The American dream is predicated on the notion of equal opportunity. It describes a collective value system that most Americans share. The origin of the American dream is not known with certainty; it has probably evolved over a long time. The origin of the idea that everyone has the God-given right to prosper and succeed with hard work stems from the American Declaration of independence, written in 1776. At least that’s when the idea was written down, and tangled in to the American society`s foundation. Now that Trump has become president the political landscape has changed. The American dream however has been dead for a long time, longer than Trumps presidency.

As mentioned the American dream is predicated on a notion of equal opportunity-not equality of outcome. So we need to look at poor and middle class Americans` chance to succeed. Joseph E. Stiglitz is an economist and he comments on this exact issue in an article from Financial Times.
“America used to be thought of as the land of opportunity. Today, a child’s life chances are more dependent on the income of his or her parents than in Europe, or any other of the advanced industrial countries for which there are data. The US worked hard to create the American dream of opportunity. But today, that dream is a myth.”
“only 58 percent of Americans born into the bottom fifth of income earners move out of that category, and just 6 percent born into the bottom fifth move into the top.”
He says that the American dream is a myth and the reason for that is that the current US system does not work the way people think. Social democratic systems actually predict more success among the different social classes than the US political system.






Differences in crime rates, United States and the UK. Comparing London and New York.

Differences in crime rates, United States and the UK. Comparing London and New York.

The gap in serious crimes such as rape, burgling and robbery is big between the two cities. In London you are six times as likely to be burgled than in the city of New York. In London the number of reported rapes are three times higher, and all tough the murder rate is higher in New York the gap is narrowing. Donald Trump tweeting about the issue insists that the spread of radical Islamic Terror in London is to blame for this. Criminal justice experts say, however, say that the reason for the rising crime in London is due to a cut in policing in the neighborhoods, and that it has more to do with how the country and the city is policed than it has to do with the spread if Islamic terrorism.
The money being spent on police is, between the two countries, similar in size. A big difference arose in the 1990`s when the NYPD-the New York City department, had a change in the way they handled low rate crimes. They put down a no tolerant policy on such crimes and they increased patrols in areas that were known as troublesome. They also put effort into building brides between the public and the police, through community policing. As a result of this, the murder rate decreased dramatically. And it is still decreasing. The Scotland police in contrast does not put a big effort in to policing low level crimes. As mentioned the robbery rate in London is high, last year there were almost 70 000 burglaries in greater London. Rory Geoghegan, head of criminal justice at the Centre for Social Justice, says that neighbor hood patrols has great benefits, and that it was a mistake to decrease the number of them in London.
By embedding proactive community policing, the NYPD is helping tackle crime, improving the quality of life and building better relationships with the community.” London need to do a similar thing as the NYPD did in the 1990`s.
In conclusion London has little focus on small crimes, and bigger focus on bigger crimes. What New York did in the 90`s proved, however, that focus on the smaller low rate crimes is a better way to reduce crime rate.

Source:  telegraph.co.uk/…/london-now-dangerous-new-york-crime-stats-suggest

Black lives matter

Black lives matter is an organization composed of activists. The group was created on July 13 2013. The founders of the group are Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi. Black lives matter was a response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman. It all started as a trending hashtag on twitter, but soon became a national movement in America. They have sense then moved out in the streets and rallied against what they believe is institutional racism in the American government system. Quoting the Black Lives Matter website, “The Black Lives Matter Global Network is a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission is to build local power and to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes”.
Black Lives Matter has been the source of many small controversies the past few years, meaning that there is allot of debate surrounding the group and its goal. Police have intervened many times in relation to the protests and riots.
In our class we saw a documentary about the movement and some of the issues surrounding it. A spokesman from the group said that harming policemen was never their message, but instead holding them accountable for their actions.
Other groups have been created as a response to the movement, such as “all lives matter”, “Blue lives matter” and “white lives matter”. The hashtag Blue Lives Matter started after the shootings of two policemen. “
White lives matter” has been added to the list of hate groups in Southern Poverty Law Center.
To be continued… 

Will Donald Trump get 3 more years?

Donald Trump has now been the president of the United States for about a years time. And as we all know his inauguration was quite controversial, or at least came as a surprise to allot of people. As expected with any president, Trumps past year has had some bumps in the road. However, on the issue of wether or not Trump will get another 3 years it seems likely he will. Even if the democrats get control of both the chambers of congress, there is reason to doubt the proposition that they will threaten Trump with impeachment. Let us first look at some of the resent debacles surrounding Trump.
I refer to an article from CNBC from January 14 2018 called, “Trump declares that a deal to protect immigrant ‘Dreamers’ is ‘probably dead,’ faults Democrats”. Here they write about how Trump has stated that unless congress sends him legislation that aims to keep the plan by March of this year he will kill the program. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, it might leas to some controversy considering the fact that Trump is talking about killing a program aimed to help children who were brought here as illegale immigrants.
Trump as also been in the news lately regarding a payment made to keep adult film star silence, this might lead to more of a personal inquisition for Trump. The encounter between trump and the adult film star took place in 2006 and is said to have been sexual. The star was paid 130 000 US dollars to keep her mouth shut, so that the story wouldn’t interfere with Trump´s presidential campaign.
Coming back to the issue of wether or not Trump is in danger for not being able to complete his four year term as president, democrats have been known to make threats like this in the past. An article from The Washington Post published in October 2017 headlines with, “If Trump doesn’t deal on DACA, some Democrats threaten a government shutdown”. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was set in motion in 2012 under President Barack Obama. Obviously Trump should take a threat like this seriously. Clare Malone, a political journalist from the website Fivethirtyeight, makes a good point in this. She says that Mike Pence, the vice President, would take over for Trump in this senario. This is something the Democrats would not gain from, sense Pence probably would act as a much stronger opponent then Trump in the 2020 election.

Articles used:




The northern Ireland border and Brexit

The border between Ireland and northern Ireland is a controversial issue. The island of Ireland is split up between two groups. The Nationalist-Catholics and the Unionists-Protestants. The Unionists, who are protestants, want northern Ireland to remain a part of the Uk, while the Nationalists, who are catholics, want the whole of Ireland to unite. Northern Ireland came into existence in 1921 after centuries of conflict. England believed that the conflict with Ireland and the Irish problem would solve itself after Ireland was included in the union. However Ireland never stopped fighting for their independence. The devision of Ireland became clear, between those who wanted to stay in the union and those who wanted to leave and stay independent. The troubles is a term used to describe the years of civil war in Ireland form the 1960s and on to 1998. The civil war arose after the catholics felt that they had been made into second class citizens. They started protests in the streets and riots, and this escalated into a civil war. During the period of the troubles the english government sent in troops to ease the situation, but it only made it worse as the nationalists felt that this was just another push to keep them oppressed. The good Friday agrement was signed and renegotiated in 2007. Since 2007 Northern Ireland has had a stable international government.
When it comes to Brexit, it will affect Northern Ireland and Ireland in different ways, since Northern Ireland is still a part of the UK. Many are afraid that the change will result in yet another conflict between the two groups. Northern Ireland will be leaving the EU and Ireland will say, therefore new borders may lead to old conflict showing up once again.

Quality education for all = Gender equality

The 25th of September 2015, the UN set 17 goals to transform our world; called The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The ultimate goals is to tackle the most urgent problems while measuring progress and solutions. The SDGs are a common set of goals for all communities in every country. The United Nations hope these goals will point these communities in the right direction while holding them accountable. In this blog post we will go more in depth on goal 4 and 5 which is quality education and gender equality. We believe these goals  are necessary to achieve if we want a sustainable development.

“Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals based on their gender It arises from differences in socially constructed gender roles.”

Gender inequality remains a major barrier to human development. Through the Global Gender Gap Report, the World Economic Forum quantifies the magnitude of gender disparities and tracks their progress over time, with a specific focus on the relative gaps between women and men across four key areas: health, economy politics and education. Below there is a map of countries ranked according to calculated gender gaps. The darker the blue is, the less of a gap there is between men and women.


The map is from the The global gender gap report 2016 and it covers 144 countries. Despite massive progress, women’s rights remain a critical issue throughout the world especially in regions like North Africa and the Middle East. Gender inequality is a global challenge.

Girls and woman made major strides and has gotten more rights ever since 1990, but have not yet gained gender equality. Gender equality is necessary for us to be able to live in a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. To provide women and girls with equal access to education is sure will benefit all societies and the world’s humanity.

So, how do we best achieve gender equality?

There are a few bullet-points we can mention which would definitely help:

  • Ensure that leadership-positions are shared 50/50
  • Women into power
  • Women into non-traditional jobs

These points are more relevant for industrialized countries. When it comes to women in developing countries, there are other steps in the process that are more important:

  • Stop child marriage
  • Gender sensitive education
  • Stop the violence
  • End sexual harassement

All of the actions mentioned above are comprehensive. Therefore a great start would be to change the attitude all across the world, which has stuck from the past; women are less capable of working, and should stay home and take care of the children.

And what can Norwegian teenagers do in order to make a change?

We should for starters make sure that there are no gender inequalities amongst our generation, as we are the next one to rule the world. Norway are one of the most gender equal countries in the world, and therefore we should try to spread our culture and our equal society by making a campaign. A change of people’s minds across the world must sure be a good start in fixing the challenge.

Education in 2017 should not only teach languages and maths, but also morals. Education should enlighten people, and therefore it can be a key in solving gender inequalities.

Education is fundamental for the development of a society. It gives us knowledge so we can learn how to use our resources and build a nation piece by piece. It creates jobs and provides us with important science and information. There are major differences between developed and developing countries, and education plays a huge part of this gap. The developing countries are far behind us when it comes to infrastructure, technology, leadership and many fundamental parts to building a developed country. This is probably caused by their lack of education opportunities. The reason we find goal number 4, quality education, as one of the most important sustainable development goals is because education is not only a solution for goal number 4 itself, education can also contribute in solving several of UN’s goals.

Education is of course extremely important for our personal development and success.  First of all it is important for our health and happiness. When attending to school you take part of a society, gain social network and develop yourself as a wiser person. It provides you with a more secure future, with the possibility of getting proper jobs. Education also makes the world more peaceful, because we learn how to communicate and cooperate with other people, which is a fundamental for building a good leadership that listen to the people. And we become aware of our rights and responsibilities towards our society, which can prevent us from turning to illegal actions.

And let us not forget how fundamental education is for the economic growth within a nation. If we have the right knowledge we can produce more goods and services, become more productive and prevent unemployment. This is only a few of the advantages caused by education, and we can already see how it can affect almost every single goal on UN’s list. For instance; goal number 1 – no poverty, goal number 3 – good health and well-being, goal number 8 – decent work and economic growth, goal number 9 – industry, innovation and infrastructure; goal number 11 – sustainable cities and communities, goal number 13 – climate action, and goal number 16 – peace, justice and strong institutions.

What can be done and what can we do to ensure that everyone gets an equal opportunity for quality education? Lack of education remains one of the biggest and most important obstacles to overcome, in rural areas, literacy and numeracy act as significant challenges. Quality education for all might also help improving upon other global challenges, such as eradicating poverty, reducing inequality and raise awareness and knowledge regarding the climate. Most governments are committed to address this problem, but not all of their intentions translate into effective results.

One of the things we can do in order to help this problem, is to for example donate money to organizations that already work on the issue. An example of a good organization is “Khula Education”, They work in South Africa, which is one of the places that struggle with this issue the most. Their slogan, “without education there is no hope, without hope there is no future”. There are plenty of other places to go as well if one is interested in donating money. In Norway students receive a free education and it is guaranteed for all. Imagine the possibilities that would emerge if everyone had the same opportunity for education.

Raising awareness of the awesome benefits of education is also a way to help. We can do that by joining voluntary groups like “education for all”. Voting for the appropriate political party in relation to economical aid for education in other countries is also a way to have an impact.

We have made large strides when it comes to providing quality education and gender equality, but we are still far from our ultimate goal. 57 million children still remain out of school, with more than half of these coming from sub-Saharan countries. And one third of developing countries are yet to achieve gender parity in primary education. If we want to achieve our SDGs we need to empower young women and lobby the government to provide free quality education for all, especially vulnerable and marginalised groups.


the presidential election prossess

The united states electoral college is the mechanism used to elect a new president for the U.S. people vote on representatives from their state, the representative then votes for the presidential candidate from his or hers party. Most of the states have a winner takes it all policy, where the party that gets the most votes, also gets all of the representatives. Many have claimed that this is an undemocratic way of electing a new president, since it does not take in to account all of the minority votes. The electoral college came to be as a result of the funding fathers trying to find a right way of electing a leader. They did not want the state to decide, but the also did not want an all out popularity contest, since they did not trust the common American layman. So they decided upon the electoral college, where the gave the people voting rights, while not voting directly on the president, but rather on a representative of the party.
to be continued…