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  • Stephen Shanahan 4:06 pm on May 6, 2016 Permalink |  

    As far as what I learned this semester, I learned that there is a lot of small details that are often overlooked about economics. Things like flaws in the healthcare system. Or the abuses of social security programs. When you look at large scale economics you don’t always see these details. But this class dove into them. It also explored common misunderstandings which clarified things for me and some friends which I then showed the links.

     
  • Stephen Shanahan 4:02 pm on May 6, 2016 Permalink |  

    As far as the course, I liked the course. It provided a lot of information and had a laid back feel. My biggest critique was the pace. I felt like the schedule was constantly behind the schedule and it was frustrating at times to be ahead in this class and not be able to go on to the next unit.

     
  • Stephen Shanahan 3:59 pm on May 6, 2016 Permalink |  

    I feel my three best posts of the semester are about whether or not you can trust the poor, where I used examples of friends and family abusing assistance programs. Another was about the greed of the healthcare system over medicating and profiting off sick people. My last post that I felt was very strong was when I discussed how medical lobbying should be made illegal. I talked about how much money is involved in healthcare and it takes the focus away from making people better and puts it more on profits. Here are the short links to those posts. http://wp.me/p34mYl-3A7q http://wp.me/p34mYl-3A8F http://wp.me/p34mYl-3A8L

     
  • Stephen Shanahan 5:43 am on April 23, 2016 Permalink |  

    The rich vs the Rest. This is a huge problem. One that the presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, has made the platform of his campaign. The top members of society have the vast majority of the wealth. The top 1% has more wealth the the bottom 50%. This is the definition of income inequality. Now many conservatives say they earned this money. And some, very few, of them did. But many of these super Elite have made their billions by manipulating the system, avoiding taxes, shipping jobs overseas, and cheating people out of a living. Look at Burger King, they moved their corporate headquarters by merging with another company so they can now be headquartered in Canada and avoid the US taxes. Look around your house and notice all the labels saying made in China, or other similar countries. Jobs are being sent overseas because businesses do not want to pay American’s a higher wage. This allows those at the top to maximize their profits and in the process hurts the rest of the people by losing good jobs and not getting the benefits from untaxed revenues. This system is rigged, and it needs to be fixed before the income inequality becomes even worse reducing Americans to a form of slave labor where we depends on the Top 1% for our livelihoods.

     
    • Michael Ruben 5:21 pm on April 26, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      So the question is how do you get the rich to pay? Obviously, they want to keep their money and if they hire the best accountants and attorneys they’ll pull that off. But the average worker also wants to keep this hard earned dollars. Unfortunately, as the US saw in its early history under the Articles of Confederation, asking for tax dollars is useless. You have to demand it and you must have the authority to back up those demands. History has always intrigued me and particularly when the three mega-millionaires back in Rome’s time were Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey… Crassus is considered to be one of history’s richest at $2 trillion!

  • Stephen Shanahan 5:36 am on April 23, 2016 Permalink |  

    As far as future production is concerned, I think it is easy. We need to stop getting everything we want. We consume so much in modern society because we don’t like to concern ourselves with future sustainability. But in the future we will need to consume less in order to provide for everyone. So we need to first prioritize what we need. Such as food, water, and shelter. Those should be produced first and everyone should have those essentials available to them. Then afterwards we can select commonly wanted items to produce with remaining resources. Prioritize the needs of everyone and then the wants of the majority. This would make sure we produce enough of what is needed and most people can still enjoy what they want. And no, selfie sticks, iPhones, and gaming systems (even as a competitive gamer) should not be produced if some people are not even getting enough of the essentials.

     
  • Stephen Shanahan 5:31 am on April 23, 2016 Permalink |  

    Future sustainability is really a simple thing to fix. As touched on in my previous post, but I will expand. We can use vertical farming to grow up not out, produce higher yields using better watering techniques and augmented artificial lighting rather than natural lighting. We can use more efficient proteins such as farmed fish or even grass hoppers which are amazingly more efficient than cattle and other livestock raising. And energy is the easiest fix out there. The only reason it is still a problem is big oil and the profits made from it. Solar energy in deserts, capturing energy from the tides, using wind energy, or even nuclear energy. All of which are vastly more efficient than oil and other fossil fuels and all less harmful to the environment.

     
  • Stephen Shanahan 5:24 am on April 23, 2016 Permalink |  

    The future. What will it hold. I don’t know for myself. The first reading posed several good points. I will focus on three. First off genetic engineering. This field has me so excited, maybe it won’t take full course in my life span but it just holds so many possibilities. Imagine altering babies to make them immune to disease, imagine making bones stronger and more immune to breaking. Imagine a world where everyone has the IQ of Albert Einstein. It would be truly remarkable. The second is Global Warming. I think it is already too late to prevent the damage that we have unleashed. But I think that we need to realize two things. The effects will be awful but we as a society will adapt, and second we need to change our ways to prevent another wave of worse damage. Lastly, resource stability. It isn’t as hard as it seems. Make a solar field in the African desert and we could power the planet, use new agricultural techniques to feed the world. We have the abilities, we just need to break the old habits that big oil and other lobbyists hold onto so dearly.

     
  • Stephen Shanahan 5:13 pm on April 4, 2016 Permalink |  

    I am glad we read about social security. I had always known that most of the things the GOP and Fox News had said about it was just fear mongering. But I never truly understood how it worked. I had no idea my employer had to match my payment. And now that I have had some clerification I can finally shut up my friend Mitch when he always goes on rages about social security. I don’t think he even realizes that the 6.2% coming out of his paychecks, is helping keep his Grandparents stable, and then in turn his grandparents spoil him more. So Social Security actually benefits him right now. My only curiosity on it is, why couldn’t that 6.2% be put in a government savings bond for the specific person that put into the fund. Like if I made $100 a year, and the government took $6.20 of it every year, why couldn’t after working my life, I take the let’s say 50 years of money I put in back? I would have put $310 in total, why couldn’t my payment be that $310+interest.

     
    • Sam Tran 7:28 pm on April 4, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I maybe a little confused about your question in the end there. But the reason we can’t just have an individual bank is because social security is not just for those that have retired, it is also for those that have disabilities that make them unable to work. So say someone becomes disabled at 35 and has been working since 18 they are only going to have payed in to the system for a very short amount of time compared to what they are going to take from it. Or take my own brother for example. He is disabled, and special needs, my brother would never be a productive member of society at least not to a degree at which he can support himself. He has been getting SSI since he was a child when my mom had to quit her job to care for him and he has never payed into the system.

  • Stephen Shanahan 5:01 pm on April 4, 2016 Permalink |  

    I often debate social security programs with my friend Mitch. We land on opposite sides of the spectrum. Him conservative, me liberal. I find it interesting how the reading describes it like security. I know he has insurance on both of his cars, but he hasn’t crashed them yet. One day his luck will turn and he will wreck his car. At that point that security net will be there for him. Just like is he lost his job, unemployment would be there for him. I dislike it when people say that social security programs are misused. Of course it is. Every system, every game, every job has people who will find a way to cheat and abuse it. But that doesn’t mean the programs don’t help those who actually need it.

     
    • Michael Ruben 3:43 pm on April 26, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I have to agree, and what really incensed me lately was the Detroit public school’s scandal of those principals that got kickbacks, and one of them was the recipient of Ellen Degeneres’s tv show! I remember watching that episode with my girlfriend and was taken aback by the appalling state of the school. So, now I’m asking myself two things. First, what level of audacity did that principal have to accept Ellen’s charity when he knew he was taking kickbacks and secondly, he was taking kickbacks and his school was falling apart! Sure, maybe it wasn’t his responsibility to put in a work order to have things fixed, or even bid out the work, but still he should have said something. He put those kid’s health in danger just as much as he has probably now scarred their moral character.

      http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2016/03/29/head-school-got-ellen-gift-among-those-charged/82382202/

  • Stephen Shanahan 4:52 pm on April 4, 2016 Permalink |  

    I think medical lobbying should be made illegal. The government should be able to make policies that benefit its citizens. The doctors should provide care up to the standards those policies state. I feel like the amount of profits in medicine have driven down the standard of care. Many people, including my own sister and she will admit it, go into the medical field for the profits. They could care less about the well-being of their patients. Many medical professionals only care about the profit margin. They want enough money to buy a nicer car and a bigger house, they don’t care if someone dies on their watch as long as they get their money. My sister even told me that a doctor at her hospital will openly admit he doesn’t care if he loses patients. They aren’t his family, so he gives them bare minimum treatment and takes their money.

     
    • Eli Zumberg 11:42 pm on April 10, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I don’t know if I’d say that’s the case necessarily as we saw from the reading general practitioners don’t pull in revenue nearly as effectively as a specialist, yet a significant (although admittedly not a majority) are taking those jobs and working to help people. Although I do agree that the profit motive has made becoming a doctor a seem lucrative, it also carries with it abundant risk as well making the income necessary for the profession. though at this point I would argue that Pharma, and insurance are the once who got a bit too much into capitalism.

      • Eli Zumberg 4:12 pm on May 6, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I believe this is my best over all and choose it for my third

    • Michael Ruben 3:32 pm on April 26, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This reminds me of an old MAD magazine cartoon by Don Martin where a mechanic screws over a doctor, but then collapses himself and needs surgery and the doctor then screws him over. I think its a nice example of both karma as well as capitalism and how the drive for profit can be morally blinding.

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