The Food Stamp Program, as an area for growth [for me] would be essential. However, there seems to be a problem with feeding the nation’s poor, and there too is a problem when government cares more for war than feeding their own hungry people.
I believe a certain proportion of society has been used as a scapegoat here.
The reason the growth or expansion by government in the area is the existence of poor people, people working and still at poverty level, and more people coming into the country without means. It is the case, that whether black, white, Hispanic or some other people –there are poor people and some more so than others. Additionally, some have found themselves with and suddenly without because work ran out. Moreover, the fact that people need food, water, clean air—food being considered a common instead of public good is puzzling. For example, food is privatized which means a famer own the land which produces and sales that to private or corporate operations to sell to the public, and essentially, has taken even the right to grow food away from the public, that is, less people own land to grow their food, less people are educated to do so and so forth. Yet, to food is not considered a public good, but a need.
Jose Luis Vevero Pol (2014) wrote:
Air, water, and food are the three essential natural resources we human beings need to survive. Air is basically regarded as a public good. Water used to be considered a global public good up to the mid-20th century, but its very nature is highly disputed nowadays. However, usually we only pay for the purification and transportation of water. And then we have food, the third essential natural resource. The way we consider food has evolved since the 18th century, when the commons (land common to all) in Europe were gradually enclosed and transformed into privatized goods, either owned by private individuals or by the state or church. Communal property, that is customarily and legally considered as inalienable, indivisible, irreversible, not available for sale, and which cannot be encumbered or mortgaged, was transformed into private or public property. Since then, an increasing number of food production systems, such as wild fruits, coastal seafood areas, or oceanic fish stocks, have been privatized. This means that unless you have entitlements, such as proprietary rights or legal authorization, it’s almost impossible to get food freely from anywhere (Vevero Pol, 2014, para. 2).
Well, if people are poor and cannot buy their own food then this becomes a public problem. Consequently, it becomes a public problem when people are not well educated, are well educated, or in general cannot feed their families on minimum wage, as Lee, Johnson & Joyce (2008) stated the “Government responses to the demands of society” (Lee, 32) which says national hunger is a governmental issue. There is government concern as well when new people come into the land, as like immigration. Understandably, children whether natural or foreign have needed to be fed so the demand of the government to step in is broad covering healthcare and education over the importance of people eating? How can this be?
I agree with healthcare, but I do not agree with the public educational system in this country because it is not a fair one (Lee, 33). However, it’s a choice for parents to send their children there—still it is lacking for a proportionate number of students.
Concerning the FSP, however, government is local [i.e., handled by state] but there is a problem when senators during budget cuts decide that people need less food per month so the money can be placed somewhere else. Perhaps, those with the knife can spend a few days not knowing when they will eat next and see how that works for them.
That said, knowing America’s crooked politicians they will probably cheat and have someone sneaking them food while they lie and pretend they have been starving.
Statistics from the Center of Disease Control [CDC] estimate that in 2010, there were 44 percent of African American adults and adolescents carry the horrific burden of contracting and spreading the virus—13 and older.
Accordingly, African Americans account for 13 percent of the entire population but present with the virus eight times more than whites.
Here are the numbers:
- 70% African American men (14,700) of all new cases out of the 20,900 new cases reported
- African American men account for 63.6 new cases out of 100,000 populace which is 7 times higher than white men
- Men having sex with other men account for 72 percent (10,600) of new cases, and gay and bisexual men between the ages of 13-24 than any other race represented which means that Bisexual and gay men are more than 3 times more affected than other races
- African American women represent 29 percent of all new cases, that is 6.100 of adult and adolescent women, but since 2008 there is a decrease to 21 percent
- 1 percent out of 100,000 women have the virus which is 20 times higher than white women and 5 times more than Hispanic and Latino women
The need to bring this news to your house is urgent, and urgent for us all as a group; even more than for the individual who suffers such a fate. Consequently, when speaking concerning HIV as an epidemic in America the premise here is that people may not feel that the issue affects them since it’s not in their house. However, generally speaking the premise here is not the houses we live in per se’, but the house of Africans as a nation within America whose members are attracting the virus daily. Let us not forget that end of the woeful event for many is death; therefore, there is a need to deliver this news to your door, to my door and the doors of our neighbors that we are dying ever so slowly from the silence of non-adherence to the call that HIV creeps softly, but AIDS kills loudly.
I want all of us to get this warning, because we see a very small sound coming from health officials concerning this matter, or, we do not take heed concerning taking care ourselves, to educate ourselves because our children are dying, our women, our men. It is the case, that with all the education available we must send this call out right up and to the doorsteps of every person to feed of its contents at the dinner table, and especially when we prepare to lay down unprotected.
I ask —do your love yourself? We are going in-depth about this topic, dedicating much time to discuss every single detail to alleviate and protect our house that means the group, the family and the individual. It is the case that if we do not learn the truth about the behavior that leads to contact then no one can save us.
Look for more information on HIV and African Americans coming soon!
For example, a budget of this type can be seen in the educational venue and the public schools where there is concern with standardized testing, and is a form of control in certain programs offered to districts by the federal government. In essence, this type performance standard can be useful in other programs but not school, because it puts some students at a disadvantage even more , and today, instead of actually teaching subjects students are subjugated to perform for tests, untaught testing for some and most fail.
Meredith Broussard (2014) wrote:
The companies that create the most important state and national exams also publish textbooks that contain many of the answers. Unfortunately, low-income school districts can’t afford to buy them. (Broussard, 2014).So if the answers for the text are in the books and a particular the district cannot afford the book then why are children taking a text on something they have no way of learning?
It is fair to say that public means federal government so that the propensity for the government knowingly withholding funds in areas where there is lack is unconstitutional. This may be a tad off topic, but how can performance based assessments be tied to funding? Does it make sense for a public education system to do that?
Notably, are these low performing schools even included in the budget planning on federal or state level?
Of course the government should utilize and maintain performance budgets for agencies they support. However, the question to ask is if the agency supported is keeping in line with their supposed mission concerning (a) their various boards, (b) their workers, in this instance, their faculty, and (c) their students.
ED’s mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. Congress established the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on May 4, 1980, in the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88 of October 1979). Under this law, ED’s mission is to:
- Strengthen the Federal commitment to assuring access to equal educational opportunity for every individual;
- Supplement and complement the efforts of states, the local school systems and other instrumentalities of the states, the private sector, public and private nonprofit educational research institutions, community-based organizations, parents, and students to improve the quality of education;
- Encourage the increased involvement of the public, parents, and students in Federal education programs;
- Promote improvements in the quality and usefulness of education through Federally supported research, evaluation, and sharing of information;
- Improve the coordination of Federal education programs;
- Improve the management of Federal education activities; and
- Increase the accountability of Federal education programs to the President, the Congress, and the public (U.S. Department of Education, 2015).
Performance budgeting does not evaluate wholly what is being taught in the subject matter but to testing. In other words, ask is the testing necessary to pass the class?For example, it is not difficult to see that if a bus is in need of repair then why would you continually allow people to board the bus? No, the bus would be taken off the street until the necessary repairs are made, or it would be replaced altogether. Or, why continue to allow people to board buses in disrepair on one part of the city while on another side of the city the best buses are offered and used? See then if the budget is allocated for public transit then the public is all inclusive not based on the performance of the buses but solely based on the needs of the people.
See then that the scenario for the performance budget and school fits as well and reflects bias because the students are the passengers and the system in need of repair.
According to the TIME (2012) article, the exact information is given:
Do standardized achievement tests unfairly advantage white and Asian students and disadvantage the rest? According to a group of educational organizations and civil rights groups the answer is yes. The recently filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education pointing out that black and Latino students in New York score below whites and Asians on standardized tests so consistently that although they are almost 70% of the overall student body, they are only 11% of students enrolled at elite public schools. As a result, the complaint argues that New York City is in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act because schools rely on a test that advantages one racial group over another. (TIME, 2012).
In this way, yes performance budgeting might be needed, however, not this way. Evaluate the teachers, but not because of their ability to teach a test that they do not have answers to and most certainly do not punish the students for not learning what they have not been taught.
This article is for those people who might have a few questions concerning tenants rights, ethical behavior and basic human rights; as well as, what it means to have those rights violated as far as law.
My husband, daughter and I just moved into a new place at the beginning of the year, and for lack of better words the experience has been trying and draining. For one thing moving in the cold for some people would be a turn off. However, for us the cold weather has proved to be an excellent factor in our seeing the condition of the stead, that is, things that might have not been known until later were brought forward.
First, there is need to realize that ignorance plays a huge part in what property managers get away with and for how long. When I say ignorance, prospective tenants who are not aware of the ins and outs of what to look for in their properties, or about the business of doing your own inspection of the property to look past good looks, more space, new countertops and new carpet. Hence, these, though eye-catching for renters need to be at the end of the list as far as move-in readiness of the property.
America’s constitution pronounces, “Life, Liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Therefore, most Americans have the freedom to choose where they want to live. Accordingly, no one is happy when some have spent their money to move only to find that though they want your money they do not care to spend money so that you can live happily, or at least with the liberty to be happy.
Abraham Maslow developed a theory concerning the basic of human needs saying that people are most motivated when certain needs are met.
They are: (a) physiological, (b) safety, (c) love, and (d) esteem all these which one must have and which lead to a self actualization. It is the case that without these people cannot be motivated. In this we discuss safety because we are speaking about housing. Therefore, people feel safe and are safe when they have adequate shelter. That means, when a home is purchased or renting of a dwelling that the shelter is not substandard, that is, the roof is good, the air and heating is working, as well as the plumbing.
Subsequently, some have been taken aback to find that once they moved in all hell has broken loose. In our case, what happened is the heat stopped working in the dead of winter and temperatures well below 30 degrees, so that even with a fire going the place was cold. What has happened over the last few days has been a nightmare. I finally, after not being taken seriously had to call code compliance.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe that stereotypes have played a part, because nothing about my speech says education I look like a typical black female, sound like a typical black female which means that I am not well versed, or rather, pro-perrr in speech. I jest here, but my landlords may have taken that to mean uneducated, and here I set with a Bachelor degree and near finished with a Master. Big mistake for them, because needless to say I know more than what I might look like. Moreover, I have rented before but it is a far cry from housing and HUD to actually house hunting on one’s own.
For you, here are a few tips. Always make sure that the property has been properly inspected.
1. Check the attic to make sure that it is properly insulated, especially, those homes older and with cathedral ceilings.
2. If you have a fireplace, before move in ask to start a fire, or, ask for inspection of the fireplace.
3. Make sure that plumbing is working. If the water is off, ask them to turn it on to check that the toilets flush and there are no leaks. One place we had already paid our deposit when it was found that the last tenants had poured cement and cut electrical wiring.
4.Make sure the lights are working everywhere. Some places have the electric connected for tenant viewings already.
5. Water heater. One of the things that happened here is that our water heater was working but sprung a leak. Come to find upon the inspection of the heater that it was manufactured in 1988. This is 2015 can you imagine? That water heater was tired. Luckily it was a slow leak and thanks to our grandson’s incessant complaints about his wet socks we were spared our carpet being ruined.
6. Keep written record of events, emails, pictures and phone calls requesting maintenance
For more information concerning Tenant Rights and Landlord Responsibility you can visit your city’s Code Compliance or Enforcement site or call.
Watch: Tenants Rights for Safety
Today it is apparent that businesses in the United States have had problems with their owners’ and managers’ practices of being transparent and free from fraudulent activity concerning dealings with partners, employees and consumers. It is the case, that many people have been harmed because of a business collapse under unethical leadership tactics.
In explanation, of unethical leadership tactics within a company the repercussions of such activities can be detrimental to not only consumers, but investors and employees. In preparedness for these kinds of situations the United States Congress has developed, and passed laws to thwart shady dealing by shady corporations; such as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and the Consumer Protection Act of 2010; as well as, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [CFPB] which for all purposes as noted by Seaquest (2012), “Increased oversight of the financial industry and was a preventative measure to risk taking and deceptive practices in areas such as mortgage lending” [The Regulatory Environment Section; para 1].
Concerning regulating the business environment –standards have been set that would protect both business and consumer. In this article, however, the businesses are deemed small and there is discussion of the Tinker and Taylor’s Home Security Service owners who have taken on certain business titles and by law have specific responsibilities when they breach a contract; such as is found in (a) Sole Proprietorship, (b) General Partnership, (c) Limited Partnership [LP], (d) Corporation [Corp], and (e) Limited Liability Company [LLC].
In business law, both parties enter into a contractual or verbal agreement which says that Tinker’s Home Security Service install their systems free and monitor them monthly for a standard cost of 48.00 plus applicable sales tax per state allowance. In the first analogy of sole proprietorship Tinker and Taylor’s Home Security Service is being sued. Here are the problems with sole proprietorship as determined by the people at SBA.gov (2014) who state the disadvantages are that they could face sole liability (SBA, 2014) which makes sense since they own the business by and for themselves.
Here are the disadvantages to starting this type of business, but can also suffice to conditions that they could face in court:
- Unlimited personal liability. Because there is no legal separation between you and your business, you can be held personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business. [In this case, a suit takes money to defend oneself, that is, in the case of obtaining an attorney].
- Hard to raise money. Sole proprietors often face challenges when trying to raise money. [In this case, a sole proprietor’s money is not separated from home and business in the instance of cash flow. In essence, most people who own such businesses could consider this business their sole livelihood so extra money for court fees, unless, the owner sues a customer is out of pocket].
- Heavy burden. The flipside of complete control is the burden and pressure it can impose. You alone are ultimately responsible for the successes and failures of your business. [Hence, it is the case that a failure for the business could be a law suit which can impose harm to the business; such as damages paid out] [Disadvantages proprietorship Section] [Emphasis added].
In the case of the General Partnership for Tinker and Taylor’s Home Security Service establishing the business was relatively an easy one there was not application with the state and all was needed was for the partners basically to know how to install the systems, however, since the suit is against them the partners cannot agree to which the suit should attributed. After all they are both owners of the entity and since both own both are responsible. There are risks that can be gathered here, or rather, be taken heed of for future reference. In the article, “Sole Proprietorship and General Partnerships are Risky Business” the pronunciation of the risk stated, “If you are a co-owner of a business, and you have not formally created a corporation, LLC, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, or a limited liability limited partnership, you are operating a general partnership. This means that you have unlimited, personal liability for all of the businesses debts, including the acts of employees. In addition, in a general partnership, you also have unlimited, personal liability for the acts of all of the other owners” [Partnership Liability is a Major Risk Section; para. 1]. Therefore, the risk of being General Partner is provoked in the lawsuit. It is the case, that the acts or non-acts of either are the responsibility of both.
For example, in the initial installation of the alarm Partner 1 damages a wall in the home of the consumer and does a shabby job with the alarm so that he malfunctions often. Partner 2 states that damage to the wall is not his responsibility since he did not do the installation because Partner 1 took the call and the repair to the wall should come from Partner 1 since he started the business. Partner 1 screams that he cannot afford such a hit on his already taxed expenses and so forth. In reality Partner 1 did the damage, but since they are partners the damage belongs to both.
In review of the Limited Partnership [LP], the owners of the Tinker and Taylor’s Home Security Service the lawsuit may be more favorable. In this instance what comes to mind would be a sign to tell consumers that ‘Owners are not responsible for damage resulting from installation’ or something more outstanding to inform the customer that basically they are not paying for it, and for this reasons consumers’ should beware of getting professional help. However, if one knows their neighbor is good at what he does who needs assurance? So here is a good reason for a more acceptable outcome in court, according to Stephanie Morrow (2005), author of the article “LLC or LP: What’s Best for Your Business?”
An LP has one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. The general partners participate in management and have 100% liability for partnership obligations. Limited partners cannot participate in the management and have no liability for partnership obligations beyond their capital contributions, protecting them against personal liability for the partnership’s debts and other obligations. They do, however, receive a share of the profits for their involvement as limited partners. Many partnerships are formed as LPs because the limited liability is attractive to passive investors. It is often easier to market limited partner interests as an investment and general partners can raise money without involving outside investors in the management of the business. Assets are also protected in an LP. Unlike a corporation, which allows a shareholder’s stock to be confiscated in a personal lawsuit, an LP has provisions that protect a partner’s interest from being taken away when that partner is sued personally [What is an LP Company Section; para.1].
In essence, in a limited partnership the implications here are that there is no liability beyond that of their contributions. In other words, shareholders have no say in the functioning of management from day to day. Hence, for the Tinker and Taylor’s Home Security Service their breach of contract lies with the owners, Tinker and Taylor not the members who contribute and neither their investment in the company as stated above. For example, Partner 1 is accused of defrauding the customer in their free installation agreement and receives a bill that ultimately goes unpaid and is now on the customer’s credit is not the fault of the partners who have limited claim to the company but the actual owners.
Tinker and Taylor’s Home Security Service, as a Limited Liability Company [LLC] and a Corporation are similar, in that a Limited Liability Company has some of the same exact features as a Corporation, but the question is would how would a breach of promise affect the LLC, or would the two be affected the same? In an LLC company Morrow (2005) wrote:
An LLC is a hybrid business organization that mixes the best of corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships. Each owner (also called a member) of an LLC has limited liability like a stockholder of a corporation. LLCs allow any entity, including individuals, partnerships, trusts, estates, corporations, or other LLCs to be owners. They also offer greater flexibility than corporations—like no limits on the number of members—yet they have the tax advantages of a partnership, such as pass-through taxable income and losses [What is a Limited Liability Company? Section; para.1].
So it is fair to say that as an LLC all members are not privy to lawsuits. In essence, we can see that in larger corporations although managers in smaller entities might be privy to lawsuits not all of the players are included in these, such as breach of contract. However, big corporal giants can be included in class action suits such as discrimination and some class action suits are privy to lawsuits such as overcharges and overbilling; however, one might need to narrow down the identity clause there and go after individuals, because identity is difficult to prove with larger corporations seeing there are many business inside the one entity.
There are several descriptions related to the lawsuit against Tinker and Taylor’s Home Security Service and their different establishments; as well as their approach to the breach of contract suit which in review of the outcome notes that (a) for sole proprietor there will be loss in consideration to damages, (b) the general partnership has as much responsibility to damages in a law suit even if the blame is caused by an employee whether of acts or none acts of the company both partners are held accountable, (c) for LP the liability is more favorable for the partners in that they are more protected, however, the owners are still held accountable, and (d) LLC and Corporations, as mentioned, are not all privy to lawsuits because not all partners are involved as like investor, or rather silent partners. However, there can still be suits brought against individual companies or those who own them. In essence, the outcome here is that sole proprietorship and general partners is taking on a huge risk.
Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
On June 29, 2014, the General Motors Company recalled thousands of vehicles which are said to have faulty mechanics and parts which have led to or have been the cause of serious or fatal injury to consumers.
The models affected are: 1997-2005 Chevrolet Malibu; 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue; 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero; 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am; 2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo; 2004-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix. The problem? Reportedly, the ignition key can be bumped out of run position while driving [See: CNN Report| Every General Motors recall in 2014], and it is estimated that as many as 7,610,862 million vehicles are at risk nationwide. Consequently, as noted in news reports there is negligence on behalf of the GM employees; as well, as their CEO, Mary Barra who is accused of covering up faults in the installation of ignition switches the vehicles. This article will show where corporations, notably General Motors, failed or are neglectful and which might reportedly have led to civil action suits against them; hence, the elements of discussion are: (a) Duty of Care, (b) Standard of Care, (c) Breach of Duty of Care, (d) Actual Causation, (e) Proximate Causation, (f) Actual Injury, and (g) Defenses to Negligence.
The General Motors Company apparently is no stranger to such recalls as this, however, not to such a magnitude because according to the list there have also been a number of recalls; not only for June, but also beginning with February 2014 through September 2014. According to Seaquist (2013) there are at least involved in the Duty of Care, or Reasonable Personal Standard (Seaquist, 2013) which speaks of the standard of behavior expected of a person in a particular situation. For example, there are at least 230 [including fifteen fired] employees accused in the suit, and as mention the CEO.
The article, “GM Admits Incompetence, Negligence Led to Delayed Recall,” disclosed GM’s lack of Duty to Care:
Last month, GM paid a $35 million fine — the largest ever assessed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — for failing to report the problem quickly to federal regulators. GM knew about problems with the ignition switches as early as 2001, and in 2005 it told dealers to tell owners to take excess items off their key chains so they wouldn’t drag down the ignition switch. In 2006, an engineer at GM approved a change in the switch design, but didn’t inform the government or change the corresponding part number. In subsequent years, that made it harder for other GM engineers to figure out why older Cobalts’ performed worse than newer ones (The Associated Press, 2014).
In this case, there is a burden of proof for the defendants for them to prove that they are not negligent, according to Seaquist (2013) who wrote concerning the Statutory Duty of Care.
There certain elements:
- Defendants have burden of proof to prove they were not negligent.
- Plaintiff must prove that the defendant failed at the duty of care.
There is also the element of Foreseeability [actual causation] and Proximate Causation which is direct causation, or the breach of the Duty of Care, or rather the circumstance of negligence which caused the injury and this includes foreseeability which begs the question of whether the defective part was known beforehand. In essence, knowing the part was faulty, and also knowing the consequences beforehand; yet, still allowing the cars out for sale causing injury to consumers (Seaquist, 2014).
Here is the premise, for example, is it foreseeable that people who buy cars have a tendency to add other objects to their key rings, and can be a problem with an already faulty ignition switch? According to the Associated Press article, GM knew and yes they knew there would be a problem, because they apparently recalled vehicles before for the same thing:
A new article stated, “In 2006, an engineer at GM approved a change in the switch design, but didn’t inform the government or change the corresponding part number. In subsequent years, that made it harder for other GM engineers to figure out why older Cobalts performed worse than newer ones. In May, GM recalled another 2.7 million vehicles for various issues. The bulk of the recall was for Chevrolet Malibu cars from 2004-2012 as well as the 2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, 2005-2010 Pontiac G6 and 2007-2010 Saturn Auras, all to modify the brake lamp wiring harness” [The Associate Press, 2014].
The last thing on the list to find negligence on the part of the manufacturing company General Motors is the industry of care which would give reference to expert opinion. Notably, there were also investigations initiated in notice of interviews, and firings which subsequently resulted from those. In the article, “General Motors releases delayed recall investigation, cites negligence and incompetence” Barra reports the finding of the experts in the scandal. The Daily News stated, “In 2006, GM engineer Ray De Giorgio – who designed the switch – approved a change in the switch design, but didn’t inform the government or change the corresponding part number. In subsequent years, that made it harder for other GM engineers to figure out why older Cobalts performed worse than newer ones. Barra confirmed Thursday that two employees placed on leave in April have been fired; De Giorgio was one of those employees.” (The Daily News, 2014). Hence, the manufacturer is in a jam as far as the defendant proving lack of neglect, because they have admitted their part, and as the article stated paid a hefty fine as a result.
Some forms in Defense of Negligence are: (a) Contributory negligence, (b) Comparative negligence or assumption of risk, and (c) Pure Contributory Negligence. The first contributory is where the plaintiff along with the defendant is responsible. In essence, as Seaquest (2013) noted about the snow on the walk, that is yes it is the business owners duty to make sure the snow is shovel, however, if there is snow on walk why did the plaintiff walk on it. Could he have gone around? Did the customer have to use that business? Who knows? Hence both have a part, although the defendant might owe the greater responsibility for the injury because he did not shovel the walk (Seaquest, 2013). Secondly, Comparative Negligence would stem from the plaintiff help with his injury. Hence, if the defendant sued for two million dollars, and a jury decides that the plaintiff should pay a portion then that total is subtracted from the total award and the plaintiff wins the remained. In example, 2 million – plaintiff deduction/part = remaining award. In the Pure Comparative, the law agrees that the irresponsible party wins something no matter if the accident was caused by the defendant; however, the plaintiff’s award is greater.
Concerning Consumer Protection [ which is mentioned briefly], it is all important and is law which protects customers from harm. Seaquist (2013) wrote: Strict Liability in Tort In contrast with absolute liability, strict liability is a recently developed theory in law that holds manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers liable for defects in the design or manufacturing of products that render such products unreasonably dangerous to the intended users (Seaquest, 2014). Consequently, GM has to face Congress on their negligent acts and failure to protect the public they serve [Read: General Motors executives to face Congress over car recall scandal] in their efforts or lack of thereof in keeping their Duty of Care.
Business law for managers. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. [US Constitution Amendment 14 Section 1].
College students in America should be aware that the job market, or rather attainable rights to own and run business and the job search market might seem to be on level footing but they are not, because underlying levels of discrimination and bias are at the frontline. Accordingly, some reports say that though many people might have the same initial education or degrees, seemingly, there are great disparages among blacks and whites with the same education or degreed status.
In the case of Amendment 14 Section 1, people might have an idea that legally this would allow immunity against being sued or some other legality concerning court. However, when the subject of one’s immunity is brought forth this would also mean protection from harm in all things pertaining to ‘life, liberty and pursuit of happiness’. Therefore, one’s ability to seek a job, and/or own a business measurable with their education should be a mainstay. However, though allowed to seek and even be in a top list of candidates the ability to obtain employment is stalled at the door. Hence, establishment of programs to curtail employers who tend to discriminate in the application process, but do they help?
In the article, “Black Men Need More Education Than White Men to Get Jobs”, Margaret Barthel (2014) wrote:
A recent report from the advocacy group Young Invincibles suggests not: African American millennial men need two or more levels of education to have the same employment prospects as their white peers. White male college graduates have a 97.6% employment rate. Black male college graduates have a 92.8% employment rate—which correlates more closely with the job prospects for white men who have some college education but no degree (92.5%) (Barthel, 2014, para. 2).
Discrimination and or biases is further noted in the article which alludes to white sounding names versus black names being a problem in the applicant process as well. Hence, one should ask what the protection against such clandestine treatment is there. Please note, one employer stated that he does not deal with applicants with ‘tribal’ sounding names. In essence, this thinking targets blacks whose names might seem unusual rather than standard names such as Mary, John, Martha or Mark and is in direct contradiction to the amendment which states that, “any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” and to which employers should adhere to but apparently have found a loophole to avoid it.
In essence, the situation begs the question which asks, what is a person to do if one cannot get in the door of opportunity?
During the General Motors bailout crisis the public sentiment was one of enragement concerning government intervention. Notably, for some the outcry was [seemingly] there goes the government again sticking their nose in where it does not belong, however, for many with jobs at stake the intervention was one of relief from vast layoffs within the company. Hence, the government’s intervention, although not popular brought relief for many. Conversely, the outcry might be one of ignorance for some. It is the case, that the government has always been involved, not solely with General Motors, but with the transportation industry collectively as a shareholder, and this is the reason for their intervention to protect their investment. Baack (2012) concerning the nature of negotiations and bargaining stated two points of interest, that negotiations are a ‘give and take decision’; and negotiations can be a ‘win-win’ for both parties [The Nature of Negotiations and Bargaining Processes; para 2]. Therefore, the General Motors Company allowance, or rather, acceptance of intervention government diverted further injury to the public, the transportation industry as a collective industry; as well as, the government who were shareholders[and who] negotiated with General Motors, rather than a so called barge-in type scene as the public regarded.
Baack (2012) wrote there are three areas to consider in a negotiation; and asks the question concerning preconditions, “Does negotiation present the best option?” The thoughts to consider in this instance are: (a) the psychological climate, (b) the availability of resources, and (c) the characteristics of the bargaining issue. Hence, all these combined should lead to what Baack (2012) considers to be a win-win solution, or rather, an ‘Integrative Negotiation’ process.” [The Nature of Negotiations and Bargaining Processes; para 4].
Considering the availability of sources, becoming a stakeholder allows that the government experts have input into safety standards which for GM obviously were an issue, those along with financial problems. Notably, armed with resources needed, as like money, the US government’s help was well needed. Additionally, it is a give and take type scenario which took place which said, You [General Motors] allow me [US Government] to buy shares in your stock and I [US Government] will in turn bail you out of trouble to avoid a bankruptcy; a win-win. In the article, “5 Keys of Dealing with Workplace Conflict,” Mike Myatt (2012), a contributor to the Forbes blog wrote, “Don’t fear conflict; embrace it – it’s your job.” While you can try and avoid conflict (bad idea), you cannot escape conflict. The fact of the matter is conflict in the workplace is unavoidable. It will find you whether you look for it (good idea – more later) or not. The ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict, and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict will serve you well as a leader – the inability to do so may well be your downfall. (Myatt, 2012. para.1). General Motors faced bankruptcy as a solution to its problems. Notably, filing bankruptcy can denote one of two things, (a) relief for businesses and individuals who have no other recourse from creditors, and (b) a means of escape from creditors for those who have acted irresponsible. Hence, for General Motors a bankruptcy would not be a good idea because of shareholders, employees, or the public citizens in regards to purchase of cars out on the street.
In the article, “Government fines GM maximum $35 million for delayed safety recall’, author wrote:
GM will pay a $35 million penalty — the maximum allowed, and the largest ever imposed on an automaker — and will be required to make wide-ranging changes to its safety practices that will be supervised by the government, another first for an automaker. “What GM did was break the law,” Anthony Foxx, the secretary of transportation, said at a news conference. (Wire Reports, para. 2).
Notably, in the instance in the industry of transportation the government as a saving factor is seen all around, because not only was GM in trouble financially, but the public as well. This analysis is great because clandestine activity is brought into the light and presumably had it not been for the government’s intervention some activities might never have been seen. In addition to fines, there is also note in the article about employee training going forth which is great for public safety.
Baack (2012) spoke about preconditions to negotiations. In this we note that the government’s pronouncement about the trade of stock and their help allowed for further examination of the companies policies, safety procedures and other issues of concern. Hence, Baack gave a list of preconditions that had to happen; otherwise, no solution will come. He calls the list psychological climate which includes:
- Willingness to participate in negotiations
- Readiness to negotiate
- Agreement on some issues
- Willingness to settle
- Sense of urgency [The Psychological Climate Section; para. 1]
Baack (2012) wrote, “A stakeholder is a person or group with a vested interest in the outcome of a negotiation. These individuals should tangibly demonstrate their readiness to be seated at the bargaining table. If a stakeholder group is absent or unwilling to commit to good-faith bargaining, the potential to find a viable solution is reduced.” [The Psychological Climate Section; para. 2]. One can surmise, then, that the government’s strategy to become a stakeholder gave them considerable influence in the goings on of the business. Hence, people must realize that government as a shareholder served two purposes: (a) to allow them a stake and profits, and (2) allowed them further insight in company structure. Hence, as shareholder, the government is not only entitled to financial records, but unlawful practices as well which is very good indeed; because, even after selling the stock off the stigma of unsafe practices and unlawful activity allows the government the ability to make decisions for GM’s inability to keep cars safe. Hence, the resolution is continual monitoring by the government.
It is the case, that all activity, compromise, resolution and so forth would not be possible had it been for the governments’ resources, the money, the experts and General Motors willingness to negotiate with them. Moreover, Baack (2012) wrote about the ‘Availability of resources,’ giving the means of influence in negotiation:
- Reward based
- Charisma [Means of Influence in Negotiation Section; Table 7.2].
For this purpose, legitimate, coercion, and expertise will discussed, because of the gravity of the negotiations. Therefore, a concern in the negotiation efforts on GM’s part would be ownership and patent protection in regards to implied take over; along with their need for other expert opinion and know how, other than their own, which the government provided with analysis of the situation as a whole, that is, in the area of safety, finances and public concern were all laid out in the open. To understand coercion, one might look to the fact that had not car makers decided to take the government up on the offer there might have been a halt to the transportation industry. However, as it stands the loss revenue, damaged relations with customers all stand, because of faulty products. Additionally, had the offer not been accepted by General Motors then the government might have used coercion as a persuasive technique to investigate the company without incentive.
In conclusion, the steps of conflict resolution as Baack (2012) wrote are thus: (a) Identify the parties involved, (b) Identify the issues, (c) Identify the positions of the parties, (d) Find the bargaining zone, and (e) Make a decision.[ The Steps of Conflict Resolution Section; para. 1]. Hence, the negotiations between the General Motors Company and the US Government are met by acceptance of the government proposal to help, and in turn allowing the government to become stakeholders; which in turn, allowed the government to bring in expertise in financial discovery, as well as, expertise in matter of safety. For General Motors, the need for continued monitoring is needed in compliance to the law and for safety of its customers. However, the matter of a government barge in is far from truth as is the impression for some Americans. It is therefore the case, that a least in this instance the government did the right thing after all.
Baack, D. (2012) Organizational Behavior. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUBUS610.12.1/sections/sec6.1
Abraham Maslow (1954) wrote a basic satisfaction-progression model which adapts to the philosophy of Humanism. Conversely, the humanism approach would show that all people are basically good people, even with the absence of religious thinking; that is, all people [without thought to religion] have the ability to pursue and maintain basic needs. The hierarchy of needs Maslow (1954) developed, and to paraphrase Baack (2012), stated that for all human-beings to be satisfied the physiological needs of “food, shelter, clothing, and sex” must be met. [Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Section, para. 1]. These in turn, can lead one to pursue needs outside of themselves such as social circles where one meets friends, acquaintance and work relations. Hence, these social needs if they are successful, in turn, lead to esteem, where people, generally are found to be well-liked and held in high regard, and these are where people know that the work they do has meaning; not only for their feelings of esteem, but in helping other which Baack (2012) stated, “esteem leads to self-actualization”, that is what one does in their life’s work makes a difference. [Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Section; para. 2].
The thought of manipulation in the workplace is absolutely appalling. It is the case, that an employer who would play on a person’s need to get them to do anything for their paycheck is unthinkable, however some do just that. For example, an employer, whose vision in the beginning was to help people who had difficulty finding employment, and was successful in starting a ‘reputable’ company helping many. However, the original owner, now deceased, the company was wrested by evil men who now use control over the employees by way of trinkets under the guise of ‘a job well done’. It is the case, that incentives should come in the form of additions to pay allowing the employee to buy what he wishes and if its trinkets or material goods he [the employee] wants he is not manipulated to have them. Additionally, Baack (2012) stated, “The need for power suggests the drive to make others behave in ways they would not otherwise choose. When properly channeled, the need for power can be related to managerial success. To do so, power cannot be created or used in the pursuit of personal goals, and the individual should not place influence ahead of effective performance. [McClelland’s Need Theory; para. 4]. Therefore, the acknowledgment of issues which cause lack of motivation in the workplace with managers who are seen as people of influence, and manipulate by trinkets to persuade their employees to do their bidding unawares; and, no matter how unethical. Hence, anyone who chooses not to participate is not well-liked by management which Baack (2012) wrote, according to Maslow (1954) can impede progress for an employee.
Assuming that all the physiological needs are met through ones’ paycheck the move to social, esteem, and self-actualization are forthcoming. However, one has to trust their boss, or people in supervision over them to such a degree as to allow credit to them [the employer]; even while, waiting to receive a check. In the article, “The Top 9 Things That Ultimately Motivate Employees to Achieve”, Glenn Llopis (2012), wrote there are few key things that motivate a person, they are: (a) Trustworthy Leadership, (b) Being Relevant, (c) Proving other wrong, (d) Career Advancement, (e) No Regrets, (f) Stable Future. These are just a few, however, Llopis (2012) concerning trustworthiness stated:
Leaders that have your back and that are looking out for your best interests – will win the trust of their employees who in turn will be more motivated to achieve. I once had a department manager that always looked out for me. He was upfront in communicating his performance expectations and his feedback was direct. He never treated me like a subordinate and looked for ways to include me in senior management meetings. This opened my eyes to what lied ahead in my career and thus motivated me to reach the next level and in the process exceed the expectations of my boss. [Trustworthy Leadership Section; para. 1].
The scenario where the employer manipulates through the employees’ physiological needs not being met is one of concern, especially when taken from the idea of humanism and the thought that all humans are basically good. Hence, in this case, all people can be considered good until they are proven un-worthy, and this revelation can lead to lack of motivation, or a less than positive image of the employer. Hence, though Maslow’s theory is a good one it does not bring into focus, or rather, allow for greedy employers, or greedy people. Llopis (2012) wrote, “As a leader, be mindful of providing security and stability in how you lead your employees – and watch their motivational levels rise.” [Stable Future Section].
In the article, “The Holy Grail of Workplace Motivation” Skip Weisman (2014) wrote concerning transparency:
For small business owners transparency may be more frightening than autonomy. Transparency is difficult for small business owners because it is opening them up to scrutiny they don’t feel their employees are entitled to….. Transparency breeds significantly higher levels of motivation and commitment because it speaks directly to the level of trust in the workplace. Research has shown that higher levels of trust can be directly related to higher levels of financial performance. Offering transparency shows an employee a direct correlation between their role and the company’s bottom line performance. It allows employees to understand the correlation between their compensation and the results the company achieves. [Autonomy and Transparency Section; para. 1,10].
In this instance, the employer who is not transparent would find it difficult to reward an honest employee, and one can see why not in the sense that wrong doing is shown up by the honest employee who for all purpose is aware of the manipulation. Hence, rewards or incentives which may be well received by needy employees might not be so with on who is honest. In essence, bribes under the pretense of ‘good of a job’ well done are at the expense of the employee and the customers they serve. Hence, to motivate themselves employees, according to Llopis (2012), in the article, “6 Unique Ways to Sustain a High Performance Mentality” to paraphrase stated that the employee should keep a blog to write about lessons and experience which to add, is ideal for those employees who can find no other recourse, except to know what to look for in their other endeavors when searching for employment. [Step6: Write a Blog and Hold Yourself Accountable Section].
Ultimately, according to Maslow having basic or physiological needs met is essential for security in the individual personal life. Hence, the challenge is that these must be met by management which brings further safety to the individual at home, and in the work place. However, the rationale of security is further cemented with (a) trustworthy employers and (b) transparent employers where one’s esteem is made wholesome with shared thinking and goals among superiors and peers. Therefore, if one feels safe then, and esteem is reciprocal this makes one’s work worthwhile. Hence, employers and their management should take measures that all their staff feel their jobs are a safe environment to work to ensure a wholesome environment for everyone.
An American Journalist and Humorist once wrote, “The Job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. (Steele, 2002, Para. 1). In this view, the role of the reporter is two- faceted: 1) the reporter must shake up those who are comfortable, and 2) the reporter must comfort those who need it by offering a helping hand, or at least educate their public by bringing in new information to those in need of it. According to Executive Director, Pew Center for Civic Journalism there are two key things to know concerning Civic Journalism which says” when the media does its job differently, citizens do their jobs differently, and when you seed innovation into newsrooms you get new ideas”. (Schaffer, 2014). Hence, if reporting today is not bringing affliction and/ or comfort then it is not good news. What can be done about it? Schaffer (2014) makes mention that there a few things to be done which could go beyond diagnosing the problem. Therefore, diagnose the cause but move on and actually change that which has already been diagnosed. Conversely, one would have to see clearly the picture that journalism has portrayed to the masses which means going back to review what the public sees and why they see it that way. Hence, making changes which should be of first priority. Once a problem is identified there should be efforts made which bring improvement and understanding to public thinking that change the relation of the media as a ‘lap dog,’ of the media as an ‘attack dog,’ and ultimately change the media as a ‘watch dog’ to something other than a farce. Essentially, American media must be seen as the “guide dog’ which educates the public on their role to help their own communities and beyond.
A survey conducted by the Pew Center for Civic Journalism reflects journalists’ view of the First Amendment saying that some journalists hold their rights to freedom of press in high regard more than the public did. On the contrary, citizens feel differently toward the media and label the press arrogant, insensitive, biased, inaccurate and sometimes filled with sensationalism. Conversely, “fifty-three percent respondents said they believe the press has too much freedom, forty-five percent respondents said they believe media protects democracy, and thirty-eight percent of the respondents said the media actually hurt democracy.” Additionally, there were people who disapproved of reporting political candidates, hidden cameras, and publishing governmental secrets. (Schaffer, 2014, p.9-10. Para. 7). Consequently, this data might be surprising for some, however, it shows that America citizens are divided in their opinion of the media, and also shows what journalist think of their work is totally off base. Especially, in regards to news gathering as it pertains to truth of how citizens really feel about the news and those who report it which causes resentment for citizens who feel they are unheard.
On April 15, 2014, an accident on Interstate NE Loop 820 shook a community leaving two dead people and others injured in Fort Worth, Texas. (Read: Two Killed in Crash Along East Loop 820). The neighborhood was shaken, not only from the force of the impact, but from the force of the ideal. People witness to the accident or nearby could be seen running from their homes and motorists stopping to help. It is the case that a community came together but was left to pick up these pieces alone, but this has become the norm there. The crash involving three vehicles was the worst incident to happen in the Stop Six community since the notorious “Birthday Party” shootings in 2008 which left a five year old child dead on her birthday; along with, her paternal grandmother, and several other innocent children and adults in attendance. (Read more: 2 dead in birthday party shooting in Fort Worth). In both of the events, the reporters, helicopters could be seen coming from miles around, hovering over people’s homes to gather their stories and taking interviews from witnesses. Notably, once the initial reports were broadcast the neighborhoods were forgotten which leaves one to ask what about the neighborhood? There has not been any attention since for media coverage for the community though there has been plenty newsworthy material such as council meetings where neighbors meet with officials from time to time to discuss issues which have not been met or that need attention. However, these type meetings are generally campaign ventures and sparse. It is the case that the only reports in certain neighborhoods are of a negative undertone, a killing, a domestic issue when someone is killed, a child kills their parent, a sexual offender nearby and so on. Notably, though that type news is necessary people already know that their neighborhoods are not the best and that most are unsafe. Therefore, good news would bring with it an appeal for public support and someone who can report that appeal accurately is needed. To date, there is still no follow up interviews for the families in attendance of the birthday party to know how they fare and this is where media responsibility to update the public is a needed for any mass tragedy of this magnitude. Moreover, there seems to be a drive through type reporting as far as media is concerned. Additionally, though these incidents might seem small concerning the accident and the birthday party this is the type reporting seen in the neighborhoods where reportedly violence is common. Therefore, however common whether an accident or murder no other news seems newsworthy material. Where are the caring journalists to tell the story?
One of the reasons the lack of report might seem difficult in certain communities would be a lack of journalist support and lack of journalistic staff. Typically, one might see minority commentators, anchors and reporters here and there, however, why are they so scare? Concerning BBC and black journalist, Meikle (2014) wrote “A senior black journalist has accused the BBC of” institutional myopia or inertia “over its employment of ethnic minority staff” (Para.1). In this instance, one might wonder what this has to do with the general public and reporting. The problem is confusion in the work place where many journalists find themselves clamoring for rank instead of clamoring to get stories that matter. Hence, instead there are stories of hometown heroes and those deemed fitting for community efforts, but no reports of how to solve eminent or impeding problems. It is the case that with few journalists to work stories, or who find interest to report stories are pushed to quit such organizations as BBC. Of course, BBC being global is a far cry from everyday life in a community; however, one should ask does this type behavior occur everywhere? Therefore, the type of behavior as found in drive by reporting styles may prove a huge factor lacking in community building efforts.
In the article, “The Last Days of Journalism” Nip (2008) employed at a least 6 different ways media could change audience view or to offer a helping hand:
• Listening to the public to help shape the news agenda
• Giving ordinary people a voice
• Covering storing in a way which facilitates public understanding and stimulates citizen deliberation of problems behind the stories
• Presenting news to make it more accessible and easier for people to engage in the issues
• Engaging the community in problem solving
• Maximizing the impact of coverage in the community
Listening to the public is almost non-existent when it comes to some communities. Hence, a great idea would be to gather ideas developed from mingling with people in their communities in times separate from campaigning. Notably, politicians always have a say about certain issues, but what about the communities these bills and policies affect most? It is the case, then, that the only time some citizens have an opportunity to speak is in tragedy, or an election year and those meetings handpicked. Nip (2008) adds, “Listening techniques include conducting polls, surveys, town hall meetings, focus groups, readers’ panels, and organizing intimate living room or kitchen conversations.” (p. 180). Therefore, giving a voice to ordinary people would make a world of difference when people’s input seems important. Thames (2014) wrote “Unlike journalists who earn a living covering politics, voters have a lot of other things competing for their attention — at home and at work. We’ve been quick to misjudge their unfocused nature as ambivalence. Most take their role quite seriously. Times Mirror found last year that 66% of Americans “completely agree” it is their duty to always vote, up from 46% in 1987.” (Line 7). It is the case that the media might take for granted that people casting votes have a voice. For example, one should ask how is it that with all the lines formed during an election is anyone not heard from, except politicians. During campaigning Wendy Williams advocated women’s health issues which included a right to choose and single parenting support. It would have been a great add if during the campaign there were voices heard on the other side of those issues; as like, women who have had abortions to balance out information and give the people an informed decision. Conversely, attack ads make people distrustful and mean spirited which is another reason why the media is not well liked.
Radio is great for community discussions and forums and though good sources of information one should ask are there solutions to come from these? Rudy Vee is on the air and has been a full time Professional Announcer for the COX MEDIA GROUP in Jacksonville, Florida for 22 years. Rudy was asked what issues of a public concern he believed needed the most help from media. He wrote, “Public safety. Especially for women. We, as announcers, are here to educate and inform. That premise has long fallen by the wayside to commercialism. Now, there are insignificant Sunday morning programs to comply to FCC regulations regarding this. Don’t get me wrong, the music IS the star; but radio could be doing so much more. There are a couple of cats, Gregg Street in Atlanta and Jamming Jimmy Olsen in Tyler that are using their shifts for the greater purpose of super-serving the community and kids. But very few are allowed to do this anymore? Also, we could a heck of a lot more in supporting the local artists in the market. But, once again, if it ain’t chartin,’ chances are it won’t get played. we also need to be doing more for the classic artist of our time that are still putting out art. The Con-Funk-Shun’s, the Lakeside’s, the Will Downing’s, the Glenn Jones’, the Howard Hewett’s. The cats are still putting out quality classic art – but to no avail.” (Vee, 2014). Ultimately, more broadcasts and reports need to reflect Mr. Vee’s thinking that the communities need more help from the media. Mr. Vee also added input concerning journalism and good reporters. He was asked, “What is the current state of the radio ‘talent pool?’ Is good Journalism being shelved along with good pay? His response, “WOW! Umph…No comment (Sorry)” That says it all.
Journalist engagement with the community in problem solving is a big issue for some, and education is a key ingredient. In the aforementioned Stop Six area as well as other areas of the city homeowners have found their property taken in pay arrangements where the city offers one year of payment with balances due at the end of a year. In this, there is no education about the home owner’s right to acquire counsel from an attorney who would give them adequate information about property tax law and their ability to get a longer arrangement. Consequently, without that help many people have faced eviction. It is the case that anyone can find this information in any public record if they knew to look. Therefore, news coverage would benefit the community if those concerned could have their stories told. As a watch dog to government, journalists have a duty to be honest and fair in their reports of government officials concerning corruption. In that regard, Steel (2002) wrote, “Cole Campbell, editor of the Virginian-Pilot, has put into practice various elements of civic journalism. He believes that news organizations must create a different sort of relationship with the public, one that reexamines the journalist’s role to sources and to readers. Campbell (1995) says newspapers must reframe the questions and change conventions about what is news and how it is covered. He says journalism must “cover tension not just conflict, ambivalence not just certainty.” (Para. 6).
CSPAN guest Ed Fouhy (1997) outlines the plight of journalism and community saying, “Civic Journalism needs to be in reformed. One definition of a reformed civic journalism would be to tell the truth so the people can be informed and remain sovereign and gives maximum freedom of choice.” In essence, Mr. Fouhy proclaims that the media should be a guiding force to the people, but instead have become arrogant and have First Amendment Reflex Syndrome where the excuse is always given for freedom of speech. Fouhy adds to that to say, “ Journalist often are inconsiderate to the personal hurt caused by to people and the person through invasion of privacy, and devalue the damage done by media while overvaluing the good that might come from reports.” (Paraphrased). The plight of some communities; or rather individuals broadcast on television is disparaging, because of bias reporting. Last year, in news there were a string of unfair trials publicized where people were literally getting away with murder. One in particular was a young Caucasian boy of sixteen years who was drunk behind the wheel of a car and ran into and killed people on the side of the road. His psychiatrist labelled him as suffering from so called ‘affluenza’. Conversely, affluenza reportedly, is a dis-ease of the affluent which says a youth’s inability to tell right from wrong is imbalanced. Hence, the punishment for the inebriated lad was ten years’ probation. In that same vain, this year an inebriated black man was drunk and drove his car into a crowd of people. The media coverage had a field day with that and for weeks after followed up with the funerals, the victims and the like. The icing on the cake came when an interview with a deceased teen’s girlfriend said that she wanted the accused dead, and this said with malice against someone of her own race. The media never showed anything afterwards concerning the other drunken individual mentioned, except to say that his parents were settling suits for those families who lost loved ones too. It is bias, because here are two drunks who killed but two totally different reports concerning them. Steel (2002) wrote, “Bill Woo (1995) does not shine a solid red light on public journalism. He raises cautions in the spirit of a yellow light. Woo likes the connections to improving democracy, and he says he is “intrigued by what may lie down that road, beyond the bend.” But he also urges all of us in journalism to listen to what he calls the “old bells ringing for objectivity, detachment, independence, for the courage to print stories that are unpopular and for which there is no consensus. “I hope we listen for them again,” Woo says, “before we grow so old and so wise that they no longer matter.” (Para, 30). One has to question whether the stories reported are objective, detached, and independent when one sided reporting is the case. Additionally, good news would have made at least one of the reports into an angle story, whereabouts; the issue of driving drunk would have been displayed with information to educate and teach. Hence, the guidance factor in journalism would have been at the forefront for youth today to discourage drinking endeavors; but sadly, the message presented was if one is white and affluent one can get away with murder which is surely a form of bias at its peak.
Troubling is the fact that good news has been traded for internet stories and social media scandal done in a rush. It is the case that gone are the days of intimacy where a good newspaper read was a family affair, comics and all. Paula A. Sanford, Currently resides in Galesburg, IL USA and is a Certified Television Producer with Chicago Access Network TV, (CAN TV) 2007-2010 – Produced written copy & public service announcements for the Cook County, Chicago, IL area. Paula also is a Community Relations Coordinator/Public Relations Director: Prayer & Faith Outreach Ministries, Chicago, IL – 2004 – 2010: Made community relations news available to the Chicago & surrounding suburbs, concerning upcoming and ongoing events occurring in the church and community. Paula was asked to give her view concerning the fail of some newspapers and their readership: “Does the decline of newspapers even matter? Could this actually be a blessing in disguise? Her response: Yes, I think it matters that there is a decline of newspapers. To me, it is as imperative to some people to have newspapers, because some baby boomers (and others) may never adapt to social media.” (Sanford, 2014). It is the case that some people would rather read than turn on the television or listen to the radio. Hence, Civic Journalism must be multifaceted in its quest to guide.
In closing, journalism has three approaches to the community, that is the lap dog, the attack dog, the watch dog, and to remove negative stigma every public journalist should take responsibility for seeing the goal of becoming a guide dog to the communities brought forth. In these, there should be different outlooks stemming from the individual journalist who might see their job as a race to higher status and paycheck rather than seeing a community of hope developed. Journalist across the board must re-engage with the community not just entertain communities, because as it is with the homeowner’s plight so it is as Fouhy (1997) points out that “People want to know where the good schools are and how to improve those where they live; as well as learning how their tax dollars are spent. In turn, reports should be a balance between positive and negative where there is ongoing reporting; not just drive by reports. Certainly, there is a need to re-direct the focus of what good news is, because good news shakes up the comfortable and comforts the afflicted. Subsequently, becoming the ‘guide dog’ it was meant to be.