"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.
http://www.ted.com Have we used up all our resources? Have we filled up all the livable space on Earth? Paul Gilding suggests we have, and the possibility of...
This provocatively title TED talk would be an excellent resource for discussing sustainable development. What are the economic, environmental, political and cultural ramifications of suggested policies that seek to lead towards sustainable development? What are the ramifications of not changing policies towards sustainable development?
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."
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.
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