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Southmoore AP Human Geography
Resources and current events articles relevant to the study of AP Human Geography.
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Mexico's 'maquiladora' labor system keeps workers in poverty

Mexico's 'maquiladora' labor system keeps workers in poverty | Southmoore AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

Some four decades after welcoming foreign assembly plants and factories, known as maquiladoras, Mexico has seen only a trickle of its industrial and factory workers join the ranks of those who even slightly resemble a middle class.

 

Despite making such consumer goods like BlackBerry smartphones, plasma TVs, appliances and cars that most people in the US, for instance, consider necessities, Mexican workers in these factories seldom get to enjoy these items because, as this article argues, the labor system keeps them in poverty.  Foreign investment in these businesses keep unions out and attracts workers from poorer areas, allowing low-cost labor to prevail.  Less than $8 a day is the going wage - great for the bottom line and consumer prices but very bleak for those who toil in this system.


Via Seth Dixon, Marc Crawford , Mankato East High School, JeanneSilvey
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Olga Varlamov's curator insight, November 23, 2013 8:26 PM

This article talks about how the maquiladora labor system dosen't provide enough money for it's workers. Many in Mexico are living in poverty and can't afford much more than dinner because of their low wages.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 4, 2014 12:47 PM

The labor system keeps workers in Poverty. This is the argument that is transitioned by stating the fact that many factory workers are and will always remian in poverty if they have no oppurtunity to move up in the food chain and become educated in order to get themselves out of poverty. They need different skills in order to aquire a better job to create a better life.  

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, February 11, 11:33 PM

Its a very sad situation reading this. Seeing people go through all this to just survive. Kids don't even get any education and follow their parents footsteps to work at a plant just to be able to pay for bills. 8 dollars a day, and you wonder why they try to run to united states. Its very unfortunate that a lot of people go through this and i hope it changes soon, because to see that this is going on makes me thankful for what i have around me. Foreign investors are not great as they set out to be take advantage of the poor and get rich out of it, i think its pretty ridiculous.

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What we can learn from Mexico

What we can learn from Mexico | Southmoore AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

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


Via Seth Dixon
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Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 29, 2014 2:18 PM

The facts about the "new" Mexico help in reasoning why less people are migrating.  The new Mexico looks hopeful and prosperous but when you read about the affects of the drug wars and violence, we see that there is still room for progress for the country in order to keep their citizens from leaving Mexico.

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.  

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Where is my Milk From?

Where is my Milk From? | Southmoore AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
Find out which dairy your milk comes from!

 

Too often we have heard the answer "from the grocery store!"  With more thought, the farm would be the next answer, but what kind of farm?  Which farm? Where is coming from?  All you need to arm your students to make the commodity chain more personal is the code on the carton and this link, and they are on their way to exploring the geography of industrial agriculture (more likely than not).  This site is designed to help consumer become more aware of the geography of diary production and to get to know where the products that we are putting in are body are coming from.  So, where does your milk come from? 


Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 3, 2013 6:20 PM

Too often we have heard the answer "from the grocery store!"  With more thought, the farm would be the next answer, but what kind of farm?  Which farm? Where is it coming from?  All you need to arm your students to make the commodity chain more personal is the code on the carton and this link, and they are on their way to exploring the geography of industrial agriculture (more likely than not).  This site is designed to help consumer become more aware of the geography of diary production and to get to know where the products that we are putting in are body are coming from.  My milk (consumed in Cranston, RI) is from Guida's Milk and Ice Cream from New Britain, CT.  So, where does your milk come from?

Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, December 4, 2013 2:39 PM

I loved reading about this site and there idea. its so ture that too often we say "from the grochry store" when asked were this cheese or food product is from. However acutlly knowing that animal that produced the food, before it was packed and shipped out, is a very cool things that technollagy in the 21st century  is allowing us to do. Its funny when i was on my study abrod trip in mexico and we bought some goat cheese from a rancho there,, i tried to ask how he made it, but he thought i ment who made it and he walked me over and pointed to the goat that he had gotten it from. 

Miles Gibson's curator insight, March 16, 12:31 AM

Unit 5 agriculture 

This article explains how the milk of the local markets and stores may not be as local as it seems. It can actually travel far ways and many miles to reach your destination and can actually be possibly expired before it gets to you in some areas.

This relates to unit 5 because it shows how the von thunen model shows the relevancy of short distance travel of milk and is negated when the milk is shipped from other areas. This overall theory is proven valid in the fact that ranching is a farther output than produce and therefore is relatable due to the fact the vegetation is conservative from a more local aspect.

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The World's 25 Busiest Airports

The World's 25 Busiest Airports | Southmoore AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
More than 1.4 billion airline passengers departed, landed, or connected through these massive facilities in 2012. Viewing them from above gives a sense of their gargantuan scale and global significance.

Via Seth Dixon
Mr. David Burton's insight:

I've been through 13 of these airports (over half).

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L.Long's curator insight, February 16, 2014 4:24 AM

Transport technology is a key factor that assists the operation of Global networks

 

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:11 PM

I found it interesting that one of the most busiest airports was in the US, in Atlanta to be exact. A lot of the airports that are included in this list of 25 were located in the US. Also, I noticed that there are no busy airports in Africa, South America, and Australia. I'm wondering if it is because not many people wish to travel there due to the climate and environment.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:26 PM

Is really good to know the busiest Airports because you would think that the number one is John F. Kennedy International Airport but it is not. The number one busiest airport in the world is the

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

 

 
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Economics behind Gangnam Style

The viral hit isn't a fluke. South Korea has been cultivating a global music business for decades. You may already know that I've been fascinating watching the cultural diffusion of Gangnam Style throughout the world as mentioned previously. This NPR podcast looks at the economic infrastructure of the South Korean music industry that explains in greater detail how this video went viral. The distribution of this video is dependent in part on the technological sophistication and economic strategies of South Korea to associate their brands with cultural cachet.
Via Seth Dixon
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Sierra_Mcswagger's curator insight, March 10, 7:39 PM

This NPR podcast explains the rapid diffusion of the song we all had stuck in our heads previously "Gangnam Style".  South Korea invests as much as they do in there music industry as they do with their vehicle industry.  Because their a small country and their music industry wants to be big, they have to get noticed outside there country. To make this work, music moguls in the country created hit factories, turning young singers into pop stars and sending them on tour around Asia. K Pop is now noticed all over the globe with songs like "Gangnam Style" which music video is one of the most viewed videos on YouTube.                                                                              

                                                                                                                                S.S.