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Regional Geogaphy
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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 8:08 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 10:29 AM

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 10:37 AM

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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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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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 6:53 PM

Very cool map. I have never really paid attention to where my chocolate came from before. 

ethne staniland's curator insight, May 16, 2013 8:33 AM

Interesting for our KS1 chocolate topic.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 10, 2013 2:43 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.

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AfriGadget: Recycling

A Cameroonian boy shows the recycled parts used to construct a toy RC car.

 

I originally found this video on Afrigadget. The website seeks to show people "solving everyday problems with African ingenuity." While the developed world lives in a commercial, disposable society, Africans often need to maximize the useablity of all objects. The solutions they come up with can show students that it is not all doom and gloom in Africa, an represent a triumph of the human spirit.


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 5, 2012 11:40 AM
This video is short but it was interesting to me, that "car" made out of pipe, rope, etc. was built great with the resources they had. Those kids are very smart.
Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, November 8, 2013 6:59 AM

This video is nothing short of amazing.  The boy in the video demonstrates a toy car that he built himself using recycled objects such as slippers and string.  The video is mindblowing because children in the United States have thousands of dollars worth of toys that are cheaply made and only excite the children for a few minutes before moving onto a different activity.  The boy in the video represents human spirit in Africa because he maximized the use of objects that would otherwise not be used to build a toy car and he is very pleased about his creation.

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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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Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 20, 2013 11:43 AM

The story of this particular mono-town is very tough to "pick sides".  The factory undoubtedly pollutes the air and land like most other industrial areas, but being so close to Lake Baikal gives environmentalists a stronger reason to complain.  The lake is considered one of the purest and most unique in the world, yet the paper mill located on its banks raise controversy.  This is where the locals and workers are stuck between a rock and hard place.  Located in Siberia, such a vast and open region with little settlements compared to the western part of the country reminds the people living there that their resources are limited.  Closing down the factory would almost eliminate income and economy for the mono-town.  This is where the fine line is drawn; the workers surely aren't happy about the pollution and environmental hazards that go along with keeping the mill open, but at the same time the people could wither away if it wasn't up and running.

Ashley Raposo's curator insight, December 18, 2013 10:42 PM

THough the Soviet Union has been gone since the early 90s, it's hold on Russia is still creating problems. The creations of monotowns were already flawed. But to have this one monotown on Lake Baikal has gained the attention of enviromentalists. All odds are against that monotown. Without it's paper factory they have no jobs and no need for the town. It is a fight between enviromental geography and human geography in this area of the world. These people are stuck in a time where even the Soviet Union looked a little better than the constant wondering of your finacial stability in an up and coming capitalist nation.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 9:05 AM

The Soviet Union scattered "monotowns" around their territory; these monotowns consist of a job-creating industrial institutions like factories which then allow the formation of towns around them.  They are located all around the former Soviet Union and are very isolated.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union, these towns continued to run due to the privatization of the industrial center.  Today, Russia's Lake Baikal, which is the deepest lake in the world and contains 20 percent of the Earth's fresh water, is home to one of these monotowns.  This particular town's economy is based on their paper mill which uses and deposits tons of chemicals.  Environmentalists are very concerned for the future of the lake while the citizens are only concerned with feeding their families and this is creating social unrest.  Due to the isolation and distance from Moscow, people cannot just pick up and leave.  Also, working with "cleaner" alternatives is way out of this town's budget.  Today, many citizens in these monotowns miss the support that the Soviet Union offered and people are literally stuck in a place where their only income is dirty.