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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
BY BRIAN SMITH, Jesuit High
The Mayan civilization practiced human sacrifice and once celebrated the conclusion of a nearly global war by performing a victory dance around a pile of skulls. That’s a description by National Geographic of the same civilization that has some people on edge because its calendar ends tomorrow.
The American economy doesn’t exactly have parallels in Mayan culture, but some of the anxious are calling a possible American financial collapse — a fall from “the fiscal cliff” — a sign that the world is indeed nearing its end, including comedian Jon Stewart, who satirically labeled the crisis “fiscal cliffpocalypsemageddonacaust.”
Satire aside, the fiscal cliff would be created by a massive round of spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect Jan. 2.
“The combination of letting the Bush tax cuts expire, raising other taxes, and decreased spending, could potentially reduce the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars,” said William Bryson, Jesuit High economics teacher.
“(But the gross domestic product) will almost certainly decline, which would likely lead to job losses. Job losses decrease personal consumption, and the problem compounds,” he said. Something that should make high school economics teachers happy: Some students are actually paying attention.
“The fiscal cliff is a very serious issue,” said Plant High senior Coyle Smith. “If a (congressional) compromise is not reached, it has been estimated potentially to cause a 5 percent drop in GDP.”
Jesuit High senior Jamie Sullivan also has concerns about the increase in taxes and spending cuts. “It is important to deal with the debt, but in a less extreme way,” he said.
He also has doubts the Mayans were intending an extreme, or fiscal, scenario.
“If the Mayans were in fact predicting an apocalypse, I don’t think they thought it would be a catastrophic end to the world like we might expect from (the book of) Revelation, but definitely not a monetary collapse,” Sullivan said.
“Will we recover if a compromise is not agreed upon?” Smith asked. “Yes, but our wallets could be a lot emptier for a long time.”