Guns vs. Education

Since mass shootings have become such a frequent occurrence, it is no wonder Utica College located in Upstate New York sprang into action the minute they received threats from an individual, presently unidentified, who declared themselves armed with a weapon around on campus grounds. Utica College has approximately 5000 students who attend classes on campus and online. Due to the calamitous events that have transpired at about 11am Monday morning, all of these students as well as the staffs have been removed from campus grounds and are told to hang around safe places for the time being. The Utica College representatives have, in the meantime, called off all remaining classes and events for the day.

Around one o’clock past noon on Monday, Lieutenant Bryan Coromato of the Utica Police Department has updated the public in an email that states,

“This agency, along with other local, state, and federal agencies are on scene investigating the incident. At this time there is no substantiation to any reports of an active shooter or shots fired on the campus.”

A couple of hours following this incident, at 3 in the afternoon, Utica Police Department reassured the public of the lack of hostility that has been detected, in addition to the absence of physical forces and violence that has been reported through the platforms of social media such as Twitter. Nonetheless, they will continue this investigation to validate the authenticity of the threat in order to ensure the safety of the students as well as the staff.

Further updates about the incident can be found on the Utica College Twitter page.

While we are pleased to see this matter being handled with extreme precaution and severity, we cannot deny the inconvenience that it has ultimately caused to the people involved. A quick look through the search engine reveals the extent of people in distress. All things aside, this situation calls for a quick evaluation of the United States as a ‘first-world country’. Should a developed nation such as America be like this? Should people be in constant fear and distress for a possible massacre? Why aren’t we doing something to change that?

Politicians, news reporters and so forth are centering their attention on gun rights in relation to gun control only to waste away the time and effort with no tangible outcomes. The Second Amendment of the Constitution has safeguarded the right of the people to bear arms, so why do we insist on devoting all these resources to fight for a cause that we cannot win? Perhaps the states should better allocate these means towards a more promising approach, such as the gun reform package that has been proposed by the Senate of Florida State.

The notion of keeping teachers armed have been mocked and ridiculed on social media. It is important to take into consideration that those who are determined to execute their plans, will find a way to do so, despite of the rules and regulations that may restrict them temporarily. Hence, the enforcement of gun control does not guarantee the elimination of mass shootings whereas permitting the staffs and officials of schools or colleges will provide them with a promising self-defense line in times of need.

Furthermore, the Florida school shooting have illustrated the need for proper education, since shooters are no longer repeat offenders or hired assassins. They are the children who did not receive adequate care and attention from their role models. Take the Florida shooter for example, he has had an entire web page that described his aspirations to be a “shooter” as well as the refusal to attend class the morning of the shooting. All of this, however, was dismissed as a regular teenage defiance. Many children out there who are under foster care faces similar negligence and lack of sympathy by the adults around them. All of the aforementioned entities are aspects that could be improved with sufficient resources, and, in turn, eliminate these threats in the long run.

Featured Image via Flickr/skyandsea876

Starting school later could boost the U.S. economy by $83 million over 10 years

A recent study conducted by the RAND Corporation suggests that delaying the start of the school day until 8:30 a.m. could boost the U.S. economy by $83 billion over the course of a decade, reports.

Pediatric health experts have long argued that a later start to the school day would better accommodate teenagers’ sleep needs, and would improve students’ concentration, as well as their mental and physical health.

According to, up to 60 percent of teens do not sleep for the recommended eight to 10 hours per night. Researchers have correlated lack of sleep with suicidal thoughts and other adverse mental and physical health conditions.

Policymakers have been reluctant to delay the start of the school day, citing costs associated with rerouting bus schedules and making other necessary changes. However, RAND’s study finds that over the course of a few years, the economic benefits derived from a later beginning to the school day would outweigh the costs of implementing the change.

“A small change could result in big economic benefits over a short period of time for the U.S. In fact, the level of benefit and period of time it would take to recoup the costs from the policy change is unprecedented in economic terms,” said Marco Hafner, a senior analyst at RAND Europe who co-wrote the report.

The study identifies two primary factors that would precipitate economic growth if school started later. First, traffic fatalities would decrease. Therefore, more children would grow to adulthood and contribute to the country’s workforce.

The RAND study cites CDC and AAA data indicating that one in five fatal traffic accidents involves a tired driver. RAND also cites a study conducted in 2008 that found that starting school later would reduce the rate of traffic accidents by 16.5 percent.

Second, academic performance would improve, boosting high school graduation and college attendance rates. Another study indicated that giving students an additional hour of sleep would increase their likelihood of graduating high school by 8.6 percent, on average, and their likelihood attending college by 13.4 percent, on average.

Students who graduate high school stand to earn a higher income than those who do not. Those who attend and/or graduate college generally make higher wages than those who do not. Higher income means more spending and, therefore, increased economic contribution.

The economic benefits of the policy shift would increase at an accelerating rate over the first 15 years following the implementation of the policy. There would be no change in economic output one year after the shift, for the students graduating that year would have benefited from just one year of enhanced academic performance. After two years, though, the economy would grow by $9 billion; after five, by $37 billion; and after 15, by $140 billion.

RAND claims to have been conservative in many aspects of the study,

“Throughout the cost-benefit projections, we have taken a conservative approach when establishing the economic gains,” Hafner said. “We have not included other effects from insufficient sleep — such as higher suicide rates, increased obesity and mental health issues — which are all difficult to quantify precisely. Therefore, it is likely that the reported economic and health benefits from delaying school start times could be even higher across many U.S. states.”

Still, RAND says, the study supports the conclusion that a later school start time would benefit the nation’s economy as well as the health of students.

“From a policy perspective, the potential implications of the study are hugely important. The significant economic benefits from simply delaying school start times to 8.30 a.m. would be felt in a matter of years, making this a win-win, both in terms of benefiting the public health of adolescents and doing so in a cost-effective manner,” says said Wendy Troxel, a senior behavioral and social scientist at RAND who co-wrote the report.

Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons

Studies Show Millennials Are Making Less Than Baby Boomers

Studies are showing that millennials are earning 20 percent less than baby boomers at the same stage of life, despite being an overall better-educated group, with more opportunities for further education. At $10,090, the median net worth of millennial is also 56 percent less than it was for boomers. The advocacy group Young Invincible released a new analysis of Federal Reserve data that gives concrete details about this generational gap. The analysis of the Federal Reserve data compares 25 to 34 year-olds in 2013 to the same age group in 1989, adjusted for inflation.

Millennials, with a median household income of $40,581, have half the net worth of boomers. Their student debt is much higher, while their home ownership rate is much lower.

President-elect Donald Trump, who essentially pledged to return to an era of prosperity like that of post-World War II America, will have to confront this dilemma. The data also shows that white millennials earn much more than their black and Latino peers. However, the income of white millennials has plummeted over 21 percent to $47,688. Still, the legacy of discriminatory practices for jobs, education, and housing continues in the drastically different wages between whites and any other group.

The median income for black millennials has fallen 1.4 percent to $27,892. Latino millennials, on the other hand, have seen an increase to $30,436—almost 29 percent more than their boomer predecessors.

The report also shows that while education does help to boost income, the average college-educate, student debt laden millennial ears only slightly more than a baby boomer with no college degree in 1989. A report by the Brookings Institution noted that the proportion of college educated 25 to 29 year-olds has risen 35.6 percent in 2015 from 23.2 percent in 1990. Still, it is less likely that millennials will out-earn their parents. A study last year by economist Raj Chetty found that people born in the 1905s has a 79 percent chance of out earning their parents, while that percentage dropped to 50 percent for people born in 1980.

This generational divide could still affect boomers. The taxes collected from millennials paychecks help finance the Social Security and Medicare benefits that many boomers, retired or about to, receive. Therefore, these boomers need millennials to buy houses and invest in financial markets in order to protect their own savings.

It’s Time for Women’s Empowerment!

Empowerment is not only a word that needs to be a part of education, but it also needs to be on mentioned in the War on Sexism. I heard a  man once say to a woman,” You are one of those…” because she spread the word of empowerment to others.

I could not believe what I heard. Later  that night I thought about the words that were said, about how that woman was “one of those.” One of what, may I ask? I think it is time for both of the sexes to talk about women’s empowerment.

Firstly, men need as much empowerment as the girls. It should be “even steven” on both sides, but it is not. If something is not done soon we may not have time to solve the issues at hand. Our economic environment depends on this working out, and we keep pushing the sexes away from each other. If we give attention to one sex, we need to show the other the same amount of attention.

Via Flickr/The Library of Congress
Via Flickr/The Library of Congress

It is imperative to empower women through education. Women do not have to give up their educational goals. They can have it all while taking care of themselves and their family.

Unfortunately, tons of women do not have the drive or the know-how. This is the normal standard of life for some women on a daily basis only because they allow the standard to continue. They let their husbands pay for everything and  they have no clue what is in their bank account. It is time for women to take some initiative. By doing this, it helps break the gap in the workforce between Adam and Eve. When more women work it increases our economy, and that is what is needed to get America off her butt again.

Men also need to change! Why not encourage women? They need to let go of being in charge and let the ladies do what they can do. Women can do the same things men can do. Men can do more than what a ” man” is suppose to do. There is more job growth when everyone plays nice!

Also, why do you need to pass the family business on to someone because they have the same last name? Most of the time family owned businesses that are passed down by generation end up failing. So instead of allowing DNA  to be the factor in giving a job, pass it down to someone that will take your legacy to the highest. If there is not much pressure when passing down the family-owned business then the children can choose to follow their own career paths. When you are doing what you love, it’s not working. There is the possibility of love, life, and labor being in the same sentence.

Men need more options and don’t need to feel the pressure to do what is expected. Men do not need to pay for everything and work alone, and they should be educated. Men have the same issues, but they’re on a different spectrum. Not having an education because you have to work and pay bills should not even be in the thoughts of Americans.

Only 19 % of Congress is made up of women. There are only 26 female CEO’s listed in the Fortune 500. There is a double standard and nothing is being done about this. The main issue is the lack of education in regards to book learning, finances, and health.

So, I think it is time for a change, and maybe it is the time we see how the ladies hold up next to a man. Women have man’s rib so why not give us a shot?  Let’s let Ronda Rousey fight Floyd Mayweather and just see where this goes. Let’s start this empowerment movement with a bang or a pow but most definitely a shot. Alternatively, we should keep it simple and look at what is missing from the bigger picture and see how to improve and not hold each other back. We are all fighting for the same thing in the end.


Photo via Flickr/Christoph Lehmann

‘Stalled Gender Revolution’ Is Awakening and Gender Equity Is on the Rise

According to a report from the Council on Contemporary Families titled “Gender Revolution Rebound Symposium,” what is known as the “Stalled Gender Revolution” of the 1990s and early 2000s is now over.

This so-called stall in gender equality progression occurred after an active period from about 1970 to 1990 where women increasingly entered the work force and closed in on education and income gaps. Then, in the 1990s and 2000s, progress not only paused but also reversed. Highly educated women “opted out” of high-power, high-paying careers to stay with children over the fear that their kids would be harmed by lack of a substantial maternal relationship. Subsequently, the wage gaps again increased.

Now, according to the report by David Cotter, a sociologist at Union College, and his co-authors, gender equality is again progressing as generations outside of just the Millennials are increasingly accepting and embracing what gender equality entails. Since 2006, all generations, conservatives and liberals alike, have seen an increase in support for gender equality—conservatives, though behind liberals, have demonstrated the greatest growth in support.

According to the survey’s findings, in 1977, 66 percent of Americans surveyed said that male breadwinner-female homemaker families are the ideal, but now less than one-third surveyed agree with that. Additionally, today 65 percent disagreed that preschool children would suffer should their mothers work. Further, over 75 percent said that both genders are equally skilled in politics. According to a report by Christine Schwartz, sociology professor at University Wisconsin-Madison, only 28 percent would assert that the husband should earn a greater salary than his wife.

Professor of history and family studies at Evergreen State College and director of Public Education at the Council of Contemporary Families, Stephanie Coontz alleged that perhaps the Great Recession is responsible for the increase in support for gender equality in the workplace and home, as it was in the Great Depression. She told The Washington Post, “It may be that this time, the recession reminded people of women’s labor, and they respected them for it.”

While perhaps gender equity in the workplace is picking up speed, our world still has a ways to go to obtain full gender equality in all aspects of life.