Социальные проблемы США и их решения (решения по каждой проблеме)
Chapter 1. Estimation of the current social problems
1.2.Language barrier as a problem of social integration in the multinational community
1.8.Drug, alcohol and tobacco addiction
Chapter 2. Social policy efficiency
1.Armas G. C. Language Barriers Cause Problems // CBS News, 6/8/2002.
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7.Finegan E. & Rickford J.R. (eds) Language in the USA. Themes for the twenty-first century. – Cambridge: Cambrid
Показать всеge Univ. Press, 2005. – 502p.
8.Greenspan A. Remarks at a symposium sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Jackson Hole, Wyoming 28/08/1998/ - [Online] available: http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/Speeches/1998/19980828.htm
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10.Harper Ch. & Leicht K. Exploring Social Change: America and the World. - Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002. – 342p.
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12.In come the waves: The worldwide rise in house prices is the biggest bubble in history. Prepare for the economic pain when it pops// The Economist 16/6/2005.
13.Households by types and size: 1900 to 2002 - http://www.census.gov/statab/hist/HS-12.pdf
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27.U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Division of Labor Force Statistics. THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION: SEPTEMBER 2008 -[Online] available: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
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31.Welcome to the Dead Zone // Fortune 5/5/2006. Скрыть
Alan Greenspan's anxiety is linked with the fear that most common and poor people, if they realize that the rich have acquired much more than their fair share, will insist on making perceptible changes in taxation, market, business regulation policies, threatening the foundation of economic orthodoxy.
In a democratic society, to Greenspan’ s mind, “a stark bifurcation of wealth and income trends among large segments of the population can fuel resentment and political polarization”, “lead to political clashes and misguided economic policies that work to the detriment of the economy and society as a whole”11.
Although education and increased demand for skilled workforce is frequently cited as a cause of increased inequality, many economists and political scientists point to public policy a
Показать всеs the main cause of the citizens’ property status difference. They indicate that education, as it is, can not result in widening gap between the richest 1% and others, whether the are well-educated professionals or mere high school leavers, and that their country has experienced so tremendous rise in inequality as no any other developed nation. Proficiency, efficiency, work experience influencing greatly on personal property status, inheritance, gender and race are of vital importance as well. Additionally household income largely depends on the number of people employed, contributing to property status difference of households depending on the number of profit earners.
The Census Bureau inflation adjusted income report evidences that household income in the US has increased a lot, providing bigger gains to the citizens with higher incomes. The appearance of households having two or more earners has impacted household income greatly, with the spreading trend of women to be employed, leading to the striking variance of households with one and those with two or more earners.
In 2005, for instance, 42% of the whole range of American households and 76% of the most profitable ones had two or more people employed, with income going up much faster in the higher regions of the household income level. In 2003 a household in the 95th percentile, as C.DeNavas, B. D.Proctor, R. J. Mills point out, earned 77.2% more than a household in the 80th percentile, compared to 60.5% in 1967, a 27.6% increase in the earnings increase discrepancy between the two groups, overall the income of the 95th percentile going up 15.2% faster than that of the 80th, 146.8% faster than that of the median and 159.9% faster than that of the 20th percentile12.
The fact that top 20% households earned 49.7% of all income before and 39.6% of income13, after size adjustments in 2003 proves that striking income variance is not diminishing but developing, all the measures taken by the Federal and state governments against it do not prove to be efficient, as income inequality is going on increasing significantly.
Property status difference does not seem to be something strange, as both developed and developing countries face some income variance as the business posts responsibilities of the people employed differ a lot. So as to create some incentive for a wider variety of the job market societies have to provide a range of wages and salaries considering job supply and demand so as to compensate business activity time and losses of the staff. The increasing backlog between the top 30% and the bottom 70% of the American employees is caused by the tremendous income growth of the top single parent households, two-earner households, as well as the number of working and part time hours. Both the significant inflow of immigration recently and the growing number of foreign born workers from about 5% of the workforce in 1970 to more than 15% in 2005, has also stimulated income variance, as most of the immigrants come from low profit countries and do as much as possible to overcome poverty and shift to the middle class.
Although the higher education commonly guarantees higher incomes and wider range of employment opportunities, differences in education can not explain income variance between the top 1% and the rest of the population. Many of individuals lacking a university certificate are millionaires, being listed in the heading households with six figure incomes. In 2005 the most educated categories of the community, accounting 1.4%, were in the number of the most profitable people, roughly half of those having an MBA, the most educated 10%, were included in the list of the employees having the top 20% salaries. Though variance in education fail to explicate all reasons of income difference, education is still and is definite to be one of the strongest impacts on property status growth, thereby resulting in tremendous wealth inequality.
Analysts consider that the rising cost of living in the US, rather than interest rates, should be the central bank's chief concern now as they are having a loss of purchasing power as well as slowdown of consumer spending.
This September, referring to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, we can see that average hourly earnings of the staff employed in production rose by 3 cents, or 0.2 percent, going up to $18.17, following gains of 6 cents in July and 8 cents in August. Average weekly earnings were $610.51 in September 2008, which are much bigger than average earnings in Russia and developing countries. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings of American employees rose by 3.4 percent, average weekly earnings increasing by 2.8 percent. These figures are really great, taking into consideration the current recession and global bank crisis.
The latest jobless data is another set-back for Americans, struggling with decreasing house prices, a credit squeeze and growing fuel bills. Prolonged decrease of house prices does not result in growth of estate acquisition because of lasting bank crisis and economic recession. All over the country estate prices, which peaked in early 2005, have been declining ever since and are unlikely to have hit bottom, forming a sort of bursting housing bubble. Increased foreclosure rates in 2006–2007 by U.S. homeowners led to a crisis in August 2008 for the mortgage, credit, currency and stock markets. In October 2007 Henry Paulson, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, considered the unfolding estate crisis to be "the most significant risk to economy of the USA" and insisted on being more cautious when crediting rating agencies in view of the failures of mortgage securities, many of which got strong investment ratings in spite of the inclusion of risky loans.
The housing market, that used to be booming, started halting at once in many parts of the U.S. in late summer of 2005, making several markets face the issues of ballooning inventories, falling prices and reduce sales volumes sharply. In 2006 August issue of the Barron's foresaw a forthcoming approach of the housing crisis, noting almost 3% decrease of the new homes median price since January 2006 and predicting that "the national median price of housing will probably fall by close to 30% in the next three years ... simple reversion to the mean"14. Fortune journalists, in their turn, identified a great deal of previously strong housing markets as "dead Zones;" distinguishing them from other areas classified as "Danger Zones" and "Safe Havens"15. The Economist reported that "the worldwide rise in house prices is the biggest bubble in history"16, so without considering global and local causes the society is unlikely to explicate the causes and make the economy recover.
The Fortune magazine, in their turn, announced that "the great housing bubble had finally started to deflate ... In many once-sizzling markets around the country, accounts of dropping list prices had replaced tales of waiting lists for unbuilt condos and bidding wars over humdrum three-bedroom colonials"17.
Home price appreciation has not been uniform to such an extent that a few leading economists, for example, Alan Greenspan, claimed that there was not a nationwide housing bubble all over the United States, but there appeared a few local bubbles. Later on, in 2007 A. Greenspan had to admit that "all the froth bubbles add up to an aggregate bubble". Notwithstanding very relaxed standards of lending and low level of interest rates, many states and state areas have experienced but insignificant growth during the so called "bubble period", out of twenty largest metropolitan areas only six, including Dallas, Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Atlanta, and Charlotte, had price growth in inflation-adjusted terms in 2001–2006 under 10 percent, while 7 of them in the same period of time (Tampa, Miami, San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Washington DC) enjoyed price growth in inflation-adjusted terms more than 80 percent.
By July 2008 the real estate prices declined in 24 of 25 U.S. metropolitan areas, California and the southwestern witnessing the biggest price drops, Milwaukee alone having had a house price increase since last year.
A very likely collapse of the U.S. real estate bubble would influence the nation's home valuations, as well as mortgage and real estate markets, Wall Street hedge funds held by large institutional investors, domestic market, inland and foreign banks, increasing the risk of a nationwide recession. Concerns about the influence of the destroying housing and credit markets on the whole U.S. economy caused W. Bush and Ben Bernanke to admit a limited bailout of the U.S. real estate market for homeowners incapable of paying their mortgage debts.
Although the US government in 2008 alone handed over $900 billion to special loans and rescues related to the housing bubble, over half of those going to the quasi-government agencies of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration, the situation is far from improving.
1.5. Race discrimination
The term race is ambiguous and has been used in many ways. One concept of race is biological and refers to people who have interbred over a long period of time and, as a result, share distinctive physical features. These include skin color, hair texture, nose structure, head form, brain size, lip form, facial shape, and stature. The problem with the biological approach to defining race is that it is very arbitrary. The factors used to distinguish among races vary considerably within a given group of people. Skin coloring, for instance, differs greatly within races. A wide variety of human groups are commonly referred to as races, including the English, French, Arabs, Jews, Gypsies, Irish, Scots, Welsh, Basques, Indians, Nordics, Eskimos, blacks, Hindus, Latinos, and Celts. The term race is applied in a general way to the following kinds of groups and categories: those who speak a certain language; a religious group, such as the Hindus; an isolated local population, such as the Cornish people; a hypothetical "pure type" that is assumed to have existed in the past, such as the Germanic; a recognizable type, such as the American Indian or the Eskimo.
Race has also been defined administratively by establishing racial categories through laws or bureaucratic practice. Here social definitions outweigh biological definitions.
Clearly violence is much more extreme form of race discrimination than simple verbal abuse or avoiding interaction with members of a minority group, and it tales place though not so often as a few decades ago. Over time, minority group members have been beaten, whipped, hanged, burned at the stake, or desexed simply because they belonged to a hated group. Although violence has diminished, instances still occur today. In Beverly Hills, for example, there have been recent reports of wealthy couples forcing illegal Indonesian aliens into slavery and then beating them for failure to obey orders! In 1986, Mexican Border Patrol agents discovered a paramilitary group whose sole purpose was to capture and harass aliens. Some of the current violence against minorities is sponsored by the Ku Klux Klan, an organization which is treated separately later in this chapter. Unfortunately, hate groups of all kinds have become increasingly common in the 1980s. People in these groups are extremists who will use robbery, violence and smear campaigns to lash out at the nation's minorities.
Prejudice and discrimination are widespread objective national problems which have been with us for a long time. However, there are some notable regional differences in the prevalence of these problems. As most people believe, white southerners are especially likely to be prejudiced, particularly in terms of accepting blacks in equal status positions. Like alcoholism among the Irish, bigotry among white southerners is a popular subjective stereotype that happens to fit the objective facts. In fact, some parts of the South have been such hotbeds of anti-black feelings that the American Nazi Party, a lunatic fringe element, recently declared the time was ripe to set aside North Carolina as a Caroline Free State, a country for white people only. Today, regional variations in prejudice and discrimination are diminishing resulting to the election of a black American as the president of the USA in November 2008.
Still there are probably as many definitions of race as there are people defining it. This is because race is a social rather than a scientific category; in essence, race is what people say it is. Racial categories are established through the highly subjective impressions by which some people define themselves and others.
The US society has long been characterized by dilemma between the objective principles of the American creed of justice for all and the racist reality of everyday life. This problem is compounded by the fact that many white America do not care about the dilemma but only about the troubles it has created . Racism is prejudice or discrimination based on perceived racial characteristics. Essentially racism takes three forms.
One form is individual racism, a term often used interchangeably with race prejudice. It refers to negative racial attitudes which are ungrounded. People who put all blacks into one category and harbor hostile attitudes toward them suffer from race prejudice. Sexual racism, for instance, is one of the subjective components of racism. It is partly based on the idea that black males are expressively sexual, promiscuous, and preoccupied with white women.
Some believe that southerners are no longer more prejudiced than other Americans, as evidenced by strong anti-black attitudes in northern areas such as South Boston. A 1983 Gallup poll disclosed that Americans are becoming more tolerant of interracial marriages, although there are still many people who disapprove—about 50 percent in the Gallup study. Recently, in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania, a black man with a white common-law wife was much tormented by his white bigoted neighbors. Subsequently, he engaged in a berserk outbreak during which he killed thirteen people, some of whom were his own children.
Inappropriate thinking about blacks is most typical of those segments of the white population that have the least. Race prejudice is closely linked to social class; individuals from the tower classes are typically more prejudiced than those from higher classes. Certainly the limited educational attainment of lower-class people is related to such a simplistic, stereotypic view of the world. They are also more frustrated than other people, and many need someone to whom they can feel superior. In addition, lower-class whites often find themselves in direct competition for jobs with blacks, many of whom are also lower-class.
A second form of racism is institutional racism, which involves sources of discrimination found outside the individual. It includes all the direct and hidden ways in which society's institutions work against the interests of minority groups. Institutional racism has a long history in the United States. Because it is the most widespread form of discrimination, examples abound. In the South, it used to be illegal to teach blacks how to read and write.
Much institutional discrimination may be unfair, but it is not illegal. For example, admission to a prestigious private school may be based on ability to pay and personal recommendations. However, if nearly everyone who has the money and influential friends to write the recommendations is white, blacks will have a difficult time gaining admission.
The third form of racism, cultural racism, contains elements of both individual and institutional racism. It is the expression of the superiority of the cultural heritage of one's race over another. Cultural racism is at work, for instance, when the achievements of a race are ignored in classroom textbooks. Another example of cultural racism is the controversial research on intelligence differences between blacks and whites. Often the reported "intelligence deficiencies" of black people merely reflect their lack of knowledge of white culture, upon which the tests are based. Yet the test scores are taken at face value and become an instrument of institutional discrimination by which blacks are placed in less demanding curricula in school.
The consequences of racism are not limited to damaged personalities. For instance, although infant mortality rates are declining nationwide, the gap between the rates for black and white babies is widening. Another consequence is the large economic drain to the country of denying a whole group of people the opportunity to contribute to society and to fully utilize their talents. Parts of this chapter enumerate the massive costs and problems of discrimination in the areas of income, occupation, education, housing, politics, and social justice.
The reports of negative self-esteem among black children refer to situations in which the children were raised in a racist atmosphere. This is not the experience of all blacks growing up in the United States. Those who do not regularly encounter prejudice and discrimination have levels of self-esteem comparable to and sometimes higher than whites.
Prejudice is not an attitude held only by members of the dominant group toward members of a minority group. There is also much ill feeling among minorities, especially between blacks and Jews. Since the early 1970s, intense anti-Jewish attitudes have been expressed by a number of black leaders, including Jesse Jackson and Reverend Joseph Lowery of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. This came as a shock to many people who had assumed there was a natural alliance between blacks and Jews in this country. In fact, a number of Harris surveys throughout the 1970s showed a sharp increase in black anti-Semitism. Recently it was reported that blacks are even more anti-Semitic than whites18. Blacks are especially likely to believe Jews choose money over people, are unethical in business, constitute the largest number of slumlords, and have too much power and influence. Similar tensions exist in many American cities between Asian merchants and the black communities they serve and between blacks and Puerto Ricans living near each other.
There has also been an increase in antiblack feelings among Jews. The Harris surveys showed that Jews are less willing than other whites to send their children to schools with blacks or to have blacks move into their neighborhoods. Ironically, since Jews are politically more liberal than any other white group and are ideologically opposed to racism, they are the closest social and political allies blacks have. Yet inappropriate feelings and misunderstandings prevent the two groups from working together to fight prejudice and discrimination. Скрыть
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