Category Archives: Blog

Student written blogs related to personal experiences in one area i.e. study abroad, internship, etc.

R.I.P to the American Dream

Written by Steven Mahoney

If, like many Americans, your American dream is to build a better life for your children, you might be better off moving to Denmark, Norway, Finland, or Canada.

single_moms_business_deskAn article by Miles Corak for Pathways magazine analyzes vast amounts of data surrounding intergenerational earnings mobility, or the percentage change in child earnings for each percentage change in parental earnings.

In the U.S., 40 to 50 percent of income inequality is passed on to children through generations. This is closer to countries like Peru, South Africa, China, and Brazil where 50 to 60 percent of income inequality is passed on generationally. On the other end of the spectrum is Denmark, Norway, Finland and Canada, where less than 20 percent of inequality is passed down generationally.

ladderThis may come to a surprise to many Americans, especially those who believe the American Dream is still intact. Corak finds that money isn’t the only thing that matters for increasing intergenerational earnings mobility. This is a better system, Corak said, because children need more than just money to flourish. In a high-mobility country like Canada, a much higher percentage of parents read to their children on a daily basis regardless of parental education level.

In the United States, a higher percentage of mothers are in poor health. Why? We have expensive healthcare and no federal paid sick leave policy. A higher percentage of mothers are forced to work full-time jobs to make ends meet. That’s not the case with countries with higher economic mobility. The United States also has more children born to teen moms, and less children who live with both biological parents.

Corak says that there are three takeaway from this information: stable and secure families are central to childhood development and must be promoted, work-family balance needs to shift in favor of families, and the playing field needs to open up to the disadvantaged early on because it’s more difficult to create opportunity after the fact.

Each week the editors of the Corral will be highlighting their favorite blog posts from the department of Communication’s senior seminar course. This semester the course focuses on the issues of income inequality and poverty in the United States. Check out the class blog here. A link to Steven’s original post can be found here.

The happiest (and most expensive) place on earth

Written by: Elissa Sanci

As many college students do, I made the pilgrimage to Florida for spring break. Initially, I wanted to go to Disney World for at least one day. In my 22 years of life, I had yet to see Cinderella’s castle, hug Goofy, or wear a pair of mouse ears, so I figured now was just a good a time as any.

After looking at the ticket prices, I was appalled, immediately scratching “visit the happiest place on Earth” from my list. A one-day pass to any of the four Disney theme parks in Orlando, Fla. was an unbelievable $97.

Then I started thinking. Millions of families from all over the world visit Disney World every year, and, at $97 for one day, I wondered how much revenue Disney World makes per day.

I found a website that continuously updates the amount of money each individual Disney Park makes. After spending just 30 seconds on the Magic Kingdom’s page, I watched Disney earn more than $1,900. After 12 minutes on the site, the happiest place on Earth had racked up a little less than $48,000—roughly the same amount as a year of tuition at the University of New Haven.

aAccording to the site, the Magic Kingdom, arguably the most popular of the Disney parks and home to the iconic castle, earns $67.14 per second. Blizzard Beach, a water theme park owned by Disney in Orlando, Fla., makes the least, racking up $6.86 a second—but that’s $411.60 per minute, and that’s more money than I make in two weeks at my minimum wage job.

So is it fair that Disney rakes in millions a day when some people in Americastruggle for access to clean water? There are Americans living in poverty, children without access to education and single parents struggling to buy toilet paper—but it’s all okay as long fireworks go off every night over Cinderella’s castle.

Each week the editors of the Corral will be highlighting their favorite blog posts from the department of Communication’s senior seminar course. This semester the course focuses on the issues of income inequality and poverty in the United States. Check out the class blog here. A link to Elissa’s original post can be found here

Everyone Has Body Issues

Written by Caleb Harris

Our culture has many views on what a person should look like.

The media covers body issues for females, but rarely for males. Males suffer from the same pressures that females do to maintain that “perfect” image as well. For males, most body issues start with action figures, male models, and comic book heroes with muscular physiques.

chartAccording to TheAtlantic.com’s article on body image pressures, Dr. Alison Field, an associate professor of pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, studies pressure on young boys.

“You want people to be concerned enough about their weight to make healthy decisions, but not so concerned that they’re willing to take whatever means it takes healthy or unhealthy to achieve their desired physique,” Field said. Many young boys feel pressed to look a certain way, often leading to unhealthy performance drugs.

A Huffington Post article discusses Tyler Kingkade’s story.

“At 14, I don’t remember a single day I felt thin,” he said, “and yet I was in great shape, playing hockey regularly.” Both males and females suffer from their own hidden insecurities. It’s not merely a gender thing, it’s a people thing. We go through our own issues as we get older because of the media and society’s expectations of perfection.

Super Bowl Rings Cost More Than My Tuition

By Elissa Sanci

On first glance, I mistook last year’s Super Bowl ring for an over-sized bedazzled high school class ring as the camera zoomed in on it during Super Bowl 50. I caught myself wondering why anyone would want an eyesore like that.

And then I caught myself wondering—and Googling—how much that eye sore even cost.

Let’s do some simple math. According to ESPN, the rings for last year’s winning team were $36,500 a pop. The NFL foots the bill for 150 rings for the winning team, so, depending on the ever-fluctuating cost of gold and silver, they normally spend more than $5 million. On rings.

The NFL spends $5.475 million for these rings—each year. Multiply that cost by fifty Super Bowls, and we’re looking at a grand total of $273.75 million. One ring alone costs more than a year of college for me, and it’s spent in a matter of minutes, just to remind an already well-paid football player that he’s won the Super Bowl, which could have easily been done with a $15 t-shirt.

More than 45 million Americans are living in poverty. The annual income threshold for a person living in poverty was $11,490 in 2013, and $23,550 for a family of four. In some states, a family can make as little as $25,309 while still meeting the criteria for middle class, the “average” class of America.

The price of one Super Bowl ring—essentially a glorified class ring—is greater than the net income of an average family of four. So when a Super Bowl champ wears his ring even once, he could be supporting an entire family for a year. Let that one sink in.

Each week the editors of the Corral will be highlighting their favorite blog post from the department of Communication’s senior seminar course. This semester the course focuses on the issues of income inequality and poverty in the United States. Check out the class blog here. A link to Elissa’s original post can be found here.