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Why Corporations Fight for Marriage Equality

In Specific Facts on July 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm

More and more major corporations are coming out on the side of marriage equality, either expressing their support of same-sex marriage or promoting LBGT-friendly products and marketing strategies.

Target has started selling t-shirt for Pride Month. JC Penney adopted Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson and has run ads featuring families with two mothers and two fathers.  Starbucks has publicly endorsed the adoption of same-sex marriage in the United States and abroad.

There are many reasons why fighting for marriage equality benefits these and other corporations, no matter what their ideological proclivities may be.

Consumer Perceptions

More and more Americans are expressing their support of same-sex marriage. A Washington Post poll in May found that 53 percent of people think that same-sex marriage should be legal, and 51 percent approved of President Obama’s recent announcement that he supports same-sex marriage.

Companies who come out against same-sex marriage risk alienating the majority of their customers, thereby losing their business. Depending on their demographic, some companies could stand to lose a lot of profits by taking a position against same-sex marriage.

Competitive Edge

Companies that do business in states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage, or that have laws prohibiting recognition of same-sex unions, are at a competitive disadvantage for attracting and retaining the most qualified candidates.

LGBT employees are more likely to move to states that offer same-sex marriage benefits, and companies that do business in those states are better positioned to attract the widest range of candidates. It benefits businesses to petition for same-sex marriage benefits in the states in which they reside, if not the whole country.

Overhead Costs

Companies that do business in states that offer same-sex benefits don’t have to manage two separate systems of employee benefits, reducing overhead costs. Enacting marriage equality across the country will help companies to save money by streamlining these systems.

Company Culture

As long as marriage is not an equal right for all citizens, there will be a division in the way that LGBT citizens are treated and the way heterosexual citizens are treated. Such division promotes unequal treatment of LGBT workers, which can contribute to an uncomfortable or hostile environment.

By promoting marriage equality, companies encourage a more welcoming and accepting environment, minimizing absenteeism and encouraging greater productivity, both of which affects the company’s bottom line.

While some companies may feel it is their ideological duty to fight for marriage equality, others stand to gain economic benefits. If marriage equality becomes a reality across the country, companies can attract a wide range of qualified applicants, minimize overhead costs, and encourage a working environment accepting of all. By coming out in favor of marriage equality now, companies also align themselves with the growing majority of Americans who are in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.

<Lisa Shoreland is currently a resident blogger at GoCollege.com, where recently she’s been researching low income scholarships and military scholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing and hogging her boyfriend’s PlayStation 3. To keep her sanity she enjoys practicing martial arts and bringing home abandoned animals.>

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Overcoming Writer’s Block Without the B.S.

In Uncategorized on July 11, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Writer’s block.

There are thousands of articles online covering the topic: how to prevent it, how to get over it, and how to understand why it happens. If you’ve ever actually dealt with writer’s block though you know that even reading some of the advice in the typical quick-fix articles can be maddening. I don’t know why it happens any more than I know a reliable way to prevent or fix it. This article however is a personal attempt to disseminate what has worked for me and what I think almost never works for anyone.

In my experience, the first key to dealing with writer’s block is not to stress about it. There is no reason to dig too deeply into the root causes of your writer’s block. It will also benefit no one to become anxious about not being able to write. The only problem here is the fact that, when you can’t write, that’s all you can think about. And if you write for a living you are running the risk of damaging your career. What’s more stressful than that?

It’s definitely a catch-22: trying not to stress about not stressing about your writer’s block. But here are a few things I have done that have actually worked for me:

Do something totally new.

Preferably this should be something that has nothing to do with you or your work. Step out of your comfort zone, and do something fun. Once I went bungee jumping during a period of especially low creativity. It was something I had thought I would never do. But it definitely startled me back to life.

Ask someone for advice.

As obvious as this sounds, it can often be the last thing writers seek out. Writing can be such a solitary activity, and when you’re suffering from a block sometimes you feel like you need to get through it alone. Instead, just tell another writer or editor what’s going on and see if they can help you think of different angles or ideas. Even something as simple as that can actually help.

Read.

This is one of the best ways to get creative juices flowing again. Sit down, and make yourself read something. Whatever you’re attracted to is a good place to start whether it’s a novel, newspaper or magazine.

Have un-productive rest.

Don’t use downtime as a constant opportunity for brainstorming. You may be suffering from writer’s block, but you still deserve some time off. Go see a friend and chat about nothing. 

Just start writing.

Especially if you write for work, it can really help to stop thinking. You may be surprised by how much writing you can fit onto a page when you just start doing it. And you will be even more surprised by how well you can write, even on autopilot. Stop caring about how it will all go together, and just write. You can piece together the good and the bad later.

There are also some things that have never worked for me and I doubt will work well for anyone else:

Lying to yourself about your own deadline

If you are a procrastinator and sometimes like to pretend that your deadline is earlier than it actually is so you finish in a timely manner, stop fooling yourself. You know that you know your real deadline, and you will only start writing as soon as you absolutely have to until you work to actually change the habit of procrastination.

Beating yourself down

Don’t let writers’ block spiral you into a depression. Even if you can’t figure out a way to get past it, it doesn’t mean you should think of yourself negatively.

 

Angelita Williams writes about a variety of topics pertaining to education. Angelita has a particular interest in online education, as she covers many stories on online courses and the distance learning lifestyle. Her email is angelita.williams7@gmail.com.

To Procreate or Not to Procreate? It’s Not Even a Question

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2012 at 4:15 am

When I first set out to write this essay, I intended to give ethical arguments for and against having and raising one’s own biological children, which, we’ve been told, is an act and process that is an integral part of this crazy thing we call life. Notwithstanding, if we view having our own children from a purely ethical perspective, the answer is simple—there are no good reasons.

Before anyone begins throwing a fit about me making some sort of claim that no one should have children, I’m certainly not. You are someone’s child, and, more than likely, I’m sure you’ll say now that you don’t necessarily regret being born. If you have any children currently, I’m sure they’re great, and I’m sure they’re cute. They’ll be a great boon to society one day. But if you don’t have any children, and you’re thinking about it, think hard. Think about the fact that:

The world population is growing at a rate that the planet cannot support.

All of us already know that the world population growth is, simply put, unsustainable at its current rate.

By some accounts, world population could reach 10 billion in the year 2050, while the Earth’s carrying capacity is said to be between 4 billion and 11 billion. According to some experts, we may have already transcended the Earth’s carrying capacity. Considering that developed countries, especially America, produce some of the greatest amounts of waste per person in the world, deciding not to have children will do more to reduce your carbon footprint than any of the small steps you may currently take, like walking to work.

The “but my future child will be happy” argument doesn’t hold water.

In Peter Singer’s relatively recent New York Times op-ed, “Should this be the Last Generation?”, Singer cites one of philosopher David Benatar’s arguments about having children:

“To bring into existence someone who will suffer is, Benatar argues, to harm that person, but to bring into existence someone who will have a good life is not to benefit him or her. Few of us would think it right to inflict severe suffering on an innocent child, even if that were the only way in which we could bring many other children into the world. Yet everyone will suffer to some extent, and if our species continues to reproduce, we can be sure that some future children will suffer severely. Hence continued reproduction will harm some children severely, and benefit none.”

Essentially what Singer is trying to say is that non-existent persons, being infinitely many, cannot “know” what they are missing out on.

There’s nothing necessarily “natural” about having and raising kids.

One argument often invoked in the name of having children is the idea that it’s a “natural” part of the lifecycle, or it’s an experience that is part and parcel of our instincts and biology. Firstly, there are various “instincts” that, as human civilization has developed, we’ve suppressed. One could easily argue that it’s instinctual to hunt and gather our food, but modern technology has enabled us to slough off this part of our biology. In the same way, the facts of modern life have given us the opportunity to live a full life without having children. The advent of birth control has completely separated reproduction from our instinctual sex drive that often results in reproduction. As such, just with many parts that were once an

Having children won’t necessarily make you happier either.

Now we can always go the hedonistic route, and argue that raising children will bring us pleasure, and that, ergo, having children is the right thing to do. There are, again, a few problems with this argument. For one, it’s not even necessarily the case that having children will bring us pleasure, as noted in a recent New Yorker article, “The Case Against Kids.” A study conducted in 2006 showed that mothers cited having a more enjoyable time during activities like exercising, talking on the phone, and watching TV, as compared to spending time with their children. Spending time with children ranked only above doing housework in terms of enjoyment.

At the end of the day however, having children isn’t something we necessarily submit to reasoned analysis. Perhaps the nearly universal appeal is something akin to what Guardian columnist Charlie Booker noticed after having his first child:

“But only a cardboard man could fail to acknowledge that some things simply leave you feeling deeply, deeply happy. Call me dense or cold or both, but I wasn’t anticipating the wave of euphoria I’ve been experiencing. It’ll wear off, I’m sure, and these pages aren’t the place for it anyway, but yes: I understand why people have kids. Right now, at the moment, I ‘get’ babies.”

By-line:

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.