This is Alec Horne's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Alec Horne's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Alec Horne
Recent Activity
In the article, Turn Down the Heat Confronting the New Climate Normal, the impacts of rising global temperatures are discussed. As we can see, these impacts have drastic changes in the future of the world. I think the most interesting takeaway from the article is how all the impacts created are from developed countries that get the smallest punishment. Countries that have had very little impact on the rising global temperatures get the worst of the change at hand. Although all of the negative effects are substantial, I want to discuss the impact that rising temperatures have on the oceans and more specifically coral reefs. Rising global temperatures have had negative impacts on the number of coral reefs there are on the planet. A change as small as 2 degrees has devasting effects on coral reefs. It is estimated that 75% of coral reefs have already undergone heat stress wiping out 30% of the world’s coral reefs already (WWF). Once coral reefs die it is nearly impossible for them to come back. We know that coral reefs are a breeding ground for many aquatic species and act a feeding ground for larger predators. As the ecosystems disappear so do the larger marine animals which humans use as a source of food. Aside from destroying the food source which comes from coral reefs, coral bleaching also heavily contributes to rising sea tides. Coral reefs act as natural barriers that protect coasts from the forces of waves and storms. Without the reefs, we have to rely on man-made barriers along the coast. Not only are the man-made barriers expensive to build, they are less effective and contribute to greater environmental damage. Lastly, coral reefs are huge for tourism in the billions of dollars they help to generate each year. Destruction of them decreases the amount of tourism to a developing country which relies so heavily on tourism as a source of income for their economy. The only way to combat the problem is to stop climate change. Even so, I see it as almost impossible to stop the total destruction of coral reefs given that 75% have already undergone heat-related stress in today’s day and age. As a result, developing countries in island nations will face a greater amount of poverty and food insecurity due to the impact of developed countries with the destruction of coral reefs and rising sea levels.
Toggle Commented Dec 1, 2019 on Last Blog Post for the Year at Jolly Green General
The article Does Aid Reduce Poverty, by Juliana Yael Milovich discusses whether aid has an effect on poverty alleviation. While the article does seem to have some uncertainty on the matter, it does seem like aid has an effect considering that “an average increase of 1% in U.S. aid is related to a lower percentage of multidimensionally poor people deprived in education, health and living standards by 0.82%, 0.36% and 0.64%” (Milovich, 1). Even so, we know that the factors in the well-being of people, education, health, and quality of life depend on each country and aid impacts them differently. In other words, for the impact of aid in poverty alleviation, it depends. Even though this article addresses the impact of countries and their aid to reduce poverty, one topic comes into my mind when reading this paper. The idea of aid from an individual themselves and not just countries. Look at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for example. This foundation is composed of Bill Gates's wealth where he uses his money to make an impact in the world for those in great need. I watched a documentary titled, Inside Bill’s Brain, which discussed the effects of the Gates Foundation in other countries. In the first episode, we see Bill trying to solve the problem of sanitation in Africa where people lack the necessary systems to go to the bathroom. Their water becomes contaminated as a result and many individuals end up dying with terrible diarrhea. The Gates Foundation spent $200 million on the issue and resulted in utilizing a solar-powered toilet. Aside from the efforts of Bill in this one example, he has spent $28 billion (start of foundation to 2013) for the Gates Foundation to solve issues like these. The US, for example, spent $14.7 billion on foreign aid in 2018 with only $5.8 billion of that going to economic support and development (Revell). These are obviously big numbers. It goes to show just how much capital is needed to actually make an impact in places less fortunate. In essence, more funding is needed not just from other countries, but from ultra-billionaires like Bill Gates. The question then is, how do we get more funding for issues which are continually on-going whether it be from rich countries or rich individuals? Obviously, people like Jeff Bezos aren’t doing any good and for those billionaires who try to make an impact, something like a wealth tax could hurt their efforts.
Toggle Commented Nov 19, 2019 on Next Week at Jolly Green General
In the article, Interest Rates in the North and Capital Flows to the South: Is There a Missing Link, Eicengreen and Mody discuss the relationship of higher interest rates in the United States and the effect on bond prices in developing countries. As we know, interest rates and bond prices move in opposite directions. For this reason, it is not surprising that we see this effect on a global level. What is interesting to me is the misconception which can occur when analyzing a developing country which might face higher interest rates abroad. The result is less accumulation of capital in their own country when developing countries are more in need of capital in order to stimulate economic growth. The takeaway here is the spillover effect on which US interest rates have on economic growth not just for developing economies but for advanced economies as well. Obviously, the effect is larger for developing economies which don’t have as much capital. In advanced economies, a rise in US rates of 100 basis points decreases GDP by 0.5% in advanced economies and 0.8% in developing economies (Iacoviello, Navarro). The results are similar to a monetary shock which occur inside the US. The result of a monetary shock in the domestic economy of the US reduces GDP by 0.7%. Higher interest rates in the US clearly effect countries differently due to three main factors. The exchange rate regime against the dollar, trade openness with the United States, and an index of external vulnerability (Iacoviello, Navarro). All of the factors vary from country to country with a large amount of the issue being out of the control for a developing country due to the effect the United States has on other economies investments. The question here revolves around how we combat high interest rates in the US with developing economies who need increased amounts of investment in order to spur economic growth. If possible, developing countries should rely less on foreign investments in order to avoid possible economic crisis. This way, countries can better target their investments and avoid devastating economic situations which arises from the volatility of changing interest rates and bond prices.
Toggle Commented Nov 12, 2019 on For Thursday's Discussion at Jolly Green General
Both articles bring up interesting issues about human capital investment in health and how increased health leads to greater life expectancy and for the most part, greater investment in education and earnings. I think the articles tie into the ideas of the economic lives of the poor to a great extent. Obviously, we know that people in Sub-Saharan Africa have a higher exposure to diseases such as malaria which can stimulate increased risk of HIV and AIDS. From the second paper, we know there are ART facilities to help combat the problem and bring about better health for people living in the regions. Even so, how easy is it for individuals to access these facilities given their economic status? In the Aids Treatment and Investment paper, we see how those living closer to facilities are able to get treatment and have better health outcomes as a result of the treatment. However, those who are unable to get treatment might live too far away to know their own status of the disease, and even if they know their status, get physical treatment. This is because of the economic status of the individuals who are too poor in order to get transportation to a facility. Take Nigeria for example. In Nigeria, 67% of the population is aware of their HIV status. 53% of those people aware of their status are getting treatment with 80% of the individuals getting treatment being virally suppressed (UNAIDS Data 2019). The problem arises from the lack of people not being able to access treatment centers. When individuals do know their status and they are positive it slowly becomes worse. Even for those who know their status, only half are getting treatment. There is a need for more ART centers in order to combat the issue. Stated in an article, “A push on the number of sites providing HTC services has resulted in a huge increase, from around 1,000 in 2010 to more than 8,000 in 2014. However, this number is woefully short of the estimated 23,600 sites needed to provide universal coverage” (Avert). The result is a continuation of poor health outcomes in the region hindering life expectancy and possibly economic growth. The only way to help suppress the issue further is a greater investment in health throughout the region.
Toggle Commented Nov 5, 2019 on 3 readings for next week at Jolly Green General
Schultz’s article discusses the importance of investing in human capital in order to increase the population quality of a country to spur economic advancement. Although I agree with the article entirely, there is evidence that even though investments in population quality are positive for a country, there is still a separation between the rural and urban sectors in a country. China, for example, implemented a one childbirth law policy in order to decrease fertility rates and allow families to invest more heavily in one child. Individuals in urban areas had to follow this policy extremely closely and would otherwise be heavily fined with the risk of losing their job. In rural areas, this policy was much looser, and families didn’t fear not following the policy and often were “too poor and didn’t have anything to lose”. The article in the science direct database states, “The rural-urban gap in China is huge. Specifically, compared with rural areas, urban areas have much better health, medical facilities, and education systems, all of which are crucial to new-born babies. Therefore, given an increase in population concentrated in backward rural areas, the OCP may spur an adverse selection in terms of population quality” (Wang). This idea is known as the quantity-quality tradeoff theory. The result is from the effect on human capital where investments in human capital in rural areas are much lower compared to urban areas. To explain further, if families in urban areas were only allowed one child yet those in rural areas were allowed 10, we would see a decrease in China’s average human capital level for the next generation. What Wang is saying, is that although fertility control can improve investments in human capital, the policy can also have a substantial effect on the income gap between different sectors of a single population leading to an “adverse selection”. This is ultimately caused by rural families not following certain policy implementations creating a larger population with fewer returns to human capital. The country thus loses more of its urban children where human capital returns are highest.
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2019 on Blog Post for Next Thursday at Jolly Green General
The article ultimately discusses the relationship between development and inequality amongst women in how each have an impact in helping to spur the other. Although the article mostly discusses issues present in developing countries, this issue is a worldwide phenomenon. One topic I would like to discuss further is the issue of “child marriage”. Child marriage is classified as individuals who are married before the age of 18. The article discusses this issue amongst developing countries, but as we said in class, the issue is present even in the United States. The problem arises from the implications of the federal government. There is no federal law and the laws are only determined by state, each with its own set of rules on the issue. States such as California, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Texas do not have a restriction on martial age as long as there is parental consent. While in states such as Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin, and the District of Colombia, you can get married at age 16. There are more states which allow marriage at 14 and 15 but the bottom line is the issues young marriage creates for individuals, especially women. According to data from 41 states, 200,000 minors were married from the years 2000 to 2015 in the US. The individuals who are married young are harmed for life. Girls between 15 and 19 are twice as likely to die in childbirth with almost 80% of these marriages ending in divorce (Forbes). Additionally, early marriage doubles a teenager’s chance of living in poverty trapping people in a “cycle of poverty”. What stands out to me as the biggest difference between the issue of child marriage is the country in which individuals are born into. The chances of child marriage are far less likely in a developed country because of the economic opportunity which exists versus a developing country which may lack the infrastructure to give people an equal opportunity. Although we know development and inequality go hand in hand, is it easier to increase development with reduced inequality? Since the problems are a global issue, I would say inequality seems to be reduced when there are greater strives towards development with greater economic opportunities set forth for all.
Alec Horne is now following The Typepad Team
Oct 22, 2019