Reading 2 / Taylor Frank

For the reading assignment, Can Jokes Bring Down Governments? Honestly, I wasn’t really shocked, because during my high school government class my teacher loved sharing old cartoons that were geared towards political humor. I was shocked that people then could make provocative jokes so publicly. Looking at it now, I notice more of the power that it holds. Now looking at memes today as a tool for political view? I see it about everywhere, but I don’t know if I see it as a strong tool to persuade someone entirely.

One quote that I saw stuck out to me, “Responding to a sensical question with a meaningless answer is an effective tool to negate the politics of the frame in which the question was posed; and politics has become so dispiriting and tiring that it inspires a dadaist troll mentality.” I thought this statement was rather interesting, because I feel many people can relate to this when it comes to politics. As I am sure people feel the same, which results in taking that exhaustion and turning into a joke that channels their views. But now the easiest way to communicate with people is the Internet, thus leading to the rise of political memes. To the point there is a meme for about anything, or you can just as easily make it yourself.

With that in mind, memes being so easily obtained and created, about any opinion can be made and shared. Which can lead to rather interesting things you come across that can be sensible humor to just about as outrageous as you can think of. The amount of Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Hilary Clinton memes I have seen over the past 2 years almost is a little much. That’s why I don’t know if I see memes as powerful as years before with political cartoons. Reason I am saying this is because who made this meme? It could be 11-year-old boy who wanted attention on their twitter? Or someone who wanted to make a change in the political game? It could be either, but the resource I feel is a lot more important than just seeing a meme on twitter scrolling through. As well as thinking how many people outside of the millennial generation use memes as a way to express their opinions? That is also what is gearing me to thinking that memes are not as strong of a propaganda tool as political cartoonists back in the day.

For example, one that I know that you have probably have seen is the work of William Hogarth’s “Gin Lane.” It was my teacher’s in high schools favorite; it was propaganda that supported the British’s Gin Act. It was an illustration that depicted the awful side effects of drinking in a “evil side” way. Yet, he then drew a second illustration called “Beer Lane.” Apparently, beers made you happy and have the time of your life. I found this rather funny, since they both are alcohol, but apparently only one makes you forget about your child that you were holding. These illustrations had major impacts in Britian, thus leading to that comical media can be a tool to change a political view.


Memes, I am not one hundred percent sold on the idea. The reason more cartoons had an impact before was it came a resource that people knew and looked up to for guidance in political views. Today, everyone can have their own opinion and state it for everyone to see. I don’t really see how that gives a meme power, unless maybe it comes from someone with the power to change someone mind. Also, on another note of politics, Sealand is the way to go.

Taylor Frank – Secondary Research Individual

“After the Crash: The Lingering Results of the Foreclosure Crisis in Our Communities”

Source: Working In Neighborhoods (WIN)
Date Composed: 2015

Thesis: Cincinnati families were losing their homes, number of vacant properties grew, leading Working in Neighborhoods organization to map out all the vacant properties and gather documented foreclosures that grew rapidly from the financial crisis.

Useful Information:

  • Completed Sheriff’s Sales in Hamilton County fell 27 percent, from 2,418 completed Sheriff’s Sales in 2013 to 1,766 in 2014. This is the lowest number of completed foreclosures in the county since 2002
  • New foreclosure filings in 2014 fell 21.5 percent compared to new filings in 2013, from 4,268 to 3,350.This is the lowest number of new foreclosures filed since 2002.
  • Foreclosures filed by six lenders account for more than half (51 percent) of Hamilton County properties sold at Sheriff’s Sale in 2014. Banks completing more than 100 Sheriff’s Sales in 2014 include: US Bank (195), Bank of America (183), Wells Fargo (151), Fifth Third (149), CitiBank (117) and JP Morgan Chase (113).
  • Mortgages that were originated between 2005 and 2008 made up 35 percent of all completed Sheriff’s Sales in Hamilton County in 2014, according to County Auditor property transfer records. This number does not include mortgages that were refinanced or properties that acquired second mortgages during this time period.
  • Tax foreclosures made up 22.1 percent of all new foreclosures filed in 2014
  • The number of third-party tax lien certificate sales ending in Sheriff’s Sale has increased for the fourth year in a row, from 1 in 2011 to 42 in 2014.

Recovery: “Cincinnati — Sustained Growth from a Solid Foundation”

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Date Composed: March 2016

Thesis: Cincinnati metro area’s economy continues to deliver strong econonmic results, particularly with growth in the leisure and hospitality and construction sectors. These sectors, supported by a diversified manufacturing base, provide opportunities for the region to grow long into the future. Employment growth is strong and the unemployment rate has declined to its lowest level in more than ten years, remaining among the lowest of the metro areas in the Fourth Federal Reserve District.

Useful Information:

  • Cincinnati has yet to recover its pre-recession employment levels, but job growth remains solid.”
  • “Through the end of the third quarter of 2015, employment in the metro area stood approximately 0.5 percent below its pre-recession level. This performance was in line with the rate of recovery in Ohio, but lagged the recovery pace for the average of nearby metro areas and the United States, which have seen increases of approximately 1.5 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively.”
  • “The Cincinnati metro area and the nation continue to see stronger income growth per capita than the state and nearby metros. Since the end of the recession in June 2009, income per capita in the Cincinnati metro area has increased by 4.6 percent. This is in line with the national average, which has increased by 4.7 percent.”
  • “Remaining above its post-recession low, homebuilding in the greater Cincinnati region is gaining steam. Housing supply remains tight, helping to prop up house prices. Multifamily vacancy rates remain low as apartment construction has yet to catch up with the growth in regional demand.”
  • “According to 2014 US Census Bureau estimates, Cincinnati is the 28th largest of the 381 metropolitan statistical areas in the United States.”

“Economic Growth Drives Demand in Cincinnati Commercial Property Markets”

Source: Colliers International
Date Composed: 2015

Thesis: After the 2008 FInancial Crisis, the Cincinnati Commercial real estate market witnessed growth across occupancy in office, industrial, retail and multifamily properties; some to historic levels as in the case with industrial.

Useful Information:

  • “The story of the year is job growth as the region’s unemployment rate dropped 90 basis points to 4.3 percent by the end of December, while the labor force increased by 2.2 percent.“
  • “REDI Cincinnati’s year-end report indicates that more than 14,000 jobs were created or retained during the year, of which 7,700 were new jobs.”
  • “Along with job growth, personal income is forecast to grow an average of 5.7 percent over the next ve years, outpacing both the U.S. and Midwestern projected averages.”
  • “In Cincinnati, occupancy increased during the the year by 120 basis points to 95.5 percent. Rents increased by 3.1 percent year-over-year; above the market’s ve-year average of 2.6 percent.”
  • “Cincinnati’s multifamily construction activity and quarterly deliveries remain above average, with 250,000 permits forecast to increase by nearly 70 percent in 2016”

Overall Synthesis: Cincinnati was effected by the financial crisis in 2008, but was one of the cities that was least effected comparable to the other cities throughout the United States. The data and research found from the resources above show that Cincinnati is recovering well from the financial crisis, in some cases such as the increase for the demand of industrial industry has made strides of success. There are still some foreclosures around the city, but foreclosure filings have gone down through the years, a 27% decrease in filings from 2013 to 2014. Even the jobs in Cincinnati has grown since 2008, but is only 0.5% under the pre-recession line in 2015. Cincinnati has been making strides to build their economy stronger than pre-recession, and continues to build it.

Taylor Frank — Reading Response 1

In the reading of The 2008 Housing Crisis the findings stated, “Placing blame for the housing crisis on the government is misguided and will lead to bad solutions for housing policy issues… most experts have deter- mined were causes of the crisis—predatory lending and poor regulation of the financial sector.” I found that in this article, that they do not find the government at fault, but rather the lack of regulations and the risky handing off mortgages to lenders. Even reading that during this time, the investors wanted more mortgages, but the demand wasn’t as high. The reason being that you had to have certain requirements fulfilled to receive the opportunity of a loan. Thus leading to poor regulations to create more homeowners that would get a mortgage.

The second article Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse read “Lenders introduced new levels of risk into the U.S. financial system by selling and securitizing complex home loans with high risk features and poor underwriting. The credit rating agencies labeled the resulting securities as safe investments, facilitating their purchase by institutional investors around the world.” This connects to the first article that talked about the poor regulations for receiving a mortgage. In this article as well, the blame was not towards the government. Within this article it talks more closely to case studies that they did to find the factors that brought the financial crisis upon our nation. As the data found that, “Despite identifying over 500 serious deficiencies in five years, Office of Thrift Supervision did not once, from 2004 to 2008, take a public enforcement action against Washington Mutual to correct its lending practices, nor did it lower the bank’s rating for safety and soundness.” This goes to show that the “checks and balances” that were in place, were not being enforced by many foundations and organizations.

Reading these articles at first was rather confusing to me and I tend to always find other ways to have things explained to me. I found a TED talk and a few YouTube videos that broke the financial crisis down for. What I have gathered from all these sources was that it seemed that people in the business threw out all what they had learned in business experience and thought taking a high risk would be beneficial to them. That does not make sense to me why they would do that, except that they became rather greedy and thought they would make a ton of money. In these articles they did state that the government was not to blame, but I don’t understand why they waited so long to step in to make sure that the mortgages were following regulations? The regulations for a mortgage are there for a reason, and it seemed that reasoning went over everyone’s head in the business.


The other resources I sought out are below:

“The real truth about the 2008 financial crisis | Brian S. Wesbury | TEDxCounty Line Road”

The 2008 Financial Crisis: Crash Course Economics #12

The Causes and Effects of the 2008 Financial Crisis