Author Archives: Min
Posts: 5 (archived below)
“What would you do with an extra $18,000 in your pocket?”
When an interviewer asked the question above to the interviewees, most people said that they wanted to pay off their debts.
Average employees’ yearly income of Burger king is $14,000. However Goldman Sachs gave $6.8billion in bonuses in 2009, averaging $210,000 per employee just for bonus. Even Burger King and its franchisees were violating the Fair Labor Standard Act because they failed to pay proper overtime 126times and paid under the minimum wage.
This video clip is related with the poverty line. Poverty line is the estimated minimum level of yearly income required for a family to live in a basic way according to the federal government. The video clip shows Goldman Sachs gave below the minimum wages to their employees who worked at Burger King and sometimes ended up not even paying anything. During that time, Goldman Sachs provided $6.8 billion in bonuses. Usually, the U.S government determines an official poverty line lower than actual but Goldman Sachs paid a wage under the lowered official poverty line to the Burger King employees. This action is illegal and more over, unethical.
After the turn of the 21st century, the world has sped up but the world economy has gotten worse, raising the rate of poor people and poverty. Nevertheless the property of wealthy people is getting richer. The polarization between the rich and the poor is increasing fast. Poverty clearly influences people’s physical well-being. In my opinion, if the poor do not get treated well and receive an acceptable salary, their situations would get worse, the polarization between the rich and the poor would increase even more and then the economy would collapse.
In 1946, twenty eight years old Catherine Genovese was killed on a public street while thirty-eight households did not doing anything and watched a killer stalk and stab more than half an hour. During this period the murder had three chances to kill. She screamed several times, and the windows were open, and lights went on in many apartments at each time. And some came to their windows to see what was happened. And one man screamed that leave her alone. But that was it. No one tried to help her and call to the police. After few minutes, the murder found her and stabbed again and again. The police received a first call after the assailant stabbed her for the third time which means she dead already.
I have learned about this incident when I took the psychology class. This sad story is an example of the bystander effect or a Genovese Symptom, which is where individuals ignore the victim of an emergency situation when they are present at the scene. This story related with the social Influence which is included in the chapter two “Seeing and Thinking sociologically”. In my opinion, an individual human being is undoubtedly the most important factor in our society but the thirty-eight households or bystanders in this case absolutely ignored a completely preventive murder, even though they knew they could have helped her. If they even called the police when they heard her scream for the first time, she might not have been dead.