Sunday, October 30, 2011

Consumer Sovereignty

Bank of American recently instituted a $5 a month debit card fee. The public was upset by this causing many other banks to reconsider making a similar move. Even politicians criticized the bank for this fee. Now Bank of America is considering reversing this policy and ending the fee.

Netflix went through a similar public outcry when it attempted to break up its website and not offer DVD-by-mail and movie streaming on the same website.

Both of these are examples of the customer making a difference by voicing opposition and refusing to use the services involved. Can you think of another item in society that might cause people to get upset? What could you do to see the business change its practices?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Free Speech on Facebook

Most of you participate in some form of social networking such as Facebook. Have you ever added one of you teachers? If so, can your teacher say whatever he/she wants during off duties hours? A recent case in New jersey is testing these first amendment rights. Apparently a teacher used her Facebook account to describe homosexuality as "perverted" and that it "breeds like cancer." The teacher was objecting to the celebration of LGBT history month.

How far does a teacher's free speech rights go? Could a student who posted something derogatory on Facebook be held accountable by the school as well?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Violent Sports

On Sunday, two-time Indy 500 winner, Dan Wheldon tragically died in a car crash at the Las Vegas 300. Car racing has a history of a considerable death toll as does boxing. In fact, football was so violent that 18 players died playing football in 1905, leading President Roosevelt to urge reforms in the rules of the game. Sadly, this past weekend a high school player from New York died in a game.

At what point do these sports become too violent? Does society have a responsibility to demand safer working conditions for athletes? Or should these sports industries be free to make money at any expense?

Keep in mind NASCAR and the NFL are both billion dollar a year industries. Is there a cost for our demand for violent sports?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Protests on Wall Street

Protests on Wall Street are entering the third week and spreading to other cities!!

These protests are focusing attention on Wall Street greed and the fact that no executives have been arrested for the economic meltdown of 2008 and the current stagnant economy. They are protesting high unemployment rates of over 9%. Poverty rates are at 15.1% now. These protesters are also pointing out the growing inequality in America.

Watch a video of the protest.

Do you wish these protesters well? Would you want to join these protesters? Yes or no?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Where Our Food Comes From

Most of us already know that the food that reaches our dinner table normally takes a very long path. Please read this article outlining this long journey. The length of this journey sometimes puts the quality of our food at risk of contamination at us at risk of death. What can we do to address this problem? After reading the article make a suggestion for how we can address this problem? More local farms? Better government regulation? Break up the grip agri-business has on our food sources?