This is Andy Kleinlein's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Andy Kleinlein's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Andy Kleinlein
Recent Activity
The “Turn Down the Heat – Why a 40C Warmer World Must be Avoided” hammers home the point of justice to me. Early on in the semester, we discussed why inequality is a bad thing. While there are many reasons that inequality is bad in terms of economics, it main is just unfair. There is a certain uncomfortable feeling that most humans have knowing that there are many people in the world are suffering. I think this is a huge issue in terms of global warming. In a first world country, I constantly contribute, directly and indirectly, to negatively affecting the environment. I drive my car, which lets off toxins into the environment and I purchase items that come from companies who contribute to the destruction of the environment. The issue is we have the resources to protect ourselves. We damage the environment, but we can always avoid the effects to some extent. The most harmful effects are seen in poor countries. In poor countries, these people do not really contribute to the problem, but they are faced with it. Therefore, the rich pollutes the world and it destroys the poor, but the rich are the only ones who can avoid the consequences of their actions. The government must put in laws to protect the poor. It is irresponsible for us to go about these actions with no consequences and creates an unfair world.
Does trade reduce poverty? A view from Africa,” by Maëlan Le Goff and Raju Jan Singh brings up an important thing that we have discussed throughout the semester. There is not a simply answer to solving poverty. It is a combination of factors. While having free trade could reduce poverty, it is not the solution. If a country only tried to use this technique to eliminate poverty, then it would fail. The paper mentions that education, financial sectors, and institutions must be strong in a country to make this successful. Throughout the semester, we have broken down each of these factors that make up development economics, and each time we have come to the same conclusion of if it will work. The answer is it depends. From my perspective, a holistic approach needs to be taken to address poverty, which can be extremely difficult. It is hard to pour the resources to solve each of these issues at once, but without one of them, progress is stymied.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2016 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
Bauchet’s “Latest Findings from Randomized Evaluations of Microfinance” shed light onto how savings can ultimately lead to economic development. Previously in class, we have focused on models that include savings, but we hadn’t yet gone into detail on how specifically saving and investment worked in developing nations. Bauchet’s paper explored studies that have been done. This is the most intrigued that I have been by a reading so far because it takes issues in the world and tests these hypotheses, almost scientifically. As someone with little economic background, I struggle to come to terms with the big picture changes. This gave insight into changing things specifically and focused on how it can be done. It detailed how changes could be made. Savings/investment in these studies is shown to help people, but in different ways. Some people use the money to put it back into their businesses while others chose to hold on to the money for their family. I feel that other economists should look into conducting such studies with education, etc. to see what works and where. Instead of hitting a homerun every time, Bauchet explains that it might have to be in smaller steps. These actions that have been taken help, but do not completely solve the problem. I would also be interested to see how these work out in the long term. I believe that eventually, the opportunities in savings would allow for families to pour money into have healthier, better educated children.
Toggle Commented Nov 14, 2016 on Readings for this week at Jolly Green General
“The Economic and Social Burden of Malaria” brings me back to the most important thing that I have learned in this class so far. Simply by trying to grow the economy through GDP/income is not the solution. There are deeper problems within these countries and regions. Sometimes, health and education must be addressed in order to improve the GDP. We are uncertain which comes first, health improvement or GDP growth, but we know that we cannot ignore health. Through examples in this paper, it becomes obvious that health needs to be fixed before the GDP can be fixed. But this leaves me to question how people have been donating money to help out impoverished countries. It seems that a lot of people donate money to help eliminate poverty, but I don’t quite understand where this money is going. The government has not intervened in proper ways potentially. The second paper, “The Economics of Being Poor,” sheds light on this. When reading this combined with the first one, one would think that the government would have the ability to analyze the malaria problem and provide healthcare options. Maybe the government needs to become more involved with where people donate money. If the government took more control of charity, then they could effectively reach those who need help and give money to those most in need.
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2016 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
After discussion in class, watching the Ted Talk, and reading Dufolo’s “Women Empowerment and Economic Development,” it becomes apparent that there is a wide gap between men and women. While economics is highly correlated to the issues, I have found a different part of the argument that could be interesting. Changing the values within homes has not been discussed. Women have been oppressed in part due to longstanding tradition that men are those to make the money. This is simply tradition. They do not have anything to back it up that men will be more productive. This is just the family and villages’ beliefs. Therefore, the values within homes must shift. The issue comes with how to reach these people, which ties back into economics. Families need more money and thus, will receive greater education. They will be able to learn about these issues in school, which will ultimately tie back into empowering women. But overall, I believe the greatest problem lies within the homes. It is difficult to accomplish the goal of eliminating poverty and the oppression of women unless people’s mindsets change to some extent. Mutual respect and responsibility are required.
Toggle Commented Oct 19, 2016 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
Rodrik provides an argument that I find very appealing backed up with interesting examples. He discusses that the economic growth of countries in the last century has been due to slight policy changes. For example, China has drastically changed the landscape of their economic well-being without changing its government or beliefs. With slight policy changes, many lives have been improved. I enjoyed seeing his perspective, but would have rather seen him dive more into the development of a country like China. I am interested to see the progress in health and education along with the policy changes. I think that a huge part of the Chinese development is attributed to less starvation. Furthermore, I had never been outside of the country, but this summer I was given the opportunity to travel to Italy and see a different culture. In seeing this culture, I now have a comparison to the United States. Previously, I didn’t experience these different people and policies. It became evident to me that the live different lifestyles and have different beliefs. Italians would not respond the same way to economic policies and each country has a different way to develop and move out of poverty. While Italy isn’t heavily impoverished, I could tell that there was much more of a collective, laid back mindset where they didn’t stress over the little things in life. In America, people get worked up about certain topics very easily. I think that this is clear evidence to me that countries respond differently and develop differently due to certain policies and motivations.
Toggle Commented Oct 5, 2016 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
The “Rise and Fall of Development Economics” addresses some of the issues that I have had with economics classes in the past. While I have only take intro to micro and macroeconomics, I could not fully understand the application of the models. It seemed very theoretical and couldn’t be applied to the real world. But as economics classes become more advanced, one has the opportunity to put more thought into the models. As a freshman, I was only trying to learn the models and understand them, but not apply them. The application aspect is important when getting closer and closer to entering the work place and leaving behind college. I now look for answers. The paper discusses the need for explanation behind these models and how there are so many different factors that are involved in them. Even a religion can deter a model from being correct. One’s set of beliefs can throw them off. Each model must be applied a little differently to situations. My whole life, I have related school and other things to sports. To me, this seems as if a coach comes up with a strategy, but refuses to change despite the other team making changes. Even if the other team has figured you out, you stick with what you are doing instead of making a few adjustments that would allow you to win the game. This is the way that I was able to understand the paper more fully.
In the first two chapters of Amartya Sen’s “Development of Freedom,” a common theme is brought up again. An emphasis of this class has been that income is not the only measurement of one’s economic freedom. These chapters have also shed light on a holistic view of freedom. In the United States, freedom is viewed as your right to speak your mind and be able to vote. Along with other things, this is what defines America. Sen shows that freedom is actually different. Freedom fundamentally is having equal opportunity to enjoy life and pursue one’s passions. He explains that the United States does not exactly have a perfectly free country. It is shown that African Americans are not as free as the rest of the country. It is appalling that a country based on freedom has such inequality. The life expectancy of black men in America is extremely low. From first hand experience, I have seen that African Americans are still to this day not treated equally and are not given the same opportunities. The most interesting part of this example is their life expectancy is similar to that of impoverished people in China and India, despite having way more money. This further shows that income is still a small measure of one’s freedom. As mentioned above, the United States acts as if there are no problems in our own country a lot of times. We are always trying to help other countries that are poorer, which is fine, but we tend to ignore the problems within our own country. In order to help other countries, we should look internally on fixing problems so we have the ability to learn from that and truly help the world.
“The Economic Lives of the Poor” gave a new meaning of poverty to me. Previously, I had not taken a class in poverty or economics that dove into these issues. From my personal experience, I did have a worldly view of poverty. While I had seen commercials to donate money and heard how poor people were, it was put into perspective when this paper only covered people living on less than $2 per day. I previously viewed poverty as someone making less than $20,000 in the United States. As others have stated above, the thing that stood out to me the most is that these people are more similar to us than not. Entertainment, such as festivals, television, and radio are still important in their lives. With such little money, they still find it important to find “releases” through alcohol, tobacco and drugs. While a lack of food contributes to unhappiness, they do not find it as important as other things. Even though I have the opportunity to have food pretty much whenever I want it, I can see where these people are coming from. It was good to see that they do not appear so desperate that they are not enjoying the better things in life such as friendship and family. As a society, we have become fixated with many other things such as food and work, while the impoverished do not feel these pressures. I also found it interesting that they live in large numbers. While it does seem to be a money-saving tactic, it also shows that the place an importance on family and staying together. There is plenty for us to do to help them better their lives, I found it interesting that we could pick out things in their lives to potentially better our own.
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2016 on ECON 280 Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
Andy Kleinlein is now following The Typepad Team
Sep 14, 2016