Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Maura Weir final draft multimodal essay

Maura Weir
Professor Lutz
English 151
October 25, 2011 
                                                       America's Unemployment Rate

What is Unemployment?
  • In economics, unemployment refers to the condition and extent of joblessness within an economy, and is measured in terms of the unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployed workers divided by the total civilian labor force. Unemployment means not having a job or being out a work.
  • If many Americans are out of work, then they can not give back to the economy, which then could lead to more unemployed people. Unfortunately this cycle can go on and on.
     Throughout Americas history with unemployment, there has been an on going debate with the causes, consequences, and solutions. In our present day the unemployment rate is at 9.1%. This is a high percentage when looking at back at our Nations history of unemployment. Over the past year the unemployment rate has remained high. Here are the state unemployment rates over the past year. According to Don peck from the Atlantic Magazine "The unemployment rate hit 10 percent in October, and there are good reasons to believe that by 2011, 2012, even 2014, it will only decline a little."  Don Peck. Unemployment should not be this high. With so many people out of work, so many families are being hurt. Individual families are not the only ones hurting, but so is our economy.  
     Being an individual who has had a family member who has been affected by unemployment, I have witnessed first hand the negative impact that such an event causes on an entire family.  Individual families are not the only ones hurting, but so is our economy. Our economy is suffering because so many people are out of work, which means fewer people are left to give back to our economy. When people are making money, they spend it, which helps our economy grow. If no one is investing their money into the economy, what does this mean for the future of the economy?

What causes unemployment
     There are many causes to unemployment but here are two of the main reasons.
  • Minimum wage is one of the more obvious job deterrents.  If it costs more to hire someone than the job is worth, the job will not exist. However, minimum wage will only cause unemployment in labor markets where the minimum wage is higher than the equilibrium wage. Be- cause the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is much lower than the average hourly wage of about $18.80 that was earned by American workers in 2009, any unemployment caused by the $7.25 per hour minimum wage is most likely to fall on low-skilled workers who earn low wages due to their low productivity. These workers are mostly teenagers, adults who did not complete high school, and immigrants with low levels of education and poor English proficiency. For members of such groups, recent research suggests that a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage will cause a 1 to 3 percent decline in employment. (Principles of Microeconomics. McGraw-Hill Create p. 261).
  •  U.S. jobs are lost because of globalization of re- source markets. In recent years U.S. firms have found the outsourcing of work abroad to be increasingly profitable. This is called offshoring- shifting work previously done by American workers to workers located in other nations. Where off- shoring occurs, some of the value added in the production process accrues to foreign countries rather than the United States. So part of the income generated from the production of U.S. goods is paid to foreigners, not to American workers. (Principles of Microeconomics. McGraw-Hill Create p. 300). 
Who does unemployment affect the most?
  • Although the unemployment rate is high for everyone, it hits different races, genders, and age groups differently. Month after month, the jobs report brings only disappointing news to African-Americans desperately seeking work. The unemployment rate for African Americans is double the unemployment rate of Whites. The unemployment rate for African-Americans is 19.2 percent. Discrimination continues to play a role in  Black unemployment, despite the fact that many people would choose to deny it. According to Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, there are sociological factors that contribute to this. For example if you compare African-American college graduates with non-African-American college graduates, the African-Americans still have a higher unemployment rate. In America in our time, the color of someones skin should not hinder their chances of employment.

  • The age group that has the highest unemployment rates are teens. Teen unemployment is three times the national unemployment rate. There are a couple reasons why  unemployment for teens is increasing. Teens are usually more unskilled and inexperienced.  
     As a college student, I, as well as many of my peers go home, or other places in search for a summer job, in the month of July. Therefore, it is not surprising that there has been a huge jump in unemployment every July for the last three years following an increase in the minimum wage, as individuals fight for employment. Ironically, those hit the hardest by minimum wage generated unemployment are the same ones who were supposed to benefit from such artificial increases — minorities and youth. Minimum wage is a serious job killer.  If businesses cant afford to employ a teenager that is unskilled. If you were a manager looking to higher someone you would automatically choose the person with the most experience, which is most likely an older person. With the unemployment rate so high, many older workers are looking for minimum wage jobs, which are usually the jobs teens work. The high minimum wage law is another factor that contributes to teens being out of work. Businesses can not afford to have inexperienced teens working.

    • As we are slowly recovering from the recession. Women have been suffering more. The job recovery rate for men is higher then the job recovery rate for women. Men gained more jobs then women did, which makes women's unemployment rate higher.  However, men did loose more jobs during the recession. This means after the recession more men could be hired back to work.
    What is President Obama doing to help the Unemployment rates?

    • In this video President Obama is explaining the Job Bill that he is currently trying to get to pass. President Obama is trying to pass a Jobs Bill. He has been lobbying for aggressively against Republican opposition since unveiling it a month ago. According to Obama this bill will reduce payroll taxes on workers and employers, extend benefits to long-term unemployed people, spend money on public works projects and help states and local governments keep teachers, police officers and firefighters on the job. He proposed paying for the plan mainly by closing loopholes for oil and gas companies and raising taxes on individuals making more than $200,000 a year and couples making more than $250,000. But with Republicans opposed to much of the new spending in the bill and to tax hikes even on millionaires, the legislation stands no chance of getting through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in its current form, even if Senate Democrats were able to muster the necessary Republican support to get it through the Senate.
         I believe this plan could help stop the unemployment rate and help the people who help us: the fire fighters, teachers, and police officers.  My question to President Obama is this: If he knows this bill will not pass through the Republican led House of Representatives, why doesn't he come up with a new bill that both the Republicans and Democrats can agree on. The time he is wasting on this bill could have been spent on a new plan to reduce the high unemployment rate.
      Will the high unemployment rate affect Obama in the upcoming election?
      • Unemployment was high when Barack Obama took office and it’s gotten substantially higher. Does that mean he won’t get re-elected? The unemployment rate when Obama took office was 7.8%. Now it is 9.1%. An article in today’s Times notes, for example, that “no American president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won a second term in office when the unemployment rate on Election Day topped 7.2 percent.” The 7.2 percent figure refers to Ronald Reagan, who resoundingly won a second term when the unemployment rate was at that number in November 1984. For Obama to be re-elected he needs to explain the unemployment problem to the American people.  So we will just have to wait for the next election and see what happens for President Obama.
          As you can see from my blog, unemployment is an on going debate that needs to end soon. There are many reasons why unemployment exists. The very high unemployment rate affects many people. Not only does it affect the people who are unemployed, but it also affects their families. We need to get a lower percentage of unemployed people to keep America out of another recession. There needs to be more jobs created to keep the economy growing. 

      Works Cited

      "America's Effective Unemployment Rate at 18.7%?" The Washington Note. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2011.

      "American Unemployment Rate Steady at 9.1% Beating Tepid Expectations." Flap's Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 
           24 Oct. 2011. 
      "Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports actually 16.2% of US population now unemployed." 
           Venturocket Blog . N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2011.
      Principles of Microeconomics. N.p.: n.p., n.d. VitalSource Bookself. Web. 15 Nov. 2011.

      "Six years into a lost decade." Economist 399.8745 (2011): 28.Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 24 Oct. 2011.

      "The return of structural unemployment concerns." The Economist. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2011.

      "U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls Rise in September, Unemployment Rate Steady." Trading Economics. N.p., n.d.
           Web. 24 Oct. 2011.

      Warsh, Kevin, and Jed Bush. "A New Strategy for Economic Growth."Wall Street Journal - Eastern Edition 10 Aug. 2011: A15. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 24 Oct. 2011.

      "'We Can’t Wait” for Democrats to Work with Republicans on Jobs." Speaker Blog. John 
           Boehner, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2011.

      Sunday, October 16, 2011

      Maura Weir Homework #15

      The topic I chose was America's unemployment rate. The first blog i found is called Obama on unemployment: Congress needs 'to get on board'. This blog had a speech given by President Obama. In his speech he talked about his idea for job creation. President Obama addressed a Labor Day crowd in Detroit. He was talking to congress and said that they should get on board with his plan.

      The next blog i found is called America's economy increasingly knowledge-based. This blog was written by Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor. This blog discussed the outlook on jobs. "Higher-skilled jobs that require more education are clearly the future for the United States in the worldwide economy" (Chao). She also talked about how education plays an important role in unemployment.

      The next blog i found was called Employers added no jobs in August, signaling economy is still at risk of another recession. This blog talks about Americas economy in August and how it did not improve or decline. "Without more jobs to fuel consumer spending, economists say another recession would be inevitable. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic growth."
      Like a wobbling bicycle, "you either reaccelerate or you fall over, said James O'Sullivan, chief economist at MF Global. "Something has to give." The blog then goes on to talk about Obama's position on unemployment.

      The fourth blog i found was called African-American Middle Class Eroding As Unemployment Rate Soars. This blog was posted by John Roberts. This blog discusses African American unemployment rate. "The unemployment situation across America is bad, no doubt. But for African-Americans in some cities, this is not the great recession. It's the Great Depression". This blog has a video too.

      Friday, October 14, 2011

      Maura Weir Homework #13

           While reading Pearson's text pages 293-297 I found two hot spots. The first hot spot I found was "Avoid Engfish Writing, or Structure without Surprise" (Ramage Bean Johnson 295). I have never heard of the saying "engfish"and that's what made this stand out to me.  In high school every essay I had to write was the standard five paragraph essay. It was easy to write, but very very boring. When I would have to proof read others I would fall asleep. However this kind of essay structure made it east to prove your thesis statement.
           The next hot spot I found was "Nutshelling" Your argument as an Aid to Finding a Structure"(Ramage Bean Johnson 297). While I was reading the questions on how to nutshell an argument I thought it would be very helpful with the paper we have coming up. I will definitely  use this aid to help me prepare my argument.

      Tuesday, October 11, 2011

      Maura Weir homework #12

           While reading chapter five in the Pearson text I found two hot spots. The first hot spot i found was "Sometimes it is helpful to think of these two kinds of gist statements as "what it does" statements and "what it says" statements"(Ramage, Bean and Johnson 113). I have never been told to do this and i wish someone would have because it sounds very helpful. Sometimes when I write long papers I forget what I am trying to prove. Using this technique would help me keep on track and help me make the point I am trying to make. The next hot spot I found was "A thesis for a strong response essay should map out for readers the points that you want to develope and discuss. These points should be risky and contestable; you thesis should surprise your readers wiht something new or challenging"(Ramage, Bean and Johnson 120). I thought this was a good hot spot because when i read papers with a bad thesis statement  I automatically tune out. On the other hand, when I read good thesis statements it makes me want to keep reading the paper.
           While reading chapter nine in the Pearson text i found two more hot spots. The first hot spot i found was "students typically express strong personal opinons but have trouble justifying their opinions with reasons and evidence and often create short, undeveloped arguments that are circular, lacking in evidence, and insulting to those who disagree" (Ramage, Bean and Johnson 208). I found this hot spot because I typically am one of those people. I have a hard time justifying my reasons. It is hard for me to put my ideas into words. I also have a hard time sticking to my opinion because I hear people out and sometimes they are more persuasive than I am. The next hot spot i found was "factual data can provide persuasive support for your arguments" (Ramage, Bean and Johnson 214). When i am arguing someone i like to hear the facts and not just their opinion. When people use facts it makes their argument more reliable.

      Sunday, October 2, 2011

      Maura Weir Homework #10

      Double Entry Research Log
      "Techo Ride." PC Magazine (June-July 2007): n. pag. PDF file.
      Magazine Article
      This article is about navigation systems in cars, and how they track people. It talks about how a U.S. Govenor was going 91 mph before he crashed. He was in trouble because the tracking system caught him.
      "New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine's SUV was doing 91 mph moments before the accident that nearly killed him. We know, because a black box told us so."(Pg. 1 on PDF)
      "If you're worried about an encroaching brave new world in which our every action in a car is monitored, you're too late."(Pg. 1 on PDF)  -good quote to use as in attention getter.
       Then the article compares the good with the bad in having car trackers. -I think having car trackers is a good idea.
      The paragraph on the  govenors case is a good one-i should use it.
      Questions tracking on cars.
       This article was not very useful. I don't think i will use it a lot during my paper.

      Second Source
      Richardson, Michelle. "Is Big Brother Watching?" Vindy. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2011. 
       An article on a website.
      This article begins talking about how surveillance has expanded since 9/11. It says that even innocent American are labeled as terrorists. It also goes into the fourth amendment.  -This page starts out against big brother watching.
      “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.”(Pg. 1 of website) -Some people ask this question.
       Then the article talks about how innocent people are sometimes targets. Then this quote comes “If you’re not doing anything wrong, why is the government snooping on you?”( pg. 1 of website)- use these quotes.
      After 9/11, Congress hastily passed the Patriot Act, the first of many changes to surveillance laws making it easier for the government to spy on you without having any evidence, or even suspicion you’ve done something wrong, often with no meaningful judicial oversight.  - Good paragraph in the article, i should use this.
      This is a very useful and informational article. I will refer to this article a lot, but not too much, when i am writing my paper.

      Thursday, September 29, 2011

      Maura Weir Homework #9

      What are the positive effects of legalizing marijuana?

      What are the postive /negative sides of "big brother watching"?

      Tuesday, September 27, 2011

      Maura Weir homework #8

           While watching Suheir Hammad i noticed how she used ethos, pathos, and logos. I noticed the use of ethos because she was very passionate about what she was saying. She was very persuasive while reciting her poem especially when she said "We did not vilify white men when they bombed Oklahoma" (Hammad 2:32). Her whole point in her poem is that her and her people are all associated with Osama Bin Laden and the terrorists of 9/11, when they did nothing wrong. She is saying that when white men commit a crime all white people are not associated with them and it is unfair. You can tell by watching this video Suheir Hammad uses pathos, because of the emotion in her voice. When she speaks she speaks with passion. She also uses logos in her poem. She reasons with the people in the audience but  especially when she says " I don't give a f*** about Bin Laden, his vision of the world don't represent me, or those i love" (Hammad 3:29). I think that's when her audience really got involved and really started listening to what she said.
           I find Suheir Hamad very persuasive, because she speaks with emotion, like she actually cares about what she is saying. She shows power when she speaks. I thought the audience found her persuasive too, because they clapped and screamed for her arguments. She reasoned with her audience which made them respond to her more. I think she had a strong argument because a lot of people agree with her.