How the government manages the economy
The role of government in managing the economy surely differs in each area. Some countries' governments may intervene in the economic activities, and some do not. As for national example, I chose Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand or EGAT. It runs as a state-owned enterprise. Its main job is to provide and transmit a productive, dependable, and reasonable cost electric energy. Furthermore, it has to supply electricity to meet the country's demand with minimum damage to the environment. EGAT was founded in 1969 and became the state-owned electric enterprise by combining several existing electric companies such as Yanhee electricity and is later under control of Minister of Energy (Egat, n.d.). All EGAT's plans and projects will be presented to the government and the government has the authority to approve on certain matters. It also imports some electricity from neighbor countries to support the country's electricity demand. As world-wide undergo privatization and open its grid to private manufactures, it is aiming not only national market but also international markets and investments (Ryder, 1997). As for international example, I chose GM Motor in the US. It experienced major crises back in 1917 during the WWI and recently in 2009. It is a world-wide car manufacturer and was founded in 1908 (Stewart, 2009). Suffered from debts and losses, the GM Motor was forced to file for bankruptcy protection. The employees also suffered from the crisis as they were laid off. The US government finally decided to help it out by funding more than $49.4 billion. Although, the GM Motor recovered from the crisis, it still has to face the fierce competitions with other car manufacturers such as Toyota and Ford (Isidore, 2009). As one can see, the western governments will intervene or regulate the private businesses in order to either strengthen their economic status or help the businesses.
Think about the connection between food production (meat, vegetable, and processed foods) and climate. Write an essay which covers a list of various ways that production, distribution, and consumption contribute or neutralize effects on the climate.
Certainly, there is a relation between the food production and climate; they both rely on each other. The food production consists of three stages: production, distribution, and consumption. These three stages have been affected the climate in many ways. To begin with, many methods in producing food are very harmful to the environment. For example, the farmers use the pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and chemical herbicides in growing crops. Those things cause the air pollution, water pollution, degradation of soil, and are quite damaging to both human and animal. Besides, the industries that use coals to generate the machines produce methane gas, which is one of the factors to the Greenhouse effect as it will increase the temperature. Furthermore, people cut down trees to build houses, plantations, and factories, and do not reforest. As one knows, trees help not only absorb the CO2 but also prevent the flood. It, too, helps to solve the Global warming. Second, the food's distribution also affects the climate. We use cars, trucks, boats, and planes to transport items. Those mainly emit CO2 which definitely pollute the air and increase the temperature. Third, the food consumption is also a contributing factor to climate change. The food such as meat, vegetable, and processed food come in various package: plastic, paper, and can. Those kinds of things take a long time to decompose. Sometimes, people burn those things especially paper which destroy the ozone and eventually lead to the rising of temperature. All in all, we should help to save the environment as best as we can for our future and our posterity's by using 3R principle: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Also, we should support the reforestation.
Where is the future demand for energy likely to be the greatest and why? What sources of energy are likely to dominate in the short run future? In the longer run? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the short-run and long-run prospects for energy?
In my opinion, I think that the greatest future demand for energy is likely to be the petroleum (oil and natural gas). Admittedly, the world demand for oil and natural gas has been rising over years; however, the world supply has been rapidly decreasing. That leads to the higher prices of oil and natural gas all around the world. Therefore, many countries have been searching the new oil sites. The reason oil and natural gas are the greatest future energy demand is that we still cannot find a better or equivalent new alternative energy. Besides, it will take a long time to make the new alternative energy available in every place or make it efficient enough. As for the short run, I think that the solar power, wind power, and hydro power will dominate our future energy demand. In fact, some European countries, the U.S., China, and Japan already generate electricity by those renewable sources. Hydro power is known to be the second largest energy sources for generating power in Asia; though, not many countries focus on it. China has the largest capability of hydro power and India comes in the second place (Onchan, 1997). Now, China has larger wind power capacity than the US according to the Greenpeace report and the Global Wind Energy Council. It expects to increase this source by nine times in over next 10 years (Fernando, 2010). As for wind power and solar power in America and developed European countries like Germany, Spain, Denmark, Italy, France, and Britain, they have been utilizing these energy sources. The United States successfully in building power plants and wind turbine farms. Its ideal location and stable wind speeds make it possible to produce a lot of wind energy. In 2008, Denmark produced approximately 20% of its electricity from wind energy. Its wind power production claims to be enough to generate electricity for about one million houses in the United States. Other European countries also successfully use this kind of energy (Wind power, n.d.). In the longer run, I think that the geothermal and nuclear energy will lead the future energy demand. There are about seven Asian countries that presently have nuclear programs. Their nuclear capacities seem to be increasing in the following years. However, the nuclear energy has a bad environmental image problem due to the past nuclear accidents and toxic waste disposal problems (Onchan, 1997). I am quite certain that we will overcome these problems in the future because we will develop new efficient technology. Considering the geothermal energy, only 0.5 percent of total power generation in Asia is supplied by it (Onchan, 1997). The electricity generating by the geothermal power can be highly efficient in certain areas. Because of that, less than 1% of the world electricity supply was generated from this renewable source in 2007 (Geothermal power, n.d.). Nonetheless, I think that its capacity and effectiveness will develop in the future. As we know, we already have so many kinds of renewable sources; I think that we can think positively about our future energy both in the short run and long run.
"Regionalization verses Globalization", discuss how globalization has led to regionalization and the tensions that have arisen between these two forces, as these are involved in the current trends towards formation of continental trading blocs and trade regimes. Compare and contrast the protectionist tendencies of the 2000s with those of the 1930s.
To begin with, globalization can bring the new regime of regionalization. The first factor is the collapse of US dollar. Admittedly, the US is the world's major economy and importer and if it falls, the others will be as well. This is known as the domino effect. Perhaps, China is the only one country that is least affected by this. The second factor is the rising price of oil (Stanislav, 2008) and that means many countries will compete and negotiate the price. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC was founded in 1960 which consists of oil-producing countries such as Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, and Venezuela. The reason they cooperated is that they want to assure their income and status (OPEC, n.d.). Now, they try to increase the price to benefit their own countries. In fact, trading blocs have been suddenly increasing throughout the world. In Europe, there is EU or European Union. It accomplished the single market program and initiated the monetary union. Likewise, the US, Canada, and Mexico created the free trade market under the name of NAFTA (North American Free Trade) (Chase, n.d.). The last example is ASEAN or Association of Southeast Asia Nations which consists of 10 members such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Singapore. Its purposes are to increase the economic growth rate and support its member's developments. In addition, it also promotes better standard of living. The members also negotiate or initiate some kinds of law or agreements that will benefit their economy. (ASEAN, n.d.). If the trading blocs make a lot of profits, they tend to liberalize the economy. On the other hand, if they cannot expand their markets and lower the cost of productions, they will set up the protectionism (Chase, n.d.). As one knows, during the 1930s, the world experienced the major Great Depression. It also led to the protectionism. First, in 1913, the US government use the Underwood-Simmons Tariff and the in 1921, implemented the Emergency Tariff Act. Importantly, in 1928, President Hoover launched the policy of higher tariffs with an attempt to help the farmers competed with the foreign companies. Due to that, the world trade failed 66 % from 1929 to 1934 (Gill, n.d.). In 2000s, the African countries have raised concerns to other countries because of their financial problems. Not only in those countries, have the EU and the US also initiated the financial and industrial policy to assure their economy. Indeed, we will see the new wave of protectionism and capital control in the near future (Draper, Freytag, & Voll, 2009). The focus is mainly in the African countries and it does not affect the world's economies that much like the Great Depression.
As shown in the picture above, the African countries' GDP rate have been dramatically decreased overtime. The EU tried to use several methods to solve this crisis such as lower tariffs and financial support.
Describe and explain the differences in age composition of populations in advanced countries and those in less-developed ones. What economic and social problems do these populations characteristics create in each case?
To begin with, the age composition, also known as age distribution, in the population studies, means the proportional figure of person in consecutive age class in a given population. The rate is different in each country mainly due to the divergences in the levels and tendency of fertility. It also can be influenced by war losses, migrations, and the rate of mortality (Age distribution, n.d.). Generally, the graph describe the population age structure diagram by calculating the percentages of figures of male and female in the total population. It is divided into three main categories: prereproductive (0-14 years old), reproductive (15-44 years old), and postreproductive (45 years old and above) (Population structure, n.d.).
There are surely differences between the age compositions of developing countries and developed countries. The developing countries' age compositions have a large base of youth and small peak of old as shown in picture 1. On the contrary, the developed countries' age distributions have an almost equal numbers of people in each class as shown in picture 2 and 3 (Developed and developing, n.d.).
Naturally, the age distribution's differences create economic and social problems as people in different ages do not want, need, or have the same responsibilities and abilities. The economic and social problems that the developing countries may face are shortages of food, higher unemployment rate due to more competitive society, criminal rate, gaps of incomes, poverty, drugs and AIDS problems, and environment issues. Also, the government will also focus on education system rather than the health care system in the elders. Furthermore, the government also has to spend money on taking care of drugs and AIDS' patients. As for the environmental problems, the nations will use up whatever they have to develop its own economic and social infrastructures. Those make the nations cannot develop any further. As for the developed countries, there are also problems relating to social and economic problems as well as environmental issues. The developed countries already reach its peak in economic status; still they have to import specific products like raw materials, food, lumbers, textiles, and machinery from less developed countries. They, too, will experience similar problems like the developing countries such as drugs and AIDS problems, gaps of incomes, criminal rate, and environmental issues. People in the developed nations will also have a very high cost of living and live under pressure.