In my other Econ class, our professor had us read chapter 1 of “Why Nations Fail” By Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. The very beginning of it was very interesting so I thought I would share it with you. Acemoglu compared two citites: Nogales, AZ in the US and Nogales, Sonora in Mexico. There is just a border between these cities. They used to be the same city until 1853 when the US border was extended. So, since these cities are incredibly close and even used to be the same city, they should have very similar living standards, right? Wrong. They do enjoy the same food, music, and culture (kind of). But the living standards are very very different. In Nogales, AZ the aaverage income is about $30,000, most of the residents are over 65 and receive medicare benefits, and most everyone there have high school diplomas. They have sewage system, public health, and law and order that quite free from corruption. However, just south of them in Nogales, Sonora in Mexico life is very different. The average income is much lower, around $10,000. Adults don’t have diplomas and teens aren’t even in school. The residents don’t live as long due to poor public health conditions. Law and order is very poor and opening a business is quite risky because of this. The goverenment is not nearly as free from corruption as we are here since democracy is a rather new concept to them.
Often times we talk about how other countries across seas live very different lives than us, like in China, Africa, or the middle east. Sometimes, though, we don’t realize how different life is just by crossing one foot over the border into our neighboring countries.
I read in the unit 3 blog posts about how Japan wasn’t growing enough and I thought it was pretty interesting since we just discussed this in one of my other econ courses a few weeks ago. We looked at this chart showing their population and how it is aging. The blue and pink areas show population in 1990 and the black outline shows the population now. As you can see, it starts to get very wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. This trend is expected to continue and worsen in the future. The younger population just isn’t reproducing. Once all the older people retire, they will not have enough younger people working in the economy to sustain a good lifestyle for the elderly. Clearly, this will be a serious problem over the next 20 years. The bottom graph show how quickly the population will be declining.
I used a really interesting economic freedom index in an international management class that I took last semester at SVSU that I wanted to share with you. It’s an interactive heat map used to compare countries based on different freedoms such as trade freedom, freedom from corruption, labor freedom, and many more. It also shows an overall economic freedom score. All these different ratings are based on a 100 point scale and are color coded based on how high or low their rating is. You can filter by each type of rating or by the overall score. You can look at individual countries, certain parts of the world, or the whole world. I’ve used this as resource quite a bit in other classes and thought it might be useful to other students. Since Jim was showing a country comparison based on per capita GDP, I thought this was another interesting tool for comparing countries to one another for those interested in that kind of thing. Let me know what you all think of it please!
Here is the link: http://www.heritage.org/index/heatmap
I understand the socialism and communism are similar in that the government has their hands in everyone’s pockets and runs like…everything. So I get the overall idea I suppose, but I’m having a hard time understanding the difference between socialism and communism. Can someone please clarify?
Since I noticed in the readings that we soon would be talking about global sustainability, I thought I would share my thoughts on sustainability and what I’ve learned about it in other classes thus far. Sustainability involves meeting the needs of the present in a way that allows future generations to meet their needs as well. This is more than just going green. Sustainability is about helping the environment, while creating jobs, and still being profitable. Many companies are starting sustainable initiatives. For example, Dow Chemical will not work with any company that does not meet certain sustainability requirements. Hopefully, other companies will take after them in their initiatives. Personally, I feel that if companies do not adapt to doing sustainable business, then they won’t be around many years down the road.