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  • Sam Tran 7:59 pm on May 9, 2016 Permalink |  

    Overall the design of the course is good, in my opinion better for the younger generations as it is very similar to social media. I learned a lot in this class, however, I felt like there could be a ton more teacher feedback. I went the entire semester wondering whether or not the quality of my post’s were good. Overall though the entire class was great. I loved the flexibility and that this was a different way of learning.

  • Sam Tran 7:10 pm on May 2, 2016 Permalink |  

    Reflecting back, one thing I learned in this class is something about myself. I have always been the “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” type of person. I tend to stick to routine, so when I discovered that this was not your routine class, it freaked me out. When it was mentioned that it’s similar to Facebook, it freaked me out even more. I’m not a very public person and don’t delve into social media all that much. I was timid to learn that my blog post’s can be seen by the public. So what I discovered, is that even though it was a challenge for me I was able to learn in a non traditional way. I feel like I learned a lot about economics, that I didn’t know, in a way that had I not taken this class I could have learned at home. It was hard to break the routine of non-traditional learning, but I figured it out somewhat. While it’s still a struggle for me to express my opinion behind a keyboard, I felt I did an okay job. Prior to taking this class, I often thought of economics, and economy more on the financial side of the government. I learned that economics is so much more than just money. I learned how economics relates to the environment, and the people living in that environment. How a poor environment can effect economics. Overall I enjoyed the knowledge I gained.

  • Sam Tran 6:56 pm on May 2, 2016 Permalink |  

    I think my best post’s are the ones written about poverty. Mainly because I’m knowledge about it. I see it daily and I feel like I’m seeing it from a side that few have seen. I can offer a perspective about their living situations that you can’t get from statistics and numbers. I’ve never been very good at getting my thoughts on paper, so they may not have weighed into that much detail but I like to think it offered a little more than what we read. I also think my post about the Affordable Care Act was pretty good, again because I have a lot of knowledge in it. I think the ACA is a good idea, but don’t agree particularly with everything about the law. I feel like we as American’s are already spending way to much on health care.

  • Sam Tran 1:17 pm on April 28, 2016 Permalink |  

    I just want to say something about the elderly living in poverty. I work with many elderly women. These women come from a time when women didn’t have to work, they relied on their husbands to take care of the family but for whatever reason, death, divorce, these women are living on their own. Their typical social security check each month is $733, their rent on the low end is about 400 per month, plus they have utilities, and the other costs of daily living, however, they get food assistance totaling 16 dollars per month. Often these people do not have transportation. In my rural area, most of the cities, towns and villages don’t have public transportation. The one city within this county that does have public transportation charges our seniors 3 dollars 1 way per ride. It’s no wonder a good portion of our seniors don’t take care of themselves, they don’t have 6 dollars to ride the bus to see their doctor, or they live in an area that don’t offer transportation. Don’t get me wrong this happens to men too, if they worked all of their life but didn’t have a pension or retirement plan, they can expect to see roughly 1200 per month from social security which is still hard to live off after all of their bills. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around a system that will continue to take care of someone that has no ambition to work, but not those that have made their contribution to society.

    • Michael Ruben 1:38 pm on April 28, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      When the government “shut down” back in 2014 my grandfather’s pension check was put on hold. He called up and gave them hell. After all, like so many others in his generation, he had fought in WWII and seen enough blood spilled to last a dozen lifetimes. Hadn’t he given enough to this great country? What nerve did they have to deny him… and he’s not a selfish person, stubborn yes, very stubborn, but that’s because he, as he claimed, was an engineer. And yet, the welfare checks were still being issued to millions of Americans.
      Later on, I too found myself scratching my head to this conundrum after my unemployment benefits ended and the government voted not to renew them. Not that I had served in the military, I haven’t, but I certainly felt I had given everything to the companies I had helped grow, hours, days, weekends even! To say the least I felt bitter, resentful, and pretty much like something tossed to the gutter. But after looking at the numbers I do realize why this was the case: roughly 59 million Americans receive social security. One eighth of that number is on benefits, or just 7 million. Meanwhile, over 109 million are on welfare. So, if we’re a democracy and voters matter then it becomes apparent real quick which of the three groups politicians want to keep happy.


  • Sam Tran 6:07 pm on April 26, 2016 Permalink |  

    We have CEO’s with higher pay while others are still living off unemployment. I’m not sure if any of you have heard much about this but here in the Grand Rapids area, it has been in the news a ton over the last year. I personally know 6 people being sued by the State of Michigan for misrepresentation when in most cases that’s not true and these people didn’t falsely obtain their benefits. So to make the blow of the recession harder on families, once they have almost recovered, they are now being forced to pay back their unemployment, often at a very, very high interest rate.

    this link will take you to fox 17 problem solvers who have interviewed many people being sued for fraud that didn’t commit fraud. Some of the stories are astonishing.

    • Michael Ruben 6:33 pm on April 26, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Interesting reads. So the little guy is gone after but the rich remain rich. Typical. The rich can afford the attorneys to fight back.

  • Sam Tran 5:47 pm on April 26, 2016 Permalink |  

    I find interesting in the article “The Top 0.1% Vs. the rest of us, the paragraph about higher taxes for the rich. I guess I would assume that the more taxes taken the less money they would have but it seems to me the rich always find a way to win. Carter, Reagan and Bush eliminated high end tax brakets? Of course they did……..

  • Sam Tran 8:01 pm on April 24, 2016 Permalink |  

    http://www.env-econ.net/ This is an economic-environmental blog, that discusses economics as it realtes to the environment. Pretty interesting read.

  • Sam Tran 7:54 pm on April 24, 2016 Permalink |  

    I feel like our future is very bleak without change. How though can we make that change? I think the entire economic system as a whole needs change. We need to make changes in the way our governments and corporations think, the way they operate. We have to make them realize that it’s our future that will suffer if we don’t. I understand that there are few corporations and non profits that are attempting and succeeding at making changes for our environment, but not enough. I don’t know what the answer is but in the grand scheme of things, nothing will change unless we make it happen, and I certainly don’t feel like I am a big enough person to make a major change.

  • Sam Tran 3:10 pm on April 24, 2016 Permalink |  


    This seems very familiar to me in comparison to the book I’ve read for our book review, The Secret History of the American Empire. I feel so skeptical now of our government that I would not be surprised if this women was killed by a state or government official.

  • Sam Tran 4:23 pm on April 14, 2016 Permalink |  

    Reflecting a little on the cost of specialty physicians and patient health care costs. Seeing a doctor is just like any other service you pay for, you have a right to object to services if it is felt unnecessary. A lot of people are not aware that they can refuse treatment by a doctor, and often the physician will make you feel like there is nothing you can do like in Ms. Little’s situation. However, it seems to me not enough questions were asked on her part, or maybe they were and the physician wasn’t clear on the process. This article lays out the reason behind why you can call one doctors office and a new patient exam is 250 and the office down the road in 100. A perfect example is my step-son and I had the Flu type A a couple of weeks ago, we have different doctors. Of course we had the exact same things done, however, my office has a lab onsite and my stepsons doctor uses a contracted lab half way across the state. So of course my flu swab cost way less than his. My physicians office is also an affiliate of Spectrum Health, a very large health care system, where my stepsons is just a private practice with no affiliation. His bill every time he has a sick call is 191.54, mine is 80. Of course I have a large deductible, until that is met any office can pretty much charge what they want, I’ll have no choice but to pay until I have met my deductible.

    • tatef 12:30 am on April 21, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good post It made me think about why people trust doctors so much and dont question them (myself included). They have the schooling, training, and experience and an official licence. If they have good bedside manner we trust them that way too. Its hard to imagine Im being cheated by someone whose car costs as much as, or more than, my house.
      But I also think its because we dont have much choice. What can we do, get a second opinion? Good idea but it would cost you more money and youd have to find someone taking new patients and wait until they have an opening etc…

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