My initial reaction to the reading was sympathetic about the community living in the East St. Louis. This is because the living condition in the city is deplorable with garbage heaps all over the city. I would also think about discrimination in the sense that the area is dominated mostly by the black population. Government services are insufficient to cater for all the needs of the population as well as dealing with issues, such as the sewerage systems projects.
After reading the story, my perception about poverty in the United States changed. I managed to have a different opinion from the previous views, as poverty is a real problem to the local and national government. Unemployment rate is extremely high in Mississippi culminating from the lack of economic activities in the area.
Reading the chapter left me in a situation where I sympathized with those people living in poverty. Some of the touching stories would be told by children about their departed friends whose lives were claimed by unwarranted behaviors, such as rape, murder, and robbery. In addition, toxic gases released to the rivers as well as to the environment cause diseases that claims many children’s lives (Kozol 13). I became more concerned about the living condition of children whose basic needs were unmet while living in this kind of an environment.
The major cause of poverty in East St. Louis is lack of employment opportunities in the region. Youth engage in crime as a way of survival. Another cause is lack of social responsibilities by company management as well as the government that mismanage the resources available (Kozol 33).
A person working today is more productive due to the advancement in technology. Gar Alperovitz and Lew Daly argue that technology has brought about free lunch in the sense that output is more than the input when technology is put into good use. This has been manifested through income disparities between people living in the same society. In the year 1870, the technology that was being used was different from the one being applied now. People’s income was relatively lower than the situation in the present day because their productivity levels were limited to technology in use. Thus, technology creates unequal input as related to the output (Aperovitz and Daly 23). In addition, a person would take more hours to perform a particular task while presently duties are carried out within a very short time.
The implication of these claims varies with an individuals’ knowledge as well as the process of working ahead of others. For example, warren buffet, who is amongst the richest people in the world estimated to have accumulated $60 billion worth of assets, has proved to have acquired more knowledge from past experiences. However, the most important thing is how a person uses this knowledge to transform the current situation that creates differences between people living in the community. Therefore, technology has brought about income disparities while improving the process of wealth creation. I agree with this claim in the sense that technology has redefined the way people carry out their duties. Acquired knowledge has improved the way people handle their finances. This has seen the use of little effort to produce quite a substantial bigger amount of output (Aperovitz and Daly 30).
Summary of the Articles
Asset discrimination amongst the American people has long lived in the United States. Black Americans’ have struggled with many problems due to their racial status from the American government as well as the white population. During slavery, the African could work for the whites and would be paid very little. The government supported the whites in owning land. However, during the reign of Abraham Lincoln, land was reclaimed from oppressors where the blacks were treated equally with the whites. However, the situation did not last for a long time because the king was assassinated before he could finish his duties. Policies and economic limitation has been put into place to hinder African Americans from making progress in terms of capital accumulation (Bailey 87).
Are Quotas Unfair?
The article is about affirmative action applied by universities in America to ensure that black candidates are selected into doctoral programs. The case involving Allan bake and the regents of the University of California outline the inefficiencies caused by affirmative action. This is because it denies the white an opportunity to be admitted to the school of medicine for slots left for the black Americans. The court ruled in favor of Allan stating that he was denied his freedom and right for admission on the basis of race. Therefore, affirmative action should be executed in a manner that does not hurt or discriminate people based on their color codes. The university fights back by insinuating that the endeavor is meant to bring about equality to the people living in America. Black patients would be treated better by black doctors unlike white doctors. This is because black doctors are concerned about their fellow racial population (Dworkin 298).
Aperovitz, Gar, and Lew Daly. “The Gift of the Past.” Unjust Deserts. New York: The New Press, 2008. 1-38. Print.
Bailey, James P. Rethinking Poverty: Income, Assets, and the Catholic Social Justice Tradition. Notre Dame: U of Notre Dame P, 2010. Print.
Dworkin, Ronald. A Matter of Principle. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1985. Print.
Kozol, Jonathan. “Life on the Mississippi:East st. Louis illinois.” Savage Inequalities. New York: Crown Publishers Inc., 1991. 1-39. Print.