Decriminalizing Addiction


The War on Drugs has been raging on since the 1970s when President Nixon declared drugs as America’s Public Enemy Number One. Since then Reagan increased the efforts against with a popular “tough on crime attitude” in which drug users, addicts, and traffickers alike were all treated as serious criminals. America now incarcerates more of its population per capita than any other sovereign nation in history. America’s jailing of its people has gotten to a point where the private prison industry is a lucrative and ever-expanding market; but if so many of our “criminals” are in correctional facilities, then why then does the United States of America still have the biggest drug use problem in the world?

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Using tools such as empirical data, academic journals, economic ideologies, and utilitarian philosophy it is easy to see that the current “tough on crime” system the United States uses to combat drug use is plain not working. Mass incarcerations have led to fraudulent, corrupt, unethical and amoral private prison corporations and the suppression of America’s weakest peoples. Meanwhile, across the pond, countries like Portugal are experiencing great success with the decriminalization of drugs. The United States Government needs to acknowledge the flaws of its current system and acknowledge the potential of decriminalization.

Check out this website to learn more and be sure to read my white paper!

http://www.thehouseilivein.org/

https://sites.google.com/a/bucknell.edu/biz-gov-soc/research-for-white-papers/white-paper-archives-or-sources/DecrimAddiction.Berman.docx

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BLOG STATS/Questions


Here’s a list of each users most viewed blog post, and the number of views it attained:

Kelly

Tupac Announces 2013 Tour, 113

 

Sal

Jay-Z and Beyonce Work for the Devil!, 210

 

Megan M

Wal-Mart: Save Money. Live Worse., 91

 

Gil

Is all that SHIT in the Media really true?, 164

 

Steph

Do You Believe In Miracles?, 36

 

Kyle

“In every good lie there is a little bit of truth”, 26

 

Alex

This is Some Serious Spy Shit, Y’all, 49

 

Kaitlyn

Illuminate Yourself, 27

 

DJ

Sociological Imagination, Ethics, and the Steroid-Era of Professional Baseball, 77

 

Mike M

Paying NCAA Student-Athletes: A Simple Answer Amidst Complicated Rules, 38

 

Vinny

Play Ball! Prompt 5- Sports, 29

 

Jackson

Gamesmanship vs. Sportsmanship, the Ethics of Sports, 57

 

Stephen

Blog Prompt 7- Conspiracies: Do They Exist?, 36

 

Megan C

Together Everyone Achieves More, 15

 

Jesse

I hope I don’t get killed for writing this…, 56

 

Caroline

Blog 6 Prompt: Where are they now?, 25

 

Frank

On Instagram Straight Flexin, 46

 

Jennie

Did Elvis Ever Really “Leave the Building”?, 25

 

Ava

2013 Olympic Medal Ceremony: Track and Field, 30

 

Di

Sick Soccer Betting in China, 17

 

Lauren

Patagonia: Taking Corporate Responsibility to the Next Level, 20

 

Mike L

Business Ethics and Sociological Imagination, 8

 

Shon

Living a life completely clear of Mudd, 8

 

Devon

Enforced Ethics, 3

 

Laz006?????

Questions About Business Ethics and Sociological Imagination, 4

 

 

Moving Forward…

Here are some discussion questions the BC came up with:

Are you more likely to write more in the future?

Would you want more privacy for your writing (limited to class) in exchange for LESS global visibility?
 
How can blog be brought into class?
 
What was your favorite/ most creative blog title?
 
Do you think the blog helped you to get to know your classmates better? Do you feel you know more people in this class compared to your others due to the blog?
 
Did you like the blogging aspect of this class?
 
What was your favorite prompt?  Least favorite?
 
 
Do you think blogging has helped you become a better writer?
 

Would you like to Supertax that?


I don’t know if you all were aware but apparently physical health is a problem in our country. Obesity is an issue. Heart attacks are an issue. Diabietes is an issue. Cancer is an issue. A percentage of these issues derive from the same source: fast food. It’s not a big secret that fast food is bad for you. Fast food has extraordinarily high calorie content, saturated fat content, and sodium content. Sure, a few more calories, a little bit of saturated fat and food heavy in sodium is ok once in a while but when different types of fried potatoes make up a large percentage of your daily diet you’re bound to run into some health issues.  A sad reality is that our poorest communities are subjected to these health issues because of how cheap a 20 piece of nuggets at McDonalds is ($4.99). Far too often is the most unhealthy food also the cheapest; Far too often our poorest citizens are also  the most obese. To effectively and efficiently become a healthier population, we need to disincentivize this unhealthy behavior. What if we placed a tax on fast food the same way we placed a tax on cigarettes? This could potentially counter the social cost that we incur as a result of an unhealthy poorer class. Benefits from this proposed tax include long term economic benefits incurred from healthier more productive workers, reduced counts of health issues such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and extra tax money for the government to use at their discretion.

On Instagram Straight Flexin


The minute I wake up each morning, I grab my alarm clock (a.k.a. my iPhone), unlock it, and spend the first moments of my day checking social media outlets. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat. Facebook is obviously the most dominant of the four. Facebook has been part of my life since I was 14 years old; it’d be very easy to imagine what my world would be like without Facebook. Although it often offers the most intimate information about the people you’re connected with, Facebook offers the least intimate experience. I often find myself deliriously reading my news feed and asking myself, “Who is this person? Why are they on my news feed? What on earth are they talking about? Why do I care?” Many people I’m friends with (I’m talking about real-life friends) have deleted their Facebook for extended periods of time; some reactivated their account and some have remained “off the grid.” Perhaps it’s because they are more novel than Facebook, but I would have a much harder time deleting my Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat.

Both Instagram and Twitter have a format that allows for more personal sharing that would normally happen in the real world. Facebook offers so much information that is entirely unusable. I really don’t care about what my best friend’s little brother ate for brunch, but Facebook puts it on my newsfeed. I think the exclusivity on Twitter and Instagram come from their terminology. To connect with someone on Facebook you must “Friend” them. “Would you like to be my ‘friend’ so we could both be updated on the mundane lives we each are living?” It’s almost rude to not accept a “friend request” from even the most obscure “real-world” connections. The information gained from such “friends” is often unwanted and, for the most part, useless. Twitter and Instagram on the other hand each use the terminology of “following”. “Following” someone is a lot more deliberate than accepting a “friend request”. What I mean by more deliberate is that you choose to “Follow” where as you’re practically obligated to accept a “Friend Request.” On Twitter I follow 115 users, compared to the 1000+ friends on Facebook. The information I consume on Twitter is far more relevant and worthy of consumption than that of Facebook. Twitter consists of close friends’ quirky thoughts, not aimed at anyone in particular, and short amusing anecdotes. If Twitter, or Instagram, were to disappear I feel that my “real-world” connections would suffer far more than if Facebook were to disappear. I care about what a friend of mine tweets, I don’t care about the 180 picture photo album my cousin’s ex-girlfriend put up of her spring break.

"Hit that flash quick, Post my bad habits,F*ck you and your Instagram." - Pain by A$VP Rocky

“Hit that flash quick, Post my bad habits,
F*ck you and your Instagram.” – Pain by A$VP Rocky

My Twitter and Instagram, because they are more exclusive and personal, are a much deeper extension of myself than my Facebook. The smaller audience size of my Tweets and Photos, as well as the limited amount of output all users are allowed, enables me to share deeper, richer content while knowing those reading are more likely to appreciate my statements. For this reason, I think Instagram and Twitter are far more personally fulfilling than Facebook. Rappers like Trinidad James and A$VP Rocky recognize the greater intimacy of these social media outlets and reference Instagram by name in their lyrics. A world without Twitter and Instagram would be less enjoyable than a world without Facebook.

Shameless Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat plug: @bermansauce

NGOs in Sustainable Development


I attended the seminar regarding the prospective curriculum for the new “Management: Sustainability” major. I had expressed both at the panel and in class that I felt NGOs should be one of the central focuses of the curriculum, allow me to clarify in this weeks blog post by pulling from my written material and resources.

As I learned in my class taught by Professor Martin last year, sustainable development is a difficult term to define. Sustainable development is, in simplest terms, the act of sustaining development; thus, we must truly understand development before we attempt to make it sustainable. Development is anchored in the existence, and co-existence, of the Public Sector, the Private Sector, and the Non-Profit Sector (NGOs). The Non-Profit Sector is perhaps the most elusive and undervalued of the three sectors. It serves the function of indentifying the many things that the Private Sector could potentially profit from, and identifying the many things that the Public Sector could do a better job at.

To quote one of the readings we had, Jude Howell and Jenny Pearce, of Civil Society and Development, believe, “The non-profit sector operates as a sphere of economic activities that generates outputs in the form of schools, universities, hospitals, clinics, and soup kitchens. These in turn provide employment and income and add to the gross national product.” The Non-Profit Sector deals with the issues that are left untouched by the Public Sector and the Private Sector. Once the Non-Profit Sector identifies and alleviates some of the issues in society, the Private Sector enables profit to be made out of issues. The creation of the soup kitchen offers both the public good from civil society but it also employs the servers, the custodial staff, and the chefs, hence pouring profit and dollars into the Private Sector. The creation of the soup kitchen points to some detriments in society that the Public Sector might want to address. If the soup kitchen becomes of enough public interest then the Public Sector might very well begin spending its energy and time toward fixing the societal problem.

Development often arises out of the Non-Profit Sector and finds a more efficient and effective setting in the Public or Private Sectors, respectively. We do not live in a Utopian society, which means civil society will always have a place in the world. As long as there are problems, demands, what-have-you there will be NGOs attempting to make heads or tails of the situation. Development begins in the Non-Profit realm, which is why I believe the new Managing for Sustainability Majors must become well versed in NGOs.

Ain’t no business ethics like show-business ethics


When I was about 12, my father, an investment banker,  asked me if I wanted to go into finance just like he, my uncles, and grandfather all had. I told him absolutely not because finance is too much about being dishonest and unethical. When I told him I’d rather work in the entertainment industry he called up my uncles, told them my thoughts on finance versus entertainment, and had a good laugh.

Ethical scenarios in show-business are different than most of the scenarios we’ve looked at so far. Where as cases like Enron and Nike focus on the ethics of a big giant corporation manipulating little common folk, often times in show-business it’s the little guys manipulating the big ones. Perhaps that’s not the best way of putting it; it’s more like larger than life guys manipulating a larger than life industry or company. The industry is chock full of interesting of ethical/unethical situations from David Geffen forging a letter from UCLA to prove to William Morris Agency that he graduated, to Ari Emanuel sneaking out of the International Creative Management office at midnight with crates of company files to go start his own company Endeavor. Among the most interesting ethical/unethical actors is Michael Ovitz, who’s been all but banished from the industry since being CEO of Disney/a power-agent at Creative Artists Agency and has publicly claimed the “gay mafia” of the industry is responsible. The entertainment industry is like an oil well waiting for a prospector (like this class).

Paper 2 I plan on tackling a few of these ethics in the entertainment industry scenarios, tying them all together, and then contrasting them with the ethical scenarios we’ve looked at in the past. Jim Berg recently left ICM after being forced out of a partner deal and took “half of the firm’s clients with him”, as someone in the industry put it. The actors within this particular industry are so intrinsically competitive that their actions sometimes border on the unethical, but if and when do they cross the line?