March 31, 2011
China, corporations, Defense Spending, globalization, international, Manufacturing Jobs, news, Pax Americana, United States, Yuan
Beijing has announced increased defense spending by 12.7%, from 532.1 billion Yuan to 601.1 billion Yuan. This expenditure is valued at roughly $91.5 billion dollars, or roughly 7.2% of their declared national spending in 2011, in the near future many more billions of dollars will be allocated into defense spending. Most analysts agree that, in addition to the declared spending there are billions of undeclared Yuan being secretly spent by the Chinese government.
Chinese military spending is now only outpaced by the runaway American defense budget. Each year larger and larger Chinese contracts are being given; American defense contractors are beginning to look for sales overseas rather than here at home. That is something that needs to be prevented to protect the vulnerable American economy.
Why is this Globalization Happening?
As China militarizes the concentrations of weapons and weapon distributors will be exported to Asia. China has already consumed many industries; most manufacturing products come from China. This is a result of globalization, a s costs rose for American corporations business leaders were forced to look for economical alternatives. They discovered that assembly line jobs could be sent anywhere in the world, where they would fulfill the same quotes at a fraction of the price. Production jobs went overseas.
Now defense contractors appear to be the next to make the push west. Currently the United States is the world’s leading producer and distributor of weapons. Without the staples of guns and ammunition the domestic American economy would disintegrate in a matter of days. It is in the best interests of the America people to deal with this problem before another critical market goes over seas.
How will Defense Spending Affect the United States?
The America economy will indirectly affect the average American in countless minor ways, hindering the average man’s lifestyle. First, everyone will see a steady rise in the cost of all items. As the economy of the United States steadily weakens the dollar does as well, causing higher levels of encumbering inflation. This results in all products costing more, since money is worth less. Second, America will be slowly pushed out as the leading international nation in foreign affairs. Without the comparative muscle, many nations will abandon the United States’ protective military umbrella, favoring the Chinese sphere of influence.
America will no longer be the dominant global superpower. These long term changes will inevitably happen if the economic conditions continue along expected courses. Pax American is dwindling and will die unless decisive, innovative government action is taken.
March 27, 2011
Betty Dukes, class action lawsuit, corporations, discrimination, Dukes vs. Wal-Mart, Gilded Age, progressivism, Second Gilded Age, Second Progressivism Movement, Sexism, Supreme Court, Wal-mart
Wal-mart vs. Dukes, a class action lawsuit 11 years in the making, is finally going to be resolved. It began when a fifty four year old department store worker Betty Dukes, who had glowing performance reviews during her six years of work, was repeatedly denied training that would allow her to advance to a better paying position. She made further accusations that Wal-mart pays women less and promotes men faster, regardless of talent. She filed a lawsuit against Wal-mart; since then it has snowballed into the largest case in history, representing 1.6 million women from across North America.
How has Dukes vs. Wal-Mart Evolved?
The combined force of several offices of lawyers Wal-Mart has constructed a near impenetrable defense for its alleged sexist employment policies that discriminate against women. The best and brightest worker’s advocates have aligned with Dukes, determined to give every worker equal opportunity in the workplace. On March 29, 2011, an oral debate will take place before the Supreme Court; a verdict will be reached and this conflict will be resolved. Regardless of how the proceedings go the macroeconomics of America will be altered.
What Will Happen if Dukes Wins?
If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Dukes it will led to several more years of legal conflict in order to resolve an agreeable resolution. Inevitably, there will be more sweeping class action that will make it possible for all minorities to have an equal opportunity in all jobs. This would result in more progressivism in the workplace, liberating and empowering the working class.
What Will Happen If Wal-Mart Wins?
If Wal-Mart wins then the influence of class action lawsuits will suffer dramatically in scope and variety. It will prevent other minorities in the workplace using lawsuits to settle disputes with the corporations. This possible collapse of workers’ rights would push America deeper into its Second Gilded Age.
Should Dukes vs. Wal-mart Even Need to be Debated?
The economy will be subtly relined due to this landmark decision; however it has yet to be seen if it will become better or worse, however this never should have needed to have gone to the Supreme Court in the first place. Discrimination of any variety is to be despised; upon Dukes being able to prove she was discriminated against she should have been reimbursed, given the training, and received her rightful promotion.
It was decided earlier in the proceedings that she was discriminated against; however, Wal-mart is denying that it discriminates against women on a large scale. Dukes has information to the contrary. This sexism is dumbfounding in modern America, hopefully it will not last much longer. Recently the Supreme Court has been favoring the people over the corporations, perhaps they will continue to do so.
March 24, 2011
Bailout, competiveness pact, Debt, Euro, European Union, Germany, Jose Socrates, Macroeconomics, news, Portugal, Spain, United States
Today, a prime minister resigned. He was Jose Socrates of Portugal; he had been valiantly fighting for austerity measures that would have saved Portugal from seeking bailout. He was denied by the Portuguese Parliament, in reaction he promptly resigned. Now Portugal is in political gridlock as a new government is established. With the failure of the austerity measures Portugal prepares to take on 140 billion dollars of bailout in the coming months. The people are outraged and disheartened that their government has given them this economic headache for years to come. Surprisingly, the fallout of the demise of Portugal had little impact on the European financial systems. The Euro has continued to maintain a value above $1.40 dollars. Spanish bonds, of which 100 billion are invested in Portugal, similarly were unaffected. Europe will soldier on despite another country being gripped by recession. However, many analysts agree unless policies are revised the European Union will suffer future crippling disaster across multiple nations.
Europe is an interdependent set of countries, when one is harmed they are negatively effected. The damage from Portugal was minimal, however if larger countries fail the effects could be catastrophic. Despite the many statistics that have determined that lower the taxes in times of recession actually hurts the economy, the industrial powerhouse Germany continues to push for sweeping, aggressive tax cuts which they call their “competiveness pact”. These were the same tax cuts that played crucial roles in the painful recessions in Greece, Belgium, Italy, and Ireland. This directly relates to macroeconomics; over the next several months we will see several more minor countries, possibly such as Estonia or Latvia, declare a desperate need for bailout as well. Additional millions will become unemployed, some counties like Spain already have one out of every five workers being unemployed. Europe will continue to be economic fertile as long as one of the major nations, France, Germany, or Britain, do not collapse. There is no reason to believe any will at this current date. There is a rocky road for Europe to climb, but they will pull through.
This financial conundrum that has enveloped Portugal is exasperating. They are one of the euro-zone’s poorest countries, however at the same time they have no large unnecessary expenses. They are comparable to America, who is one of the world’s largest countries economically but runs at a ten percent financial deficit. In both cases harsh actions need to be taken to counteract the gathering storm of debt. In Portugal they must take this dose of bailout and them strive to run a debt free government. America, with nearing 15 trillion dollars in debt, has the same issue on a much larger scale. A healthy government should only have debt if there is a direct threat to the continued survival of the nation, such as a painful recession or war. Portugal and America do not have healthy economies so they are both destined for an economic collapse. The only hope is that policy makers take action against the tsunami of debt before it annihilates their countries.
March 23, 2011
corporations, deficit, disaster, foreign, Industrial, Japan, news, Toyota, Trade, United States
Factories from California to Michigan have been ordered to prepare for shutdown. As vital car parts that originate in Japan shrink in numbers new ones have yet to arrive from Japan. The Japanese tsunami killed thousands of civilians, triggered partial meltdowns at several nuclear reactors, and ravaged miles of Japan. [Please Help the Japanese People Recover, Donate Here Anytime] Factories have been crippled in the island nation and the ports have been frozen except for food and medical supplies. Car parts do not meet these strict requisites. New parts will not be shipping soon, which has led to a stagnation of the assembly lines.
This has led to many factories having reduced production, however until the now 25,000 workers that work at the 13 plants have not been laid off, although they may be in the near future. Furthermore, Toyota has promised to continue paying them regardless of the status of the plants and intends to employ them in community related activities, such as grass-roots marketing and social service.
Despite their token humanitarian efforts Toyota will be drastically set back by this tsunami. While Toyota has recently dominated the upper tiers of the car market this shut down could easily allow other car companies, such as Ford or Volkswagen, to take control of swathes of American consumers. The types of cars that everyone is driving will be slightly altered because of this tsunami, there will be many fewer Toyota’s and many more of everything else.
This directly relates to macroeconomics; the consumer price index of will be altered from consuming more Asian cars to more American and European cars. This may not seem like a large difference, but it will translate into millions, if not billions, of American dollars ending up in different hands. The contents of the average America’s financial basket will could change up to several hundred dollars. Some of those funds will be used to help rebuild the decaying American car companies. This may add thousands of jobs here in America, more if the European or Korean car companies set up new factories to replace the closed Toyota manufactures.
This illustrates just how interconnected the whole world is. An earthquake in Japan triggers a long and painful domino effect that has recently resulted in 25,000 American workers receiving vacation with pay, while maintaining the possibility that they might lose their jobs. Economically this is terrible in the short-term, but healthy for the American economy in the long-term. It harms the American economy to allow foreign companies to invade our shores and steal the profits, millions of irretrievable dollars are being sent overseas.
This dangerous trend is one of the key reasons why Americans have to work harder today to maintain the same standard of living than they did forty years ago. Back then they were chiefly working for American profits, which trickled back down into the community. Today that money continues to trickle down, in China, Japan, and India. This tsunami may have brought a small portion of America’s jobs back to America.
March 15, 2011
Belarus, California, Canada, European Union, France, Germany, Japan, Merkel, Nuclear, Nuclear Powder Keg, obama, Protests, tsunami, United States
The international consequences of the Nuclear Powder Keg that threatens Japan have spanned the globe, protests have cropped up around the world as all governments scrutinize their own nuclear reactors. Many of these demonstrations numbered in the tens of thousands as petulant environmentalists and myopic citizens called for a swift end to the nuclear power, ignoring that without nuclear power the world would grow dark.
Where are the Protests?
Berlin, Germany and Stuttgart, Germany have the largest demonstrations with 100,000 protesters.
Germany has the second largest concentrations of nuclear power plants in Europe with 17 aging reactors. Today, protesters at Stuttgart formed a 45 kilometer chain to call attention to failings at Germany’s oldest reactors. Craving to demonstrators demands demands the German government has ordered the nuclear power company Merkel to shut down 7 of the oldest reactors for the next three months. Many celebrate this landmark decision, however skeptics are wondering where supplement power will come from. By closing those seven plants over three percent of German power will need to be bought from surrounding countries or made in wasteful auxiliary generators.
Meanwhile major protests rocked France, a country that runs on over 80% nuclear power. French officials remain unrelenting defenders of French nuclear power, with an impeccable record of having no major or minor meltdowns. In addition they are joining all European Union nations is stress testing their nuclear reactors.
American anti-nuclear protests were centered in California, where protesters fear radiation from Japan infecting American shores and the potential of meltdowns at California’s two aging reactors. Activists call for a swift and immediate closer of the power plants, favoring environmentally friendly wind and solar power sources. Obama has announced his protection of nuclear power in the United States, stating that America’s reactors are safe from all common natural disasters. Demonstrators ignored his statements and continue to protest in California and in every major city in the United States.
What will This Mean For Nuclear Power?
The nuclear industry has not been negatively impacted by the Japanese disaster.
Construction of new nuclear reactors has continued despite the wave of protesters calling for reevaluation of power options. Canada has decided to continue with a nuclear reactor in Vancouver. Russia and Belarus have just announced signing a nine billion dollar deal that will lead to construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus, adding their first nuclear reactor to supplement traditional sources. It is collectively agreed that the Japanese Nuclear Powder Keg is a perfect example the danger of nuclear powers; in addition many claim that since there has not been a full meltdown that humanity is successfully defeated the worst nature can dish out.
Besides, the tsunamis of this magnitude occurs only once every thousand years.
Is Nuclear Power Good or Bad (or Necessary)?
Fossil fuels are running dry while wind, solar, and hydrogen cannot support the demand; Nuclear power is necessary for the modern world. 14% of all power produced in the world is produced by nuclear reactors. In addition, the most dangerous sources of power continue to be coal and oil; hundreds of workers die each year in explosions and collapses. There has only been one major nuclear disaster in history, Chernobyl, a disaster that could have been easily prevented or mitigated. The only problem in this tragic disaster was human failings.
In order to progress into the future humanity will need nuclear power, there are no reliable, efficient, or healthy alternatives. The nuclear Renaissance will soldier on throughout the world, simply because there is no other choice. This means the nuclear industry will continue to flourish, leading to a more prosperous international economy with reduced energy dependence.
March 8, 2011
Deep Thought, Spotlight
Brazil, Chile, China, crime, Croatia, death, Domestic Abuse, foreign, India, international, International Center for Research of Women, Mexico, Rwanda, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Survey
India, a nation of engineers and doctors is on the forefront of every major technological innovation, severely lacks in fulfilling basic liberties concerns such as gender equality. 24% of Indian men have sexually abused their wives. One out five have inflicted forced sex on their wives. 60% believe to violently discipline women is just and morally correct. These rates are twenty to thirty times higher than most of the other surveyed countries. This breach of sexism will inevitably stunt India’s economic and political growth and demote its international status if it has not already corrupted the culture beyond repair.
What were the Specific Results of the Survey?
Several other devolving countries were surveyed; Croatia, Chile, China, Mexico, Rwanda, and Brazil. Croatia was the most progressive country, 82% of Croatians support gender equitability between men and women. China, Mexico, and Brazil had levels surpassing 50% of gender equitability while Rwanda reported only 30% of men treated women as equals.
The positive trends have also emerged from the several thousand men and women they surveyed across India. Their rates of violent crimes, outside the home, such as robbery or physical fights were some of the lowest in developing countries. Meanwhile Croatia and Mexico reported significant rates of violent crimes, each roughly around 20%. However, these nations are the battlegrounds of fierce drug wars and bitter public protests fighting large scale corruption. These nations inflated violent crime rates are acts of self defense and desperation; while the sexually depraved acts of the Indian husbands are that of lust influenced by a sexist culture.
Why Does This Happen?
The culture of India has never been favorable to women. Historically, throughout rural India it is sociably acceptable that men who are dissatisfied with their wives set them on fire; this is a genocidal custom the Indian government has been unable to halt. In some regions of India women are viewed as inferior creatures who are only useful for sex and taking care of the household. In politics, despite one out of every three positions being designated only for female candidates the women who are elected are figureheads representing their male husbands or family heads. (9) Women are generally seen as subservient, it is not surprising when it comes to sex these overall cultural trends dictate the terms of the abusive engagements.
Who Published This Survey?
The International Center for Research of Women published these awe-bringing findings. There chief goals are to crate gender equality across the world and have done notable work in Africa and Southeastern Asia. They also spread AIDS awareness to developing nations, set up food drives to feed starving women, and support abused women wherever they are found. Their results here in India were most likely first hypothesized then bitterly actualized.
How will this Abusive Trend Affect India?
While other nations retreated from the credit tsunami during the 2008 recession India’s middle class stood firm and held back the tide. Their economy suffered only a slight blip and continues to grow at a rate of roughly 8% per year and is only second in growing GDP to the Chinese. With a well educated middle class erecting a stable economy in India while they are simultaneously pursuing international interests its economic stability is sound, allowing men across India to pursue careers in all walks of life.
While women are rarely officially forbidden they are continually persecuted, they are outnumbered by men in every employment field and are kept in the extreme minority.
Without major social reform India will not be able to continue this aggressive economic trend. Compared to China, who has a similar population, India will only be able to staff roughly half the jobs that their gender equitable counterpart will be able to because of cultural sexism. China pushes there remaining girls towards success, while the Indian girls are hidden from having an education. India will continue to grow rapidly as long prospecting employees remains high. Once they run out of applicants India’s economy will stagnate and enter a recession, while the gender equal countries such as China will continue to bloom.
It pays to treat your wife well.
March 7, 2011
Afghanistan, CIA, Espionage Act, FBI, Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, PATRIOT Act, World War One
The Bill of Rights had never been compromised so deliberate and harshly before in American history; the PATRIOT Act continues to persist despite the erosion of grounds for such a controversial set of laws. This act was used during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars to cordon off terrorism in America. However, it inadvertently threatens the civil liberties of every immigrant and every individual who can be construed as unpatriotic.
What was the Justification for the PATRIOT Act?
This act was a reaction to the tragedy of September 11, 2001 which stole several thousand American lives. Terrorism needed to be combated domestically; the PATRIOT Act was born. It specifically did:
-allowed government to monitor all areas of communication without proper justification
-hold illegal aliens indefinently
-launched probes domestically and internationally into Islam activities
Since the tragedy of September 11, 2001 there have been no major organized terrorist attacks on American soil. The PATRIOT Act was effective at the expense of the right to protest effectively and the right of underprivileged foreigners to live the American dream.
How has the PATRIOT Act been abused?
Muslims have been persecuted passively across America. Some have had their mosques illegally bugged be rouge FBI agents. Many foreigners, especially Mexicans, have been target and abused under the pretense of patriotism. Entrapment is still a policy used by the FBI and CIA to remove uncooperative individuals that could upset their plans. There was also the illegal holding of foreigners without justification or trial. They were held in Guantanamo Bay.
What was the Precedent to the PATRIOT Act?
The United States was a war with Germany, World War One had begun. Many questioned this rash move; some had relatives fighting with the central powers, some were pacifists, and there were hundreds of reasons why individuals denounced the war. To combat these outcries Wilson passed the Espionage and Sedition Acts; essentially, these acts made it illegal to be unpatriotic. Those who stood for radical opinions were either locked up by police officers are terrorized by renegade vigilantes. Free speech was sacrificed because Wilson determined it was more important to have a united home front in than to protect American rights.
Had these policies not been enacted America doubtlessly would have fractured along these ideological and nationalistic lines as immigrants patriotically supported their separate homelands. In the defense of this large scale suppression it kept America united and mitigated losses on the western front. There were more patriotic, albeit patriotically brainwashed, soldiers on the front line and few if any needed to be recalled to deal with strife on the home front.
How should America Act when concerning the PATRIOT Act?
Americans should support their country and war and peacefully protest for liberties in times of peace. The highest priority must first be given to life; those who are risking their lives to defend the United States should be given the highest priority. Liberties are second most important concern; without such unalienable rights as the right to bear arms or the right to speak your mind no American will be able even defend their own lives. The third highest priority is happiness; without joy life is hollow. Holding these three standards creates a blueprint for every individual to live their lives by their own terms, and happily to for that matter.