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The pros and cons of being self-critical (and how to strike a balance)

I promised to write today, yesterday I promised a blog post and I even gave out a hint about the topic – being critical.

Now I am not so sure I feel like writing about this but on the other hand keeping that promise will be a good self-discipline exercise. So I will briefly reflect on the peculiar stage I am currently at as a PhD researcher… I have been noticing for a while that I have gradually been becoming more and more critical of my own work as well as things going on around me. It might be the fact that I feel more confident in my research area and and well past the initial baby steps. Or it might be that there is not enough time or will power to pay close attention to everything happening around me, not even most things, so it could be a selection process in that respect. Or.. last one.. it may well be that I am way too absorbed in my own research and being unable to adopt a different perspective. I feel this is OK. Yes, I’m critical and may be not in the nicest way but it’s a stage and it will go away. I would be interested to know if other people have had similar experiences!?

As a committed researcher I found a quote to reflect my current understanding of being critical – it’s about fixing, improving and developing which does not happen effortlessly I guess:

In this light I made a list of the pros and cons of my criticality. It goes like that…

Aiming for higher quality work – competing with myself, improving developing as a researcher and knowing that I am capable of doing things in a better way be it writing, research or else (I’ll probably reread this post in a few days and wonder why I even published it – yey for being critical. )

Turning criticism to other people’s work into a learning experience for my own work… My favourite tips are in the format ‘how not to do things’, it kind of helps me remember handy strategies to improve performance without having an endless list of ‘how to’ guidance… I guess ‘how to’ is depressing sometimes, I guess it leads to even more self-criticism when the guidance is not my cup of tea.

Being critical can actually be inspiring – in the mood of the above one – knowing what not to do gives a nice framing and yet plenty of opportunities to explore and be creative.

Sometimes it slow me down… Pretty self-explanatory – let’s say today I have criticised my own writing, I’ll try to improve it, it’s only logical, but as these things take time I will probably end up being stuck and not productive for the rest of the day.

Sometimes it annoys me… Not a happy bunny…

There is a thin, thin line between healthy criticism and trashing someone else’s work – respecting other people’s work is of paramount importance, I should probably end this one on the note of ‘sandwich’ shaped feedback – the good/the bad/the good.

And I’ll stop here giving my criticality a rest to let the weekend begin. I wrote my post, mission accomplished.

The pros and cons of being self-critical (and how to strike a balance)

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According to research carried out by the Institute for Color Research, between 62% and 90% of the subconscious judgments we make about a person, environment, or product within the first 90 seconds are based on color alone.

We are constantly influenced by color, as primary and secondary hues create a color wheel that can stimulate our senses, alert us to danger, remind us of our favorite brands and even shape our mood. In nature, color changes can signal the onset of a new season, or offer a warning sign to keep predators at bay. In the modern world, color can be used to inspire and express creativity or to calm and control.

The pros and cons of being self-critical (and how to strike a balance)

Cultural differences can also impact on how and when to use color: for example, in some countries red is favored as a choice for luck, romance or passion, but in other parts of the world it is a color for mourning. Used effectively in your home, business or work environment, or as a form of therapy, color can affect your experiences in ways that would be difficult to create by any other means. Let’s look at how color combinations and tone influence everything from psychology to décor.

Warm Colors: colors such as red, orange, yellow and brown are defined as warm, and are most often used to convey energy, passion, and strength. They stimulate the senses, especially your sense of hunger, which can be great for a restaurant branding, but less so for a living room. Be sure to use these colors sparingly in the home environment, as they can quickly tire the eyes.

Cool Colors: shades of blue, purple, green are likely to create a calming atmosphere and are ideal for use where people need to be relaxed. Cool colors are also known for stimulating creativity and restfulness, which is ideal for an office or workspace.

Color Schemes

Combining tones to create a color scheme is an effective way of building a mood or style, but it can be difficult to pinpoint which hues will work well together. There are a variety of schemes to choose from depending on your taste or objectives but common variations include:

1. Complementary: This scheme combines at least two shades from opposite sides of the color wheel and can provide an impressive contrast, however, care should be taken not to pick two equally strong hues. For example, pairing bright blue and bright yellow can be a little overpowering if not softened by white space or gentler tones.

2. Monochromatic: This kind of scheme typically takes a variety of tones within one specific color; for example, combining black with various shades of grey. When working with a strong shade like black, using it in a concentrated space may be preferable so as not to overwhelm.

3. Analogous: The combination of three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel is known as an analogous scheme. Interest is often added to such schemes with the use of tones, shades, and tints of the same colors, creating a layered effect that can work well with everything from web design through to interiors and clothing.

4. Custom: Increasingly popular but tricky to pull off, implementing a custom color scheme enables you to bring together any hues in any combination irrespective of typical color rules. Probably best attempted by those more experienced in working with color, great results can be achieved so long as you consider chroma, value, and saturation.

Making Color Work

Whether you are considering color for business or personal use, you’d be wise to do your research. The internet is a rich source of information with a variety of tools available to help you. A great example is Shutterstock’s Color Spectrum. Spectrum combines a keyword search with a color slider to help you instantly group images by color and hue.

The pros and cons of being self-critical (and how to strike a balance)

Color Lovers is a fantastic online community offering color ideas and combinations, patterns, and palettes and more for a range of uses including fashion, craft, business and even weddings.

The pros and cons of being self-critical (and how to strike a balance)

Design Seeds provides users with a quick and easy way to view color palettes and get trend information, and is ideal for interior design or branding projects.

The pros and cons of being self-critical (and how to strike a balance)

Color Scheme Designer is ideal for use by more experienced designers, offering a range of color schemes at the click of a button either at random or within your chosen hue.

The pros and cons of being self-critical (and how to strike a balance)

In summary, use color wisely and you can create an eye-catching look that will stand the test of time. However, go over the top and you risk creating a clash that turns people off or gives the wrong message. Most of all, color is there to be enjoyed so go, explore and have fun!

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The pros and cons of being self-critical (and how to strike a balance)

In general, before the financial crisis of 2008, the financial sector the world over had been steadily liberalizing. Limits on foreign ownership of banks and on the kinds of transactions they were able to engage in were being lifted. Rich countries were deregulating faster than others. Banks were given greater leeway on how much capital they should hold and how much risk they should take. But the world over did not maintain adequate capital cushions and balance sheets showed inflated profits. In 1999, America also repealed the Glass -Staegall Act – a 1920s Depression-era law separating investment and commercial banking-without bothering about the threat to the economy.

‘Restrictions are a sign of backwardness’- the resulting crisis of 2008 put an end to this belief. Banking supervisors in many developing countries said that tight regulations saved them from getting into trouble. Under the old rules, supervisors were simply referees trying to ensure that the game was played fairly. Now regulators have gone from saying ‘tell me that all your payment system work’ to saying ‘show me how your payment system works’. Regulators tentatively stepping over a long-standing are divided between enforcing basic rules and playing a part in business decisions. This shift is particularly marked in Britain, which once championed ‘light touch’ regulation. The pre-crisis behavior is being criticized as surrender to the banks or as a self-serving device for attracting financial activity in Britain. In truth it was neither. It was a simple belief that markets are better than governments at allocating services. In America too regulators were reluctant to suppress innovation because they felt that “the self-interest of lending institutions” would be enough to ensure they did not leap from the same tall building.

In rich countries, enthusiasm for prescriptive supervision depends on the degree of harm suffered during the banking crisis, or on the threat from the failing banks to bring down their government with them, but it is not easy to stop banks from making bad decisions. In the past regulators left it to the market to judge the health of the banks, but clever, well paid analysis failed to see the crisis coming. Now central bankers are expected to do a better job.

One problem is that rules and laws are written with the benefit of hindsight. The good ideas that may have prevented the last crisis, however, can make regulators dangerously overconfident about being able to predict and prevent the next one. Also, if regulators underwrite certain strategies that seem safe, such as lending to small businesses, they may encourage banks to crowd into those lines of business. If enough banks pile into these markets, downturns in them can affect not just a few banks but the whole system.

On the other hand prescriptive supervision can stifle financial innovation and squeeze all appetite for risk out of the banking system. In Japan, a banking crisis that started more than ten decades ago still lingers on, in fact because the country’s bankers have become gun-shy and tend to buy government bonds rather than lend money or make foreign investments. Regulators are doing all they can to strike balance and mitigate these risks.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

4 Reasons They’re Bad—and the One Time They’re a Necessity

The pros and cons of being self-critical (and how to strike a balance)

Image by Bailey Mariner. © The Balance 2019

A monopoly is a business that is the only provider of a good or service, giving it a tremendous competitive advantage over any other company that tries to provide a similar product or service.

Some companies become monopolies through vertical integration. They control the entire supply chain, from production to retail. Others use horizontal integration. They buy up competitors until they are the only ones left.

Some, like utilities, enjoy government regulations that award them a market. Governments do this to ensure electricity production and delivery because it cannot tolerate the disruptions that may come from free market forces.

4 Reasons Why They’re Bad for an Economy

Monopolies restrict free trade and prevent the market from setting prices. That creates the following four adverse effects:

  1. Price fixing: Since monopolies are lone providers, they can set any price they choose. That’s called price-fixing. They can do this regardless of demand because they know consumers have no choice. It’s especially true when there is inelastic demand for goods and services. That’s when people don’t have a lot of flexibility. Gasoline is an example. Some drivers could switch to mass transit or bicycles, but most can’t.
  2. Declining product quality: Not only can monopolies raise prices, but they also can supply inferior products. That’s happened in some urban neighborhoods, where grocery stores know poor residents have few alternatives.
  3. Loss of innovation: Monopolies lose any incentive to innovate or provide “new and improved” products. A 2017 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that U.S. businesses have invested less than expected since 2000 due to a decline in competition. That was true of cable companies until satellite dishes and online streaming services disrupted their hold on the market.
  4. Inflation: Monopolies create inflation. Since they can set any prices they want, they will raise costs for consumers. It’s called cost-push inflation. A good example of how this works is the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The 13 oil-exporting countries in OPEC are home to nearly 80% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

When Monopolies Are Good

Sometimes a monopoly is necessary. It ensures consistent delivery of a product or service that has a very high up-front cost. An example is electric and water utilities. It’s very expensive to build new electric plants or dams, so it makes economic sense to allow monopolies to control prices to pay for these costs.

Federal and local governments regulate these industries to protect the consumer. Companies are allowed to set prices to recoup their costs and a reasonable profit.

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel advocates the benefits of a creative monopoly.   That’s a company that is “so good at what it does that no other firm can offer a close substitute.” He argues that they give customers more choices “by adding entirely new categories of abundance to the world.”

He goes on to say, “All happy companies are different: Each one earns a monopoly by solving a unique problem. All failed companies are the same: They failed to escape competition.” He suggests entrepreneurs focus on this question: “What valuable company is nobody building?”

Monopolies in the United States

Monopolies in the United States are not illegal, but the Sherman Anti-Trust Act prevents them from using their power to gain advantages. Congress enacted it in 1890 when monopolies were trusts. A group of companies would form a trust to fix prices low enough to drive competitors out of business. Once they had a monopoly on the market, they would raise prices to regain their profit.

The most famous trust was Standard Oil Company. John D. Rockefeller owned all the oil refineries, which were in Ohio, in the 1890s. His monopoly allowed him to control the price of oil. He bullied the railroad companies to charge him a lower price for transportation. When Ohio threatened legal action to put him out of business, he moved to New Jersey.

In 1998, the U.S. District Court ruled that Microsoft was an illegal monopoly. It had a controlling position as the operating system for personal computers and used this to intimidate a supplier, chipmaker Intel. It also forced computer makers to withhold superior technology. The government ordered Microsoft to share information about its operating system, allowing competitors to develop innovative products using the Windows platform.

But disruptive technologies have done more to erode Microsoft’s monopoly than government action. People are switching to mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, and Microsoft’s operating system for those devices has not been popular in the market.

Today Google almost has a monopoly on the internet search market; people use it for 90% of all searches.

The pros and cons of being self-critical (and how to strike a balance)

Drinking at work can be a professional perk or a casual way to wind down with coworkers after a long day; it’s also a popular way to acknowledge an outstanding quarter or the collective effort to knock a project out of the park. While enjoying cocktails with colleagues can be an enjoyable way to bring an after-hours or celebratory vibe into the office — and might even help people connect and build morale more easily — having alcohol at the office is something to carefully consider.

One of the best things you can do before you go ahead and stock the liquor cabinet is to work with HR to put some a solid alcohol policy in place. If you’re not sure where to begin, start with your goals and then consider some of the common pro and cons:

  • Building culture
  • Attracting talent
  • Inspiring connection
  • Celebration
  • Incentivize team performance
  • Increases corporate liability
  • Might exclude teammates who don’t drink (religious reasons, sobriety)
  • Leads to longer working days
  • Exacerbates alcohol problems
  • Can contribute to an environment of harassment

Once you’ve addressed your goals and concerns to outline official company policy, go ahead and provide a handful of suggestions or guidelines for teammates so they can drink responsibly:

1. Follow the rules. When drinking at work, following any HR rules is mandatory. These might include drinking only after a certain hour, on specific occasions, from a specific drink supply, a certain kind of alcohol only (such as celebratory champagne), and more. Set criteria that will help you foster your goal, whether it’s to create a specific type of culture or atmosphere, host weekly happy hours that attract new talent, or to celebrate on special occasions.

2. Be self-aware. Being self-aware is key to drinking responsibly at the office, starting with what you drink, how you drink, and ultimately, how much you drink. To strike it right, pour your own drink so you can control the contents or pick a beverage that you know doesn’t bother you.

3. Strike a healthy balance. Responsible drinking can be healthy drinking, so be sure you’ve had a well-balanced meal before you start drinking and sip on water in between each drink. Since the last thing you want to be is the out-of-control teammate who is hungover (or embarrassed!) the next day, make a conscious effort to eat enough, stay hydrated, and pace yourself. To play it safe, stick with no more than one drink per hour.

The pros and cons of being self-critical (and how to strike a balance)

What’s the difference between an employee and someone who is self-employed? Your classification will impact taxes, unemployment compensation, taxes, health insurance coverage, and other benefits.

Someone who is self-employed generally works for themselves as a business owner, freelancer, or as an independent contractor for another company. Earnings are usually directly from the business or freelancing, instead of salary or commission-based reimbursement.

Self-Employed Definition

The Internal Revenue Service defines an individual as being self-employed, for tax purposes, as:

  • You carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor or an independent contractor.
  • You are a member of a partnership that carries on a trade or business.
  • You are otherwise in business for yourself (including a part-time business).

Employment Status

When you are employed by a company you are considered an employee. Employees are on the company payroll, and the employer withholds federal and state taxes, Social Security, and Medicare.

Employees are provided with unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance. Employees may be offered benefit packages that include things like paid sick leave, vacation, health insurance, or 401(k) or other retirement plan participation.

Self-Employment Taxes

If you’re self-employed, you are responsible for paying your own taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to your state tax department.   Even if you do not owe any income tax, you must complete Form 1040 and Schedule SE to pay self-employment Social Security tax.

In addition to income taxes, self-employed workers must also pay Social Security and Medicare taxes in the form of SECA (Self-Employment Contributions Act).

Unemployment Benefits

Independent contractors are typically not entitled to employee benefits, even those mandated by law like unemployment and worker’s compensation because they are not employees of a company.

Unlike a typical employee, independent contractors work less regularly. They work as and when required, and usually bill by the hour or per project, depending on the terms of their contracts.

From a tax perspective, employing regular employees costs significantly more for employers than independent contractors because they are required to pay Social Security, Medicare, State, and unemployment taxes in addition to consistent, salary or wage-based work.

Health Insurance and Other Benefits

However, self-employed individuals and independent contractors may be able to purchase health insurance and other benefits for you through the individual Health Insurance Marketplace or through organizations like the Chamber of Commerce or other groups that provide benefits for self-employed workers and small businesses.

If you have self-employment income, you can take a deduction for health insurance expenses incurred for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents. Other self-employed tax deductions include home office costs, internet, phone, and fax expenses, meals, business travel and car expenses, interest on business loans, education, IRA contributions, and even some entertainment.

Pros and Cons

While there are many positives to being self-employed such as choosing your own hours (full or part-time), shortening or completely avoiding your commute, focusing on career objectives that matter most to you, being able to work remotely and tax deductions, one of the downfalls is that benefits usually included in salaried work must be paid for out-of-pocket.

Furthermore, self-employed workers are responsible for both losses and profits. There are no paid holidays or sick pay, and the earning schedule may be less in the short term when you are starting out. With no boss or supervisor to manage you, it takes great focus and motivation to be self-employed. In many circumstances, hours are long and working on your own can be lonely.

Health insurance must be contracted for by the individual, there are no paid vacations or sick days, and retirement must be planned for.

The information contained in this article is not legal advice and is not a substitute for such advice. State and federal laws change frequently, and the information in this article may not reflect your own state’s laws or the most recent changes to the law.

The pros and cons of being self-critical (and how to strike a balance)

“My way is to divide half a sheet of paper by a line into two columns; writing over the one Pro and over the other Con. Then during three or four days’ consideration, I put down under the different heads short hints of the different motives, that at different time occur to me, for or against the measure. When I have thus got them altogether in one view, I endeavor to estimate their respective weights; and where I find two, one on each side, that seem equal, I strike them both out. If I judge some two reasons con equal to some three reasons pro, I strike out five; and thus proceeding, I find where the balance lies; and if after a day or two of further consideration, nothing new that is of importance occurs on either side, I come to a determination accordingly.” –Benjamin Franklin

Last week we talked about the importance of being decisive and went over some basic tips for how to make good decisions. We mentioned the pro and con chart as being a helpful part of the decision-making process. As you can see from the above quote, Ben Franklin was a fan of the pro and con chart himself and added his own twist by giving different weights to his various motives.

But what if you try the pro and con chart and the right decision still isn’t clear? You’ve done all the research you can about your possible choices; you’ve journaled your thoughts; you’ve sought the advice of your friends and loved ones. But you’re still absolutely stuck between two or more choices that seem equally attractive. How can you break this stalemate?

Today we’re going to go over a decision making hack that expands on and improves the technique practiced by old Ben. When you’re agonizing over a decision, it can help you discover which choice would really be best.

How to Decide Between Two or More Attractive Possibilities

Every decision has its advantages and disadvantages. The trick is to figure out which choice will give you more of the former and less of the latter. A typical pro and con chart can be too vague. This is where a decision “balance sheet” comes in. If you want to get really fancy, philosophers who study decision making (yes, there is such a thing) call it a “multi-attribute optimization chart.” Get out a sheet of paper, gents, you’re about to become The Decider.

1. Make your columns. You need two columns. Label the first column “Element” and the second column “Importance Factor.” Next to those two columns, create as many columns as you have possible choices. Label these columns with the names of your choices. For example, “Job in Seattle” and “Job in Phoenix.”

2. List the important elements of your decision. In your “Element” column, list all the major elements that influence your decision. For example, if you’re trying to decide between jobs, you would list things like location, pay, benefits, job security, work hours, enjoyment, etc.

3. List the importance factor of each element. In your “Importance Factor” column, assign each element a number from 1 to 10 according to how important that element is to you. For example, if the time your job will allow you to spend with your family is very important to you, give that element a 9. If being close to your family isn’t as important to you, then give it something like a 4. Put down the first number that comes to you; don’t overthink it.

4. Grade the choices in relation to each element. You’re now going to assign a number from 1 to 10 in relation to how each choice measures up to the elements you have listed. For example, if the job in Seattle offers an excellent health insurance plan, you would give it a 9. If the job in Phoenix would sometimes have you working 60-hour weeks, then you would give it something like a 5 for “work hours.” Again, don’t think too much about it; just put down the first number that comes to your mind. These numbers go on the left side of your choice columns. Make sure you leave room on the right side of the column for another number.

5. Multiply the importance factor by the grades for each choice. For example, if you gave the importance of the pay element a 8, and you gave the Job in Seattle a 7 for that job’s potential salary, you would take 8X7 and would come out with 56. This number goes on the right of your choice column.

6. Add up the totals. Once you have multiplied all of your importance factors by your choice grades, add all those numbers up to get a total. Which choice has the highest number of points? That’s probably the best choice for you.

These directions may make it sound more complicated than it really is. It’s actually quite simple once you see an example of a chart. Here is an example chart of choosing between two different jobs. Let’s say that both jobs seem attractive, but you want to figure out which would be the best job for you and your way of life. Here’s how you could figure out which job to take:

The pros and cons of being self-critical (and how to strike a balance)

After multiplying the importance factor by our choice grades, and then adding those totals up, we’re left with the Seattle Job scoring 428 and the Phoenix Job scoring a 468. Looks like you’re moving to Phoenix! Of course, there is a possibility that you come up with some false positives doing this exercise. Even though you try not to be biased, there’s a tendency to give the choice you really want higher scores, even if it really doesn’t warrant those scores. Despite that small drawback, multi-attribute choice optimization does a pretty good job of helping you come to a choice (after all, if you’re inflating the scores of one of your choices, then deep down you probably already know which one you want!). It forces you to really think about all the factors going into your decision. Kate and I have used it several times when making big choices, and it has always proved helpful. Go ahead and give it try with the sample card below. Remember you can download a PDF with a couple of these worksheets ready for you to use. Enjoy!

The pros and cons of being self-critical (and how to strike a balance)Post inspired by the 1963 Doubleday Personal Success Program

Listen to our podcast on using mental models to make better decisions:

Overview/Background

California has led the charge on a new concept of dealing with repeat offenders–the Three Strikes Law. Under this law, a person who is convicted of three felonies is given a mandatory 25-to-life sentence. A felony is defined as any crime punishable by 1 year or more in prison.

The law has been criticized for applying a one-size-fits-all sentence to repeat offenders. The often noted example is one young man who received the sentence after stealing a pizza. However, advocates of the law quote the large number of repeat offenders that always seem to slip through the justice system without the three-strikes law in force.

  • It provides a fix for a flawed justice system so that repeat offenders stay in prison. To many crime victims, the U.S. judicial system has become somewhat of a joke. Evidentiary exception rules, case backlogs, liberal sentences, plea bargaining, and a protect-the-criminal-rather-than-the-victim mentality has far too often let criminals slip through the cracks. Most of the crime nowadays is committed by repeat offenders. The three strikes law is a way to ensure justice is done even if the system otherwise fails miserably.

  • The law provides a very effective deterrent after the 2nd conviction. Arguments always arise over what is the best deterrent. Is there a better deterrent than the knowledge you will definitely go to jail for at least 25 years if convicted again? This will not only discourage the more serious crime such as rape and armed robbery, it will discourage the more minor offenses of things like burglary. It’s not like this law is secret or unknown to the criminals.

    The media distorts the true effectiveness of the law by showing trivial cases (like someone stealing pizza) rather than the usual perpetrators. The liberal media obviously has an agenda to push when it portrays poor, helpless felons in jail for the rest of their lives for stealing videos or pizza, or committing some other “harmless” crime. Unfortunately, the stories don’t reflect the reality of repeat offender data. With thousands of cases, you’re always bound to find exceptions like these. However, the law punishes rapists, armed robbers, extortionists, organized criminals, and more. An objective media portrayal would show the 3 victims of the three-strike criminal and the impact on them.

    The law applies to 3 convictions, not 3 crimes (i.e. criminals may get away with several incidents). We all know that in the real world criminals get away with many crimes. The police may not have any clue who committed the crime, the police may not have near enough evidence to prosecute, and the criminal may simply slip through the system with the aid of a slick lawyer. It’s a major judicial accomplishment to get

    one conviction. Thus, when the three-strikes law is applied, it is often applied to a criminal who has committed far more than 3 crimes.

  • The law destroys the flexibility of the courts and the judge. Each criminal offender is different. Each set of crimes is different. The specific reason we have judges, juries, and lawyers is that each situation deserves a fair analysis and punishment. A one-size-fits-all system of judgment destroys the flexibility.

  • It is unjust in certain conditions (victimless crimes, young criminals, etc.). There are always going to be cases like the stealing videos or pizza that are unjustly subjected to the three-strikes law. You may have an 18-year old who commits three crimes before he’s mature enough to make quality decisions. You have 2-time convicted felons who may have been leading decent, upstanding lives being at the wrong place at the wrong time. You may have a sequence of lighter crimes such as burglary, breaking & entering, or stealing a car. Certainly committing these crimes are wrong and deserve punishment; however, is 25 years to life a reasonable punishment (in addition to whatever they were sentenced for the first 2 crimes)?

    Criminals often plea bargain their first two convictions. Plea bargains have become the overwhelming choice of prosecutors nowadays. The backlog of cases and high cost of a trial forces the state to use these. Defense attorneys (especially court-appointed ones) overwhelmingly talk their clients into these plea bargains, whether or not they suspect their client is guilty. However, whether a plea bargain is used or a full-blown trial is used, it still goes down on the client’s record as a conviction. Offenders may not have agreed to the plea bargains knowing they may one day be subject to the three-strikes law.

    It is a violation of the 8th Amendment to the Constitution. The 8th Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the use of “cruel or unjust punishment” by the state. Many would argue that certain clients’ prosecution under the law violates the amendment. If just one case violates the amendment, the law is unconstitutional and should be overturned.

    An arrest of someone with two convictions almost guarantees the cost and time of a trial. If a 2-time convicted felon is once again arrested, it’s pretty much guaranteed that he will push for a trial. If he’s guaranteed a 25-to-life sentence, what’s the point of pleading guilty? It doesn’t matter how many witnesses or how much physical evidence is available, the defendant will likely seek a trial. This adds more time and expense to an already overburdened court system.

    The law adds more criminals to an already crowded and expensive prison system. It is expensive to keep a person in jail for life. Prisons are overflowing from the massive growth in their populations. Adding more prisoners (who may not even deserve to be there) to this system just makes matters worse.

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    Is anything missing? Is any of the material inaccurate? Please let me know.
    Written by: Joe Messerli
    Page Last Updated: 01/07/2012

    Striking the perfect balance between too strict and too lenient, authoritative parents enjoy kids who are well rounded, feel respected and valued, and possess good behavior too. Learn the pros and cons of authoritative parenting.

    Authoritative parents are the ones who somehow manage to strike a perfect balance between disciplinarian and pushover. They’re warm and kind to their kids; they respect their personhood and individuality, and parent with an end goal of producing well-rounded, independent, happy people who will be positive additions to society.

    Sound like you? Read on to understand all the pros—and the few cons—of this parenting style.

    • RELATED: Why the Best Parenting Style Isn’t One Style at All, But Many

    What is Authoritative Parenting?

    If authoritarian parents are hyper-focused on rules, and permissive parents tend to eschew rules altogether, authoritative parents use rules to empower their children to make the right choices.

    “They acknowledge the importance of setting limits and boundaries, but are not as strict as authoritarian parents,” says Jeff Nalin, an award-winning licensed clinical psychologist and founder of Paradigm Treatment Centers. “They encourage their children to express themselves and contribute to problem-solving, but they don’t provide excessive rules or unrealistic expectations.”

    • RELATED: How the Snowplow Parenting Trend Affects Kids

    Authoritative Parent Traits:

    • Give their kids the opportunity to discuss household rules regularly
    • Prefer to empower their kids, rather than intimidate or befriend them
    • Place a high importance on fairness and respect
    • Emphasize well-roundedness in their children
    • Allow their kids to fail, but provide support and guidance if asked

    Pros of Authoritative Parenting

    When it comes to authoritative parenting, it’s pretty much all good news! Study after study has shown that this type of positive discipline has shown to produce resilient, confident, respectful, and happy children. Below, Nalin outlines some of the biggest pros of authoritative parenting.

    • Accountability. Children who are raised by authoritative parents understand that they are ultimately responsible for the choices they make, which empowers them to make good decisions. These children don’t usually cave in to peer pressure.
    • Respect. Children whose parents show them respect by allowing them certain freedoms are more likely to respect others. They often thrive in social settings and get along well with teachers and peers.
    • Resiliency. Children of authoritative parents are allowed to fail and learn from their mistakes. They build resilience, which is the ability to overcome and bounce back from life’s challenges and traumas. This also increases self-esteem and confidence.
    • Leadership. Because of their ability to make their own decisions, these children have the kind of confidence and savvy that allows them to take on leadership roles.
    • Studious. Authoritative parents support their children. Whether it’s weekly homework or a special project, they make themselves available and provide all the necessary tools for their children’s success in school. But they won’t do it for them.

    Cons of Authoritative Parenting

    With authoritative parenting being the most celebrated parenting type among psychologists all over the world, it’s difficult to find many drawbacks. Often in life, finding a balance between two alternatives is the best solution to a problem, and that’s certainly the case here. But that doesn’t mean that everything will be smooth sailing as long as you practice authoritative parenting.

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    As they grow, kids go through normal phases of rebellion, anger and apathy. These phases may be particularly difficult for authoritative parents, who naturally have high expectations of their children, and have tried hard to raise their kids the best way possible. Here, patience is the key to success, says Nalin.

    “Authoritative parenting can be more difficult and lengthy to implement because it requires a delicate balance of discipline and freedom. Parents can undergo a few periods of trial and error before they find the strategies that work best for them and their children. It’s important to recognize that rebellion is a natural part of childhood. Parents should continue to stay firm and outline the consequences of poor behavior,” he says.