Reading Response 2 | Megan Hockingberry

Can Jokes Bring Down Governments? illustrated a variety of information and history about jokes and memes and the roles they have played in society. Chapter 1 made compelling points about the idea that “the joke is an open-source weapon of the public” and how they’re able to break down barriers and create neutrality in the most unlikely places. I agree with these statements and I think it is incredibly interesting to study the way that jokes and now memes, are able to pull people from different backgrounds together and also, pull us very far apart. Ultimately, I believe that jokes will never be able to bring down the government, but they will continue to be provocative ways for society to create satire.

In addition to reading Can Jokes Bring Down Governments? I looked at the article, Meme Warfare: How the Power of Mass Replication Has Poisoned the US Election by The Guardian. Reading both of these made me question the psychological and social aspects behind jokes. Are jokes actually are making a difference in our society and culture and how we think about things? It is interesting because jokes and memes both have the power of connecting us. As humans, we all use jokes to break down barriers, whether it’s interacting with new people, or using self-deprecating humor to make ourselves feel better. Jokes and memes can successfully do this by providing just enough information for us to understand it and thus, connect with it. But maybe the reason, as Metaheaven mentions, political graphic design has become a joke and has disappeared, because the people connecting with these jokes either get them or they don’t, but they aren’t changing peoples perspectives or ideas. They are not educating anyone about a subject; they are simply making light or bringing forward the shortcomings or opposing beliefs of our society. They are becoming ways to easily brush off heavy subjects and escape having meaningful conversations. They dehumanize and make jokes about the people that have the power to decide our future, which I believe can be dangerous. Because of this, I think they’re successful for what they are, but they don’t have the power to do much than what they already do, thus, they will never be able to bring down the government, but they will allow light to continuously shed on the stupidity of our world and make light of heavy subjects and situations for our own entertainment.

This meme is from the article linked above. I think for this class and audience, it is incredibly relatable and relevant!

Megan Hockingberry_ Secondary Research: Individual

Experts: Recession not imminent in Cincinnati despite tight budgets

Coolidge, Alexander. “Experts: Recession not imminent in Cincinnati despite tight budgets.”, Cincinnati, 10 Apr. 2017, Accessed 27 Aug. 2017.

Concerns have been expressed among both state and city officials about a 2017 recession in Ohio and Cincinnati. Projections for budgeting in both Ohio and Cincinnati have been decreased since previous years, but economists disagree with officials, stating that there are no obvious signs of downturn in the near future.

  • Recessions typically hit the U.S. once every 7-10 years.
  • Unemployment in Cincinnati remains below jobless rate leading up to the 2008 financial crisis and total jobs have topped the high before the crisis.
  • Housing markets and home prices are growing steadily.
  • Per-Capita income is higher than pre-crisis levels.
  • Consumer debt and credit card delinquency rates are near decade lows.
  • Cincinnati’s economy has grown 12.1 percect since 2009.
  • Currently the nation’s 28th largest metro economy.
  • Ohio’s 2017 budget was reduced to $67 billion.

Ten Years After Financial Crisis, Nearly One-in-Three Americans Still Feeling the Sting

Financial, COUNTRY. “Ten Years After Financial Crisis, Nearly One-in-Three Americans Still Feeling the Sting.” PR Newswire: news distribution, targeting and monitoring, 13 July 2017, Accessed 27 Aug. 2017.

Despite signs from the Federal Reserve that that U.S. economy is in fact growing, a study has reviled that 1-in-3 Americans believe they haven’t yet recovered or never will. The most affected being women, African Americans, and low-income segments.

  • 30% believe they have not recovered or never will
  • 64% believe they have fully recovered.
  • 57% of Americans say they needed three or more years to fully recover
  • 42% believe the economy has not yet fully recovered
  • Americans were split on whether they believe the country is headed towards another recession or if it will continue to grow.
  • 34% felt that in order to feel secure, the job market needed to be improved, rather than the housing market.

Could The Housing Market Meltdown Happen Again?

Jones, Terry. “Could The Housing Market Meltdown Happen Again?” Investor’s Business Daily, Investor’s Business Daily, 21 June 2017, Accessed 27 Aug. 2017.

Even with the improvements in the U.S. economy, there is still a possibility of another financial crisis without a change in policies and attitudes that ultimately caused the 2008 crisis.

  • In 2008, more than half of all mortgages in the U.S. were subprime and 76% had been bought by government agencies.
  • The federal government is still in the business of directing housing.
  • The main factors that caused the 2008 financial crisis haven’t changed.


Although statistics show the U.S. economy as a whole has bounced back from the 2008 Financial Crisis, theres no way to know if this will be a permanent state. Individuals still feel like they have not recovered fully from the recession and with the government not making changes to the policies and regulatory structure that caused the crisis, there will always be potential for it to happen again in the future.

Megan Hockingberry_Reading Response 1

The article, The 2008 Housing Crisis, argues that the cause of the 2008 financial crisis was not in fact government policies that made it more affordable to buy homes, but instead “the lack of sufficient government oversight in key areas…that transformed a housing bubble into a global financial crisis”. They argue this by providing historical background about the federal policies that support homeownership, such as the FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, and state that the real cause for the crisis was because of subprime lending fueled by Wall Street demand.

Similar to the previous article, Wall Street and The Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse argues that high risk lending was one of the root causes of the financial crisis, but doesn’t see that as the only cause. The Senate also argues that regulatory failure, inflated credit ratings and investment bank abuses are to blame. The article makes its point with years of heavy investigation and research and case studies.

Before reading these two articles I decided to look for some visual explanations on the subject of the financial crisis to help me better understand and have a base knowledge about a very intricate problem. These two videos are The Causes and Effects of the 2008 Financial Crisis and The 2008 Financial Crisis: Crash Course Economics #12. Even after taking two economics classes and being a marketing minor, I knew little to nothing on the subject and had only been exposed to it through my parents. Both of these really helped to break down every aspect of the financial crisis and everything that affected it. I’m very much a visual learner, so I knew that I needed something more than just the articles to help me better understand the subject.

After taking in all these sources of information (and feeling very overwhelmed by all the dizzying information provided) it seems to me that the cause of the 2008 financial crisis was in fact the subprime, risky lending fueled by Wall Street, a subject that both articles covered and thought were root causes. I also think its important not to overlook our capitalist government and how that has played a role, or lack thereof. With the government giving inaccurate rating to banks and investors that were executing poor practices, they have allowed for Wall Street to grow off the backs of the American people.