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For Mexicans Looking North, a New Calculus Favors Home

For Mexicans Looking North, a New Calculus Favors Home | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it

"Economic, demographic and social changes in Mexico are suppressing illegal immigration as much as the poor economy or legal crackdowns in the United States."


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

I look at this article and think, "perfect timing".  Within the last few decades, the United States was a destination to make dreams come true and raise a family with a healthy income.  That was a time where jobs and opportunities were arising within the states, so in an immigrants perspective, why not make the trip?  Now, in 2013, things are a little different.  The middle class is not as affluent as before, and people tend to be struggling compared to previous years.  Instead of saving for a summer vacation, it's saving to make the car payments and inevitable bills at the end of each month.  Immigrants obviously recognize this and making the trip becomes less and less appealing, and then there's a curveball...  The economy is improving south of the border as well as the ability to raise a family.  Why risk criminal activity and especially one's life when there are opportunites right at home?  Another issue to note is the severe risk when crossing the border.  The United States has cracked down on it's boundaries with the advancement in technology and manpower, but that's only a problem if the extremely powerful cartels are bypassed on the Mexican side.

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Tracy Galvin's comment, January 30, 2:28 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.
Tracy Galvin's curator insight, February 4, 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, 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.

 

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China now eats twice the meat we do

China now eats twice the meat we do | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
We can learn a lot from examining the way China's diet has changed in the last 20 years -- as well as its required efficiencies and the agriculture that supports it.

 

The United States still consumes more meat per capita than China, but as China's economy has grown (along with it's income and standard of living), the consumer habits have changed as well.  What will the impacts of the rise in Chinese meat consumption mean?   How do they get all this meat?  http://www.scoop.it/t/geography-education/p/1661841673/this-little-piggy-is-going-to-china


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This is actuallty very believable considering the population growth that China has experienced.  It only makes sense that the more people there are, the more meat will be consumed.  It is part of their cuisine to include meat.  Pork and chicken are among many of the popular proteins which are found on their dishes.  There is also the expansion to go along with all of the growth.  The landscape of the eastern part of the country has become more agriculturally accomodating for crops and livestock alike.  Therefore to match the trend of growing population, is the need to match it with meat and other foods.

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Seth Dixon's comment, July 25, 2012 8:09 PM
As more societies aspire to 'American lifestyles,' consuming meat goes up. As a country gets wealthier, their capacity to have a meat market expands. But China is so big, that shift is actually a big deal.
Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 11:15 PM

I wonder if this will bring on a meat shortage. At the least it is helping to full "factory" farmer and the feeding on cheep corn to cows. I wonder how much this will effect global warming.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 6:25 PM

China now eats twice as much meat than America. However, this chart does not touch upon "per-capita" which plays a major role in where the food is being dispersed and consumed. 

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U.S. Travel To Cuba Grows As Restrictions Are Eased

The Obama administration has relaxed travel restrictions to Cuba, reinstating Bill Clinton's policy of allowing people-to-people travel.

Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

Maybe a few decades ago this would be outlandish, but United States and Cuban relations have become much less tense compared to the Cold War era.  The risk they posed in the previous century is stabilized now, their alliances show little harm to the U.S., if any at all.  It is also interesting to see more Americans making the trip to Cuban soil.One of them is Anthony Bourdain from the Travel Channel's show "No Reservations."  His visit there helped show the viewers that Cuba is a country that has almost been sheltered in its own cage.  His experiences show that within the nation there are genuine people and an amazing culture which foreigners can learn from as well as admire.

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 8, 12:14 PM

This article is about relaxed travel restrictions for Americans visiting Cuba. The United States has restricted American tourism to Cuba as any money the US sends to Cuba is seen as supporting the Castro government. However, since Europe and Canada have no such restrictions there is not a shortage of tourist money being spent in Cuba. With the US relaxing its travel restrictions, Cuban-Americans wanting to visit family or their homeland and many who have long wanted to to visit the country are getting the chance to do so.

Amy Marques's curator insight, February 12, 11:05 PM

This article talks about how the Obama administration has begun loosening up its restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba. Cuba is the only country the US restricts its citizens to visiting. Even though Americans are allowed to travel to Cuba, there is a catch, one would have to go on a U.S. government approved tour, and would not be allowed to go to the beach or Havanas Cabaret at night. The groups goes to hospitals, schools and historic sites, all with a tour guide appointed by the Cuban government. So is this really considering "relaxing travel restrictions" or is it more of, sure you can visit Cuba, but you're only allowed to go where the US government wants you to go.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 28, 1:58 PM

Traveling to Cuba has been a difficult journey to make in the past. With Obama's new rules in place, he has eased the process of travel to this country. These new restrictions will make traveling home to Cuba easier for those who want to visit their relatives.

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NYTimes: Russian Anger Grows Over Chechnya Subsidies

NYTimes: Russian Anger Grows Over Chechnya Subsidies | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Resentment over the lavish federal subsidies paid to Chechnya and other regions in the North Caucasus could become a liability for Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

 

Multi-ethnic states, political geography and Russia's geopolitical complexities. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

The article brings back memories of this past year and the Boston Marathon where the two bombers were found out to be from the Chechen region.  Due to social networks and word of mouth, many people jumped to assume that the attack was because of "the Russians".  Little was known about Chechnya and the people within the area, but it showed that in America at least, there was quite a bit of ignorance and assumption floating around.  Even political figures and in news reports there was confusion of the exact boundaries and ethnic backgrounds that the region possessed.  It shows the media gives people what they want to hear, and the listeners are seldom to do their own research to understand the truth.

Russia and its surrounding region has constantly been changing since the fall of the Soviet Union.  New countries form and more ethnicities arise constantly and with all these new developments form even newer confusion.  Many of these areas intertwine various languages, religions, cultures, and at times putting a barrier between them is nearly impossible.  As reports unravelled, they showed actual conflict between Chechnya and those of the Russian capital, Moscow.  There had been hostage situations and terrorist plots carried out by people suspected to be from the Chechen region and even the Russian president Vladimir Putin had grown angry about being apart of Chechnya.  With all these events and learnings, it shows that some countries still have people and areas within its boundaries that have little known about them.

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Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal | Sinica Geography 400 | 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.


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

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.

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 16, 2013 8:14 PM

We never heard about this during the Soviet Union as the news was controlled.  Also during the Soviet time I do not believe environmentalists would have gotton the chance to investigate the area.  With the fall of the USSR the world can now see some of the environmental effects that communism had on Russia.  These towns are built around the factory.  Much like the old steele towns in PA, like Allentown.  However Allentown chnaged with the times and is able to support, although it is difficult, the population that was focused on the steele industry.  Here is this remote area of Russia, there is nothing else in the area.  There is no service economy in the area, just the paper factory.  It has been kept open because of Putin who basically said to ignore all environmental laws and regulations and he made sure the environmental groups are not an issue anymore.  Not surprising from a former KGB Lt. Colonel and the Director of the FSB, the sucessor of the KGB.  To solve the issue in these monotowns I think there needs to be government intervention to transition the economies in theses areas.  To keep these factories running in the long run will just hurt all the people in the towns with no end in sight.  However, I do not think this will happen unless there is a change in the leadership of Russia, something I do not think will happen anytime soon.

Ashley Raposo's curator insight, December 19, 2013 1:42 AM

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, 12:05 PM

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.

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The world map of chocolate (made out of chocolate)

The world map of chocolate (made out of chocolate) | Sinica Geography 400 | 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. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

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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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 5, 2012 2:13 PM
I love chocolate but I agree with Don, nobody knows the "behind the scenes" of making this delicious treat. It stays behind doors very successfully that the majority of the public will never know exactly where and how they get their chocolate.
Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 9:53 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 11:33 AM

Interesting for our KS1 chocolate topic.

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Worker safety in China

This is an incredible video because of the shocking footage of blatant disregard for worker safety.  This can lead to an interesting discussion concerning how China has been able to have its economy grow.  What other ways has China (or Chinese companies) been "cutting corners?"  How does that give them a competitive edge on the global industrial market?     


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This guy is crazy! This just happened to be captured on video but who knows the other stunts that workers go through in the country.  The demand and speed of the jobs to be completed don't always take in the safety of the workers.  The regulations that are set in place aren't enforced strongly, if at all, which is why you can see this guy dangling from a building.  Yet at the end of the day, the job has to be done, and surely this man will not be going home with a bonus check even though he risked his life to keep up with the demanding pace set for the demolition job.

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 5:13 PM

This video is jaw-dropping proof of how China cuts corners in their quest for growing their economy. With such a large population looking for work China does not really need to protect their workers. I wonder if China will experience a labor movement similar to the one in the US that introduced protective legislation.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 12, 9:19 AM

This video shows a complete lack of concern for worker safety in China. The workers use the backhoe as a makeshift platform so one of them can cut the rebar suspending a massive piece of concrete from the side of the building. These kinds of shortcuts are the ways which China is able to keep a competitive edge in the world market. With hardly any regard for fair wages, worker safety, or worker rights, China is able to manufacture goods for prices no one else can compete with. Eventually, China will face opposition from its workforce as its industry matures and the government can either appease them or face revolution.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 6:47 PM

In Beijing, workers safety is not a top priority. This video may shock viewers to the extreme levels workers will go to for such a small paycheck. This worker, many stories up climbs onto an excavator to be lowered down to a area that could not be reached. It is insane how these unsafe conditions compare to Americas. It makes you wonder how China has such a growing economy and a global leader when when things like this are happening on a day to day basis.