All posts by JayO

Income Inequality in America: A Call for Action and Effective Policy

For almost 30 years after WWII, family incomes grew at a steady pace, doubling by 1973. Then, as a result of multiple economic factors, including “Reaganomics tax cuts,” the momentum shifted. Since then, real income has actually started to decline, with relative income inequality greater than any other point in American history, even when you factor in slavery. Continue reading Income Inequality in America: A Call for Action and Effective Policy


Enjoy your Meal Mrs. Miller!

When I was in third grade, we would start off every math class with what was called a “white board challenge.” We would all have little personal dry erase boards, and our teacher, Mrs. Miller, asked a few simple math questions that we would answer on our white boards. Our answers weren’t really graded per say (do third graders even get grades?), but she would make a point of walking around the room to look at who was getting the answers right and who was getting them wrong. Now I was by no means a math genius, not even by third grade standards. I’d consider myself to be in the middle of the pack- not showing off, not falling behind. I always enjoyed the white board challenges regardless, partially because white boards were fun to play with as a third grader (or maybe I just matured late), and partly because it made math… well not fun, but certainly more bearable. Unfortunately, after an incident occurring only a few months into the school year that all changed.  Continue reading Enjoy your Meal Mrs. Miller!

Study Shows College Students View Jobs as “Myth”

A new study targeting college juniors and seniors across the country has drawn a shocking conclusion that today’s youth now view “jobs” as more myth than fact. In the study’s rankings, college students viewed a full time job as significantly more believable than the existence of leprechauns and slightly less believable than the existence of Centaurs. One student commented, “It doesn’t make any sense. You hear stories about Sasquatch and Bigfoot and how people go out on camping trips just trying to document their existence and capture that universal fascination. But then you hear people talk about these things called “jobs” in such a factual manner, like they obviously exist, and it’s infuriating. My friends and I have spent almost four months straight looking across the entire US for jobs, and there’s just not even a trace. I’m sick of all the Sasquatch/Bigfoot sightings and attention, let’s find some jobs for once and debunk that myth first!” Continue reading Study Shows College Students View Jobs as “Myth”

Just Think About It! Utilitarian Ethics Behind Nike’s Questionable Corporate Comeback

The Facts

Just Sew It! Oops… I mean Do It! This Nike phrase along with their iconic swoosh logo is recognizable all over the world. In the past ten years, their stock price has risen 124%.[1] They earned the number one spot in the apparel and accessories sector in performance rankings. In 2013, Nike placed 22nd in CR Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens list, which recognizes elite performance of US public companies and was simultaneously named America’s Most Innovative Company.[2] Yet they’ve also faced vicious criticism since the 1980s about horrific sweatshop conditions in their supply chain in addition to abuse and violation of factory workers’ rights. When the criticism started getting heavier and heavier, with increased public outcry, Nike launched a campaign to reverse their image and fix this flaw. This was the start of an incredible comeback for a company that had college campuses protesting across the country. But despite their comeback, the same allegations kept coming up. How does it make sense that Nike was able to turn itself around? Continue reading Just Think About It! Utilitarian Ethics Behind Nike’s Questionable Corporate Comeback

CarMax: Redefining the Greasy, Sleazy Used Car Salesman

CarMax was featured on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” with an impressive ranking of 64. It’s diverse and well compensated workforce are among the country’s happiest employees. But how does this fit in to CarMax’s reputation as a whole? Continue reading CarMax: Redefining the Greasy, Sleazy Used Car Salesman

House of Cards: Hint of Truth?

Like millions of other Americans, I’m a pretty big House of Cards fan. With the next season being released in just a few hours, I figured I’d take the time to incorporate some relevant aspects of the show into topics we frequently discuss. Before I get started, I’m well a ware that House of Cards is very unrealistic fiction. However, it’s got to be a gross, gross exaggeration on some element of truth. A few weeks ago, we took an in depth look at Enron and all the ethically questionable aspects of the business. What stood out to me was the relationship between Ken Lay, founder and CEO of Enron, with the Bush administration. Not only did he make massive contributions, but he was also co-chairman of Bush’s re-election committee and even on Dick Cheney’s list of industry advisors. This questionable relationship led to the deregulation of the energy market on a federal level, which Enron could take advantage of.  Continue reading House of Cards: Hint of Truth?

Daisey’s Failed Shot at Redemption

After listening to This American Life’s Retraction episode, I was still severely unsatisfied with Mike Daisey’s justification. After all, Ira Glass and the TAL staff made it abundantly clear to him the purpose of their show, and that everything he said “must live up to journalistic standards.” Yet through his own twisted moral compass and complete disregard for integrity Daisey chose to lie to millions of people anyway. Last week, I claimed that Mike Daisey did more harm that good to his cause by lying about what he saw at Foxconn. He discredited himself and everything he was trying to raise awareness about. I also could not bring myself to blame Apple or hold anything against them for the alleged conditions at some of their suppliers. This week, not only do I stand by both of these statements but the Retraction episode only strengthens by belief in them.  Continue reading Daisey’s Failed Shot at Redemption

Mike Daisy: For or Against Sweatshop Manufacturing?

When Mike Daisy started speaking on This American Life, I was intrigued as to what the four pictures that started his journey actually looked like. So, I opened up a new tab and started to run a quick google search. Upon looking for these pictures, I stumbled upon an article that stated this episode was later redacted by This American Life because Mike Daisy fabricated many of the encounters in China he spoke about. This was incredibly disappointing to learn– especially since it was before I was able to listen to his story. Instead of being able to enjoy his talented narrative of his experiences, I was highly critical and skeptical of everything I heard, ruining what I’m sure would have otherwise been quite a captivating speech. It was especially ironic when Mike remarked that he was “going to lie to a lot of people” in regards to his communication with Foxconn. Continue reading Mike Daisy: For or Against Sweatshop Manufacturing?