Category Archives: Forum

Fast fashion deemed dangerous to environment, people alike

Art by Scarlett Hatton.

Story by Mia Compton.

Whenever teenagers go shopping, they usually shop at stores such as Nike, Brandy Melville, and American Eagle.  However, these brands are major contributors to the issue of fast fashion.

According to the website Good on You, fast fashion is “…cheap, trendy clothing, that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed to meet consumer demand.”  

Fast fashion was developed in order to create clothing based on current trends.  Once a certain style becomes popular, fast fashion companies will recreate the pieces in weeks or even days. According to Good on You, fast fashion became popular towards the end of the 20th century. 

“In the late 1990s and 2000s, low-cost fashion reached its zenith. Online shopping took off, and fast fashion retailers like H&M, Zara, and Topshop took over the high street. These brands took the looks and design elements from the top fashion houses and reproduced them quickly and cheaply.”

So, why is fast fashion considered bad?  

Fast fashion has several harmful effects, many of them affecting the environment.  According to Sustain Your Style, “20% of industrial water pollution comes from textiles treatment and dying. In most of the countries in which garments are produced, untreated toxic wastewaters from textiles factories are dumped directly into the rivers.”  

Water pollution can be harmful for humans and animals.  Sustain Your Style said, “Wastewater contains toxic substances such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, among others.” These pollutants are dangerous for humans and animals to ingest.  

Fast fashion companies also often do not pay their workers fair wages. They are often underpaid and overworked, and a lot of them usually work in sweatshops.  Many think that sweatshops only exist in other countries, but shockingly, they also exist here in the United States.

According to a Forbes article, “Workers put in grueling 12 hour days, making garments that will be sold for anywhere from five dollars to 75 dollars for around three cents a piece paid out.” 

Many of these workers are immigrants, and they are not well-compensated. According to the Clean Clothes Campaign, immigrants are desperate for a job, so they end up resorting to fast fashion.

It is important to know how to spot a fast fashion brand.  First, scroll through the website and look at how many items they have.  If there are thousands of items following the current trends, it is most likely a fast fashion brand.  These brands also use cheap fabrics in order to make a larger profit.  

Now that we know the issue, we need to put a stop to fast fashion.  One step you can take is to start buying secondhand clothing.  Local thrift stores have plenty of clothing options, including many vintage items.  Also, shopping from sustainable brands like Levis, Reformation, and Patagonia can greatly reduce the effects of fast fashion. Good on You suggests choosing eco-friendly fabrics, such as bamboo, recycled polyester, and organic cotton.  

Fast fashion has become a prevalent issue, especially since fashion is evolving. Certain brands try to keep up with current trends which results in pollution and poor treatment of workers. Fast fashion is an issue that needs to stop.  It is harmful to our environment, and it also engages in unethical treatment of workers.

Guest columnist predicts landslide Trump win

Editor’s Note: The following column the second of two prediction guest columns on the upcoming 2020 election. This column predicts a Trump win, while the first predicted a Biden win. The first column went up earlier this week on Wednesday, Oct. 28. Thank you for your continued readership, and don’t forget to vote!

Art by Scarlett Hatton.

Story by Joel Phelps.

Many of us were surprised at the outcome of the 2016 election. Many thought Christmas had come a month early, and others thought that the world had ended. This election will be no different. With President Donald Trump as the Republican candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden as the Democratic candidate, and political activist Jo Jorgensen as the Libertarian candidate, Trump will outdo all of the others.

As of Oct. 8, FiveThirtyEight’s polling average reported that Trump has a 43.2% approval rating, with the highest grade in polling accuracy being Fox News with 47%, and the lowest grade being HarrisX with 46%. Polls of likely voters are tighter than all polls by 0.2%. However, the polls have been wrong before, and they are certainly misleading this cycle. 

The YouGov/Economist poll from Oct. 4 through Oct. 6, which puts Trump at 43 percent job approval rating, only included 44% Democrats, 29% Republicans, and 24% independents. The actual ratio of voters is 27% Democrat,  28% Republican, and 42% independent, according to a Gallup poll from Sept. 14 through Sept. 28. An Ipsos poll from Oct. 2 through Oct. 6 results were not as outrageous and had the same results as YouGov, but the demographic only had 13% independent voters. Fox News, HarrisX, and Rasmussen polls from Oct. 3 through Oct. 6 all say they weighed the polls based on demographics and party affiliation and had 45% approval or higher results for Trump.

YouGov, Gallup, and Civiqs are some of the only polls that recently tracked independent voters. A YouGov poll from Oct. 4 through Oct. 6 found that about 63% of independents support Trump while only about 37% support Biden. However, a Gallup poll from Sept. 30 through Oct. 15 found only 39 percent of independents support Trump. A Civiqs poll from Oct. 19 found that only 39% of independents find Biden favorable and 54% found him unfavorable. YouGov compared Trump and Biden to each other, and this is what makes it stand out against the Civiqs and Gallup polls. 

So let us subtract the sum of favorability for Biden and favorability for Trump in the Civiqs and Gallup polls, both among independents, from 100. We will do this to find out the actual number of independents who are undecided, because we can assume that the conflicting evidence from the two polls means independents don’t like either candidate, but the YouGov poll shows us who the lesser of two evils seems to be. We will see that 25% of independents have not decided who to vote for between Biden and Trump, or are voting for a third party. 

Now, we need to take the YouGov poll into account. In that poll, a majority of independents said they would choose Trump over Biden. For the sake of accuracy, let us give 10% of independents to Jo Jorgensen and other third party candidates and use the YouGov poll for the rest.  This leaves a huge impact considering independents make up 42% of all voters. This proves the Ipsos poll, as well as any other polls consisting of mainly partisan voters, incorrect, because they do not take enough independents into account. This is assuming 10% of independents will choose third party candidates instead of picking what looks like to them the lesser of two evils. 

It seems as if the fair polls are getting much higher numbers for Trump. Though FiveThirtyEight graded Rasmussen with a C+ and HarrisX with a C in polling accuracy, Rasmussen was only 0.4% off on predicting the popular vote in 2016, and HarrisX is a new polling company. 

On the website 270toWin, their consensus map is listed in fine print that they use polling averages from several left wing-biased polls such as YouGov, Ipsos, Emerson College, and others. Here is what that map looks like:

Source: 270toWin.com

Now let us do some math. We will take the approval of Trump among each political party and multiply it by what percent of the population it makes up. Then, we add up each demographic’s support for him. Gallup says that 94% of Republicans support Trump and 7% of Democrats support Trump. If we throw in the 4.2% of independents not voting for either Trump or Biden after we divide by the demographic of support for Trump among that political identity, we will get a 51.02% approval rating of Trump.

Now we will do the same for Joe Biden. His approval rating should be an astoundingly low 38.56%. This is because he has less support from his own party and independents than Trump has from Republicans and independents. We should give Jo Jorgensen 70% of the third party vote to go along with the 2016 election ratio,since there have not been many polls on third party candidates. Jorgensen should have around a seven percent approval. This is what the 270toWin map should look like:

Source: 270toWin.com and Joel Phelps

Many people are underestimating Trump and incorrect polling. Those who are ignorant or unaware will be surprised on Nov. 3. I think that Trump will win with 52.3% of the popular vote because of higher enthusiasm among his supporters. I also think this enthusiasm will get him 326 electoral votes. Even though my chart suggests a lesser approval rating for Trump than I think he will win, I also think more Trump voters will show up. However, only you can decide the fate of this country. Get out and vote!

Guest columnist predicts Biden win in upcoming election

Editor’s Note: The following column is one of two prediction guest columns on the upcoming 2020 election. This column predicts a Biden win, while the second predicts a Trump win. The second column will go up later this week. Thank you for your continued readership, and don’t forget to vote!

Art by Scarlett Hatton.

Story by Connor Bassett.

There is an election coming up, and it is a major one. This year the election will decide who will guide this nation through the rest of the COVID-19 crisis. The election will be held between former vice president Joe Biden and incumbent President Donald Trump. President Trump has a very steep hill to climb if he wants to win reelection. If polling holds true today, according to FiveThirtyEight, Trump will lose 357 to 181 electoral votes. But polling can be wrong, as there is a margin of error for every poll. 

So, how will the polls, forecasts, and my prediction affect how the election is going to break down? In 2017 and 2018, I predicted that Trump had a 56 to 57% chance of reelection. However, my model now has Biden a 95% chance of winning the election. There are four ways to classify a state: safe [10 % or higher margin], likely [five to 10 percent margin], lean [one to five percent margin], and tilt [less than one percent margin]. 

I take the lean and tilt states off of the map, as they are the most competitive, and use a website called “270towin.com” that gives me all the possible outcomes from taking those states out, and it says how many paths each candidate has to win. I will admit, this is not entirely the most accurate method, because there is a small chance that one candidate could win enough of the safe or likely states to win the general election. For instance, if Biden gets enough states to pass the required electoral votes needed to be president, 270, in the likely or safe column, then it appears that Trump has a zero % chance of winning. 

However, my model has only had that ever happen three times, and I had to give Trump a five percent of winning the White House. I do this because I know that statistically speaking, Trump absolutely has more than a zero percent chance of winning. This year, there are five main states that I consider to be tipping points, or states that could be the one putting the winning candidate over the top. Those five states are North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, and Wisconsin. 

Biden is polling in Michigan, which is why I think he will win it. As of Oct. 19, Biden is up 7.9 points in Michigan, 50.7 to 42.8%, according to FiveThirtyEight. Winning Wisconsin and Pennsylvania would get Biden to 278 electoral votes, and win him the presidency. Biden could take Florida and get himself to 277 electoral votes. He could also have a strange path with Arizona and North Carolina, giving him 274 electoral votes. Trump would have to win Florida and three of the four of the other tipping points.

A few months ago, I thought North Carolina would go to Biden, and then I thought it would go to Trump; however, I now think the state will go to Biden on a “tilt” margin. In 2016, Donald Trump won the state by 3.6%. In recent polling data, taken on Oct. 19 fromFiveThirtyEight, Biden has a 3.2 point lead in North Carolina, 49.1% to 45.9%. Trump could easily come back and win this state, though, because the state is historically Republican, and Biden is polling below 50 % in the state. I think it will certainly be very close, and in the next decade, North Carolina will become more Democratic as the African-American population increases. Currently, assuming more voter turnout among African-American voters due to the social unrest, Biden may win by a very small margin.

Florida is very interesting to look at. Florida is close every election, but Trump did manage to win the state by 1.2% in 2016, which is good for a candidate in Florida. Polling data, however, shows that Biden is doing much better in Florida among senior citizens than Hillary Clinton did, and Florida has a large senior population. While Biden is lacking in Latinx votes, the senior citizens might just barely edge the race out for Biden. 

According to the Washington Post, “In Florida, more than 20 percent of those who voted in the 2016 election were over age 65, according to exit polls. In 2016, Trump won the Florida senior vote by a 17-point margin over Clinton, according to exit polls.” But now also according to the Washington Post, “A Quinnipiac poll in late April found 52 percent of Florida seniors supporting Biden to 42 percent for Trump, while a Fox News poll around the same time found Biden narrowly ahead,” 

However, according to The Atlantic, “But when it comes to Latinos, Biden may have a problem. Although he is dramatically outpacing Trump among Latinos overall, he is falling behind Clinton’s pace, including in the key state of Florida. An analysis by Harry Enten at CNN found that Biden’s average lead among Latinos is 9 points lower than Clinton’s around this time four years ago.” I give Florida a “lean” margin for Biden. I think the senior vote will make up for the Latinx vote, and Biden might get some of those voters back. Increased voter turnout could also benefit Biden if the seniors support him, and they turn out in droves. Averaged polls on Oct. 16, taken from FiveThirtyEight, show that Biden is up 4.1%, 49.1% to 44.9%.

In the state of Arizona, Donald Trump won by 3.5% in 2016; however, 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney won the state by 10.1%. That is a significant drop-off for Trump. FiveThirtyEight’s average polling for Arizona on Oct. 16 has Biden up 3.8 % in Arizona, 49.0 % to 45.2%. My prediction is a “lean” for Biden. 

Wisconsin is another state Biden could win. Recent data, taken on Oct. 16, also from FiveThirtyEight, shows that the state has Biden up 7.7 points in Wisconsin, 50.8% to 43.1%. Additionally, the Democrats took the 2018 Senate race by a 10.8% lead. This suggests that the polling data is right, and it will contribute to the Biden campaign. Therefore, I give the state a “likely” for Biden. 

Pennsylvania is the most important state for both campaigns to win. Before you fill in any of the five tipping points, Biden has 248 electoral votes, and Trump has 205, assuming that all the states that I have already characterized do end up going to the candidates I think they will go to. For Biden, it includes the states Hillary Clinton won with the addition of Michigan. For Trump, it includes the states he won in 2016 without North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, and Wisconsin. If we give Pennsylvania to Biden, Biden would have 268 electoral votes. Two electoral votes away from victory, he needs only one other state to win the election. 

If Trump holds the state, then he just needs to win Florida and two other states. Pennsylvania is the easiest state for Trump to win in the rust belt, because in 2016, Trump gained the most votes in the state, while Clinton only lost 64 thousand. Trump gained more than 300 thousand votes in the state, mostly running up totals in rural, central, and western Pennsylvania, and gaining votes in the suburbs of Pittsburgh and Allentown. 

Therefore, this is Trump’s easiest win in the rust belt; however, polling indicates that it is not going his way. Currently, according to polls from Oct. 16, taken from FiveThirtyEight, Biden has a 6.9 point lead in Pennsylvania, 50.7% to 43.8%. This polling data could indicate some bad news for Trump, but he could pull off a narrow win. At the same time, Biden already has a majority of support, according to the average of polling data. Trump would have to get Biden down to 47% to really get anywhere in Pennsylvania. On top of that, he would have to get his own numbers up to about 46 or 47% to have a chance of winning the undecided crowd. In 2018, the Democrats won the Senate seat by 13% and the governorship by 17.1%. The other difficulty for Trump is that Pennsylvania is Biden’s home state, which could earn him some extra points among voters. I rate Pennsylvania as “likely” for Biden.

With all of this information factored in,  Biden has now earned 335 electoral votes, while Trump has earned 203. This includes Maine’s and Nebraska’s second Congressional Districts. The popular vote will be a lot more decisive than it was in 2016; for Biden, 52 to 53%, and Trump 45 to 46%, due to where polling data is. The current national average, according to FiveThirtyEight, taken on Oct. 16, has Biden up 10.5 points in the country, 52.3% to 41.8%. 

The path to reelection for Trump is incredibly steep, but absolutely not impossible. To win, he has to take four out of five tipping point states as well as Florida, and potentially take another state or two out of the “likely” or “safe” column for Biden. Another challenge for Trump is that he does not have a completely safe chance in Georgia, Texas, Iowa, Ohio, or South Carolina. On the flipside, Biden is not completely safe in Minnesota, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, or Maine, Nebraska’s second Congressional District, or Maine’s second Congressional District . If those races get closer, this map could change substantially. For Trump supporters, this may seem worrying due to the data. However, there is something you can do to help your candidate win, and it is a really simple, one syllable word: vote! For Biden supporters, don’t get complacent. Polls can, and have been, wrong, so just because Biden has nearly a 10-point lead nationally does not mean the election is over, Trump could still come up from behind and win this. For the sake of democracy, vote!