If you are a fan of the 40 hour work week, 8 hour work day, health benefits, child labor laws and this lovely thing called "the weekend," you have the labor movement to thank. The Department of Labor has put together a page entitled 'The History of Labor Day.' This helps us understand that the benefits that we enjoy today are the legacy of generations of workers who courageously fought for for workers rights.
Tags: Labor, industry, economic, unit 6 industry and video.
Executives have long said America can’t compete in building electronic devices. But the migration of carmaking from Japan is a case study in the most unlikely of transformations.
"The iEconomy: Nissan’s Move to U.S. Offers Lessons for Tech Industry." This is an excellent article on how the car and tech industries are changing the global economy. Numerous foreign car companies are now investing in US; so is a Nissan produced in Tennessee a foreign car or a domestic? The global economy is blurring many of the traditional ways in which we view production and affecting the United States in particular. The interactive feature linked to the article provides some excellent data and resources. This would be a great background to prepare students before taking a sample test AP Human Geography test (like Question #3 from 2011).
On July 2, 1962 -- 50 years ago today -- Sam Walton opened the very first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas.
The Walmart business model has profoundly reshaped the economic paradigm of retail these has 50 years. Walmart is commonly cited as a business that exemplifies the processes of globalization. How has Walmart reshaped aspects of society such as industrial production, environmental standards, labor, urban shopping locations, the outsourcing of manufacturing and consumption?
China is now the world's largest car market, and a crucial one for Detroit companies. Chinese consumers bought 18.5 million vehicles last year, and foreigners, especially Americans, have played a key role in developing the industry.
China now is the world's largest auto market as China is no longer simply a place where things are produced. China has become a major consumer of goods as their workers wages allow them to consume more goods.
Levi Strauss & Co. believes that water is a precious resource and everyone should do their part to lead a more WaterLess lifestyle. Find out more about our w...
More and more companies are strategically rethinking manufacturing to be less harmful to the environment. There are sound economic, cultural, marketing and sustainability reasons for rethinking the manufacturing process. In the past Levi's used more than 11 gallons to produce 1 pair of jeans to get that aesthetic look just right...this video looks at the restructuring process to make these essentially 'waterless' jeans.
Sometimes a single unlikely idea can have massive impact across the world. Sir Harold Evans, the author of They Made America, describes how frustration drove...
The economies of scale that globalization depends on, relies on logistics and transportation networks that can handle this high-volume. In a word, the container, as mundane as it may seem, facilitated the era within which we live today.
Too often we have heard the answer "from the grocery store!" With more thought, the farm would be the next answer, but what kind of farm? Which farm? Where is it coming from? All you need to arm your students to make the commodity chain more personal is the code on the carton and this link, and they are on their way to exploring the geography of industrial agriculture (more likely than not). This site is designed to help consumer become more aware of the geography of diary production and to get to know where the products that we are putting in are body are coming from. My milk (consumed in Cranston, RI) is from Guida's Milk and Ice Cream from New Britain, CT. So, where does your milk come from?
This 90 minute documentary is an often painful look and the landscapes of manufacturing and the geography of resource extraction. This video is VERY slow, so I don't recommend showing the whole video in class, but certain this video would be a good inclusion in a lesson (e.g.-Three Gorges Dam, e-waste or factory work). This Zeitgeist Film by Jennifr Baichwal focuses primarily on Chinese manufacturing landscapes and the environmental impacts that technology produces that we would collectively like to pretend we can wish them away.
TRAVEL by ferry from Hong Kong to Shenzhen, in one of the regions that makes China the workshop of the world, and an enormous billboard greets you: “Time is Money, Efficiency is Life”.
China’s economic growth has been explosive. Many people predicting the economic future have used current growth percentages and trajectories to extrapolate into the future. The question that we should ask is: how long can China continue to grow at this current pace? Many signs are pointing to the difficulty that China will have in sustaining these levels of growth. The era of China being the world’s go-to source for cheap manufacturing is dependent on current geographic variables, variables that the economic growth is altering.
Manufacturing prices are rising, especially in the coastal provinces where factories have usually been agglomerated (also known as Special Economic Zones --SEZs). The more success that China has in manufacturing, land prices will go up, environmental and safety standards will increase. Collectively, this will mean that labor costs for the factories will also be increasing as Chinese workers are not only producing but also becoming consumers of manufactured goods with an increased standard of living. This is changing the spatial patterns of employment in China and will impact Chinese manufacturing’s global influence. Sarah Bednarz recommends this article as “a needed update on the new international division of labor (NIDL).” For more on the topic, see Shaun Rein's book, "The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that will Disrupt the World."
"It's a myth that the U.S. doesn't make anything anymore." The U.S. economy still produces more through manufacturing tangible goods ($1.5 trillion) than it does in providing services ($600 billion) for the international market. The maps and graphs in this article are great teaching materials. The impact of NAFTA is shown powerfully in the regionalization of U.S. trade partners, making this salient material for a discussion on supranationalism as well.
This is a great graphic display of the economic products that the United States exports. What makes this interactive display all the more valuable is that that you can slide the timeline to see the shifts in the economic sectors within the United States from 1962-2009. How was the U.S. export economy changing on the global market? What sectors were growing? Which ones were shrinking? How do these economic changes impact the U.S. geography?
Many hold it as an article of faith that global trade will be an ever-growing presence in the world. Yet this belief rests on shaky foundations. Global trade depends on cheap, long-distance freight transportation. Freight costs will rise with climate change, the end of cheap oil, and policies to mitigate these two challenges.
At first, the increase in freight costs will be bad news for developed and developing nations alike but, as adjustments in the patterns of trade occur, the result is likely to be decreased outsourcing with more manufacturing and food production jobs in North America and the European Union. The pattern of trade will change as increasing transportation costs outweigh traditional sources of comparative advantage, such as lower wages.
The U.S. economy once worked like a finely meshed machine. That is not true anymore. The U.S. economy is still a powerful engine, but workers aren’t seeing the benefits, less-educated men are struggling, and the rich have disconnected from everyone else.
Via Seth Dixon
"After growing by leaps and bounds for more than three decades, China’s economic growth has come to a halt, falling from around 12 percent in the second quarter of 2006 to 7.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012. Export-dependent manufacturing sector has been hard hit. The June HSBC Flash Purchasing Managers Index hit a seven-month low of 48.1, down from a final reading of 48.4 in May, the eighth consecutive month that the index has been below 50—the contraction threshold. Is this just a temporary pause, caused by a prolonged slow-down in the world economy or something more serious?"
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.
With the slight resurgence of U.S. manufacturing in the recent years—termed a potential "manufacturing moment" by some—it is important to consider not just the future of manufacturing in America but also its geography.
This interactive map is brimming with potential to both teach and learn about the changing industrial geographies of the United States.
DETROIT — For the first time in more than 20 years, U.S. automakers are questioning a pillar of manufacturing: The practice of bringing parts to assembly lines right before they’re used.
What are the economic advantages to 'just-in-time' manufacturing? What are some of the weaknesses that are a part of these transnational supply chains? Is this the end of that economic model? Why or Why not? This article is a great reading for understanding industry and economic development .
OUTSIDE THE SPRAWLING Frankfurt Messe, home of innumerable German trade fairs, stands the “Hammering Man”, a 21-metre kinetic statue that steadily raises and lowers its arm to bash a piece of metal with a...
This article argues that as manufacturing increasing becomes a digital production, more goods will be produced in the more developed countries. If events unfold in this fashion, globalization and many other patterns with be significantly altered. Would this make a better world? For whom?
nat geo programme about the coke factory and the manufacturing process of coke...
Where is Coca Cola produced? Some products are bulk losing some are bulk gaining in the manufacturing process. Coca Cola and their containers represent bulk gaining products. Although not the focus of this video, what is the geography behind where these factories are located? How would this geographic pattern change if this were are bulk losing industry? What are examples of bulk gaining and bulk losing industries? Why are glass bottles not manufactured in the United States?
The United States Dept. of Labor has great tools for analyzing economic and industrial data for the U.S.A. County level data is also available. Personal favorite: you can analyze the economic viables based on industry (perfect for teaching about the various sectors of the economy).
Joe Luehrmann likes American cars, has owned a string of them and is considering buying another. But he faces a problem in trying to figure out what's American anymore.
The globalization of industrial output and manufacturing had erased much of the meaning between 'foreign' and 'domestic' products. Is it foreign if the company is headquartered in Japan, but has a manufacturing plant in California? Is it domestic is Detroit company produces the car the maquiladora region of Northern Mexico? This doesn't even address this issue that any one vehicle has parts that are literally made all over the world. Interestingly truck buyers are seen as the more patriotic, and companies emphasize their "Americanness" to cater to the cultural and economic sensibilities of their key demographic.
It is a pattern seen in various parts of the world — children being sickened from exposure to lead from gold mining and processing.
One of the core concepts in geo-literacy is the ability to make connections between seemingly unrelated issues. Resource production for a global market is a topic is far-reaching implications and interconnections.
As U.S. factories enjoy a pickup in business, and need to hire more people, many are facing a perplexing situation --a dearth of skilled manufacturing workers in America.
Even in a time when so many are lamenting the lack of factory jobs available to American workers because of the outsourcing of manufacturing, factories can't find the qualified machinists and other critical skilled positions to operate a factory at capacity.