Archive for the ‘progressive’ Category

Real World Graduation: Question 27

RealWorldGraduation_Question_27   <– PDF

A group of artists has assembled samples of their work and have displayed them at public venues. Among the works is one that portrays child molestation as desirable, one that blatantly mocks Christians, one that ridicules the notion of hard work and sensible spending, and one that celebrates violence against women.  All of them have high-scale production values.   They are not cheap efforts designed only to get attention; they are serious artwork.

 

All of these works of art have themes that are contrary to traditional values, and in fact, turn out to be commercial failures. Why would artists knowingly and willingly spend their talents in this manner?

a) They are trying to find the limits of what is protected by the First Amendment

b) They are trying to illustrate the obsolescence of the traditional moral values by example.

c) It is usually the truly visionary people who tend to become artists; it is their job to instruct society.

d) They are using reverse psychology to educate people that what they depict in their art really should be rejected.

e) Some combination of a), b), and c).

(The answer is shown on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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Real World Graduation: Question 17

RealWorldGraduation_Question_17    <– PDF

A famous Hollywood movie star/celebrity concluded that he was born as the wrong sex because he was attracted to other men.  He had a sex change operation and changed his name from William to Jessica.  After the sex change, she found that she was no longer attracted to men, but was now attracted to women.  This has turned out to be very confusing for her and her fans.  What is the best course of action to address this unusual behavior?

a) Have a sex change back to a man and announce he is gay.

b) Maintain her sex as a woman, but live like a man and date women.

c) Undergo extensive therapy to find out why he/she thought she/he should have been a female in the first place.

d) Become a lesbian, since that is her present orientation.

e) Change his/her name to Dale, Kim, Robin, or Gene to get in touch with her masculine side (since these names are commonly given to both boys and girls).

(The answer is contained on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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Real World Graduation: Question 11

RealWorldGraduation_Question_11   <– PDF

Some in Congress in 2006 proposed an income-tax modification bill that would have provided a 5% across-the board reduction in federal income tax rates. The bill mandated that the highest marginal income tax rate would have been reduced from 38% to 33%; the next rate from 25% to 20%, and the lowest from 10% to 5%.  Capital gains rates would remain unchanged.  Critics have claimed that only the very rich would benefit from this measure. They were joined by Mr. Ralph Thompson, estimated to be the nations fourth-richest person, who came out in opposition to the tax cut, saying, “Neither I nor any other wealthy people need an income tax cut.”  But people who favor the tax cut claim that the working people will benefit because they will have more money in their pocket.  For example, the single person working a full-time job (40 hours per week) at $6.50 per hour (just over minimum wage of $5.75 per hour) would have their marginal rate reduced to 5%, so they would have received a tax cut of approximately $4.57 per week after the combined standard deduction of $8,750.  Does this income tax proposal unfairly benefit the wealthy or unfairly penalize the working poor with regard to income tax rates?

a) It unfairly benefits the rich because they will pay less in income taxes.

b) It unfairly benefits the rich because they don’t need the extra money, as Mr. Thompson said.

c) It unfairly penalizes the poor because it left the minimum wage unchanged.

d) It unfairly penalizes the poor because the proponents of the tax cut are lying: the extra $4.57 won’t buy much and isn’t necessary.

e) All of the above are true to some extent.

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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Real World Graduation: Question 10

RealWorldGraduation_Question_10   <– PDF

A Savings-and-Loan bank crisis in the 1980’s and 1990’s required a government bailout. Major automobile companies (Chrysler and General Motors) have sometimes required government bailouts.  In the most recent bailout (2007-2009), many banks (Washington Mutual, Indy Mac), mortgage companies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac), and financial institutions (Bear Stearns, American International Group) required government bailouts.

“Fannie Mae” and “Freddie Mac” are nicknames for two government-sponsored entities (GSE) that buy residential mortgages; the goal being to stimulate home-buying. In the latest bailout, the losses to the taxpayers for bailing out these two organizations will range between $221 billion and $363 billion [1].

Bear Stearns, a long-standing investment bank specializing in mortgage securitization, was sold to JP Morgan Chase in an emergency sale to avoid a formal bankruptcy that would negatively affect the rest of the economy. The New York Federal Reserve bought $30 billion of Baer Stearns’ “assets” to get them off the balance sheet, then lent $29 billion to JP Morgan to finance the purchase of Stearns [2].

American International Group, an insurer of mortgage contracts, borrowed $182 billion in bailouts from the Federal Reserve, with the taxpayers liable if they fail to pay it back [3].

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs converted to bank holding companies in order to obtain access to emergency funding from the Federal Reserve to stay afloat and avoid collapse [4]. Goldman Sachs required loans totaling $67 billion, while Morgan Stanley required loans of $96 billion.

How can one predict in advance which segment of the economy will require a bailout?

a) The ones with the highest CEO pay will require the bailout, because the CEO takes all the money out of the company.

b) All companies who operate in accordance with for-profit capitalism.

c) Only foreign companies require bailouts, because they borrow too much American money and fail to pay it back on time.

d) They are not really bailouts because the government pays for it.

e) All of the above.

(See answer on p. 2 of PDF.)

[1] Phil Angelides, Chairman, The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report, New York: Public Affairs, 2001, p. 322

[2] ibid., pp. 290, 291

[3] ibid., p. 350

[4] ibid., p. 362, 363

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