Follow the "State of Affairs" blog for student posts on topics across public policy, economics, culture, and media.

 

Civic Education

Amidkhon Babaev:

 

Civic education is crucial for our generation and environment. Relying on our surroundings, friends, family, school, and overall, our opinions and views, hinders change and growth. People living in democracies often have completely different views on life than us because of our lack of civic education which produces disparities. The future of our country depends on integration of civics into educational curriculum. If this does not happen, we will continue to degrade from generation to generation under a worsening environment. Freedom and democracy are clearly associated with civic education.

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Nurullo Sayfulloev:

 

The main goal of civic education is the formation of a citizen in a democratic country. People need to understand their responsibilities in a society, their citizenship and the prospects for life in a free state. This type education is aimed at educating a person-citizen, someone who first and foremost recognizes rights and duties of citizenship. It is also necessary so that every student receives the necessary knowledge and in the future becomes a worthy member of society, becoming prepared for a responsible and meaningful life and work in a democratic state with a civil society. 

Income Inequality

Nurullo Sayfulloev: 

 

As Voltaire used to say, "we no longer live in the golden age, when people were born equal in rights and received the same proportion of juicy fruits of uncultivated land." That is true in our society today as the primary reason for income inequality is objectively set by the fact that the market system is a rigid and dispassionate mechanism that rewards people only by the effectiveness of their activities and not charity. After all, people differ among themselves: in abilities, education, opportunities and productivity. If people are not equal, respectively, income can not be equal. So people can not work, earn and live the same.

The level of the state's social policy is designed to alleviate income inequality and prevent the disintegration of society. But excessive state intervention in the distribution of incomes significantly reduces the efficiency of production, because rising taxes suppress the interest of wealthy people in economic activities, and the poor, receiving more and more help, are weakened by the desire to find work. Thus, there inevitably arises a contradiction between the efficiency of production and the equality of incomes. Equality may seem fairer, but it undermines incentives for work. In addition, excessive leveling of income generates its own injustice, giving benefit to less able and less industrious people at the expense of others.

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Imran Alimov:

 

Differences in physical and intellectual abilities, level of education and professional qualifications, initiative and risk - taking are some of the few examples that produce income inequality in a practical sense. However, the valued skills vary greatly in the labor market and are often not measurable. As a rule, persistence, the ability to assess the situation and effort are highly rewarded in the labor market. In theory, difference in salaries is high when the efforts made by people in work vary. The harder you work, the higher your salary is. But that is only in theory. 

The salary can also be high if the labor supply for a particular job is low or employment conditions such as licenses are expensive. Inherited possessions can also play a role in income inequality. Discrimination and limitation of holding certain positions played the big role in decreasing the wages of women and minority representatives historically. Besides that, the environment in which children grow has an impact on how future income stream. Whatever the reason is, we can use income inequality to our advantage. For example, if taxes for rich people are set higher than for poor people, revenue will increase. The money received from progressive taxation can be transferred to poor people and thereby decrease the gap between standards of living for everyone.

Equality vs. Equity

Sabrina Abdukadirova: 

 

Equality is the state of being equal - having the same opportunities, rights and not being discriminated, while equity is the quality of being fair and impartial. There can be situations when equality leads to inequity, or vice versa. From my experience, I had faced a situation of inequity because of equality. It happened when I was participating in city olympiad on English language. There was a student who was supposed to be disqualified for being a second representative from the same school, but because he received a higher score than the other student, his school administration decided to keep him. At the end, his score was close to mine, and the olympiad organizers decided to give us the same place despite his technical inability to participate. This was my personal lesson in finding out that equality is not always equity. 

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Imran Alimov: 

 

The state ought to view all its citizens as equal, but equality can be reached only if the starting point for everyone is the same. A good example of this is education sector. Government provides children free access to public schools, which are not as good in terms of quality as private schools. But not everyone can study in private schools because of costs. People have the same rights, but not the same opportunities. And here come non-governmental organizations such as TajRupt and the American Corners.  TajRupt provides free high-quality English lessons, which most students need, but through a competitive application process. This approach is equitable because the process views students' financial situation, grades, and interviews, looking at opportunities that students had. Hence, this helps society in becoming more equal and fairer.

Political Ideologies

Farahnoz Zikriyoeva: 

 

I believe that liberalism, with its bases such as guarantee and support of the individual rights and freedom of every citizen of the country, is an essential and fundamental component of a democratic society. I believe that social justice, rights and freedoms are interconnected with economic freedom. Business is an important part of the society and it should be regulated carefully in order to prevent any type of disadvantages for developing a business.

What I see in our society is that business is often limited and controlled by the government. High taxes, severe customs duties, corruption, and monopoly destroy businesses, meaning that tax revenue paid by businesses is lesser than what it could be. Therefore, there state budget is in deficit, resulting in insufficient funding toward developing hospitals, schools, kindergartens, pensions, etc. What we have at the end is a poor country and thrive of social injustice. 

The main argument of opponents of liberalism in our country is related to social issues. Liberalism is not opposed to gay marriage and abortion. I understand it as respect of the choice and life of every person. It is freedom of speech, freedom of choice, freedom of action. People are mistaken to believe that there will be chaos in the country if people get too much freedom. Just the opposite - deprivation of liberty and human rights, restraint of actions – these are the reasons for the chaos and mess in the country. Nobody loves restraints and everyone will stand for their rights.

As for religion, I think there is no place for it in the government and state system. Faith is an individual feeling of every person, and it is different for everyone. I think that the view based on religion is compulsion of people to do something. The government should form policy based on societal norms and conditions. Believers of different religions and even nonbelievers can and should live in the same country. 

     

 

 

Maqsud Qalandarov: 

 

Conservatism is the better option because it provides little government regulation on people’s lives. Limited government intervention is preferable because it allows people to exercise their rights and freedoms. Take government regulation of automobile market for example - high customs duties prevent the import of more expensive, but environmentally better cars, stimulating import of cars that pollute the air.

In terms of taxes, reduction of taxes from current rate is necessary. This goes hand in hand with government size. A smaller government apparatus means less expenditure, which translates into lower taxes for everyone. As for "separation of church and state," I don't think that the government based on religion is necessarily bad. This is especially true in societies with high levels of corruption like ours. Religion is a moral compass and it helps reduce and prevent corruption while increasing charity.

Finally, conservatism supports traditional values and lifestyle, which are the right choices for our contemporary youth that is often morally bankrupt. Opposition to gay marriage and abortion are some of my crucial beliefs. These are demands of life and nature, and that is why I believe in conservatism.

Role of Mass & Social Media in Society

Maqsud Qalandarov: 

 

Mass media is one of defining features of modern civilization. People are united into one global community with the help of social media. Newspaper, magazines, radio, television, and the internet - the population can comprehensively understand current events through these means. Nowadays, there are lots of events impacting people all across the world. The strongest aspect about mass media, in my opinion, is that it often features editorial integrity and shows real events in most cases. For instance, TV Tanin (local station in Khujand) features a weekly "Your Rights" program that helps the population understand legal perspectives and solve their problems. 

I believe that the most exciting and entertaining type of mass media is television. It brings motion pictures directly to people’s homes, allowing one to see events happening in faraway places and become familiar with foreign cultures and traditions. As for me personally, I watch news on different channels to get diverse opinions and have been able to understand lots of new things happening in the world. Not only does media make our life easier, it also lets us be in touch with our family and friends globally. 
 

 

Nurullo Sayfulloev:
 

Mass & social media today have become an integral part of our lives. This is not surprising - with the rapid growth of technology, it has become easier to distribute information to an increasing number of people worldwide. We have become connected through technology and information. Our century has turned into an information era. Every day, news are transmitted to satisfy the "information hunger" of people around the world. We have become dependent on this phenomenon and can not imagine our lives without information technology.

Everything that's good also has a bad side. Mass media can negatively affect the psyche and the perception of society. Previously, mass media served the people and was beneficial of society. Nowadays, the media operates for profit. 30% of air time was occupied by cartoons in previous decades, compared with only 5% now. Contemporary cartoons and movies openly propagate violence, drug use, profanity, "adult character" scenes, and so forth. Children imitate the characters they see on the screens of TVs and computers and repeat their actions, becoming more aggressive and uncontrollable. 

In the early 80s, a survey was conducted in the United States of prisoners. The results of the analysis astounded the researchers. It turned out that over 60% of the convicts did not hide that they committed crimes under the influence of films, imitating television heroes, and 22% - adopted and guided in the commission of crime by methods from television programs.

Another negative influence of the media is the manipulation of the people. For instance, news channels can manipulate people with false and fake news, forming incorrect public outlook. Manipulation of public opinion has existed from the beginning of media, first through newspapers and TV shows. Nowadays, with the advent of the internet, manipulation has become easier and more massive.