Friday, May 20, 2022

The Socialist’s Journal: Quick Hits 2015 Pt. 4

Brookins Head Shot*As I only have three topics these are actually not so much quick hits but really sort of off speed hits.

Ayesha Curry started a small firestorm when she noticed that plenty of women seem to dress in a way that allows others to see many of their curves. Curry’s initial observation was that she would rather show off her body for her husband. Here are my reactions:

#1. Curry lives in a world that most of us do not so her sample might be skewed. Young men with lots of money, lots of time, and questionable decision making skills will attract women that can take advantage of those traits. Being a wife in the NBA I’m sure she sees those types of young men and women more often than most of us who work at an office building.

#2. Newsflash. Women who are in committed relationships tend to be more conservative than those who are still attracting a mate. In addition women who are mothers tend to me more conservative than those who aren’t anticipating how to mold a child’s morality. These aren’t really earth shattering ideas but somehow we, the public, lost sight of this when reacting to Curry’s statements. If we had remembered these ideas her comments would have seemed more typical when-I-was-your-age kind of stuff.

#3. It was only her opinion. I get that her husband is the NBA’s best player on the NBA’s best team but really how did her opinion become so important? She’s entitled to it; we’re entitled to agree or disagree but this is not the sort of thing that should become part of the news cycle (said the hypocrite who just used 300 words on the topic).

Cheryl LaPorte, a teacher in Virginia, assigned her world geography students to try and copy a phrase in Arabic as an avenue of cultural appreciation. The only problem: She chose the Islamic statement of faith as the phrase that students were to copy. You’ve got to be kidding me! In 1950 it may have made sense that on a teacher would have used that phrase to illustrate Arabic calligraphy because they couldn’t get their hands on much else. But in 2015, with the ubiquity of the internet, there is no excuse. The Bible has some very poetic sections but I would question the wisdom of using it to teach the literature in a public school setting. By the same token it is not cool to use a religious statement or text to illustrate the beauty of another language. And in Virginia, where anyone could have guessed the reaction (in fact the school district had to close schools for a day), if I didn’t know better I’d think this was a setup.

Scientists are great at conducting experiments in which they isolate one variable to change and study its effect while everything else remains constant. In reality when one variable changes many other things change along with it. Such is the case with the minimum wage. A $15 minimum wage is a great idea in a vacuum. However in our society the government has no ability to determine what private industries charge for their goods and services. So if consumers have more money in their pockets I cannot see how companies will not increase the costs of their goods and services.  Poorly run companies don’t last. Well run companies profess their desire to maximize profits and are great at doing so. I take these companies at their word and trust that they will grab the biggest possible chunk of money every chance they get. A $15 minimum wage might temporarily help laborers, but in the end prices would catch up.

Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War.  His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @historictrev.




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