Peshtigo Fire

Peshtigo Fire

On 8th October 1981, the most devastating calamity of forest fire hit Peshtigo, Wisconsin, USA. The fire remains the worst that has ever hit the United States and the world in general. Peshtigo fire destroyed a vegetation area of about 4900 km2. Many scholars differ on the number of people who perished in the incident, but Biondich (2010) states that more than 1500 people died on one night of the calamity. In a single night incident, the fire destroyed property worth two hundred million dollars.

The Peshtigo fire victims were from a village neighboring William G. Ogden sawmills. Ogden was a Chicago millionaire and had invested profoundly near the forest. He had established a business center near the Wisconsin forest, including hotels, boarding rooms, sawmills, blacksmith shops, sash, and blind factories. The center was proud of the villagers and housed schoolhouses and catholic and protestant churches (Pernin, 1971). In the dawn of the following day, hardly any structure was seen left in the village.

The exact cause of the Peshtigo Wisconsin fire remains a mystery, but scholars argue that carelessness, drought, and tornado were the likely factor that necessitated that fire. Several months before the fire outbreak mid-west America had experienced a prolonged drought. At this time, farmers, railway workers, and Indians slashed logs and shrubs, piling them to burn them. Because of cyclone storms on a devastating day, the burning wood fire spread to almost the entire forest, leaving the people residing in the wooden village stacked (Sando, 1969). At that time, there was no advanced technology to put off the forest fire, so it continued until the storm ceased and extended to the water of green bay. 

References

Biondich, S. (2010). “The Great Peshtigo Fire. The Great Peshtigo Fire.

Pernin, P. (1971). The great Peshtigo fire: an eyewitness account. The Wisconsin Magazine of History, 246-272.

Sando, R. W. (1969). Tcc-S (¢ Climatic Conditions Preceding _P _, _ Historically Great Fires in the _P_ s_zo North Central Region.

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Macro & Micro Economics

Macro & Micro Economics

The meeting by the Federal Reserve officials was meant to discuss the inflation issue and the economic plans proposed by President Donald Trump. This meeting gained support on the increase in its key policy rates, while they failed to agree on the issues of inflation and the president’s economic plans. The inflation rate has been on the rise over the past few years, and thus it is possible that this situation will not change anytime soon. Their argument was defined by economic theory, which relates to the distribution, production, and consumption of products and services. The group argued that the future increase rates would be eventual, but they had to be focused on changes in the economic outcomes.

The meeting held looked at the numbers made by the central bank, showing a balance sheet of $4.5 trillion, which increased four times during the financial crisis and its results after it engaged in bond, purchases in a bid to lower the long-term interest rates. The Feds advocated for a change in the reinvestment policy of the committee. This is because the economy is continually facing hardships and thus it is important to find a way that will limit these hardships. It is important to develop a strategy that is meant to be effective in the long run. Fed officials feel the need to change the policy and refuse those, which do not have promise because the economy depends on the numbers.

Theoretical economics advocate for the issue of social choice, and thus that is why Fed officials have maintained the balance sheet before choosing the appropriate time to halt their current practices. The rate of inflation has negative impacts on the economy, and it acts as a barrier to economic growth. A group of people benefit from this situation, while many still feel the pinch inflicted by it. The policy proposed should be one, which will limit or reduce the rate of inflation. Some Fed officials believe that Donald Trump’s stimulus plan may take time before it is enacted. Therefore, they did not include assumptions of about the President’s attempts due to substantial uncertainties. These officials based their argument on the behavior of demand, supply, and prices in the economy. This is by the general economic theory.

To come up with an appropriate policy, it has to look at the issue of supply, demand, and prices and ensure that they are appropriate. The rate of inflation cannot be instantly stopped, but it can be controlled if the rights channels are followed and the appropriate arguments. The Fed officials failed to agree on the issue of Trump’s plan because it was unclear and thus beheld an uncertain risk. Some felt that it had the potential to boost group while the other group felt that there were risks in limiting immigration and coming up with an increase in trade barriers to protect US workers. This policy is more likely to benefit the US citizen, but it will also limit some of the past trades with the limitation of immigrants. The policy lacks clarity and can only gather more support if it used numbers to estimate the possible result of the policy.

The Fed officials’ argument on inflation is based on economic theories whereby they focus more on what is happening and what will probably happen. The arguments were that if the level of unemployment increased, it could contribute to inflation. They also argued that since unemployment should be below what the Fed official had set, 4.8% and 2% their inflation goal, then they could attain moderate inflation and maximum employment. The constant changes in the economy have contributed to the rise in the inflation rate, and this might be the case over time.

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Have the BRICS have risen and Challenging US Hegemony

Have the BRICS risen and Challenging US Hegemony

The dominance of the U.S has been felt everywhere in every part of the world. A strong economic growth, military prowess, and unparalleled technology development have made the US a unipolar superpower in the world. The First and the Second World War enabled the U.S to establish itself as a dominant power in the world (Krauthammer 1990). The two world wars provided America with a good opportunity to trade arms with the warring countries in the world (Monteiro 2011, p. 11). America has remained a sole super power in the world for a quite a long time; however, the emergence of the BRICS is causing a great shift in the existence of the US as a unipolar superpower in the world (Adnan 2014, p. 31). The BRICS is an acronym for the union between Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa. Common social and political interests that are geared towards challenging contemporary global political and economic governance in the world unite the countries. The BRICS are motivated by the desire to counter the influence of the U.S as a sole superpower with no any other country in the world with the capacity to threaten or oppose the US superiority (Adnan 2014, p. 31). Therefore, the countries’ aims and purpose are instigated by the desire to establish themselves economically as dominant powers through globalization. In the recent past, the BRICS have witnessed unmatched economic growth, which has enabled them to establish a strong foundation for controlling the world politics and economy. It is projected that the economic development of the BRICS will surpass that of the OECD by 2050 (Adnan 2014, p. 31).

U.S as the Sole world Superpower

For several decades, the US has wielded superior power that no any other country in the world can resist. The persuasion, influence, and leadership of the US solely control the international arena. Most of the countries in the world follow what is deemed right by the US since it has that persuasive clout to control other nations. The legitimacy of America in making international decisions is unparalleled, and most of the decisions work for the US interests. The U.S influence setting of international laws but it is not subject to any of the laws. Moreover, the US is accountable to one, and no country in the world has the legitimacy to question the decisions of the US The laws governing international relations are set in line with the direction of the US and the democratic nature of the country mitigate its collision with most of the international laws. Consequently, the world has developed a perception that only America has the potential to orders and creates an enabling environment for political and economic expansion in the world (Mallaby 2002). The aftermath of the World War II saw America install itself as a dominant superior power in the world through industrial development, strong political and domestic institutions (Beeson 2004). The strong institutions enabled America to develop plausible foreign policies with the potential to leverage on the bilateral and multilateral trade pacts. The American foreign policies are developed characteristically with the intent to paint the US as a good country that only promotes the good of other people in the world (Layne 1993, p. 7). Moreover, the American historical development has also played a vital role in stalling America as unchallengeable global superior power. The history is enriched with the achievements made by the US in its journey to become one of the most democratic nations in the world. The history has endeared America as an exceptional world power that supports the good interests of the people (McDougall 1997). Consequently, America is viewed as the beacon of hope in the world politics and policies

The Changing Reality

Different factors express the reality that the US hegemony is being challenged. Initially, much of the global wealth was controlled by the G7. However, the economic growth in most of the BRICS countries proved a huge challenge to the hegemony of the G7 in the control of the global GNP. In the period between 2000 and 2010, the global GNP of the BRICS shifted from 23% to 36% (Adnan 2014, p. 31). It is expected that 2020 the growth of the Global GNP of BRICS will be above 50%. In 2014, the GNP (PPP) of the BRICS accounted for over a third of the world GDP and by 2018; it is projected that the BRICS will account for over a third of the global wealth (Roberts 2011, p. 6). Moreover, the foreign exchange reserves for the BRICS have been growing at an unmatched pace of 40% of the year more than that of the OECD’s. Consequently, in the future, the BRICS will control the largest share of reserves in the world. Additionally, the BRICS are among the top five destinations for foreign direct investment in the world. China, India. Russia and Brazil make the list of the top five countries except for the third position, which goes to the US. The BRICS have acquired space in the G20, which provides them with the opportunity to control the global hegemony (Adnan 2014, p. 31). Expansion of G7 to G20 indicates the declining hegemony of superior countries in the world such as the US. Consequently,   most of the decisions that were a reserve for the G7 have now become challengeable by through accommodation of the rising economies in the globe. The economic growth of the BRICS increases their ability to command influence in the global social, economic, and political affairs, which were previously a reserve for the OCEDs. Consequently, increase in the global GDP prompt the countries to increase their interests in the world just like the US does. According to Keukeleire (2011, p. 16), the fast economic development witnessed in the BRICS will prompt them to demand a political say in global governance at the detriment of the US. BRICS advocate for recognition of multi-polar world order through the corporation and collective decision-making, which threatens the hegemony of the U.S as a global leader. However, some analysts argue that the BRICS are beneficiaries of the process of globalization hence they cannot effectively engage in confrontation and power politics of the globe. BRICS exert their influence through the negotiations and corporation rather than confrontation hence they cannot usurp the control of America in global decisions. However, the reason behind the unity of the countries is to form an alliance that will deepen their political say in the international arena through enforcement of common political and economic interests (Keukeleire et al. 2011, p. 5). In fact, the BRICS support the interests of the low-income countries, and they recognize that corporation is vital in eliminating most of the problems that the LICs are experiencing. Moreover, BRIC recognizes the south-south corporation, which is premised, on the desire to unite the countries in a bid to achieve economic independence and self-reliance. The south-south corporation impacts negatively on the relations between the north and south which have been vital to the economic success of the dominant countries in the globe.

Economic policies of the BRIC towards challenging the hegemony of the US

Despite having common desires and experiencing economic growth, the prosperity of the BRICKS is determined by various factors.

Brazil

Brazil is the biggest economy in the South America and the seventh in the world. Consequently, Brazil has turn out to be a significant player in the global market. The country accounts for 80% of the Mercusor organization that brings together countries from South America. Over, the time the Brazil economy has shifted from one that relies on production and export of primary raw materials to one that relies heavily on the export of manufactured goods. The economy of the largest and populous nation in Latin America has experienced significant growth in the recent past owing to different factors. One of the factors that have played an essential role in the success of the country’s economy is the presence of vast natural resources. Moreover, a large market for goods and services is created by the presence of large population. The country has moved from Canada to become the fastest growing economy in the in the Americas. Moreover, the economy is in the country is projected to become the fourth largest in the globe by 2050 (Sachs). The fast-growing economy has placed Brazil in a position that can challenge the hegemony of the US in global governance. Consequently, Brazil has become asserted in its approach to foreign policy where the interests of the US and the E.U countries do not compromise its decisions (Wigell 2011, p. 3). Brazil was a former Portuguese colony. However, the economy of Brazil is six times larger the economy of Portugal. Due to its polar position in Latin America, Brazil has forged strong commercial and political associations with many countries in the world. The strong ties and influence have seen Brazil advocate for increased democracy in global governance thus challenging the US hegemony (Meyer 2011, p. 11). Brazil plays a fundamental role in the multilateral and multilateral relations in South America. The country influence is phenomenal in the Common Market of the South American (Unasur). Moreover, Brazil has become a vital player in humanitarian support both in South America and in the expansive region of North America except in Canada and US (Meyer 2011, p. 11). For instance, Brazil was critical about the role of the US in negotiating peace among deals in the Middle East region. Brazil wanted America to rescind from negotiating the peace deal since no peace would found and the role should be left with the United Nations (Dantas, & Moura 2009). Brazil has also developed a tendency to protect its interests in the international market by challenging the hegemony exhibited by the E.U and the US in global governance (Harden 2014, p.6).

Russia

Russia as once at par with the US in trying to control the global governance, however, the political turmoil experienced in the Russia in the repercussion of the Cold War affected the economic growth of the country. However, Russia has been one of the most critical nations towards the hegemony of the US in the global governance. The economy of Russia is supported by the presence of resources such as oil and natural gas. Consequently, Russia is a major player in the energy sector in the world’s economy. To effectively challenge the hegemony of the U.S and the E.U in global governance, Russia focuses on economic growth as an element that will help it compete successfully with the US. The Russia-Georgia war, marked as a reminder that the US is not the sole nation that can install global governance in the world (Khan 2008, p. 9). The war acted as an indicator that Russia could as well neglect international laws just as America does. Moreover, Russia incursion of Ukraine was the latest development in the rebellion of Russia against the global governance imposed by the US Russia wanted to Crimea to join the Eurasian bloc and drop its ties with the Ukraine and the European Union (Nichol 2014, p. 45). The European Union castigated the incursion by Russia into Ukraine heavily, but Russia maintained a hard stance against the European Union (Nichol 2014, p.45). Russia went on to sign treaties with the Crimean leaders against the orders of the EU (Woehrel 2014, p. 4).

India

India has experienced significant economic growth in the recent creating it one of the profligate emergent frugalities in the world. Large population coupled by technological development and manufacturing industries has seen India shift from a low-income country into a transitional country. India has been competing significantly with China regarding economic growth and technological development. India was once a foreign aid recipient; however, it has become a serious donor for most of the low-income countries in the world. India has contributed significantly to the reconstruction of war troubled countries such as Afghanistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka and most African countries. The involvement of India in the international arena has helped it to establish itself as a strong power to reckon with in the world. Moreover, its financial clout gives it the capacity to compete and challenge the dominance of the traditional superpowers in global governance. The foreign direct investment in India has risen significantly in the recent past. India’s investment in foreign countries stood at $ 700 million in 2010, which is a sign of increased dominance in global affairs. The prominence of the country in the transnational arena enabled the country to sign a treaty with the US to produce nuclear power. The treaty exempts India from countries that are restrained from ownership of nuclear power weapons in the world a privilege that is unique (Arms Control Association 2012). The rise in prominence has helped India to negotiate better trade terms in the international platform. Additionally, India has been pushing for an undying seat on the UN Security Council an indication that its rise is having a fundamental impact on its say in global governance (Stolberg and Yardley, 2010). The economic growth of India has put it in a position to gain support from the European nations and the US in its quest to achieve increased dominance in international affairs (Carpes 2013, p. 1112). India uses a nationalist and a pragmatic approach to its foreign policy meaning that its international relations are driven by the desire to maintain its sovereignty and to gain economically (Woods 2008, p. 1209). 

China

For the past one decade, China has been experiencing an economic growth ranging between 11% and 12 %. The huge economic growth made China one of the leading thrifts in the world only second to the US. Moreover, China has the second largest GDP, and it is the most influential country in the BRICS. The economy of China has gone through several restructuring that has seen the economy experience more than ten times growth since 1978. The Chinese economy has been resilient for several decades, and in 2001, China overtook Japan as the subsequent country with the largest GDP in the world. The huge economic growth has enabled China to compete effectively against the European powers and the US. Initially, China was a recipient of donor aid, but currently, China is a huge contributor of the in international donations. In 2010, China donated more than $110 billion for development in several countries in the world, especially in Africa more than any other country or organization in the world (Anderlini 2011). In 2010, China accounted for 46% of the donor aid made to Africa, 33% of the aid directed to Asia and 13% of the aid directed to Latin America In the in 2010, Chinese donations benefited more than 163 countries and 30 organizations in the world (Government of China 2011). China has become an important player in the economies of most of the Asian, African, and Latin America countries (Woods 2008, p. 1209). The influence of China in those regions is affecting and depriving the US the influence it had among the low-income countries. Moreover, China’s foreign policy safeguards the interests of the low-income countries hence becoming more popular among most of the developing countries. China- Africa Corporation has challenged the hegemony of US among most of the African countries undermining most of the U.S aggressive policies in the African countries (Song 2013, p. 680). China has played a significant role in creating Effective Corporation through plausible trade and economic ties, maintaining peace, security, and stability in most of the African countries. The trade relations between China and most of its trade partners have significantly increased its presence in the international arena. China uses a different approach while establishing its relations with other countries. Unlike the US that uses aggressive policies, China uses friendly, soft balancing and indirect techniques to establish its relations with other countries. Therefore, China is capable of endearing itself to the developing countries more than the US China has maintained a hard stance on issues surrounding its sovereignty. For instance, China has rejected the hand of international bodies in resolving the conflict surrounding the South China Sea (Yoshihara, & Homes 2011, p. 48). China has challenged the international order by claiming ownership of the South China Sea against thus asserting its resolve to challenge the status quo in global governance. In most of the African and Latin American countries, the Chinese FDI investment is more than $ 100 million making it one of the countries with the largest FDI in the world (Government of China 2011). China’s FDI outward investment stood at $ 251 billion meaning that China is asserting its influence everywhere. The influence of China in the international arena cannot be trivialized. Its influence and interests in the global governance are growing with the growth in the economy.  

South Africa

South Africa is another country that has experienced significant economic growth in the recent past. The great economic prosperity has been instigated by the presence of abundant natural resource supply, modern communication and transport infrastructures, and reliable sources of energy and large population. South Africa’s role in the AU has been phenomena in trying to resolve conflict, peacekeeping and peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction. However, the economic success of South Africa is stained by cases of poverty and other major social problems in the community. The dominance of South African in African countries is challenging the hegemony of US in Africa. 

GDP: Purchasing power parity (BRICS VS US) in Trillion USD

YearBrazilRussiaIndiaChinaSouth AfricaUSA
2012$ 3.172$ 3.497$ 6.438$15.23$ 678.9 B$ 16.64
2013$3.259$3.543$6.883$16.41$693.9B$17.01
2014$3.264$3.565$7.376$17.62$704.5B$17.42

CIA World Factbook, 2015.

The role of the BRICS in the global governance has become significant in the recent past. The BRICS have been on the rise challenging the existence of the US as the only country with the capacity to control the international affairs. Economic growth comes with increased interests in global affairs. The BRICS have witnessed increased economic growth and clout to control regions of the globe that were previously a reserve for the US.

References

Adnan, M 2014, BRICS: A challenge to the US, JPRSS, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 31-47.

Arms Control Association 2012, ‘Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty at a Glance’, Arms Control Association. Available at :< http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/nptfact>. [15 April 2017].

Ashraf, AJ 2010, ‘Germany, India to work together on Security Council reform.’ Deutsche Welle. Available at: http://www.dw.de/germany India-to-work-together-on-security council-reform/a-6323949. [15 April 2017].

Beeson, M 2004, The Rise of the’Neocons’ and the Evolutions of American Foreign Policy. Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University.

Campbell, H 2008, ‘China in Africa: Challenging US global hegemony,’ Third World Quarterly,             vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 89-105.

Carpes, M 2013, ‘When words are not enough: assessing the relationship between international commitments and the nuclear choices of Brazil, India, and South Africa,’ Third World Quarterly, vol. 34, no. 6, pp. 1111-1126.

Dantas, M & F 2009, I ‘Lula says US should not broker Middle East talks,’ Bloomberg. Available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/newspid=newsarchive&sid=a3hWPoAjTzts>. [15 April 2017].

Government of China 2011, White paper: China’s foreign aid. Chinese state council’s information office; Available at http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/20. [15 April 2017].

Khan, S 2008, Russia-Georgia war and NATO: implications for European security, Strategic Studies, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 1-14.

Krauthammer, C 1990, The Unipolar Moment, Foreign Affairs, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 23-33.

Kronstadt, AK, Kerr, P, Martin, M, & Vaughn, B 2011, ‘India: Domestic issues, strategic dynamics, and US relations’ (RL33529, 1 September 2011) Congressional Research Service. Available at :< http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/174187.pdf>.    [19 April 2014].

Layne, C 1993, The unipolar illusion: Why new great powers will rise. International Security, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 5-51.

MacFarlane, SN 2006, ‘The R in BRICs: Is Russia an emerging power,’ International

            Affairs, vol. 82, no. 1, pp. 41-57.

McDougall, WA 1997, Promised Land, crusader state: the American encounter with the world since 1776. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Monteiro, NP 2011, Unrest assured: Why unipolarity is not peaceful. International Security, vol. 36, no. 3, 9 – 40.

Nichol, J 2014, ‘Russian political, economic, and security issues, and US interests’

            (RL33407, 5 March 2014), Congressional Research Service.

Roberts, C 2011, Building the NEW world order BRIC by BRIC, The European Financial Review.

Song, W 2013, ‘Feeling safe, being strong: China’s strategy of soft balancing through the             Shanghai cooperation organization,’ International Politics, vol. 50, no. 5, pp. 664-685.

Stolberg, SG, & Yardley, J 2010, Countering China, Obama backs India for UN Council, The New York Times, vol. 8, pp. 1-3.

Woehrel, S 2014, ‘Ukraine: Current issues and US policy’ (RL33460, 24 March 2014), Congressional Research Service. Available at: http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/224484.pdf. [14 April 2014].

Woods, N 2008, Whose aid? Whose influence? China, emerging donors and the silent revolution in development assistance. International Affairs, vol. 84, no. 6, pp.1205-1221.

Yoshihara, T & Homes, J 2011, ‘Can China defend a core interest in the South China Sea?’ The Washington Quarterly, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 45-59.

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Discuss how economics impacts your own life.

Discuss how economics impacts your own life.

After going through Chapter 1 and the author’s 10 Principles of Economics, give an example or two of how you might apply these principles to your life and decision-making.

Think about:

What are some trade-offs you have had to make? What has been the opportunity cost of making those tradeoffs? How have you thought about the margin in the past? What incentives have you responded to?

How has trade made your life better/worse off? How have you experienced the “invisible hand”? Has the actions of the government improved your life more than the market?

Don’t feel the need to answer all the questions. A 100-word/ 1 paragraph response is enough. Try to make it something your classmates will want to read and respond to.

In responding to someone else’s post, build on their ideas. Add insight from your own experiences.

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Supply and Demand Model

Pick a product that you consume regularly. Using the Supply and Demand Model, analyze the change in price and quantity that can occur. What are some things that might shift the demand for that product? What are things that might shift the supply of that product? How have recent events influenced the supply and demand of your chosen product?

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The elasticity of demand

Pick a product or service that you consume regularly and speculate on what the elasticity of demand might be for that product. What might be the income elasticity of demand for that product? Explain and support why you think the product has the elasticity that it does based on how price sensitive you think people are when it comes to this product or service. 

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Consumer Surplus. Producer Surplus

Consumer Surplus. Producer Surplus. Total Surplus. How are these concepts used to explain welfare economics? How are these concepts used to explain the benefits of trade? How are these concepts used to explain why restricting trade reduces societal well-being? 

(Should trade be restricted in some circumstances, like the sale of organs ect, or should these ideas apply to these circumstances too?) 

(Use the concepts from Chapters 7 and 8, and elaborate on some practical impact you find from the chapter. Don’t feel limited by the prompt.)

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The concepts of Externalities, Common Recourses, and Public Goods

In Chapters 10 and 11, we discuss the concepts of Externalities, Common Recourses, and Public Goods. 

How can we apply these concepts to what is going on today in the news? What externalities are there from people’s behavior choices? What are the Common Resources involved? What are the identifiable public goods? Look for a news article online that might talk about externalities.  

How can these concepts be applied to the concepts of congestion in South Florida, Global Warming, and our relationships with our significant others?

Do a bit of reading and give us all your perspective on these subjects. 

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Tokyo in the 21st Century

Tokyo in the 21st Century

Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the world with major infrastructures, high development growth, and high population. Despite being a major city in the world, Tokyo has experienced a myriad of disasters that have caused massive destruction of property and loss of life on several occasions. The issues of disasters and high population growth raise the issue of proper urban planning in a bid to mitigate the impact of disasters on city dwellers and property. Incidents of the financial crisis hallmark disasters, economic and population decline. In the light of disasters, Tokyo has undergone several reconstruction processes. However, most of the reconstructions have not been innovative per se (Vale, & Campanella, 2005) to address the growing social transformation in the society and the impending natural disasters.

The reconstruction process of Tokyo has been affected by several factors. Social transformation, political and economic issues have played a major role in the modern planning of Tokyo. The need to contain growing industrialization, high population growth and the need to counter the effects of frequent natural disasters has made Tokyo undergo several changes regarding planning. Moreover, westernization has also played a vital role in the modern planning of Tokyo. However, effective planning is “constrained by limited finances, the lack of appropriate planning tools, the structures of land ownership, and the needs and desires of private initiatives that called for rapid reconstruction and the preservation of traditional urban form” (Vale, & Campanella, 2005). For instance, construction of Ginza Rcnga-Gai in Japan was inspired by design .of a street in the London city; however, limited finances prompted the halt of the project since it was too expensive (Sorensen, 2012).

Most of the buildings in Tokyo were built in the last half-century meaning that they were built in the light of frequent disasters, rapid industrialization, and social transformation. However, the planning of the city has failed to capture important aspects that are vital in establishing a city that is responsive to the emerging to disasters and human needs. The political economy of Japan is blamed for the advent of an economic model that is irresponsive of the emerging needs of the society (Sorensen, 2012). The political economy advocates for the developmental state with a centralized government and a weak system of local governments. Consequently, the economic prioritization solely focuses on economic growth to the detriment of other vital goals in the society such as rapidly growing population. The government of Japan prioritizes provision and financing of infrastructures that aid industrialization such as transport, communication, and land at the expense of proactive mechanisms to contain disasters and the growing social needs in the society and infrastructure that supports livability (Sorensen, 2012). Poor approach to urban planning and urban infrastructure investment is a major cause of the environmental crisis in Japan. Environmental crisis has been a major cause of disasters in Japan that have claimed thousands of lives and destruction of property. Construction of residential apartments near the industrial area continues to put the lives of human beings at a major risk. Moreover, substandard suburban development continues to expose the growing population to a myriad of social problems.

Despite Tokyo being a major city in the world, it experiences major challenges that threaten its economic prosperity. Natural disasters are frequent elements in Japan and Tokyo in particular. The prevalence of disasters calls for “smart growth” to foster sustainable development and mitigate the impact of disasters and social transformation. In spite of enormous industrial transformation, Japan should put in place plausible urban planning mechanisms to effectively contain the growing unforeseen calamities.

References

Sorensen, A. (2012). Uneven Geographies of Vulnerability: Tokyo in the Twenty-First Century. Planning Asian Cities: Risks and Resilience, 40.

Vale, L. J., & Campanella, T. J. (2005). The resilient city: How modern cities recover from disaster. Oxford University Press.

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Opinions about General Topics between Chinese, American, and Afghan

Abstract

The article illustrates the difference in opinion of people who grow up in two different countries: China and Afghanistan. The topics discussed included but not limited to success, peace, and education. When I first got the chance to talk to an unknown Afghanistan student, I decided that it is a good opportunity to discuss their opinion on those topics. Since I grew up in China, I thought it would mean a lot when I put the difference in opinion together and contrast them. By putting all those opinions together, I would be able to know what are the specific differences in the opinion and figure out what are the causes of the differences. There is an old saying in Chinese: everyone was born as a blank paper. The different opinion and values must be planted in their minds in the process of growing up. The experiments and the investigation would get advanced while more and more information are collected from the Afghan students.

The Pax Populi Academy selects the discussion topics. During the semester, the first student that I talked to went missing. To avoid failing the project, the program manager helped by rearranging a student for me to discuss and interview. As a result, I did not go through all the topics that I was supposed to do. Fortunately, success, peace, and education are three representative topics and are useful enough for me to find out the differences. In the end, I would be able to know what are the factors that might build up to one’s personal values and worldviews.

Opinion about General Topics between Chinese, American, and Afghan

Background

When I talked to both of the students about success, no one had a clear answer. However, the first student was more ambiguous in her responses. Both students mentioned that when someone is happy in life, he should be successful. However, the interesting fact is that the second student illustrated that the people who are of higher social class and level are harder to be successful. In fact, when people reach higher social class, they tend to have more power and money, while lower class individuals have more basic needs in life. Thus, the higher-class people are often harder to get satisfied. Based on this knowledge, when one is in higher social class, he is hard to be a success.

In China, many people think that simply being in the higher social class is successful. As China is now experiencing the fast growing period, it is easy to understand that the Chinese overlook power and wealth. However, what interesting is that why the second student would be able to understand the difference in social level and point out the level of satisfaction (Thompson, Mazer & Witenberg, 1955). In later discussion, she mentioned to me that she is from a family that considered living in higher social class, which is different from the first student. This might be the cause that she has more clear definition and the idea of the social class, which gives her more knowledge about the satisfaction theory. The second student’s name is Hosnia. Her mother is a doctor working as a genealogy expert, and her father is an engineer. Living in this kind of family, she discovered that as her parents keep working harder, it gets more and more difficult to be successful and get what they want. For the first student Zahra, she only told me that everyone works hard and enjoys his life can be considered successful.

It gets more interesting when we start to talk about peace in Afghanistan because there is much more terrorism comparing to other parts of the world. Statistics shows that in 2015, there are 5292 people died because of terrorism attacks. Growing up in China, the world was much more peaceful to me. When I asked the students about their opinion on peace, I was expecting they would think to feel scared about the environment they live in. However, the result is that they told me they feel sad about the country and the terrorism. The killings are not scary to them, but the death of people from the same race and same country affects their mind. This is because of their cultural ties that bind them together to protect their community interests. The students told me that when you see terrorism so often, you are getting used to it. However, when the news keeps telling you one people die after another, the emotion of sadness is what lasts there forever.

Since I grew up in China, which is a country lead by communism, I tend to know more about it. When we were discussing peace, I mentioned to both students that communism might be the ultimate solution for ending wars (Lemert, 2013). Surprisingly, only Hosnia mentioned that the ultimate communism might not be as stable as we thought it would be. She clarified that when we reach a situation that everyone can get what they want; it is likely to have a group of people who do not want to contribute to the society at all. Those people might hurt the society in a true communism. I was interested into this opinion. She told me she got this point of view from his father. Her father worked in Russia for several years. When she was growing up, this idea of “communism is not going to work” was planted deeply in her mind. I found out that parents experience would influence their children’s value and view the world we live in.

These two students helped elaborate on the idea that people view things differently; they have a different perception of life than mine. They do not feel like the world will be entirely at peace or safe. One argued that the term peace offers a promise and hope of something better. However, she added that this promise and hope does not always come to be and that at times peace is unattainable. This argument is supported from what she has been through and what she has encountered. People often act in a way that shows what the community has taught them. A community is an entity that takes up physical space, which implies that it has set boundaries (Kirst-Arshman & Hull, 1998). If you ask some other different people, they might end up arguing that peace is attainable if it has not already been attained.

When I asked them about gender biases, they were quick to point out that there will always be a gap between males and their female counterparts. Most people who are already done with school spend most of their time in work organizations that are male dominated (Acker, 1990). This aspect has not entirely changed over the years as women and men are regarded differently. Hosnia argued that the world is continually trying to bridge the gap between the male and female gender and there has been an impressive change over the years. However, she argued that the gap between the two genders will never be entirely closed and the men will always enjoy an upper hand.

Zahra, on the other hand, argued that there is a gap between the two genders because they are presented with different roles. This student argued that people see the differences between they wish men and women alike did the same duties. However, women will feel the need to do more nurturing jobs while men will want to do jobs that are more technical, which creates the gap between these two parties. Gender inequality has been a rampant issue over the years, and thus this issue is never completed solved.

Growing up in China made me understand that there are many kinds of biases other than gender inequality; people are treated differently because of their color, race, ethnicity, originality among other aspects. Racism has been an issue of concern over the years. These students argued that have Afghan roots makes them vulnerable to this kind of inequalities. People feel that Muslims are terrorists and this is stipulated more depending on their home country.

The gender divide separates people; arguments exist that a person is not born but becomes a woman (Butler, 1998). This argument serves to insinuate that being a woman is something that eventually develops. This tries to justify the argument that women are not always overlooked, but rather they judge how they will be treated. However, gender inequalities have been diminishing, but it is still present. The development has been seen in every state in the nation; millennial women are more likely to get a college degree than millennial men (Smilowitz, 2015). However, this development has also seen great hindrances, which are shown in the fact that these millennial women also have lower earnings and higher poverty rates than the millennial men.

Zahra argued that inequalities have helped shape the face of the world. Zahra’s argument has depended on the fact that people will most probably offer men the more physical jobs instead of women, regardless of her qualifications. He also argued that being an Afghan taught him to accept that people will not always be treated equally and that inequalities will serve the better part of the life people currently live.

Both students agreed that culture had been the most helpful aspect of trying to live a country intact. Hosnia argued that culture has been a uniting factor that has made people feels like they belong. She argued that her parents are constantly working and it only when they are doing cultural activities that they get to bond. Many cultures have been fed on and ultimately killed off. Therefore, the ones that remain serve a great impact in holding the people together. The issue of migration and immigration in the US has ultimately made the US lose a dominant culture; this is supported by the fact that technology has had the upper hand in judging how people act, for instant people constantly checking their emails during dinners and failing to observe traditional cultural norms (Foer, 2016). Therefore, the little people who still have a culture get together and bond.

These students have different views on the most crucial thing that a country requires to grow or develop; Zahra argues that a country needs finances and good leadership. Zahra argues that finances can transform and third world country to a developed nation. However, he argued that this also depends on the brains behind these developments arguing that there is a need for the person in power to be open-minded and to have a strategy in which to use to attain this.

Hosnia on the other hand argued that peace and harmony were the key elements to the development and growth of a country. Hosnia empathized with Middle East nations, which are constantly at war and cited these as the main causes that limit developments. She argued that Afghanistan would be better if it were affected by the war and the insecurity that describes the country. Hosnia argued that people have to know how to co-exist with each other to develop as a nation.

Both students believe that their reasons for having these opinions are that they still get the feeling every occasionally like they do not belong. They get the notion that they are a part of a community, which has not entirely accepted them, and thus they are fighting the battle to fit and at the same time trying to make this nation better. People have already been through so many hardships from the olden days where slavery was acceptable, racism was everywhere, and the minorities were treated differently (Gates & Oliver, 1999). However, the changes that have been enacted are trying to curb racism and the country trying to be inclusive of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, originality, gender or any other aspect.

Hosnia argues that to make it as a minority, one has to have a strong mentality. She said that most people felt like they did not belong and thus acted differently and at times, this led them to pick their paths in fear of what others chose. However, it is important to be sane in insane places, to try to fit in regardless of the situation (Branaman, 2001). Zahra also agreed that the sense of mind was essential in trying to make through a place where people have different opinions on almost everything.

Conclusion

As an ethnographer, there was surprisingly much more information I got from the students than I expected. In the discussion about success, I found out that the social class is a huge factor that influences one’s personal values and worldviews. Zahra lives in a family in lower social class. As a result, she was not able to discover the level of satisfaction differences between different social levels. In the topic of peace, I got the idea that parents’ experiments can also add to one’s opinion toward the world. Finally, yet importantly, the culture background plays a huge role in building up one’s personal values since as a Chinese, I know that their point of view varies a lot from what most Chinese think.

References

Acker, J. (1990). Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organizations. Gender & Society, 4(2), 139-158.

Branaman, A. (2001). Self and Society. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers.

Butler, J. (1998). Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory. Theatre Journal, 40(4), 519-531.

Foer, J. S. (2016, December 3). Technology is diminishing us. Retrieved from http://www.thegurdian.com/books/2016/dec/03/jonathan-safran-foer-technology-diminishing-us.

Gates, H. L., & Oliver, T. H. (1999). The Souls of Black Folk. New York: Norton & Company.

Kirst-Arshman, K., & Hull, G. (1998). Generalist Practice with Organizations and Communities. Chicago: Nelson-Hall Publishers.

Lemert, C. (2013). Social theory: The multicultural, global, and classic readings. New York, Westview Press.

Smilowitz, A. (2015, April 14). For U.S. Women, Inequality Takes Many Forms. Retrieved from Huff Post: http://www.huffpost.com/us/entry/7064348.

Thompson, C., Mazer, M., & Witernberg, E. (1955). An outline of psychoanalysis: Revised Edition. New York: The Modern Library.

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