Throughout the United States and Canada, labour unions of all sorts have been given too much power, and it is beginning to become a detriment to today’s economy. During their initial formation, they were a necessity, as workers were consistently being mistreated and overworked. However, in today’s society, it would seem that unions have gained too much power in certain areas, actually stunting innovation in the workplace, reducing company efficiency, and keeping a large number of people out of a job. Continue reading
In my white paper I want to write about the broad legal scope of corporate rights through personhood. However, in this proposal I want to explore a possible solution that is a compromise between both sides of the debate on corporate personhood. This solution can be found in a B corporation which aims to make corporations “meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance and, accountability and transparency”. In my opinion, B corporations attempt to fix many of the adverse social costs of considering a corporation to be a “legal entity”.
B corporations are attempting to redefine success in business. They believe that the” government and the non-profit sector are necessary but insufficient to address society’s greatest challenges”. They consider businesses to be the most powerful agent of change in our society. They also recognize that businesses should create value for society and not just their shareholders. B corporations believe as a result of their success, “individual and communities will enjoy greater economic opportunity and society will address its most challenging environmental problems”.
B corporations embody what many would say a corporation should be, and as a result B corporations differ greatly from typical corporations. They challenge the seemingly prevailing reality of corporations only existing for accruing profit for themselves and shareholders by attempting to create a movement of sorts that attempt to allow for corporations to add value to societies.
The existence of B corporations can possibly help my argument in my paper, because they are arguing that there is a problem with corporations, they are just much more conservative in their solution to the problem. As a result I will probably mention B corporations in my paper at some point.
I think this information considering B corporations are reliable and accurate since it is everyday information about their mission and purpose.
While trying to identify sources for my white paper that pertain to the areas of business, government, and society, I have attempted to identify multiple sources that pertain to sub-areas of these subjects. I think this is important because balancing the federal budget will affect various areas of business, government, and society. Thus, one of my goals for this paper is to describe these effects to my audience which consists of people that are involved in various areas of business, government and society.
Of these three areas of business, government, and society, I think that the most diverse area that will be affected by the government’s efforts to balance the federal budget is society. Throughout the past few years as the federal deficit has increased, there have been increasing concerns from different parts of society over how their interests will be affected by the new balanced budget. Some of these areas include education, public services such as transportation, health care, taxation, and social security. Though it is difficult to address every single social issue in my white paper, I will attempt to identify the areas that have been the most debated/discussed.
After taking these points into account, I decided to first focus on the issue of education. This is a highly debated topic because the decisions that are eventually made in this process will affect schools at the local and state level as well as colleges and universities. Hence, the new budget cuts will affect various areas of society that attend community colleges, public high schools, and state universities.
After trying to find a source that discussed balancing the federal budget and its potential effects on education, I found an article written by Alan Berube who is a Senior Fellow and Deputy Director at the Metropolitan Policy Program and was a former policy advisor for the U.S. Treasury department. The article, entitled “Education and the Audacity of Hope”, was published in the Brookings Institute Press which is a part of the Brookings Institute which is private non-profit organization that produces research on U.S. domestic and foreign policy (Brookings). This source provides an abundance of information on various educational issues and how they will be addressed/affected by balancing the federal budget. In addition, the article discusses how schools at each level will be affected by the new balanced budget.
Berube, Alan. “Education and the Audacity of Hope.” The Brookings Institution. N.p., 18 Feb. 2011. Web. 21 Apr. 2013. <http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2011/02/18-budget education-berube>.
Great job on producing solid posts. I hope you all gained as much from writing them as I did from reading them all.
All our posts, to varying degrees, seemed to center around various notions of what a Liberal Arts education meant in the contexts of both Bucknell and the larger society in which we live. In the same vain of thought I’d take this time to provide a deeper exploration into the historical and modern meaning of a liberal arts education, while at the same time challenge each of us to reflect more upon our individual experiences here at Bucknell University in the context of what an ideal Liberal Arts Education means to us – both individually and collectively.
As with almost everything I know, my understanding of what a Liberal Arts Education began with a dive into the world of Wikipedia. Below I have chosen some choice passages from my exploration of the Wikipedia pages pertaining to the subject of the Liberal Arts, its history and its modern connotations. I hope this will prove useful to you all as you reflect upon the posts for this week and begin thinking about your posts for next week.
The Liberal Arts:
“The liberal arts (Latin: artes liberales) are those subjects or skills that in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free person (a citizen) to know in order to take an active part in civic life.”
In Ancient Greece “The aim of these studies was to produce a virtuous, knowledgeable, and articulate person.”
“During medieval times, when learning came under the purview of the Church, these subjects (called the Trivium) were extended to include arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy (which included the study of astrology). This extended curriculum was called the Quadrivium. Together the Trivium and Quadrivium constituted the seven liberal arts of the medieval university curriculum.”
“The educational curriculum of humanism spread throughout Europe during the sixteenth century and became the educational foundation for the schooling of European elites, the functionaries of political administration, the clergy of the various legally recognized churches, and the learned professions of law and medicine. The ideal of a liberal arts, or humanistic education grounded in classical languages and literature, persisted until the middle of the twentieth century.”
“In modern times liberal arts education is a term which can be interpreted in different ways. It can refer to certain areas of literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, psychology, and science.”
“In classical antiquity, the “liberal arts” denoted those subjects of study that were considered essential for a free person (Latin: liber, “free”) to master in order to acquire those qualities that distinguished a free person from slaves – the latter of whom formed the greater number of the population in the classical world. Contrary to popular belief, freeborn girls were as likely to receive formal education as boys, especially during the Roman Empire—unlike the lack of education, or purely manual/technical skills, proper to a slave.”
With this in mind, we will now move on to the BC Awards for this week. As we live in a capitalistic culture, not everyone is a ‘winner’ this week, though in keeping with our generations need for every participant to have a trophy, every post deserves an honorable mention.
Most Substantial and Reflective Post: Matt
The Mostest Ultimate Paradoxical Title: Wes
“Am I really leaving the Bucknell Bubble?”
“Thus, one of the most important aspects thaat I will take away from Bucknell is it making me more knowledgeable about the world around me.”
Shortest Post. It’s ok though, In Canada each word is worth 20 of ours: Abby
On the True Meaning of Education: Loukas
“The only issue I have with a liberal arts education, is that I don’t feel challenged enough.” –Steph
“I’d rather take more classes that will relate to what I’ll be doing with my life than taking some random religion class that I’m not very interested in.
I not only want to feel prepared when I go out into the workforce, but I also am genuinely interested in the subject and want to learn more about it and experience as much as I can while I’m still in school.” –Lindsey
“Do I think that I will need to know geology for my future career in business? Probably not. But do I think it might be useful in some situation in the future? Most definitely. I love being able to take a variety of classes, and think that it will benefit me in the future, which is why I’m continuing to try different courses next year!” –Abby
“I think the concept of a liberal arts education is useful and if taken seriously can really help students become well-rounded. But, in my experience it has been used in a way that defeats it primary purpose.” –Charles
“The three teachers (yes, three teachers for a double-credit/two-block class, each bringing a unique focus) worked to present various aspects of the civilization being studies while pushing us, as students, to find our own common ground between the often purposefully opposing views presented by the different teachers.” –Me
Finally, I wish to present you with a controversial, but interesting, topic for discussion that may prove useful as you consider what to write about for your final post next week.
Capitalism, with all its virtues and vices, has often been questioned on its fundamental seperation between those with Capital, who derive their income from investments in the means of production, and those who must work for a living: wage earners. In this context, some have proposed that Capitalism, in its current form, produces a society of “wage slavery” which is defined (yes, by Wikipedia) as “a situation perceived as quasi-voluntary slavery, where a person’s livelihood depends on wages, especially when the dependence is total and immediate. It is a negatively connoted term used to draw an analogy between slavery and wage labor by focusing on similarities between owning and renting a person.”
In more direct response to Loukas’ post, one must acknowledge that a Liberal Arts education is still central to achieving a life that, in the Ancient greek context, is analogous to that of a “Free Person” – especially when one understands “Wage Slavery” (and Debt slavery) as bedrocks of our Capitalistic society. Though all men, and women, may vote and live “freely” in the pursuit of happiness, it can be argued that in order to achieve true freedom in our society, one must first complete a Liberal Arts education. Whether this education requires a degree, as opposed to steady self-cultivation through the use of the internet (wikipedia) and other free resources is up for debate, but, to an extent, one must at least acknowledge the importance of learning the Liberal Arts to truly be liberated from the bonds of the Capitalistic slavery that we all work so hard to achieve.
A final thought from an influential free-thinker:
“You’re all a bunch of f*ckin’ Slaves!”
“And you love it, you f*ckin’ Love it!”
I don’t mean in a big metaphysical sense. Maybe Charles or Eric and their “useless” religion and philosophy classes can answer that one.
I mean why does Bucknell exist and why does its liberal arts curriculum exist?
Let me draw your attention to two exhibits, oh jury of peers. Continue reading
Alice Waters is an American chef and restaurateur. She owns the restaurant, Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. This restaurant is famous for its organic and locally grown ingredients. She is passionate about good food that is also healthy and friendly to the environment. Continue reading
I am fairly upset with the American education system. No not because of its poor quality and how it is quickly falling behind other nations, but because it has become a necessity to go to college. There has been a trend in the past couple decades that the US has decided a college education is a right and a necessity, not a privilege and a choice. Continue reading
One of the great things about a liberal arts education is the ability to take a variety of classes and learn in different environments. I’ve had classes ranging from classics to psychology to earth science, and I honestly feel it does give me a fair return on my education. It is the variety of courses that will be particularly helpful with my future career goals. Heading towards a career in business, I knew there were programs where all I would do for four years was study only management, but I don’t think that method of approach is necessarily the best depiction of life after university. In my opinion, and limited working experience, having a small working knowledge on a mix of topics is what really counts. It is important to be able to put yourself in different shoes, and going outside your boundaries into other areas of study helps with that. Continue reading
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I’ve had a very different Bucknell experience from the rest of you. I’ll tell you right now, engineering is wildly different from the rest of Bucknell, and it’s brutal. Disclaimer: I’m a big believer in the classic liberal arts education (if done right), and I’ve had difficult courses outside engineering, so I won’t stand here preaching that anything outside engineering is a joke. But imagine joining a major where for 7 out of your 8 semesters you have no choice of what classes to take, your half-credits are just as hard (if not harder) than full-credit classes, a minimum of 3 labs a semester; I could go on for days. It is, in my humble opinion, much more difficult than any other major. The whole five-year track tends to affect my opinion too. I’ve taken courses amongst four different class years, from current sophomores to the class above me (not you), on a regular basis, and the fifth year can be a little jading; imagine all your best friends and your classmates (whom, let’s be honest, you know best and are closest with) were gone during your most rigorous year. You tend to outgrow Bucknell eventually, but I matured quicker than most, and so I’ve been ready to leave for a while. And then seeing my fraternity, the backbone of my college life outside of class, almost lose its charter and assuming this burden to try and stop that is also a unique phenomenon. And so here you have Bucknell through the eyes of an old straggler, torn between engineering and business but desiring a classic education, and who has seen major social and cultural change and played the Bucknell political game for the majority of his career: Continue reading
Since I was seven, it was decided in my household that I would attend one of the UC universities. What more could a student going to public school in California want? However, my life ended up taking a detour. Bucknell offered me a full-tuition academic-leadership scholarship through the Posse Foundation. Posse’s goal is to take a group of students living in major cities (Cali, D.C., Boston, NY, etc), have them endure a rigorous 8-month pre-collegiate training program, then ship them off to prestigious liberal arts universities all over the country in hopes that they will use that education to become the “leaders of this country in every industry, occupation and profession”. Continue reading
Although Bucknell has the highest tuition rates, I do think that it ranks as one of the best liberal arts universities in the country. With graduation looming, I have been increasingly reflecting on my time at Bucknell and how I will be able to apply my learning experiences here to the real world. After much reflection, I definitely think that the diverse curriculum Bucknell has offered me will help me succeed in the real world. However, it is important to define the kind of success I am talking about. While Bucknell has provided me with several tools to succeed in the business world, I think that it has also provided me with tools to network with different groups of people. With that said, I think it is unique how Bucknell has provided me with these tools inside of the classroom rather than outside of it. I think this is unique because one of the ways in which people usually learn to connect with other people is through practicing it in a social setting. However, with Bucknell being an extremely homogenous place, students here generally have to look to other venues in order to master the practice of networking. Over the course of the past few years when I have had summer internships, I have personally experienced the benefits of Bucknell’s diverse curriculum. I have found myself in various situations where I am talking to someone at work or in a business setting about another topic or point of view that I was able to learn more about from a class I took at Bucknell. For example, my sophomore year I took a class called East Asian politics. This class focused on the countries of Japan, North and South Korea, and China. With these three countries being extremely prevalent in the news over the last decade, I have frequently had conversations with individuals outside of school that revolve around these topics. As a result of taking this class, I made it a point to take at least one class each semester that was not a requirement for my major and that could offer me various view points on the world we are living in.
After having taking several diverse courses throughout my Bucknell career, I have also found that I have been more in tune with the world around me. Over the past few years, I have increasingly noticed that if I hear or see something in a public setting or in the media, I can apply it to something that I learned about in college. For example, during sophomore year I went out to Beaver Creek, Colorado to go snow boarding. While driving to our hotel, I kept looking at the huge cliffs that lined the road. I noticed that several of them had noticeable ridges from shifting due to plate techtonics. I found this fascinating because I had just taken a geology course that discussed these kinds of movements and the process through which molton rock formed into these cliffs and mountains. Thus, one of the most important aspects thaat I will take away from Bucknell is it making me more knowledgeable about the world around me.
Before I knew anything about a liberal arts education, I heard some opinions that this sort of education ” aims to teach you so much about everything that you don’t get the chance to focus on a particular subject”. While looking at Bucknell as a potential school I took that opinion with a grain of salt and likened the liberal arts education to my high school, in the sense that you were required to take a wide variety of classes aiming to make one well rounded. This was unappealing at first because it reminded me of pointless classes like art i was forced to take in high school. However, the name and prestige of a Bucknell degree was most important to me in choosing a school.
Currently I am on track to major in Management and minor in Religion and Philosophy. I think the concept of a liberal arts education is useful and if taken seriously can really help students become well-rounded. But, in my experience it has been used in a way that defeats it primary purpose. Often times I have used my elective courses as easy “A” classes rather than choosing a class that would potentially help prepare me for my career. This probably can happen at a school that is not liberal arts of course but this reality especially misses the point of the liberal art education. A possible solution is for Bucknell to do a better job at offering more of a variety of courses to students, this way students can have more classed geared toward their major available. If their were more classes available that were practical and useful to people’s careers that could potentially help this problem.
One course that stands out to me that I found particularly enjoyable is my technology elective. This elective was required for my major but I had options as to what class to take. I think the class was called Mgmt 240, I took it with Santanen the class basically explains the use and importance of technology within all companies.
In conclusion, I do not know if one can definitely say that liberal arts education is useless because of our shortsightedness. I do not know what will better prepare me for my career, or what random class introduce me to a career I never thought of.
In my white paper I want to address the legal scope of corporate person hood and whether are not it is too broad or powerful. In the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission case the concept of corporate person hood gave corporations even more power. The problem here lies in the potential consequences that result in attempting to treat a corporation as a “legal entity”. Next what does it mean to keep a “legal entity” accountable?
People are all over the spectrum in regard to these questions; however I think corporate personhood is dangerous because in the eyes of the law corporations are a person with rights and all. While I see there may be some benefits and usefulness of the concept of corporations as a “legal entity”, overall I think this concept is harmful. In the Citizens United case corporations where given the green light to contribute an unlimited amount in expenditures in elections because money was considered a form of speech. Since corporations are a “legal entity” and the freedom of speech a right that every individual enjoys this right should not be withheld from a corporation.
This decision adds to prevalent thought that corporations should be treated as a “legal entity”. I do not want to be rash and blame all of the unethical behavior on corporate personhood. But, I do think we need to be critical of corporations and ask how did they get so much power and are they fulfilling their purpose? I believe concept of corporate personhood is the bedrock of that question.
I think the decision of Citizens United helps my topic in an indirect way because it shows the power and effect of conceiving of corporations as “legal entities”. The decision of this case shows that corporations are receiving power incredibly fast and it must be addressed soon.
The information from this case is reliable however; one cannot tell completely how this decision will play out because often time politics are complex and complicated. Continue reading
So I’m taking this post a little differently but I wanted to express my feelings on this matter. I’m going to talk about how I feel about the idea of taking these liberal arts classes and the lack of ability to take more focused classes for what I want to do.
Everyone says that the liberal arts education is something to treasure. I somewhat agree with this statement. As my third year at Bucknell is coming to a close, I appreciate that I have had some flexibility to experience new classes, but at the same time, I do want to take classes that are focused on what I want to do and that is sometimes impossible.
This kind of connects to my reflection on the sustainability post I wrote recently- I’m frustrated with the school of management here. I know I want to go into the field of marketing. Unfortunately, for my grade, we don’t have the opportunity to major or focus in marketing. It’s really frustrating when there are all these new classes opening but we’re not allowed to even take them. And in my opinion, taking classes in different disciplines is great, but I really want to take the most amounts of marketing classes I can. I’d rather take more classes that will relate to what I’ll be doing with my life than taking some random religion class that I’m not very interested in.
Don’t get me wrong; I have taken some interesting classes that don’t directly relate to marketing techniques, like Intro to Ethics, Health and Disease, and a variety of Spanish classes. These classes have all taught me a lot and I’ve enjoyed them. But I really want to take more marketing classes and there just aren’t enough offered. So that’s frustrating for me. I not only want to feel prepared when I go out into the workforce, but I also am genuinely interested in the subject and want to learn more about it and experience as much as I can while I’m still in school. And yes, some people will tell me “well that’s what MBA school is for”, but like you said, we pay a lot of money to go here and I just want to take classes I’m interested in!
Childhood obesity is a broad topic and Jordi suggested possibly narrowing my search down. Although I’m still not positive if I want to do this, I decided to think about a specific aspect of childhood obesity I might be most interested in. Continue reading
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) website, “633,782 people experience homelessness on any given night in the United States”(naeh.org).Homelessness has been a national problem in the United States for years, but due to other domestic issues, as a nation we tend to overlook it and go about our daily lives. This could be a potential White Paper, because I would evaluate the social aspects of this domestic issue, and analyze how extensive the issue is, as well as the means to alleviate it. Continue reading
My Bucknell education has been both diverse and deep. Having taken classes in Philosophy of Mind, Buddhism, Physics, Engineering, Psychology, Sociology, lots of Management courses, and now more in-depth investment classes, I think I can claim a pretty “liberal arts” education. While I’ve learned a lot from these courses and have enjoyed taking them, I believe the most useful courses I’ve taken (to my academic development) were in High School. Continue reading
Think of yourself now, and what currently surrounds you. A computer or a phone, perhaps? How often did you use them today? Try and think back. Back to every phone call, text, and app download, to every keystroke, website, and search. It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? Now, think about how each of those actions reveals a little bit about you. A purchase you’re mulling over, an article you’re working on, maybe even where you are planning on eating dinner tonight. Separate, each piece is insignificant, but put them together, and they develop an identity. Your identity. How much is that information worth? Continue reading
A “Lifetime of Success” ?
Based on the results from the The Postgraduate Report of Activity for the Class of 2011.”95% of liberal arts alumni say they benefited “very much” from a majority of classes taught by professors, more than any other group of graduates”. The report also explains that Bucknell University graduates, and alumni of liberal arts institutions across the country, place a high value on their investment in a college education. Continue reading
There are numerous examples of compensation packages that, when exposed to light of public scrutiny, evoke a range of negative reactions, allowing the public to find fault with not only the company, but the executives who are receiving those packages. CEOs are paid exuberant salaries for holding the top employment positions in the nation, and are expected to convey the necessary skills and responsibilities that come with the position. With limited roles for CEO positions that can be filled in our society, our market has determined that people with these skills are worth the compensation they receive. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) has calculated that “The ratio of CEO-to-worker pay between CEOs of the S&P 500 Index companies and U.S. workers widened to 380 times in 2011 from 343 times in 2010. Back in 1980, the average large company CEO only received 42 times the average worker’s pay” (“Trends in CEO Pay”). Continue reading