Tag Archives: Income

Is There a New King in Town?

On April 16, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the Letter from Birmingham Jail in the margins of the daily newspaper while sitting in prison. In the letter he discusses how there must be direct non-violent action to confront unjust laws.

Fast-forward to the current year 2015, where an African American President is currently leading the nation. One could be under the belief that racism and unequal treatment ended long ago with Martin Luther King, Jr.


On October 26, 2015, my communication class was graced with the presence of Bishop John Selders. Selders, a musician as well as a third-generation preacher, realized that a silent approach in politics could not accomplish change on a larger political scale. This realization came at the means of great loss. On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed African American, was shot by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

The compassion and energy Bishop Selders expressed over equal rights and the passion in support of the Black Lives Matter movement was explosive. Bishop Sanders, like Martin Luther King Jr., would prepare his team for non-violence action protests. Here was a man willing to shut down streets, get arrested, make a stand, and speak out because of unjust treatment of African Americans.

If interested, please refer to their website- moralmondayct.wordpress.com

One thing that I found particularly interesting was Bishop Sanders reference to dog whistle politics. Dog whistle politics are when individuals or groups support in silence. They are typically afraid to confront mainstream views, even if they believe them to be wrong. Similarly, to Martin Luther King Jr. who believed that staying silence is as bad as committing the act itself.

If you haven’t read about or seen Bishop John Selders, that may change quickly because he has the integrity to make a difference.


Olivia C. Granja

Is Life Just One Big Game of Monopoly?

Cries are heard from the nursery as the monopoly game of life begins to unfold. The players chose their pieces and equally align themselves on the “Go” space. They are ready to actively participate in the race for the American Dream.

Paul Piff created a social experiment to analyze the outcomes and consequences of the psychology of wealth. Piff conducted an experiment in which participants were to play Monopoly against one another — EXCEPT, this was in no way the average Monopoly game. Piff rigged the game to give one person an advantage while playing, and one person a disadvantage. The results were uncanny. Throughout the experiment, the advantaged player began acting with a sense of entitlement and narcissism as the fellow participant struggled to stay alive in the game.

Advantage Player      VS.      Disadvantaged Player

-Multiple Dice                                  -One Dice

– $200 at “Go”                                 -$100 at “Go”

-Got 2x the amount                     -Collects half the salary

of money at the start

Unfortunately, like Piff’s Monopoly game, the American Dream can NOT be achieved through hard work and the “tightening of the bootstraps.” The game has been rigged from the start, a predestined fate, as you will. I do not want to exclude those special cases where people have overcome poverty and made it to the top. Yet, when the statistical evidence overwhelming shows that 42 percent of children born into poverty will never get out, the facts just cannot be ignored.

Olivia C. Granja

Can Twitter Predict Your Income?

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

Everyone loves to use social media. A 2014 study conducted by the Pew Research Center reported that 52 percent of online adults use two or more social media sites. In 2013, that number stood at 42 percent.

Pew Research Center Internet Project January Omnibus Survey.
Pew Research Center Internet Project January Omnibus Survey.

These statistics serve to show the increasing importance social media has in today’s world. People are expected to be proficient on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Forbes has even provided a guide for potential job seekers to use social media to land a job.

One of the most widely used social media websites is Twitter.

It’s been used for presidential campaigns, surveying opinion, and has been the source of some of the biggest breaking news stories in recent memory.

But now there’s a new use for the popular social media site.

Your tweets can tell how much income you earn according to researchers from University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, University College London and Microsoft Research.

Your tweets can predict your income, according to a recent study.

The team of researchers analyzed 5,191 Twitter users, and more than 10 million tweets. Researchers created an algorithm that pulled in words that people in each code class used distinctly.

Here’s a summary of what they found:

  • People who make more money, express more fear and anger on Twitter. Optimists tend to earn less.
  • Tweets from lower income brackets included more swears, while higher brackets discussed politics, corporations, and the nonprofit world more frequently.
  • Lower-income people use Twitter primarily for  communication while higher-income people use Twitter for disseminating news, and professional aspects.

Some of these findings are particularly interesting. For instance, why do people with more money express more anger/fear, while people with less money express more optimism?

The study does show, however, the value society has given social media. In a short time, social media has gone from an unknown to a mainstream component that is scientifically studied by top researchers.


By: Jackson Rioux

A Look at College Scorecard

The U.S. Department of Education recently released its redesigned College Scorecard website. The 2.0 version has drawn both criticism and praise.

Supporters have called the website “revolutionary,” and cited the massive amount of useful data as a resource for high school students and families to analyze.

After being left off the White House's College Scorecard, Hillsdale College cited its conservative principles as the reason for its omission.
Hillsdale College cited its conservative principles as the reason for its omission from College Scorecard.

Detractors have said the website shuts out conservative schools and limits a college decision to a “single number.”

One school even said it was excluded from the website because it “Doesn’t count students by race.”

Personally, I think College Scorecard is a step in the right direction. It may not be a “finished product,” but it is definitely an upgrade from the 2013 version.

Statistics from Central Connecticut State University
Statistics from Central Connecticut State University

Look at the graphic to the right. The average cost of the college is broken down into family income brackets. This is an extremely useful tool for a high school student.

The website also takes other important factors into account. This includes, graduation rate, earnings after school, financial aid, etc.

Other popular college information websites such as Naviance and Collegeboard simply don’t go into this amount of depth.

Similar info from Collegeboard. Which do you find more helpful?
Similar info from Collegeboard. Which do you find more helpful?

This doesn’t mean College Scorecard is perfect. Improvements can certainly be made.

Continuing to build upon this information, and even going more in-depth is a must for the U.S. Department of Education.

With more information, college decisions may not be so difficult and stress-worthy for wealthy, and particularly, struggling families alike.

By: Jackson Rioux