Sunday, May 17, 2015

Are Rich Women Marginalized?

I just read an opinion piece by Wednesday Martin on the New York Times website, I expected an interesting read when I read the title, I was not dissapointed. Martin is an anthropologist who has studied women from around the world, however, when she interviewed some of the 'elite' women of New York, she found some things she was not expecting. She learned of 'wife bonuses', bonuses granted by (extremely rich) husbands based upon their motherly performance. They are judged upon whether or their children get into the best schools, among other things. This was a shocking thing for me to hear about as I'm sure it would be for everyone. Most of these women are highly-educated and are very intelligent who could very easily have jobs, make their own money, and become financially independent from their husbands. However, they are content with a 'wife bonus'. Maybe the upper class is the last bastion of gender inequality.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

America Is Moving Away From Religion

Since the conception of America, religion has been the base of its culture. However, recently there has been a trend away from religion. Pew Research recently published a survey that shows a 6.7% increase of people identifying as unaffiliated in religion. This trend will most likely continue as the younger population becames decreasingly religious. 100 years ago it would be hard to imagine an America without religion playing a central role, today, it seems that we are moving towards that. There are many factors that contribute to this, such as the treatment of LGBT community by the religious, or it could be a symptom of counter-culture against the older generation. I also believe that the internet has been a factor, information about religon-related hate and aethism is more readily available than ever. I'm not sure religion will ever be eradicated from American society, but it would be interesting to see what America will be like when religion has taken a backseat.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

'Thugs' Is Not Racist... Also Stop Talking About It

Baltimore Mayor Stepahnie Rawlings-Blake recently came under fire for calling the Baltimore protesters that were burning and looting buildings 'thugs'. She has been branded racist by many people ranging from a City Councilwoman to DC rapper Wale. Rev. Jamal Bryant even said that "'thugs' is the 21st-century word for the N-word". While most of the rioters and looters have been African-Americans, Rawlings-Blake (an African-American herself) was not making a generalization about African-Americans. I have been surprised to see such backlash for just calling rioters 'thugs'. Rawlings-Blake later apologized for her remarks, but I honestly believe that the black community is wasting their time forcing her to apologize. Racial equality progress is only in the forefront of Americans' minds when there are times of extreme racial tension. The spotlight does not need to be taken up by petty wordplay, it should be taken up by outcry involving the the fact that 1 in 10 black males in their thirties are in prison, or that 69% of black students are graduating against 86% of white students. So do we really need to waste our time on whether or not the word 'thugs' has become racist?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

More Questionable Treatment of Athletes

Tonight being the night of the first round of the NFL draft, it is important to think about what happened before this night. Number one pick Jameis Winston has had a track record of (very) questionable behavior, ranging from rape accusations to stealing crab legs. Obviously, in the eyes of potential employers, his past behavioral issues are a red flag (the Tampa Bay Buccaneers don't seem to mind too much). NFL teams set up a tail to follow Winston during his combine flights. Winston's behavior has not been commendable, but does that give the NFL the right to spy on him? After all, two wrongs don't make a right. This is an egregious invasion of privacy. Athletes are already in the public eye enough, I think they should be afforded the piece of mind that they are not being followed by potential employers 24/7.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How Much Money Is In College Sports

In 2013-14, the Pac-12 led the NCAA in total revenue with $374 Million. Thats a whole lot of money, the Big Ten was next with $338.9 Million, then the SEC with $309.6 Million. The top 3 conferences make over 1 billion dollars. Without a single penny being paid to players. College Athletics are clearly no longer amateur endeavors with cash being thrown about like this. I think that it is time to start implementing further compensation for college athletes. It would be unfathomable for a corporation to not pay their athletes, especially when they are making so much themselves. There is actually a word for this, slavery. While I realize that college athletes are nowhere near slaves, they are also being exploited. Many of these athletes come from disadvantaged communities and they could use the money a lot more than the conference heads.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The True Costs of Running an Athletic Department

Every Saturday during football season, thousands of fans line college football stadiums. Based on the sheer number of tickets being sold, and the price of those tickets, it would be hard to imagine that most universities are losing money on Athletic Departments. The truth is, only 20 colleges make money off of athletics. This may be more surprising given the fact that each Big Ten school gets $26.5 million just from TV deals and postseason play. The revenue created (almost exclusively produced by football and men's basketball) is siphoned back into the athletic department to be used by all sports. This means that the expenses of schools must be huge, which is true. How come schools continue to support sports if they lose money on it? The truth is that college sports are essential to schools for a number of reasons, I will focus on two. One, sports are integral to campus life. And two, sports keep alumni interested in the school, generating donations. Doug J. Chung researched the increase in applications due to success on the football field and basketball court. He found that 'when a school rises from mediocre to great on the gridiron, applications increase by 18.7 percent'. This means that high school seniors greatly value athletic prowess when looking for a school. This shows that athletics are an important part to a college campus. The second reason is alumni boosters, Freakonomics estimates that if a team increases their win total by 5 games, they can expect a boost in donations by about $689,000. Both of these reasons are a part of why universities might sink so much many into their athletic departments. Many people use this as a defense for universities not paying athletes, however, can universities really expect sports to pay for themselves? Sports are just part of the expenses that colleges have.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The NCAA's Baby Steps

While everyone is making money in college sports, athletes are supposed to be content with their scholarships. Scholarships that don't even cover the actual cost of school, forcing players to live below the poverty line. It seems that the NCAA is finally taking steps in the right direction. The 5 Power Conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC 12, and SEC) voted 79-1 in favor of allowing Division 1 schools to offer more scholarship money that actually covers the real cost of attending college. This could put as much as $51.9 million in athletes' pockets. I see this as a major win for college sports. The college sports system is deeply flawed, its a billion dollar industry that doesn't pay its workers. At least the NCAA is recognizing that players deserve to live somewhat comfortably while producing millions for others. The head honchos of college sports are finally starting to take player's rights into consideration, hopefully a step forward in the admission that college sports need major reform. Baby steps are steps after all.