Let’s get political:

Human beings are forever testing the limits of their humanity. Corruption is not a new issue, elite’s doing their damnedest to maintain their elitism is not a new effort, it is simply base intuition to act upon and protect one’s best interests. Every century or so, however, a society’s system is rebooted, there is a Rebellion, a Renaissance, a Revolution, a Resettlement. After the succession of these recent waves of Industrialization, Globalization, and now blatant Corporate Domination, I’d say the United States is due for a reboot.

Capitalism is the new black. I am not suggesting in the slightest that we need to abandon this modus operandi (sorry Socialists), capitalism runs through the veins of every modern human of a developed nation… they can’t enjoy their morning cup o’ joe without participating in the markets… but we need to check our capitalism. With the passing of Citizen’s United in 2010, and the current negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we have surely hit rock bottom. By law, a corporation has more influence over our political system than its own citizens. By law, a corporation has better protected “human” rights than the humans the corporation employs.

Matt Wuerker for Politico

I am as materialistic and device hungry as the next American, just as callous to the daily pleas for some change, for a buck, as every other New Yorker, but I insist: I do have empathy. I want my neighbor to be just as well as situated as most of us are, to have a place to sleep and work, to make a living wage; allowing for the investment in fresh, whole foods, clothing, and entertainment. I want every child in the country to have the same academic opportunity I had: access to computers and internet, a large, safe school, ample textbooks to refer to, and well qualified teachers who are passionate about their subject matter as well as their influence over young minds. Above all, I wish for Americans to have confidence in their government.

There is a prevalent disenchantment, from the common liberal to the common conservative, in our politicians and political system. We are upset, we do not feel represented, we do not feel well provided for. However, just as I do not see capitalism going anywhere, I do not see our federal government going anywhere (sorry Tea Party-ers). I am convinced that a large part of this disenchantment is simply ignorance, ignorance of what government’s capacity for influence is and what it is actually doing on a daily, or annual basis.

Let me make sure we’re all on the same page: a governing body exists to serve it’s citizens. Our representatives, our senators, our president, are all civil servants, and today, the issue is that we do not feel well served. There are some things in this modern life that are too complicated for the individual the manage on their own, and in truth, are better managed at a large scale to allow for efficiency and consistency: public education, healthcare, public transportation, maintenance of roads and bridges, military services, monetary policies…

I understand that the United States was founded on an attempted escape from an overbearing governing body, the Church of England. But in 2015, in a country of: such wealth, such a large population, under and emitting such large influence on the rest of the international community, we can no longer idealize our history and continue to pretend that this is still the wild west.

The American psyche is painfully individualistic. We need to graduate to a point of deep understanding, that we are members of and active participants in local, national, and global communities, and therefore demand collaborative & encompassing governance.

Criticism, I insist, is the ultimate form of patriotism.

Ode to Ptown

It’s always a strange sensation to recognize how seemingly intimate places have the capacity to inspire so many people, throughout history, when the inspiration it has fostered in you feels like such a personal experience. Provincetown, Massachusetts, that colorful and rambunctious village, has become an ingrained aspect of my identity, as most iconic spots in Massachusetts have.
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ASSA 2015

Last weekend, I sat in at the annual meeting of the Allied Social Sciences Association. Having many meetings organized by the American Economic Association, my intention remained to be the continued exposure to the professional field of economics.

Now, that sounds rather dry, I realize, but I insist that this post has relevancy to any and all who may read it.

Briefly, the purpose of this annual meeting is for professional and academic researchers to present their work (projects they have been working on for years or have recently started), and also for attendees to network on a hyper level. Getting a glimpse at what topics are consuming the resources and attention of these esteemed and influential individuals, institutions, and universities is an incredibly illuminating glimpse of what issues are concerning the greater population. Continue reading

Playing Film Critic Again

A film critic is not something I’ve ever aspired to be.
However, I have played the part before, and when you stumble upon such gems as the two movies which my eyeballs have recently digested, it’s practically criminal to not share your experience and to not urge others to view them for their own interpretation.
Last night, I was visually spoiled by The Great Beauty, and today, I was witness to the workings of Citizenfour.
Rather than in the order of social significance, I’ll address them in chronological order, by which I viewed them.

The Great Beauty, in essence, is a sumptuous film. Continue reading

Sugar: Nutrient and Drug

With Halloween being just a day away, now seems a fitting time as ever to talk about disguises and poison.

With that particularly vague statement, I am addressing “sugar”, by which you can assume I am referring to any number of widely used, added sweeteners: cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, etc.
Sugar is ambrosia, the sweet nectar of the Greek gods.
It’s instant energy without the hassle of thorough digestion.
It very well may be one of the key participants in human evolution and advancement, along with beer and wheat (similar products I know, but I’m referring to their applications).
In short, sugar has become a very valuable ingredient in our modern diets. Continue reading

Economics: A Story of My Niaveté

My original understanding of economics went something like this: “well it’s like a more practical philosophy”. I don’t mean “practical” as more valid, but naturally more applied rather than perceptive. Seeing as how our lives revolve around money and the exchange of it for goods, experiences, services, social needs etc., economics seemed to be all about the fine details of how this money is shifted around and how people, companies, organizations, governments, etc. decide where it goes. Continue reading

Personal account from a Millennial

There are a few social issues that have been circulating around for the past few years, that are gaining a lot of traction recently.

Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg
Knowing Your Value, Mika Brzezinski
The Unbelievers (2013)
Religulous (2008)

I find all this very strange, because these hardly seem like “issues” to me, as in “an important topic or problem for debate or discussion”. While there are riveting conversations on panel discussions, bestsellers based on these topics, “exposés” on the news and in incredibly well made documentaries, and in common conversation with my elders… They just seem to already be figured out in my brain and in the brains of the bulk of my friends. Continue reading

Agricultural Industry Equation, and I Suggest We Reinvigorate the Victory Garden Campaign

My studies at JWU, while composed of many wine tastings, plenty of time in front of a stove, and too many “pretend you own a restaurant” projects, were independently supplemented by research inspired by my own intense and possessing curiosity.  I found myself sincerely disappointed that we rarely took a glance at the agricultural industry. Our scope, as food industry professionals,  began at the inventory list of a supplier and ended with what we place on the plate of the customer. True, there are plenty of intricacies in between and there is so much to learn in that cross section of the process, but it’s still a limited view. Continue reading