RESPOND TO STUDENTS POSTS
A time when I experienced a crisis in my life would be watching my mother battle with addiction throughout my childhood. The only reason she got clean the first time was because my step-father died of an overdose in 2006. He was abusive and I believe this is what led her to drugs in the first place. She has struggled for years between getting clean then relapsing within a few years. My siblings and I experienced a lot of neglect during this time but we were lucky enough to have our father. Going to our father’s house on the weekends was almost like a vacation. He tried his best to get us out of the situation but between courts and CPS nothing was ever done. Eventually, we got old enough to choose to stay with our dad.
While I wish this had never happened, I did experience some personal growth. I learned how to forgive for my own personal benefit. I also learned the importance of having a good support system. Without my dad and siblings, I would never be where I am today. I also take pride in being there for my children. I make sure they always come first and they will be able to come to me about anything. I also chose my friends wisely throughout school. While many were drinking and partying through school, my friends and I chose to focus on our schoolwork and our future. While many can drink alcohol and enjoy themselves, I have always been worried that I would possess the same addictive personality as my mother so I choose to avoid it all together.
When I was seventeen years old I was taken in by a friend because both of my parents were not stable enough to have me living at their homes. The first time that I had been in foster care was around age eight and from then on, I spent my childhood between my own home and that of homes I was matched with by Child Protective Services. Both of my parents struggled with addiction and as a young adult, and I had a hard time coping with their instability. After a disagreement ensued between my mother and I, she told me to leave her house indefinitely. Thinking about the full school year I had ahead of me, I called one person who I knew could help me in the way I needed. I ended up finishing my senior year with honors and developing a strong bond with this friend whom I consider a second mother to me.
Although I was forced to mature at a very young age, the instability of my home life has taught me to be adaptable to whatever scenario comes my way. I learned to be strong and resilient for nobody other than myself.
This week’s topic came in during a time that the United States is going through questionable times regarding the economy and it’s impact on several industry supply chains. For this particular discussion I would like to compare Mixed Economic Systems and Command Economic Systems. According to an article on Investopedia written by Sean Ross “The U.S. is a mixed economy, exhibiting characteristics of both capitalism and socialism. Such a mixed economy embraces economic freedom when it comes to capital use, but it also allows for government intervention for the public good” (Ross, 2021).
Mixed Economics System’s balance allows the freedom contributed by Capitalism to run a business with a better chance to succeed based on the market needs. However, with such a vast population, government intervention on certain products and services are required to stave of detrimental poverty. This especially critical in the housing, food, and medical care aspects. With a healthy balance of Mixed and Command Economics people may have a better chance of thriving in the entrepreneur or small business environment. Policy makers in a Mixed Economic System setting must consider the impacts of the intervention of public goods on the labor market which ultimately affects the bottom line of various businesses.
Command Economic System’s, favored by Communist and Authoritarian executing goals for governments – not private enterprises – to manage country economies (O’Connell, 2018). There are currently countries that still practice Command Economics, such as, North Korea, Cuba, and most recently adopted, Venezuela (O’Connell, 2018. The governments intervention of the various supply chain efforts and price control contributes toward poverty-like characteristics for certain reasons. Images of limited food rations or bread lines depicts the outcomes from Command Economic Systems.
With the current state of the economy, it seems that many industries are attempting to recover financially post the pandemic shutdowns. Personally, I believe that a mix of corporation and governments agreements are being executed to drive prices of high demand commodities, such as lumber. Lumber, which has increased 377% during 2020 and 2021, has impacted industries such as building contractors and housing markets. Ultimately, these increases will possibly change the value of the dollar to align with the current state of inflation.
Economic systems are the means by which countries and governments distribute resources and trade goods and services. They help to determine who has control over the main factors of production. Most countries have a mix of planned economy and market economy. The best of both worlds if you will.
When you look into a planned economy, one in which the government decides how the factors of production are used, you learn that the government determines who owns, buys, sells, and makes the ultimate decision of the business. A primary example of a planned economy is Communism. With communism, the government makes all business decisions and handles all factors of production. A pro, for example, is specific to someone who does not want to make any decisions. They would have everything chosen and laid out for them. The con, is that you lose all sense of freedom. You do not get to think for yourself or make any decisions with the business at all.
Looking at a market economy, one in which the people decide on their own how to utilize the factors of production. A primary example of a market economy is capitalism. With capitalism, you have freedom of choice in all aspects of your business decisions and factors of production. A pro would be that you have all the freedom you could want. You can think for yourself and make your business just how you want it to be. However, a con would be when things are this free-reigned, you can run into some missing steps and slackers who can cost your business a lot. You really need structure and boundary to work off of.
I read that capitalism is fueled by the profit motive. Private companies must comply with some government regulations, but they are not under government control. Melaleuca Inc, my workplace, has regulations that we must follow as far as FDA compliance and OSHA. However, because the government does not tell us how to run our business, we are able to adapt and change with things in our world. Starting from 20 employees running about 3 products by hand in a small building, we have adapted and now employ hundreds of individuals in our manufacturing and distribution centers all over the world. With the freedom to change our products to fit our needs in the world, we can reach out and touch each customer in a unique way.
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Turning Off, Dining In
Last night at dinner, I suddenly realized that no one around our table had said anything for quite a while. I looked at my son, who had headphones on and whose face was aglow with the white-blue light of his phone on which he was watching a YouTube video. My daughter was also bathed in this same glow, but a tap-tap-tap was coming from her phone as she was texting a friend. My husband didn’t have a phone but was reading The Economist. I almost announced to my family that it was rude to bring phones or read at the table, but then I noticed that my own phone was right next to me. I tried to justify its presence to myself by reasoning that I thought my sister might call—she’s been having a rough time at work. But then I realized that I do generally have my phone with me at dinner and I often use it to catch up on personal email.
I remember growing up and eating dinner with my mother and sister almost every night. There was a routine. Mom would cook, and my sister and I would take turns setting the table and cleaning up. This routine made sure that for at least an hour, we were all present in the same room with our hands occupied so that we were forced to acknowledge each other’s existence, and maybe even talk. It wasn’t always easy—adolescence is a stormy period—but at least we were present with each other.
I don’t remember specific conversations that we had—nothing life changing most of the time—but generally we offered an account of how we had spent our time that day and what the schedule was likely to be tomorrow. It was also a time for negotiations about weekend plans, whether I could borrow the car, whether my sister could buy a designer shirt, and why that shirt was very necessary for her. Even though my parents split when I was young, I think these dinners helped us stay out of trouble, while other kids of divorced parents found it a bit too easy to evade the distracted attention of harried parents.
It seems to me that smartphones are slowly eroding connected quality time for families, and at no other time does this become more clear than at dinner time, which has traditionally been a time to reconnect and reinforce relationships through conversation.
I found that there’s actually research backing up my views on this. According to a study printed in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, the mere presence of a cell phone can decrease the quality of one-on-one conversation. Researchers Andrew K. Przybylski and Netta Weinstein of University of Essex, UK demonstrated that interpersonal closeness and trust are less likely to form when a phone is present during a conversation about a meaningful topic. In addition, research subjects who conversed with a phone present reported that they felt their conversation partners had less empathy toward them (244).
Closeness, trust, and empathy are all important factors in family relationships. If a parent-child relationship lacks these characteristics, children are much more likely to operate independently of parents, often to their disadvantage. But parents are also more likely to miss key moments in their children’s lives, finding that they know more about a colleague’s project than their child’s recent soccer game.
In a different study, cell phones were also found to reduce “prosocial” behaviors and lead to dehumanization. University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business found that after using a cell phone—or even thinking about using their cell phone—research participants were more likely to dehumanize strangers and were less charitable (Waytz and Epley 74). Although not often acknowledged, the relationship between parents and their children is prone to dehumanization and stereotyping: Children may think their parents are artifacts of a bygone era and don’t “get” them, and parents may think that their children aren’t mature enough to have real feelings or make important decisions for themselves. Is it possible that in an already-strained relationship, texting with friends or checking email while eating with your family might encourage more “us vs. them” thinking about family members?
So would putting down the smartphone at dinner ensure that families stay connected and children make it to adulthood without too much turmoil? Those who have studied the question can’t provide a definitive answer. Some recent research has shown that while families who eat dinner together do see healthier, happier children, this relationship is one of correlation rather than causation. Children fared best in families with strong relationships between parents and children, participation in shared activities, effective monitoring, and financial resources, whether or not these families ate dinner together. However, a family with all of these characteristics is more likely to choose to have dinner together on a routine basis (Musick and Meier 492).
But even if dinner together is not a cure-all for the modern turmoil of adolescence, it is a shared activity, an opportunity to develop strong relationships, for parents to find out information about their children’s lives that will help them keep their kids out of trouble. And dinner is a good candidate for family quality time. The process of preparing, eating, and cleaning up a meal makes it a good “togetherness” task. If the whole family is going to eat at the same time, they may as well sit in the same place, and so they should probably just agree to treat that time as family time. People have recently begun various techniques for detaching from the technology, including screen-free weekends (weekends where people spend time actually doing stuff rather than watching TV, viewing the internet, or messaging with friends), screen-free evenings, and even screen-free weeks or months. These are generally a hard sell for modern teens. But a screen-free dinner is a good compromise that may lead to stronger relationships.
1. What is the context of “Turning Off, Dining In”?
2. Summarize the author’s purpose for writing the article in one sentence.
3. Look back and try to find the actual sentence(s) in which the author states her main point.
4. Identify one area in the text in which the author supports her main point with evidence.
5. How would you describe the author’s style and tone?