Archive for the ‘critical thinking’ Category

Real World Graduation: Question 39

RealWorldGraduation_Question_39   <– PDF

Media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, radio, and television are important sources of news and information to the voters. Because the success of a democratic republic requires voters to be well-informed, it is important for the media to report on issues in a truthful manner.  The First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”.   This means that the government is bound in principle, and the officers of the government are bound by oath, to recognize the pre-existing right of the media to be immune to governmental interference; that is, the media themselves are free to develop their own standards for accuracy in their reporting.  Because there is no formal system or standardization imposed by the government, what standard have the media imposed on themselves?  This question does not apply to the internet.

a) Media outlets are prohibited from reporting facts, even in news stories.

b) Media outlets are prohibited from expressing any opinions or biases by reporters, management, or editors. The only opinions that are allowed are those of readers in “Letters to the Editor” or by viewer emails in the case of radio and television.

c) When reporting “news”, the media reports only the facts. The media outlet may be biased in their opinions, but those opinions are reserved solely to portions of articles or broadcast segments clearly labeled as “Opinion” or “Editorial”.

d) Opinions of reporters and editors reflecting their personal biases are allowed within news stories, but are segregated in their own section, and clearly labeled as “opinion”.

e) Although the exact practice varies from state to state, and from market to market, nearly every media outlet has adopted either c) or d) as an informal standard.

(The answer is on p. 2 of the pdf.)

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Posted in Bill of Rights, critical thinking, First Amendment, Real World Graduation, U. S. Constitution | No Comments »

Real World Graduation: Question 38

RealWorldGraduation_Question_38   <– PDF

What is the main benefit of being a government employee involved in policy or regulatory activities?

a) The satisfaction that comes from performing useful services for the public.

b) The satisfaction that comes from being part of the solution to the community/state/nation’s economic problems.

c) The opportunity to promote fairness and equality in the community/state/nation.

d) The opportunity to manage the resources of the community/state/nation to improve the standard of living and quality of life.

e) All of the above

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PF.)

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Posted in critical thinking, government powers, Real World Graduation | No Comments »

Real World Graduation: Question 37

RealWorldGraduation_Question_37   <– PDF

The San Diego Chargers are scheduled to play the Washington Redskins in a regular-season NFL game. If the Redskins are favored to win by 9 points (this is known as the “point-spread”), it is because:

a) A team of reputable football experts have analyzed the respective player’s abilities, and the majority of them have concluded that the Redskins are a better team, and will probably win by about 9 points.

b) A team of reputable football experts analyzed the respective coaching strategies, and a majority of them have concluded that the Redskins will probably win by about 9 points.

c) A team of football experts analyzed the health status of the most important players on both teams, and a majority of them have concluded that the Redskins will probably win by about 9 points.

d) The politicians and bureaucrats in Washington are using their influence to intimidate the Chargers players, which usually helps the Redskins by about 9 points.

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

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

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Real World Graduation: Question 36

RealWorldGraduation_Question_36   <– PDF

The 401(k) system was set up such that people could save and invest their money prior to paying taxes, let the money grow over time, then pay the taxes later when they started withdrawing it as early as age 59.5. However, early withdrawals are permitted for certain hardships with no penalty.  Hardships are defined as large medical bills (as long as they do not exceed what can be deducted on your income tax), disability, and the splitting of a 401(k) account due to a divorce.  Otherwise, early withdrawals are penalized at 10% of the withdrawal amount, and all income taxes on the amount withdrawn are due immediately.  Aside from hardship cases, under what circumstances should the average person consider an early withdrawal from their 401(k), even though they have to pay taxes and penalties?

a) To buy a house, or make a down payment on one

b) To buy a car

c) To use the money to invest in the stock market (buying individual securities)

d) To pay for a honeymoon or other vacation

e) Both a) and c) are valid causes

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

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Posted in critical thinking, Economics, Real World Graduation | No Comments »