Thursday, June 9, 2016


It has been a very intriguing presidential race to say the least this year. A lot of outsiders running and making a lot of noise. One candidate who has surprised me a little bit  is Bernie Sanders, a self proclaimed democratic socialist. At first, he appeared to have no chance at all and seemed like he was going to get blown away by former Secretary of State Clinton, but now towards the end he has started to win more states and claims that he will take the race all the way to the convention. One of his ideas that has intrigued me is his idea for free college, my question is, is this idea too radical of an idea?

As a kid going to college next year that sounds great, but the reality is that free public college is hard to achieve.  The idea would cost Sanders around $75 billion dollars per year, more than twice what the government spends on Pell grants. Much of the money would provide free education to students whose families can already afford it. Would free college make higher education more efficient, more innovative, and higher quality? In my opinion I would say no. Colleges may not have the financial resources to improve their schools. I think that the quality of education would go down. Colleges would have to find a way to save money and hire lower quality professors to do so. The higher quality professors would seek higher paying jobs at private institutions.

Sanders wants to tax wall street a small amount in order to make college tuition completely free. NPR asked 22 economists if this would work, and 20 of them said it would be a bad idea. Sanders would need about $75 billion dollars a year in order to make his free college proposal work. Under the bill he wrote, investors would be required to pay an excise tax on any transfer of a stock, bond, partnership interest or derivative. Stock trades would incur a .5% tax rate or $5 for every $1000 of stocks traded. It would raise quite a lot of money for the government because of the size of U.S. financial markets.

But, putting a tax on wall street could potentially have consequences. The economy could suffer if tax is put in place. When the European commission looked at the issue, it found that a tax of .1% would reduce gross domestic product by 1.76% in the long run, because the tax raises the cost of capital resulting in less investment and diminished economic output. Also according to an investment company institute, a transaction tax could increase the expense of investing in an equity index fund by ⅓. Also when Sweden put in place a 1% tax on equity trades in 1983, the result was a 5.3% decline on the stockholm stock exchange. Would it be smart to tax Wall Street when studies claim that it is not a good idea? Wall street is at the heart of the American dollar, when wall street is doing well, the American dollar is doing well, is free college worth that risk?

Also a problem arises when you give something up for free, the demand would pick up, and eventually the price would pick up. When the price would increase, the government would have problems paying for the extra amount and put it on the taxpayers to pick up the slack. One economist said that our higher education system is the best in the world, but if you look at our primary education it is one of the worst in the world because it is free. There are systems in Germany and Denmark that have “free college” but again, taxpayers absorb much of the costs. We spend more and more money on schools (K-12), but are kids getting smarter? Many kids take free education for granted because it’s free, what happens when college is free?

Because public colleges would be funded by the government, ultimately they would also have control of these institutions. I struggle to find a government run program other than our military that is successful. Obamacare, medicare, social security, the IRS and the USPS, all seem to have waste and/or are mismanaged.

Is this idea of free college tuition  too radical?
Is there a way to make college more affordable without any consequences?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Who Owns Our Reality?

With so many different ways and sources to get news, it gives complete power to the consumer to choose what they want. For the consumer, it’s a great thing, complete power to choose where you get your news. If you want to look at liberal news, you can look at liberal news. If you want to look at conservative news, you can look at conservative news. I think that there are some dangers when it comes down to the fact that people can choose what news they want to watch or look at.

Our nation is becoming split in half in my opinion right now. We’re very split when it comes down to politics and problems that our nation is facing. A big part of this I believe is the fact that we can choose where we get our news. We shield ourselves very much from things we don’t like hearing because it is so easy to do. For example, if you’re conservative reading a liberal news source and you don’t like the things they agree with or say, you can easily switch over to a conservative source and see the things you want to see or hear. This brings up a good question of what is your job as a reader in this digital age?

I think the job of the reader in this day in age is to try and look into multiple news sources and be exposed to as many different views as possible. That is a very hard thing to do. It’s pretty much impossible to have a news source that just reports news without some sort of bias involved in it. So that’s why I think it is important to expose yourself to different viewpoints and from there, decide where you fall.

It is also dangerous that private agencies, companies, and pretty much anyone can control news websites. A big controversy is Facebook trying to control and persuade people in the upcoming election. It’s scary to think that big social media companies are able to filter what people see and hear on their news feed and that that can change the way they think, or feel about certain topics that are important, or change who they’re going to vote for.

Also agencies like the FBI, CIA, and even the President of the United States can have social media accounts. They can post pretty much anything they want people to see. And people have the power to follow or like them on social media and see what they post. I’m not sure if this is a bad thing or not, again it gives the consumer the choice which isn’t always a good thing.

Lastly, with this much technology available, newspapers I think will disappear. This article shows how newspaper ads, revenue, and overall employment has had a steady decrease in the last few years. With so much technology available, it’s almost pointless for people to get newspapers when you can go online for free to look up local and national news. I’m a fan of local newspapers to see what’s going on locally, but sadly, I just don’t think that it will survive in this digital age.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


The first time I saw a piece of satire news was this past fall and it really caught me off guard. I never knew that there were websites and social media accounts with videos of fake news. I spent about an hour scrolling through the onion’s clever titles and funny stories. I also found it hilarious that some people think that these stories that are written are true.

Until this year, I never use to pay attention to the news and current events. I use to think that it was a waste of time and pointless to spend my time watching or reading up on articles. Only 10% of kids are interested in the news. The answer to why so many kids aren’t interested in the news is because it’s boring. A lot of teenagers will watch shows like the daily show and The Colbert Report because they present it in a way that is funny and hooks viewers to keep watching. Some parts of it will go towards a certain political group or people, but some of the stuff they joke about is 100% true. And those certain points of their shows stick with viewers because they presented it in a funny way that made the viewer laugh, and in a way, they’ll remember it just because it made them laugh.

Even though fake news in instances are very funny, I don’t think that it is better than actual news. I think there already are too many instances that people are tricked into believing that the stuff that satire news companies post. Like when the onion posted that Kim Jong Un was the sexiest man in the world, and then a Chinese news source called the People’s Daily Online believed it and did a follow up on the article. Yeah it’s funny, but when people actually believe that it’s true it is kind of sad. The good thing about companies like The Onion and satire news companies is that they take real world events and problems and speak some truths in a funny way. It makes you laugh then feel really cruddy because you laugh at a really bad situation but in a way makes you sit and think about what is going on.

I don’t think that news companies need to change the way they present news to get more younger viewers to watch them instead of shows like the Colbert Report. Eventually they’ll grow up and start paying attention to more serious and straightforward news. For example in this article, it states that younger generations just don’t care about news other than breaking news. I think it’s fine for them to watch funny news reports, because it’s giving them something.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Where Do You Get Your News?

For the last 10 days I have been getting my news from ABC News. From what I’ve seen and the articles I have read, they seem to be a good source to get news from. They seem to cover a lot more stories on the GOP election rather than the democratic election, but the way they cover their stories comes off in a very unbiased way. I would say they do a nice job on reporting what is going on each side of the election without letting bias get in the way of their writing which is a very hard thing to do in news in this day in age. 

I would say that the point of news is to get information out to the general public without letting bias get in the way. Especially with the election going on right now it is very easy to let bias get in the way of journalists writing. For example, here is an article on Donald Trump in the election right now from ABC news. In my opinion, the do not criticize nor praise Trump at all, they are simply reporting what the politician is saying. 

On the other hand here is an article from the Huffington Post a very liberal news source. You can tell just by the title “Thug Trump Threatens Rough July for RNC” that this is very liberal. They take the little parts of his quotes and twisted them in a way that makes him sound like a terrible person. But again liberal and conservative news sources are guilty of this all the time. 

News is very important in this day in age. In a perfect world, the role of news would be an unbiased story about current events happening in the world today. I would say the role of journalism today would be to get different opinions on current events whether it be political opinions or just plain news happening around the world. But that is what makes it great, you can choose what you want to read or watch. I think it is good to get opinions from both sides of the political spectrum.  

Bias is just going to be part of the news. I think there are good and bad parts to it. The bad parts are that each side can twist and manipulate the other side quotes or actions. But good parts of it are again the choice that you are able to have. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to look at liberal or conservative news sources if you don’t want to. You can choose to look at what you want and that can be good and can also be a bad thing. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Good Story

On a cold December night, senior Cody Lynch was watching the sun go down in the horizon from his deer stand in early December. He went up to the cabin by himself because his dad was in Iowa and knew it was going to be his last chance to go deer hunting for the year.

Cody started to become impatient as the minutes kept ticking away as the sun kept disappearing over the tree line. Just as he was going to give up, he saw a deer emerge from the forward into the field he was set up at. “It was in the cornfield for a while and when it finally came out to where I could shoot it, it was almost dark so I didn't even know it was a buck. It took me a while to take the shot but I felt good about it, but I couldn't see how the deer reacted to see if it was a good shot,” said Cody.

He started to become disappointed when he was unable to find any blood. Thinking that he missed it, he began walking back to his car. “I was walking back to my car when I found some blood. So I decided to give it some time to hopefully die and come back to get it. I came back and ended up tracking it for 2 miles. I tracked him all the way into some pine trees and saw that he was still alive,” said Cody.

Cody approached the deer slowly from behind to get over the deer, but the deer got up and took off running. “I waited a little while then found him again about 50 yards away from where I found him the first time. That's when I realized this was a really nice 8 point buck,” said Cody. He approached the deer again from behind. He was over the deer and started to grab its neck to slit his throat. When he did, the deer rolled over and booted him in the stomach.

“My adrenaline was pumping real hard when that happened. I didn't want to let him suffer so I went back to stab him again so he would die faster,” said Cody. He got on top of the deer to hold its head down, but the buck fought back, stood up and bucked him off of his back a few yards back.

“I remember looking up and seeing it lower its head and start charging at me. He came at me and butted me in my upper leg, it ended up leaving me with a huge cut and bruise,” said Cody. Cody grabbed the seers antlers when all of a sudden it started stumbling. Cody threw the deer on the ground and stabbed it in the neck 3 times. He sat there in disbelief for a few minutes analyzing what had just happened.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


There are tons of choices available to choose from in many different categories. You get to choose what phone you have, college, car, laptop, and many more. With so much choice available it gives people freedom to choose what they want to do, choose, or get. You can virtually choose all the things you want in life, it almost maximizes freedom. But the question is, is all this freedom a good thing for people?

For some, choice is overwhelming. With so much choice available some have a major problem with choosing what they want. If those people choose the wrong choice, they blame themselves and have regret. In some cases it can even lead to depression when things go wrong. You also have less satisfaction if you realize the choice you made was wrong and you could have made a better choice.

Choice even spreads out into news. People have the choice and freedom to read what they want, watch what they want and see what they want. I think that this creates a major bias in news. People aren’t restricted to read an unbiased news article anymore. They can go to the sites that agree with their views and read what they want to hear. Conservatives can go to Fox News to obtain their news, and Liberals can go onto CNN to get their news. I think that this creates a huge split in our nation due to major news sources bashing on the other side as much as they can.

Bias in the news is not a good thing. Even though both of these sources give you the biggest stories about what is happening in our nation, they can still present it in a way that can sway people in a certain way to get pissed off at the other side. I do not think it’s a good thing that you have the choice to only choose sources of news that share the same bias that you have. I think that it is good to be exposed to other opinions and not have a bias presented in the news. One of the biggest examples of this sort of bias is the Hillary Clinton email scandal. On one hand you have the the truth,(or what I would call the truth), that she exposed a ton of classified emails and lied about the Benghazi attacks on the U.S. Embassy, and on the other side you have democratic news sources saying she has nothing to hide and she’s innocent. People only expose themselves to what they want to hear about this problem and I’m probably guilty of it too.

One of my favorite news segments in the news is called Watters World, where conservative reporter Alex Watters goes around and interviews people on the street about problems in the nation and the biggest thing right now, the election. One of the things that scares me the most on one of his segments was when he asked a woman where she got her news, she replied Instagram and Tumblr. The problem with this is that all the information out there may not be true. I’ve seen multiple links on this year’s coming election quoting politicians, and when you look those quotes up, many of those quotes or claims are nowhere near true. Our nation is already split with politics as it is, and this does not help it one bit.

I think that too much choice in the news can be a bad thing. I think people don’t expose themselves enough to different opinions in the news, and it creates too much bias in everyone. In a perfect world news would be presented in an unbiased way so that everyone can see the truth without any bias. Being able to choose what you see or hear can only create more and more bias and eventually will end up splitting our country’s views more than it already is.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Blog #2

In my opinion I think that newspapers are going to be changing a lot in the years to come. My understanding about the future I think has become a lot more clear. Right now I think that newspapers are dying with new technology allowing people to access news stories online.
But news companies are adapting to these changes. Many news companies have apps that allow the consumer to access their news stories on their app. For example, the star tribune has a website online and also an app for people to download. So then with the times changing, they don’t have to rely on their newspaper subscriptions when they have a website and an app that they can make money off of.
Those are the ideas that our group focused on. We designed an app that took all the big news companies like Fox News, CNN, and The Weather Channel and made a home screen that you can tap or click on to access that news companies stories and videos all on one app. This allows you to access all the biggest news stories all together and see what stories are trending.
The only struggles we had making our app we’re figuring out ways to make it unique and it’s own way. So then it would set it apart from other news apps and look appealing for the consumer. That’s why we put all the biggest news sources in one spot so then it makes it easy to jump around from source to source. Once you click on the source you want to read, you’re able to go into categories where you can pick and choose what you read, watch, or look at.
The job of the reporter would not change, they would keep reporting and writing for their companies and we can just post it under the news source on our app. So then journalism as a profession would not disappear. We based our ideas solely that newspapers are going to eventually die out and online news will take over.
I’m not super confident on what the future of journalism will come to, but I’m confident that certain things will die out. With the younger generations coming up, I know that most kids do not feel the need for newspapers with the available technology. When they have the choice to have a newspaper when they’re older, they will choose to save money and not buy a subscription and instead, will access most news on their phone or computer.
I think televised news will not struggle in the future. Eventually they might have to adapt in ways to get broadcasts online and on an app, but in the coming years I think that they’ll be able to stay alive with broadcasts on T.V. networks.