Category Archives: Good to Know

FIT ECONOMISTS DECODE ELECTION PROPAGANDA

Romney and Obama

If the debates don’t solve anything, maybe a wrestling match will.

Regardless of how many binders full of women Mitt Romney keeps in his desk drawer, Hue finds all this economy talk a little baffling. Who really knows which economic plan, if either, will bring back the boom? To that end, we turned to two of FIT’s Economics professors for a little professional insight.

Paul Clement, assistant professor of Economics:

“Romney has proposed a $5 trillion tax cut without expanding the deficit. Instead he proposed to close the loopholes in our tax code and get rid of some deductions. The problem with that is there’s no way he can raise $5 trillion that way, unless he faces the deductions that millionaires and billionaires have, and that would anger his base.

“I think Obama’s plan will work. This is probably the worst recession since the Great Depression. Companies are not going to invest their money until the economy starts to get better. The government needs to act as the stimulus to get the economy going, to encourage the private sector to spend money and create economic growth. And Romney has offered no specifics as to how he’s going to stimulate the economy.”

Juan DelaCruz, adjunct assistant in Economics (and assistant professor at Lehman College):

“I don’t think unemployment is declining. A 5 percent unemployment rate is healthy. Even the 7.8 percent that we’re seeing this month might be misleading. The labor force has been shrinking over the past four years. Many people are giving up on finding jobs. And 47 million people live on food stamps.

“The economy relies on the private sector. Why not support the private sector to create jobs? I don’t believe governments can produce better products than the private sector. And if you raise taxes on the rich, they’ll go somewhere else. Tax reform needs to happen. If you have a tax code that’s clear and simple, without loopholes, you can lower tax rates for everyone.”

Hue has a preferred candidate (but we’re not telling!). Who is yours and why?

HUE WENT TO MOMA TO LOOK AT ART, BUT ALL WE FOUND WERE CLOTHES

Every now and then, Hue stumbles onto the vexing question of fashion versus art. Like, is Alexander McQueen’s jellyfish ensemble art? Or Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian dress? What if something is just really exceptionally crafted? Is exacting, painstaking craft itself an art form? Hue goes back and forth on this.

Balenciaga suit, 1948: Fabulous, but is it the "A" word?

Recently, Hue found itself on the opposite side of the question when we took a little field trip to the Museum of Modern Art. Here we noticed that the artists (we’re confident that they’re artists because we found them in an art museum) were trying to horn in on fashion’s act.

We took lots of very bad pictures.  Here’s one:

Hue thinks a Rootstein mannequin would do wonders for this, er, sculpture.

We liked Andrea Zittel’s “Lavender Corduroy Personal Panel” (above) from 1995.  On the MoMA’s website, Zittel explains, “I think the whole point of my work is to pay more attention to using things in a conscious way and observing your reactions to objects.”  I know, right?

 

It's hard to go shopping when you have eggshells stuck all over your bag.

 
We wandered upstairs. There we encountered “Maria” (above), a piece from 1966 by Belgian artist (that word again!) Marcel Broodthaers (1924-1976).  The didactic label told us that Broodthaers incorporated humble found objects in direct conversation with Pop Art.  But we think it’s a nice dress anyway.
 
Then there’s this fellow:
 

Hue doesn't have to tell you this is by German conceptual artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986), do we?

The artist created this suit out of felt, a fabric of which we happen to be very fond.  We found the didactic label puzzling:  “Felt can provide protection and warmth as well as detachment and isolation.”  Detachment and isolation?  We can’t think of anything that would make us want to cuddle up more.  We were happy to find out that Beuys modeled this piece on his own suits.  We wanted to take this one down from its austere, cold place on the wall, put it on, and walk away, thus becoming, perhaps, a piece of performance art.
 
 
On the other hand, maybe we’ll just buy something bespoke.  We want a good fit, and, frankly, we’re starting to suspect these categories are just in our heads.
 

YES, FIT OFFERS MORE THAN ONE MAJOR

Hue is tired of having to explain to people that, although FIT is proud of its many super-talented fashion-designer alumni, lots of people here have zero aspiration of becoming a fashion designer. So Hue made a word cloud of all of FIT’s degree-bearing majors.

FIT’s degree-bearing majors in technicolor

Yes, these relate to fashion. Yes, FIT is the largest school in the nation that trains employees of the fashion industry. No, you do not have to know anything about clothing to come to FIT (though it can’t hurt).

This is all well and good, you say, but that word cloud doesn’t take into account how big the Fashion Design major is. Don’t most people come to FIT for Fashion Design?

Well, this next word cloud is weighted by the number of graduates in each major.

FIT’s majors weighted by the number of 2012 graduates

Fashion Merchandising Management is the largest major here, by a long shot.

What about all those tiny majors that look like space debris? Hue was kind enough to make another weighted word cloud, this time without the big three.

The smaller majors at FIT

Hue rests its case.