Geography Education
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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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From Risking His Life To Saving Lives, Ex-Coal Miner Is Happy To Take The Paycut

From Risking His Life To Saving Lives, Ex-Coal Miner Is Happy To Take The Paycut | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The "Brave New Workers" series tells stories of Americans adapting to a changing economy. This week: after years working in the coal mines of West Virginia, a miner charts a new career in health care.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This series, Brave New Workers, is all about workers adapting to the shifting economic geographies.  Some industries are seen as foundational to a community and there is much angst about the loss of particular jobs.  New technologies are disruptive, and the process of job creation/job loss is sometimes referred to as creative destruction.  My uncle, once about a time, was a typewriter repairman.  Clearly, the personal computer was going to render his niche in the economic system obsolete so he became a web developer.  Not everyone successfully makes a seamless transition, but this collection of stories is emblematic of the modern American worker, needing to nimbly adapt to the labor market.

 

Tagspodcast, industry, manufacturinglabor, economic, USA.  

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The Final Days Of Hawaiian Sugar

The Final Days Of Hawaiian Sugar | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The sugar industry in Hawaii dominated the state's economy for over a century. But it has shrunk in recent years. Now, the last of the state's sugar mills has wrapped up its final harvest.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I grew up hearing commercials that sold the purity of the Hawaiian sugar Industry (C & H, Pure Sugar, that's the one!).  These commercials sold not just the purity of Hawaii's sugar, but also of the people and the place.  These commercials were some of my first geographic imaginings of an exotic tropical paradise on the peripheral edge of the United States.  Just like the imagined tropical bliss, the actual sugar industry of Hawaii is also coming to an end.  "For over a century, the sugar industry dominated Hawaii's economy. But that changed in recent decades as the industry struggled to keep up with the mechanization in mills on mainland U.S. That and rising labor costs have caused Hawaii's sugar mills to shut down, shrinking the industry to this one last mill."   

 

Tags: industrymanufacturinglabor, economic, agribusiness, agriculture.

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, December 20, 2016 8:22 AM
Industries change..
Jane Ellingson's curator insight, December 20, 2016 9:42 AM
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$75 a day vs. $75,000 a year: How we lost jobs to Mexico

$75 a day vs. $75,000 a year: How we lost jobs to Mexico | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A college-educated, manufacturing engineer makes $1,500 a month working the production line at a GE plant in Mexico (about $75 a day). A typical manufacturing engineer that works for GE in the United States makes nearly $75,000 a year, (about $312 a day ... or 4X the rate in Mexico).  That wage gap can easily explain why so many manufacturing jobs have left the United States. Since 2000, the U.S. has lost about 5 million manufacturing jobs.  Manufacturing has crossed the Rubicon -- or Rio Grande -- and it's hard to see those jobs returning to the U.S."

Seth Dixon's insight:

A huge wage gap between American and Mexican workers stands center in the debate over how the U.S. has lost so many blue collar jobs.  We can bemoan the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States, but it is incredibly unlikely that low-skilled manufacturing will become a viable means to achieve a middle class income in the future because of fundamental shifts in economic geography.  

 

Tags: industrymanufacturing, economic, North America, labor, USA, Mexicoglobalization, technology.  

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BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 4, 2016 3:16 PM

A huge wage gap between American and Mexican workers stands center in the debate over how the U.S. has lost so many blue collar jobs.  We can bemoan the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States, but it is incredibly unlikely that low-skilled manufacturing will become a viable means to achieve a middle class income in the future because of fundamental shifts in economic geography.  

 

Tags: industry, manufacturing, economic, North America, labor, USA, Mexico, globalization, technology.  

Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's curator insight, April 4, 2016 9:00 PM

A huge wage gap between American and Mexican workers stands center in the debate over how the U.S. has lost so many blue collar jobs.  We can bemoan the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States, but it is incredibly unlikely that low-skilled manufacturing will become a viable means to achieve a middle class income in the future because of fundamental shifts in economic geography.  

 

Tags: industry, manufacturing, economic, North America, labor, USA, Mexico, globalization, technology.  

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, January 23, 8:36 AM

If you never truly understood about wage gap or why jobs have gone out of the country then this is a good read. The wage gap between what the average American would get paid at GE and what an average Mexican gets paid at GE is a major difference! It does a good job in the article explaining how NAFTA has effected this situation. This was a major story in the 2016 election and one that helped sway many voters from the Mid West who coveted this manufacturing jobs and who had fallen on hard times without them. It was Trump's promises to these people that helped sway some important states (Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to name a few) and eventually helped him win the election. We have seen some early policy on this issue in his presidency and will be interesting to look back at this article and reflect after his 4 years to see if any change is possible. 

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Welcome to the Anthropocene

"A 3-minute journey through the last 250 years of our history, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the Rio+20 Summit. The film charts the growth of humanity into a global force on the equivalent scale to major geological processes."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Many geologists and other scientists now recognize that we are in a new geologic era.  This new era, called the Anthropocene, is distinguished by the fact that one species (homo sapiens), is dramatically modifying the environment. These modifications are impacting geologic processes to such a degree that this time period is geologically distinct (see this remote sensing interactive for examples of environmental change).  Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize–winning scientist who champions the term Anthropocene declared, “It’s no longer us against ‘Nature.’ Instead, it’s we who decide what nature is and what it will be.”  This video is a great primer for discussing the nature and extent of human and environmental interactions as related to industrialization, globalization and climate change.  This is definitely one of my favorite resources.


Tags: Anthropocenedevelopment, industryland use, environment, environment modify.  

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Javier Antonio Bellina's curator insight, September 24, 2014 11:55 AM

El Antropoceno,  nueva era geológica

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, May 21, 2015 11:33 AM

Summer reading KQ1: How has the Earth's environment changed over time?

Alex Smiga's curator insight, March 14, 2016 7:44 PM

Many geologists and other scientists now recognize that we are in a new geologic era.  This new era, called the Anthropocene, is distinguished by the fact that one species (homo sapiens), is dramatically modifying the environment. These modifications are impacting geologic processes to such a degree that this time period is geologically distinct (see this remote sensing interactive for examples of environmental change).  Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize–winning scientist who champions the term Anthropocene declared, “It’s no longer us against ‘Nature.’ Instead, it’s we who decide what nature is and what it will be.”  This video is a great primer for discussing the nature and extent of human and environmental interactions as related to industrialization, globalization and climate change.  This is definitely one of my favorite resources. 

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Changes in the U.S. Economic Geography

Changes in the U.S. Economic Geography | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In 1990, the manufacturing industry was the leading employer in most U.S. states, followed by retail trade. In 2003, retail trade was the leading employer in a majority of states. By 2013, health care and social assistance was the dominant industry in 34 states. This animated map shows the top industry in each state and the District of Columbia from 1990 to 2013.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This interactive map is a powerful way to visually display the changes in the economic geography of the United States.  It is especially useful when discussing the transition of an economy from the secondary sector to tertiary sector.  


Tags: manufacturing, economic, North America, labor, USA.

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Danielle Lip's curator insight, January 26, 2015 4:19 PM

I found it quite interesting to see that most of the world in 1990 had manufacturing jobs because working at factories was the only job that was accessible with not many health care service oppurtunities. While in 2013 health care takes up most of North America, when you might expect the majority of North America to be made up of retail trade because so many malls and building are being constructed throughout the world. One positive part of this map is that job opportunities were even there in the first place, without working the economy will go downhill.

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, February 2, 2015 6:49 PM

It's amazing to see how priorities have shifted over time.  Also, this is a great display of how technology has taken over what once was human labor.  

Alex Smiga's curator insight, March 14, 2016 7:43 PM

Shifting economies.


This interactive map is a powerful way to visually display the changes in the economic geography of the United States.  It is especially useful when discussing the transition of an economy from the secondary sector to tertiary sector.  

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Big maq attack

Big maq attack | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A 50-year-old export industry that provides millions of jobs has to reinvent itself quickly to stay competitive."

Seth Dixon's insight:

A maquiladora is a term that often used to describe a factory in Northern Mexico that enjoys special tax breaks for eport-driven production. Northern Mexico is an ideal location for this type of industry because 1) access to American markets is high and 2) labor costs are relatively low.  The Mexican Maquiladoras can no longer compete in a ‘race to the bottom’ for the lowest skill jobs, but they can produce higher-end goods and compete with China to supply more innovative consumer goods.  Labor costs in China are on the rise, making Mexico able to compete more effectively with them on the open market.  The total value of Mexican maquiladoras exports has grown by more than 50% in the last 5 years; more foreign corporations are investing money into Mexico.  Some of the more innovative and aggressive maquiladoras are attempting to become more involved in the research and development end of production; essentially they want to start competing with European and American companies on the lucrative high-end of the commodity chain instead of fighting for the scraps at the bottom. 


TagsMexicomanufacturing, industry, economic, globalization, technology.

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John Slifko's curator insight, January 13, 2014 4:02 PM

In addition to commerce what are the democratic and civil society institutions and social mvoements involved, or not involved, in this transiation now apparently underway?  

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:18 AM

A maquiladora is a term that often used to describe a factory in Northern Mexico that enjoys special tax breaks for eport-driven production. Northern Mexico is an ideal location for this type of industry because 1) access to American markets is high and 2) labor costs are relatively low.  The Mexican Maquiladoras can no longer compete in a ‘race to the bottom’ for the lowest skill jobs, but they can produce higher-end goods and compete with China to supply more innovative consumer goods.  Labor costs in China are on the rise, making Mexico able to compete more effectively with them on the open market.  The total value of Mexican maquiladoras exports has grown by more than 50% in the last 5 years; more foreign corporations are investing money into Mexico.  Some of the more innovative and aggressive maquiladoras are attempting to become more involved in the research and development end of production; essentially they want to start competing with European and American companies on the lucrative high-end of the commodity chain instead of fighting for the scraps at the bottom. 


Tags: Mexico, manufacturing, industry, economic, globalization, technology.

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What we can learn from Mexico

What we can learn from Mexico | Geography Education | Scoop.it

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

Quick facts about the "new" Mexico:

  • Mexico has more international trade deals (44) than any other country.  
  • Mexico exports more manufactured products than all the other countries in Latin America combined
  • Mexico’s GDP is expected to grow by nearly 4% this year, twice as fast as Brazil (and the USA)
  • Mexico's average income (PPP) is higher than China, India or Brazil (Mexico could be a BRIC country if it didn't ruin the acronym).

Does that help in explaining why Mexicans aren't leaving to go to the United States anymore?  In fact, more Mexicans are leaving the United States than entering in a clear example of changing push and pull factors. 

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Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 2015 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, 2015 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.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, October 7, 2015 1:47 PM

Wow, what an interesting article about the direction Mexico is taking off on. Their GDP is increasing and the worker's wages are surprising better than Chinese workers. Both are huge exports of good and as a younger country than China, Mexico is on it's way to manufacture and economic boom. As neighbor country to Mexico, I am curious to see the actions U.S will take to learn and mirror Mexico's growth.

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Production in the New Global Economy

Production in the New Global Economy | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Executives have long said America can’t compete in building electronic devices. But the migration of carmaking from Japan is a case study in the most unlikely of transformations.

 

"The iEconomy: Nissan’s Move to U.S. Offers Lessons for Tech Industry."  This is an excellent article on how the car and tech industries are changing the global economy.  Numerous foreign car companies are now investing in US; so is a Nissan produced in Tennessee a foreign car or a domestic?  The global economy is blurring many of the traditional ways in which we view production   and affecting the United States in particular. The interactive feature linked to the article provides some excellent data and resources.   This would be a great background to prepare students before taking a sample test AP Human Geography test (like Question #3 from 2011).

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Recycling Steel

Recycling Steel | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Steel is strong, versatile and 100% recyclable. Learn how old steel shipping containers are given a new lease on life as liveable spaces.

 

Reusing resources is a critical part of sustainability.  This video looks at the recycling of steel including the creating of container homes.

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Rhode Island Stuck at Bottom of the List: Top States For Business

Rhode Island Stuck at Bottom of the List: Top States For Business | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Ocean State didn't just place last in our overall rankings for the second year in a row, it also finished in the bottom five of four individual categories in 2012.  A  little Providence, please.

 

The business leaders and politicians in Rhode Island are working hard to attract more investment and greater job opportunities.  Rhode Island's only neighbors, Connecticut and Massachusetts attract massive amounts of venture capital compared to the Ocean State (per capita as well, so Rhode Island can't just claim that it's a matter of scale). With 11% unemployment (2nd worst in the country), the economic geography of Rhode Island has problems.  What factors have led to this economic situation?  Possible solutions?    

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Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, July 12, 2012 5:19 PM
Reading and discussing this in class I wondered after. With all the taxes Mass imposes on the residents and business owners wouldn't you expect for there to be even less of a reason to have one there. Why wouldn't owners set up in RI or in tax free NH?
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America and the West’s dirty little secret

America and the West’s dirty little secret | Geography Education | Scoop.it
By importing goods from polluting factories in Asia, Americans and others in developed countries underwrite carbon emissions...

 

This is a compelling question: are reductions in greenhouse gases best measured by production or consumption?  The question that this article is posing is essentially trying to find blame for greenhouse gas emmision, but thinking geographically, ponders where along the commodity chain should the bulk of the blame be placed.  What do you think?  

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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. 

 

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 9, 2013 1:00 PM

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.

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A Third Industrial Revolution

A Third Industrial Revolution | Geography Education | Scoop.it
OUTSIDE THE SPRAWLING Frankfurt Messe, home of innumerable German trade fairs, stands the “Hammering Man”, a 21-metre kinetic statue that steadily raises and lowers its arm to bash a piece of metal with a...

 

This article argues that as manufacturing increasing becomes a digital production, more goods will be produced in the more developed countries.  If events unfold in this fashion, globalization and many other patterns with be significantly altered.  Would this make a better world?  For whom?    

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, July 27, 2013 9:54 AM

Seems to be that this might lead to further job loss by qualified individuals as machines are desigining and building machines and also with the advent of 3-D printing anyone at home can build a hammer as said in the article.  Also take a look at http://defdist.org/ now you can make your own 3-d gun.  Im not against gun ownership, but this opens the gate to too many people in my opinion.

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 7:20 PM

manufacturing is becoming more and more machines rather than humans, this leaves people without jobs to support their families. It is cheaper to have a machine run the production line rather than a person. This also helps the amount of production that is completed, machines go a bit faster. But I think not every job should be a machine, there is always faulty machines but there isn't anything better than a human with common sense. 

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Providence area sees biggest shift away from manufacturing jobs in US

Providence area sees biggest shift away from manufacturing jobs in US | Geography Education | Scoop.it

A new study illustrates just how drastically employment has plunged in Rhode Island’s historic industrial base over recent decades. Since 1980, the Providence metropolitan area has experienced the largest shift in the country away from manufacturing jobs and into work requiring college degrees, according to a paper by Stephan Whitaker, a research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. “In 1980, 40% of workers in the Providence metro area worked in manufacturing and 25% worked in degree-intensive fields,” Whitaker writes. “By 2014, manufacturing had dropped to just 11%, and degree-intensive jobs had risen to 47%.”

 

Tags: urbanindustrymanufacturinglabor, economic, Rhode Island.

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America's Wealth Is Staggeringly Concentrated in the Northeast Corridor

America's Wealth Is Staggeringly Concentrated in the Northeast Corridor | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"At the county level, America is a tremendously unequal place."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The concentration of wealth within U.S. cities is one of the most powerful geographic patterns in North America (and remains of of the key geographic stories of the 2016 presidential election). NYC served as a hub for the import/export of primary economic resources during the 18th and 19th centuries as the Erie Canal opened up the interior of the United States to become part of NYC's hinterland.  NYC expanded as a hub for the manufacturing of consumer products and then began to transition to a more tertiary based economy. “There are more than 3,000 counties in the U.S. Of the 75 with the highest incomes, 44 are located in the Northeast, including Maryland and Virginia. The corridor of metropolitan statistical areas that runs from Washington, D.C., through Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston includes 37 of these top-earning counties (where the median family takes home at least $75,000 a year)."

 

Tags: urbanindustrymanufacturinglabor, economic, NYC, Washington DC. Boston.

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Tom Cockburn's curator insight, December 13, 2016 3:54 AM
UK wealth is in South East
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, December 18, 2016 12:00 AM

Influences on settlement patterns. 

Where is Australia's population concentrated? 

Syllabus
Students investigate differences in urban settlement patterns between Australia and another country, for example:
- examination of urban settlements to determine patterns of concentration
- explanation of factors influencing urban concentration eg climate and topography, transportation networks, land use or perceptions of liveability
- assessment of the consequences of urban concentrations on the characteristics, liveability and sustainability of places


Geoworld 9 NSW
Chapter 7: Urban settlement patterns Australia and the USA
7.1 Population concentrated near coasts
7.3 Is Australia a nation of tribes?
7.4 Nature in control
7.5 Coastal colonial cities and ports
7.6 USA: Settlement, geography and history
7.7 Large cities: Contrasting patterns
7.8 Sprawling suburbs: similar patterns
7.9 Consequences of urban concentration

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China’s Pearl River Delta overtakes Tokyo as world’s largest megacity

China’s Pearl River Delta overtakes Tokyo as world’s largest megacity | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Several hundred million more people are expected to move to cities in East Asia over the next 20 years as economies shift from agriculture to manufacturing and services, according to a World Bank report
Seth Dixon's insight:

Cities in this region have experienced spectacular growth; they are at the heart of China's manufacturing and exporting boom.  For example, Shenzen was a small city with about 10,000 residents in 1980 but is now a megacity with over 10 million people.  China's SEZs (Special Economic Zones).  Cities that were once separate entities have coalesced into a large conurbation and if they are counted as one, it's now the largest metropolitan area.  Cities like London and New York become global cities over hundreds of years--this happened in one generation.  Click here for 5 infographics showing East Asia's massive urban growth.      


Tags: APHG, urban, industry, manufacturing, economic, unit 7 cities, megacities, China, East Asia.

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Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, April 8, 2015 12:39 PM

APHG- HW Option 7

Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, September 30, 2015 7:28 AM

Pearl river delta

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:13 AM

Cities in this region have experienced spectacular growth; they are at the heart of China's manufacturing and exporting boom.  For example, Shenzen was a small city with about 10,000 residents in 1980 but is now a megacity with over 10 million people.  China's SEZs (Special Economic Zones).  Cities that were once separate entities have coalesced into a large conurbation and if they are counted as one, it's now the largest metropolitan area.  Cities like London and New York become global cities over hundreds of years--this happened in one generation.  Click here for 5 infographics showing East Asia's massive urban growth.      


Tags: APHG, urban, industry, manufacturing, economic, unit 7 cities, megacities, China, East Asia.

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Local Shifts in Labor Demand

Local Shifts in Labor Demand | Geography Education | Scoop.it


"Daily oil production in the Bakken is approaching one million barrels per day, placing it in an elite group of only ten super-giant oil fields in the world that have ever produced that much oil at peak production. In total, nearly one billion barrels of oil have now been produced in the Bakken oil fields, and all of that oil production and related activities have brought the unemployment rate in the Williston area down to below 1% in most months over the last three years. For the most recent month – April – the jobless rate here was 0.9%."

Seth Dixon's insight:

As an oil boom has transformed North Dakota, the influx of oil workers has changed all the sectors of the local economy.  Agriculture has historically been the #1 economic contributor in the region, but huge piles of grain aren't be shipped to the market, as oil by rail is much more profitable.   

Questions to Ponder: Why is WalMart offering such high wages in North Dakota?  What local factors impact the prevailing wage rate?  What does this tell us about places with low wages?  How does the oil industry impact all the others in the region?     


Tags: manufacturing, economic, North America, labor, USA.

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Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 4, 2015 6:31 PM

Its crazy but understandable that the oil boom is having an effect on everything in the local economy, even the wages at store like Walmart.  If these are the prices being offered at Walmart, i'm sure other jobs in the area are paying well also.  On top of that, i'm almost positive that the cost of living here is also high.  But I don't care how much these jobs are paying...Your not going to find me moving to the Dakotas!

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, September 9, 2015 2:32 PM

Wages for companies are like everything in the economy based on supply and demand. Walmart currently has a large supply of jobs in a region where job demand is low, or vice versa. Either way for Walmart needs to increase their hourly pay in order to compete in the job market and appeal to the employees they are looking for. In Rhode Island where our unemployment rate is so high there is  huge supply of workers and a lesser demand for workers. In this scenario a corporation such as Walmart does not need to compete for workers they are in a sense disposal and in excess, therefor even only paying minimum wage  they know they will have no problem finding employees.

brielle blais's curator insight, February 11, 3:40 PM
Baked oil fields in North Dakota are a natural resource miracle. What I mean by this is that thanks to the geography of this area, there is an abundance of this resource, causing the job market to boom. The unemployment rate is below 1%. The oil productions has allowed places like Walmart to have their starting wages sky rocket. This challenges the concept of a national minimum wage, arguing that wages should be relative to the labor market of the area, instead of the same throughout the whole country. 
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Globalization and the Textile Industry

"On the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, little has changed in the global sweatshop economy. Workers are again trapped and burned to death behind locked exit gates."

Seth Dixon's insight:

One of the first industries to be impacted by what is today called globalization was the textile industry and the successive waves of globalization continue to alter the geography of the textile industry.  This video shows how historical problems in the U.S. textile industry are seen today in countries such as Bangladesh, as does this interactive feature.  The following paragraph is from a Geography News Network podcast / article that Julie Dixon and I co-authored for Maps101 about the Bangladeshi garment industry:     


Many developing countries with the majority of their laborers working in agriculture welcome outsourced labor from the West. This is seen as a way to nurture industrialization, even if it is on the terms of trans-national corporations. Countless workers seek employment in textile factories simply because low pay is still an entry into the cash economy and it is one of the few jobs rural migrants can find when they first enter the big city. In such locations, Western labor, construction, and environmental standards are not priorities because the population’s basic needs haven’t been met, so the responsibility falls to the global companies—but their aim is to cut costs as much as possible to remain competitive.  From its emergence in textiles back in the late 1970’s, Bangladesh in 2013 made $19 billion in the export-oriented, ready-made garment industry, employing 4 million workers, most of whom are women. 


Listen to more of this Geography News Network podcast or read it here. 


Tags: Bangladesh, poverty, development, economic, globalization, industry, labor.

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Danielle Bellefeuille's curator insight, May 10, 2014 6:16 PM

The sad reality of the new division of labor, we are moving backwards instead of forwards with labor policies and widening the gap between core and periphery countries. We need to stand up and advocate for fair trade. These countries rely on us for sources of unemployment, and we need to give them better wages, safer working conditions, and help them push pass this dependency, and grow into more economically and socially strong countries.

 

http://www.laborrights.org

Michael Mazo's curator insight, December 10, 2014 8:03 PM

The triangle shirtwaist factory in New York was a revolutionary turning point in labor regulations. Following this unfortunate event there had been many rules and laws that took effect in order to help the working people in factories and other harmful work places. The textile industry had been such an impact on globalization because this product had been so greatly treasured that countries all around the world were getting their fair share of producing a good that was in such high demand and through the use of globalization transport created an higher demand for textiles. Although, the boom of the textile industry came with the sacrifice of innocent civilians who worked endlessly just to feed their family. Regulations and legislation have to be put into effect to protect our people and our economy. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:17 AM

One of the first industries to be impacted by what is today called globalization was the textile industry and the successive waves of globalization continue to alter the geography of the textile industry.  This video shows how historical problems in the U.S. textile industry are seen today in countries such as Bangladesh, as does this interactive feature.  The following paragraph is from a Geography News Network podcast / article that Julie Dixon and I co-authored for Maps101 about the Bangladeshi garment industry:     


Many developing countries with the majority of their laborers working in agriculture welcome outsourced labor from the West. This is seen as a way to nurture industrialization, even if it is on the terms of trans-national corporations. Countless workers seek employment in textile factories simply because low pay is still an entry into the cash economy and it is one of the few jobs rural migrants can find when they first enter the big city. In such locations, Western labor, construction, and environmental standards are not priorities because the population’s basic needs haven’t been met, so the responsibility falls to the global companies—but their aim is to cut costs as much as possible to remain competitive.  From its emergence in textiles back in the late 1970’s, Bangladesh in 2013 made $19 billion in the export-oriented, ready-made garment industry, employing 4 million workers, most of whom are women. 


Listen to more of this Geography News Network podcast or read it here. 


Tags: Bangladesh, poverty, development, economic, globalization, industry, labor.

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A Wave of Sewing Jobs as Orders Pile Up at U.S. Factories

A Wave of Sewing Jobs as Orders Pile Up at U.S. Factories | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Factories are finding that years of doing business overseas has withered what once was a thriving textile and apparel work force in the United States.


Seth Dixon's insight:

Historically, waves of immigrants came to the United States to work in textile mills.  Since 1990, 77% of manufacturing jobs have been outsourced to places with lower wages as the industry has become automated.  Today though, specialty items that still need to done by hand are coming back to the U.S. and wages in that sector are rising as American consumers want a "made in the USA" label.  


Tags: manufacturing, North America, labor, USA.

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 9:33 AM

This article highlights the biggest problem in the American job market today, the skill gap.  People have been told for years that the only way to a good job is to go to college.  This is not always true and this article highlights this.  There are skilled trades out there but no one skilled to do them.  This problem needs to be addressed so that the unemployed work force can be trained to do these types of jobs.  Young people today seem to feel that the only way is a college degree but this article highlights the other paths to work which are through skilled trade labor.  People complain that nothing is made here but there are reasons for that and when companies try to bring industry back to America they encounter the skill gap. 

Paige Therien's curator insight, February 3, 2014 4:06 PM

Manufacturing companies have to weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing or staying domestic.  Many companies have chosen profits over quality and safety by outsourcing jobs over the past couple decades.  Outsourcing of jobs is a product of globalization.  However, the internet and other informational resources are also a large part of globalization which have allowed citizens of the United States to be exposed to what is actually happening in these outsourced manufacturing factories (similar to the role photography played in exposing behind-the-scenes truths of the United State's domestic manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution).  The demand for domestic-made products is increasing, and companies are listening.  However, the years that these jobs have been overseas have allowed not only the specialized skills of domestic workers to disappear, but also the creation of stigmas towards these jobs.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:16 PM

This article is quite interesting.  Everyone seems to complain that more product needs to be made in the USA instead of elsewhere in poorer countries.  This company in Minnesota is doing just that.  After receiving complaints about not enough product being made here they decided to leave countries where safety is not such an issue and bring it home.  Now the problem lies with finding skilled workers here.  Being a 'sewer' isn't very glamourous and not appealing to the youth of America.  This being said, it is going to be very difficult to bring jobs back to America when no one here is interested in putting the energy forth to gain the skills needed to hold these positions. 

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The Geography of a Pencil

A film from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, adapted from the 1958 essay by Leonard E. Read.



Seth Dixon's insight:

This year's Geography Awareness Week's theme was "Declare Your Interdependence!"  The GAW poster for 2012 focused on the Geography of a Pencil and this video works together nicely as a supplement to that poster.  You may see the economics of capitalism and globalization in a less optimistic light than Leonard Read, but the theme of interconnectedness makes this a great resource.

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Luke Walker's curator insight, October 5, 2014 9:12 AM

An interesting take on the pencil.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:23 AM

This year's Geography Awareness Week's theme was "Declare Your Interdependence!"  The GAW poster for 2012 focused on the Geography of a Pencil and this video works together nicely as a supplement to that poster.  You may see the economics of capitalism and globalization in a less optimistic light than Leonard Read, but the theme of interconnectedness makes this a great resource.

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Can a Communist Party Nurture a Modern Capitalist System?

Can a Communist Party Nurture a Modern Capitalist System? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"After growing by leaps and bounds for more than three decades, China’s economic growth has come to a halt, falling from around 12 percent in the second quarter of 2006 to 7.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012. Export-dependent manufacturing sector has been hard hit. The June HSBC Flash Purchasing Managers Index hit a seven-month low of 48.1, down from a final reading of 48.4 in May, the eighth consecutive month that the index has been below 50—the contraction threshold. Is this just a temporary pause, caused by a prolonged slow-down in the world economy or something more serious?"

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Graham Mulligan's comment, March 14, 2013 12:32 PM
I think the flag icon needs to be changed.
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Amazon’s New Push for Same-Day Delivery Will Destroy Local Retail

Amazon’s New Push for Same-Day Delivery Will Destroy Local Retail | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Amazon has long enjoyed an unbeatable price advantage over its physical rivals. When I buy a $1,000 laptop from Wal-Mart, the company is required to collect local sales tax from me, so I pay almost $1,100 at checkout.

 

Just-in-Time production has reshaped the logistics of manufacturing.  How does same-day online delivery impact local retail businesses?  How might this change urban patterns of retail stores and of areas of warehouses?   

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Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, July 12, 2012 5:17 PM
People like to shop, not everyone but most. If there's one thing I've learned from being in retail all my working life it's that people need to hold and look and inspect something. Certainly you can return the item, but that takes time and sometimes extra money. The promise of physically seeing the item is better for most. The other side of the coin is people who simply can't get out or don't want to. For elderly or disabled who are computer literate they have ease of access and can just click on what they want to buy. Internet purchases unfortunately also are easier for fraud.. and it sounds to me that those lockers may be an even easier way for it to happen. Not to look on a darker side but that will increase sales too... for a short time anyway.
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Ten Ways Walmart Changed the World

Ten Ways Walmart Changed the World | Geography Education | Scoop.it
On July 2, 1962 -- 50 years ago today -- Sam Walton opened the very first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas.

 

The Walmart business model has profoundly reshaped the economic paradigm of retail these has 50 years.  Walmart is commonly cited as a business that exemplifies the processes of globalization.  How has Walmart reshaped aspects of society such as industrial production, environmental standards, labor, urban shopping locations, the outsourcing of manufacturing and consumption? 

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Jordan Simon's comment, August 17, 2012 12:12 PM
It is crazy to think that one store could change the world but this one has. Their effective ways of selling and buying products have made this store very well known. Walmart has more than 140 millions customers shop a week which is very impressive. Without Walmart where would we be?
Rj Ocampo's comment, August 24, 2012 7:11 PM
Its amazing to see how far Walmart has come in just 50 years! Sam Walton's philosophy "Always low prices," shaped Walmart to be so successful and could not be the same without it. It's crazy to know that one store could change the globe, I just wonder how much longer Walmart can keep their success going.
Matt Nardone's comment, September 2, 2012 3:19 PM
I have to say that Walmart is my mom's favorite store. I like going there because I know that things are cheaper and I can end up saving money when I get something I need. But I never realized that they put so many small companies out of business trying to make things cheaper for customers. It is a good thing for us but bad for small business guys. What is the right balance?
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Interactive: Locating American Manufacturing

Interactive: Locating American Manufacturing | Geography Education | Scoop.it
With the slight resurgence of U.S. manufacturing in the recent years—termed a potential "manufacturing moment" by some—it is important to consider not just the future of manufacturing in America but also its geography.

 

This interactive map is brimming with potential to both teach and learn about the changing industrial geographies of the United States.

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, September 12, 2013 7:21 PM

Amazing to see that there still is manufacturing in the US given all the news about it moving to China and other countries.  As the map shows there still is big manufacturing in east of the Mississippi and then manily along the West Coast.  I really thing the US as a whole needs to get back to basics.  Manufacturing is what made this country strong, and I believe that a strong manufacturing sector with a strong services sector will help this country grow.

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Environmentally Conscience Manufacturing

Levi Strauss & Co. believes that water is a precious resource and everyone should do their part to lead a more WaterLess lifestyle. Find out more about our w...

 

More and more companies are strategically rethinking manufacturing to be less harmful to the environment.  There are sound economic, cultural, marketing and sustainability reasons for rethinking the manufacturing process.  In the past Levi's used more than 11 gallons to produce 1 pair of jeans to get that aesthetic look just right...this video looks at the restructuring process to make these essentially 'waterless' jeans. 

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