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Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

What we can learn from Mexico

What we can learn from Mexico | Meagan's Geoography 400 |

Earlier this month, the president told a newspaper the solution to partisanship is politics and more politics.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Most of what we hear coming out of Mexico is from the drug trafficking, violence and murders but behind the scenes Mexico has been quietly developing. We can see here how georaphy is playing a big part in Mexico's development, because they share a boarder with the US they are able to transport products much cheaper over the boarder. One of the most interesting facts in this piece is that Mexico has trade agreements with 44 countries.     

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 5:17 PM

A few weeks ago, the president told a newspaper the solution to partisanship is politics and more politics. That’s how you work toward the building of agreements. Unfortunately, it wasn't Barack Obama. It was Mexico’s Enrique Pena Nieto. One of the first things Pena Nieto did after assuming office was to announce a pact for Mexico, an ambitious set of reforms to raise taxes, increase competition and take on the teachers’ unions. While the world has gotten used to a torrent of images and news of drug-related violence from Mexico, another side of this country has been quietly developing. What we can learn from Mexico is that they are quite successful.  Mexico’s GDP is expected to grow by nearly 4 percent this year, twice as fast as Brazil or, for that matter, the United States. It is riding a manufacturing boom. Mexico is now the world’s fourth biggest producer of cars, according to the World Trade Atlas. Starting next year, new taxis in New York City will carry a “made in Mexico' label.” Mexico is also the world's top exporter of flat screen TVs. In fact, Mexico exports more manufactured products than all the other countries in Latin America combined. A major factor that comes into play is geography.  Sharing a border with the United States means heavy products are cheaper to transport across than if they were manufactured in, say, Asia. Nieto continues to inform us what we can learn from Mexico.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 8:37 PM

The title of this article was what enticed me as I was hoping to find an actual answer. However, based on this article alone, I don’t actually think there is much the United States can learn from Mexico about politics or economics.


This author failed to mention that a difference in political systems could also attribute to the new Mexican leader’s ability to obtain “endorsements from across the spectrum.”  Mexico recently had an election. The new President this article is praising is part of a party that controlled the land for 70+ years until Nieto's predecessor. His predecessor messed up with the cartels so badly that Nieto was elected back into office. Given the amount of support Nieto had going into office, it doesn't seem so challenging to negotiate with opposing parties. Plus, I doubt the opposing parts are as unreasonable as some of the United States members of congress, like the Tea Party.   


I also see little to glean from the manufacturing route that Mexico is on at the moment. I will admit that the projected GDP growth of 4% mentioned in the article is impressive. However, thinking that the key to economic growth in the United States is through a similar “manufacturing boom” is just out of touch with the times. As stated in class our wages can’t keep up with the cheaper wages of developing countries (a point the author eluded to in the section discussing “the three main factors at play,” factor number three). Thus, doing what Mexico is doing doesn’t fit the American economy. What the United States might try doing is finding a manufacturing niche that no one has a market on in order to obtain more jobs. Maybe something higher end or medically related would be of benefit to the United States. Even these jobs would end up comprising a small part of the United States economy because the United States is more of a white collar economy. As such, more should be done to protect that sector of our economy from things like outsourcing given its relevance to our modern economy.


 Overall, I think the media’s quick comparisons of other countries falls under the bad category of globalization. A fair amount of people would just use this article to say things like, if Mexico’s leader can do X Y & Z then so should Obama. Yet, many of those people wouldn’t actually think about all the differences or reasons why Obama can’t compromise or revert the economy backwards. Am I saying Obama shouldn’t try more or that I am happy with the lack of compromise by all, no. However, I think it is dangerous for journalist to gloss over the situation since many people will take them as a credible source to cite. Mind you not all journalism is bad though. The Scoop.It article I read this week regarding Walmart is a great example of how investigative journalism can have positive consequences. The major difference being one actually did their homework that cited concrete specifics, while the other made a flimsy analogy.  

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 22, 7:44 AM

While our government is perpetually mired in gridlock, the Mexican government is making lasting reforms to their nation. News attention on Mexico is almost always negative. While the violence and the drug trade are serious issues,  not enough attention is being devoted to the rapid growth of the Mexican economy. Politicians in Mexico are coming together to create an environment for positive economic growth. The article describes three factors that are leading to the growth of the Mexican economy. The first factor is Mexico's geographic location. Being located right next door to the United States is an enormous advantage for Mexico. Industrial goods are easily and cheaply being transported across the border. The second factor is the ever controversial NAFTA. The agreement ratified during the Clinton Administration allows for Mexican goods to be sold at lower rates than their Asian counterparts. The final factor is wages. The cheap labor environment has made the nation a manufacturing hub. So what can the United States learn from Mexico? Many of their economic advantages are not applicable to our country. However, we can look to Mexico for an example of functioning government. It well past time that our political parties come together and actually try to govern our nation.

Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

Why leave the West for India?

Why leave the West for India? | Meagan's Geoography 400 |
Rising numbers of people of Indian origin born in the West are moving to the country their parents left decades ago in search of opportunity and a cultural connection, reports the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan.


Since 2005, the Indian government has been encouraging people of Indian descent and former Indian nationals to return to India.  For many Indians living in the UK, there are more and better economic opportunities for them within India.   Migrants have many reasons for moving (including cultural factors), but the primary pull factor is most certainly India's ascendant importance in the global economy and rising IT industries. 


Tags: India, South Asia, migration, immigration, Europe, colonialism, unit 2 population. 

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

There is a rising number of Indian origin born in the west that are moving back to India. One reason would be India's economy is growing faster then the US and England's. India has many more opportunities for new wealth and it is attracting the young entrepreneurs as well. Another reason they are moving back is for cultural connection that they are not recieving where they are now. Many have said that they are looked at as different and not accepted and that is why they want to go back to India, so that they feel that acceptance. 

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 1:43 PM

This article demonstrates the need to leave and create a better life for not only this family but for other families that feel as if their life and societial views are putting their future in jeapody. There is a rising number of people from India that are moving to the West; where their parents were born and restaring their lives there. They are in a sense coming home to what they had left behind.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, November 1, 2014 9:37 PM

As the article says, India is encouraging more people of Indian descent to return to India because of the opportunities that have become increasingly available within the country due to its  westernization . Aside from the corruption and poverty that are in India, the country has not seen any signs of these opportunities stopping.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, November 10, 2014 4:42 PM

With the rise in globalization and the IT industry, it is obvious that there is opportunity for success.  Many traveled to the US for economic opportunity, however many companies and IT departments are being outsourced to India, thus taking jobs away from the US.  

Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

Once a Producer, China is now a Consumer

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. 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

China has become the worlds largest car market and General motors planned to open another 600 dealerships because it sells more cars in China then it does in the US. China have even become a bigger consumer in of goods, when this atricle was released they were purchasing 18.5 million worth of goods. That has alot to do with the increased pay they are now recieving as well.  

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 21, 2013 12:56 PM

This is an interesting headline and topic because so many Americans blame China for job loss, when in reality, China is no longer at the forefront of manufacturing and industry.  China is consuming from foreign markets, such as the United States, just as it has been producing and manufacturing goods.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:07 PM

The car culture in the United States has made us a very lucrative customer for foreign auto industries. Our infrastructure is build around the automobile, we built our highway system, suburban communities and other support systems to encourage auto use. In China, they may need to consider the way their countries is structured and whether or not heavy automobile use will be functional. In Jakarta we see massive traffic jams because they are not equipped to handle more people driving to work.

Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

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. 

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

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.   

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.
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.

Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico

How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico | Meagan's Geoography 400 |
Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited, an examination by The New York Times found.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Walmart bribed Mexico officals $52,000 to have the zoning maps redrawn before it was published in the newspapers. So when it was published it showed the allowed area drawen in for the building of the new walmart. The building created uproar from the people. They were upset from the congested traffic and created months of hunger strikes and sit ins that made Mexican media. 


James Hobson's curator insight, September 23, 2014 1:17 PM

(Mexico topic 9)

It is troubling to discover how bribery still continues to promote special interests at the expense of others and their own interests. Though other articles I have commented on discuss the improving economy and politics of Mexico, this one clearly shows an area that needs much more attention.

   Despite this, all of the fuss (though justifiable) may be slightly over-exaggerated in my opinion. Just look at the photo above: the WalMart is at least somewhat set back from the pyramids, BUT the smoke and smog from other industries fills the air right up to and all around the pyramids themselves. I think this is just as much, if not more, of an injustice to the cultural site. While one can choose whether or not to enter a store, it is impossible not to breathe in the polluted air and have one's view limited while visiting such a place.

   Lastly, although bribery is certainly something I deeply frown upon, perhaps it is slightly less "wrong" than it would be in other countries like the US. Since Mexico's government and its departments have a reputation (at least from what I've heard) of being corrupted, perhaps the only way to build a store is to offer a bribe. It would be interesting to see if this was the case with other store locations throughout Mexico.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 8:50 PM

Clearly it is horrible what Walmart did, but what about everyone else in this scenario? Walmart was able to damage public history and jeopardize the traffic safety of Mexico because they figured out the going price for those concepts was: a couple mayors, some INAH official, and an Urban Operations official (see article for in-depth explanations of how each was bought off). All of whom bypassed their duty to the public. See I am not surprised by the corporation’s actions. The corporation is acting for its own self-interest like many corporations have historically done. In fact, compared to the East India Company of 1800 (which had its own standing army) this is tame (see below article). I would prefer companies not to operate as such, however a company will act in such a manner so long as it is permitted. Deterring such actions falls on the fault of the officials who were so easily bought off.


Yet, whose job is it to police a corporation? At one point, the article mentioned that when the Mexican investigation found nothing wrong with Walmart they, “chided protesters for failing to present any specific proof.” I’m sorry, but it isn’t the protesters job to go out and find proof. That is the job of an investigator, whom I might add didn’t do a good job given the evidence the New York Times was able to amass. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) for Mexico, they probably aren’t that apt at forensic banking because they are a largely agrarian society who only relatively recently is being introduced to the corporate world. Looks like there is a whole new specialty that Mexico will need to learn soon due to globalization. I say Mexico needs to learn this also because it is mainly their job to monitor their people. I understand that this is an American company so on some level they will have to monitor their people. However, majority of the people involved in this were in Mexico. Thus, Mexico will need to deal with their side of justice and also start developing environmentally usefully laws under the new corporate rule (i.e. ones that protect historical artifacts even when the “proper” licenses have been secured.)


I am not looking to just pick on Mexico’s corporation problems either because we all know the United States has their fair share of corporate issues. In fact, I think it is safe to say that Walmart could have bought off people in the United States too. Think of all the tainted deals that occurred in the subprime mortgage crisis. We aren’t even sure because no one actually went after them! At least in the case of Walmart there is an investigation going on again. It will be interesting to see what the end result is though. Most times, it isn’t near what a company should get. In the United States some are literally able to get away with murder. Just look at GM's latest court dealings. I hope Mexico can do a better job than the United States when it comes to handling corporate investigations in the future.  



Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 5, 2:32 PM

This article shows the "forced globalization" of Mexico.  I thought it was interesting how Walmart de Mexico would use such cutthroat means to build a "intermediate sized store".  Yet the Walmart officials in Mexico realized that being not too far from a major tourist attraction would help business.  There were many groups who tried to stop it from happening, but they could not stop the store from being built.  This article shows how corporate Globalization is ruthless, and it doesn't care about disobeying laws.  This article also shows that if a company is big enough, it can, in effect do whatever it pleases.  In the United States on the other hand, this type of bribery could never have happened. 

Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

Tunneling through Andes to speed global trade

Tunneling through Andes to speed global trade | Meagan's Geoography 400 |
Bolivian and Peruvian farmers sell entire crop to meet rising western demand, sparking fears of malnutrition

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

In Argentina there is a proposed plan to build a tunnel that would be the longest tunnel in the Americas through the mountains. It would make billions of dollars worth of Chinese electronics, Chilean wine, Argentine food and Brazilian Cars cheaper and more competitive. It would save millions on shipping and safe time on shipping as well. The only pass through the Andes at the moment is in the south and gets buried in snow in the winter stranding shipments. If this is put into place many people believe that it cut travel time by a third.     

Joshua Mason's curator insight, February 19, 1:06 PM

Rail proves to be a very effective way of transporting a large amount of goods cheaply overland as my freight conductor friend likes to remind me as I ask him why hasn't trucking phased out your job yet. Except he reminds me in more colourful language. Building a tunnel that drops shipping costs from $210 to $177 is a huge boost in savings. What always interests me is the private interest taken in South America and this tunnel is no exception. It's proposed with no help from the government or funding. Fees to use the tunnel would pay for it. Too much privatization or too much government ownership always a red flag for most people. If cheaper prices for imports from Asia and Chile outweigh the concerns for the Argentine, then this project just may be worth the initial 3.9 billion dollar price tag for that long hole in the Andes.

Rachel Phillips's curator insight, May 7, 12:54 PM

This is a great idea for a region that has the need to travel so much through such a tough area. Even if it will cost a lot of money to accomplish, in the long run it will save more than it costs to build.  This could change so much, and really boost their economies. Not only would it speed up shipping time and lower shipping costs, but it would allow more shipping to be done which means more business throughout the entire year as opposed to the situation now with snow getting in the way. Not only would it effect that aspect of the economy but it would also produce jobs for the time of the work being done, which is never a bad thing.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 1, 8:19 AM

If this project can be accomplished, it would truly be one of the greatest engineering feats in human history. To build a railroad tunnel through the Andes mountains seems impossible, but in all likelihood with the right amount of funding, it can be done. The tunnel would have great economic benefits for both Brazil and Argentina. Goods from both countries could be shipped in both directions with out any issues. The larger world would also benefit from the train tunnel. It is estimated that the tunnel would lower the shipping costs from East Asia to the Southern Atlantic. The entire global trading market would benefit from this development.

Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

What America Manufactures

What America Manufactures | Meagan's Geoography 400 |

"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.   

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

I will admit this kind of surprised me. For one I didnt know we were selling anything to China much less soybeans. Auto parts to Canada and gold to Europe where equally as surpsing as well. As far as exporting tv shows and movies goes that wasnt surpring with this day and age and everything being online that I can see.   

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 11, 2013 7:09 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.

Nicholas Patrie's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:05 PM

i was surprised to see that our country still exports so many products. What i find even more surprising is that the top countries that are buying our good are our bordering countries, Canada and Mexico. As much Petroleum we receive from the middle east we still are exporting so much of it to Canada and Mexico. It seems that foreign cars such as ones from Japan are taking over the industry yet our top export to Canada is car parts. it is good to see that America still exports.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 12:03 PM

I was surprised and reassured to see how much the U.S. exports to other parts of the world.  I was unaware that the U.S exported to China because we physically surrounded by items made in China. Although our imports exceed exports, we are still producing,