Case Study: The Colonial Hegemony of Latin America

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Legitimacy, the recognized right to rule, was a primary force behind maintaining the hegemony of Latin America during the colonial era. A hegemony of the white male minority maintained the power through the systems of Catholicism, castes, and patriarchy throughout the region. Everyone either worked within the system, bettering their own lives at the expense of their native ideologies, or dissented and were dealt with by institutional coercion.  This is not to say there was a political elite ruling Latin America, rather there was a culture of conformity that shaped the regions to the benefit of the white male minority.

Simon Bolivar

Some fall in line, some question the legitimacy of an illegitimate state

The Catholic Church backed the legitimacy of the colonizers through its “religious authority”.  By converting the populations of Latin America to Catholicism it was culturally instilled that the Church, and the whites who ran it, were the true leaders.  Everything from the time of day, the names of towns, and the afterlife fell under the Church’s power.  This influence pushed the colored peoples of Latin America towards the hegemony.  Racial castes further supported this political development.

These castes broke people into groups based on the colors of their pedigree.  Those with more white in their blood had more privileges and prestige those with less white were worse off.  This placed a cultural imperative for families to pursue white relationships over others.  Putting the white families on a pedestal gave the hegemony even more influence.  One caveat to this situation is that exceptional families, with much wealth, could buy a white legal status if they were willing to pay for it.  While this undermined the color scheme of the castes it further enforced that white was best as colored people jumped for the legal title.

Another force backing the small white male leadership of the country was patriarchy.  This principle, instilled by the Church and economic forces, placed the father in the head of the family.  Women, especially curious and potentially intelligent women, were shut away.  Honor grew in importance as patriarchy grew in strength.  Duels were common, hindering transculturation especially among the upper classes by killing anyone not white or prestigious enough to marry “up.”

Coercion, political power stemmed from the use and threat of force, dealt with problems that the Church, the castes, and the patriarchy.  Nonconformists who threatened the framework of the Catholic and patriarchal state were silenced and in some cases physically confronted.  The Spanish Inquisition, using the “religious authority” of the Church silenced dissonance.  Controversial books were banned and indigenous religions and rituals were stamped out with accusations of witch craft.

The hegemony of white males ruled Latin America till the end of colonial rule.  The forces of legitimacy, The Church, castes, and patriarchy, influenced the ideals of society towards conformity.  Swift coercion disciplined dangerous renegades.  This study can better help us understand the duality of legitimacy and coercion in a sound, but not necessary moral, political system.  The legitimacy of power can create a political atmosphere which a specific group can benefit.  With this legitimacy that group can use coercion to eliminate threats to their political power.  As legitimacy strengthens, due to coercion of nonconformists, the reach of coercion lengths, as lessening dissonance strengthens the status quo.  I imagine both of these forces would be necessary for an authoritarian state, such as those in colonial Latin America to maintain control.

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Made in China (For Now): Manufacturing’s Slow Return to America, Case Study

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made in china

Made in China (for now)

Outsourcing is the bane of American manufacturing… except for in a little town in Michigan named Saginaw.  The great wrecks of the rest belt dot the town.  Meanwhile one Nexteer Automotive is adding jobs by the dozens.

Who is injecting money into the American economy?  If you were to follow the money trail your answer would be “China.”

In 2010 the national Chinese firm Aviation Industry Corporation bought the factory from General Motors.  The previous owners had been determined to sell the plant or demolish it.  The Chinese are determined to make a profit.  I believe the Chinese are correct in this case, otherwise they would not be investing in new machinery, technology, and above all workers at the same plant that General Motors had given up on.

The lynch pin in the success of the factory under its new leadership has been a stellar relationship with the factory’s union. Careful and respectful negotiations were made concerning wages.  Bloated union contracts were watered down; however, the terms were still generous for the plant’s union.  New employees are paid less than half of what they would have been paid ten years ago.  This matters little to the workers whom are just happy to be employed.  Over 600 hundred jobs have been added to the factory in the last two years.  More are on the way.

Many workers had apprehensions about the foreign acquisition of Nexteer Automotive.  Some worried the firm would be liquidated.  Others were concerned the experience and technological knowledge of the employees would be sponged from the plant and the factory itself would be leveled.  These fears have been unfounded.  Rather than taking away from the plant the Chinese have pledged to invest over 15 billion over the next couple of years.  Nexteer Automotive is quickly putting in cutting edge systems to secure the factory’s future.  The only criticism Aviation Industry Corporation has of Nexteer Automotive is the factory is not expanding fast enough.

While General Motors, the previous owner of the Nexteer Automotive, had seem only a money pit Aviation Industry Corporation found a gem.  The American worker is second to none; it is a proven fact that on average Americans work more diligently and with greater output than any other country in the world.  The Chinese are simply cashing in on this hard-won fact.  In addition, the highly developed infrastructure throughout American and the sunk costs of existing factories means that future developers will also invest in America.  We are the best and most economic choice. In virtually every industry American leads the way with a culture of intrepid determination, it is only right manufacturing is coming back to America.

Case Study: Super Power and Super-City: Part 3 (The Diverse Similarities Between The United States and Singapore)

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How Are The Finances of the United States and Singapore Similar?

Financially these two countries are interconnected in our globalized world.  Here are both countries GDP percentage growths for the last thirty years:

These countries are associated financially.  In 1982, 1991, 2001, and 2009 sharp canyons affect both lines of data.  Each gulf corresponds directly to a specific global recession.  The 1982 dip is backlash from the 1980’s energy crises.  The inflation epidemic of the early 1990’s caused the 1991 recession.  Popping of the internet bubble in 2001 caused a major dip in both countries.  Finally, fallout from the 2008 banking crises is seen in the 2008 and 2009 chasm.

Only in 1998 does Singapore act independently from the United States.  During this year Singapore was negatively influenced by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.  Despite being thousands of miles away from this regional problem there is a noticeable stun in America’s economic growth as well.  These several associated data points mean these countries are financially related.

Are Measurements of Human Capital Similar?

Human capital is an abstract term that attempts to quantify the collective value of the education and habits of a citizenship.  One good indicator of this is Internet usage; access to international data and technologies revolutionizes education at home, in schools, and in the workplace.  Below is a comparison between the United States and Singapore numbers of internet users.

The data is skewed left with a steady incremental increase every year until both counties.  At 2002 for the United States and 2004 for Singapore the data levels off and the numbers of new internet users decreases.  The United States pioneered the Internet, so they have more widely spread usage.  However, Singapore follows the United States timeline closely; during most years the numbers of internet users in Singapore is the same percentage of users the United States had two years prior.  Here is the Internet usages growth compared in relation to each other at this staggered relation:

In this examination the positive values represent when Americans gained more internet users than the Singaporean and the negative values represent when the Singaporeans gained more users than the Americans.  The same internet bubble that exploded in the GDP growth percentages can be seen building in both countries.  Between 1998 and 1999 the Americans lose smaller and smaller incriminates as they rapidly proliferate the first internet startups.  Following two years behind, in 2000 and 2001, Singapore establishes record numbers of internet users as the internet bubble balloons over Eastern Asia.  These statistics are all interconnected just as the countries are.

What Lessons can America take from the Singapore?

The primary lesson from this analysis is that we are all connected.  When America triggered a recession by bankrupting Lehmean Brothers in 2008 it triggered a recession that terrorized Singapore.  Likewise, when the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis rocked Singapore America was also negatively affected.  However, this relationship works both ways.  The Internet has brought a new age of prosperity to America and Singapore.  Perhaps their architecture techniques will return to America and allow us to better utilize our own space.  As the world grows more globalized the altruistic options only proliferate.

Thank you for Reading Part 3 of our Case Study of the populstions  Singapore and the United States: Please Read Part 1 and Part 2 for the full perspective.

Sources

“Inflation, Consumer Prices (annual %) | Data | Table.” Data | The World Bank. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/FP.CPI.TOTL.ZG&gt;.

“List of Recessions in the United States.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recessions_in_the_United_States&gt;. 

Case Study: Super Power and Super-City: Part 2 (The Many Schisms Between The United States and Singapore)

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Welcome to Part 2 of our three part exploration of Singapore and the United States; Part 1 is available and Part 3 is en route.

How Are Urbanization Types In The United States and Singapore Different?

The type of urbanization in the two countries is radically different.  The ratio between urban and rural populations changes between countries.

The United States has 17.1% of its population in rural areas and 82.29% of its population in urban areas.  All of Singapore is urbanized.  In comparison to the United States Singapore’s total land area seems little more than rounding error.

In addition the average space that each per individual is drastically different.  In the United States there is an average 29471 square meters of land per citizen.  In Singpore, there are only 138 square meters per resident in the country.

How Does Land Use Affect Consumer Baskets?

The differences in the nations affect the local economics of each country.  The United States and Singapore have different needs because of their different composition of their respective consumer baskets.

The largest difference is housing.  Singapore residents cram into massive apartment buildings.  In America there is a great diversity of homes.  Americans live in everything from apartments in the inner cities, condos in developments, suburban homes with spacious yards, farms with acres of crops, and isolated cabins.  This greater, more inefficient range, of housing coupled with the American value of owning a home means Americans pay more for housing.  Meanwhile, Singaporean residents can spend their extra funds on more food and beverages, health, and recreation.

Part 1, the exploration of the dissimilar populations of the United States and Singapore, is available.

Part 3 is available.: We explore the similarites between Singapore and the United States in our interconnected world.

Sourcing

FAOSTAT. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://faostat.fao.org/site/666/default.aspx&gt;. 

“Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U. S. City Average, by Expenditure Category and Commodity and Service Group.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://bls.gov/news.release/cpi.t01.htm&gt;.

 Singapore Government Statistics. Web. 31 Oct. 2011 <http://www.singstat.gov.sg/news/news/cpifeb2011.pdf>

 “Owning a House Still a ‘core Value,’ May Survey Suggests | Hernando Today.” Hernando Today | Hernando Today. Web. 31 Oct. 2011.

<http://www2.hernandotoday.com/business/business/2011/jul/02/HANEWSO5-owning-a-house-still-a-core-value-may-sur-ar-241296/&gt;. 

Case Study: Super Power and Super-City: Part 1 (The Zeitgeists and Populations of The United States and Singapore)

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SIngapore
Every country is unique.  For example the United States is a titan in the world markets, dominates the global economy, and plays a massive role in international policy.  Meanwhile, the microscopic Singapore is a tiny mosquito buzzing around the elephant United States; its has its own agenda and it’s own unique traits.  These two nations have radical differences in aspects of their population, domestic economies, and land usage while sharing stunning similarities in the fields of industry growth and human capital strengthening; the United States and Singapore prove how despite nations being culturally different that they share an socioeconomic fate.

What is the Population’s Dynamic in the United States?

The United States’s population is appears uniform until a closer look is taken.  Generally, the country produces a uniform citizenship at roughly 20 million citizens for every lustrum.  After the 60 years old benchmark the amounts of citizens is skewed right with not even a million above 90 years of age due to human life constraints.  In total there are roughly 309 million Americans.

American population is heavily marked by its history.  There are two notable bulges in the population, between the ages of 45 and 59 and between 15 and 29.  These differentiations are the baby boomers and their offspring.  Soldiers returning from World War Two founded large families and kicked off a population boom on an unprecedented scale.  The core of the veteran’s children were born between 1950 and 1965.   These children are in the 45-59 year of age in the chart.  The children of the baby boomers are born between 1981 and 1995.  They comprise of the younger age mean between the ages of 15 and 29.  It is little surprise that in the United States that the median age of births is roughly 30.5 in the United States, which is also the mean age difference between these two generations.

What is the Population’s Dynamic of Singapore?

Singapore is a different story than the United States.  Her uneven population growth grows a mode between 20 and 29.  The data is most heavily skewed right.  There is also a small skew to the left for the younger generations.  In total there are roughly 4.84 million people.

Singapore’s population growth was swollen by the country’s conflicting population control polices.  As the Singaporean baby boomers, following World War Two, filled up the country during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  The government feared overpopulation of the small city state.  Following the Family Planning and Population Board Act of 1965 measures were taken to drastically reduced population growth.  Easy access to abortions, government funded voluntary sterilizations, and Orwellian slogans of “Stop at Two” filled the culture.  The effects of these measures can be seen in the relatively low populations between those aged 30 and 45.

By the early 1980’s new leadership feared the anti baby measures had been too effective.  Contradicting legislation was enacted.  Educated mother were encouraged with cash subsidies to have a third child.  For those who wanted to get abortion stringent guidelines and compulsory counseling.  The late 1980’s measures culminated with the slogan “Have Three or More (if you can afford it)3 in 1986.  This year rests directly between the populations aged 20 and 29, currently the years with the highest populations for Singaporean males and females.

Parts 2 is available: We explore the differences between the urbanizations, consumer baskets, and effects of these differences of these these polar extremes.

Part 3 is available.: We explore the similarites between Singapore and the United States in our interconnected world.

Sourcing

Graphs: “International Programs – – U.S. Census Bureau.” Census Bureau Home Page. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://www.census.gov/population/international/data/idb/country.php&gt;. 

1-“List of Countries by Population.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population&gt;. 

2-“Stop At Two Campaign Singapore | ‘Stop at 2’ Campaign Works Too Well; Singapore Urges New Baby Boom – Los Angeles Times.” Featured Articles From The Los Angeles Times. 21 June 1987. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://articles.latimes.com/1987-06-21/news/mn-8983_1_baby-boom&gt;. 

3- “Population Control in Singapore.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics_in_Singapore&gt;.

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