Girls in Braces for Comme des Garcons A/W88

But we got wise and our hair remained resolutely un-Angelic, so fashion and beauty advertisers had to change their game. This has been proved this week by the resurgence of an amazing Comme des Garçons campaign from A/W88 which unanimously won the Loves vote for Dazed’s Fashion Features Editor Isabella Burley. 5 flying out of the stores and Brook Shields’ suggestive pose with her Calvins started a denim revolution. Tommy Hilfiger inveigled himself into the fashion conversation with a brazen piece of copywriting, and the last years have seen a dressed down Chloë Sevigny in slides and a spinning chair for Prada, Juergen Teller putting Victoria Beckham in a bag for Marc Jacobs, Madonna dealing with the chickens on Dolce Gabbana’s incredibly glamorous farm, and Kate Moss cutting a wedding cake in a Burberry check slip, surrounded by a coterie of Jaggers. But Comme des Garçons has never resorted to attention grabbing stars or even conventional fashion images, preferring to prowl the line between fashion and art, serving up unexpected and beautiful work that we would like to put on our wall and stare at forever.

Why did you love this campaign?

Because it embraces the awkwardness of adolescence. 

Where would you put the 1988 campaign it if you owned it?

Above my bed. 

What’s your first memory of Comme des Garçons?

Being 17, working at Dover Street Market and being petrified every time Rei Kawkubo would visit the store. . Thus, Twiggy’s eyelashes sold a million Yardley mascaras, Farrah Fawcett’s exemplary mane made Fabergé shampoo a bestseller, Catherine’s Deneuve’s Parisian allure sent Chanel No.

We walk past ad campaigns every day, thinking we’re safe from their insidious effects, but the best ones curl up in our brains and stay there forever. Elegant, subtle and surprising, this joyful image of a pair of young girls wearing braces is a sublime piece of work from a fashion house that continually serves up an intriguing and unconventional perspective on beauty and commercialism.

Text by Tish Wrigley

Show us some other CDG campaigns you love?

I really love all of the SHIRT ones, particularly Stephen J Shanabrook’s scrunched up faces.

What’s your favourite CDG moment?

There are too many and I keep discovering more. 

Who would you ask to join you in a recreation of this moment?

Rei Kawakubo, of course! Second option would be Cindy Sherman. 

What are you looking forward to about 2014?

The new era of Dazed! 

So, to celebrate a piece of fashion campaign history, as well as Mia Wasikowska’s head to toe pink Comme look on the cover of AnOther Magazine’s S/S14 issue, here we talk to Burley about why she loved this image, and her memories of working for Rei Kawakubo as a teenager.

What was the last thing you bought?

A bottle of red wine.

“Comme des Garçons continually serves up an intriguing and unconventional perspective on beauty and commercialism”

What’s the best way to wear braces?

With a big smile? I actually wouldn’t know because I refused them as a teenager – that was before I discovered this image, of course! 

Advertising is first and foremost about shifting units, and perhaps the most successful campaigns are those that promise that their product will turn you into a facsimile of the beautiful star staring out at you from the bus stop

Facebook Messenger Adds Contextual Information on First-Time Senders

Mashable and TechCrunch both pointed out the new feature’s similarities to Hello, the Android phone dialer application Facebook rolled out last month, which enables users to see publicly shared information from Facebook about incoming callers, among other features.

MessengerNonFriendInfoMessengerNonFriendInfoFoodBlogger

Images courtesy of Mashable and TechCrunch.

Mashable and TechCrunch both reported that when Facebook users receive messages from other users for the first time, publicly available information from the senders will be included, to help the receivers understand the context of the messages.

Facebook told Mashable the new feature is being rolled out to iOS and Android users in the U.S., U.K., France and India “over the next few weeks,” with a spokesperson adding that it is “a way to give you more context about new conversations in Messenger.”

Facebook Messenger Adds Contextual Information on First-Time Senders | SocialTimes

MessengerNonFriendInfoTeaser

Facebook Messenger users who have ever received messages and wondered where they knew the senders from will embrace a new feature the social network introduced Thursday.

This information includes the senders’ work information, current city and mutual friends, both blogs reported, and it is limited to information that is already publicly available via Facebook.

Readers: What are your initial thoughts about this new Messenger feature?

Burnley fan’s DIY tour aims to tackle big four | Reuters

The co-founder of Freight Investor Services LTD, who travels to Singapore bi-monthly for business, watched proudly as his English Championship (second division) club rounded off a successful tour with a 1-0 win over a Singapore select side.

But with Burnley’s surprise 1-0 win over Manchester United in last season’s Premier League and this trip to Singapore, the Burnley-born Banaszkiewicz said he had already noticed an increase in interest in the two-times English champions.

(Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore, Editing by Justin Palmer)

But hundreds of the few thousand in attendance on a muggy Saturday night at the Jalan Besar Stadium came in Manchester United shirts, demonstrating the challenge ahead for Burnley and Banaszkiewicz.

“(English team’s pre-season tours) tend to be very quick trips by like Liverpool, who were here one day and were a bit prima donnaish (they) kind of went and left where as these guys have mingled and talked to people. Bars on a Saturday night are normally lined with fans in the red of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal and the blue of Chelsea, eager to catch every minute of their matches.

“It is a small country but such a big market for football and we would like to get more claret and blue supporters in this part of the world,” a sharply-dressed Banaszkiewicz told Reuters.

“We were hoping to play in Indonesia as well and Thailand because it was meant to be a bit of a bonding session for the players but we weren’t able to do that in the end because it was deemed a security risk so they decided to (just) come here.”

“At that time they were discussing their shirt sponsorship with Fun88, which is a Singapore based company, and I said they are absolutely mad about soccer out there (Singapore) so what about organising a tour?” Banaszkiewicz said.

“We have all the world clocks because we deal with commodities and trading and we put a clock where our offices are, so Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai and I put one with Burnley on the wall,” a chuckling Banaszkiewicz said.

“It has been a bit of an experience to be honest because we have never done anything like that before, it is normally done by agents so we have pretty much done a DIY job ourselves.”

With the prank providing some office laughs John B, as he is more commonly known in Burnley circles, decided to send a photo of the clocks to his then Premier League side.

“I always felt there were only three or four clubs that dominate south east Asia and this team (Burnley) has a rich tradition and has beaten some of those big clubs last season. This isn’t going to be a one-off.”

The story of how Burnley made it to the tiny south east Asian city state is an unlikely one which started with the clocks in the London office of Banaszkiewicz’s company earlier this year and demonstrated a warmth that the club should market.

So as the Premier League’s top clubs looked at North America, Australia, Africa or Asia for their usually lavish pre-season tours, Banaszkiewicz started organising a visit to south east Asia.

“I said (to the hairdresser) I am going to watch Burnley and they were like ‘oh yes 5-0 (referring to the midweek win over Home United) they are playing Singapore’ so slowly the message is coming across.”. I think the team have done very well.”

And Banaszkiewicz believes the key to building support in the region is for the club to show that modest side, which they demonstrated by attending coaching camps and meeting the locals.

The photo prompted Burnley to invite Banaszkiewicz to come to watch the 2-1 home defeat by eventual Premier League winners Chelsea at the end of January.

SINGAPORE Businessman John Banaszkiewicz was so fed up of the Premier League’s top four teams claiming all the support in south east Asia that he decided to sponsor his beloved Burnley a trip to Singapore to boost their appeal.

WORLD CLOCKS

Singaporeans are obsessed with the Premier League, and the top four especially

Different Types of Religions

These differences lie in fundamental issues such as origins, belief systems, theological matters, liturgy, etc.

Any individual born to a Jewish mother is a Jew. When it originated in the middle of the first century, it was but a marginal sect of Judaism, limited to a small province called Levant, on the eastern boundary of the Roman Empire. 1 billion followers)

Druze

Jainism

(approx. Wedlocks outside the faith are highly discouraged.

Today, the highest concentration of Zoro?strian adherents is in India, where they are commonly known as P?rsis. The faith developed, initially as San?tana Dharma (the eternal law), and later on as Brahmanism, before it could consolidate at a later date as Hinduism. Adherents of Hinduism are known as Hindus. The Muslims also believe in the notion of the Day of Judgment (Al-Qiy?mah), when God will resurrect all the dead from their graves, and put them into heaven or hell, depending on their deeds. Idol worship is absent in the faith. Owing to this, it is better to consider each religion as a distinct set of beliefs, rather than grouping them under various categories.

Major World Religions

o The symbol of the Druze faith, the Druze star, bears five colors symbolizing five different things viz., green (mind), red (soul), yellow (word), blue (willpower), and white (understanding of the material world).

o Most rituals of the Wiccans are held at night, either in the moonlight or by the bonfires or within the consecrated spaces at home or in the temple.

The Bahá’í Faith, one of the youngest monotheistic religious traditions in the world, was founded in Iran in 1863 by a man called Bahá’u’lláh. Added to this, there are five great vows (Mah?vrata) that every Jain is expected to take, and follow all through his life. Similarly, religious Hindus do go on pilgrimages, though this is not mandatory in the religion. Added to these, there are a number of festivals in Judaism, including the three pilgrimage festivals, and their festival of lights, the Hanukkah.

o A totem, hence becomes an object of veneration for the entire clan.

o They are allowed to hide their religion whenever needed, especially in adverse situations, which is what makes the faith unique.

Hinduism

(approx. He is omnipotent and imperishable. Divorce is discouraged, but not prohibited. There are two sections of the Avest? viz., the Avest? consisting of 17 hymns believed to be composed by Zoro?ster; and the Younger Avest? that comprises commentaries, myths, and detailed descriptions of various ritual practices. The adherents of Zoroastrianism are known as the Zoroastrians.

The Zoro?strians regard Ahur? Mazd? to be the creator of all the good things in the universe, a?a, which the evil, druj tries to destroy. But, added to the religions that believe in the divinity of the universe, we also have some faiths countering, or sometimes even completely denying the concept of God. Children are considered to be spiritual beings, and hence their upbringing is a very important task that the parents undertake.

Sikhism

(approx. Apart from worshiping God, the Muslims also worship tombs of a large number of saints. 2.6 million followers)

Islam

(approx. Even today, though Sikh diaspora is quite visibly present in numerous parts of the world, Punjab remains the only region, where majority of the population is Sikh. Owing to Jesus’ hypostatic character, he is both, the ‘prophet’ of the Almighty, and the ‘messiah’, who will save humanity. However, Ahur? Mazd? does not pervade the material world as he is assumed to be the ‘uncreated creator’, but can be worshiped through a host of other lesser divinities called the Amesha Spentas and the Yazatas. This, however, is a part of Muslim folk religion, wherein a particular saint is important in a particular region, and is hence venerated there. In the early Vedic period, natural entities and phenomena came to be worshiped as divinities, while the religion of the later Vedic period was sacrificial in nature, which means that gods and goddesses were invoked by making sacrificial offerings to them. However, studies in cultural anthropology give us an idea about the possible origins of religious worship and practices. The sacred book of the Christians is the Holy Bible, which features various canonical gospels, and other New Testament writings.

Founded by prophet Zoro?ster in ancient Persia (present day Iran) about 3,500 years ago, Zoro?strianism is one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions. 4.2 million followers)

Jainism is one of the smallest of the major religions of the world. In return for all the good things which the God endows people with, they have to abide by His laws, and live a sacred life spreading peace and harmony in the world. Moreover, special occasions such as birth, marriage, and death involve elaborately defined religious customs. It was founded in the Middle East, around 3,500 years ago, by a prophet called Moses, to whom, it is believed that God revealed his laws and commandments. God, in Hinduism, is a very complex concept. The expression ?k ?a?k?r (the supreme reality) represents the universality of Godhead. The Jains do worship images of the Tirthank?ras in their temples, and all of these images bear elaborate iconographies. When the orthodox Brahmanism became very stringent and exploitative, especially towards the lower classes, Siddhartha Gautama, commonly called the Buddha (the enlightened one), came up with new philosophical doctrines, and established a sect of yellow-robed followers belonging to all strata of the society.

The entire Buddhist faith rests on the Four Noble Truths (catt?ri ariyasacc?ni), which are the core of all Buddhist teachings. Added to this, there is a concept of Godhead in Christian faith, which says that within the personality of God, the Ultimate One, there are always three eternally co-existing characters viz., the Father (creator and controller of universe), the Son (Jesus Christ, the messiah), and the Holy Spirit (the transcendent reality that permeates the cosmos). Moreover, Hindu festivals are regarded as symbolic rituals taking individuals on the path of dharma. The end result was an independent religious tradition devoid of heresy, blasphemy, and apostasy. In all, there have been ten Sikh Gur?s including Gur? N?nak, and the Sikhs are supposed to follow the path laid out by them. However, they are either concentrated in a particular geographic area, or have lesser adherents as compared to the major religions.

Zoro?strianism

(approx. Their religious scripture, the Gur? Granth S?hib, which was composed over a period of time from 1469 to 1708 by various Sikh Gur?s, is regarded as the eleventh Gur?, and contains a compilation of teachings of the first five Sikh Gur?s, alongside other saints such as Kabir, Ravidas, and Baba Farid.

Buddhism

(approx. According to a Hadith (a statement of the Islamic prophet Muhammad), there were as many as 124,000 prophets send by God to spread his message, but only 25 of them have been mentioned in the Qur’an. This religious faith, established in the Punjab region of northwestern India with a limited number of followers in the beginning, is today, the fifth-largest organized religion in the world. A child is named at his/her first public gathering at the Synagogue. He possesses a perfect and complete knowledge about everything that exists. The divine messengers/prophets of God, form the base of this faith. The words written in the Qur’an are considered to be the verbatim words of God himself, brought and taught to the mortals by His prophets. The Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible is the Jewish canonical text through which most of the religion has been studied and understood. Everything, including spiritual experience, belongs to this world where we all live.

Jainism does not believe in the concept of God as a supreme entity. Ceremonies such as naming of the newborn or marriage, take place in the Gurdu?r?, in presence of the Gur? Granth S?hib.

o There is no concept of transcendental world in Shintoism. These include brahmachary??rama (studenthood), grihasth??rama (life of a householder), vanaprasth??rama (retirement), and sanyas??rama (renunciation). Three possible origins have been put forth viz.,

the worship of superhuman powers of the natural forces such as thunder, lightning, flowing of water, growing of trees, and so on;

the veneration of ancestral spirits, and;

the propitiation and invocation of a singular, ultimate reality, which cannot be defined.

Bearing one of these probable origins, religion has come a long way today. Huge volumes of non-canonical Buddhist literature are also available, which include remarkable writings such as Milinda Panha (questions of king Milinda); Visuddhimagga (the path of purification); Mahavamsa (the Great Chronicle); and Culavamsa (the Little Chronicle). In lieu of this, the Jews have the Halakha, a collection of their religious laws, the basis of which, is the Torah, the five books dictated to Moses by the Almighty.

The places of worship of the Jews are the Synagogues, and their spiritual leaders are known as Rabbis. In the even later stages of its development, an entire pantheon of Buddhist gods and goddesses was formed and venerated, with the Buddha being the central divinity. The latter, inhabit the unseen world that is invisible to the human eye, and may be both benevolent as well as malevolent. Jainism has thus been regarded as a transtheistic faith, in which the existence of God is debatable. and 400 B.C., in the Indian subcontinent. However, Judaism still remains one of the major religious traditions in the world. These include Agnosticism (being doubtful about the existence of God, but not denying it altogether), Atheism (a complete rejection of the belief in God), Irreligion (an ideology of indifference towards religion), etc.

There have been many critics of the very concept of religion. They are followed by the Shias, comprising about 10% of their overall population. India has some 70,000 Zoro?strians, followed by 20,000 in Iran, 11,000 in the United States, and 10,000 in Afghanistan.

o The main aim of Taoism is the achievement of spiritual immortality.

Life is full of suffering.

Desire is the root of all suffering.

Suffering can be overcome by eliminating all desires.

Elimination of desires can be attained by following the noble Eightfold Path (a????gika m?rga).

The Eightfold Path has been prescribed by the Buddha as a right way to live life, and as a path that ultimately leads to salvation. Particular age range is assigned to each of these ??ramas, and it has been said that entering the right ??rama at the right age is the key to living a fruitful life. Traditionally, Laozi is regarded as the founder of this faith, and also the author of their sacred text, Tao Te Ching (conception of the Tao).

o Taoism revolves around the Tao, the ultimate creative principle of the universe. Worship in Hinduism, today, pertains largely to seeking the blessings of the divinities by means of p?j? (making offerings to deities), symbolic sacrifices or chanting of devotional hymns and meditation.

Halleluyah!If you are in favor of free file-sharing, and worship CTRL+C and CTRL+V, you can become a member of world’s newest religion, Kopimism. Reaching the Tao is the ultimate goal of a devoted Taoist individual, which he can achieve by staying in close contact with nature.

Hindus also have a number of denominations, owing to the various religious movements that have taken place over a period of time. Worship, in many Christian traditions, comprises regular mass worship, sometimes complemented by individual prayer and meditation. Nevertheless, the essence of every faith is more or less similar- to attain salvation or to achieve oneness with the Divine. to 650 A.D. Bahá’ís practice fasting as a means of self-restraint from all the material attractions. The Sikhs do not have many festivals, and the basic themes of all their events revolve around the lives of their Gur?s and martyrs. The key concepts on which Hinduism is based are dharma (morality), karma (actions and consequent reactions), sams?ra (the eternal cycle), moksha (salvation), and yoga (spiritual path). Mecca, the birthplace of prophet Muhammad, is the holiest city of the Muslims, where the Kabba, their most sacred site is located. This includes the three Buddhist canonical texts, the Tripitakas viz., the Vinaya Pitaka (rules and regulations for Buddhist monks and nuns; the Sutra Pitaka (book of the Buddha’s discourses); and the Abhidharma Pitaka (analyses and commentaries on the Buddha’s teachings). Furthermore, monasticism and meditation have been regarded important in the Jain faith.

Other Faiths

The Britannica Book of the Year (1992-present) listed the Bahá’í religion as the second most largest religion of the world with regards to its geographical spread. According to the Bahá’í beliefs, Bahá’u’lláh is the most recent ‘manifestation of God’ (divine messenger).

The Bahá’ís believe that there is only one God and the entire universe and its creations belong to Him. However, one fundamental factor that is common throughout the various belief systems is that they have provided us with definite beings/entities, whom we can concentrate on, and venerate. In Judaism, the concept of God, and His relationship with humankind has been brought out in a very interesting manner. The Jains believe that all living things, plants and animals alike, have living souls, and are thus equivalent to each other. Interestingly, any Sikh, irrespective of the gender, can become a Granthi.

There are no exact statistics regarding the number of religions existing in the world, but recent estimates suggest that there may be about 4,200 different religions currently in practice. Most of the Jewish population of the world resides in Israel (42%), and the United States (42%).

There are no priests in Sikhism. It considers Jesus to be the Son of God. Religion, in a nutshell, can thus be defined as ‘a system of beliefs and practices, which a person inherits at birth (sometimes by choice), and the norms of which, he is expected to follow all through his life, in order to lead a good and a fruitful existence, alongside gaining social acceptance’. Because the religion does not bear one particular founder, it also does not have one particular/standardized philosophy. A basic question that pertains is regarding the exact definition of the term ‘religion’, the answer to which is not as simple as it seems. They believe that there is only one God – Allah, the Buddha, Tao, ??c Cao ?ài (God in Caodaiism), etc. Similarly, Jewish weddings also call for large-scale celebrations that involve music, dancing, and other merrymaking activities.

There are numerous other religious traditions existing in the world, each having its own peculiar characteristics. This represents the ongoing conflict between good and evil forces existing simultaneously in the universe. are all different names of the same entity – who is the creator and regulator of the universe and its processes.

o Totemism is a superstitious belief system, especially amongst the primitive clans/groups, claiming that there exists a spiritual relationship/kinship between members of a particular clan/society, and certain other natural objects such as animals and plants.

o These natural objects, thus become totems of various groups that believe that they have descended from their respective totems.

In Hinduism, human life has been classified into four distinct stages, termed as the four ??ramas. But, it does share syncretic links with other beliefs such as ancestor worship, animism, etc.

Judaism is the oldest of the Abrahamic faiths, which also include Christianity and Islam. 7 million followers)

Hinduism is a predominant henotheistic (belief in one God but not refusing the existence of the others, who may also be worshiped) religion of the Indian sub-continent, and is considered to be the oldest surviving religious tradition in the world. Traditionally, there have been 24 Tirthank?ras (ford-makers), who preached the faith, and aided people to achieve salvation.

The first and the foremost principle on with the Jain faith rests is that of non-violence (Ahims?). The religion developed step by step throughout the ages, and has no designated founder. The place of worship of the Zoro?strians is the Fire Temple, known as the Agi?ry. A devoted Sikh is expected to be an amalgam of a saint and a soldier. The third largest Islamic sect is that of the Sufis, who are mystics and ascetics, seeking love and knowledge through communion with God. But, at the same time, he is nira?k?r (shapeless), ak?l (timeless), and alakh (sightless). However, by the fourth century, Christianity became the official religion of Roman Empire, replacing all the other faiths practiced before. The Jain community makes about 0.5% of India’s total population, followed by 0.3% in Suriname, and 0.2% in Fiji and Kenya.

Sikhism, a monotheistic religion founded by Gur? N?nak in the 15th century, is one of the world’s youngest religions. The Jain philosophy promotes a non-violent and harmless existence for the welfare of the universe. Once the process ceases, the spirit remains is a blissful realm called the Land of Youth.

o Wicca is a paganistic faith that practices religious witchcraft and magic.

o The Wiccans worship the God as well as the Goddess, and believe that the combined powers of both of them can lead to the completion of the universe. Numerous critics regard the notion of religious faith to be outdated, and dangerous for social and individual development. The new file-sharing religion has recently got formal recognition from the Swedish government.

o There have been ongoing debates on whether or not Totemism is a religion.

o The concept of reincarnation in the Wiccan religion is slightly different from the other faiths. In lieu of this, the Jains strictly adhere to vegetarianism, as killing of animals is prohibited in the religion. However, the purpose of worship in Jainism, is to attain spiritual purification. Some of the significant denominations in Hinduism include Vaishnavaites (worshipers of Vishnu as a supreme deity), Shaivaites (worshipers of Shiva as a supreme deity), Shaktas (worshipers of the divine mother), the Ganapatyas (the cult of Ganesha), and the Sauras (worshipers of Sun as a supreme entity).

Buddhism originated as a heterodox religious ideology, sometime between 600 B.C. He only needs to achieve a control over his senses.

The doctrines of Buddhism, and its concepts are found in a huge array of Buddhist literature. The sixteen rites of passage, so?a?a sa?sk?ra, are a set of religious rites performed on a Hindu individual, right from his birth up to his death. Today, various sects of Buddhism exist around the world, which include Therav?da, the old canonical religion; Mah?y?na, the Buddhist Greater Vehicle; and Vajray?na, the tantric form of Buddhism. They believe that the process of reincarnation continues until an individual has gained all the knowledge of the world. But, on the other hand, owing to this one to one relationship with God, every single act that a Jew performs may be considered as the act of worship. Some of the major world religions include the following:

Christianity

(approx.

Cao ?ài

o Reincarnation is one of the central beliefs of the Druze belief system, which states that all souls, irrespective of whether they are good or bad, are reborn as humans. However, there is a considerable amount of diasporic population in Europe, America, and Oceania as well.

o The Tao pantheon consists of a number of deities, major and minor, who function as intermediaries between the humans and the Tao.

Bahá’í Faith

(approx. On the contrary, He is perceived as the one who created various virtues in the human beings.

Testimony (shahadah), prayer (sal?h), giving of alms (zak?t), fasting (sawm), and pilgrimage (Hajj) are considered to be the five pillars of Islam, and every Muslim is expected to perform these acts in his life. On the contrary, they believe in venerating mortal beings, who are worthy of worship. The Bahá’ís have a scattered presence across 235 countries, with majority of their total population residing in Iran, Panama, and Belize.

o At its inception, it was not intended to be a religion; rather it was supposed to be viewed as a philosophical school of thought. The largest sects of Christianity in the world include the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the various Protestant churches. The very crux of this faith lies in the spiritual unity of mankind, which can be achieved if all individuals function in harmony for the common benefit of human race. Male babies have to undergo the brit milah (circumcision ceremony), as a part of the initiation rites. However, Muhammad, the last Islamic prophet is important, in that he was attested the responsibility to convey the final word of God to the world.

Rigorous monotheism is the fundamental concept in Islam. Recent statistics indicate that China has the highest number of Buddhists in the world, followed by Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The very foundation of all existence is based on the belief of a primordial entity creating and regulating the universe, and its processes. Majority of the Jain population of the world resides in India.

Hinduism is based on a number of scriptures including the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Pur??as, the two epics viz., R?m?ya?a and Mah?bh?rata, the Bhagavad G?t?, and the ?gama texts. Later on, as the faith developed after Buddha’s death, his images were installed in Buddhist temples and monasteries. For about 1,000 years after its foundation, the religion remained one of the most influential faiths in the world, and it was also the official religion of Persia from 600 B.C. No doubt there are priests and priestesses, but there are also people who function singularly, or teachers who train the new recruits. Religion is a very relative concept, and may mean different things to different people. The Wiccan ethical code states that magic may only be performed, if it does not harm anyone.

o There is no founder, no god, and no canons of the faith. 1.6 billion followers)

Islam is also a monotheistic Abrahamic religion, like Christianity. It is believed that the entire universe was created by God, and will be destroyed by Him, and that everything that happens around, is according to His will. About 90% of the total Sikh population resides in India, followed by 3.14% in the United Kingdom, 2% in Canada, and 1.05% in the United States.

The sacred book of the Zoro?strians, the Avest?, contains holy scriptures, and consists of their sacred writings. Classifying religions into different categories is a difficult task, as every religion bears its own unique characteristic that one would not find in any other faith. He is thus, a divine being born into the mortal world, and has both, divine as well as mortal affiliations. They are as under:

o Confucianism as a way of life, was put forth by a Chinese philosopher named K’ung-fu-tzu (Confucius is the westernized version of the name), roughly in the 6th-5th century B.C.

o With his ideology, he intended to build a perfect society, and believed that if people exhibited ‘beautiful conduct’, the society could improve to a great extent.

o In Confucianism, God is not viewed as creator of the universe. In 600 B.C., Vardham?na Mah?vira rose to prominence as an important proponent of Jainism, who managed to build up a large group of followers for the faith. Wedding is a religious ceremony in the Zoro?strian faith, wherein a man and a woman, preferably of the same religion, are united. The Jains believe in the concept of reincarnation, and according to Jain metaphysics, reincarnation and salvation depend on the deeds that an individual performs throughout his life.

Today, one in every three persons in the world is a Christian; that makes almost one-third of the world population. It is believed that the history of humankind can be unraveled through the teachings of a series of divine messengers, who established their own religious faiths according to the need of the period during which they lived. That is to say, he must be both compassionate as well as aggressive, and should be able to distinguish between good and evil, and apply his traits accordingly.

The God of the Sikhs is called W?hegur?. However, a fourth prayer is added to the routine on the day of the Sabbath, and on Jewish holidays. It is centered primarily across Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel.

o It is a monotheistic faith, which claims that God can neither be understood, nor be defined by the humans.

There are numerous other religions that follow their own system of beliefs, rituals, and traditions. But, at the same time, it is impossible to comprehend or understand God, as He is also infinite. The followers of Islam are known as Muslims, and its teachings are lucidly expressed in the Qur’an, its sacred text. These are ahims? (non-violence), satya (truthfulness), asteya (abstinence from stealing), brahmacharya (celibacy), and aparigraha (renunciation). The entire Bahá’í Faith rests on the ideology of the world being one single community, with no racial/religious divisions in people.

During the Holocaust, about 600 million Jews were killed, as attempts were being made to completely eradicate the community from the face of the earth. Medina is regarded as the second holiest city in Islam, as it was here that prophet Muhammad was buried. Religion thus, not only defines who we are, but it also shapes our views with regards to the society, and the world.

INDEX

» Types of Religions

» Major World Religions

» Other Faiths

Types of Religions

o There is no concept of ‘evil’ or ‘sin’ in the Shinto faith, and all human beings are considered to be inherently ‘good’.

Totemism

o In fact, the Taoist philosophy promotes the interdependent relationship between man and nature.

o Druze, as a religious ideology, emerged in the 11th century. The Wiccans also worship the Divine in nature.

o This is an indigenous Japanese faith, at the heart of which lies devotion to invisible spirits called Kami, and the various shrines.

o Various rituals facilitating a dialog with the Kami form the crux of Shintoism.

Like Buddhism, Jainism also emerged as a heterodox sect of Brahmanism, which later on transformed as a full-fledged religious ideology. Because He is formless, the Muslims are not supposed to visualize God, or worship Him in any anthropomorphic/zoomorphic form. On the contrary, diverse ethnic and cultural traditions went on assimilating into each other, as they spread through various religious movements in the entire Indian sub-continent. The scripture regulates the lives of the Bahá’í individuals, by laying down rules such as prohibition of fanaticism, monasticism, gambling, and adultery; abstinence from partisan politics; and so on. The members of the Kh?ls?, an order founded by Gur? Gobind Singh, consisting of a few baptized Sikh men and women, are expected to adhere to all the rules of Sikhism and to carry at all times, the five Ks viz., k?s (uncut hair), ka?gh? (wooden comb), ka?? (an iron bracelet), kirp?n (dagger), and kacchera (a loose undergarment). While Christianity is the official state religion of numerous nations such as Vatican City, Greece, England, and Denmark, Christians are also found in substantial numbers in other countries such as Turkey, Russia, India, France, and Iran.

Apart from Punjab, where Sikhs continue to be a majority, a study of the migration patterns of the community show that the English-speaking countries are more favored than the others. There is no concept of ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’ in the religion; on the contrary, it is believed that being born a human is a great fortune, and hence one should live free of all oppressive bondages. The Jews believe that there is only one God, and that they have a set agreement, a covenant with Him. According to demographic estimates, a majority of Muslims reside in Asia and Africa. Following are the factors of the Eightfold Path:

Right view

Right intention

Right speech

Right action

Right livelihood

Right effort

Right mindfulness

Right concentration

An important principle in Buddhist doctrine is the Middle Way, the madhyam?-pratipada, which states that in order to attain salvation (nirv??a), an individual need not be too extreme or too moderate in his behavior/practices. Moreover, Sikhism prohibits its members from cutting their hair, consuming intoxicants, following blind faith, having premarital/extramarital sexual relations, and so on. But, after the death of Confucius, temples were erected in his honor, with elaborate rituals taking place in them.

o The ideology promoted five basic virtues viz., righteousness, kindness, wisdom, trustworthiness, and sobriety.

The religious laws of Bahá’í Faith were written by Bahá’u’lláh in a treatise called Kitáb-i-Aqdas, one of their primary scriptures. Marriage and family are regarded as the cornerstones of humanity, and interracial marriages are highly encouraged in the faith. These, however, are matters of personal viewpoints, and one cannot deny the fact that religion is essential for an individual for enabling him to gain social acceptance, alongside gaining an understanding of a fruitful life.

Confucianism

In its original form, Buddhism prohibited anthropomorphic worship, and the Buddha was venerated through his numerous symbols. It is this ‘give and take relationship’ with God that gives Him human characteristics, and thus makes Him all the more approachable. Sikhism essentially dwells on the principle of G?rmat, meaning ‘the teaching of the Gur?’. Harming any of the living things is hence, a great sin. And so, all these messengers, including Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, have a prominent place in the faith. It is also one of the oldest monotheistic religions of the world. Traditionally, the Jews are supposed to pray three times a day. 14 million followers)

Like the Christians, the Muslims also have several sects, the largest of which is the Sunnis, who comprise about 80% of their overall population. 376 million followers)

Christianity, the monotheistic (belief in one God) and Abrahamic (tracing its origins to Abraham, a biblical patriarch found in Christianity, Judaism as well as Islam) religion, is one of the largest of the world religions, with followers spread across all the continents. The main tenet of Sikhism is achievement of salvation through communion with God. Added to this, the Muslims also believe in angels and demons (mal?ks and jinns), of which the former are heavenly beings, working on the order of God, recording the good and bad deeds of the mortals, and helping them, if need be. Gur? Gobind Singh had abolished the priestly class, and what we have now, are the Granthis who are responsible to look after the Gur? Granth S?hib in the Gurdu?r?s, the Sikh temples. However, contrary to popular belief, Zoro?strians are not worshipers of fire. He is omnipresent and possesses infinite power to create, sustain, and destroy. In the subsequent periods, worship in Hinduism became anthropomorphic in nature, with each divinity being assigned with a particular function, and a specific attribute that he/she would carry, alongside other iconographic standards. The most exciting Buddhist literature, however, is the compilation of tales from the past lives of the Buddha. On the other hand, the Jewish holidays are special days according to the Jewish calendar, marking certain remarkable events in Jewish history. The Bahá’í teachings, thus seek to impart knowledge and love of God through acts such as prayers, introspection, and working for the benefit of mankind. According to their faith, fire symbolizes the light and wisdom of God, and hence is the purest of all elements. Added to this, an ideal Muslim is expected to perform nam?z (daily prayer) five times a day. All of them are placed on the same level.

o Only Druze leaders have access to their religious texts, and not the ordinary members of the faith.

Today, owing to its vast geographical extent, the religion is characterized by internal divisions into various sects and denominations. Heaven and hell are regarded as spiritual stages that either help the souls unite with the divine, or make them reincarnate, depending on their deeds.

Taoism

o The bottom line of the faith is straightforward and simple. It may be practiced alongside some other religion as well.

Wicca

o Cao ?ài or Caodaiism is a relatively newer faith, established in Southern Vietnam in 1926.

o The Caodaiists claim that the religion has been revealed to the humans directly by God, and so there are no divine messengers/prophets in the faith.

o There is no religious hierarchy in Wicca. Conversion from other faith is possible, though it is a complicated process. The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, on which a person is supposed to rest, remember what he/she did during the last six days, and plan his future course of action.

Judaism

(approx. Muslims believe that God, Allah, is the singular, eternal, and an absolute entity, who is formless, all-pervasive, and asexual. 2.1 billion followers)

o Also referred to as Daoism, Taoism originated in China some 2,500 years ago. There are also formal ceremonies held in the Church, on special occasions such as baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Let’s take a quick glance at some of them.

Shintoism

Religion has had obscure origins, and there are a lot of debates on how the religious practices and beliefs may have evolved over the ages. According to the CIA World Factbook and International Religious Freedom Report, 2006, about 81% of the total population of Nepal is Hindu, followed by 80.5% in India, and about 50% in Mauritius.

o The message that Caodaiism intends to convey is that all humans, irrespective of the faith they practice, are equal because the source of their creation is one.

o Wiccans do practice ritualistic magic and perform spells for healing, and for helping people with their problems. This belief forms the core of the various religious ideologies that prevail all over the world. Similarly, daily prayer is the vital element of the faith, as it is seen as a medium of communication with God. 24 million followers).

Christianity is based on the life, experiences, and teachings of Jesus Christ. Known as the J?takas, these are the tales of beings (Bodhisatvas), who are in the process of achieving enlightenment

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COPYRIGHT 2010 MGN LTD

No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.

Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Domini Social Investments and U.N. Foundation Join to Protect Children’s Health and the Environment; Domini Global Giving Fund Matches Donors’ Grants Up to 100%

– Measles Initiative

About the Domini Foundation

Like a private foundation, a donor-advised fund allows donors to deduct contributions for the year in which they are made, to avoid paying capital gains tax on contributions of appreciated securities, and to trim the value of their estate and therefore reduce their potential liability to estate tax. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing or sending money.

– Clear Landmines

About Domini Social Investments

Ms. Account values will fluctuate. The DGGF is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Obtain a copy of each Fund’s current prospectus for more complete information on these and other topics by calling 1-800-762-6814 or at www.domini.com. The Domini Funds are subject to market risks and are not insured.

– Clean Energy for Africa

Domini Social Investments manages more than $1.8 billion in assets for individual and institutional mutual fund investors seeking to create positive change in society by integrating social and environmental standards into their investment decisions. You may lose money. and Europe, the Domini Global Giving Fund helps protect the environment and children’s health in the developing world while supporting the overall efforts of the UN Foundation. The DGGF is an independent public charity, not an investment or security. The Domini Global Giving Fund was launched by the Domini Foundation, a nonprofit organization created by Domini Social Investments, a leading manager of mutual funds for socially responsible investors.

The DGGF is not affiliated with, and is not expressly endorsed by, the United Nations. In partnership with the Domini Foundation, the UN Foundation proposes programs to be supported by the Domini Global Giving Fund, and provides matching funds for grants allocated to these programs. In addition, 100% of funds raised go directly to the implementing partner of the specified program.

About the United Nations Foundation

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(a) The Crisis Response Fund does not receive matching funds. The Fund seeks to include companies with positive records in community involvement, the environment, diversity, and employee relations, and excludes companies deriving significant revenues from alcohol, tobacco, gambling, nuclear power, and weapons contracting. Individuals considering a contribution to the DGGF should consult their legal or tax advisors. Donations made to the Domini Global Giving Fund are not investments, and should not be confused with any investment products sponsored by Domini Social Investments.

Contributions made to the DGGF are irrevocable and cannot be returned. The address of the Foundation is 536 Broadway, 7th floor, New York, NY 10012. “Just as our investment products help support communities and promote corporate social responsibility in the U.S. In addition, a donor-advised fund offers tax deductions on contributions that exceed those of private foundations, and is generally easier to set up and administer. Investment return, principal value, and yield will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares when redeemed may be worth more or less than their original cost. Domini continued, “The Domini Global Giving Fund offers U.S. Please read the Gifting Booklet carefully before contributing. DSIL Investment Services LLC (DSILD) is distributor of the Domini Funds. 12/05

– Protect Earth’s Wilderness

Each investor should consider the Domini Funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing. Unlike other charitable organizations, the UN Foundation does not use any of donors’ grant money for transaction or processing fees.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

– Stop Child Marriage

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec.

In partnership with the United Nations Foundation, the Domini Global Giving Fund matches donors’ grants to specific programs by up to 100%. The Domini Foundation and the UN Foundation are not affiliated. Its flagship fund, the Domini Social Equity Fund (NASDQ: DSEFX), is the first and largest index fund to use social, environmental, and corporate governance standards. Grants can currently be directed to one or more of the following programs:

Investing internationally involves special risks, such as currency fluctuations, social and economic instability, differing securities regulations and accounting standards, limited public information, possible changes in taxation, and periods of illiquidity. The aim of the Domini Foundation is to finance programs that improve children’s health and protect the environment. Through its grantmaking and public-private partnerships, the UN Foundation addresses the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century. It offers donors the opportunity to give through trusted organizations that have a proven record of achievement. . Details are available at www.dominiglobalgiving.org.

Grants made through this innovative donor-advised charitable fund help safeguard children’s health and protect the environment worldwide.

– Crisis Response Fund(a)

The Domini Foundation, a nonprofit humanitarian organization, is the sponsor of the Domini Global Giving Fund. donors a simple way to make a difference around the world.”

– Polio Eradication

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“The Domini Global Giving Fund is an important complement to our mutual funds for social investors,” said Amy Domini, founder and CEO of Domini Social Investments. 1, 2005–Donors to the newly launched Domini Global Giving Fund can help fund solar-energy entrepreneurs in Africa, clear minefields in Vietnam, save coral reefs, protect sea turtles and mountain gorillas, develop alternatives to child marriage, eradicate polio, and prevent the spread of other diseases including AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and measles.

The United Nations Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world by supporting the United Nations and its Charter.

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The human animal needs to matter….to have lived a life that meant something and that when they’re gone they’ll be missed. Why?

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Little Vietnam in Singapore | CNN Travel

It’s a narrow street lined with stately double-story heritage shophouses from the pre-war era. Singapore responded with indignance, and maintains that the report is more of “a political ritual than an objective study.”

Vietnamese signboards have been springing up on Joo Chiat Road. It helps in getting customers. 

And unless the government seeks to root out the seedy side of things with the same relentlessness as it does with drugs, it looks like Little Vietnam is here to stay.

Little Vietnam, Singapore

Little Vietnam, Singapore

Long Phung Quan An Viet Nam at 159 Joo Chiat Road

In fact, the United States added Singapore in June 2010 onto a watch list for human trafficking, accusing the island state of failing to prevent women from being forced into prostitution. People live right above tackily named karaoke bars.

Prostitution is legal in Singapore, so some of these women may actually hold work permits. They thrive on the patronage of men who want a quick bite before heading to the short-time hotels with their ladies of choice.

Joo Chiat Road is also a foodie haven, but many restaurants come and go all too quickly. A rather red-lit Little Vietnam.

Masjid Khalid, Singapore

In 2006, frustrated residents banded together to clean up the area. There are currently five to six Vietnamese eateries offering comfort food to the homesick girls. Ambience isn’t important. The bars spew inebriated customers with chatty girls on their arms. Everyone sits on plastic chairs and enjoys their nosh in harsh florescent lighting. Foreign workers, mostly manual labourers, also prowl the streets in hope of snaring a good time. A broken bottle or two, a random puddle of vomit but generally no loss of life or limb.

Trang Tiem An Vietnam, Vietnamese Favourites at 169 Joo Chiat Road

Little Vietnam, Singapore

Little Vietnam, Singapore

How and why the Vietnamese women came to work here in the vice industry, we may never know.

Little Vietnam, Singapore

Joo chiat road SingaporeLittle Vietnam by night reveals a neon-lit alter-ego. While many of these work in the sex trade by choice, there are others who have been lured here by promises of dream jobs, and are forced into it.

Something else also sits uncomfortably here. Joo Chiat is a middle-class residential district, and there are several schools in the vicinity. to 1 a.m., and the grassroots community put up a small square for family activities. There are rumors of gambling dens. But there are those who subsist by perpetually renewing social visit passes. Some look bold and haughty, others dejected and sully. Masjid Khalid (130 Joo Chiat Road) stands solemnly as a place of worship for Muslims, particularly the Indian Muslims.

In the daytime, this is a sleepy road without much vehicular or human traffic. 

Phuc Vu Cac Mon An Viet Nam, Vietnamese Favourites; a stall within Eastern Wind Foodhouse at 82 Joo Chiat Road

In the midst of all this ribaldry stands a mosque nearly a century old. Bowls of pho (beef noodle soup), goi cuon (fresh spring rolls), cha gio (fried rolls with mince filling) are staples at all these places, as are various “bun” (rice noodle) dishes. The government shortened the bars’ closing time from 3 a.m.

Quynh Giao Quan An Viet Nam, Vietnamese Delights at 149 Joo Chiat Road

Sentimental Vietnamese pop blares out of cheap speakers in these no-frills eateries. Some of the women sit cross-legged on those chairs, giving away their foreign origin.

It’s slightly jarring and incongruous in more ways than one. Other bar girls flit in and out, instantly recognizable from their garish makeup, dramatic hairdos and those skimpy, skintight and sequined outfits. These girls are commonly from Vietnam. Most of them are young, lithe and petite. Drunken brawls are common, but mostly harmless. There is a small stretch here that’s fast becoming known as Little Vietnam. There are old businesses still surviving from the 1960s. However the Vietnamese ones are flourishing. It got some media attention, and some massage parlors were closed down. But the sleaze continues. . Joo Chiat Road sits in the quiet Peranakan enclave of Katong. Bo luc lac (wok-seared beef), com chien duong chau (fried rice), bo bit tet (steak), com suon cha trung (pork chops with steamed egg) and canh ga chien nuoc mam (crispy chicken wings with fish sauce) make up other selections. 

Little Vietnam, Singapore

Neon-lit karaoke bars come to life, many of which are thinly veiled girlie bars where men pay outrageously inflated prices for drinks in the company of hostesses.

Little Vietnam, Singapore

Little Vietnam, Singapore

Little Vietnam, Singapore

There are gangs operating in the area. The smart ones quickly learn Mandarin or a Chinese dialect or two. Culturally, it’s rich and steeped in Eurasian and Peranakan history.

Quan An Vietnam; Vietnam Eatery at 233 Joo Chiat Road

But as evening draws near, the area sheds its innocent cultural charm, and puts on its painted face. It must have been a different scene when it was built in 1917

Column: FIFA presidency no laughing matter as would-be candidate becomes frontman for gambling

Write to him at jleicester@ap.org or follow him at http://twitter.com/johnleicester

. After Thursday’s passing of the entry deadline, “Team Ginola” should fade away.

Imagine, for a moment, a Paddy Power-financed FIFA president. So silky as a player for Newcastle and Tottenham; so ridiculous now with his car-crash campaign for the FIFA presidency.

PARIS –  Don’t laugh. But the mere thought of the gambling industry even attempting to place a stooge at the very top of football makes the prospect of another Blatter term seem perhaps not quite so bad.

And how about this blurb from Sky Bet, title sponsor since 2013 of England’s three divisions below the Premier League. Hull against Aston Villa on Feb. Tuning in for results of football betting pools, which offered big jackpots for small stakes, was a Saturday afternoon ritual for many 20th Century English families.

We’re talking here about David Ginola. FIFA’s election and ethics rules will almost certainly keep him off the May ballot. “It’s great for Paddy Power. Villa’s shirt sponsor is dafabet, a name that works better in Chinese, where “dafa” means “big wealth.” Stoke and Burnley players are billboards for Bet365 and Fun88 (another name that plays on the Chinese word to get rich).

“It just makes like a mockery of football.”

That is the message that football, more than most other sports, is mainlining into our homes, helped by names like Ginola and teams lending their cachet, stadiums, jerseys and players to the industry that had cash to splash when the 2008 financial crisis hobbled other sponsors.

But the targets were our wallets and spending habits, not our hearts. But that’s not the point here. That was before online bookmakers offered odds on anything and everything, from match results and goals scored to which team will win the coin toss or take the first corner, and before their relentless advertising.

But gambling advertising wasn’t as in-your-face as now. 10 will pit two Asian online bookmakers against each other. Bet some more.

Twaddle takes a very dim view of Ginola’s Paddy Power-backed grab for FIFA.

“It’s eyeballs we’re after,” 12Bet executive Rory Anderson, quoted in the Daily Mail, said when the online bookmaker became the name on Hull City’s shirt for this Premier League season.

John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. What ever happened to sport for sport’s sake, for the buzz of competition, not a bet? How quaint. In the UK, which liberalized gambling advertising in 2007, adults’ exposure to gambling commercials on television soared five-fold in eight years to 2012, regulator Ofcom found. The increase was three-fold for children aged 4-15.

Asking your kids to make tea during half-time breaks won’t shield them from the bombardment, not with gambling ads flashing throughout matches on pitch-side light-boards. But I mean you’re talking about one of the biggest, powerfulest jobs in football and all you’re getting to hear about is Paddy Power.”

And that isn’t funny at all.

Ginola has zero chance of unseating Sepp Blatter. That much was clear from the Paddy Power branding.

One of those is Kevin Twaddle, a former player for Motherwell and other Scottish clubs who told his story in the biography, “Life On The Line: How to Lose a Million and So Much More.” He no longer gambles and has delivered talks to other players about the risks.

Sport “matters more when there’s money on it,” it says. Bet again. It won’t happen; FIFA’s ethics rules should see to that. In pocketing 250,000 pounds (335,000 euros; US$375,000) from bookmaker Paddy Power for this stunt, Ginola became the latest Trojan horse in the gambling and gaming industry’s creeping and creepy embrace of football.

Whoa. It reads like a plug for Fifty Shades of Grey.

Bet. This was about making a splash. “There’s more passion, more pleasure and more pain.”

All this in a sport grappling with the increasing danger of gambling-related match-fixing and with ample examples of gambling-addicted players who frittered away their wealth.

Sports and gambling have, of course, long gone together, feeding off each other’s success and growth. There’s nothing funny about the gambling industry’s latest wheeze to sink its teeth even deeper into football and its fans.

___

“I’m here today to talk about love” were the Frenchman’s seductive opening words at his campaign launch in London this month.

“It’s an absolute disgrace,” he said in a phone interview

U.S. History: Income Distribution and Reaganomics

Fulltime manning was drastically reduced in watchdog agencies tasked to monitor the various industries. Reminiscent of the 1920′s and 1930′s, the middle class, formerly the largest class of the post WWII through the Vietnam War era has also been ever decreasing in size. Additionally, in 1947 and the passing of Taft-Hartley, labor could no longer organize on the scale of unions of the 1930′s. Some firms have done so to improve their chance of selling to foreign markets or to take advantage of foreign government incentives (taxes) (Harrison Bluestone 31).

Of course there are many supporters of Reaganomics that will produce statistics showing how the GNP was sustained during the 1980′s; there is really no mystery here. Benefit packages for these contingency employees were either non-existent or at least small enough to still keep labor costs low. The “engineered recession” of 1980 and 1981-2, along with reductions in social welfare programs contributed to this “great U-turn” in the standard of living of most Americans, employed as well as unemployed, middle managers as well as blue collar workers (Harrison Bluestone viii). His experience through the late 1960′s and 1970′s describes the labor movement as having become political driven organizations characterized by the same characteristics (greed, power, control, and inequality) of those they despised – Big Business. The Government’s induced deflation, deregulation, regressive tax reform, privatization, and “union bashing” have contributed to new corporate strategies and the inequality of income distribution in America (Harrison Bluestone 16). Reagan policies were designed to provide some flexibility for businesses to contain production costs, increase profits by reducing labor costs, and reducing the costs involved in meeting government standards. Employment in mining actually rose until 1981 only to fall nearly in half during the 1980′s through the 1990′s (Slater 129).

Contingency labor pools were (and still are) not organized under a union. This article will discuss one particular facet of the Reaganomics debate; the issue of inequality in income distribution in America as a result of a turn-around in government policies combined with corporate restructuring.

Geoghegan, a former labor attorney, tells of his experiences dealing with organized labor, how and why it has lost its ability to fight. A major part of Reagan’s policy was to enhance the military complex in order to stay ahead of the perceived communist threat. Families expanded their use of “plastic money” even faster. Employment in the manufacturing area fell seven-percent between 1968 and 1979, continuing to fall twelve-percent more through the 1980′s and 1990′s (Slater 143). Reaganomics, in effect, was a program to strengthen business and industry while weakening the power of organized labor, reduce federal spending on other than military programs, reduce taxes, and regulatory abatement. Revolving installment credit grew from $55 billion in 1980 to more than $128 billion in 1986 (Harrison Bluestone 149). The groundwork for Reaganomics policies was put in place well before his time.

To better compete in a global economy, US industries adopted a program of “restructuring”. firms have gone abroad to set up assembly or service operations. The GINI Index numbers support this disparity. This act also weakened union power by outlawing mass picketing, secondary strikes on neutral employers, and sit-downs. Union bureaucracy began to rival that of the federal and state court systems (Geoghegan 86-7).

Reagan was not the only one conducting a reduction program. Harrison and Bluestone define what is usually considered the middle-class income earners, as those making $20,000 to $50,000 annually. By the late 1980s the before tax GINI Index was (.423) with the after taxes GINI as (.404). As Geoghegan puts it, the Taft-Hartley led to union busting.

Part of the Reagan plan was a reduction in taxes. More family members entered the work force in order to increase or sustain real income purchasing power. Contingency labor included part-time and temporary employees. During this period the government went on a spending spree financed by the deficit. Since employee turnover is highest during the first few months of employment, businesses could save at least 20 to 25-percent of the wages they would have paid to an employee during that same period.

Geoghegan believes that part of the weakening of unions also has to do with a lack of sympathy by the average family. Double income families were not a uniqueness of the lowest income earners, middle-class America also lost, or at least sustained, buying power during the 1980′s. With the weakening of organized labor by deregulation, businesses began experimenting with organizational changes to include work, labor, management relations, and flexible arrangements with employees, subcontractors, otherwise known as corporate restructuring.. Both sides of the Reaganomic fence provide more than enough evidence in support of the argument that says: lower and middle class America lost significant ground during the 1980′s. After 1980, the purchasing power of lower-class wage earners through middle-class wage earners degraded throughout the period. Who paid for the improvements in American business during the 1980′s? The lower 60% of American workers paid for these improvements through the reductions in the real purchasing power of their income.

Creative wage reduction programs such as the two-tier pay system and conversion of a percentage of full-time employees to contingency labor employees (part-time and temporary employees) or a combination of methods became (and are still) the normal practice. Keeping labor costs from rising is not the only reason that U.S. However, after accounting for the business cycle, for productivity, and for the shrinkage of manufacturing jobs, the growing proportion of baby boomers in the work force contributes nothing to an explanation of low wages. production employment. Therefore, it’s not too surprising to see the average American family would not be to upset if union organizations were losing ground. The program included freezing the minimum wage and shifting against federal protection of workers’ rights and unions. businesses began discarding their standard practices and shifted capital into overtly speculative ventures. This shows that there was a higher distribution of income in the hands of fewer people (Krugman 25).

Any discussion on Reaganomics should always contain a definition of Reaganomics so let’s get that out of the way from the start. Salaries and benefits of corporate CEOs as compared to the average factory workers were 30 times higher in1980 and reached 130-140 times higher in 1991 (Krugman 262). During the 1970′s the average family income was $24,000, while the average steelworker was making $40,000. The Reagan Administration simply continued this trend toward economic deregulation as initiated under Carter. The reduced costs resulting from relocating no-skill jobs, low-skill jobs, assembly, and manufacturing operations to low wage areas, validated the practice of outsourcing.

From 1969 – 1980 (prior to Reaganomics) wage cuts and freezes were “practically non-existent” (Harrison Bluestone 39). Strangely enough, this period seems to be the era of debt for both the government and the American income earners. The existence of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) also quieted union members by insuring the benefits of workers displaced when companies went bankrupt or their pension plans go bust.

There is plenty of material to argue whether or not Reaganomics was an economic success or an economic blunder. As a result, the traditional one-income household was no longer sufficient to keep up with the family economic needs. This was more than $1,740 less than they would have received based on 1968 income levels (Harrison Bluestone 131). “The old Teamster order collapsed and thousands of firms closed (Geoghegan 139).” During the late 1970′s and into the 1980′s, the Teamster membership fell from 2.2 million to 1.6 million. They provided (and still do) flexibility to tailor their work force needs to the production needs. This included family members taking on extra jobs or moonlighting in order to make ends meet. Yet, organized labor was not the only one to feel the reduction of government support. And, of course, both sides of the argument will present evidence in support of their positions. One argument presented to explain this problem is that the “low wage explosion is mostly a statistical illusion, reflecting the impact of inflation and recession on workers’ earnings (Geoghegan 124).” Another proposal is to attribute the problem to a large influx of baby boomers into the work force.  Reaganomic policies, though we can’t forget some initial deregulation efforts instituted during the Carter years, reversed what had been accomplished prior to the 1970′s (Harrison Bluestone 79). During the 1980′s, the U.S. In some cases businesses just simply got out of the production end and found alternate “ways of making paper profits” or found other ways to reduce labor costs.

Deregulation under Carter and Reagan opened the industries of steel, automotive, carpenters, and trucking to what Geoghegan called gypsies – small owner operators (Geoghegan 139). Often it’s stated that the Reagan Administration was trying to reduce the double-digit inflation of 1980 and turn around the falling rate of production. This living on debt and buying time was sufficient to fuel a short-term recovery (Harrison Bluestone 147). DOD spending doubled $134 billion in 1980 to $282 billion in 1987 (Harrison Bluestone 149). However, the benefactors of the tax reduction were not the majority of wage earners. The same act that affirmed the right to organize but gave the NLRB the job of certifying whether or not a union was to be considered “officially” recognized. Credit card use grew from $55 billion in 1980 to more than $128 billion in 1986 (Harrison Bluestone 149).Families filing chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code grew from an average of less than 39,000 per year (1975-1980) to almost 95,000 a year (1981-1984) (Harrison Bluestone 152).

The counter argument against these income disparity issues is attributed by some as simply a matter of normal business cycles. But most of all, during the Reagan year’s people went into debt.

This article focused on one particular facet of the Reaganomics debate; the issue of inequality in income distribution in America as a result of a turn-around in government policies combined with corporate restructuring. The inequality of income is not limited to only a specific age group (Harrison Bluestone 125).

Reaganomics Debate:Inequality in Income Distribution, Government Policies and Corporate Restructuring

Mountains of paper have been written about the economic period of the 1980′s, coined Reaganomics. Harrison and Bluestone call the Reagan Administration “the single greatest gift to the business community” (Harrison Bluestone 102). The wage-gap between the America lower income group and the upper or rich America group has been ever increasing. They increased offshore investments and began outsourcing for labor and manufacturing in search of the lowest labor and production costs.

The Government economic policies supporting deregulation and the concept of privatization of government services were actually taken initially between the years 1968-1978. This group shrank from 53-percent in 1973 to 47.9-percent in 1984. U.S. Many of the nation’s economic critics saw the policies of Reaganomics as short-term answers to a long-term problem by borrowing against the nation’s future.

In Thomas Geoghegan’s book, Which Side Are You On? Trying To Be For Labor When It’s Flat on Its Back, two pieces of legislation are discussed as the beginning of the end for organized labor began with the 1935 Wagner Act and the National Labor relations Board (NLRB). Yet, no real credible argument has been made that the Reagan years did anything to improve the equality of income distribution. According to data published in Krugman’s book, Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in the Age of Diminished Expectations, income data for the period reflects that the tax reductions during the 1980s actually cost the lower 60-percent income groups, while the top 40-percent income groups saw monetary increases (Krugman 24-5). Reaganomics as described by most, if not all economists and historians was supply-side economics; however, this in itself doesn’t really explain Reaganomics because of what actually happened. As a result of these actions, profit margins rose steadily, yet average wages for families has decreased or at best has somewhat frozen in place.

Social deregulation, as described by Harrison and Bluestone, was a true innovation of the Reagan Administration. Families filing chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code grew from an average of less than 39,000 per year (1975-1980) to almost 95,000 a year (1981-1984) (Harrison Bluestone 152).In effect, most Americans during the Reagan Years went into debt. A further major benefit of these creative pay systems was that they provided a way to avoid unions or at least keep the impact of union actions at a minimum. Also on the hit list for Reaganomics, was the reduction of social programs.

Final Word

The total amount borrowed by consumers nearly doubled between 1981 and 1986, from $394 Billion to $739 Billion. The two-tier wage system allowed reduced wages for employees during the new worker’s first few weeks or months of the normal probation period. At the end of the Carter Era the GINI Index before taxes was (.403) and (.352) after taxes. lost one out of three heavy industrial jobs.

But what is the cost of these outsourcing? The result of reductions in domestic production and outsourcing was a reduction in U.S. The result of this program was a softening of safety and environmental regulations to ease the burden on industry. Either there exists a significant polarization of income distribution around the middle-class or the middle-class is now what used to be the lower-end of the upper-class income.

Ronald Reagan’s laissez-faire government policies, reminiscent of the 1920′s, included legislative and legal actions that severely hampered organized labor. As Harrison and Bluestone state it, “Globalization of production was no longer supplementing domestic manufacturing but replacing it (Harrison Bluestone 28).” Restructuring involved creating multinational corporations with its headquarters and support functions in the major capitalist countries. To continue the weakening of the labor pool, the Reaganites engineered the recessions of 1980 and 1981-2 to under-cut labor organizations while contributing to the corporate bottom line (Harrison Bluestone 14). By the mid-1970′s global competition was eating away at American business profits. The results of these policies directly impacted the redistribution of income in favor of the higher income group (Harrison Bluestone 162).

Since the mid-1960′s through the 1990′s, Americans have been getting poorer and poorer. Yet, the cost to the average American laborer during that era and continuing into the next administration was what gave Reaganomics its negative reputation.

From 1973 to 1986 average wages have dropped in buying power by nearly 14-percent (Harrison Bluestone 113).In 1986, the average annual income of the poorest 20-percent of all families was $8,033. According to Krugman, these salaries did not come primarily from greater profits, but from a larger slice of the profits.

If labor had not been weakened enough by the high unemployment levels in the late 1970′s, Reagan’s firming of the PATCO members sent a clear message to not only the unions, but also to the courts as to his lack of support for organized labor. Ronald Reagan’s supporters credit him as being the great savior of the American economy; his critics’ credit his policies for creating the destruction of labor and gambling away the future of the American economy through massive increases in the federal deficit. It became a joke to say, “We are spending money to help the economy.” Consumer borrowing doubled between 1981 and 1986, from $394 Billion to $739 Billion. I must add at this point that the “U-turn” in America’s economics actually began during the 1970′s; Reagan only sped up and expanded the process significantly (“U-turn”- the term used by Bluestone and Harrison to describe the reversal of fortune of the labor forces and the shrinking middle class).

While Presidents Reagan and Bush froze the minimum wage level for a nine-year period, essentially cutting pay each year as inflation bit into lower wage earners, the salaries of executives skyrocketed during the 80′s. These methods provided a way of reducing full-time labor wage costs, which included a reduction in employee benefits cost. New employees would only receive 75 to 80-percent of the normal wage during a probation period (the probation period usually equated to the business’s employee turnover period). The richest 20-percent received $5,600 more per year in 1986, than they would have based on 1968 monetary values (Harrison Bluestone 131)