Muckraker essay

And let's not forget Upton Sinclair's outspoken economic agenda. Upton Sinclair is a genuine, self-described socialist. This means that he believes that there should be centralized control of the American economy. Along with this organized control of economy, there should also be some kind of safety net in place for people who are poor or who can't take care of themselves. Sound familiar? Well, the question of what role the federal government should play in providing care for its citizens is absolutely central to that intense yearlong debate we all had about the Democrats' health care bill. It's also at the heart of Democrat, Republican, and Tea Party arguments over the value of small versus big government. Apparently, politics hasn't really changed that much over the last hundred years. Indeed, we can't help but notice that a lot of the social issues The Jungle set out to solve in 1906 remain as enduring and difficult today as they were in Upton Sinclair's day.

At the heart of these incredulous statements about the poor decisions poor people make is a belief that we would never be like them. We would know better. We would know to save our money, eschew status symbols, cut coupons, practice puritanical sacrifice to amass a million dollars. There is a regular news story of a lunch lady who, unbeknownst to all who knew her, died rich and leaves it all to a cat or a charity or some such. Books about the modest lives of the rich like to tell us how they drive Buicks instead of BMWs. What we forget, if we ever know, is that what we know now about status and wealth creation and sacrifice are predicated on who we are, . not poor. If you change the conditions of your not-poor status, you change everything you know as a result of being a not-poor. You have no idea what you would do if you were poor until you are poor. And not intermittently poor or formerly not-poor, but born poor, expected to be poor and treated by bureaucracies, gatekeepers and well-meaning respectability authorities as inherently poor. Then, and only then, will you understand the relative value of a ridiculous status symbol to someone who intuits that they cannot afford to not have it.

Elisabeth returned to Haderslev. Fall set in with cold, rainy weather and short days. There was little to cheer her up, and she became, in her own words, "a pale, anemic, sorrowful girl to look at." In the evening she tried to busy herself with sewing, but her thoughts wandered. One night, when she was particularly restless, she remembered a conversation she had had with Baumann shortly before his death. He had gently admonished her to marry after his death, even if she did not love the man; it was better to be with a man who truly loved her than to be alone, he had said. Thinking back, Elisabeth wondered if Baumann had not obliquely been suggesting that she marry Riis. At the time Elisabeth had brushed the idea aside, not wanting to contemplate the possibility of Baumann's death. Baumann did not know Riis; Elisabeth had never talked about him. But Baumann had read the congratulatory letter Riis had sent Elisabeth upon their engagement and had surely understood that he loved Elisabeth.

Let’s run down some of the big “outrage” stories of recent months: Vogue —a fashion magazine—did some minor photoshop on a  Lena Dunham . Patton Oswalt was a bully after joking about the KTVU news prank on the Asiana Airlines crash.  The Obama’s got another dog of the same breed, instead of rescuing a pitbull. Steve Martin was racist for a silly Twitter joke . The Onion doesn’t take its satire about rape seriously enough . A crappy horror movie is somehow one of the “most effective right-wing Christian films of recent years.” My favorite: Getting outraged over Gawker’s outrage about white privilege . 

Muckraker essay

muckraker essay

Let’s run down some of the big “outrage” stories of recent months: Vogue —a fashion magazine—did some minor photoshop on a  Lena Dunham . Patton Oswalt was a bully after joking about the KTVU news prank on the Asiana Airlines crash.  The Obama’s got another dog of the same breed, instead of rescuing a pitbull. Steve Martin was racist for a silly Twitter joke . The Onion doesn’t take its satire about rape seriously enough . A crappy horror movie is somehow one of the “most effective right-wing Christian films of recent years.” My favorite: Getting outraged over Gawker’s outrage about white privilege . 

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