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Consequences of Reform

Published January 28, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Reforms from movements like the labor, feminist, civil rights and environmental movements, have significant impact on our culture.  The efforts and collective action of movements produced enormous change.  If it were not for the labor movement efforts that began in the early 1900s, worker conditions could still be subject to the atrocities employees faced that included: (a) poor wages, (b) the inequality of salaries due to gender and race, (c) unhealthy work conditions, and (d) grueling long hours; in addition to the forced endangered child labor population of these conditions.

On the other hand, the feminist movement based their grievances on a status change rather than a social one, like the labor movement that progressed out of the civil rights campaign. The feminist movement had a profound impact on women in our country. It introduced a new mold for the female archetype which helped transform the traditional expectations of women that comprised domestic responsibilities, parenting and rules on their femininity. The significant consequences reflect a world that has embraced a new paradigm, one in which the female population can enjoy equal pay, pursuing their passions, decide their own careers, experience political rights, and seek higher education. The independent feminine spirit has emerged, with more women being featured in prominent leadership roles in the global network, political arena, as well as in the corporate arena.

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Reforms following the September 11th terrorist attack have also produced profound effects with colossal impact. Many consequences emerged from that historic tragic event, including the most noteworthy: the manifestation of systems that focus on exposing individuals private lives. Organizations like Homeland Security and the National Counter-terrorism Center, have implemented more systems in intelligence collecting, surveillance, closer cargo inspections, the correlation of information and other activities to target and constrict opportunities for infiltration by plotting terrorists. Other more invasive maneuvers include patting down and stripping young children and wheel chair individuals at various airports and other ports of entry and worldwide.  The human agency, in short, is scrutinized more closely from satellites in space, cameras posted all around our cities, remote-controlled flying cameras; mobile phones; computers and even credit cards (Icke, 2012).

Reforms in the mortgage and loan industry outlined by the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act of 2010 (Mortgage Reform, 2012) were constructed to hone in on unsound and deceptive lending practices.  Additionally, it helps people by providing them disclosure forms that educate borrowers on the mortgage and loan process.

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Finally, progressive movements that seek reform in the food industry, are responsible for exposing atrocities inflicted from various farming organizations of the inhumane conditions in which they conduct business. These changes include free range farms that allow animals to live a more abundant natural life rather than those designed by the mass production farm lots of the meat industry where livestock is considered a commodity rather than living sentient beings that bond with their family unit.  These animals traditionally enjoy close relationships.  Free range farms are a colossal improvement from the feedlots concerned with profit and mass production. Some of the poor conditions include: the minuscule size of animal quarters, where each individual animal’s movements (chickens, pigs, cows and calves – which satisfy the needs of the veal industry) are confined and constrained in diminutive cages.  Some farms cut off the tips of the fowls beaks to prevent from pecking and harming each other due to the brutality of their environment.  In addition, research suggests the health and well-being of the human population has been affected from the antibiotics and hormones fed to the livestock. Medical studies reveal there is a link in human diseases such as osteoporosis, miscarriages and birth defects due to the pesticides and chemicals added to the diet of the livestock in these industries, to keep their animals healthy and substantive in size with the intent of producing larger volumes of meat products that yield heftier profits (Robbins, 1987).

This research outlines just a few examples of how reforms can materialize from the passion and energy of movements that continues to shape our world.  When we ponder these changes we must consider what our world may look like down the road as a result of the next generation’s influence and the appetites that guide them.

References:

Mortgage Reform. (2012, July 19). Retrieved from The New York Times Opinion Pages: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/opinion/mortgage-reform-continued.html?_r=0

Icke, D. (2012). Remember who you are: Remember where you are and where you come from. Isle of Wight, UK: David Icke Books.

Robbins, J. (1987). Diet for a new America. Novato, CA: Stillpoint Publishing.

Managing in Social Change

Published January 14, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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We reside in a wondrous and complicated world and a great number of individuals consider it impossible to make sense of.  It is simpler for people to give up, unplug and concede their uniqueness to the tramlines of programmed convention (Icke, 2012).  In fact, it is a considerably different place from the world we came to recognize as children, or even of ten years ago for that matter.  There are many reasons for these changes, one of which includes the significant events that occur which continue to help shape our evolution.

It is important to differentiate between the causes and consequences of an event to better comprehend the impact it may have.  In the social sciences, causes are implications, not things that are self-evident from a given set of observations (Harper & Leicht, 2011).  This can make analysis and documentation of significant events a difficult task, whether arbitrarily treated as a cause or consequence.  In addition, a biographer may view and describe a noteworthy event from a different perspective than that of a social scientist.  For example, a social scientist would be interested in how a momentous event would impact the culture’s values, problems, fears, as well as hopes and dreams that people share; whereas a biographer tends to focus on investigating the story without the conjecture of outcomes.  A historian on the other hand, may implement a bit of both as they may wish to reveal the process, progress, evolution and development of an event.

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One such recent significant event that had great impact on the country was the mortgage and loan crisis.  The US economy entered a mortgage crisis in 2007 that caused panic and financial turmoil worldwide.  It was a result of too much borrowing and severely flawed financial modeling, largely based on greed and fraudulent practices as well as the assumption that home prices would only continue to increase.  One noteworthy consequence of the mortgage crisis is that a shocked public discovered how leveraged the world is.  Bankers, lawmakers, consumers and business people all continue to work diligently to reduce the paramount effects of that crisis.

A reverence for homeownership has been a central theme of the American experience, which was the mindset behind making home loans more available to everyone.  In their book Reckless Endangerment Morgenson and Rosner (2011) purport:

The Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act actually encouraged unsafe and unsound activities at both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by assigning them a new affordable housing mission.  Under the law, the companies had to use their mortgage purchases to help provide housing to those across the nation who had previously been unable to afford a home (p. 25).

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The mortgage crisis affected many cities and communities severely.  Many local mortgage and loan organizations suffered bankruptcy leaving many individuals unemployed and destitute.  Additionally thousands of families became homeless, losing their places of residence to foreclosure. Can an event like this ever happen again?  Morgenson and Rosner (2011) seem to think so. In fact, they contend, “Most certainly, because Congress decided against fixing the problem of too big to fail institutions when it had its chance” (p. 304).  Only time will tell.

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References

Harper, C., & Leicht, K. (2011). Exploring social change American and the world (6th ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Icke, D. (2012). Remember who you are: Remember where you are and where you come from. Isle of Wight, UK: David Icke Books.

Morgenson, G., & Rosner, J. (2011). Reckless endangerment (1st ed.). New York, NY: Times Books.