World Cup 2014: Second Round

World Cup coverage continues, and the surprises just keep coming!

Memo Ochoa, the greatest goalkeeper in the World Cup so far

BRA-MEX (0-0)
What a game! Ochoa is rightfully the Man of the Match, making 8 stunning saves in addition to recovering the ball in the box. Mexico is a resilient, talented bunch, and they gave Brazil a good run for their money. On the other hand, Brazil played sloppy and unimpressive for a team of their caliber.

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World Cup 2014: Year of Surprises

The World Cup usually is big, loud, but rather predictable and low-scoring. This year, however, everything changed. Costa Rica won, Mexico was the only non-European country to ever get a point against Brazil in the group stage, and Brazil scored an own goal. Stakes are high and drama is higher – red cards, discounted goals, and goal line technology used for the first time to count a goal that the referee would probably otherwise discount…this World Cup has it all. Here are my feelings and thoughts summed up after each of the games during the first round of games.

Marcelo after the first goal of the World Cup – an own goal.

BRA-CRO (3-1)
Brazil has been the projected winner of the World Cup from the get-go, but I was left unimpressed by their play. The own goal made them wake up and start attacking more often, but the game still felt a little meandering at times. Croatia played better than expected at times, making some solid plays, but most of the time, the team drifted around purposelessly. I remember liking their team back in WC ’06, so I’m hoping they will liven up in their following performances. Brazil, too, needs a little bit more warm up time to become the top-notch team it claims to be.

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Situation Analysis: Economic Inequality

Economic inequality was once a thing of the past in the United States. However, with the aid of globalization and financial deregulation, the issue has again resurfaced and went straight into the political limelight, triggering powerful, but unsuccessful movements such as Occupy Wall Street. The problem is growing, and not even an economic crisis slowed the disparaging gap between the rich and the poor.

source

Economic inequality has become one of the most talked about issue in today’s politics, especially following the routine economic collapse of various countries across the Western world since 2008. The United States of America has seen much social unrest as more and more citizens become frustrated at their seemingly static socioeconomic status while watching the rich get richer. Currently, the USA is ranked third among all the advanced economies in the amount of income inequality, per the Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality. It seems to be getting worse, from the collapse of the middle class to rising costs of living and lowering of wages. Issues like healthcare and government aid – referred to by the more elite as “handouts” – have become issues of the poor, issues that are talked about but never really resolved. Nowadays it seems like the public is at war with the government: spurts of rebellion can be observed throughout the past few years, such as the Occupy Movement, and the average citizen’s disgruntled opinion on the state of the nation is resonated throughout America. Congress’s approval rating has pummeled into an all-time low starting in 2013. Gallup, the organization who has been monitoring a variety of political data since 1935, has attributed this rating due to the Congressional stalemate: a Republican majority in the House and a Democratic majority in the Senate. However, it goes deeper.

Economic inequality is not an issue to be taken lightly; enraging the masses has not tided over well for many governments in the past. But understanding why economic inequality has taken on an integral role in the political atmosphere and what implications it has – both if the government were to step it and offer a solution as well as if nothing is done about the expanding problem – on the USA’s sociopolitical structure.

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