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INTRODUCTION TO THE SOCIAL SCIENCES DIGITAL TEXTBOOK(PSYCHOLOGY-ECONOMICS-SOCIOLOGY):MIKE BUSARELLO
“In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” Warren Buffet
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Expanding the Panama Canal

Expanding the Panama Canal | INTRODUCTION TO THE SOCIAL SCIENCES DIGITAL TEXTBOOK(PSYCHOLOGY-ECONOMICS-SOCIOLOGY):MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"In 2006, Panamanians approved a referendum to expand the Panama Canal, doubling its capacity and allowing far larger ships to transit the 100-year-old waterway between the Atlantic and Pacific. Work began in 2007 to raise the capacity of Gatun Lake and build two new sets of locks, which would accommodate ships carrying up to 14,000 containers of freight, tripling the size limit. Sixteen massive steel gates, weighing an average of 3,100 tons each, were built in Italy and shipped to Panama to be installed in the new locks. Eight years and $5.2 billion later, the expansion project is nearing completion. The initial stages of flooding the canals have begun and the projected opening date has been set for April of 2016."


Tag: Panama, images, transportation, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.


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Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, July 23, 11:13 AM
another great post by Seth Dixon
Jose Soto's curator insight, August 5, 9:46 PM

This gallery of 29 images is filled with great teaching images.

Lindley Amarantos's curator insight, August 6, 3:54 PM

This gallery of 29 images is filled with great teaching images.

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Mexico's 'maquiladora' labor system keeps workers in poverty

Mexico's 'maquiladora' labor system keeps workers in poverty | INTRODUCTION TO THE SOCIAL SCIENCES DIGITAL TEXTBOOK(PSYCHOLOGY-ECONOMICS-SOCIOLOGY):MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

Some four decades after welcoming foreign assembly plants and factories, known as maquiladoras, Mexico has seen only a trickle of its industrial and factory workers join the ranks of those who even slightly resemble a middle class.

 

Despite making such consumer goods like BlackBerry smartphones, plasma TVs, appliances and cars that most people in the US, for instance, consider necessities, Mexican workers in these factories seldom get to enjoy these items because, as this article argues, the labor system keeps them in poverty.  Foreign investment in these businesses keep unions out and attracts workers from poorer areas, allowing low-cost labor to prevail.  Less than $8 a day is the going wage - great for the bottom line and consumer prices but very bleak for those who toil in this system.


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Olga Varlamov's curator insight, November 23, 2013 8:26 PM

This article talks about how the maquiladora labor system dosen't provide enough money for it's workers. Many in Mexico are living in poverty and can't afford much more than dinner because of their low wages.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 4, 2014 12:47 PM

The labor system keeps workers in Poverty. This is the argument that is transitioned by stating the fact that many factory workers are and will always remian in poverty if they have no oppurtunity to move up in the food chain and become educated in order to get themselves out of poverty. They need different skills in order to aquire a better job to create a better life.  

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, February 11, 11:33 PM

Its a very sad situation reading this. Seeing people go through all this to just survive. Kids don't even get any education and follow their parents footsteps to work at a plant just to be able to pay for bills. 8 dollars a day, and you wonder why they try to run to united states. Its very unfortunate that a lot of people go through this and i hope it changes soon, because to see that this is going on makes me thankful for what i have around me. Foreign investors are not great as they set out to be take advantage of the poor and get rich out of it, i think its pretty ridiculous.

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Brazil Rides Wave of Growth as Larger Economies Struggle

Brazil Rides Wave of Growth as Larger Economies Struggle | INTRODUCTION TO THE SOCIAL SCIENCES DIGITAL TEXTBOOK(PSYCHOLOGY-ECONOMICS-SOCIOLOGY):MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Brazil, South America’s largest economy, is finally poised to realize its potential as a global player, economists say.

 

This article, dated 2008, shows how at the beginning of the global economic downturn, Brazil and other "BRIC" countries were comparatively doing better compared to the more established economic powers.  Although Brazil has been frequently noted for it's unequal distribution of wealth, since 2001, this income gap has been shrinking and a middle class is starting to grow. 


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Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 2014 11:23 AM

Despite the U.S, Europe and other countries suffering serious economic loses, Brazil is experiences its biggest economic expansion in the last 30 years. Brazil has been long waiting for its spot in the global economy and it is finally reaching its potential with the new oil discoveries off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. The country also exports commodities like agricultural goods and oil which has driven most of its recent growth. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 20, 2014 12:58 PM

I found this original article interesting because it challenge some of my assumptions about inequalities. Although inequality is bad, in the developing world large inequality is not a black and white issue. Some argue that high inequality leads to incentive but massive equality is harmful as well. Now that Brazil's middle class is growing as it becomes more economically competitive around the globe. Which shows us that inequality is only beneficial to an extent.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 28, 2014 11:04 PM

This article is about exactly what the title suggests, Brazils economy growing at a steady rate and how the country itself is seeing a boost, with both the richest citizens and the lowest earning citizens gaining more , Brazil is proving that it is only getting closer and closer to becoming one of the world's next core countries.

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How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico

How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico | INTRODUCTION TO THE SOCIAL SCIENCES DIGITAL TEXTBOOK(PSYCHOLOGY-ECONOMICS-SOCIOLOGY):MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited, an examination by The New York Times found.

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James Hobson's curator insight, September 23, 2014 1:17 PM

(Mexico topic 9)

It is troubling to discover how bribery still continues to promote special interests at the expense of others and their own interests. Though other articles I have commented on discuss the improving economy and politics of Mexico, this one clearly shows an area that needs much more attention.

   Despite this, all of the fuss (though justifiable) may be slightly over-exaggerated in my opinion. Just look at the photo above: the WalMart is at least somewhat set back from the pyramids, BUT the smoke and smog from other industries fills the air right up to and all around the pyramids themselves. I think this is just as much, if not more, of an injustice to the cultural site. While one can choose whether or not to enter a store, it is impossible not to breathe in the polluted air and have one's view limited while visiting such a place.

   Lastly, although bribery is certainly something I deeply frown upon, perhaps it is slightly less "wrong" than it would be in other countries like the US. Since Mexico's government and its departments have a reputation (at least from what I've heard) of being corrupted, perhaps the only way to build a store is to offer a bribe. It would be interesting to see if this was the case with other store locations throughout Mexico.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 8:50 PM

Clearly it is horrible what Walmart did, but what about everyone else in this scenario? Walmart was able to damage public history and jeopardize the traffic safety of Mexico because they figured out the going price for those concepts was: a couple mayors, some INAH official, and an Urban Operations official (see article for in-depth explanations of how each was bought off). All of whom bypassed their duty to the public. See I am not surprised by the corporation’s actions. The corporation is acting for its own self-interest like many corporations have historically done. In fact, compared to the East India Company of 1800 (which had its own standing army) this is tame (see below article). I would prefer companies not to operate as such, however a company will act in such a manner so long as it is permitted. Deterring such actions falls on the fault of the officials who were so easily bought off.

 

Yet, whose job is it to police a corporation? At one point, the article mentioned that when the Mexican investigation found nothing wrong with Walmart they, “chided protesters for failing to present any specific proof.” I’m sorry, but it isn’t the protesters job to go out and find proof. That is the job of an investigator, whom I might add didn’t do a good job given the evidence the New York Times was able to amass. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) for Mexico, they probably aren’t that apt at forensic banking because they are a largely agrarian society who only relatively recently is being introduced to the corporate world. Looks like there is a whole new specialty that Mexico will need to learn soon due to globalization. I say Mexico needs to learn this also because it is mainly their job to monitor their people. I understand that this is an American company so on some level they will have to monitor their people. However, majority of the people involved in this were in Mexico. Thus, Mexico will need to deal with their side of justice and also start developing environmentally usefully laws under the new corporate rule (i.e. ones that protect historical artifacts even when the “proper” licenses have been secured.)

 

I am not looking to just pick on Mexico’s corporation problems either because we all know the United States has their fair share of corporate issues. In fact, I think it is safe to say that Walmart could have bought off people in the United States too. Think of all the tainted deals that occurred in the subprime mortgage crisis. We aren’t even sure because no one actually went after them! At least in the case of Walmart there is an investigation going on again. It will be interesting to see what the end result is though. Most times, it isn’t near what a company should get. In the United States some are literally able to get away with murder. Just look at GM's latest court dealings. I hope Mexico can do a better job than the United States when it comes to handling corporate investigations in the future.  

 

* http://www.economist.com/node/21541753

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 5, 2:32 PM

This article shows the "forced globalization" of Mexico.  I thought it was interesting how Walmart de Mexico would use such cutthroat means to build a "intermediate sized store".  Yet the Walmart officials in Mexico realized that being not too far from a major tourist attraction would help business.  There were many groups who tried to stop it from happening, but they could not stop the store from being built.  This article shows how corporate Globalization is ruthless, and it doesn't care about disobeying laws.  This article also shows that if a company is big enough, it can, in effect do whatever it pleases.  In the United States on the other hand, this type of bribery could never have happened. 

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Brazil's economy overtakes UK's

Brazil's economy overtakes UK's | INTRODUCTION TO THE SOCIAL SCIENCES DIGITAL TEXTBOOK(PSYCHOLOGY-ECONOMICS-SOCIOLOGY):MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Brazil has overtaken the UK as the world's sixth largest economy, the Centre for Economics and Business Research says.

 

The "BRIC" countries are surging forward and are seen as major players in the global economy (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Brazil just recently past the U.K. as the 6th largest economy.  China passed Japan not more than a year ago.    Furthermore, Russia and India are poised to pass the traditional European economic powers (U.K., Germany, France and Italy) by 2020.  In this restructuring of the global economy, what will the impacts be on various regions of the world? 


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Elizabeth Allen's comment, November 16, 2012 5:28 PM
The statistics prove that Brazil is higher ranking economically that the UK. Brazil is succeeding economically. It must have to with their natural resources and financial gains of exporting goods.
Cam E's curator insight, February 11, 2014 11:46 AM

BRIC has always interested me as an alternative to the traditional centers of economic power. The four BRIC countries are all powerful up and comers and their positioning all around the world and lack of cultural commonality make them a very intriguing force.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 20, 2014 11:55 AM

The rise of the BRIC countries shows that the global economy is changing due to globalization. Now that transportation is cheaper, communication is more fluid, and economies can intermingle easier than before, countries can be more competitive with previous economic powers. I find it interesting that it is likely that in the next century we will see the US slipping further down this list.