If you are required to write an answer, write no more than 100 words for each answer (please include word count each time)
Chapter 2: How is the Ku Klux Klan like a group of real-estate agents?
3. How did the exposure of the Ku Klux Klan’s secrets significantly diminish the Klan’s presence and influence in society?
When new information about the Ku Klux Klan came out over the radio, the Klan’s advantage of holding internal information and secrets was lost. The Klan’s activities and apparent bigotry was exposed and discovered, and the element of mystery surrounding it was also gone. The new situation caused existing members of the Klan to leave the group, while new members did not join the Klan. With its lower numbers, the Klan soon lost its presence and influence in society (79)
Chapter 3: Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?
4. List the four factors which, according to Levitt and Dubner, determine a wage. In addition, explain the effect each factor has on the wage paid to a particular type of labour.
According to Levitt and Dubner, the four factors that determine how much a job pays are: the supply of willing workers, the demand for the goods and services that it produces, the specialized skills needed to do the job, and the job’s unpleasantness. To cite an example, good doctors are highly-paid because there are only a few of them, healthcare (the service it provides) has a high demand, the skills required are high since not everyone can perform surgery. The long hours and the very big responsibility also makes it high paying (92).
Chapter 4: Where have all the criminals gone?
5. Explain how competition among crack dealers contributed to the decrease in crime that occurred in the 1990s.
When crack was very profitable in the 1980s, many dealers were killed by rival groups and many of them were jailed by the police. It was difficult to be a dealer because of this. In the 1990s, a price competition started, when one dealer would sell crack at a low price, and the other would try to sell at an even lower price. The situation decreased the profits so much that dealers did not want to take the risk of being killed or imprisoned (84).
Chapter 5: What makes a perfect parent?
6. According to the ECLS data discussed by Levitt and Dubner, which is a more important indicator of a child’s success on standardized tests; having lots of books at home or having a parent who reads those books every day to his or her child? What does this suggest about the marginal benefit of reading to one’s child in so far as success on standardized tests is concerned?
The ECLS data found a correlation between the number of books at home and the child’s success in tests. The more books, the better the child scores in standardized tests. But, it was also found out that reading to a child have little effect on his test scores. It was thought that having a lot of books at home would mean that the parents are better educated, richer and smart. And as such, they would naturally aspire that their children be smart and well-educated as well (86).
Chapter 6: Perfect parenting, part II; or: would a Roshanda by any other name smell as sweet?
7. According to the data in Freakonomics, what happens over time to the names of children who grow up to be successful?
As expected, names are not important in success, but motivation. It is also found that names are short-lived within different classes of people. As more low-income parents copy the names used by high-income parents, the names become too common. It becomes disliked by the high-income parents. As a result, high-income parents look for other names that are unique and will “stand out in the crowd”, which low income parents will also copy (72).
Once you have read the whole book, answer the following questions:
8. The book Freakonomics raises many interesting questions about aspects of current life that you may not have considered before. Write a 350-400 word paper discussing the aspect(s) of Freakonomics that had the most impact on you (positive or negative).
I have learned a lot from the book, and it has certainly opened a lot of doors for me in terms of interesting insights and trivia. However, it was the gun statistics and the gun laws in the United States that really impressed me.
Imagine, having more guns that people who could be trusted to handle them. Levitt said that guns in the U.S. are so numerous that “if you give one to every adult” you’d run out of adults before you’d run out of guns. That’s kinda scary, all those weapons running around.
I googled the idea and found that the United States’ Second Amendment guarantees the right to buy and possess guns. More than that, according to the National Academy of Sciences, there were more than 200 million guns that were owned privately in 1999.
Freakonomics also provided a different view from other economic books, and gives alternative explanations to real life situations. For example was the explanation of how abortion decreases crimes. Traditional reserarchers would say that it was because of increased police vigilance or new law enforcement strategies, but that was very wrong.
Also wrong was the perception that the gaps between whites and blacks have now been resolved. It was surprising to read about how a difference between the two still exists, and how blacks have disadvantages, and how blacks are performing poorly.
Also, I found it interesting how politicians were able to win favour from their own ineffective actions, or other’s effective ones. It is something I don’t usually pause to consider, but reading about it in the book got my interest.
Additionally, I found the information about the cheating schoolteachers rather interesting. In an effort to improve the level of education a new policy was introduced. The policy led to more and more schoolteachers manipulating test results. On one hand, I can understand that they were competing with their fellow teachers. On the other, it goes the opposite of what teachers have been telling us students.
All in all, the book was a refreshing look at different economic situations in real life. It showed us how incentives influence the lives of people, their community and the economy.
9. List ten (10) words or expressions that you learnt from the book and write their definitions (in full sentences)
1. high-stakes testing (chapter 1 page 22, line 2)– A testing where there are a lot at risk, because of the fact that the schools are also held accountable for the students’ performance.
2. Fresh villains (chapter 2, page 57) – Fresh villains are new enemies. The book says that after the war, Superman needed new enemies, hence, the producers used the Klan’s secret.
3. Hung-up (chapter 5, page 151) – I think hung-up is a slang for very concerned. The book says that teachers are wrong to be overly concerned about the gap in test scores between blacks and white. Instead of being hung up with it, they should instead focus on good school/bad school gap.
4. White collar crime (chapter 1, page 42) – White collar crimes are crimes that are not violent committed by individuals like teachers, office workers, and sales personnel, in doing their jobs. The book used this term to describe a form of cheating and shorting the bagel man.
5. Celibacy tax (chapter 4, page 106) – A celibacy tax is a fine that is paid by women who do not have children, or fails to get pregnant. This tax was introduced by Ceausescu in an effort to drive up Romania’s birth rate, along with anti-abortion moves and banning of contraception and sex education.
6. Shotgun marriages (chapter 4, last part) – A shotgun marriage is a wedding that is forced because of pregnancy. The book says that if abortion was legal, shotgun marriages wouldn’t happen so often.
7. Flunk out (chapter 1, last part) – To flunk out is to get sent out of school, or to fail in school. The book says that incentives is what we respond to, and we learn that. If we fail or flunk out in school, we only have one career choice, which is to work for our father.
8. Janitor (chapter 3) – A janitor is a worker that cleans and maintains a building. It’s a hard job, but in the book, it is presented as a “good job” because it paid well than the other jobs like crack dealing.
9. Folktale (introduction) – A folktale is a story that is told. The folktale used in the book is about the czar who had all the doctors in a province shot because it was the same province with the most disease. This tale was passed along by mouth.
10. Puzzled – Puzzled means confused. The book used this term to describe the would-be reaction of showbiz people who learned that Michael Goldberg is actually Indian, not Jewish. In showbiz, most people avoid Jewish names.
Write a 250 – 300 word accompanying paper for the presentation that you will be giving for the oral component of the English Specialised Language Course exam.
Here are some money-making tips that you could do easily. One, you can ask your neighbours for odd jobs like gardening, babysitting or cleaning the house. You can also sell things you don’t use, which would provide extra space in your room, plus you will be helping out other people who are looking for an issue missing from their comic collection. You can have a yard sale to do this.
You can also do it the traditional way: work for companies that hire temps and service people, like the local McDonalds. If you can paint, or write, or draw, you can earn some money by creating your works of art and selling them.
If you’re good at chemistry, you might want to help out other students to grasp concepts in the periodic table or chemical compounds.
You can also write for the local paper. Local and community dailies usually dedicate space for contributions. Some contributors get paid for their work.
If you can repair cars, TVs or CPUs, and you have the tools, you can get money by repairing broken things for friends, and neighbours.
You can all take all these further by starting your own business. Entering into a business is a good way to earn. Basically, take a product and sell it for a profit. Produce something and sell it. Repair something for a fee.
Another way to earn money and in a way help Mother Earth is to recycle. Recycling plants and junk shops usually pay for old newspapers, bottles, and other recyclable materials. Go around the neighbourhood and ask for newspapers and bottles that they are keeping in storage. Sell them at the local junkyard.
Lastly, you can learn how to invest. If you have extra money, you can buy stocks with it, or put it in something that lets it earn an interest.