Archive for July 3, 2013

Chris Christie Reveals New Scholarship Opportunities


Role Reversal

In a recent interview, Chris Christie stated, “Opportunities for good-paying jobs all begin with access to high-quality education and training, whether it’s colleges and universities, vocational or technical schools, or other kinds of specialized training that prepares students for a successful future.” A man of his word, Christie revealed that he’s creating new kinds of scholarship opportunities – particularly geared toward women and minorities – on June 25th. This slew of new scholarships, called the NJ-GIVS, are helping students enroll in certificate programs – such as tech school – at all 19 of the New Jersey county colleges.

Higher education has been a big matter of discussion in our state ever since the recession. The news has recently been covering the re-investment of state funds into higher education as a solution for the state’s stagnant job market and otherwise slow-to-recover economy. Since most New Jersey residents think this is and was a much-needed economic decision, they’re also very excited about the influx of new scholarships.

But it’s not just the economy that Christie is aiming to improve. According to Mark Larkins, the head of the Schools Development Authority, providing these opportunities will bring more women and minorities into manual labor trades, changing the state of the New Jersey job market for the better. Currently, less than one percent of the workers on construction projects are female. New Jersey legislators think that this will provide incentive for women to take advantage of these available and high-paying jobs.

Most females and minorities are eligible for these scholarships. Qualification merely requires that the applicant be, of course, female or a member of a determined group of minorities; New Jersey residents and legal US citizens or immigrants; and proven submitters of the federal financial aid forms to determine financial eligibility.

County colleges in New Jersey have varying tuition rates, but they max out around $4,000 per year. While a nominal cost in comparison with other state schools, it’s still not a bill that many can foot, which keeps them ineligible for even some labor job markets. Thus, it will help to solve the issue of getting those below the poverty line into the job market as well. By encouraging all types of New Jersey citizens to get into the construction and manual labor market, we’re diversifying the work force; by providing them with quality education, we’re improving it. All-around, the introduction of these new scholarships by Christie is, by and large, a great way to stimulate the economy.


Wal-Mart and DC City Council Wage Throw Down: A Story In GIFs

There was a little publicized law that DC passed that will either help raise the standard of living for the common man or doom DC citizens to a life of poverty  because they’ll lose interest from corporations.  This story can be best summarized in gifs:

The Washington DC city council has a bill called the Large Retailer Accountability Act.  The bill would require companies that make more than $1 billion in annual revenue to pay employees a raised minimum wage, $12.50 an hour instead of the regular $8.25.

Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world, and they’re notorious for their low wages and refusal to negotiate on wage matters.  They were planning on opening six new stores in the city (three of which are currently in construction) to bring some jobs and revenue to the area.

But when they heard about the proposed bill, they threatened to kill the deal unless the city council decided to abandon the bill.

Some economists worried that passing the bill could have negative consequences, mainly through lower property taxes, missing multiplier effects, and the abandoned sites where construction was stopped.

Others think it’ll have more positive consequences than negative ones since many people in the city will have a higher wage.

Either way, people from both sides of the issue were surprised when the council voted to pass the bill.

Some people think that DC made the best decision they could have, others think they didn’t think about the consequences of sending away big retailers.

Wal-Mart was the most vocal about the wage issue, but it’s possible that the bill won’t dissuade other box stores and lucrative retailers from coming to the city.

So now DC is all


And Wal-Mart is all


Regardless it doesn’t matter what either side thinks, since either way


EU and US Currently Involved In One of the Biggest Trade Agreements In History

rf;poil2jlwekjf2;ro EXCITEMENT!!!!

Indeed it is Mr.Paul, indeed it is

Today is the day that economists and traders have been waiting for.  Right now 29 nations including the United States and the 28 countries that make up the European Union will be negotiating their biggest deal yet.  The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will affect 30 percent of global commerce, eliminate $10.5 billion in tariffs, and boost trade by an estimated $280 billion a year.  Industries in the EU and in America have already given the powers that be a list of changes they want to see by the end of 2014.  Their 2014 end date is probably nothing more than wistful thinking, most of these talks can go on for years.  The last trade deal the US made was with South Korea in 2006, and their talks didn’t conclude until 2011.

Agricultural commodities are going to be a big issue during the talks.  Genetically modified foods will be hotly debated during the talk, and could end up causing delays since the US and EU seem to have very different takes on the issue.  Big tobacco and the beef and poultry industry will be praying for lighter restrictions, and that they aren’t hit with heavier ones on the additives and chemicals they use on their products.

Transit and manufacturing are also big industries with a lot to gain or lose from the talks, but people are eager to see what both parties will say about laws pertaining to intellectual property and privacy.  The PRISM scandal already has a lot of American allies unhappy, and France even tried to delay the talks because of their anger of the US’ expansive spy program (may not work out too well now that people know that France has had their own surveillance program going on for awhile). All we can do is it back, relax, and wait several months for the decision


Paula Deen And The Perils Of Building Your Buisness Around Your Personality

There is no stick of butter large enough to help Deen now

If you have an internet connection, functional ears, and staunchly liberal or conservative friends on Facebook you know about everything that’s happened with Paula Deen.  Long story short, because of a disturbing lawsuit filed against Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers from a former employee word got out that Deen had made some racist remarks.  As word spread her sponsors dropped her fast, and now people are wondering what will happen to the woman who used to be America’s favorite chef and top butter enthusiast.

This blog post won’t be about whether or not what Deen said was inappropriate, or if her sponsor’s decision to drop her was wrong.  Deen didn’t get fired for expressing her views, nor did she get fired for being sexist/racist/butterist.  Deen was fired because she was a very public figure for a lot companies, and she made the mistake of saying/doing something to upset the public.  Deen has made the mistake that others have made in the past, and her whole debacle highlights the particular problem of building a business empire that’s solely based on the presentation and promotion of a person’s personal life story.

People loved Paula Deen’s feel good recipes, but what really propelled the woman into stardom was her life story and personality.  Deen lived in poverty and was in an abusive relationship with her husband, and her comfort food gave her a way to escape the horrors of her relationship.  Her food wasn’t just a mental escape; it offered a physical escape from her husband and poverty.  She started off selling her sandwiches and dishes to locals, and after getting in touch with the producer and celebrity Gordon Elliott she was rocketed into stardom.

Paula was the perfect person to bring back southern food.  She could cook like nobody’s business, she had an adorable southern accent, and she looked like she could easily be a stand-in for your average food loving southern mom, grandmother, or aunt.  He trade mark “hey ya’ll” catchphrase and her origin story made her a beloved public figure, and soon her sponsors were selling the Paula Deen persona as much as they were selling her food.

It’s important to note that the lawsuit that got Deen in trouble had little to do with her, and focused on the wrong doings of her brother Bubba.  Deen being associated with Bubba would have been enough to shake her empire, but her racist remarks are what put the nail in the Deen empire’s coffin.  When people found out about Deen’s dark side, her image as the loving southern mother figure who wanted to feed you comfort food was utterly shattered.   The persona that made her popular was gone, and the companies that were associated with her know that she would eventually start to be revenue poison.

Deen’s meteoric rise and fall shows the perks and perils of having your business propped up by her personality.  Her southern charmer personality made her famous, but when people found out about her less desirable parts of her personality she was ruined.   Beware of the allure of making yourself a brand.  Once you become a brand, you better forget about being a person.