We'll start off today chatting about "How Statistics Lie" and your reactions to it.
Next, we'll head back to issues of poverty and economic development:
Questions to try to answer together:
- What are the causes of poverty?
- What are the causes of global inequalities in growth and wealth?
- Do wealthier nations have a moral obligation to help those poorest nations?
- Do individuals have any responsibility to work to benefit those less fortunate?
Here are some of the resources you might find useful:
The other resource that we'll make use of today/tomorrow is Jeffrey Sachs' book, The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time. (Bono wrote the forward, so it must be good...) We'll use a couple charts and brief sections from this work.
- Overview of poverty around the world
- An individual family - income growth and income reduction
- Why are some countries poor?
Professor Jeffrey Sachs also chaired the UN Millennium Project that issued its report in 2005.
Here are the resources that we consulted yesterday:
Development Economics: This will be more discussion oriented than "lecture" based. You know a lot about inequality and the problems of poverty and related issues. For us, I'd like the bigger questions to be these:
- What CAN be done to foster economic development?
- What SHOULD be done to foster economic development?
There are a few terms and concepts that will be useful in this discussion:
World Bank: The World Bank is owned by 184 countries. In 2002, almost $20 billion in loans were provided to clients in more than 100 countries. The World Bank's focus is on development assistance.
Work your way through this overview of the World Bank's functions at "10 Things You Never Knew about the World Bank."
Here are the "Quick Reference Tables" from the World Bank. You can find a lot of information here.
International Monetary Fund: According to its own web page, the IMF "works for global prosperity by promoting the balanced expansion of world trade and stability of exchange rates..." Its functions complement those of the World Bank.
Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP): The IMF and World Bank at times require nations to "adjust" their economies in order to assure debt repayment. Many critics believe this only deepens the poverty of the people. Nations may be required to encourage foreign trade, shift to a cash crop focus, or otherwise be directed to act in a particular way. These are also referred to as "economic austerity" plans.
We'll set up the MPA Globalization Forum today, but it will not take place until next Monday.
Globalization: Our look at globalization begins today. Many people argue that this force of integration will come to characterize this era as much as the Cold War had dominated the previous era.
What is globalization? Simply put, this is the increasing integration of the world through the forces of global trade, business, and finance.
MPA Globalization Forum: Monday, we will come together for the Fifth Annual Mounds Park Academy Globalization Forum. Each of you will represent a different interest.
* You are allowed (within limits) to select your role for this forum. I do need certain perspectives represented, but you can take creative liberties within those limits.
We will need:
5 American representatives: 1 from government, 1 from "big" business, 1 consumer, 1 environmental activist, 1 worker whose job has been "outsourced"
2 Europeans: 1 owner of a multinational corporation, 1 worker "displaced" by foreign competition
2 Africans: 1 person existing on less than $1 a day, leader of poor nation that exports coffee
5 Asians: 1 "sweatshop" laborer, 1 peasant, 1 Chinese governmental official, 1 Indian service-industry worker, 1 recent migrant to Shanghai from Chinese countryside
2 Latin Americans: 1 manager of a foreign-owned factory, 1 illegal immigrant to United States
2 Middle Easterners: 1 leader of oil-rich nation, 1 Islamic fundamentalist
Obviously, you will need to "create" much of your own detail. Think about how your life has changed over the past decade. What are the advantages/ drawbacks of globalization in your world? What will the future hold?
* You will be expected to provide an introductory statement of not less than ninety seconds. In this statement, you will tell other participants of your "situation," and you will offer your preliminary comments on events associated with globalization.
* You will post on the Globalization Forum Blog Entry. Here, you are limited to 150 words maximum. You should use the blog entry to advocate for any causes, aspects of globalization, etc. that would be of the most benefit to your character. This is your chance to rant against your enemies, blow your own horn, or do a combination of these. You, of course, are bound by the need to not be obscence and totally inappropriate, but think of this as your billboard, letter to the editor, protest sign, bragging sheet, or whatever it is. Be creative, be outspoken, but also be appropriate...
* Do whatever research in class that might help you create your "perspective" and better understand the issue of globalization.
Here are some resources that you might consult:
The Lexus and the Olive Tree There are some excerpts and reviews here that you might find interesting.
Globalization: Threat or Opportunity? This is an IMF report addresses many of the central issues in globalization.
The International Forum on Globalization This is the site of a group critical of many of the effects of globalization.
The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century This is a talk by Thomas Friedman about his most recent book.
Globalization and Its Discontents - Joseph Stiglitz (He won a Nobel Prize for Economics...)
In Defense of Globalization - Professor Jagdish Bhagwati
HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Friday, December 12th
Your Blog Entry #9 is due Monday.
We'll hold the MPA Globalization Forum on Monday as well. You'll be asked to have your blog entry done before the start of class time, and you can simply put them on this entry.
Please read Chapter #11, "Trade and Globalization," for Tuesday's class.
Let's settle on Wednesday for the Macroeconomics and International Economics Exam. That should take some pressure off of your college deadlines, etc.