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Lauren Paolano
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I agree with the point Giddings made of how your surrounding environment can help shape your mood and stress level immensely. When I studied abroad in Florence last winter, I lived in the heart of the city with very few parks or open grass areas to walk around and enjoy. Every weekend, my roommate and I would make a conscious effort to escape the city a bit and travel to enjoy some of the clean fresh air in parks or by doing other recreational activities. While in Switzerland, I had the pleasure of going paragliding over beautiful Interlaken. The entire ride over the mountains probably lasted about 15-20 minutes, but left me with a lifetime of happy and calming memories. Whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I think back to the beautiful views I saw while paragliding in Switzerland. I think it’s important for all of us to enjoy the outdoors or for the time being now, think of a happy place in which you feel most comfortable and calm. I hope that we all have some sort of escape place during quarantine, whether that be going for a walk around your neighborhood or even gardening like I have been finding myself doing over the past few days. This social distancing has given me a sense of a greater appreciation for my surroundings and the beautiful nature that I am lucky enough to call my backyard on Long Island.
The biggest takeaway I learned from Environmental Economics is that social change must begin at the individual level in order to promote global change. During one of our last few weeks of class on campus, we read an article about the 10 more important facts on what an individual can do to diminish the long-term effects of global climate change. One important face I took away was the consumption of red meat. In my family growing up, we probably ate red meat a few times a week in order to promote healthy growth and to have a sustainable protein intake. As an athlete, I learned there are many other forms of protein to consume, without the overkilling of animals in order to have a balanced diet and lifestyle. I practice catholicism, and for this season of lent, I gave up eating red meat for 40 days. I learned that I honestly did not miss eating red meat that much and I was able to find other forms of protein through various types of vegetables and fish. It truly is such an easy change for one to make, and I hope that slowly we all can make daily lifestyle changes in order to stop the ever lasting effects of global climate change.
Toggle Commented Apr 21, 2020 on ECON 255 Final Exam at Jolly Green General
Transitioning to 100% to Wind, Water, Solar sounds incredible, but my first thoughts are, can that actually be possible to implement, and if so, how far in the future can we expect this change to be a reality? One fact I found very interesting while reading their analysis on their website, “Percentage of clean energy news articles quoting women doubled in 2019 compared to 2018. Women were quoted in 42% of clean energy articles in 2019, up from 21% the year before.” Promoting women’s education and further enhancing and motivating them to become a part of such important movements around the world is extremely significant. Women have a strong and powerful voice and I think what The Solutions Project is doing will be very effective and hopefully impactful to our nation and beyond. The Solutions Project saw many voices after the Green New Deal failed to pass the senate and wanted to understand how the media hears and reflects those voices. The Solutions Project also noted that the voices quoted in the media did not include the diversity of the U.S. as a whole, especially the low-income communities and communities of color. We have been discussing this matter recently in class, in which the susceptible communities and individuals who are most affected by climate crises. Because they experience the effects first hand, they have creative solutions that have continued to be unheard and unnoticed, until The Solutions Project began. It makes logical sense to me to include the voices of the people who are being most affected by these harmful impacts, and I honestly don’t know why this hasn’t happened sooner! I think it is an incredible idea to listen to the people who have experienced the issues instead of listening to people who have never seen or felt the harmful impacts of global warming. The fight to stand for clean, renewable energy for everyone is a simple, yet extremely powerful stance that I hope can inspire society.
In this NBC article, Democrats protest McConnell’s ‘sham vote’ to pass the Green New Deal Plan. The climate proposal failed to be advanced by senate because “some republicans, including President Trump believe the plan is a winning issue for the GOP going into the election cycle.” The Green New Deal is an emergency for students and the youth. Politicians started to become aware of this attention it has brought to the young vote. The possibilities of American ingenuity that will come with the Green New Deal is exciting and promising for our future. The Green New Deal is a framework and has the opportunity to allow more discussions involving both political parties to hopefully come to an agreement in the near future. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated, “It could be a part o a larger solution, but no one has actually had scoped out what the larger solution would entail. And so that’s really what we’re trying to accomplish with the Green New Deal.” With multiple climate issues going on in the world around us, it has been difficult to bring these extreme issues to the forefront of people’s minds. By setting up this broad proposal that could solve many climate issues and prevent future global warming impacts, made people start talking about the issues more and even was brought to the youth. Thousands of students missed school to protest for the Green New Deal, showing how involved and worried they are about the future of the world if we don’t start making some crucial changes to our consuming behavior. Here’s the NBC link: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senate-fails-advance-green-new-deal-democrats-protest-mcconnell-sham-n987506 An interesting video: blob:https://www.nbcnews.com/a02f7363-758c-4311-a609-6568049e5125
Toggle Commented Apr 17, 2020 on ECON 255: The Green New Deal at Jolly Green General
In “Cancer Alley” Has Some of the Highest Coronavirus Death Rates in the Country, is was disheartening to me to read about the lack of concern the EPA has when they suspended the enforcement of the environmental rules designated to protect the lower income families during this awful pandemic. As we have talked about throughout the past few weeks in this class, the pandemic poses a severe threat to people whose lungs, immune systems, and hearts have been weakened by environmental contaminants. My mother suffers from severe asthma, which is probably a direct result of my grandmother smoking while she was pregnant with my mother. Nevertheless, there are even more severe health issues and now that the EPA has suspended the enforcement of environmental rules designated to protect people, these lower income families like the one in Mississippi is in grave danger of catching COVID-19. An interesting fact I caught towards the middle of the article was that, “scientists who researched the SARS outbreak in China in 2003 found that infected people were more than twice as likely to die from the disease if they were from highly polluted areas.” There has not been enough government intervention protecting the more susceptible individuals with health problems due to high air pollution in crowded cities. The COVID-19 pandemic should be a fight for clean air and clean water to maintain healthy environments, and thus far, that has not been a high enough concern on the government’s radar. There is still a lack of social distancing taken place across the nation, which will only prolong our quarantining. I saw a video on Twitter yesterday of a young woman being interviewed and explicit saying she tested positive with COVID-19, yet was outside running errands in a busy city. Situations like this is how the disease spreads rapidly, especially endangering the lives of those more susceptible to health risks and those who cannot afford to get tested or have the proper treatment after getting infected.
In "Ten facts about the economics of climate change and climate policy," I became very interested in fact number 2: struggling US countries will be hit the hardest by climate change. Figure 2 on page 8 depicts the economic damages to US counties from climate change by quintile of economic vitality index. Counties that will be hit the hardest by climate change tend to be located in the South and Southwest regions of the US. These climate change damages include massive flooding to households, and Rao found that nearly two million homes are at risk of being underwater by 2100. Majority of these homes located in Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Caroline, and Texas. As we talked about in developmental economics last semester, it is difficult for lower income families to pack up and leave their homes in the south and southwest to a more stable region of the northeast in order to avoid these floods. This could be because they cannot sell their homes once the global climate changes become too severe, or they might not have the financial means to migrate. According to the article, the concentration of climate damages in the South and among low-income Americans implies a disproportionate impact on minority communities. I found this article that digs into the global countries that will suffer the most severe consequences from the climate crisis. These countries will suffer even more so than the Southern and South Western counties in the US. https://time.com/5687470/cities-countries-most-affected-by-climate-change/
It seems completely irrational to me for the EPA to give factories so much power as these industries no longer have to document the amount of air pollution they produce in such a trying time for the world. From the research we know so far, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, so I find it difficult to understand why this is good time to retract restrictions on air pollution that could harm people with health conditions and worsen their chances of contracting the pandemic virus. This article could be best modelled in MSC of pollution because the marginal social cost of the effects of retracting the restrictions of air pollution have a big impact on health effects of the infected or more susceptible people. Here’s another article I found when doing further research. https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/19/21186653/coronavirus-covid-19-air-pollution-vulnerable-lung-disease-pandemic
I also agree with Patrick that the second article, Air Pollution-Related Illness: Effects of Particles by André Nel seems most significant due to our current situation with the rise of the pandemic, COVID-19. The article states that some individuals may be more prone to the development of inflammation, asthma, and allergic responses, because of mutations in the genes involved in the induction of the antioxidant defense. Other conditions that increase susceptibility to disease include old age, preexisting chronic heart and lung disease, diabetes mellitus, all of which are associated with stress and inflammation. Relating this article back to COVID-19, my older sister currently lives in New York City where there are 95 confirmed cases. In Nassau County on Long Island, 40 people now have the virus. My parents live in Long Island and my mom suffers from respiratory issues and my dad has diabetes. My sister has been told from her consulting firm to currently work from home, but she has made the decision to stay in her apartment in New York City in order to prevent the spread of germs to my older and more susceptible parents. Even if my 25-year-old sister doesn’t currently show systems, there is a chance she can have coronavirus. By her interacting with older and less healthy individuals, she can spread the germs by being in public spaces and utilizing public transportation. From the article: Young and Unafraid of the Coronavirus Pandemic? Good for you. Now stop killing people, the author states his opinion closing the piece, “it’s the civic and moral duty of every person, everywhere, to take part in the global effort to reduce this threat to humanity. To postpone any movement or travel that are not vitally essential, and to spread the disease as little as possible.” As of today, New York City is restricting most public gatherings of more than 500 people. As many schools and universities are going online or completely shutting down schools, it’s important to consider if it’s worth it to go back to our hometowns where the spread of illness becomes a risk to our parents and other strangers while traveling through public areas. Links: https://www.newsweek.com/young-unafraid-coronavirus-pandemic-good-you-now-stop-killing-people-opinion-1491797 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/12/nyregion/coronavirus-new-york-update.html
Toggle Commented Mar 12, 2020 on 3 short papers for Friday at Jolly Green General
We briefly discussed the effects on coal mining to the environment, specifically in West Virginia in my environmental studies class with Professor Kahn my freshmen year. I’ve had some previous knowledge of the impacts coal mining had on the miners, their families, and their environment—but I didn’t realize how extreme they really are. Coal Mining produces methane and releases it into the atmosphere, most of which comes from underground mines. Methane is 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. I also learned that coal fires can burn for decades or even centuries. Producing fly ash, chemicals, and smoke with greenhouse gases. These fires are especially problems in China, Russia, Indonesia, Australia, the United States, and South Africa. Coal mining harms workers as well as local populations to health hazards. If the coal dust or carbon is inhaled is hardens the lungs and can cause black lung disease. On average an estimated 1,200 people in the US still die from black lung disease. Coal creates black lungs (from coal dust), heart failure (carbon monoxide), and respiratory problems (particles, ozone) for coal miners. Coal creates environmental impacts through its use of mining, preparation. combustion, and waste storage. It creates acid water through air pollution which destroys many ecosystems. When the coal factories have a coal fire going it creates over 40 tons of mercury which is very poisonous to to our water system. I was unaware that coal creates many wastes that are hard to dispose of such as coal sludge, heavy metals and coal, and waste coal.
Toggle Commented Mar 5, 2020 on Discussion Paper for Friday at Jolly Green General
Casey and Schuhmann’s article about tourists WTP a small exit fee to enhance marine resource conservation in Belize made me think about a large public park on Long Island called Caumsett State Historic Park. It is a 1,520-acre state park on Lloyd Neck, a peninsula extending into the Long Island Sound, in the Village of Lloyd Harbor, New York. Much of the park today is managed as a nature preserve, with a focus on protecting high-quality bird habitat. I have been visiting Caumsett ever since I was a little kid. It’s only about a 5 minute drive from my house. The park allows for recreation such as horse back riding, fishing, jogging, hiking, and biking. There is a $40 annual parking car permit (NYS Residents) and $75 one for Non-NYS Residents. There are also daily vehicle passes which cost $8 and a 24-hour pass that costs $25. I assume majority of these fees go towards conservation of the bird habitat and other up-keepings of the park. One of my previous issues with the car permit is that they only give you one pass per family. So for instance, if another family member has the sticker on their car but that car is not available, you will have to pay the $8 to drive into the park. Though this seems a small fee to pay for the day, some people may not believe the benefits outweigh the costs and their WTP will diminish. I think a parking pass is a great way to maintain tourists while gaining money for conservation. However, the people who run, bike, or walk into the state park will not have to pay a fee at all. I wonder if maybe the park should implement a small exit fee, like Belize, in order to to gain money from the tourists who didn’t drive. I would say around $2-3 would be my max willingness to pay. If spin classes are $30, I believe most people would pay $3 to bike around the 3 mile park for a few hours.
I found Krutilla’s “Conversation Reconsidered” because it stressed the importance of the environmental and ethical value of nature. Krutilla also made me think about how individuals can better value our environment. This can be done by increasing recreational activities that use water and land such as teaching people how to camp, kayak, fish or even enjoy outdoor sports in public parks. The intrinsic value of nature is truly beautiful and something I even personally take for granted while living in Lexington, VA. I am from Long Island but have spent much of my younger life traveling New York City. I chose Washington and Lee because of its beautiful mountain scenery and have yet to fully embrace its breath taking views and hikes until recently. Something this article made me think about was the use of technology aiding human life with GPS navigation. It is difficult for me to travel long or short distances without using my phone for google maps. This takes away our person interest in nature and appreciating the environment while we embark on long journeys for road trips. While I lived in Florence last year, there were no Ubers and I had to learn to get around from walking. I walked about 30 minutes to and from class from my apartment every day. This time definitely helped me get adjusted better to my surroundings and appreciate the beautiful architecture and environment around me.
Coase references multiple examples and specific court cases to demonstrate possible outcomes for disagreement over damages caused by neighbors. I found it interesting to read each example and take a step back to think about who I initially would call to blame and then think again while taking into consideration their socioeconomic background. Sturges v Bridgman was a case where a quiet doctor and a loud sweetmaker disputed over who should have to move neighborhoods. Coase's opinion on the case was that no matter what the judge ruled, the sweetmaker had to stop using his loud machinery or the doctor would have to live with the noise, the two neighbors could come together and negotiate a contract that leaves both individuals happier than they were before. This seems like a fair way to settle the issue, but if the doctor was really unhappy with his current lifestyle, I think it would make most sense for him to move to a more secluded neighborhood, where he could enjoy his peace and quiet. Similar to what Maisie said, negations might seem like a simple solution for the short term, but looking in the long term in other cases regarding greenhouse gas emissions, it is more important to analyze the long term consequences. This is where the government plays a role in regulating laws in order to reduce pollution to minimize serious health hazards that have been continuously ignored. I think there has to be some middle ground with finding solutions regarding command and control approaches and economic incentives. Economic incentives are beneficial as long as the pollution tax or subsidies are strong enough to hinder the amount of consumption.
The World Bank’s Report, “Turn Down the Heat,” provided me with some shocking data of the consequences for the present and future development of the world. This report mainly focuses on the risks of climate change to development in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and North Africa, and parts of Europe and Central Asia. There are already signs of our diminishing environment such as dramatic climate changes, heat and weather extremes impacting citizens, damaging crops and coastlines which will further put necessities like food, water, and energy security as risk. I was most certainly not fully aware of the extent of these impacts. In today's modern world, we see and hear a lot about global warming and the effects of climate change in the news and on social media. It further worries me when seeing the extreme data about how severely damaged our environment is, and it seems to only be getting worse at the rate people are going. Specifically, with the Amazon rainforest in the news over the past few months with the spread of wildfires, I was intrigued to learn more about its' status. I did some further reading and found that the 2019 Amazon rainforest wildfires season saw a year-to-year surge in fires occurring in the Amazon rainforest biome within Brazil, Paraguay and Peru during the year's dry season. I was amazed that the increase in fires are thought to have been started by farmers and loggers clearing land for crops or grazing utilizing the slash and burn technique. The report discusses how the Amazon rainforest is at risk of large-scale, irreversible changes in the Earth's biomes and ecosystems. Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world and a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming. The burning of the rainforest, however, isn't the biggest problem. Deforestation is. The World's Bank Report previously stated, "with increasing warming degradation…of the Amazon rainforest is increasingly possible potentially turning the forest into a large carbon source during dry years and triggering further climate change", which we saw come to fruition this past August.
Toggle Commented Dec 4, 2019 on Last Blog Post for the Year at Jolly Green General
In Parker and Vogl's paper, "Do Conditional Cash Transfers Improve Economic Outcomes in the Next Generation? Evidence from Mexico", the authors talked about the difference in schooling, labor, and income as a result from the conditional cash transfer programs. I was mainly interested in the significant difference in opportunity women are given in Mexico despite this paper being under 2 years old. For example, in US dollars, the average monthly labor income was about $200 for men and about $55 for women. Another important piece of data that stood out to me what the sample size of the men and women conducted in the research. The male sample is about 15% smaller than the female sample due to two reasons: migration and mortality. Men are more likely than women to emigrate from Mexico in search of work and the male life expectancy in Mexico declined between 2005 and 2010 driven by a rise in homicide mortality in the specific age group studied. In a group of low female labor force participation and lagging female education, Progresa has led to increasing growth in both sections for young adult women. Estimated results on labor income are positive for both sexes but statistically significant only for women. In my business ethics class, we have been discussing the topic of diversity in education and the workplace and I wanted to mention a few outside examples that could help explain why women, specifically, are benefiting so much in schooling from the conditional cash transfer programs. We've talked about the difference in self-identity versus work-identity for an individual and sometimes for an individual part of the minority group, there seems to be a lack of confidence in their own skill and behavior which leads to conforming the majority. Individuals apart of the minority group have to work harder to prove themselves and their own skill in order to be well-perceived by their peers. The women in Mexico might be dropping out of school for emotional reasoning such as a lack of confidence and missing sense of belonging when she is in a classroom surrounded by men. Obviously there are many other factors that play into the smaller percentage of women than men in higher education and higher income, however, I think it would be interesting to conduct a study based upon the emotional and psychological data from the Mexican women that were apart of this study.
Toggle Commented Nov 20, 2019 on Next Week at Jolly Green General
In the paper, "Interest Rates and in the North and Capital Flows in the South: Is There a Missing Link?”, the authors, Barry Eichengreen and Ashoka Mody, take the approach to the market for international bonds which confirms that global credit conditions have had an important impact on the market for developing-country debt. There is a negative impact of higher U.S. rates on the demand by international investors for fixed-rate issues by Latin American borrowers, as predicted by the search-for-yield hypothesis. The “search-for-yield” hypothesis in the Selectivity-Corrected Estimates section of the paper really caught my attention. The standard “search-for-yield” story in which higher U.S. yields encourage American investors to keep their money at home, which further widens the spreads and reduces capital flows by discouraging potential borrowers from issuing new paper. On the other hand, it was interesting to learn that higher U.S. rates induce Latin American borrowers and East-Asian floating-rate issuers seeking to minimise their debt-servicing costs to slide down their supply curves. This would most likely reduce the possibility of observing an issue as well as limiting the flow of new placements. So, a big question I have is how can we implement new standards that promote American investors to distribute their money to the public (in order to increase capital flow rather than the American investors deciding to keep their money at home?
Toggle Commented Nov 12, 2019 on For Thursday's Discussion at Jolly Green General
The two articles exemplify the statements Sen has been preaching about how countries have been ignoring the importance of health and education. Country development is not only about economic growth and opportunities, but looking ahead, we must put our efforts and investments toward human capital in order to create more freedom and growth in education and health. "Economic and Social Burden of Malaria" by Sachs and Malaney, discusses the striking correlation between malaria and poverty, and malaria-endemic countries also have lower rates of economic growth. The article goes into the specifics are multiple channels by which malaria impedes development, including effects on fertility, population growth, saving and investment, worker productivity, absenteeism, premature mortality and medical costs. It was interesting to me how economic development alone is not enough. And this is clear in even relatively wealthy countries with high year-round temperatures such as Oman and the UAE, have been unable to eliminate the disease. In order to increase education and health we must put more capital into research and development in order to receive the desired returns.
Toggle Commented Nov 6, 2019 on 3 readings for next week at Jolly Green General
In Theodore W. Schutlz’s paper, The Economics of Being Poor, he touches upon a section that describes how the quality of human agents is underrated. The human agent is a critical factor of being poor, and land is not. There is a significance behind the investment in improving population quality which will enhance the economic prospects and the welfare of poor people. Improvements in the human agent include: child care, home and work experience, the acquisition of information and skills through schooling and investment in health and overall schooling can improve population quality. These investments in early age development will set up the individual to have more opportunities in their future. Schultz then goes to discuss the expectations of human agents in agriculture and explains how farm laborers and farm entrepreneurs who both work and allocate resources are shaped by new opportunities and by the incentives to which they respond. This relates to our class discussion a few weeks back when we talked about how the farmers will choose a safer farming technique with fewer returns, rather than a riskier technique that can either yield an extremely high return on crops or an extremely low yield on crops. As you spoke further in class how the Mexican farmers couldn’t afford to take risks to raise productivity because they have to be so concerned with the uncertainties. Farmers would rather act rational in order to avoid the uncertainties such as weather issues or their technology breaking in the middle of nowhere. The limitations to agricultural development include simple access to land, labor, access to technology, lack of collateral, and risk and uncertainty of the farm. In my opinion, there needs to be more investments from the government spent towards agricultural development in order for there to be more productive and successful crop seasons which will benefit economic development throughout society.
Toggle Commented Oct 30, 2019 on Blog Post for Next Thursday at Jolly Green General
Lauren Paolano is now following Caseyj
Oct 29, 2019
Duflo's paper, "Women Empowerment and Economic Development" discusses the major gender inequality that many developing countries face around the world. The treatment of male vs female children in India really caught my attention. Girls receive less care than boys under normal circumstances, "if poor households are less likely to spend money on a girl's illness than on a boy's illness, then improved access to health services, through health insurance, would highly benefit females." Reducing the rate of poverty on households or helping or helping families deal with the crises could improve the welfare of women all ages. If the government were to step in and provide financial compensation to these families in poverty, the girls would be able to live a healthy, safe, and well educated life at home and in the classroom. Based on the paper and our discussion in class, I learned the importance of women empowerment starting from a very young age. Empowering young girls to be motivated in the classroom and to stay in school will help reduce the rate of fertility when women are young. However, in India, many parents believe educating girls is not necessary (mainly for financial reasons), since girls are only expected to marry and take care of their households. Part of the motivation for educating children is to enhance their employment opportunities, so improving the opportunities available to women in the labor market would provide a strong change for the treatment of women to change for the better of society and themselves. Empowerment can accelerate development, and development can positively impact the rate in driving down inequality between men and women.
In "Growth Strategies", Rodrik's discussion of the government failures and market failures within an investment strategy to kick-start growth under the section "A two-pronged growth strategy" really caught my attention. This two-pronged effort is a short-run strategy aimed at stimulating growth, and medium-to long-run strategy aimed at sustaining growth. In order to sell new ideas to gain capital from investors, a strategy must be created that is both creative and unique. The more the entrepreneurs become excited about the idea, they will give more capital and therefore more technological advancements will be adjusted to the product/idea. However, there are government-imposed barriers on entrepreneurship that can hinder this growth process in certain circumstances. This viewpoint believes that the government must play a more active role in the private sector. The two pillars Stern outlines of building an appropriate "investment climate" and "empowering poor people" were two really interesting principles. I am currently reading Rawls' Theory of Justice in my business ethics course, and these two principles are similar to Rawls' Two principles of justice: first, each person should have equal rights to the most extensive liberties consistent with other people enjoying the same liberties and secondly, social and Economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both. Basically, these two principles encompass a sense of equality among society by also empowering the poor to be ambitious to want to succeed in life. Rawls argues that the concepts of freedom and equality are not mutually exclusive and his assessment of the justice system leads him to conclude that for justice to be truly just, everyone must be afforded the same rights under the law.
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2019 on Rodrik article for Thursday at Jolly Green General
In Krugman's article, "The Fall and Rise of Development Economics" in the Evolution of Ignorance section, there is a question of "why high development theory didn't get expressed in formal models?" Hirschman made significant contribution to the formal theory of devaluation in the 1940s and during this time, the development field itself was generating mathematical planning models (Harrod-Domar type growth models). The explicit problem for the previous question is because of the market structure at the time. Until 1975, Economists knew how to model only a perfectly competitive economy, one which take prices as given rather than actively trying to affect them. I found interesting how there is a standard theory of the behavior of an individual monopolist who faces no competition, however, there remains to be no general theory of how oligopolists will set prices and output. In my Business Ethics class this semester, we have been currently reading a lot of Marx and Adam Smith's pieces which correlate well to this paper especially. According to Smith, a society is not happy of which the greater part suffers, the goal of the economic system is the unhappiness of society because the economic system leads to the wealthiest condition. Furthermore, from the political economist's viewpoint, labor is the sole unchanging price of things, there is nothing more fortuitous than the price of labor. In "Estranged Labor", Karl Marx makes the claim that the whole society must fall into two classes: property owners and propertyless workers. The wheels for which political economy sets in motion are greed and the wars amongst the greedy (competition). In Krugman's article, economists didn't being to break through this barrier of completely understanding the regulations of competition and formulating the ideas into formal models until the mid 1970s.
Toggle Commented Sep 25, 2019 on Reading for next Thursday at Jolly Green General
Wang, Wong, and Yip’s article about the economies of fast-growing countries and “lagging” countries really caught my attention. It gave me a better understanding as why some countries are falling behind others which relates back to the “developing” countries vs the “developed” and the “underdeveloped” countries. I think the example of Thailand was extremely captivating in the Figure that Thailand’s relative income rose, except during the Asian financial crisis and the internet bubble periods. At first I thought, “why would their income have declined during the internet bubble period”? While reading further, I learned that Thailand is a heavily export-dependent country, with exports accounting for more than two-thirds of its GDP. Last summer I had an internship at Tory Burch in the production department. We worked closely with our office in Hong Kong and it was interesting for me to see the differences in income and price level further impacting consumption quantity in both the United States stores and International stores. GDP has a major impact in our personal spending and forces consumers to decide what to spend their income on and how much of it will be spent based upon the current status of the economy.
In "The Economic Lives of the Poor", I was most intrigued with the section on "How The Poor Earn Their Money". Given the men and women have very little education, there aren't many open jobs in the available workforce. The men and women must make the most out of what resources and skills they have in order to provide for themselves as well as their usually large families. The customs in the popular eateries in the Southern Indian city of Guntur is a location where women can be found making a "dosa", a rice and beans pancake only costing 15 cents. However, once these women were finished frying “dosas”, they move on to another task in order to collect enough money to make ends meet. Some other jobs the women completed during the day include: collecting trash, making pickles to sell, and working as laborers. Unlike the United States or other more developed countries, laborers usually have one job in which their skill sets are developed in order to fulfill that job. In developing countries where education and resources are limited, women especially, find the necessary products to sell either personal labor or create items for consumers for small amounts of money. This pattern of multiple occupations is more common in rural areas compared to urban cities. This is because there is only 19% of households that describe agriculture as the main source of their income. It was interesting to me to read about the correlation between entrepreneurs among the poor population. In the United States, entrepreneurs are usually individuals who have gained much wealth through their work and are now developing an idea or product as a hobby or activity. These poor individuals are actively creating job opportunities for themselves to stay alive and support their loved ones, which is a completely different definition of entrepreneurship than I have been accustomed to in the past. I learned that in these developing countries like Southern India, becoming an entrepreneur is easier than finding a job because the creativity created by one's product is more appealing to the consumer. In addition, the man or woman has the flexibility and freedom to create his or her own schedule in order to balance caring and supporting other family members. I took a course at W&L called “Business of Technology and Entrepreneurship” where we traveled to Silicon Valley in San Francisco for a week to visit these small start-ups and speak with entrepreneurs. Silicon Valley is filled with these wealthy and intelligent individuals who have years and years of higher education and therefore have advanced skills: a degree in computer science from Stanford. This was the image of an entrepreneur that I have had in my mind based on my own personal experiences and it was interesting to learn that the poor individuals of Southern India are also entrepreneurs on a different level, given their available education and resources.
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2019 on Readings for next week at Jolly Green General
Lauren Paolano is now following The Typepad Team
Sep 11, 2019