see if the program offers individual, group and family therapy so it can help teenagers deal with trauma and deal with feelings in a healthy manner. See if the program offers problem-solving skills, coping skills and improves social skills. Involving the parents helps understand the program and with gaining insight to what the child is learning can help prolong the effects after the boot camp has ended. Programs that consult with parents are much more likely to succeed. See if the program uses positive discipline which includes logical consequences and reward systems. If the program uses fear the effects are not likely to be long-lasting or healthy for your child.

baby cryingThis piece is regarding the upcoming article in Time magazine featuring the subject of why more adults particularly women do not want to have children. I myself at one time did not want kids. I thought raising kids in this country with all the racism, child molesters and other dangers that keep parents up would be too much.

During the 1970’s the number of childless women averaged about one in ten and today that number is closer to one in five. There are a lot of reasons why people are deciding not to have kids. Money is the most outspoken one to mention. It roughly costs 1.1 million dollars to raise a child from birth to age 15 on average. Some people think of individuals who do not have children as selfish. When CBS news featured an article on childless women. A woman by the name of Tracy Ellen Kamens expressed her feelings by saying “I’d rather make a mistake and not have a child rather than have a child and realize it was a mistake.”

Economists fear this drought of babies being born. The replacement rate is the average number of babies a women needs to have to keep the population stable. The replacement rate is roughly 2.1 and we are not at a rate of 1.9. The fear is that with the smaller population of babies there will not be enough young working citizens to support government programs like social security and medicare for the older generation. Some people don’t want to have kids cause they’ve seen their family struggle or friends with kids and seen the effects of the long nights of the baby crying all night long, the kids constantly fighting over toys and other stuff. Of course there those kids who seem to run a muck in restaurants, malls, churches and other public venues. Keep in mind when you think to yourself “Boy!, I’m glad those aren’t my kids” remember they are someones kids.

Personally I don’t like it when people have kids who can’t take of them and know they never had the means to do so. I know girls out there who had kids to avoid working or had kids so they can collect money from the guy while they sit at home. The cases are far and few between but it does happen. Some people want to focus on work or school, some may not be able to have kids medically.

It’s not just in the US this is an issue. Countries like Italy, Switzerland have a one in four rate of women having children. Their governments have even tried cash awards, tax credits to try to increase the child bearing rate. Between the 1970’s to 2008 the age most women were having children increased from 24 – 28 and European countries like Germany, Italy, Switzerland is 30 years of age on average. The fact that more women are waiting to have kids make it harder for them to when they decide to have kids.

With the age steadily getting later and later for women. Economists predict that the population of childless women age 65 will quadruple over the next four decades. The main concern for the government is the ability to bounce back from a recession if the workforce isn’t adequate enough under the strain of unemployment, medicare, social security, welfare and other government backed programs.

Even this statistics and forecasting are not enough to make some women become future mothers. Even celebrities such as George Clooney, Oprah, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Winona Ryder, Jessica Biel, Margaret Cho, Eva Mendes, Jay Leno, Kim Cantrall, Kylie Monogue, Rachael Ray, Chelsea Handler and Janeane Garofolo to name a few are among the segments of those with childless lifestyles.

So my question to you is do you think women who do not want children are selfish?

Do you think they are just nervous about raising kids?

Are there instances when someone should not be a parent?

I love being a father,BUT there are times when my newborn is crying(right now for instance) and my oldest and middle ones are fighting over a toy. When there is marker all over the walls, spilled food on the floor I can understand in that moment its rough on us parents. Its often a thankless job and no matter how late I’m up the kids will be up early no matter what.

On the other hand I met people who say their life changed for the better when they found out they were pregnant or saw their baby for the first time. I myself fainted the first time I saw my baby girl coming out the womb. To me there is nothing to replace that moment(before I passed out not being unconscious). When you come home from work knowing your child will be there to greet you with a hug and smile is gratifying. In the end it is all your choice.