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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers. http://geographyeducation.org
Curated by Seth Dixon
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NAFTA an empty basket for farmers in southern Mexico

NAFTA an empty basket for farmers in southern Mexico | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"When the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada went into effect in 1994, it removed nearly all trade barriers between the countries. Among the industries affected was agriculture, forcing small Mexican farmers into direct competition with big American agribusiness. Cheap American corn – heavily subsidized, mechanized and genetically modified – soon flooded the Mexican market to the detriment of local farmers.  As U.S. farmers exported their subsidized corn to Mexico, local producer prices plummeted and small farmers could no longer earn enough to live on."

Seth Dixon's insight:

International trade agreements are usually discussed at the national level.  "NAFTA benefits Mexico" is a commonly heard saying because trade with the United States and Canada strengthens the manufacturing sector in Mexico.  Even if there is an overall benefit to a country, there are always winners and losers for different regions, economic sectors and many other demographic groups.   Farmers in southern Mexico were certainly a sector that struggled mightily under NAFTA.


Tags: Mexicosupranationalism, industry, place, agriculture, food production,

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Jason Wilhelm's curator insight, May 29, 8:44 AM

The American agricultural industry has been highly subsidized by the government to create interest in farming and food production. This causes problems for America's neighboring countries' resident farmers. The Mexican corn farmers are struggling mightily with the influx of cheap American corn into Mexico due to the open trade policies created by NAFTA. Some tariffs or new economic regulations must be created to protect Mexican corn farmers and regulate the amount of cheap American corn that is flooding Mexican markets. 

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Love 'em or hate 'em - Britain's rocky relationship with the EU

Love 'em or hate 'em - Britain's rocky relationship with the EU | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The United Kingdom's relationship with the EU - or, in political parlance, 'Europe' - has long been one of the most divisive, emotive issues in British politics."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The beginnings of the European Union are rooted in the aftermath of WW II, with Europe exhausted from war many politicians wanted to unite European countries in a way that would make war with each other impossible.  The United Kingdom, though has had a complicated with the EU, sometimes (and for certain issues) wanting greater European integration to strengthen their regional position and at other times have resisted regional collaboration for fear of losing national autonomy.  This is very over-generalized, but this BBC article gives a nice historical perspective on the rocky relationship of between the two.  


Tags: Europe, supranationalism, currency, economichistorical, sovereignty, UK.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 2, 2:40 PM

Britain has always participated in its own events of politics and government. They have had a back and forth relationship with the European Union and have had its ups and downs throughout the years. The U.K. doesn't want to conform to the European money system and instead want to keep their own monetary system.

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 29, 7:00 AM

GB wants greater European intergration to strengthen their regional power,

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Rising Anti-Immigration Sentiment in the EU

Stratfor Europe Analyst Adriano Bosoni discusses the political implications of the increasing number of migrants from the European Union's periphery to its c...
Seth Dixon's insight:

The economic crisis has contributed to rising anti-immigration sentiment and policies in Europe.  Immigrants from Eastern Europe continue to enter the core, but now more from the struggling southern periphery of Europe are also on the move.   


One of the free response questions in the 2012 AP Human Geography test focused on increasing Muslim population in many European countries.  This video some background context for that particular Free Response Question (as would this article from Al Jazeera titled Europe's failure to integrate Muslims). 

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 9, 2013 9:26 AM

This looks just like the arguments in the US about the immigration issue here.  These seem to be be more of legal immigration, as well as illegal to some extent,  as to illegal immigration in the US.  The governments of some of the EU nations need this population in order to fill the workers shortage that has been fuled by low birth rates.  In the US its a little deffernt form of immigration.  Here many illegal immigrants are taking the much lower wage jobs and working in cash with no taxes, ie mirgrant farmers.  Well we want cheap food, that is the way the farm owners are doing it.  In Europe it seems that they are taking some jobs, but I assune since it is legal immigration they are paying some sort of tax on their wages.  These immigrants are from other EU countries for the most part.  Under the EU treaty it is legal for them to live and work in any member nation.  This shows the problem with supranational organizations, a country will lose some of its autonomy in these types of organizations.  For example, can the UK limit the number of people allowed into its country, or even limit access to their health care system under EU law?  If they do, what can the EU do to the UK?  Looks like a fight is about to start!

Ashley Raposo's curator insight, December 18, 2013 9:53 PM

Like America, Western Europe is facing the troubles of immigration for jobs. COuntries in Europe, such as Eastern countries of Bulgaria and the P.I.G.S. are moving to core countries in search of work that the cannot find in their own land. The problem becomes a matter of the core country citizens not having jobs for themselves as their economy joins other in slowing down. Racial tensions are rising because of this. Ironically, the video generalizes the anti-immigration as just anti-immigrants but as images in the video would suggest, much of the sentiments are towards Muslim immigrants.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 8:12 AM

This video describes the increase in immigration into EU countries from other EU countries.  The EU agreements on free movement are being challenged in countries that feel rightly or wrongly that the immigrants coming in are a drain on their economies during this difficult economic time.  It is interesting to see how Europe deals with this immigration issue compared to how America deals with its immigration issues.

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What if Greece quits the euro?

What if Greece quits the euro? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A Greek exit from the euro has become a bomb fizzling at the heart of the eurozone. What could happen if it explodes?
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is still all speculation, but this speculation is grounded in the very real possibility that Greece may leave the Eurozone.  This one possible scenario would have a profound ripple effect throughout the European Union and beyond.  This interactive explores each of these 8 possible results.  


Tags: Greece, Europe, supranationalism, currency, labor, economic



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Kelsey Grill's curator insight, December 3, 2013 12:47 PM

This is really interesting. When I was learning about this I realized that Greece is pretty much screwed no matter what they do. However, if they leave it will hurt more countries than if they just stick to the euro.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 27, 2:05 PM

Money controls everything. Because parliament has to make some budget cuts, money must be spent elsewhere. Because of this, Greece leaving the euro could lead to a downward spiral including a sovereign debt crisis, a recession and political backlash. Should Greece keep the euro?

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 17, 5:02 AM

This article explains eight possible outcomes of Greece leaving the Euro Zone. None of them favorable for Europe, except maybe the UK which could possibly borrow more cheaply. For the rest of Europe, the results are either increased burdens for the more economically strong EZ nations like Germany, or a domino effect which accelerates the decline of the struggling economies of countries like Italy and Spain.

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Little England: What's Left If Scotland Leaves?

Little England: What's Left If Scotland Leaves? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
What is more likely to happen first: Greece will leave the eurozone, or Scotland will leave the UK?


Although there is currently only about 30% of Scotland that would support independence, this is something that will be gaining importance.  The United Kingdom is a complex political entity, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland connected with England.  The "divorce referendum" will be help on October 2014 to see if Scotland wishes to dissolve this union and many of the political and economic events throughout Europe will be seen through this prism, especially the Euro Zone crisis in southern European countries (e.g.-Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal).  The possibility that this might happen are small, but as the article stated, "not zero." 


Tags: devolution, supranationalism, political, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political.

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 4:27 PM

Good for Scotland... as anyone that has watched Braveheart knows, all they need is Mel Gibson to fight for their independence, and they will surely win!  I know some people that play the bagpies, and I like the Scottish music better than much English music.  I don't know much about the UK, so I have little to guide me in favor or against Scotland declaring independence, but aw heck, why not...  The US declared independence, and it seemed to work out for them until... whenever...? forever? it depends on what you use as criteria to look at it...  But live and let live, let people do what they want, the only advice to that is not to let people harm others.  That way, true peace can be achieved.  Harmony, instead of harm.  So I would advocate for Scotland to wear women's clothing with turtle shells in their crotches and dance to celebrate their independence if that's what they want, as long as there are no epic battle sequences that precede or follow their dancing.  Don't be an elitist, open your eyes, the governments own your brothers and their lives... We must work to change this.

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The New World

The New World | Geography Education | Scoop.it
An interactive series of maps show possible new additions to the world’s list of independent nations.


This is great way to show examples of devolution and political instability.  Included are 11 potential scenarios where further fragmentation/disintegration might occur or even greater regional integration that would redraw the map.  These case studies include: Somalia, Korea, Azerbaijan, Belgium and the Arabian Gulf Union.


Tags: political, devolution, supranationalism, war, autonomy, unit 4 political.

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Benjamin DeRita's comment, September 23, 2012 6:36 PM
Very interesting and informative piece, I found slide (10) especially intriguing with its discussion on the possibility of China claiming parts of Siberia.
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The United Nations at a Glance

The United Nations at a Glance | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This is the site for the United Nations at a Glance. Here you will find information and links on history, members, visitis, employement and other details.

 

While some critize the ineffectiveness of the organization, the United Nations remains a key organization to get understanding modern geopolitics.  Through their UN voting patterns, we can assess the geopolitical motivations, interests and alliances of member states.  Also, initiatives (whether successful or not) and highlight the important issues of the day that globally aware students should understand.  

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Europe Gets Austerity; Few Signs Of Growth

The plan to save Europe's economies calls for troubled countries to rein in government spending. But economists say austerity by itself won't be enough; there must also be a plan for growth.

 

Fiscal austerity has now become part of the crisis rather than a solution to it.  -Simon Tilford 

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Flaviu Feşnic's comment, October 6, 2012 12:34 PM
artificial crisis.it's the bank system, (vulnerable at speculation), which brought it !
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Latin American integration: Peaks and troughs

Latin American integration: Peaks and troughs | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The financial crisis surrounding the Euro has led many to feel that supranational organizations and regional coalitions are more trouble than they are worth.  The OAS (Organization of American States-which the USA is a part of) may dissolve and the CELAC might be its successor.  The CELAC's (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) emergence shows that the United States "is declining in a region it once called its 'backyard.'"  Spain is also diminishing in influence among its former colonies are forging new economic and political ties while Mexico and Brazil are exerting more regional influence. 

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, September 21, 2013 7:04 PM

The United States influence is delining in an area it called "its back yard". Along the financial crisis causing this, it has also begun to declin Spains influence in there former colonies as well. I think this could be a good thing as far these areas finally getting out from under other countires control even though they have been free for so long. But it could be bad because know that they are doing things on their own what will they do   

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Europe's four big dilemmas

Europe's four big dilemmas | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The BBC looks at four big questions that need to be answered if the eurozone crisis is to be laid to rest.

The crisis of our times...


Via Kevin Suess
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Putin calls for 'Eurasian Union'

Putin calls for 'Eurasian Union' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Russian PM Vladimir Putin calls for the formation of a "Eurasian Union" of former Soviet republics, but says it will not be like the defunct USSR.

 

Russia's cultural influence over former Soviet Republics is strong, but the desire to strengthen these old ties is deeply embedded into the cultural ethos of Russia.  It is also a key part of Russia's geopolitical strategy for greater international influence and economic strength.

 

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 2, 2013 9:59 AM

Putin is calling for a Eurasian Union. He said it would change the political and economical configuration of the continent and have positve global effects. Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have already formed an ecomonical allicance and it removes customs barriers. Putin has however denied that he is propsing for the recreation of the Soviet Union.  

Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 13, 2013 7:16 AM

So is this just to compete with NAFTA and the EU on an economic level?  Or is this to compete with the EU on economic, political and military level, much like the EU's EuroCorps?  Putin states thie is not a return to the USSR, but Russia has always been weary with the growing of NATO and the EU on its borders.  How about if Turkey gets int the EU right on the Russian border?  This action might move thie bloc creation even more forward and Putin might become more forceful to its creation.  No that former KGB member Putin is foreful.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 17, 2013 5:26 PM

It is more than understandable that former Soviet satelite states are weary of any kind of union with Russia. However, some sort of treaty could benefit the block, particularly an arangement like the one already held between Russia, Belarus, and Kahzakstan. An agreement that would ease travel between the two countries appears to have little downside.

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Europe moves to end passport-free travel in migrant row

Europe moves to end passport-free travel in migrant row | Geography Education | Scoop.it
European interior ministers agree to 'radical revision' of Schengen amid fears of a flood of migrants from north Africa...

 

The Schengen Treaty is one of the most important aspects that facilitate the free flow of People goods and capital in Europe.  With increasing cultural anxiety connected to immigration during economic rough times, will this signal a reversal of Europe's trend towards increasing regional integration? 

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The Great Green Wall

The Great Green Wall | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Great Green Wall initiative uses an integrated approach to restore a diversity of ecosystems to the North African landscape.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Great Green Wall initiative is composed of 11 countries that are cooperating together to combat the physical and human geographic characteristics that make the Sahel one of the more vulnerable ecosystems in the world.  This swath running through Africa is the transition zone where tropical Africa meets the Sahara.  The Sahel is susceptible to drought, overgrazing, land degradation and desertification.  These issues of resource management and land use transcend international borders so this "Green Wall" was created with the intent to protect the environment, landscapes and people of the Sahel from desert encroachment (as an aside, the Green Wall spatially corresponds nicely with the apocryphal Mountains of Kong). 


Tags: Africa, development, environment, waterbiogeography, ecology, environment depend, physical, weather and climate, supranationalism, political ecology.

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gawlab's curator insight, May 27, 9:49 AM

hopes our politics will take it for a major priority !

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 28, 8:38 PM

Its great to see countries coming together for one purpose and in this case the "Green Wall" to help protect and restore ecosystems in North Africa.

Sid McIntyre-DeLaMelena's curator insight, May 29, 9:32 AM

The Green Wall hopes to restore the environment of the North African area that was destroyed by desertification from overgrazing.

Desertification is one of the many consequences of Human-Environment Interaction that comes mainly from agricultural activity.

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Ukraine: To Face Europe or Russia?

Ukraine: To Face Europe or Russia? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"This map illustrates the country's deep division – and why the protests might not be what you think. Ukraine has been wracked by protests for two-plus weeks over President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to reject a deal for closer integration with the European Union. Russian President Vladimir Putin had been pressuring Yanukovych to quit the EU deal and join with a Moscow-led trade union of former Soviet states instead. Will Ukraine's future be with Russia or with Europe?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

The country of Ukraine is both ethnically and linguistically divided and since the fall of the Soviet Union, the partisan politics have mirrored these divisions.  The northwestern portion of the country is primarily ethnic Ukrainian and with the majority speaking Ukrainian.  This section of the country that is hoping to strengthen economic and political ties with the EU and face Europe; those that aren't as bullish on the EU here at least want to explore other options so they aren't overpowered by Moscow's shadow.  The southeastern portion of Ukraine primarily speaks Russian with sizeable ethnic Russian populations (although many ethnic Ukrainians speak Russian here); not surprisingly, this is the part of the country that would rather join in an economic union with Russia and other former Soviet Republics, or at least not turn their backs on Moscow. 


Questions to Ponder: Why are language and ethnicity often tied to political orientation?  Why might trading with all economic partners not be as viable an option?

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Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 8:52 PM

Language and ethnicity are often tied to a political oriantation because maybe the people feel as if they can connect to someones ideas or beliefs because they are the same gender, race, or share the same cultural traditions. People like to be able to relate to others. 

Tony Aguilar's curator insight, December 12, 2013 11:41 AM

language and ethnicity make a big difference in a country like ukraine, ethncity usually brings along with it relgious and political ties. It would be easier for a country divided as ukraine to ramain autonomous and trade with Russia, and the EU. It would not hurt the country to stay that way.  Right now citizens are tearing down russia related statues and are politcally divided not wanting to merge with Russia with their president. it is important to choose what is most viable for their citizens and country

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 4, 11:29 AM

There is such a solid division right through the middle of the country maybe it should split like Czechoslovakia did. The North can go with the EU and the south can go with Russia.

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Song: European Union

Song: European Union | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Germany and France spent decades at each others' throats. Now, bound by a common currency, they're working together to save the euro zone. It's a story that's begging for a musical number — which, as it happens, we have right here."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This playful song dramatizes the current E.U. financial crisis.  This humourous highlights what the E.U. was designed to be, and showing the advantages and disadvantages of enhanced regional cooperation.  This is certainly worth a listen.       


Tags: Europe, supranationalism, currency, economic

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 12:16 AM

This song does every bit of telling the truth while still being humorous in nature.  It is only fitting that there is some comedy here, because there is some irony in what the EU was supposed to become and what it has turned into since it's installment. 

Ashley Raposo's curator insight, December 18, 2013 10:04 PM

A catchy little tune that shows the simple comincal version of how the European Union came to be and turned out. Amazing how a cute little tune shows the troubles of a huge organization such as the European Union.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 29, 2:05 PM

Some countries such as Germany and France were once enemies. Now they are trying to forget their negative past, as many European countries are struggling financially and this funny song encourages the people to unite, due to the fact they share a common currency. 

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Eurozone unemployment hits record high

Eurozone unemployment hits record high | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The 17-nation bloc had a jobless rate of 11.6 per cent in September, while inflation eased slightly in the last month.


Although some countries in the Eurozone have lower unemployment rates like Austria (4.4%) and Germany (5.4%), more are in the worst collective tailspin since the creation of the common currency.  Spain has the worst unemplyment rate at 25.8% of the adult population out of work.  It has taken a nasty cultural and political turn as resentments and frustrations are boiling over in the Eurozone.  Some are derisively referring to the struggling southern European countries as P.I.G.S. (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain). 


Tags: Europe, supranationalism, currency, labor, economic

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 9, 2013 9:20 AM

A big problem in the EU.  There are countries feeling the pinch becasue of the problems of other countries.  They feel why do we have to foot the bill of so many other countries that are just failing in their own economies through their own fault.  Sounds about the same as in the US when people say why do I have to pay for others mistakes and pay more in taxes.  One is on a macro scale, one is on a micro scale. 

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California and NAFTA

The AAG News Briefs is a great source of content.

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Can Europe Survive the Rise of the Rest?

Can Europe Survive the Rise of the Rest? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The European Union will never manage to compete with China and other rising powers unless it unites politically, scales up and becomes a genuine giant.


This author argues that the main driving forces that led towards European unification in the decades after WWII are now gone or are diminished in importance.  As many of the economies of Europe, especially southern Europe are struggling, it is time for the European Union to rediscover and restructure it's raison d'être--it's reason for being--if it wants to continue to compete on a global level.   


Tags: Supranationalism, Europe, political, unit 4 political and economic.

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Amy Marques's curator insight, July 29, 2013 6:05 AM

This is a great overview of what is truely happening in the world. How Europe is still seen as a travel destination and perhaps turism is one of its strengths in terms of keeping the economies going in European countries, but its true that much of the economic activity is starting to shift over to Asian countries and its something the "big three", China, the US, and Europe are going to have to look at. These three primarily relied on eachother, but maybe its time to start looking at buisness affairs with other nations like Singnapore and Japan.

Louis Culotta's curator insight, July 30, 2013 8:41 AM

In reviewing this change in economic power in the world would show how business in moving to other parts the world due to how cheaply they can be produced.

Cam E's curator insight, February 27, 8:10 AM

Many of Europe's initial reasons for uniting have disappeared, but there lies another reason to continue doing so, that being the ability to compete with the US and China as a major superpower. Of course Europe isn't united in the same way that those countries are, and are still individual countries, but a strong economic union might be in their best interest economically. This doesn't mean it would be a good thing though, as consolidating the many countries and identities into one governing body is potentially dangerous, both for the freedom of the people, and for the stability of the region. One could imagine a scenario in the future where former Croatians are being dictated to by a government based out of France or Germany, that have no local or ethnic connection to them.

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What America Manufactures

What America Manufactures | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"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.   

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Marissa Roy's curator insight, October 15, 2013 7:39 AM

This article and map were very interesting. I like how the article breaks down what is being made and exported in America, because honestly I had no idea, as it seems everyone grumbles that we do not make anything more. Granted, we make a lot less than we have in the past, but we are still manufactoring quite an array of goods and services

Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, December 10, 2013 12:34 PM

In the current ecnomny america is cleary importing more  than its exporting, but suprisingly not by much.  The mos common thing to find on many of todays products, cloths, phones, ect. is made in china , and beacuse of all this its a popular belife that  America doesnt make anything any more, we just buy all of our stuff from china. While this isnt true, america does not produce alot of final produts to distubite world wide. However they do have a large export of goods maily industral supply and capital goods, along with many services that add up to 2.1 trillion dollars. So while we might not be the leading  manufacture for plastic toys or cloths, its  nice to be reminded that we still contibute some things to the global trade community. 

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 11, 2013 4:09 PM


This is great because now we can witness the creation of jobs in the country which can help the country get out of the depression that it is in. it also can help people get jobs and not have to worry about if there unemployment check is going enough to cover there expenses. Also people that are working are less likely to get depressed because they are not trapped in there homes because now they have something that is distracting them. But the United States is seeing a great improvement because of all the things being manufactured here. One good example is the Honda accord power plant and the ford motor company plant and even general motors in Detroit. all of these companies is helping the Americans get back into the workforce.

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Turks Enjoy A Little Schadenfreude At EU's Expense

After years of seeing their bid to join the EU stalled, Turks are trying not to show too much pleasure at the doom-laden economic news emanating from Europe. However, economists warn, Europe's debt crisis could easily spill in Turkey's direction.

 

In an ironic twist, Turkey might just be in the better financial situation by NOT being a part of the EU.  Cultural and political tensions between Greece and Turkey run deep and the latest economic crisis is revealing.  Listen or read the transcript by clicking on the title. 

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The Globalist: EU and Global Governance

The Globalist: EU and Global Governance | Geography Education | Scoop.it
If supranational governance can't work in Europe, how can it possibly work for the world as a whole?


Supranationalism, with the Euro crisis has taken a hit.  Will other organizations show that there is "strength in numbers" or that countries should adopt an "every man for himself" perspective? 

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Greeks Protest Austerity Plan Amid Growing Weariness

Greeks Protest Austerity Plan Amid Growing Weariness | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Thousands of Greeks walked off the job on Wednesday to protest a relentless austerity drive by a government that is struggling to avert a default.

 

To say the Greek economy is struggling is an understatement.  Despite being the most educated modern Greek generation, the under 35 age bracket at 40% unemployment.  Many feel that they are paying for the older generations mismanage and are bristling at austerity measures. 

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NYTimes Interactive: Tracking Europe's Debt Crisis

NYTimes Interactive: Tracking Europe's Debt Crisis | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The latest economic and policy developments from countries in the euro zone.

 

This site has updates with economic statistics as well as background on the individual country's economic problems. 

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