Review THE HORACE MANN
The Horace Mann Volume XXII - Issue 4
A SMALLER WORLD
Review THE HORACE MANN
Letter From the Editor
Daniel Elkind Editor-in-Chief
Spencer Cohen Executive Editor
Jacob Gladysz-Morawski Alex Posner Nicholas McCombe Stephen Paduano Managing Editors - Design
Managing Editors - Content
Head of Middle Division
Senior Editor - Features
Treshauxn Dennis-Brown Senior Editor - Domestic
Senior Editor - International
or our fourth issue of the year, we asked our writers to reflect on the causes and impacts of globalization. Though it may sound hackneyed, the impact of our worldâ€™s increasing interconnectedness cannot be overstated and poses a wide range of crucial questions. How will globalization affect the ways we lead our lives and govern our societies? How will business change? How will warfare change? How will culture change? How will individual nations define themselves? How should we capitalize on globalization, and when should we be wary of it? Our writers have taken a broad range of approaches to these issues, addressing such topics as the role of the internet, the ascendency of China as an economic and military superpower, the potential use of micro-blogging by political activists, the impact of globalization on industrialization and regional culture, and the great dangers that globalization has posed. One thing is certain: More than ever before in
Daniel Elkind Editor-in-Chief Volume XXII
Senior Editor - Economics
history, the world is linked together by a complex web of social, economic, and political forces which we must confront if we wish to understand our current situation and to choose the direction of our future. Our writers have succeeded in capturing the scale and significance of these issues. It is clear that there are many ways to approach the topic of globalization, and also that all of us feel its impact in our everyday lives. Perhaps globalization, more than any other features topic, demands the sort of mass collective effort that our writers and editors have demonstrated in this issue; our whole staff came together to give our readers as complete a picture of globalization as possible. We are proud to present this issue to the Horace Mann community, and we hope it will encourage you as a reader to think about the ways in which globalization will affect you as you assume great responsibilities in shaping our society.
Senior Editor - Science and Technology
Maurice Farber Philip Perl Sam Rahmin Senior Contibuter
Will Ellison Catherine Engelmann Ben Greene David Hackel Sam Henick Jennifer Heon Caroline Kuritzkes Isaiah Newman Sahej Suri Jonah Wexler Junior Editors
Daniel Baudoin Hannah Davidoff Mihika Kapoor Mohit Mookim Kelvin Rhee Associate Editors
Jacob Haberman Hana Krijestorac Henry Luo Namit Satara Jacob Zurita Junior Contibutors
Gregory Donadio Faculty Advisor
The Horace Mann Review is a member of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, the American Scholastic Press Association, and the National Scholastic Press Association. Opinions expressed in articles or illustrations are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board or of the Horace Mann School. Please contact The Review for information at email@example.com.
Domestic Nathaniel Tillinghast-Raby Lauren Futter Miranda Bannister
Rethinking Life Behind Bars 4 Police Militarization 6 The Drawbacks of Obama’s Budget Plan 8
Alexander O’Neill Danny Baudoin Sam Stern Isaiah Newman Samuel Fisch
Ending Ties with Syria 10 Kosovo: A Free Nation? 12 Peace in the Middle East? 14 Egypt’s Road to Democracy 18 Ruthless Media Has Deadly Results 19
Features Anne Rosenblatt Hana Krijestorac Ikaasa Suri Anna Kuritzkes Sahej Suri & Jake Haberman Aditya Ram Mihika Kapoor
The Burning Dangers of Globalization 20 The Second Industrial Revolution 22 Threats Impeding a Globalized World 24 Globalization and the Internet 26 The Brain Drain 28 Microblogging in China 32 Globalization: A Cultural Outlook 34
Economics Daniel Rosenblatt From Fluorishing to Failing: China’s Economy 36 Mitchell Troyanovsky Protective Tariffs on Trade with China (Pro/Con) 38 & Edmund Bannister Timothy Hoang Europe’s Fiscal Woes 41 Matthew Harpe Reforming the Federal Pension System 42
Science and Technology Spencer Slagowitz Nuclear Weapons: Why We Care 44 Cassandra Kopans-Johnson Since When Has This Been a Secular Nation? 46 Henry Luo The Future of the Internet 48 Emma Brossman Life on Mars 50 Will Ellison Europe’s “Green” Lessons 52 Neil Agarwal Plugging in the Solution 56 Kelvin Rhee Cyberwarfare: The Future of War 58
Rethinking Life Behind Bars Nathaniel Tillinghast-Raby
hy is it that we in America believe that after someone commits a crime, it no longer matters what happens to them? If someone is responsible for a crime, they should be caught and punished appropriately. That makes sense – they have broken the law and must repay their debt to society, an idea strongly vocalized by toughon-crime politicians. But the people who we are sending to our prisons come back hardened by terrible conditions and embittered to a system that no longer cares, which is why two out of every three who are released from prison will be rearrested within just three years. The way we punish our criminals is no longer working. It’s time that we focus on rehabilitation, rather than base retribution. Otherwise our prisons will only get worse, causing higher crime rates, lowered public spending on non-prison services, and even greater damage to our economy from lessened productivity. As it stands, America’s penal system is a very elaborate torture system. Our prisons are incredibly overcrowded, some operating at up to 200% capacity. One out of every one
hundred Americans is currently incarcerated (a rate five times higher than the world average), for a total prison population of around 2.3 million. One in thirty one American citizens are in prison, on probation or on parole. And when former prisoners are released, they can expect up to a 40% drop
The people who we are sending to our prisons come back hardened by terrible conditions and embittered to a system that no longer cares. in earnings annually, making it likely that they will return to a life of crime. Because of this overpopulation, we spend incredible amounts of money towards maintaining our prison system. But the rate of its increase is remarkable: state spending for prisons has
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tripled in only three decades, making it the fastest growing expense other than Medicare. Of course, to keep up with the growth in spending other areas have been cut, to the point where we spend, on average, almost three times as much per prisoner as per college student. There is also rampant sexual abuse within our prisons – in 2008 alone, 217,000 inmates were sexually assaulted, often more than once, and each day 600 inmates became victims of sexual assault. 17,000 of these victims were juveniles. Even more disturbing is the fact that more report being abused by prison staff than by the prisoners themselves, implying that it is the prison system itself that is corrupted, not just its tenants. And since it is dangerous to be seen as a “snitch” by either the guards or the prisoners, these statistics are undoubtedly far higher in reality. Another form of abuse within our prisons is the isolation cell, which was condemned as a form of torture by the U.N. in 2011. At any given time, at least 80,000 prisoners are finding this out for themselves. And in Louisiana, there are stories of prisoners who have been held in isolation for forty
We simply have no other option but to try and reform.
years. Many are also imprisoned for longer than necessary. More than half of our current prison population (1.3 million prisoners) consists of nonviolent offenders, often a casualty of America’s War on Drugs. Mandatory minimum and three strikes laws make it so that the extenuating circumstances of a crime, like upbringing or necessity, cannot be taken into account when handing down a sentence. This in turn causes more people to be sent to prison for unnecessarily long periods of time, which contributes to the strain on our prison system. Medical services are also tragically lacking. Many are infected with Hepatitis C (between 20-40% according to a 2003 Harper’s Magazine article), while one in six suffer from at least one form of mental illness. Those that do have the misfortune to have a mental illness are quietly ignored, and must deal with extraordinarily long wait times in order to receive care – up to a year in California prisons. Even with basic medical care, prisons often outsource such services to private companies, who minimize care to increase profits. No one objects, of course,
because they’re just prisoners – a stigmatization that allows these abuses to happen. Given these conditions, it’s easy to see why America’s recidivism rate is so high. We are placing those in society that most need to be reformed in a place without adequate facilities or care, a place of violence and crime of every sort, and then releasing them upon the world with nothing but a bus ticket and the clothes on their back. So what options does this person truly have other than a life of more crime? But we can do something to fix this. Expanded treatment programs and stronger supervision of those on probation and parole were used to great effect by Texas beginning in 2003, reducing its overall crime rate, curbing recidivism and lowering the prison population. Increasing the use of judge discretion when sentencing will also help ensure that we are taking all the circumstances of a crime into account, which will hopefully lead to fairer sentencing and less overcrowded prisons. Another major issue to address is the prevalence of sexual assault. It seems like a near-unfixable problem, but fortunately suggestions have already been put forward. Under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, a committee was set up to determine how to reduce sexual assault in our prisons and came up with this list: make sexual assault data public, improve staff training, have supervision and protection for vulnerable inmates, make it easier and safer to report abuse and limit cross-gender supervision. If we implemented their proposals, it seems very likely that sexual assault within prisons would go down. Even if it did not, we would be bringing this issue into the public light, making it much more likely that something would be done to resolve it. Finally, we need to give our inmates skills that are applicable when they return to the outside world, something to make up for the fact that they have been in prison. We can do this by increasing the number and scope of our work-release programs, which will give prisoners expertise in fields they can work in once their sentences are up. However for many, it seems incredibly misguided for our prison system to attempt to help these prisoners; to try and lower sentences, give them job skills and protect them from violence. These criminals are after all
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sent to prison to be punished, after all, punished for what they’ve done to society and to individuals. When so many are hungry and jobless and destitute, why should we expend our valuable and extremely limited resources on those who have broken society’s laws? In short, we should because we must. The societal costs of our current judicial and penal system – a 40% drop in annual earnings for the previously incarcerated, the 1.7 million “prison orphans” who are six times more likely to commit a crime, the 66% recidivism rate within three years, the people who will become victims of crimes because of this, the lost productivity of the 2.3 million in our prisons, and all the money going to prisons that could go elsewhere – are incredibly severe. We simply have no other option but to try and reform. Others will point to the crime rate reduction since the crackdown on crime and increased use of prisons since the 1980s, and how they are clearly responsible for our dropping crime rates. They are right to an extent, but not to the extent they believe: the majority of criminologists believe that the increase of the incarcerated is responsible for between 20-25% of the crime reduction. In fact no one truly knows why America’s crime rate has decreased so dramatically, but the most commonly agreed upon answer is smarter policing tactics (focusing police resources on high-crime neighborhoods). This has nothing to do with the increased use of prisons – Canada has had very similar rises and falls in its crime rates over the years, but with a stable prison population. Even those who originally supported the crackdown are now against it: Steven D. Levitt, a University of Chicago economist whose studies provided a great deal of evidence in support of our current tactics, now believes that our system is producing more costs than benefits for American society. These solutions that I spoke about above have been proven to work on a state level, and it makes sense that they would do the same on the national stage. If former convicts are able to contribute to society, instead of committing more crimes and returning to prison once again, the benefits will be great. When we weigh that versus our current system, which enacts a devastating toll on our finances, its tenants and our society, the choice becomes very clear. We must change.
Why the Militarization of the Police is a Threat to the American Individual By Lauren Futter
ive months ago, the 9/11 coloring book sequel entitled The True Faces of EvilTerror arrived on book shelvesâ€Ś but wait, that is not all: it comes with trading cards. As if kids do not have enough to worry about (monsters under the bed, the dark, their older siblings); now they can worry about acts of terrorism, too. In addition to the terrorist trading cards and drawings of Osama Bin Laden, the book also portrays military officials with guns and armory perpetuating this image of violence as a means of solving problems. From reading this coloring book, a person might get the idea that militarizing civilians and the police would be the solution to terrorism. Clearly, people should not get their domestic security information from coloring books.
According to a study by University of Toledo law professor David Harris, police brutality has increased by 25%, partially due to the increase in militarization of these police officers. In part, legislation such as the Patriot Act gives police officers the ability to profile citizens. The Patriot Act expands the powers of the police force by allowing officers to detain a person they believe to be suspicious and perform surveillance on citizens who could be innocent of any wrongdoing. In addition to police brutality increasing, after 9/11, Oswego and Cayuga Counties formed a SWAT team and police officers in Jasper, Florida received military-grade M-16 Machine guns. Similarly, in 2006, the Department of Defense allocated $15.4 million to local police officers for the use
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of aircrafts. Just as the SWAT team and M-16â€™s are superfluous, the aircrafts would not be able to fit into small towns and would only serve as a hindrance. Taxpayers would pay for large pieces of equipment that would likely go unused. People who argue that this militarization will, in fact, help people are greatly mistaken. Firstly, the racial profiling often involved in instances of police brutality perpetuate stereotypes such as the ones elementary school children can read about in The True Faces of Evil. Similarly, spending money that facilitates this racial profiling is a complete waste. There is a fiscal cliff at hand, tax dollars are going to a SWAT team in Oswego, and Republicans are making arguments to cut education spending?
N O I T A Z I R A T MILI
While it is important to emphasize public safety, it is equally important to realize that occurrences of terrorist activity or mass gun violence are rare, and it is only through the news that these events seem to be happening every day. By spending money on materials that will most likely not be used, legislators prove that they are missing the point. Spreading guns and military grade equipment only spreads violence. Putting weapons in the hands of anyone does not stop violence; it only increases the means by which to commit acts of violence, whether they are in the name of the good of society or with the purpose of evil in mind. Pro-gun advocates argue that guns do not commit violent acts, people do. Well, people use guns to commit these acts. As the police force has militarized, so have members of society. According to The Small Arms Survey by an independent research project from Geneva, the United States and Yemen are the only two countries that believe gun ownership to be a basic right. However, according to the Huffington Post, even Yemen is imposing tougher restrictions on gun laws. While the United States has a long history of finding a balance between state and federal power, especially in the case of gun control, which began with the creation of the second amendment in order to arm citizens in the event of a dictator or the military seizing power, the United States’ history does not change the fact that the proliferation of guns proliferates violence. The issue of gun proliferation comes down to the issue of safety. More importantly,
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gun proliferation is really the issue of whose safety is more important: the gun owner’s or the American individual’s. While a gun owner may feel more safe or more protected by having a gun, if someone feels endangered due to the gun owner’s sense of security, whose safety takes priority? While everyone has a right to feel safe and secure, if someone else’s sense of security infringes upon my own, and if that person could be safe without a gun, it makes sense to remove the excessive and dangerous sense of security. Additionally, the argument that “guns are not the problem; people are” is fundamentally flawed because even if people are the problem, guns offer a forum for spreading violence that might have otherwise been prevented. There is always a risk that a mentally ill person may suddenly become violent, but when a gun is put in his or her hand, the risk increases dramatically. Therefore, the United States would be better off prohibiting the sale of weapons and preventing the militarization of civilians. Recently, Michigan proposed a law allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons in schools. While the law did not pass, it revealed a large misconception about militarizing and arming civilians. Even if teachers were armed, they would have to be prompted to use the weapon by the threat of violence to those within the school. So, the question is not “how can we prevent violence from continuing?” but “how can we prevent it from starting?” Gun advocates are preoccupied with the idea of arming civilians so that they can be prepared for disasters like the ones in Newtown. These advocates miss the point. People should not have to prepare for these disasters. They should be able to feel safe without having to carry a gun around. To do this, instead of becoming armed, officials in schools, workplaces, religious facilities, and other common institutions should be educated in signs of mental illness. These officials could then help those who are ill before they commit a horrible act. While these signs are often kept bottled up inside of people, officials who are familiar with the people who work, live, or are educated in their facilities only need to ask if that person is feeling okay or needs help. In taking an interest in people’s mental health, we would not need to worry about carrying guns, providing for a safer society as a whole. Citizens of the United States do not need to carry guns. Weapons in the hands of civilians only spread violence, rather than thwart it. Why would we waste taxpayer dollars and resources for the sake of assuaging the fears of civilians who would be safer without csmonitor.com the weapons?
The Drawbacks of Obamaâ€™s Budget Plan
By Miranda Bannister
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f the goal of President Obama’s proposed budget plan is to lower the standard of life and education in the nation, to invest in poorly thought through energy sources, and to hurt domestic jobs- then the plan is completely on target. If, however, the goal is to raise a better educated generation to meet a world with a better economy and lower deficit- Obama had better have an extra cup of coffee before picking up his pen and authoring a plan that will affect millions. Obama takes away money from good sectors, and gives it to bad ones. He raises the taxes on higher income earners, banks, and oil companies. His cuts in the education sector will result in poorly trained citizens. Every tax hike proposed threatens jobs. It is difficult when reading the budget plan to know if Obama’s team made a typo or not. One might reasonably assume that he does not intend to take money away from 200 education and social service based sectors. But, think again. That is exactly his plan. The cuts are numerous, but some examples of this are his total cancelation of the Area Health Education Center
“If the budget plan is not accepted by January of 2013, which it most certainly should not be, then the education sector still faces a huge sequester that will cut teacher pay and school funding.” programs from the Department of Health and Human Services. This will go from a funding of 27 million to 0. Government Education Research Centers are saving over 30 million in their complete cancellation as well. America is already placing 25th in math, and 17th in science, out of the global education systems, but there is a proposed ten million dollar cut to the Mathematics and Physical Sciences Research Programs. Not only this, but if the budget plan is not accepted by January of 2013, which it most certainly should not be, then the education sector still faces a huge sequester that will cut teacher pay and school funding. In such a sequester, which would become necessary with the fiscal cliff, many government programs like TRIO, Head Start, and Gear Up would face over one billion dollars of funding cuts. This is esti-
Domestic mated to effect 118,000 students from lower income families. Since the president is applying spending cuts, canceling, or letting expire some 200 programs, he is surely putting the money to good use. But, alas, no. Obama is increasing military spending, which is already totaled at 711 billion dollars. The president is directing this military increase towards nuclear energy. This is hardly a good use of money, as the cost of constructing and maintaining nuclear plants rose by 185% between 2000 and 2007. Not only this, but Obama, with his good intentions of stimulating the economy, overlooks safety concerns looming ominously in the air. Considering the Chernobyl catastrophe, the Japanese nuclear concerns brought by the 2011 tsunami, and the unsolved issue of storing harmful nuclear byproducts and waste, this is not a smart decision. In addition Obama will be removing the tax cuts and allowances that were permitted to higher income families during the Bush era. The “trickle down” economic theory, which suggests that lowering taxes will allow people to invest, to hire, and thus stimulate the economy, is what these tax cuts were modeled after. With the expiration of these tax cuts, the wealthier business owners and employers are the ones who will have to pay more to the government, so their businesses will be less lucrative and they will not be able to employ as many people, or spend as much. Barack Obama probably makes these tax hikes with doubts of the effectiveness of the trickle down system, as many liberal economists question its effectiveness. They would operate based off of Keynesian economics which state that in times of consumer hesitancy the government must spend more, to revamp the economy. However, F. A. Hayek, another great economist of the 20th century, would suggest that the Keynesian economic theory is incorrect and that consumers must have foresight in saving before recessions. Hayek suggests that the government therefore should not take the role that Obama has taken. Another economic theory, The Laffer Curve, that suggests that after a certain point of the government’s overtaxing and overspending there is negative growth in the economy, would also bring to light the Obama budget plan’s defects. Obama is also raising the taxes for banks and oil companies. Again, the trickle
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“Obama, with his good intentions of stimulating the economy, overlooks safety concerns looming ominously in the air.” down economics theory deems that this is not fitting to a struggling economy. The past five years have shown an increase in oil prices, with many companies like WTI Crude Oil pricing oil at 4 times more expensive then previously, and taxing American oil companies more is certainly not going to help. These companies are already not serious competitors for the top oil producers of the world, all located in other nations, which are mostly developing. Hurting these smaller American companies will only damage domestic jobs, and provide for foreign ones. If the plan were better written, it would focus more on military spending cuts. According to studies by the Stimson Center with special attention to the problem of the fiscal cliff, $487 billion dollars could be saved without actually damaging the military. Considering the immense budget this is only a small fraction of their funding, so it comes as no surprise that Robert Hale, the Pentagon’s chief financial adviser believes that spending cuts would not be harmful in this day and age. “We are no longer sizing these forces to accommodate large stability forces,” said Hale, explaining how a military can be effective but not based off of mass. Obama’s spending cuts to education and social services would not be necessarily on the same level if he were to pick and choose more wisely. Money could be saved if the government were more efficient with its spending. Obamacare for example is suggested to waste over 50 million. Obama, while failing to correct, at least acknowledged the problem of the government’s inefficiency. “If ‘government efficiency’ existed, one would have expected fewer government employees today than in 1946. Instead, we have 12.4 million more, even when accounting for population growth,” said Obama to the senate. The one trillion dollar budget reduction is an admirable attempt at reducing the deficit, but it is clear that with the measures Obama takes to reduce it this endeavor will be counterproductive.
ENDING TIES WITH SYRIA By Alexander Oâ€™Neill
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resident Barack Obama announced December 11th that the U.S. would officially recognize the Syrian opposition as the true representative of the embattled nation’s people. The official announcement came months after classified CIA intelligence detailing the history of American support in Syria was leaked, dating back to early 2012; according to the August leak, communications equipment and non-lethal weapons paraphernalia has been shipped to the dissidents, along with funding from American charities. Though Obama has secretly assisted the rebels, his announcement is clearly belated and changes little sentiment. The declaration of allegiance is more than two months after political scientists gave the rebels the “edge”. The president has denounced Bashar al-Assad since the onset of the war, as well: he had nothing to lose. The closest he came to providing military and substantive aid was the placement of soldiers and missiles at a Turkish military base near the Syrian border; these forces will supposedly deter the use of chemical weapons, and protect against a spillover of violence into Turkey, a close ally in a hostile territory. That action was solely in response to the launch of scud missiles, aimed at rebel camps in the vicinity. In contrast, many have deemed Obama’s dilatory action a wise move, although the Syrian people have mixed
feelings about the announcement: while many are pleased that the president has made such a public and meaningful statement, they are dismayed by the lack of loyalty and compassion displayed by Obama when compared to last year’s uprising in Libya. However, after providing funding and advanced technology to the rebels and authorizing airstrikes on former despot Moammar Gaddafi, Libyan insurgents still committed the September 11th attacks on the Libyan consulate in Benghazi, notoriously killing four Americans. Evidently, Mr. Obama doesn’t want to leave any possibility of the same ending to a different tale. The international community has also reacted to the American backing of the rebels. In conjunction, Saudi Arabia has pledged to donate $100 million to the Syrian opposition’s cause. On the other hand, Canada announced that it would not recognize the Syrian opposition, citing the rebels’ lack of disdain for extremism, Jihad, and generally violent ideals. The rebels have not embraced Syrian minorities either, which leads Canadian officials to predict an eruption of similar violence in later years. Additionally, Russian statesmen declared their “surprise” at the absence of dialogue between the major countries of the world. Being one of the main allies of the Syrian regime, president Vladimir Putin recently expressed trepidation about the future of the troubled country in a press confer-
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ence, referencing his concern for “perpetual” civil war. The Obama administration’s inaction in Syria furthers the need for extra commitment to relieving tension in the region. The U.S. is still not sending arms, signifying a lack of interest in the salient conflict. This failure to act might put the Syrians in danger, and could cause backlash once they attain unquestioned power. The American government should have also acted much earlier, even in sending official support to the rebellion. The general instability in many Middle Eastern countries can be attributed to antithetical feelings toward other peoples, be them governments, ethnicities, or religious minorities, and Obama’s indecision on this crucial issue has not swayed the anti-American insurgents. In order to fix just that by affirming his pro-opposition stance, Obama could do a number of things: primarily, he should substantially increase the amount of aid flowing from America to the rebels. Secondly, further public comments denouncing Assad would be helpful. Simple ultimatums have been shown throughout history to garner unwavering support in times of need. Finally, an increased military presence in the area would put additional pressure on Assad to finally concede. These measures are all of vital importance if Obama is going to attempt to fix the Syrian views of Americans.
Kosovo A Free Nation?
By Danny Baudoin
he Republic of Kosovo, originally a province of Yugoslavia in Southeastern Europe, became a sovereign nation on February 17, 2008, after years of war and turbulence in the Balkans. 98 member states of the United Nations recognize it as an independent state, and Kosovo is also a member of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. 3 of the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council, France, the United States, and the United Kingdom, all recognize Kosovo as an independent nation; however, Russia and China continue to ignore it. In the 1990â€™s following immense bloodshed and war, Yugoslavia disintegrated into several different ethnic based nation states, including Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia. Kosovo fell under the patronage
of Serbia. In 1995, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) began using armed weapons against Serbian and Yugoslav forces in an attempt to secure its independence, essentially starting the Kosovo War. In 1998, tensions increased in the Balkans, forcing the Serbian government to sign a ceasefire with the KLA, although this would not last long. In March of 1999, NATO invaded Yugoslavia, bombing it in the process and attempting to force then President Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw his troops from Kosovo. In June of 1999, the President agreed to a withdrawal and effectively ended the Kosovo War. That month the UN passed a resolution calling for transitional UN and NATO administration of Kosovo. Now that you know what Kosovo exactly is, you should know that it is not
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exactly booming economically. Its unemployment rate is 40%, and its Gross Domestic Product in 2011 was just above 12 billion dollars, compared to the GDP of the United States, which was 13.65 trillion dollars. If Kosovo were to be admitted into the United Nations as a voting member state, Kosovo would be able to more effectively contribute to our global society, while simultaneously receiving the many benefits of being a member of the UN. Kosovo could use its UN membership as a credential to join other important world organizations, such as the World Trade Organization or the World Health Organization. Kosovo has several natural resources that could be exported, such as nickel and cobalt. This could create a multi-faceted trade system between Kosovo and other coun-
tries. The export proceeds would contribute to a much-needed growth in the economy while new imports would increase the quality of life for the average Kosovan. The World Bank estimated that Kosovo has over 13.5 billion dollars worth of natural minerals to be mined; so selling the rights for mining those minerals could also earn Kosovo money. To date, the international recognition of Kosovo as a sovereign nation has not really benefitted its economy. Since Serbia doesn’t see it as an autonomous nation, Serbia does everything in its power to make sure Kosovo doesn’t gain access to traditional, independent rights. For example, Serbia has prohibited regional dialing zones. Kosovo pays Monaco for use of its landline! There are also no IBAN codes for bank transfers or regional codes for Internet access. If Kosovo were admitted to the UN, most other countries would begin to recognize it as well, and witness the torture that Kosovo’s economy goes through. But for now, Kosovo, a landlocked country, remains unable to expand its sovereign rights. Beyond the realm of economic globalization is cultural globalization. Cultural globalization refers to the spread of tradi-
tions, arts, and other ideas across national boundaries. The Republic of Kosovo is known for its rich, authentic, and diverse music culture, and it is home to two universities that solely teach music. Kosovo is currently in the process of requesting to become part of the European Broadcasting Union in order to integrate itself into the greater European music culture and to participate in the annual Eurovision Song Contest. However, countries such as Russia, who have yet to recognize Kosovo as a sovereign nation, are protesting its membership. The EBU has allowed the Kosovan radio station to apply; however, they have not attained membership at this point. Another cultural area worthy of note is wine. Wine has also historically been produced in Kosovo and is a growing industry. Kosovo could combine the transaction and cultural aspects of globalization by trading wines with consumers in China, the United States, and other such countries. Clearly it is time for Kosovo to be assimilated with the rest of the world, but it can’t achieve this goal by itself. Kosovo needs other countries’ assistance in its quest for integration and equality. We need to help them create the small steps necessary to undertake this long journey.
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Clearly it is time for Kosovo to be assimilated into the rest of the world, but it can’t achieve this goal by itself. Kosovo needs other countries’ assistance in its quest for integration and equality. 13
PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST? By Sam Stern
ave you ever played a game of hide and seek or a game in which you have a set amount of time to complete a mission? Most likely, you have, but the consequence of losing, well, there was no consequence—you got a second try. This ‘game’ is a persistent reality in every Israeli’s life. The difference is that the consequence of not completing your mission is losing your life. Israelis are given a 15 second warning by a siren system before a rocket, shot over from Gaza, is to land. No matter the time or where they are, in the shower, school, or work, Israelis in targeted areas have only 15 seconds to reach a bomb shelter and save their lives. Stairs in buildings are built to be bomb shelters, and Israelis in high risk areas are sometimes forced to live in other bomb shelters for days at a time. As kids living in America, we are taught that if we get lost, we need to go into a store and ask to use their phone and call our parents or approach a police officer if we see one. Young Israelis, on
the other hand, are taught to find shelter when the piercing sound of the siren goes off. In 2012 alone, 1,435 rockets were shot into Israel from Gaza; approximately 14,000 rockets in total were fired into Israel over the last eleven years. Between 2006 and 2011, 44 Israelis were killed, and
While Israelis are constantly blamed as the oppressor, they are in fact, more than providing. 1,687 wounded. This behavior on the part of those living in Gaza is hideously unacceptable and disgusting. If any other country were to be bombarded with missiles as Israel is, there would be an uprising of people demanding to take military action; and yet, it is the Arab children who are always shown, seated in rubble or being carried through the streets dead. These are the people who are sympathized for, and yet their Israeli equivalents and the buses
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blown apart by rockets within Israel are never shown. Israel is constantly blamed by the media as the bad guy. Its actions are intently scrutinized and criticized by the rest of the world. The Gaza Strip, located on the eastern edge of Israel and bordering the Mediterranean Sea, the area from which these rockets are being fired, is actually Israeli territory. While Israelis are constantly blamed as the oppressor, they are in fact, more than providing. During the Six Day war, in 1967, Israel was attacked by Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq in an attempt of annihilation of a country only the size of New Jersey. The Israelis fought back, crushing the countries’ air forces and acquiring what is today the West Bank and Gaza. This land which is part of Israel was given back to the Arabs by the Israelis in 2005, in an attempt to make peace with those living in these territories. Gaza is Israeli land. As Israeli Consul General Ido Aharoni wrote in his piece Just Let our Kids Sleep the Night in Peace, “In 2005,
International Israel uprooted the lives of thousands of Israelis and dozens and dozens of thriving Jewish communities in the hope that Gaza would become the ‘Singapore of the Middle East.’ In reality the Gaza Strip has become a haven of terror. The ruling government provides a breeding ground for terrorist groups to organize and operate, including groups associated with al Qaeda and Global Jihad.” While Israel is constantly charged, especially by the press and news stations, with oppressing the Arabs and stifling their economy, they have in fact, done the opposite. Israel has provided Arabs with land in the hopes of peace, and instead, has been subject to rocket fire. In addition, when Israel forced their own people to leave Gaza in an attempt to make peace with the Palestinians, a group of Jewish American philanthropists came together to purchase the well-known Israeli greenhouses in Gaza, so that the greenhouse complex would not go to waste. They gave the 14 million dollar greenhouse system to Gaza Arabs. However, these buildings, within hours of Israeli withdrawal, were damaged and looted beyond repair by Arabs. Terrorists ripped them of their piping, damaging their own economy. Additionally, Israel permits and supports humanitarian aid into Gaza. There are two main crossings from Israel into Gaza, including Erez, the pedestrian cross-
ing, and Karem Shalom, the commercial goods crossing. Israel checks in with Gazan organizations to see if there are any medical supplies which they need. 250-350 trucks go through the Israeli-Gaza border daily, filled with tons of food, construction materials, electrical materials, clothing, and more. Gaza is not economically stifled, nor is it a “big concentration camp” as said by the vatican. Rather, grocery stores are stocked and pharmacies packed. They have public libraries and a nice airport, game stores, technology, and more. Many of the pictures you see are doctored and staged. This is not all a reality, and as a re-
Israel sends down warning notices telling people to evacuate prior to a strike; however, Gazan officials tell their people that the warnings are fake and to ignore them. sult, Israelis are blamed for hurting Gaza. Over the last few months, especially between November 13th and November 21st, the fighting between Israel and Gaza reached its climax. The tactics of Israelis and those of the Palestinians, though, have proven to be more than different. Provided with Gaza in an attempt to make peace, the Arabs instead have objectives of using
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these lands to kill innocent Israelis. Even within Gaza, they have shot suspected Israeli spies and dragged them through the streets on motorcycles, for supposedly locating rocket launch sites within Gaza. This behavior is barbaric. In contrast, the Israelis attempt to kill only military targets. They are very precise about who they kill and have previously called off operations if they find out others are in the area. Consul General Aharoni writes, “…the targets of the Israeli operation are all military. Israel will make every effort to prevent harm to the civilian population of Gaza, and regrets any injury to civilians. We have no intention of harming anyone who desires peace and tranquility; hence the border crossings from Israel to the Gaza Strip remain open, allowing for the routine passage of goods and humanitarian aid.” Similarly, not only are the offensive tactics between Israelis and Arabs in Gaza different, but the defensive strategy in Gaza differs severely from the Israelis’. Israel acts as a protector of the people; its Iron Dome system seeks to intercept rockets in midair, to save the lives of innocent Israelis. Each of these rockets cost approximately 50,000 dollars, to save whoever they may. In addition, Israelis will openly take Arabs into their hospitals. And yet, the Palestinians not only hurt the Israelis, but they do nothing to protect their own people. Their weapons and missiles are hidden under schools and hospitals, so that Israel will have to retain from firing at them; and, in the case that Israel fires, it is never mentioned that missiles were hidden under these schools. The Arabs abuse their children by firing from within their schools and hospitals. They encourage women and children to act as shields. Israel sends down warning notices telling people to evacuate prior to a strike; however, Gazan officials tell their people that the warnings are fake and to ignore them. Instead of keeping their citizens out of harm’s way, the terrorist organizations that control Gaza, including Hamas and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, among others, force their people to join the fight against Israel, in a call for Israel’s annihilation. On November 21st, a ceasefire was drawn and signed between Israel and Gaza (and yet since then, Gaza has fired
International more rockets into Israel). The terms of the ceasefire included that Israel stop all hostilities in the Gaza strip and targeting of individuals, and that the Gaza Strip refrain from all attacks against Israel. According to ceasefire terms, 24 hours after the attack, logistics regarding the movement of people and/or materials between Gaza and Israel were to be negotiated. Following the implication of the ceasefire, on November 29th, those who call themselves the Palestinians, organizations like Hamas and the PLO, which are recognized by Israel, the State Department, and the European Union, as terrorist organizations, pleaded for nonmember observer status in the UN. The rights of non-member observers at the UN include “a standing invitation to participate in cessions of the UN and an ability to maintain permanent observer missions at Headquarters.” And the UN approved the resolution. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 138 in favor to nine against with 41 abstentions by the 193-member Assembly. By the way, when was the last time you heard of a UN member which is not a country? You haven’t. Palestine refers to the land between the Mediterranean sea
and the Jordan river, the land which is Israel. These so-called Palestinians aren’t even their own entity. They are Egyptians and Jordanians, occupying Israeli lands, Gaza and the West Bank —they are Jordanians, Egyptians, Israelis, or Arabs, not Palestinians. The Arabs who pleaded to the UN are people like Mahmoud Abbas, a Holocaust denier. They are the savages whose sole goal is to kill innocent Israelis and annihilate Israel. By pleading to the UN, they seek to and have succeeded in avoiding peace negotiations with Israel. By granting them non-member observer status, the world has indeed recognized the
65 years ago the Palestinians could have chosen to live side by side with the Jewish State of Israel. They could have chosen to accept the solution of two States for two peoples. They rejected it then, and they are rejecting it again today.
Palestinians as a people and given them their approval. This is beyond outrageous. Only nine countries voted against these people. Nine out of 193 countries. Nine countries voted against dragging bodies through the streets. Nine countries voted against hiding rockets among schools and hospitals. Nine countries. And the saddest part about the vote is that the countries which voted against the resolution include countries I had never even heard of. The rest of the world is promoting, what they have even acknowledged as, a terrorist organization. The nine countries which voted against the Palestinians’ non-member observer status include Canada, the Czech Republic, Israel, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Panama, Palau, and the United States. Practically all of South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe voted in favor of Palestinian non-member observer status. In response to the vote, Ron Prosor, the Israeli ambassador to the UN said, “There is only one route to Palestinian statehood. And that route does not run through this chamber in New York. There
The resolution to give the Palestinians non-member observer status was adopted by a vote of 138 in favor to 9 against, with 41 abstentions by the 193-member Assembly.
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International are no shortcuts. No quick fixes. No instant solutions… Peace cannot be imposed from the outside… 65 years ago the Palestinians could have chosen to live side by side with the Jewish State of Israel. They could have chosen to accept the solution of two States for two peoples. They rejected it then, and they are rejecting it again today. The United Nations had been founded to advance the cause of peace. Today, the Palestinians were turning their back on peace.” Representatives from the United States and from Canada voted against the
resolution for similar reasons. The US and Canada representatives agreed with Prosor in that the resolution would not create peace between Israel and Palestinians. The solution was “unfortunate and unproductive,” said the United States representative, and would lead to further obstacles in the peace process. Abbas, the holocaust denier and head of the PLO tried to justify why he was at the UN by saying he wanted peace and that the Palestinians came before the assembly during a time when Gaza was still tending to its wounds
from the Israeli wounding and murdering of men, women, and children. It is the Palestinians which are setting up and killing their own people. Israelis have targets, terrorists, something which the Palestinians do not. Almost every nation which voted for the resolution claimed to support it because they believed that it would create a two state solution. It will do anything but this. The goal of the resolution is to gain recognition and support, which the Palestinians will use to launch more rockets into Israel.
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EGYPT’S ROAD TO DEMOCRACY A
lmost two years ago, Egyptians ousted their dictator, Hosni Mumbarak. Democracy triumphed in Egypt during its first democratic presidential election, inspiring hope among Egyptians. However, Egypt’s future is now unclear. Egyptians are tasked with creating a constitution that will determine the government’s and citizens’ rights for years to come. President Morsi feels that the constitution recently passed by a referendum satisfies Egypt’s needs. However, many reasons exist why the government should amend the constitution. An overwhelming majority of citizens must support the constitution in order for it to have any merit. As the constitution serves as the basis for a nation’s government, the people must support it to have a government that fairly represents them. Otherwise, the people will have no reason to respect the government’s rule. However, less than 33% of eligible voters voted on the Egyptian draft constitution, which passed with a 67% majority. As the Egyptian Coalition for Monitoring Elections reports, Egyptians against the constitution may have been unable to vote due to voter intimidation and other violations. Furthermore, the leading opposition group, the National Salvation Front, contested that 56.6% of voters actually voted yes in the first round of voting, as the president’s party claimed. Given that a third of voters found fault with the constitution and that there were widespread protests against the
By Jenna Barancik draft before the referendum, the Egyptian government should have changed the draft before the vote. Yet the government continued to push the draft through, ignoring major, secular opposition groups and thousands of protesters. Opponents of the constitution mainly object to certain Islamist provisions. While Egypt’s new constitution is in some ways fairer than Egypt’s previous constitution, opponents believe it could enable Islamist leaders to infringe upon their rights. Some opponents further argue that by allowing for infringements upon their rights, the constitution betrays the ideals behind the revolution. Additionally, international rights group, Human Rights Watch, said the constitution fails to protect freedom of religion.
Less than 33% of eligible voters voted on the Egyptian draft constitution, which passed with a 67% majority. Whether you believe religion deserves a to play a role in government or that Egypt’s constitution actually allows religion this ability, the constitution carries the risk of failing. A constitution born out of such controversy can easily be undermined. Thousands protested the constitutional referendum and continue to claim that the constitution drafted by an Islamist-dominated assembly will grant Islamist politi-
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cians more power and control in the future. Local human rights groups in Egypt have identified cases of voter intimidation, delays in the voting process, and the untimely closings of voting centers. These claims question if the ballot statistics accurately represent how Egyptians feel about the constitution. Even if they do, some opponents still believe that there must be a national consensus to pass a constitutional draft. Despite the controversy surrounding the ballot count, it is clear that the majority of Egyptians support the constitution, and they have the right to democratically enact their own laws. However, President Morsi and the Freedom and Justice Party should work with secular opposition groups to amend the constitution, if they want to insure the protection of human rights and avoid future internal conflict. The National Salvation Front has already expressed their intent to continue peacefully and democratically working towards a constitution without Islamist provisions. According to The New York Times, Morsi admitted to making “mistakes” before the ratification of the constitution and is willing to engage in “national dialogue.” Although Morsi has remained vague as to what mistakes he made, one hopes he refers partially to the lack of influence opposition groups had during the drafting of the constitution. Most importantly, one hopes Morsi and his supporters will keep their minds open to constitutional amendments opposition groups may propose.
RUTHLESS MEDIA HAS DEADLY RESULTS By Samuel Fisch
ritain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton recently announced that they are expecting their first child. After approximately the first twelve weeks of her pregnancy, Kate was admitted into King Edward VII Hospital in London because she was suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness. While Kate was still recovering from her sickness, two Australian radio hosts from Sydney’s 2Day FM radio station telephoned the King Edward VII Hospital. The radio hosts employed British accents and posed as William’s Grandmother - Queen Elizabeth II - and William’s father - Prince Charles - in order to play a prank on the hospital and the royals. When the two hosts rang the hospital at 5:30 a.m., no receptionist was on duty so 46-year-old nurse Jacintha Saldanha answered the phone instead. After a brief exchange, during which the ludicrous radio hosts asked to speak to Kate, Saldanha transferred the call through to another nurse who revealed private medical details regarding Kate’s sickness and recovery. Three days later, Saldanha was found dead, hanged in her room located in a nurse’s complex nearby the hospital. She allegedly left three suicide notes as well. Two of the notes discuss how she failed to come to terms with the prank played by the hosts, and the third note supposedly specifies details about her funeral. Although the two hosts apologized once they learned of Saldanha’s death, their condolences hardly reduce the gravity of the
situation. The hosts’ prank was unacceptable, and the loss of an innocent woman’s life should never have occurred. Stories such as this one expose an unfortunate and undesirable aspect of our media: the British and worldwide press lavish an enormous amount of media attention on the Royal Family and in some cases, this insatiable desire for news to report on the Royals leads to an invasion of the Royal Family’s privacy and potentially threatens the Royals’ health and safety. The British Royal Family has little to no political power, yet it continues to be
How many more media-caused deaths must occur before newspapers, tabloids, and radio stations realize this obsession with reporting on the Royal Family can turn deadly? loved and supported by people in Britain, America, and many other countries. Due to this international affection, both tabloids and traditional newspapers exploit the Royal family in order to make a quick profit. In the past few months, tabloids have capitalized on two Royal calamities: nude photographs of Kate Middleton on a private vacation as well as nude photographs of a partying Prince Harry in Las Vegas were both published around the world. This quick way to a profit is understandable, because newspapers and tabloids have to make money to support themselves and because the public has an unending appetite for both gossip and
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photographs of the Royal Family. However, media exploitation of the royals should be heavily moderated from this point forward - tabloids and newspapers are unfairly invading the privacy of the royals, and these actions should stop. The larger issue present is that the harassment of and obsession with the Royal Family by the media is not only a breach of privacy, it can also be dangerous. This recent suicide seemingly caused by the media echoes the death of Princess Diana in 1997. Diana was attempting to escape a pack of media cars and mopeds that were pursuing her endlessly in order to catch any photograph of her when her car crashed, and she and others were killed. How many more media-caused deaths must occur before newspapers, tabloids, and radio stations realize this obsession with reporting on the Royal Family can turn deadly? Unfortunately, even after pressure from the British Royals and authorities after Diana’s death, the media still has not yet changed, and change does not appear to be on the horizon for anytime soon. In an interview after the suicide of the nurse, one of the Australian radio hosts commented that the prank “was never meant to go that far. It was meant to be a silly little prank that so many people had done before. This wasn’t meant to happen.” Sadly, nurse Saldanha did die because of the media’s insatiable thirst for information about the Royal Family, and no more lives should be lost from the media’s reckless behavior.
Features Getty Images, The Associated Presss
The Burning Dangers of Globalization
he accelerating globalization of finance and industry has created many opportunities for developing countries, which are bringing new investors to their shores. While observers point to the possibilities of an increased standard of living for the people of those nations, the dangers of the quick pace of change can be seen in the many recent deaths resulting from factory fires in Asia. These tragedies, with their uncanny resemblance to New York’s own shirtwaist factory fire a century ago, highlight the costs of fast economic change in societies apparently unable to cope with their rapid pace. One wonders if these countries will have the ability to adequately respond to the demands posed by these new risks before more innocent people die. Proponents of the opening of markets and globalization in developing countries point to the benefits of foreign money in
helping in modernization, infrastructure development and increased social services. If the money is spread equitably, the general standard of living can improve. Globalization’s free trade policies can allow a country’s suppliers to access markets around the world. Such growth can profit local companies allowing them to increase their use of technology, overall production, and profit. Unfortunately, the influx of money is not necessarily distributed for the benefit of all,tending to help the educated while leaving the uneducated at increased risk. With the growing importance of technology in all economies , the masses can only gain work if the education system brings them up to speed. It may be excessively optimistic to think that the current education systems in these countries will allow the poor to share in their country’s increased financial health. Further, automation in manufacturing and agriculture can often reduce the need for
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workers. Even if the poor succeed in becoming more educated, technology can actually decrease their chances of landing a meaningful job. Globalization then results in an economy in which wealth and power become concentrated in the hands of the few. Recent events show the dangerous and deadly results that are emerging from uncontrolled and inequitable growth from globalization. On September 12, 2012, over 289 garment workers perished in a factory in Karachi that produced clothes bound for the United Kingdom. Hours earlier, more than 25 people died in a shoe factory in Lahore. In Karachi, three of the four gates to the factory had been shut to avoid theft, resulting in dire consequences for the trapped workers; many were burned alive while others suffocated. Additionally, metal grilles on some windows prevented escape. Some people jumped from third floor win-
By Anne Rosenblatt dows to escape the blaze. After examining the cause of the fire, officials found the factory had been using its own diesel power since the city government did not provide a regular power source. l Local government
was inadequate for the task of supervising and regulating growth. Two months later, on November 24, on the outskirts of Bangladesh’s capital city, 112 garment workers perished in a factory producing goods bound for Wal-Mart. Its fire safety permit had been revoked previously. Survivors said exit doors were locked and extinguishers did not work. Extra levels had been built above the 3-story building illegally, and many died jumping from those floors. Garments make up 80% of that country’s factory exports, and in the past six years over 600 people have died in similar incidents. In China, another fatal clothing factory fire occurred in December set by an employee demanding high wages. Historical precedents for dealing with such events can be found in our own American history. The parallels to the industrial age in the United States are striking. As capital was put to work in the US at the turn of the 19th century, new jobs appeared. Yet the quality of these jobs barely succeeded in helping many people. Without protection, labor was in a risky position and workers were often taken advantage of with wealth concentrated in the hands of the few. On March 25, 1911, the deadliest industrial disaster in New York City history occurred when fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and 146 workers, 129 of them women, perished. Most were under the age of 23. As in Karachi, the doors had been locked to prevent theft. The photos from New York are chillingly similar to those from Bangladesh and Karachi. While the owners of the factory went on trial afterwards, they were acquitted, only losing a small sum in a civil suit and collecting a profitable sum from the insurance payoff.. Public outrage spread in the United States, motivating change. Eventually a state commission report led to leg-
islation regulating work conditions, workers hours, fire laws and building access. The tragedy provided an impetus for workers to unite in their own defense leading to the formation of the international ladies garment workers union and the strengthening of the labor movement throughout the US. While the fire in NY changed the face of employment and the treatment of workers in the US, these changes came with the help of a political system and social conscience that had been long developing here . Whether the developing countries of the world have a similar foundation ready to nurture change and protection is to be seen. This will depend on the effect of religious, social, intellectual and educational systems, which will differ in each country. . The influx of foreign money and companies into developing countries around the world can help those ready to run new businesses there. Yet if there is no political or social mechanism in place to guide and nurture change, and no concerted will to allow the unemployed to train and the newly employed to protect themselves, then the benefits of globalization may accrue to the few rather than the many. As was true in America a century ago, women and children are most at risk in this process and they have the potential to gain the least and suffer the most if protections are not put into effect. As we can see, so far, this has unfortunately been the experience for garment workers in developing countries. If local governments do not step in to offer care and guidance then it may be up to the international community to monitor dangers and offer solutions. Either way, change must occur. These countries cannot wait for another Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. They must act – before globalization goes up in flames.
“On November 24, on the outskirts of Bangladesh’s capital city, 112 garment workers perished in a factory producing goods bound for Wal-Mart.” The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XXII
The Second Industrial Revolution By Hana Krijestorac
A Closer Look at Cloud Manufacturing
traditional distinction lies between the concept of an entrepreneur and an inventor. Often, the two terms are mutually exclusive. One might ask him or herself the timeless question: Do scientists invent for the sake of science or business? However, with the new phenomena of cloud manufacturing, a new global industrial revolution is born where the lines between an inventor and businessman are blurred. The emerging digital revolution we are currently experiencing opens the world of business to virtually anyone with a computer and an idea. The manufacturing world is being democratized, or exposed to average web-users, creating a flow of inventions. In simple terms, cloud manufacturing is a reinvented form of distribution and manufacturing by using digital means. Generally, this implies using cloud-based design and manufacturing, or CBDM, which entails free innovation and rapid development, all on an unprecedentedly low budget. Today, the primary means of promoting the distribution of products is through the Internet, as seen in social media sites and digital advertisements. The integration of business and invention arises through the Internet. Thanks to the Internet, more people than ever have the opportunity to create a business, and even form a billion dollar enterprise like Mark Zuckerberg did.
The democratization of production applies globally to distribution and manufacturing. With this digital revolution, an entrepreneur or inventor can upload a product to the Internet, thereby opening supply chains to potentially anyone in the world. An example of how the digital revolution influences business is kickstarter.com, a non-profit website in which companies or entrepreneurs are able to advertise their products before production. Kickstarter. com allows businesses to receive feedback on their products from individual groups. This completely cuts the research and development factor of production, while personalizes their products relative to each group who expressed interest. Kickstarter.com allows its users to become the producers. Furthermore, businesses or entrepreneurs can contact any factory in the world, fueling globalization. Due to the digital revolution, businesses and manufacturers can communicate in a scale-free world, since computers reduce language barriers. In the previous publishing world, the computer language was PostScript, which allowed digital publishing tools to communicate with digital printers. Now, regardless of what medium a manufacturer is using, the digital world is regularized from using languages like Chico or Standard Template Library. To weigh the predicted pros and cons of the second industrialization, we can look to the results of the first industrial revolu-
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“The emerging digital revolution we are currently experiencing opens the world of business to virtually anyone with a computer and an idea.” tion. The first industrial revolution began in the 1764, when James Hargreaves created the Spinning Jenny. This launched a new era where the need for manual labor decreased, and the automation increased. By using the Spinning Jenny, textile factories in England were able to mass-produce textiles. This boosted efficiency to an all time high, by using fewer people and reduced the costs of production. However, it still didn’t bring much variety in terms of products. Over time factories acquired more machinery and were able to create more diversity in their products. Factories were able to specialize their products according to their clients, creating the term custom made, which was more expensive, but worth it for some consumers. Today, we have a similar system, but even more individualized, cheaper, and more widely distributed. Beginning with the formation of the Internet in the 1950ís, over time, websites could also sell their products to particular groups. Currently, customers are able to build personalized merchandise, and the websites are able to sell their personalized products on a global scale. Websites like kickstarter.com allows the user to input their ideas, or NikeID. com, which lets the user create customized products. Again, we see the democratization of production, which enables nearly anyone to become an inventor or manufacturer. However, from a digital viewpoint, the use of cloud manufacturing increases circulation in business. For example, iTunes collects roughly 70% of its earnings from less popular songs, while only 30% of its earnings come from very popular or mass produced songs. The Long Tail graph, a popularity-ranking graph, shows the importance of these minimally produced (or non-hit) products. At the end of the graph, or the long tail, we see that profit has recently grown due to the democratization of products through cloud based design and manufacturing. This means that more non-hit products are created every day through mediums like Amazon, iTunes, and Yahoo, but continue to be the base for our consumer economy. After studying the results of the first industrial revolution and the short-term consequences of the current industrial revolution, it is clear that the cloud revolution is a positive addition to our society. Cloud manufacturing upgrades efficiency to a new level. The aim of most cloud manufacturers is to produce more output with fewer workers and a lower budget. Today, factory output rises in countries like the United States, China, Germany, or other postindustrial nations. German factories are predicted to earn 2 billion dollars in the year 2016, and the economy as a whole passed the one trillion dollar mark in terms of exports in 2012. Chinese factory output has increased 10.1% over the past year. However, we must consider the negative results of cloud man-
ufacturing as well. The number of factory jobs is at an all time low. Over the past decade, American manufacturers have lost a net total of 5.6 million jobs. The nation with the most advanced means of distribution and manufacturing might increase their exportation, but also may decrease the wealth of the laboring class. Additionally, we must be cautious of the dystopian worlds represented in literature becoming a reality. While we live in a new era of digital globalization, an intense global competition appears as well. Even renowned intellectuals such as George Orwell and Aldous Huxley have warned us of the dangers of an overly digitized society. From a social viewpoint, the new industrial revolution appears to hurt laborers. As businesses become increasingly automatized, factory workers will lose their jobs, as it is cheaper and more cost efficient to use digital manufacturing as opposed to manual labor. However, the detriments of cloud manufacturing are clearly outweighed because international trade and the flow of ideas have dramatically increased due to improved technology and the Internet. Moreover, cloud manufacturing gives everyone the opportunity to be an entrepreneur, and bring a new product into the market.
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ou’re sitting in your AP Economics class, reading the daily New York Times or simply flipping through this issue of the Review. Either way, this one idea keeps popping up: globalization. The free flow of money, goods and information. Simple enough, right? Now, imagine you were magically transported back into your first grade classroom. You sit down and right after snack time, your teacher asks you to draw the big word on the board: globalization. You freeze. How could any juicebox-drinking, animal-cracker-munching, seven year old comprehend, let alone draw, such a complicated issue. But that’s just it: globalization, as simple as it sounds, is a multi-sided phenomenon. Prospering alongside the new technological advancements of our 21st century, flourishing in our newly mobile society, and expanding as social media and multinational corporations begin to communicate across borders, globalization has been founded on several centers. Unfortunately, due to its complexity, it is now at risk to disintegrate from sev-
eral ends of its international blanket. From the rise in regulation in the United States, to the break down of European soft-socialism, all the way east to the escalation of crises in Asia and the Middle East, our once seemingly open world is now closing in on the courses we can take to globalize. In other words, due to the upsurge in local, national, and international conflicts, countries are finding it progressively harder to globalize. Starting in the early 1980’s and continuing up until the peak of ‘Obamination,’ the United States has served as a role model for deregulation, championing industry internationally. Markets started to open up, knowledge started to flow and money was being exchanged on an extreme global level. Over time, this movement came to be coined as what we now understand as globalization. Trans-border communication expanded economies, allowing for increased competition across industries and a boost in transnational companies, all due to minimal regulation of our markets and the corporations within them.
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Now, in the aftermath of the subprime crisis and the implementation of Obamacare, America is back on track with re-regulation. The additional costs corporations now have to pay to the federal government directly takes out of their profit, preventing these companies from expanding technologically. In some cases, it even results in a major layoff of employees and a reduction in the size of the corporation. Imagine McDonalds having to cut back on its number of employees globally, all due to increased taxes from the government. Stores would close down and the availability of jobs would diminish on a significant scale. If major corporations want to continue multiplying, the regulation from federal governments will only impose a burden upon them. Not only do these multinational industries provide a significant amount of income for each nation on an individual level, but they also provide a colossal amount of jobs to families in great need of income. Most notably, Obamacare is imposing an enormous cost on smaller corporations, the
Features current engine of job growth. Another contender threatening the continuation of globalization relates directly to the proliferation of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. On its current track, the region will most probably end in a credit event, where several financial institutions or countries themselves will fail to stand up to their debt obligations. In other words, the culmination of the current crisis will prevent nations from globalizing because of their economic standings. Although international expansion often ends in acquiring large sums of capital, it takes some to get some. According to the European Commission, “The economic and employment outlook is bleak.” Nations who are unable to invest or expand their global markets cannot possibly take part in the free flow of money and information; instead, they must focus on internal improvements, forcing themselves to be isolated from the global market. Not only will the Euro crisis direct national focus towards internal improvement, but it has also provoked certain nations to make drastic cuts in their welfare system. This disintegration of European soft-socialism that once provided all its citizens with free healthcare and benefits will prove negative in boosting consumer spending. Citizens that have relied on free aid for over fifty years are slowly being forced to pay for these costs themselves. With the newly supplementary costs of healthcare, childcare, and birth and adoption grants, middle class citizens might not be able to afford their comfortable lifestyles, let alone buy the luxuries they once could. How could a baker in France now afford that new Japanese Toyota car he’s been eyeing for quite some time? All hypotheticals aside, as our world delves deeper into the 21st century, we find ourselves amidst violent wars and an escalation of crises, especially in Asia and the Middle East. The China-Japan conflict over land, while not in danger of escalating to a military war, threatens to jeopardize economies in that area. Due to this conflict, international Japanese companies like Honda, Toyota, and Nissan have already witnessed the drastic impact. The dispute itself is over a pair of islands known as the Senkaku and Diaoyu islands. Although uninhabited, the seas around them are rich in oil and gas. Possession over these islets would prove to be profitable and commence a new era of trade in Asia. Currently the land is administered by Japan. Because of this, the U.S. would have an obligation to defend the
Japanese in the case of a violent breakout, potentially severing, or at least injuring, economic ties with China. The disputes between Turkey and Syria and Iran and Israel threaten to result in the use of their respective militaries, blocking the amount of communication between markets and governments in those regions. In Syria, the civil war has reached nations far outside of its boundaries. The conflict itself is rooted from the lack of economic prosperity and civil liberties for Syrian citizens, arguably the building blocks of globalization. Without the access to basic human rights, the idea of communicating across borders is completely thrown away. Furthermore, Syrian civilians are seeking refuge in neighboring countries such as Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey, spreading the conflict and bringing these nations directly
Most important is to recognize the value of globalization and its importance in the 21st century. into this battle. President Obama and many other global leaders have called on al-Assad, the current president of Syria, to relinquish his power as the leader of this nation, and have imposed economic sanctions until he decides to do so. Already these economic penalties have proven to halt globalization in the Middle East, as most nations involved have decided to take a sided stance, refusing to trade or communicate with the opposition. Syria’s key role in the heart of the Middle East means there might also be longterm geopolitical consequences at stake. Chief executive of Oxford Analytica, Nader Mousavizadeh, sees the conflict as a proxy war between Iran and its Sunni Arab rivals in the region, Iran and the United States, and most importantly, he believes, between the United States and Russia “about who is going to have more say in the future region and on what terms the international community will intervene in conflicts such as Syria.” On top of this, analysts worry about the Syrian outcome for Middle Eastern peace. Syria has been a critical Palestinian
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ally through the years, actively supporting Hamas and Hezbollah while sharing a border with Israel. The outcome of this conflict not only affects the economic prosperity of the region, but the geopolitical stability of the Middle East and the future communications across borders. As Henry Kissinger, a former U.S. diplomat once said, “The Arabs can’t make war without Egypt, and they can’t make peace without Syria.” Debts, wars, crises, and revivals of old and new animosities are all burdens we must face in our fast-paced, unstable world. They undermine domestic and international trade, cut off communications in entire regions and halt the proliferation of globalization on a massive scale. Although there isn’t one fix-all solution to the predicaments at hand, our international community can work together to bring globalization back into focus. Regulation and administration in the United States has proved to restrict multinational corporations, some crucial to the globalization of America. Taking into account our current economic standing, if the United States were to slowly reduce restrictions on both small businesses and transnational companies, globalization would soon accelerate in the Western hemisphere. As for the Euro crisis, and regional disputes in Asia and the Middle East, my advice would be to wait it out. Understandably, governments have taken away the privilege of pre-paid health insurance and government-funded programs, but the global community must realize their consequences. Consumerism will significantly decrease in Europe before it grows again, and European citizens will have to get used to their new type of lifestyle before they become comfortable with their new economic environment. Overall, there isn’t one definite panacea to accelerating globalization again; there may not even be any tangible ones at all. Most important is to recognize the value of globalization and its importance in the 21st century. With our world a little more focused on arguably more pressing issues, it is not hard to imagine the act of globalization being put on the back burner. Whether you are sitting in your Economics class or trying to explain to your little first grader the concept of globalization, remember this: your German car sitting in your garage, your pen pal from France, those lovely calls from telemarketers in India, that’s globalization. We live in a globalized century, whether we realize it or not, and threatening globalization is threatening to move back in time.
Facilitation via an Internet Movement
lobalization is a worldwide phenomenon, connecting individual countries and people, culturally, politically, and economically. It is often used to refer to the worldâ€™s economy and large corporations from world superpowers that have been able to expand through establishing factories and other branches within developing nations However, many people overlook another crucial aspect of globalization. The exchange
of information and ideas has led to the communication among people from different walks of life. Twenty years ago, information was not as easily accessible, especially to those in small developing countries. The development of the Internet has caused a Renaissance, connecting billions of people. Internet usage is necessary for further globalization, providing a way for people to gain access to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in ways like never be-
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fore, increasing access to human rights that were previously denied and connecting billions of people. The Internet is one of the fastest developing technologies of all time and its usage exemplifies its facilitation of globalization. It has spread to millions of people in just twenty years unlike many other types of modern technology which have taken much longer to leave the borders of the United States. The Internet originated as a way for
The development of the Internet has caused a Renaissance, connecting billions of people. universities and researchers to be able to share information. It was an academic network. Since the 1990s, the Internet has expanded to encompass everything it possibly can. Developed countries adopted the Internet quickly, though it had taken the developing countries longer to do so. Two billion people are currently connected via the Internet, providing a connection that they otherwise would not share. Every community with access to electricity has the capability to connect via the Internet. Though many people in rural areas do not yet have the capabiity to connect, more and more people gain access to the Internet every year. The poor communities especially those in industrialized areas have the opportunity to gain access to information via the Internet through libraries and other public places. Internet cafés are popular hotspots. They are useful in many parts of the world as often individual households cannot afford their own computer. The Internet provides a way for information to connect people directly and efficiently, providing access to freedom of speech. The United Nations has said that access to the Internet is a human right, a right that has been denied to citizens of countries participating in the Arab Spring throughout the movement. In Egypt during the Arab Spring, Mubarak (the former dictator of Egypt) shut down the Internet two
days into the uprising, yet information managed to become visible to the entire world. Mubarak was not successful in disrupting the sharing of the information. Egyptians used Facebook as a home base for announcing their protests and publicizing the uprising. The movement in Egypt gathered support from people within and outside of the country after pictures of Khaled Saeed’s disfigured face went viral (Saeed was assaulted by police officers after walking out of an Internet café, a sign of police corruption within the country). Without the Internet, these photographs may not have gone viral, and the movement in Egypt would not have gained the momentum that it did. Other countries, such as Tunisia and Syria, also utilized social media throughout the Arab Spring. Syrian activists cited the messaging application Skype as being useful in protests, as Skype provides quick communication for the activists, allowing them to spread knowledge of upcoming attacks. Jad-al Yamani, a Syrian activist, was quoted in the New York Times, saying, “Through Skype you know how the army moves or can stop it.” New start-ups including a website created by Nafham are opening up worlds of opportunity for those who lack the excellent education we are so lucky to obtain from Horace Mann. This new website is based in Egypt. Though it is still in beta version, the long-term goal is to provide Internet tutorials on a variety of subjects. The website’s creators hope to improve the education of students. According to UNICEF, currently less than 10% of schools meet the standards for education in the nation. As this website and others like it (a popular website that American students use is Khan Academy, a website started by Sal Khan in order to provide high schoolers with the means to teach high school students, giving students clarification on material that they did not necessarily understand) offer online tutoring sessions, it could help to combat the problem of poor education, a problem that inhibits citizens our own country as well as those developing nations. Though the Internet has been spreading like an epidemic, the majority
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of the world still lives without the technology that seems so ordinary to us. In order to solve this problem and spread the Internet, organizations such as Internet Society have been created. These organizations have the goal of connecting developing countries to the world’s superpowers through the Internet. Internet Society has divisions focusing on Africa and MENA, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Latin American and the Caribbean, and even North America. The end goal for the developing areas is to provide a safe and secure Internet for people living there at a low cost, so as to enable access to information and education through the Internet. Just the adoption of the Internet shows how far a developing country has come. Once the Internet has been adapted into a society, doors are opened to its people and its economy. Entrepreneurs use the Internet for their businesses, as do corporations both large and small. Ahmed Galal, an Egyptian aspiring entrepreneur, said to the Financial Times, “The digital world is groundbreaking because it is cost-efficient, innovative and easily adaptable to different markets.” Thousands of jobs open up once the Internet is set up, especially in Internet security and maintenance. In the future, as more and more people gain access to the Internet, more information will be shared. The sprawling virtual database will continue to unite and globalize the world.
Once the Internet has been adapted into a society, doors are opened to its people and its economy.
The Brain Drain by Sahej Suri and Jake Haberman
t is imperative that scientists around the world collaborate, regardless of their race, creed, political beliefs, or gender. Collaboration is essential to scientific progress. However, when governments become involved, the ability of nations to correspond is impeded. In this era of interconnectedness, new scientific heights are meant to be scaled, and governments that want to further scientific research must find a way to break down
nationalistic barriers between countries. When political interests set scientific agendas within a country, the field of science is not well served. If freedom to pursue science among countries is hindered, scientists move to more technologically oriented countries with more monetary incentive and stay there. When a country impedes communication amongst scientists, it is often left behind in the race to scientific advancements. In addition, ten-
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sion develops between globalizing countries and globalized countries. Globalized countries utilize their lofty leverage, creating boundaries that many developing countries cannot surpass, keeping them behind already developed countries. It behooves such countries to change their attitude towards the development of scientific experimentation. This process has ushered in an era under globalization known as human capital flight or com-
Features monly referred to as “brain drain.” The term brain drain was originally used by the British to describe the relocation of scientists and engineers from post-war Europe to North America, and from India to the United Kingdom. However, the term has more recently been coined to detail “the emigration of highly trained or intelligent people from one country to another.” According to the UN, the chief reasons for such migration are a lack of opportunities and liberties, political instability, economic depression, health risks,
Africa and Latin America in the next two decades.” Former Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said that “in order to maintain and improve economic growth in the E.U., it is essential for Europe to become a magnet for the highly skilled.” He went on to state, “Qualified and highly qualified migrants often prefer the U.S.A, Canada, and Australia [to other destinations such as Europe].” Currently, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France have their own government-funded initiatives to assist expatriates working overseas to return to their homelands.
and dangerous living conditions in native countries. Yet contrary to what one might think, this phenomenon is not only apparent in developing and unstable nations; it is prevalent around the world. Brain drain in Europe is categorized by the outflow of highly qualified scientists from Western Europe to the United States, and by the migration of skilled workers from Central and Southeastern Europe to Western Europe. Overall, the European Union has noticed a net loss of highly skilled professionals. This leads to a clear economic loss to European countries, for emigrants take the value of their training and education with them as they leave. Such a situation can be directly associated with the movement of financial capital. In an attempt to reverse this trend, the EU introduced a Blue Card policy in 2008, which seeks “to draw an additional 20 million workers from Asia,
In Africa, brain drain has had an even more devastating effect. According to the United Nations, “Brain drain has cost the African continent over $4 billion in the employment of 150,000 expatriate professionals annually.” The UNDP stated that “Ethiopia lost 75% of its skilled workforce between 1980 and 1991.” And there are currently more Ethiopian doctors in Chicago than there are in Ethiopia itself ! This drain has surely damaged the nation’s ability to develop and eliminate poverty. However, like the European governments, NEPAD and the Commonwealth Business Council jointly created a program called Africarecruit to recruit professional expatriate Africans to return to Africa after working abroad. On the subject, the former President of South Africa said: In our world in which the generation of new knowledge and its application to change the human condition is the engine which moves human society further away from barbarism, do we not have need to recall Africa’s hundreds of thousands of intellectuals back from their places of emigration in Western Europe and North America, to rejoin those who remain still within our shores! I dream of the day
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when these, the African mathematicians and computer specialists in Washington and New York, the African physicists, engineers, doctors, business managers and economists, will return from London and Manchester and Paris and Brussels to add to the African pool of brain power, to enquire into and find solutions to Africa’s problems and challenges, to open the African door to the world of knowledge! A paragon in innovation, a pioneer for developing nations, and an essential contributor for cutting-edge scientific thought, China has been undergoing a process of historic transformation and development. When China began to globalize, it recognized that science and technology needed to take a central role in socio-economic reformation. In the 1950s, China had reorganized its science and technology under the influence of the Soviets. As a result, bureaucratic systems were being implemented in the organization of scientific exploration in China. Funding was available for scientific research, but it was not adequate for scientific organizations to progress. Then, the Cultural Revolution, from 1977-1984, transformed the way in which China went about scientific progress. China reformed its current national agenda in order to provide more funds for research and growth in a variety of scientific endeavors rather than concentrating on military and national defense. This encouraged the students of the better universities to become aware of the importance of science and to realize that working conditions in all areas had to be improved. Since 1986, China has been implementing extensive programs such as Program 863, The Climbing Program, and The Torch Program, all of which broadcast consequential scientific findings throughout the world. This attests to its determination to contribute to ongoing experimentation and to make a myriad of data accessible through a database computer. In 1991, China began to develop the supercomputer Tianhe-1A that was declared the fastest in the world in 2010. China’s contribution to projects with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) marked a huge step in its scientific progress; China began to collaborate even more with different countries as a result. Since 1998, China began to collaborate with the European Union in a program called China-EU Science & Technology
Features Year (CESTY). This program effortlessly enabled the exchange of projects, ideas, resources, and people. Currently, China is engaging in scientific cooperation with 152 countries and regions and has signed 103 inter-governmental accords with 97 of them. China’s economic policy has developed to the extent that it has become the second largest economy in the world just behind the United States. Prioritizing the importance of globalization in scientific efforts, China is considered one of the most rapidly developing scientific
countries in the world. It is expected to outpace many European nations because of the development of sophisticated science laboratories, the collaboration with a plethora of countries and scientists, and the rapid development in scientific education. Yet, there has also been upsurge in Chinese emigration to Western countries –particularly the United States, Canada and Australia –since the beginning of the 21st century. According to the Jamestown foundation, in 2007, China was the largest worldwide contributor of immigrants. For instance, even despite the economic downturn in Western economies, more and more Chinese students are staying on after getting degrees. Out of the 270,000 Chinese who went to foreign universities in 2010, only around 25% returned to China after graduation. Regardless, brain drain has been cataclysmic for China and many other developed countries. Brain drain can also be beneficial to the economic development of the “countries of origin.” For instance, as the country of origin exports its skilled workforce, it will benefit due to the increased demand for higher
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level education amongst its general population. Having been qualified as professionals, many will then emigrate. But many others might not have the opportunity to do so. They might fail to get a working visa or feel the need to stay behind to look after their family. In addition, migrants lured away from their countries of origin will often send money home. The World Bank has cited such remittances to be significant sources of income for the countries of origin. Last year, it estimated that such remittances topped $370 billion dollars, but this sum was only amassed by “unrecorded ones- those envelopes stuffed with cash- nudge the total even higher.” According to Robert Guest, the Business Editor for The Economist, “remittances are more than double the amount of foreign aid sent to the developing world, and unlike aid, they are seldom stolen by grasping officials.” Migrants additionally invest in their homelands. “Diaspora investors are braver and more patient than others because they have a long-term attachment to their homeland. Short-term shocks don’t worry them as much. A typical foreign investor in Nigeria would be very frightened if he thought the local currency might collapse, since he wants to convert his profits into dollars and take them home. For a Nigerian-American investor, however, the same currency crash offers a chance to buy up land cheaply and build a mansion for his eventual retirement.” Additionally, as migrants keep in touch with people in their homelands, they open channels for commerce. Guest says, “Countries trade more with countries from which they have received immigrants. This is partly because diaspora networks speed the flow of information.” For instance, a Chinese trader in Malaysia who spots a demand for mobile-phone pouches will quickly call his cousin, a factory owner in China, to start producing them. Thus because these two Chinese businessmen know each other, they are able to work quickly and efficiently.
The question remains whether brain drain should be left completely to market forces or disrupted by some form of intervention. Usually when afflicted by tribulations such as war, disease, and government corruption, professionals who have the opportunity to get out usually take it. Such actions ultimately provide greater personal benefits to the migrants than societal benefits to the country of origin. Thus an important aim in solving the problem that brain drain presents is to avoid damaging the infrastructure and economy of the developing country of origin. According to Omar Ahmad, a threepronged approach may offer a chance for such a solution. “First, a series of measures must be undertaken by the develop-
“Of paramount importance is the necessity to promote the idea that science relies on collaboration” ing countries on their own... for instance, it is necessary to invest in improving the work conditions of professionals, and to convert the resources used to support the importation of foreign health professionals into incentive packages to encourage rural practice. Second, developed countries should unilaterally adopt a set of measures... that includes taking a principled decision to limit recruitment from countries with very clear staffing shortages, and issuing non-extendable visas, specifically geared to the acquisition of skills for the benefit of the source country. Third and lastly, the development of an international code of practice is necessary to regulate the ethics of international recruitment. For the above measures to yield measurable results, strict international rules are required to govern the recruitment of health workers. The formulation and adoption of an international code requires the active participation and cooperation of all the major players: major developed countries, major developing countries, and international organizations such as the International Labor Organization and WHO.” Another notable solution is for the countries of origin to enter into bilateral agreements with host countries in an attempt to control
the flow of migration and derive some compensation for the loss of its professionals. Of paramount importance is the necessity to promote the idea that science relies on collaboration--the integration of scientific ideas through a global network. CERNET, a program through which scientists and students can collaborate with scientists and universities in the United States, UK, Germany, China, and other nations through a faster and more reliable Internet, is a step forward to remedy the brain drain issue. It is through this kind of communication that scientists around the world can build mutual trust. A developing nation could not have feasibly carried out advanced scientific research if it had had only limited monetary funds. In order to attain such funding, it is advisable that countries in challenging financial situations enter into relationships similar to CESTY which encourages sharing of resources such as money, data, experience, and even location. A developing nation clearly benefits from such mutual relationships. Although different countries have different agendas, a crucial issue is whether a developing country should follow its national needs or should comply with globalized countries’ interests in a purer field of science. National compliance with organizations such as CERN and the International Council for Science (ICSU) is mutually beneficial. With limited political power, such large organizations are lacking the means and support to carry out vital tasks that affect scientist’s collaborations on a daily basis. The subject of prolonging the process of or denying visas to scientists by some countries has become a major problem. Such countries believe that the nation from which the scientist comes poses a security threat. For example, Chinese and Russian scientists have become victims of visa rejections because of their countries’ political ties or because it is believed their homelands impose a threat. Nations must strongly condemn this notion, believing that the ICSU should be consulted before any visa is denied or prolonged. Although it realizes the ICSU cannot challenge national sovereignty, it is recommended to place sanctions on nations that are deleterious to the advancement of
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science. It should be understood that the collaboration of scientists on a global scale is the way of the future. Conversely, success on a global scale should serve as a model to countries that aspire to gain scientific recognition. Brain drain poses a threat to pre-globalized countries, yet it provides a precedent for scientific advancement on the global level. Although economic repercussions are immense for countries whose citizens immigrate to a myriad of other nations, the scientific implications are note-worthy in attaining a greater understanding of the world’s problems in this day and age. When the term was first coined by the Royal Society to describe the mass-emigration of European citizens to the United States post-World War II, the Royal Society accurately forecasted a global trend.
IN By Aditya Ram
ood ideas have the power to fundamentally transform the world in which we live. Chinese micro blogs, or social networking sites, are an excellent example. Average Chinese citizens use these blogs, which are modeled after Facebook and Twitter, to post information that the government would normally censor. Many important news stories, including activist Chen Guangcheng’s escape from Chinese authorities and the continued violence in Tibet, are shared with the world only by means of these blogs.. What makes these blogs unique is that, unlike television and print media, Internet activity is incredibly difficult to regulate. The constant stream of information makes instant oversight from Chinese government censors all but impossible. As a result, micro blogs are one of the most effective sources of raw, uncensored information from inside China. But it is important to recognize that these blogs would not have been
possible without the innovations of USbased Internet companies. First and foremost, the idea of constant data sharing is fundamentally the same as what exists on American social networking sites. Users can upload photos or videos and post written content from inside the powerful Chinese firewall. These first-hand accounts can then be viewed by essentially anyone. Chinese micro blogs have taken this idea of constant data sharing and are using it to demonstrate to the international community the enormous challenges facing the Chinese people. This is one of the reasons that we, as US residents, have as much information as we do about the situation in places like Tibet. However, the rise of Chinese micro blogs has not come without its fair share of setbacks. One of the first well-known social networking sites in China was called Fanfou. It was closed in 2009 after the Chinese government deemed it to be a major threat to their
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firewall. The government proceeded to censor Facebook and Twitter as well. The website Sina Weibo (Weibo means “blog” in Chinese) launched the very same year, with simple functions such as post, message (private or public), comment, and re-post. The website was soon expanded to include many features that mirrored those on Twitter. Users can mention or talk to other people using a format just like Twitter’s, “@UserName”, add hashtags, “follow” other users, put a post into a favorite list, and much more. Of course, Sina Weibo is censored. In order to comply with the Chinese government’s Internet policy, Sina has about 1,000 employees whose primary job is to monitor and censor posts. However, as previously mentioned, this is enormously difficult to do; as such, Sina Weibo is one of the most effective means of communicating to the outside world. Since 2009, Sina Weibo has become more then just a place for people share interesting information. Chinese
CHINA citizens are also using the service to share their true feelings about a country that actively tries to keep them quiet. Another prominent Chinese micro blog is Tencent Weibo. Owned by Tencent holdings Ltd., it was launched on April 1, 2010. Users can share images and videos and can also post text up to 140 words. While Tencent is a popular site, it does censor information to the best of its abilities. For example, it tried to block the majority of posts about the Foxconn worker’s strike back in October 2012. In the company’s defense, if they had failed to censor user content effectively, the Chinese government would probably have shut them down. The government knows that it cannot afford to completely alienate its populace, and so, at certain moments, it will yield—albeit temporarily—to the demands of the public. For example, the Economist published a story about traffic lights in China; it detailed how a new law, which stated that drivers must stop at all yellow lights, was put under
review after a significant public outcry. Because no official opinion polls regarding this law were taken, the outcry instead originated from the website Weibos. The resentment proliferated and protestor began to call for freedom of the press. Naturally, the Chinese government was very reluctant to yield to their demands. While the government eventually tried to eradicate online support for the protests, there was just too much Internet traffic to censor. This example demonstrates the extraordinary power of China’s social media. In China, social networking technology has been steadily developed into a means for the Chinese people to voice their grievances; these sites are noticeable outliers in a country that has some of the most severe free speech restrictions in the world. A brighter future for China will be built around the emergence of these new technologies. Micro blogs provide a basis for hope.
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Average Chinese citizens use these blogs, which are modeled after Facebook and Twitter, to post information that the government would normally censor. 33
Globalization: A Cultural Outlook By Mihika Kapoor
Our generation was born into a globalized world. Most objects we use everyday were innovated in one country, designed in another, manufactured in a third, and sold around the world. For better or worse, the colorful culture of the east and the developed culture of the west are continuously merging to form a single identity.
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lobalization is steadily bringing in an onslaught of conformity partial to dominant cultures, a trend which is revealed in business practices, manners and etiquette, and food industries. A byproduct of globalization is the face-paced advancement of technologies and social norms, which contributes to the desire to “keep up.” While businesses are able to thrive on a multinational scale, individuals sometimes lose their roots and become one in a crowd of billions. Globalization expands the landscape for all corporate environments, potentially boosting entrepreneurial efforts and exposing products to myriads of new customers. The movement allows people to access to the best available options across the world regardless of where they live. Technology, communication and travel allow products and services to be delivered globally at the touch of a button. Businesses can be managed remotely, while goods are manufactured and services are performed where labor is abundant and cheap. A case in point is Apple, one of the most successful companies of the decade. Although it is an America label, a majority of its products are manufactured in China and sold to billions the world over. Maximizing on the best of all countries ultimately leads to more efficient performances. The opportunities seem to indicate that the world is literally at your feet. Social media now allows individuals, particularly those in the performing arts, to expose their music to foreign listeners. “Gangnam Style” by Korean pop star, Psy, recently reached 1 billion view on YouTube, making it the most popular video ever. Even though it was made in Korea and was not in English, it became a sensation in the US. But it is important to ponder whether all this global access and a fast paced environment are at the cost of something that is more deep and soul satisfying like individuality, ethnicity, culture and roots. Is too much technology a good thing? It seems that even though we are in constant touch with each other via social media, we as humans end up indulging in relationships more transient and less meaningful or real.
“While businesses are able to thrive on a multinational scale, individuals sometimes lose their roots and become one in a crowd of billions.” The expansion of enterprises itself presents a double-edged sword. A wider market allows for the expansion of businesses that do more harm than good on their populace. America is taking advantage of its powerful position in the world to maximize on manufacturing and selling fast food. There is a North America Free Trade Agreement that economically binds US, Canada and Mexico. Now American junk foods can be mass-produced in Mexico where the labor is cheaper. Fast food may even be replacing long standing local traditions with unhealthy food. “American fast food chains have received substantial international economic dominance,” said Andrew F. Smith, in the Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food. In places like China, where the majority of the population is not so well off, processed foods with saturated fats are the cheapest and therefore the most desirable. McDonald’s even caters its menus to the countries it is present in. For instance, in India, “the “Maharaja Mac” is made of mutton instead of beef, because cows are regarded as sacred, and the vegetarian options contain no meat or eggs.” Beer and wine are served in McDonalds in Germany and France, respectively, and in Israel, some McDonald’s outlets are now kosher. In some countries, native industries have perished as they are unable to produce as economically as larger nations to remain competitive in a global market. This is apparent in Jamaica where banana plantations and local dairy farms have been wiped out due to the influx of cheaper bananas and inexpensive powder and evaporated milk from overseas. Such instances highlight a Darwinist aspect among the countries. A “survival of the fittest” scenario guarantees that dominant cultures can eradicate long-standing stability in smaller ones.
The social situation mirrors the corporate one. Individuals from all around the globe are able to move to countries where jobs opportunities are more prolific. It is the same situation as during the Age of Immigration when America was dubbed “the land of opportunity.” There are more students coming to study from abroad, diversifying the talent in our country, and exposing them to new styles of education. However, the flip side is that it is very easy to lose one’s identity when one is completely immersed in another culture. There is an “Acculturation versus Cultural Conflict” that people experience when two groups interact. Acculturation to the host group represents the middle of the continuum of assimilation to a new environment, whereas complete loss of identity is one extreme that results from a pressure to behave and conform to the ways of the dominant group to be accepted. With each successive generation of migrant families, the ethnic roots and cultural ties to the country of origin become diluted as the offspring shun their parents’ roots in order to be accepted and belong in this new global world. The dominant group also feels threatened by the economic and social threats of the immigrants and so there is often a tendency to shun acceptance of ethnic groups and so it is not easy to tread the line of balance in between. As globalization continues to knit the world together, it is crucial that people embrace both their native countries and an accessible, interconnected world. All businesses and individual endeavors should have the ability to flourish on an international scale, and hopefully as we move into the future, diversity will trump conformity in the movement towards a globalized society.
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From Flourishing to Failing How to Restructure the Chinese economy By Daniel Rosenblatt
hina’s economy influences the American, European, and International markets because of its extensive exports and high GDP (Gross Domestic Product); however, as the wåorld economy remains depressed, China must adjust its economic policies in order to succeed. The solution to the stagnant Chinese Economy is clear. The government must stabilize exports; increase domestic consumption and internal trade; and ensure a balance between government investment in infrastructure and investment other sectors of its economy. Evidently, China will remain a dominating force in the international economy, and not many nations can match its current GDP and GDP growth rate; nonetheless, with that growth rate now stuck at its lowest in years, there has been speculation regarding how China’s return to its previous state of
high growth and stability. While the strength of China’s economy cannot be questioned, recent stagnation and potential fragility should be noted. The significance of exports in China’s economy is much lower than it was just several years ago. In 2006, the nation’s exports reached 40% of the GDP, but this dropped to below 30% in 2011. In addition, the export growth has weakened, in some months of 2012 under 3%. Interestingly, a key problem lies in the great increase in import prices. Specifically, China’s imports of fuel and minerals have doubled in price during the last decade. Despite this, the volume of imports in fuel and minerals has continued to grow at a rapid pace. Yet, export price growth has not increased concurrently. This imbalance upsets China’s terms of trade, the relationship between the prices of imports and exports. Essentially, both the drop in ex-
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ports growth and the focus on external markets are extremely problematic. As a result, China must stabilize outward growth and change its focus by looking inward for investments. Stabilization of exports would be the most beneficial path for China’s economy. In order to achieve this, China should work to update export policies through fast-tracking tax returns, increasing the sales of export insurance, and improving ease of access for exports by easing fees and excessive inspections. In the past, China has reduced certain taxes and increased private access to state-run programs. Re-instating such measures will allow the export sector of the Chinese economy to grow at a rate. Some leaders are reluctant to take more progressive measures considering their personal political beliefs; however, in moderation, the aforementioned actions will not deviate much from these politi-
Economics cians’ views and still aid the economy. In general, an update of these government systems would temporarily boost the export growth and an economic refocus will begin. The Chinese government must understand that a change in the role of exports in the economy is inevitable. It should not be repressed. Rather, the government should encourage a successful transition into an economy in which export growth is consistent, creating a foundation for expansion in other sectors. This policy adjustment in exports would provide a setting for a reshaping of a significant yet underrated aspect of China’s financial management: the domestic economy. The domestic consumption, though significant, is often overshadowed by the nation’s exports. In order to increase the domestic consumption and stimulate trade between regions within China, both the government and large businesses must take action. The government should continue increases in minimum wage. This, as shown in the passed, will lead to direct increases in consumption among the lower class. The government must improve access to health care, an important issue in China, as this too would encourage spending by reducing savings held for medical emergencies. Along with this, the current system of government’s involvement regarding investments and banking should be reformed as it, in large, benefits sizeable, exportbased corporations. For short-term consumption growth, the government has subsidized household products in order to offer these at discounted prices. Furthermore, consumer credit services have increased in China with the loosening of regulations. These actions should be continued. Certain Chinese government officials have already expressed their interest in these adjustments. China’s Five-year Plan of 2010 has encouraged domestic consumption, and premier Wen Jiabao has called for the nation “to take targeted steps to stabilize growth” of exports. In the second largest economy in the world, the future will bring growth and success. The optimization of this success lays in stabilization of exports and a focus on the domestic economy.
In order to increase the domestic consumption and stimulate trade between regions within China, both the government and large businesses must take action. For its part, the government should continue increases in minimum wage, improve access to health care, and reform the current system of government involvement in investments and banking.
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Our Trade Relationship with China The Arguments For and Against Protective Tariffs
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Economics Mitchell Troyanovsky (For)
dvocates of unrestricted trade look at China and see an economy that produces low-end manufacturing goods cheaper than we can in America, and consider the trade with china a boon for the American consumer. Unfortunately these ignorant individuals look at our trade with China and only see half the picture. While these cheap Chinese manufactured goods help the consumer, they also hurt American producers. American manufacturing and production companies are noticing more and more customers produce products overseas because manufacturing is cheaper there. This migration of jobs to China would be completely justified if the Chinese manufacturing companies were on a level playing field with their American competitors. Unfortunately this is not the case. The Chinese government manipulates our currency in order to make their exports
Edmund Bannister (Against)
hina dominates the discussion of American foreign policy perhaps even more than our entanglements in the Middle East. The United States, long the world’s dominant economic and military superpower, is being challenged by the emerging People’s Republic of China. China has sustained incredible economic growth rates over the past decade, almost always over 7% GDP growth per year. As China’s business practices have become increasingly capitalist in nature and their GDP has grow in size over the past couple of decades the economic ties between the United States and China have strengthened. Americans are worried that China will, “steal their jobs,” or “put them out of business,” due to China’s famed manufacturing prowess and the tendency of American companies to move their manufacturing operations to East Asia. This may be true for some people, however the emergence of China as an economic superpower is beneficial to
cheaper relative to goods manufactured in the U.S. There is no way that a U.S manufacturing company can compete with foreign companies operating under
“There is no way that a U.S manufacturing company can compete with foreign companies operating under governments that give them such an unfair advantage…” governments that give them such an unfair advantage because the Chinese company is receiving additional benefits and funds that the American company wouldn’t be receiving. China also provides government grants and assistance particularly to companies
the United States as a whole, and the fears about China that many Americans hold are misplaced.For the vast majority of Americans trade with China has a positive effect both on the quality and quantity of jobs, and the price of con-
“The largest threat to our advantageous trade relationship with China is the possible imposition of trade tariffs on imported Chinese goods.” sumer products. The largest threat to our advantageous trade relationship with China is the possible imposition of trade tariffs on imported Chinese goods. A tariff is a tax imposed by a country on foreign produced goods with the aim of keeping jobs and industries from leaving the country. Many proposed tariffs in the U.S. have the goal of protecting the
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exporting to the U.S that is illegal by the World Trade Organization (WTO). These extra funds tilt the trade balance even more toward China’s manufacturers. The U.S is losing jobs to China not because of Chinese production prowess, but because of the Chinese government’s meddling in the free market. The U.S government turns a blind eye to these obvious infringements to free trade. While the U.S might file complaints with WTO here and there; it is time for the government to take decisive action against the Chinese cheaters. Cheap Chinese goods are nice, but they are not worth the millions of jobs already lost and the millions more that will be lost if we continue to allow China to manipulate our currency and go against rules set by the WTO. We must enact tariffs on imports from China to protect American jobs and companies. These tariffs would raise the price of Chinese exports and force American companies to produce in America. As
American manufacturing industry from Chinese competition, thus “saving jobs.” While many people are in favor of measures such as these, their opinion reflects an alarming level of ignorance about the nature of international trade relationships and about economics in general. The governing economic theory of trade relationships is the principle of comparative advantage. Essentially, it states that because different countries are good at different industries for a variety of reasons, if they focus their resources on producing only the things they are good at they will produce a greater volume of goods. They can then trade these goods for those produced in other countries, and in the end they will receive a greater number of goods at a cheaper price than they would in the first place. This idea applies to the U.S.China trade relationship. The reason your iPhone is $200 as opposed to $1000 is because it was producde cheaply in China rather than in America. Since the Chinese have cheaper labor costs, no unions, and looser regulations, they are able to manufacture physical goods at
Economics Mitt Romney said, “We have to crack down on the cheaters.” He is absolutely right; tariffs wold show China that the American government isn’t going to go along with the status quo any more. The United States government should open its eyes and recognize China as a currency manipulator and tax their exports as punishment. However China’s cheating isn’t the only reason that we should enact tariffs. Many of China’s goods are cheap because they infringe on human and labor rights to produce them as cheaply
as possible. This country was founded on the principle that all humans deserve certain “unalienable rights”. However, the rights of many of the workers who produce the cheap goods we buy are not recognized by their government or their government constantly infringes upon their rights. Julian Bond an American social activist once said, ”The humanity of all Americans is diminished when any group is denied rights granted to others.” To keep our humanity we have to stand up for the people being abused in sweatshops
in China. The only realistic way to accomplish that feat is to enact the same tariffs mentioned earlier. We have to open our eyes and punish China for their cheating ways, and we have stand up for the rights that our country was founded on and the rights that many humans around the world take for granted. Tariffs on Chinese goods are necessary and should not be looked at as infringing on free trade, but rather as punishing a country for ruining the lives of millions of Americans.
a cheaper price. However, the U.S. has the advantage when it comes to higher wage professions. With a large number of college graduates and a fully developed economy, the United States has the advantage when it comes to higher wage professions. With a large number of college graduates and a fully developed economy, the United States has the advantage when it comes to designing the products that China ultimately manufactures. In 2011 America had a whopping 21.5 million students enroll in college, whereas Chinese despite
its large population The products that Apple creates were designed in the U.S. by domestic engineers and programmers, many of whom are paid a hundred times more than the people who assemble the products over in China. Because of this economic situation, our trade relationship with China ensures that we get cheaper goods while simultaneously freeing our workforce to pursue jobs that require more than a third grade education to perform. We can’t compete with starving Chinese migrant workers when it comes
to wages or working hours. But the solution isn’t to put up trade barriers against China in the hopes of preserving unionized manufacturing. This will spike the price of the goods Americans purchase, making it harder to buy the same things with the same income. Instead we should focus on reeducating our workforce to perform jobs that badly educated Chinese migrant workers simply can’t do. That is the method by which we can ensure higher wages, cheaper goods and a higher standard of living for all Americans.
The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XXII
Euorpe’s Fiscal Woes
By Timothy Hoang
he European Financial Crisis has spun completely out of the control of any single nation. Although Greece’s 2009 struggles are cited as the principal cause of the current crisis, the reality is that the problem originated several years prior. Extreme levels of debt lie at the heart of Europe’s fiscal woes. Government excess and widespread bailouts of banks are primarily to blame. As a direct result of fiduciary failure, investors have grown reluctant to lend money and individuals have grown less eager to spend. In turn, countries such as Greece have embraced sweeping austerity measures in an attempt to curb the mounting debt. Greece has been kept afloat by other European countries; however, it comes at a serious loss not only for Greece but for all of Europe: financial calamity on the scale of the Great Depression has ravaged the European continent. Social unrest has persisted even in light of the overflow of bailout capital. For years, European governments provided their citizens with a host of government services. The problem is that the European people are now refusing to let go of these
benefits. Because of this crisis, investors who previously used to buy Greek bonds now withhold that investment because of the huge risk involved. Simply put, Greece is in a dire situation. Spain is in a similar position to Greece. Spain’s government recently decided to cut spending in order to address its ballooning debt and to help strengthen the economy. As a result, unemployment has increased. According to the Huffington Post, one in every four Spaniards is now jobless and the future that the youth are faced with is getting bleaker and bleaker. More individuals are leaving Spain due to the recession; 44% of Spanish citizens departed the country during the first 6 months of 2012. There is no easy solution for Spain. Germany is the country that has been harmed the least; however, it has not been entirely unaffected during this crisis. According to Reuters, the industrial output of Germany has fallen more than was forecasted in September and projected growth is “just 0.8% (for) this year and the next.” One of the central reasons Germany has been least affected by this crisis is its heavy reliance on exports. Most of
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Germany’s exports arrive in countries outside of Europe, which provides it with a stable source of profit. Nonetheless, the future of Germany is not particularly bright. Recently, European leaders have come to an agreement to help work towards a possible solution centered on aiding Greece as well as improving and expanding the European bailout fund. The solution involves Greece declaring bankruptcy; banks and investors that purchased Greek bonds will only be able to reclaim half of their investments. A problem such as this must never happen again, and, from now on, Greece will be subject to official EU inspections on a quarterly basis to assess Greek fiscal and monetary policy decisions. This proposal offers a viable solution to Europe’s financial woes. Greece, following extensive structural changes, will be able to bounce back from the crisis. The one caveat is that Spain and Italy are in need of as much help as Greece. This plan should be extended to encompass all European countries in need of help. Only then can Europe begin the difficult road to recovery.
Reforming the Federal Pension System By Matthew Harpe
ven if you do not believe that a smaller government is the answer to reducing the federal budget deficit and growing the economy, few can deny that cutting spending to some degree is necessary if we are to truly address the federal budget problem. Before slashing important programs, however, it is important to look for areas of waste. Last year, the federal government spent $70 billion on pensions for former government employees alone (not including members of the military or elected officials). While this is a significant allotment of money (the amount just spent on federal pensions is equal to about 60% of the education spending), more important is that the average federal employee receives a pension often valued at 75% to 100% greater than that of a private sector employee. Before we jump to conclusions about overspending in the pension system, we must consider the qualifications of federal and private sector employees, as it seems unfair to simply compare the average working American to the average government worker. According to a report done by the Congressional Budget Office, when adjusted based on occupation and level of education, the wages of federal employees are only 2% greater than those of similar private sector employees. While this is slightly skewed for lower paid workers, meaning lower qualified gov-
ernment workers receive more money proportionately and highly qualified employees receive less money, government and private sector employees receive relatively equal wages. In light of this relative equivalence in wages, and keeping in mind the current pay freeze on federal employees (which will prevent their wages from rising with the cost of living, and probably cause private-sector wages to overtake them soon), it seems relatively clear that, since the same CBO report values
â€œAdressing the pension program should be the first priority in fixing the federal compensation issue.â€? federal benefits as 48% higher than equivalent private-sector benefits, the compensation problem does indeed lie in benefits, not base salaries. Furthermore, seeing that pensions make up the majority of the benefits that the federal government pays out each year, and most often accounts for the greater discrepancy (between federal and private sector benefits), addressing the pension program should be the first priority in fixing the federal com-
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pensation issue. The first rational step toward fixing the federal pension plan would seem to be a cut in pension plans. While it is certainly in the interest of the country to attract qualified individuals to government jobs, it should certainly not be done by offering higher pay than the private sector. It is by no means fair to say that lowering compensation will lead to a less effective government, as there are many other factors that draw individuals to government. Especially when we are talking about relatively menial jobs, such as a janitorial position, there is no reason government workers should be getting better deals than the taxpayers they serve. In other words, someone who sweeps the floors and cleans the bathrooms of a government building should not be paid more than someone cleaning and sweeping the floors of any other building, such as a private sector office. So, few can disagree that a pension cut is in order for most regular government employees. Indeed the general pension plan does cover higher-ranking individuals, such as post office executives and DEA agents, whose benefits are often closer to being on par with the private sector, but their pensions are still larger. While overcompensation of federal employees through pensions isnâ€™t uniform, cuts are certainly needed across the board. While the federal pension program is
Economics too generous, it is better known for its poor management and frequent deficit. A prime example of this can be seen in the postal service, which is covered by the main federal pension program, where pension deficits are threatening to cause it to default. The problem arises because the postal service promises to pay employees a set amount when they retire, meaning that it will owe the money starting in twenty, thirty, or even forty years. So, if there is a decrease in budget allocation (revenue in the case of the postal service) or lower than expected investment returns, as pensions are invested (though the federal pension is mainly not invested in the market), the program will end up being significantly underfunded decades down the road. This type of program, where a predetermined sum of money, based on salary and tenure, is guaranteed to em-
employees, so much of the risk is shifted from the employer. While this leaves more responsibility to the employee, it is far more flexible, as it allows them to have more control on how the money is invested and then paid out to them and makes it far easier to move their pension if they switch jobs. Furthermore, with many investment options, employees can allocate their pensions to different investments as they like, allowing them to control the degree of risk and potential returns on their pension. Currently, government pensions are primarily composed of a defined benefit plan, though there is a small defined contribution plan that is offered in addition, and there is no reason it should continue to take such excessive risk. With all the benefits that will result, the government should phase in a new pension program that is solely composed of a defined
switched plans. To get an idea of what a new plan might look like, let’s first consider the plan for a fairly average government employee. Currently, well tenured employees are guaranteed a yearly retirement payment of 1.1% of the average of their highest three salaries times the number of years they have worked. In addition, federal employers match employee contributions into a small defined contribution account, which is meant to act as a supplement to the defined benefit plan. Under a new plan, employees would have one defined contribution account. The defined benefit plan would be replace by the federal employer depositing a set percent of the employee’s salary into the defined contribution plan each year, as well as a set percentage amount the employee would be required to contribute. The amounts would
“With both a substantial cut and a switch to defined contribution in mind, the government should restructure and simplify its pension program.” ployees far into the future, is called a defined benefit pension. Since, as explained above, defined benefit programs leave too much risk on the employer, most private companies have moved away from them, and today many private companies no longer offer them. Instead, companies are using defined contribution programs. With defined contribution plans, employers pay into employees’ pension accounts each year and employees are given different investment options. In this case, no definite amount of money is guaranteed to
contribution plan. With both a substantial cut and a switch to defined contribution in mind, the government should restructure and simplify its pension program. Since it is hard to compare the exact value of a defined benefit and defined contribution plan, it is probably too difficult to switch current employees onto a new pension plan -- and many might object. It is certainly feasible, however, to put all new employees on the new plan, slowly phasing out the old plan, as the government did in 1986 when it
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reflect similar private sector defined contribution plans, and would probably cause an approximately 35% cut in government pension spending in order to do so. Furthermore, the employee matching program would be on top of the required amount the employee is required to contribute, and federal employees would still enroll in social security. Since the pension plan covers so many different sectors and occupations, the employer contributions to the plan would reflect comparable privatesector plans, and so cuts would be different across the board. While, predictably, employees’ pensions would be smaller, as is part of the intention of this plan, the employees’ ability to invest in higher returning investments, while taking all of the risk associated with it, would allow them to increase the value of their pensions (as they previously were unable to do). While the details of this new system most definitely need to be laid out, there is little reason for the federal government not to pursue a redesigned pension system, especially considering the state of our budget. Reworking it will allow the government to spend far less on federal employees’ pensions, remove an unfair inequality between federal and private sector employees, rid the government of an unnecessarily large risk that causes many budget deficits, as well as provide employees with much increased flexibility with their retirement plan.
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WHY WE CARE
he United States and its allies have taken great steps in order to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. However, why is it so crucial that Iran not obtain a nuclear weapon? Does or will Iran have the technology and resources necessary to launch a nuclear weapon? As Iran has been the focus of the media, we tend to forget the other countries that have or are believed to have nuclear weaponry, how do these countries pose a threat to the United States and its allies. Finally, do countries have the right to have nuclear weapons? In order to answer these questions, we first must first understand nuclear weapons: what they are, and what they are capable of. Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction whose explosive power derives from a nuclear reaction. The energy given off by the nuclear reaction is what makes nuclear weapons so powerful and dangerous. This energy comes from nuclear fission, which in the case of bombs is the splitting of an unstable atom by bombarding it with neutrons. Through splitting the atom, the energy used to hold the atom together is released. By splitting this atom by firing neutrons at it, even more neutrons are produced which in turn bombard and split other atoms, which in turn releases more neutrons. This chain reaction is the reason why nuclear fission can be harnessed and turned into a weapon. There are two types of nuclear weapons: nuclear bombs and nuclear war-
heads. Nuclear warheads are weapons mounted on missiles that can use a ballistic trajectory. Modern inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) contain a maneuverable orbiting bus that positions and releases ballistic warheads in space using celestial navigation. Long-range missiles (namely, ICMBs) have a range of more than 3400 miles. In order to launch a missile one must be able to launch a rocket from, a launch pad. Nuclear bombs, on the other hand, utilize gravity to deliver to the weapon. Bombs would be dropped from a plane at a high altitude (so that less energy is used to form a crater), and detonated while in the air. These bombs are known as freefall gravity bombs. Any type of nuclear weapon is incredibly dangerous. For example, the two nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki each exploded with the energy equivalent of 15 kilotons of TNT. Other bombs such as the Tsar Bomba, which was a hydrogen bomb developed by Russia during the Cold War and detonated in 1961 and the most powerful nuclear weapon ever tested, had a yield 57 megatons of TNT. These bombs were created over fifty years ago, and some of the warheads created today release ten times as much energy. If a bomb ten times weaker than the bombs we have today was able to level a city, it is hard to grasp the destructive powers that modern nuclear weaponry has. A nuclear explosion has a profound
“These [nuclear] bombs were created over fifty years ago, and some of the warheads created today release ten times as much energy. If a bomb ten times weaker than the bombs we have today was able to level a city, it is hard to grasp the destructive powers that modern nuclear weaponry has.”
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affect on the environment and has many other long-term affects that make the use of nuclear weapons even less attractive. A nuclear bomb would destroy the ecosystem of its target by killing thousands of organisms and stopping natural processes. The radiation left by the bomb would linger for years and would have a profoundly negative affect on the environment as well as the people living there, rendering its target virtually uninhabitable. Nuclear weapons can also disrupt the electromagnetic field over the detonation site releasing an equally destructive Electro-Magnetic Pulse, or EMP, powerful bursts of electro-magnetic radiation that can span continents. These EMPs can disrupt electronic devices and communications, rendering the victims temporarily paralyzed. Consequently, there have been many treaties, decisions, and organizations that concern the limitation of nuclear weaponry. One example, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) is an organization of the United Nations that deals with any use of atomic energy, including nuclear power plants and weapons. Since the period of Détente and the end of the Cold War, steps have been taken to limit nuclear weapons’ use. Ronald Reagan, known for his staunch opposition of the Soviet Union and Communism, realized the destructive capabilities of nuclear weaponry and sought to make arms treaties with the Soviet Union. Despite the many attempts to limit nuclear weaponry, multiple countries including but not limited to Pakistan, India, the United Kingdom, the US, Russia, and Israel still possess them. An Iranian nuclear warhead would not be able to reach the United States, and it is unlikely that the Iranian government has the resources and firepower to drop a free-fall bomb on the United States. However, one of the United State’s
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closest allies, Israel, would be seemingly within range of any type of nuclear weapon. If the threats of Iran are to be taken seriously, there is a high chance the Iran could use the weapon on Israel. A nuclear weapon could decimate Israel as we know it. Cities would be obliterated. The radioactivity released from the blast would linger long after. Countless lives would be lost. Essentially, if Iran decided to target Israel, the effect would be catastrophic: civilian deaths, the heightening of tensions between Iran and the United States, long term ecological damage, the ultimate destruction of Israel, and the opening of Pandora’s box: nuclear Armageddon.
Other dangers arise when we remember the context of these weapons’ construction. When they were built, they were only meant to last for 10 to 20 years and may be beyond repair since some specialized parts are no longer made. Nuclear testing restrictions, such as the 1992 Comprehensive Treaty Ban (which did not pass the senate but has gone into effect by de facto), means that we might not find defects in weapons until it is too late. In order to improve the performance of weapons in real time scenarios, scientists must replicate the actual situations as opposed to relying solely on computer projections.
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Hopefully other nations’ inability to test, build, or steal and detonate a weapon will deter other nations from striking the US first. Though the US cannot be perfectly assured that it will be defended from or counter a nuclear attack, our immense stockpile of tactical and strategical weapons might preclude a foreign attack. Mutually Assured Destruction is a legitimate threat because the destructive powers of nuclear arms are so immense; a nuclear fission or fusion bomb explosion and its long-term effects threaten the political and ecological world in which we live.
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SINCE WHEN HAS THIS BEEN A SECULAR NATION? By Cassandra Kopans-Johnson
ver since Charles Darwin published On Origin of the Species in 1859—the book that first introduced evolution and natural selection—people have been debating the model that explains how the current world came into being. The debate’s main proponents are supporters of evolution and of creationism. This polemic entails education and raises questions concerning what concepts and theories should be taught, especially in public school education. During the summer of 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee, The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes case, commonly known as the “Scopes Monkey Trial,” unfolded in the Criminal Court of Tennessee. John Scopes was accused of
violating Tennessee’s Bulter Act, which had made it illegal to teach evolution in any way, shape, or form in government-founded schools. This case attracted immense publicity and aroused a nation-wide contest between evolution and creationism. Modernists—who believe evolution is in keeping with the bible—turned against fundamentalists, who think that the Bible should be taken before any human ideas. Although 1925 may seem long ago and the debate, old world, it continues to this day. The controversy continues to open people’s eyes to new ideas and presents them with a better understanding of the conflicts between modern science and religion. Modern creationists object to evo-
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lution because of its lack of observation, instability of evidence, and unreliable or inconsistent evidence. Fossil records can show changes in a species and sometimes transitions from one species into a new one. Some creationists may counter argue this by declaring that such fossils are hoaxes. This is a valid point in that there have been some hoaxes in the past such as the Piltdown man, which was a collection of bone fragments presented as the remains of an early unknown human. Scientists continue to object to this broad assertion on the basis that such hoaxes only make a small percentage of the whole fossil record. Some creationists also assert that radiometric dating, a technique used to date materials often
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“I find it astonishing that although we are living in the 21-century, people are still arguing over whether evolution or creation should be taught in schools.” found in geological or archeological specimens, produces unreliable results. Carbon dating has been especially criticized because it is considered by some to be based on unjustified assumptions. These assumptions consist of the presumption that the rate of decay and formation of Carbon-14 has remained constant over the years. People believe that some fossil evidence for evolution supports the Bible’s Great Flood instead of evolution’s gradualism and punctuated equilibrium, two ways in which evolution can occur. The debate over the origins of life continues. In Topeka, Kansas, May 5 to May 12, 2005, the Kansas State Board of Education and its State Board Science Hearing Committee came together to discuss how evolution and the origin of life would be taught in public schools. They were specifically addressing an amendment called the “Teach the Controversy Method” that would promote intelligent design and discredit evolution as a theory in public school by having students critically analyze the veracity of evolution. The amendment was passed on November 8, 2005 with a 6-4 vote. However, on February 13, 2007, the Board rejected the amendment on scientific standards. Again in 2005, eleven parents sued their Dover public high school located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for teaching creationism in the school. They asked the board to overturn the policy legitimizing it. The court held that in-
telligent design was not a science, but rather a way to promote religious views through public schools. This was considered a violation of the U.S. Constitution as set forth in the First Amendment. No religious view can be forced upon anybody. Thus, teaching creationism or intelligent design in public schools violates the Constitution by instilling these ideas into the minds of children. This year, republican Governor Bobby Jindal is attempting to create a new voucher program that will go to sending children to schools that reject evolution and teach creationism. Taxpayers’ money will primarily be sent to religious, private schools; public funding will be used for the promotion of theistic ideas. This is an exclusively religious cause and forces the public to support the program through taxpayer dollars. Therefore, this too defies the Constitution. Evolution is not a religious belief; it is a scientific notion. Therefore, it can and should be taught in schools. People are free to believe and teach their kids and families whatever they want but they cannot inflict those religious beliefs on others. I find it astonishing that although we live in the 21-century, people are still arguing over whether evolution or creationism should be taught in schools. This debate places religion and science at odds, and as a society, we often view them as being so. However, in reality they are not. They com-
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pliment each other and serve different purposes. In my opinion, religion can provide people with moral and ethical guidelines, a sense of community, and can help us understand the world in an emotional sense. Science provides us with an empirical view of the world. This vehement debate between evolution and creationism is relevant to our society mainly though its relation to education as expressed in the previous examples. Schools are where the minds of children are cultivated. It is our job to make sure that the minds of the youth are being correctly handled and taught. They are our legacy; with the power to shape their minds comes great responsibility. This conflict raises ethical questions in which both sides passionately defend themselves. The essence of the debate rests on belief, one of the most powerful drivers of humanity. Wars have been fought and blood shed for its preservation. People have the right to believe what they want to, but they must be open-minded. In order to keep up with the world, a person must lose his or her complacency and contemplate, question, and ruminate about our views and theories of the world. Science may not provide all of the answers and is not completely correct, but it should still take priority over religious notions in public school curriculums. Under US law, the public has freedom of religion and therefore theistic ideas should not be imposed upon it.
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The Future of the Internet By Henry Luo
he Internet is one of the freest forms of expression, an arena in which billions of people are allowed to share their ideas. It has become a powerful tool with the potential to even topple dictatorships, as shown during the Arab Spring. In response, autocratic regimes such as China and North Korea have circumscribed what their populace can search for. However, censorship is becoming increasingly prevalent in “free” countries as well. Earlier last year, the United States Congress proposed SOPA and PIPA—two bills designed to combat
copyright infringement but threatened free speech in the process. They were quickly rejected after heavy backlash from the public. New threats continue to emerge, the latest being a treaty proposed during a conference by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an agency of the UN. The US and other powerful countries refused to sign but the pact did receive approval from Russia, China, and Iran. All of this points to an extremely dangerous trend, a trend of Internet governance and limitation, which cannot continue.
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The conference was first arranged so that its members could overhaul a communications treaty, which dated back to 1988. The new pact was supposed to combat spam and foster the “development and growth of the Internet,” according to Dr. Hamadoun I. Toure, chairman of the conference. However, the summit eventually became a debate over the regulation and governance of the Internet. The US, UK, and several others became concerned that several components of the treaty would lead to censorship and make Internet regulation
Science and Technology more acceptable. These apprehensions began when Russia, Sudan, China, Algeria, and Saudi Arabia proposed the addition of a clause decreeing that “member states shall have equal rights to manage the Internet, including in regard to the allotment, assignment, and reclamation of internet numbering, naming, addressing, and identification resources....” This would give the ITU control over the Web instead of multi-stakeholder companies like the Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names (ICANN). Even more controversy was aroused when a resolution was proposed which suggested the ITU should play a larger role in the development of the Internet. The US decried both vehemently, arguing that the treaty should not have any say over the Internet and should instead focus on its initial goal. The breaking point occurred when a bloc of African nations proposed the addition of a paragraph to the preamble’s treaty, which stated that the pact’s regulations would “recognize the right of access of member states to international telecommunication services.” A vote was called regarding this paragraph and when it carried, 77-33 in favor, officials from the US, UK, and Canada declared that they could not ratify this treaty, walking out from the talks. The head of the UK delegation commented, “We prefer no resolution on the Internet at all, and I’m extremely concerned that the language just adopted opens the possibility of Internet and content issues.” Ultimately, these disagreements were unable to be resolved and many countries never signed the treaty. The treaty received support from the remaining nations but with
support from few major ones, the treaty does not have much significance and will be unable to enforce its regulations. The countries that refused to sign will adhere to the treaty from 1988, which has no jurisdiction over the Internet. While the US appeared to be obstinate in its refusal to consider the demands of the other countries, its defiance was completely justified. The integrity of the Internet was at stake. These seemingly innocuous additions to the treaty could have had detrimental effects on the Internet’s independence. For example, the proposal by the Russians would have given governments, which have their own subjective views and agendas, the power to regulate and enforce its will on the Internet rather than having objective companies like ICANN. The US Ambassador Terry Kramer made these forebodings clear when he commented, “As the ITU has stated, this conference was never meant to focus on Internet issues. However, today we are in a situation where we still have text and resolutions that cover issues on spam and also provisions on Internet governance.” In addition, Google shared these feelings, running a petition against the treaty. As the world continues to become more and more interconnected, the Internet will have more and more importance. Yet, one of our greatest tools can just as easily become an empty shell of its former self, antithetical to its original goals through censorship. This conference is just one example of Internet censorship rearing its ugly head. It is the responsibility of the world to combat any threats to these civil liberties and to maintain a free and open Internet.
Barack Obama has taken a firm stance affirming the principles of a free and open internet, following through on this commitment in international affairs. Hu Jintao has advocated against internet neutrality from the get-go in China, a country that has become a global leader in internet censorship.
“While the US appeared to be obstinate in its refusal to consider the demands of the other countries, its defiance was completely justified.” The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XXII
Science and Technology
By Emma Brossman
he recurring question comes up time and time again about space exploration: are we alone? Is there or has there ever been life on other planets or is earth the only planet with conditions for life? Perhaps scientists are interested in life on other planets because they wish to explore how life began or earth, or maybe people are just fascinated by the idea of extraterrestrial life and aliens. Either way, to answer these questions, we began searching for past or present life on other planets in the late 1900s. In addition, we started to hunt for the signs of potential life. Mars became one of our first objectives since Mars is the planet closest to Earth and since there’s always been a frenzy of interest about the possibility of life on Mars. It’s true that Mars possibly once had the potential for life based on the findings by NASA scientists and a recent analysis of a meteorite, but we’ve found no signs that prove that there is or ever has been life on Mars. Knowing if there is or has been life on Mars is important because it would not only satisfy mankind’s immense curiosity, but also provide the scientific community with understanding of how life could possibly exist on other planets.
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Science and Technology We started the investigation on Mars by searching for the basic needs of life, namely water, using unmanned rovers that can collect samples and take photos. Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity are the current rovers; past missions have included the Phoenix Lander in 2008, the Mars Global Surveyor in 1996, the Mars Pathfinder in 1996, and the Viking missions in the 1970s. Through the multiple missions to Mars we have found not only water molecules attached to grains of dust and sand, but also signs of where water used to be. Various remains seem to indicate that there once was a large amount
atoms has been recently found. However, scientists do not yet know if the carbon compound is actually from Mars. There is a possibility that it is simply matter that drifted from space to Mars. Or, there is a sizable chance that the “discovery” was just an error created by the Sample Analysis at Mars rover (SAM) that accidently brought normal lifeless soil from Earth to Mars. If this carbon compound were determined to have been alive at one point, it would be a significant breakthrough in the study of life on Mars because carbon compounds are, like water, also connected to life.
inside the meteorite. Remarkably, this is significantly higher than the amount of water present in the regular meteorites that arrive from Mars, which normally have about 200 parts per million parts of water. Also, there are simple carbon compounds within the meteorite that are similar to, but older than, others that have been found. “The sample may give us an idea of what volcanic activity was like then, but it also gives us a glimpse of what the surface of Mars was like at that time,” Carl Agee of the University of New Mexico told the New York Times. Because of all the water, “it’s within the realm of
“The search for life will continue on Mars with new rover missions being launched in 2020.” of water on Mars. Evidence to such a theory was provided by the Mars rovers, which came across conglomerate rocks with markings on them that seem to have been caused by water. Also, the rovers found gravel that had been affected by the sediment transport process, a process of eroding gravel into round shapes caused by either wind or water. The discovery of water on Mars is a major advancement in the search for life because water is considered a necessity of life. Besides finding evidence that suggests that water was or is present on Mars, space exploration has found what are believed to be simple carbon compounds on Mars, which could help determine if there is or ever was life on Mars. A carbon compound composed of a carbon atom attached to a few chlorine
In the search for life on different planets finding carbon would be a breakthrough because some types of carbon are connected to living organisms. Even if the carbon that was found is not connected to life, it opens up the idea that maybe other carbons connected to life would have the ability to survive where the original carbon molecules were found. Last week in the New York Times, a new piece was published about the findings of a meteorite in the Sahara desert that came from Mars. This meteorite was 10 times as old as any other meteorite from Mars that has been discovered: the average meteorite is about 200 million years old, while this one is approximately 2 billion years old. What’s unique about this meteorite is that there were 6,000 parts per million parts of water contained
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possibility that life could have existed 2.1 billion years ago” on Mars. The search for life will continue on Mars with new rover missions being launched in 2020. The 2020 Mars mission will hopefully be a large enough advancement so that in the 2030s it will be possible to send people to Mars. Also, in late 2013, NASA will be launching the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN), a rover that will be sent to Mars to help give a better understanding of the Martian upper atmosphere. It will assist in answering the question of why Mars no longer has an atmosphere that is hospitable to life (there is evidence that suggests that it had once indeed been hospitable). The answer to this question may help to answer the mystery of whether there has ever been life on Mars.
Science and Technology
EUROPE’S GREEN The Energy Policies of Denmark, Germany, and France and What We Can Learn From Them
n the next decade, the world’s energy consumption will increase by 50 percent. Our planet will add 1 billion people to its population. And the number of cars on the road will double from 1 billion to 2 billion. As sea levels rise and arctic ice caps keep melting, it is evident that something must be done. Today’s system of powering our lives predominantly with fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) is and will be ineffective. In light of climate change, the United States absolutely needs clean, cheap energy to supplement and hopefully eventually supplant fossil fuels. In addition, it would be beneficial for the US to not be dependent upon foreign sources of energy considering the constantly fluctuating geopolitical landscape. The innovations in wind, solar, and nuclear energy made by Denmark, Germany and France respectively should be integrated into an American system that moves towards energy independence based upon clean energy. Denmark provides an excellent example of energy sustainability. This small parliamentary monarchy wedged between the North and Baltic Seas is broadly considered as a paradigm for how an entire nation, albeit a rather small one, can transition away from fossil fuels and towards green energy created by renewable resources such as wind. Astonishingly, wind power is currently responsible for roughly 24% of the electricity used in Denmark, a world record. By 2020, Denmark plans on this statistic reaching 50%. Most incredibly, the country intends on becoming entirely independent of fossil fuels by 2050.
By Will Ellison The impetus for Denmark’s embracing a system of green energy that does not revolve around oil from the Middle East was the 1973 oil crisis. In October 1973, the members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) announced an oil embargo. Earlier that year, Egypt, Syria and other Arab countries had launched a surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur, the most sacred day of the Jewish year. When the US backed the outnumbered Israelis, the Arabs chose to punish the US and its allies with an oil
“The innovations in wind, solar, and nuclear energy made by Denmark, Germany and France respectively should be integrated into an American system that moves towards energy independence based upon clean energy.”
embargo, which lasted until March 1974. After the crisis, the Danes, 99% dependent on foreign energy (much of which was from the Middle East), recognized that they needed to move towards energy independence based upon clean energy. Denmark began subsidizing clean energy and levying huge taxes on fossil fuels, essentially employing a carbon tax. In 1979, Denmark’s Henrik Stiesdal constructed the first economically feasible prototype of a wind turbine and sold the license to
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the company Vestas. This set Denmark on a path towards adopting wind power as a critical component of its energy network. Denmark’s Vestas is currently the planet’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines, and is leading Denmark’s wind energy movement. This initiative is not only making Denmark increasingly reliant on clean energy, but is revitalizing Denmark’s economy. Nearly 50,000 wind turbines have been shipped to various countries worldwide by Denmark, accounting for roughly 50% percent of the wind-powered generators worldwide. “That’s this small country’s contribution to the battle against climate change,” Stiesdal proudly stated. In addition, Vestas alone employs 19,000 people worldwide. Further, Denmark and Stiesdal continue to create new models for wind turbines that produce progressively more power. Many maintain that wind power still has an immense amount of latent potential. Stiesdal noted that recently he and his colleagues have developed turbines with a yearly output that is, extraordinarily, enough to supply energy to fulfill Denmark’s entire annual electric power consumption. And the technology will only become more and more advanced in the coming years. Nonetheless, there are a considerable number of problems badgering Denmark’s wind power program. The Danes’ energy prices are the highest in the world. Also, wind power is still pricier than the cheapest fossil fuels. However, Denmark is already tackling one of the largest issues with wind power: storing it. Denmark is beginning an initiative to use the excess
Science and Technology
LESSONS power from wind turbines to power electric cars. There are already charging stations all over Denmark. Moreover, this system will only be increasingly effective as more electric cars arrive on the roads of Denmark. The US should integrate Denmark’s wind power template into its larger energy program. Denmark has illustrated how wind power can work, and how one of the most critical problems with wind power, stocking it, can be resolved. Our country has so much potential energy waiting for it in the vast Great Plains and prairies covering much of the nation: we just have to exploit that capacity. Ditlav Engel, CEO of Vestas, illuminated, “When I discover that these resources are not being harvested, I really get amazed. Because to me, that’s like going to Saudi Arabia and not drilling for oil.” Another type of energy that the US should integrate into our energy program to a greater extent is solar power. In 14 seconds, the sun releases enough energy to power the Earth for an entire day. We could power the entire world if we simply covered less than 3% of the Sahara Desert with solar panels. Germany is one country that is utilizing the monumental potential of solar energy. On Saturday May 26, 2012 at midday, solar power satisfied 50% of the country’s electricity demands. Also, solar power fulfilled 33% of the nation’s electricity requirements on Friday, a workday. Norbert Allnoch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry in Muenster, Germany, articulated, “Never before anywhere has a country
produced as much photovoltaic electricity. This shows how Germany is capable of meeting a large share of its electricity needs with solar power. It also shows Germany can do with fewer coal-burning power plants, gas-burning plants and nuclear plants.” Astoundingly, even though Germany is a relatively cloudy country, it has almost as much solar power generation capacity as the rest of the world combined. Germany was prompted to launch its an ambitious solar energy project not only by the
“The US should integrate Denmark’s wind power template into its larger energy program Denmark has illustrated how wind power can work, and how one of the most critical problems with wind power, stocking it, can be resolved.”
1973 oil crisis, but also by the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl in presentday Ukraine. As such, it desires to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 while transitioning to solar power. And it is making remarkable progress. The pivotal component for Germany’s success in utilizing green energy is the feed-in-tariff (FIT). This act of government-mandated green energy subsidies
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has been a decisive factor in aiding Germany to become a leader in renewable, particularly solar, energy. According to the tariff, if you are a German homeowner with solar panels on your roof, you can feed your excess energy back into the grid. In return, your power company is forced to pay you for that energy for 20 years. Thus, there is an incentive for Germans to put solar panels on their houses not only to help the world, but also to get a nice return on an investment. However, Germany’s solar power system is still afflicted by numerous dilemmas. Solar power still provides only 5 to 20% of Germany’s electricity, as it is expensive, limited in scale, and lacks adequate storage. Moreover, the FIT, the lifeblood for the solar power industry until photovoltaic prices diminish to levels akin to those for conventional power production, is quite controversial. Utilities and consumer groups have protested that the FIT affixes an additional 2 cents per kilowatt-hour on the already extremely high 23 cents. Furthermore, German consumers pay 4 billion euros ($5 billion) per year on top of their regular taxes for solar power. Solar power also makes the national grid more susceptible to fluctuation and failure. Nevertheless, there is hope for Germany’s solar future. Over the last twenty years, every time solar capacity has been doubled, the cost has gone down 20%. This is an indication that the cost problem may soon be solved. Furthermore, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has maintained that her country is keen to continue embracing solar energy. She has noted that
Science and Technology “The pivotal component for Germany’s success in utilizing green energy is the feed-intariff (FIT). This act of government-mandated green energy subsidies has been a decisive factor in aiding Germany to become a leader in renewable, particularly solar, energy.” even the lowest estimate for the percent of national electricity demands satisfied by solar power, 5%, is a very high statistic for a energy supply that is usually deemed insufficient and unreliable. With the government supporting it, it is highly probable that Germany’s solar industry will continue to advance. It is crucial that the US incorporate solar power to a greater extent in its energy program. The country has an inestimably massive area for solar panels. We have witnessed that solar power is able to power a huge percentage of Germany, another post-industrial nation. Much of the US is much sunnier than Germany, and due to our ample area, there is no reason why we could not power huge percentages of our nation using solar power. Its cost is obviously a concern, but, as seen by Germany’s example, the cost will inevitably decrease as solar capacity increases. And even if this doesn’t happen, the desire for low costs pales in comparison for the need to save our planet. A third type of energy that the US should welcome more extensively into our energy program is nuclear energy, another type of energy that does not release fossil fuels and therefore does not contribute to global warming. France has already demonstrated the model for this type of power. Currently, France has 56 operational nuclear plants, which collectively produce a remarkable 76% of the country’s electricity. As a result of its nuclear program, France makes $3 billion annually, as the world’s biggest exporter of electricity. In addition, France’s third
generation reactors are proving more powerful and safe than previous devices, as the French have learned from the Three Mile Island and Fukushima nuclear incidents. Herve Machenaud, the head of Generation and Engineering for Electricite de France (EDF), a state-owned utility company, elucidated, “The only mass way of producing electricity, whatever the season, the time, the hour in the world, without producing CO2, is nuclear.” As it was for Denmark, the motivation for France’s initiating its nuclear program was the 1973 oil crisis. The quadrupling of the price of oil by the Arabs temporarily crippled France because back then most of its electricity was derived from oil. France had and still has very few natural energy resources; it has no oil, no gas, and dwindling, low-quality coal supplies. Hence, French officials realized that
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the sole way for France to achieve energy autonomy was to extensively utilize nuclear energy, a source of energy so compact that a handful of pounds of fissionable uranium can fuel an entire major city for a year. France thus embarked on the most thorough national nuclear energy program in history. In the 15 years following the oil crisis, France established 56 nuclear reactors, meeting not only its power needs but supplementing those of other European countries. Despite protests in the early 1970s, the nuclear program is today quite popular and surprisingly non controversial among Frenchmen. The French government has made a committed effort to inform Frenchmen of the benefits as well as the risks of nuclear power. It has also underlined that nuclear power is essential to France’s energy needs, and thus survival. Television advertis-
Science and Technology ing campaigns and nuclear plant tours have assisted this enterprise, to the point where it is estimated that about 2/3 of Frenchmen now support nuclear power. People residing near plants enjoy the jobs and prosperity the plants offer them. A contributing factor to why France’s nuclear program has been so successful is the French culture of endorsing large, centrally managed technological projects. They are popular chiefly because scientists and engineers in France have a substantially higher status than their American counterparts. Many of the highest-level civil servants and government officials in France trained as scientists and as engineers. Claude Mandil, General Director for Energy and Raw Material at the Ministry of Industry explained, “For a long time, in families, the good thing for a child to become was an engineer or a scientist, not a lawyer.” Although there is, of course, significant resistance to nuclear power, the beneficial effects outweigh the possibly detrimental ones. France exhibits a paradigm for how a nation can welcome nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is not only accepted in France, it is embraced: while some still fear it, most do not. One issue with any nuclear program is nuclear waste. France has from the beginning of its initiative combated this by recycling nuclear waste, reclaiming the plutonium and unused uranium from nuclear reactions and crafting new fuel elements. This drastically reduces the quantity and longevity of the radioactive waste that’s emitted. As such, 96% of nuclear material is reusable and about 17% of France’s electricity comes from recycled fuel. Understandably, people in France reject having nuclear waste no matter how small. So despite the endeavors of
the French government, all of the negative effects of nuclear waste cannot possibly be mitigated due to the nature of nuclear power. Nevertheless, there is hope for France’s nuclear program. Politician Christian Bataille has suggested the utilization of stocking and reversibility. Under this system, nuclear waste would not be buried permanently; on the contrary, it would be stocked temporarily in a way that would make it available for reuse in the future. Bataille stated, “Today we stock containers of waste because currently scientists don’t know how to reduce or eliminate the toxicity, but maybe in 100 years perhaps scientists will.” What is more, in addition to enacting research projects aimed towards how reuse could work, France has also charged laboratories to explore other possible solutions to nuclear waste, including deep geological storage and detoxification of waste. The only remaining concern is cost. Author Tom Friedman expressed, “If you want to build a one gigawatt nu-
clear plant, it’s at least a 10 billion dollar proposition. That said, I don’t see how we get to scale without a nuclear component in our energy mix.” An increase in nuclear energy should occur, as nuclear energy currently supplies only 20% of the US’s electricity and 9% of the country’s energy. The US already has the technology necessary for embarking on energy reforms similar to those enacted by France. In fact, the French nuclear program is based on American technology. And new technologies for lessening cost are on the drawing board. It is therefore important that we first take the same measures France has to encourage its population to accept nuclear energy and then move towards further usage of nuclear energy. By scrutinizing the blueprints provided by Denmark, Germany, and France, we can observe critical green energy advances that we can emulate. Although these energy systems do have many challenges to surmount, their strengths outweigh their weaknesses.
“A contributing factor to why France’s nuclear program has been so successful is the French culture of endorsing large, centrally managed technological projects. They are popular chiefly because scientists and engineers in France have a substantially higher status than their American counterparts.”
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Science and Technology
the SOLUTION The Benefits of Electric Cars By Neil Agarwal
n the past few years, electric cars have gained a lot of attention worldwide, especially in parts of Europe and the United States. Electric car technology has been advancing very rapidly, and has shown a huge potential. However, as we note this progress, we must also recognize that electric cars do have their flaws. These few flaws are preventing electric cars from being the primary type of car on the road today. If these problems can be fixed, it is probable that electric cars will one day be able to replace cars that run on fuel. Electric cars look very promising, and are likely to dominate the road with many global benefits. Electric cars have been receiving significant attention since the 1990s, and have recently just started to make an appearance on the roads in the US. Additionally, many more charging stations are planned to be built during this year. This is due to the governmentâ€™s increasing interest in electric cars. It has
invested billions of dollars in battery technology, one of the most important factors of making a successful electric car. Further, the US government is giving up to a $7,500 tax credit to those who buy electric cars. This shows how eager the government is to get electric cars on the road. Not only is the government offering incentives for consumers to buy electric cars, but also it is investing large sums of money for research on battery technology, as it is willing to fund companies that are doing research in this field. The main reason that the government is showing so much interest in electric cars is to combat global warming. Since the gas emissions of cars are contribute to the slow destruction of our planetâ€™s atmosphere, the government has realized it should back electric cars since they reduce air pollutions and carbon emissions. Utilizing electric cars with no emissions is the first step towards victory in the international
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battle against global warming. One of the biggest leaps made in electric car technology was this year, with the Tesla Model S, a model that illustrates the future of electric cars. The Model S is able to get over 300 miles of driving on a single charge, a range much greater than that of many other popular all-electric cars. For example, the Nissan Leaf has a range of about 170 miles in ideal conditions. The Model S has made great progress in electric car technology and shows the great potential that electric cars have. Unfortunately, there are several flaws with electric cars that are impeding their increased usage, and the Model S does not solve all of them. These include battery range, recharge time, price, and battery maintenance. All of these flaws are due to the most important part of an electric car: the battery. Battery range is the biggest obstacle in electric car technology, as many people do not buy electric cars because they
Science and Technology fear that the cars will run out of charge before they reach their destination. The Model S may have increased the battery range, but it is still not enough to get people to want to immediately buy it. There are still people that make many long trips and want to be able to make a trip without having to stop over night to recharge. A lengthy recharge time is also detrimental, as the recharge time in a regular outlet can take over eight hours. High-powering charging stations that Tesla has designed can do the job in about half an hour, but they are very scarce. There are two possible solutions to these first two problems. One is that the government can build many charging stations, very close together, like the gas stations we currently have. This is the solution that will probably come in the near future. However, the other, more difficult solution would be to increase the battery range. Unfortunately, to increase the battery range significantly would be very difficult and take many years of research to accomplish. There are two other more minor flaws of electric cars. The first is batter price. Since batteries are very expensive to make, a car that uses electricity is generally more expensive than a car that uses fuel. Even with the tax credit given by the government, electric cars are still unaffordable to many Americans. If manufacturers could lower the cost of batteries, then many more electric cars could be on the road. The last major flaw of electric cars is that the
â€œEven though electric cars have some flaws, the rewards definitely compensate for the problems. The largest and most critical benefit that electric cars hold is that they fight global warming. Since electric cars have no emissions, they reduce air pollutions and carbon emissions. What is more, since electric cars do not use gas, the price to run them is very cheap.â€?
battery needs to be regularly maintained and has to be replaced every five to ten years. Since the battery is one of the most expensive parts of the car, this will cause the overall cost of the electric car to be even higher. Even though electric cars have some flaws, the rewards definitely compensate for the problems. The largest and most critical benefit that electric cars hold is that they fight global warming. Since electric cars have no
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emissions, they reduce air pollutions and carbon emissions. Switching to electric cars would be one of the first major efforts to lessening global warming. What is more, since electric cars do not use gas, the price to run them is very cheap. Due to the high demand for gas, the price of gas is starting to thin the wallets of the average driver. Electric cars have an average charge of around 600 hundred dollars for power, as opposed to the thousands of dollars that the average driver spends annually on gas. Minor advantages that electric cars give to drivers are quick acceleration and a very good center of mass. Electric cars also have very smooth acceleration and breaking capabilities. These perks give the driver a much more enjoyable ride and a better experience behind the wheel. Furthermore, some electric cars have a feature called regenerative breaking, which saves the car a small amount of electricity every time it breaks. This is critical as it aids the environment. Despite the battery issues of electric cars, these cars are making very quick progress and have many advantages over gas cars. It is likely that if the battery issue can be fixed, then electric cars can easily replace gas cars. However, in order for electric cars to dominate the streets of first world countries, it will take an enormous, cooperative effort by the international community, first-world governments, car manufacturers, and consumers.
Science and Technology
CYBERWARFARE The Future of Warfare A
s the world progresses into the future, human interaction evolves as well. A new form of human interaction, cyberwarfare, has been creeping onto the front pages of newspapers across the globe. Cyberwarfare, a type of terrorism, is keeping pace with the rate at which the technology age is spreading. A cyberattack, a term that encompasses a vast range of tactics, can be anything from an overload to the provider causing denial of service to a simple hacking into systems for lifting information. As we progress into 2013, is it critical that the United States doesn’t shun cyberwarfare. Instead, it is paramount that it embraces it and uses it to serve our military and humanitarian objectives. Further, our public will have to adapt to the constant menace of
By Kelvin Rhee cyberwarfare just as we have learned to live under the threat of nuclear warfare. Starting in essentially the depths of the Internet, cyberwarfare originated on forums and message boards teeming with hackers. It is now a noteworthy force, as hacker groups like Anonymous have been appearing in the international media. Anonymous has infiltrated massive corporations like Sony and MasterCard, stealing millions of consumer’s personal information such home addresses, passwords and credit card numbers to expose just how vulnerable these companies are. Seen in their own eyes as Internet vigilantes, Anonymous has launched multiple attacks against the Stop Online Piract Act (SOPA), a movement to censor the Internet, the Westboro Baptist Church when protest-
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ing the Newtown Shooting funerals, and many government organizations that this leaderless hacker group opposes. What is more, remarkably, Anonymous was a strong contender to win 2011’s Time Person of the Year. Moreover, cyberwarfare has spread past online aficionados. Cyberwarfare is now a tactic used by countries around the world, and the number of countries administering it is increasing at an alarmingly quick rate. This should raise everybody’s attention. Although never officially declared as a device to be used against anyone, cyberwarfare has grown into an inevitable reality. Despite seeming unnecessary, undermining or scary due to the shroud of mystery that surrounds it, cyberwarfare can be actually more humane
Science and Technology than confrontational and destructive. Starting in early 2011 the Libyan Civil War broke out during which a majority of the Libyan public attempted to overthrow their then incumbent dictator Muammar Gaddafi. In October 2011, when conducting airstrikes against Libya, President Barack Obama’s administration considered a cyber-attack on Libya’s anti-air systems. However, the Obama administration opted not to do so. Instead, the President decided for the attack to use conventional bombs and missiles, which caused more havoc, destruction and more civilian deaths. With its multiple airstrikes NATO killed as many as 72 Libyan civilians. Many of those unwarranted and innocent deaths could have been averted with the use of a preemptive cyber attack. The reason that the actual cyber-strike was called off was due to the incapability of executing it in time. So, if more resources and research were put towards the United States’ cyber-offensive and cyber-defensive capabilities, then there could be a potential for less travesty in future conflicts. In January of 2011 just before the Libyan Civil War there was another Arab Spring revolution in action in Libya’s western neighbor. The people of Tunisia were revolting against their current rulers, Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi and President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, under whom Tunisia suffered from high unemployment, corruption, lack of human rights (including freedom of speech), and widespread destitution. During the revolt, the Tunisian government had the nationwide Internet Service Provider, AMMAR, hack the user names and passwords of Tunisia’s’ online populous. In response to this cyber attack on the rebels, Anonymous struck back by commencing a Denial of Service on the AMMAR to prevent the government’s online terrorism. This specific situation shows that cyberwarfare is a two way street even in a conflict between government and citizens. Cyberwarfare in this instance is a completely legitimate apparatus that people should learn to employ because it will likely become a deciding factor in many conflicts down the road. People who dismiss cyberwarfare as a frivolous strategy because of its nonphysical nature are living in the past. Many esteemed journalists who have
“Cyberwarfare is currently a new and experimental medium for conflict. However, the fact is that it will develop and evolve into a legitimate avenue to settle or irritate disputes whether they are civil or international. Thus, we should embrace it, not reject it or fear it.”
deemed cyberwarfare pointless characterize it as a figment of fear of the public’s imagination fusing with the public’s deeply rooted paranoia about the mystery of the Internet. However, it is in fact almost polar opposite of a figment of creativity: it is fair to say that cyberwarfare is as real as any other type of attack. Everyday we are spending more time using technology and people have to face the fact that, although they are not palpable, online attacks and terrorism are a force to be reckoned with as we live in such a world. Cyberwarfare is currently a new
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and experimental medium for conflict. However, the fact is that it will develop and evolve into a legitimate avenue to settle or irritate disputes whether they are civil or international. Thus, we should embrace it, not reject it or fear it. Cyberwarfare is the future for warfare. Although it seems scary and potentially invasive in our everyday lives, cyberwarfare is unavoidable, and so everyone will have to learn to cope with cyberwarfare just as we have had to learn to cope with every other technological or military revolution. We are going to have to wait and see how it evolves.