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Turbulence on the Mekong River

Turbulence on the Mekong River | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
The Mekong River was once a wild and primitive backwater. Today, growing demands for electricity and rapid economic growth are changing the character of what is the world's 12th-longest river.

 

Economic progress for some often entails job loss and environmental degradation for others.  The once isolated and remote Mekong is experiences some impacts of globalization with residents having mixed feelings about the prospects. 


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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, April 30, 2013 8:03 PM

It seems to be a theme that across the bored, people are building things that directly and negatively impact the environment and the local people. There are always two sides to the problem. On one hand, the dam can help with the development of Laos because it will bring in money, but it will also destroy the fish population and therefore many fishermen will lose their jobs and people will lose a food source. It is a difficult problem because Laos needs money because there is a lot of poverty in this rural country and the fishermen do not add a whole lot to the economy, but the people need a way to survive and make money for their families as well. It's a problem that I think will be around for generation to come.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 26, 2013 11:35 AM

Seems the price of modernizing will be the local economy that as existed here for centuries.  It is not a small industy either, it is according to the report a billion dollar fishing industry.  However with a growing population and a demand for electricity the river is the perfect source for this power.  This globalization, like all globalization, will help some and will hurt some.  What you have to ask yourself is will it help more than it hurts?  Will it help in the long run, over time?  For everyone involoved in globalization these answeres are never the same everywhere.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 9:21 PM

The Mekong river is a river that many fisherman in Laos depend on for food and income. Plans to build dams that will cause the fish to seek an alternate route to migrate upstream. Critics of the dams say that the dams will cause the fish to abandon the Mekong river and go through their neighboring rivers, leaving the residents without a source of income. Many in favor of the dams say the reverse, that building the dams will boost economy and cause the area to flourish.

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Industrial geography and internal markets

China's reputation as a low-cost manufacturer hasn't translated into low-cost prices. Many goods, particularly luxury items, have higher price tags in China than abroad. One economist blames the transportation system and corruption.

 

Industrial geography in today's climate shows that China has clear economic advantages over most of the world to manufacture good cheaply.  Why would this not necessarily translate to cheap consumer goods for China's domestic market?  High taxes, steep internal shipping costs and a market flooded with knock-offs all contribute to this paradox. 


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 19, 2012 11:08 AM
To be honest I always thought items were made cheap in China due to all the items I see with the "Made in China" tag. This was interesting to me and definitely gave me knowledge on the topic.
Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 9, 2013 1:29 PM

Almost everyone knows that products are cheaper to produce in China which is why so many of our products are manufactured there today. BUt one may think that would mean it was cheap for Chinese consumers to purshase as well right? Surprisingly no, it actually costs more for them. This is because the country has a high transportation fee and the government is corrupt, CHina also has a very high tax on their products. But because of the major price differences much of the Chinese population purchases their products while traveling overseas.   

Marissa Roy's curator insight, December 5, 2013 1:37 PM

Although the products we buy from China are cheap for us, it is not necessarily cheap for the ones making it. The tax on goods in China is very expensive. It is also because the government is plagued with corruption, and that is where the taxes come in. It is suprising that many cannot afford the goods they make.

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Despite Restrictions, Gaza Finds A Way To Build

The Palestinian territory is in the midst of a construction boom, more than three years after a major Israeli assault that left much of the territory in ruins.

 

There has been a formal ban on building materials entering Gaza since 2007 (when Hamas took over the territory) since the Israeli government fears they could be weaponized or aid the military efforts.  Still, if the demand is high enough, some of the supply will still enter as we goods entering Gaza through smuggling tunnels from the Egyptian city of Rafah. 


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Matt Mallinson's comment, October 22, 2012 12:22 PM
I understand the Israeli government fears Gaza could be weaponized or aid military efforts, but these people need to rebuild after the major assault that left it in ruins. If there's been a ban for 5 years though, I doubt much will change.
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 12:49 PM

I find it frustrating that there is a ban on rebuilding materials after Israel bombs and destroys the homes and communities of Palestinians. Although their fears may be justified it is no excuse to tell people they can not have access to materials they need to rebuild their homes. This construction boom is a credit to the perseverance of the people in Palestine who just want to be able to rebuild.

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Brazil Rides Wave of Growth as Larger Economies Struggle

Brazil Rides Wave of Growth as Larger Economies Struggle | Classwork Portfolio | 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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NPR: In The Hills Of Rio, Shantytowns Get A Makeover

Rio de Janeiro, which is hosting soccer's World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, is trying to remake its hundreds of favelas.

 

There are urban geography applications obviously, but what about the cultural, political and economic logic of purging the slums before "the world comes to visit?"  We've seen this recently in Beijing and in other sites of international events.  Why now?  Why not before?   


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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 6, 2013 9:02 PM

The facelift that Rio de Janeiro is receiving in anticipation of the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016 is sapping up a large amount of Brazil's resources, resources that some lower class Brazilians argue should be allocated to improving roads or schools. The government led make-over reminds me of the upper-class driven gentrification of urban areas in places like NYC that were previously neighborhoods for lower-class residents. I don't think we will be able to understand the effects of this remodeling until after the Cup and the Olympics have come and gone. If Brazil keeps it up and continues to "improve" outlier areas, what will Brazil look like in 20 years?

Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 16, 2013 1:04 PM

There are urban geography applications obviously, but what about the cultural, political and economic logic of purging the slums before "the world comes to visit?"  We've seen this recently in Beijing and in other sites of international events.  Why now?  Why not before?  

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:21 AM

I find it sad that although Rio de Janiero obviously has a huge socioeconomic gap between the wealthy and the poor, it takes the prospect of the World Cup and Olympics for them to act. Furthermore their solution to cover up their slums is short sighted and they refuse to look at the deep seeded roots of the issue.

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For Mexicans Looking North, a New Calculus Favors Home

For Mexicans Looking North, a New Calculus Favors Home | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it

This is an excellent source for the under-report DECLINE of undocumented migration into the United States.   "Economic, demographic and social changes in Mexico are suppressing illegal immigration as much as the poor economy or legal crackdowns in the United States."


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Tracy Galvin's curator insight, February 4, 2014 5:58 PM

I often hear people say that Mexicans are crossing the border because they want to take all the things we have in the states, like it is some kind of 'greed' on their part. I have always said that people do not leave a place unless they are forced to, whether it is forced by other people or because their life is at stake. If there are not enough resources in an area, people will move to the nearest place with adequate resources. Instead of starving and living in the dirt, these people chose to risk their lives for the possibility of having their basic needs met. It is nice to see that Mexico is finally becoming a self-sustaining country that can offer its citizens enough to keep them from risking their lives for survival.

Amy Marques's curator insight, February 12, 2014 1:14 PM

This article discusses how there is a significant decline of undocumented migration from Mexico into the United States.  Illegal immigration is becoming less attractive to Mexicans and they are deciding to stay in their country instead of coming to U.S. because Mexico is making some changes. It is expanding economic and educational opportunities in the cities. There is rising border crime, a major deterrent from emigrating, it is dangerous and expensive because of cartel controlled borders. Another change is the shrinking families. The manufacturing sector at the border is rising, democracy is better established, incomes have risen and poverty has declined. Also a tequila boom has taken place and has created new jobs for farmers cutting agave and for engineers at the stills.

 

James Hobson's curator insight, September 23, 2014 12:11 PM

(Mexico topic 4)

Unlike other articles and videos, this one seems to possess a different "tone" towards the recent drop in immigration. It seems to imply that the drop in immigration will be mutually beneficial to both the US and Mexico. Mexico would benefit from having more workers to help grow its emerging economy, and the US would have fewer Welfare dependents. I'm not saying that I necessarily agree or disagree with this viewpoint, but I do find it to be a very unique take on the situation. I wonder if the reduction in immigration into the US has allowed more funds to be diverted away from collection and deportation to an increased emphasis on security and patrol efforts? In other words, I think that it is a possibility that the United States was, figuratively speaking, too busy "scooping water from the boat" to get around to "plugging the leak".

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Does democracy stifle economic growth?

TED Talks Economist Yasheng Huang compares China to India, and asks how China's authoritarian rule contributed to its astonishing economic growth -- leading to a big question: Is democracy actually holding India back?

 

This compelling TedTalk explores the links between economic development and governmental style, oversight and influence.  While the speaker mainly discusses politics and economics in the context of China and India, Pakistan, Russia, North and South Korea are all mentioned.      


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 21, 2012 11:11 AM
Democracy can stifle economic growth. War will definitely stifle economic growth. North Korea doesn't look like they're going to stop fighting South Korea, if only they would combine their lands, they would probably be a much better nation as one.
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:17 PM

For Americans the idea that democracy can be anything but sunshine and rainbows is a hard pill to swallow. There is evidence that supports the contrary. Although democracy has the moral high ground, authoritative governments can grow at a faster rate because it does not have to address resistance where democracy fosters debate and dissent. In India, millions of people will not agree on everything and therefore progress can be slow going. 

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The world map of chocolate (made out of chocolate)

The world map of chocolate (made out of chocolate) | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
You may be focussing on chocolate over the weekend - but where does it come from? A global trade analysed. In chocolate (this is what maps are made for!

 

What is the geography of chocolate like?  There is a dark side (no pun intended) to the production of cocoa in many places such as West Africa. 


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ethne staniland's curator insight, May 16, 2013 11:33 AM

Interesting for our KS1 chocolate topic.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 10, 2013 5:43 PM

We all love chocolate.  We all love diamonds and jewels.  In western worlds, these items are easily come by in grocery stores and elsewhere, but what got them there was a challenge.  People in poorer tropical regions around the world worked to get the raw goods of these delicate items we all enjoy.  The payout difference is immense from cocoa to chocolate.  It is sometimes a very crooked market where if it wasn't for the hard working people who get the raw ingredients, chocolate as we know it wouldn't be the same.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 11:06 AM

I hope the production keep growing up. We need more chocolate and specially in Africa. 

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Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.

 

The environment, industry and politics play key roles in this story of an old style Soviet mono-town on Lake Baikal.  Monotowns had planned economies that revolved around one industry and today many of these are struggling in the post-Soviet era.  While the particulars of the political situation are a bit dated, the overall issue is still quite relevant to understanding Russia today.   

 

Tags: Russia, industry, labor, environment, economic, water, pollution, environment modify, unit 6 industry.


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Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 18, 2015 11:12 PM

Lake Baikal is one Russia's oldest and deepest body of freshwater but is turning into a swamp, Russian ecologists warn. They say that tons of liquid waste from tourist camps and water transport vehicles is being dumped into the lake. The financial crisis in Russian has been a big problem because it is leaving factories abandoned and leaving waste all over towns. If Baikal is ruined, it is going to put tons of peoples lives at risk for people who depend on this water. Also, a part of this Lake is frozen. This is fresh clean water that makes this lake what it is. 

The paper factory has caused some major pollution into the lake and all the chemicals are affecting the lake each and everyday. This beautiful land could possibly be destroyed for measures aren't taken, and can also just be another wasteland. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:31 PM

This mill on Lake Biakal was created in the soviet era. This was created and made a increasing well place to work with the promise of a bright future for its workers. Instead when it comes to the post soviet era its a failing community. Not because of the workers but because of the era that they live in. The age of environmentalists. because of this the mill and its workers are suffering. Many of the people that had moved there to work in the mill in the 60's with a promise of a bright future. However today the people who originally moved there and the descendents are paying the price for the soviet promise. If the mill were to forever close then the people of the area would basically have no life and future. They wouldnt even have enough money to move out of look for jobs.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 1:28 PM

Seeing this video and the lack of human development in this small town is astounding. They are destroying a lake and the environment about them, they do not care though. Unfortunately, they have to not care about the environment, they are so desperate for work to make money to live and support themselves and family, that they are willing to do what it takes to keep their jobs at the mill. The workers and citizens of the area know about the consequences of the pollution, they know it needs to be taken care of, but with the depravity they have, they have to. They are faced with a situation no one want to be in... work and destroy the environment so they have money to live, or be without life necessities. 

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Brazil's economy overtakes UK's

Brazil's economy overtakes UK's | Classwork Portfolio | 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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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.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 1, 2015 8:01 AM

While this may seem surprising, this event should not be taken as such. Countries such as China, Russia, India and Brazil are becoming more powerful with the passing of each day. The biggest challenges to the United States are China and Russia. They are the only nations who can compete with us on both a political and economic scale. Russia is currently causing the most issues. Putin is an agitator on the world stage. I truly believe that it is his desire to recreate the great Russian Empire of old. His continued medaling around the globe will be a serious threat for the foreseeable future. China is the longer term threat. They are the only ones who possess the economic abilities to compete with us. Brazil and India, while growing are still not any were near us in terms of political or economic strength. Our government should do all it can, to foster good relationships with these nations. Especially sense are relationships with China and Russia are problematic at the moment.

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Drug war sparks exodus of affluent Mexicans

Drug war sparks exodus of affluent Mexicans | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
Tens of thousands of well-off Mexicans have moved north of the border in a quiet exodus over the past few years, according to local officials, border experts and demographers.

 

The migration from Mexico to the USA has slowed tremendously in the 21st century, but due to the drug violence, the demographic profile of the migrants has changed significantly. 


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Amy Marques's curator insight, February 12, 2014 1:22 PM

Despite Mexico making improvements to make Mexicans want to stay below the border. The drug trafficking violence does make people want to leave. Tens of thousands of well-off Mexicans, wealthy businessmen and average Mexicans are fleeing Mexico and have moved north of the border in a quiet exodus, and they're being warmly welcomed, unlike the much larger population of illegal immigrants. Mexicans are fleeing cartel wars that have left more than 37,000 Mexicans dead in just 4 years, 

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 29, 2014 2:12 PM

This article is interesting because we were used to seeing poorer immigrants from Mexico looking for work and a new way of life.  However, the more affluent communities are migrating North to the U.S. and legally because of the turmoil of the drug wars in their country.  It is disappointing to see that drugs, violence and murder are pushing away people from their own country

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 3, 2014 1:23 PM

For more affluent Mexicans the ability to migrate north is much easier than for the poor. They have the money and the skills to move into the United States. Also with the open lines of communication and ease of flux with business over the border make moving to the U.S. an excellent way to avoid being caught in the cross fire among drug cartels. For the poor however they are either forced to find work with the cartel or risk being an innocent bystander. It also makes you think about the terminology we use to describe Mexican immigrants, are they not refugees of this drug war?