Gender inequality

We live in 21st century. We do not realize that gender inequality is still present in our lives. As a rule, we think that it does not refer to the world in which we live. We live in a huge agglomerations, in big cities, to work we wear elegant suits, skirts or high heels. We do not realize the fact that gender inequality is still one of the biggest problems. Adversely affects the economy, bringing immense loss.

Nowadays the problem is still visible, women earn less or have fewer opportunities for promotion. Often they must also reconcile two jobs – work and family life. We can say this is a conscious choice of every woman, but usually everything and so is dependent on the economy and biologically conditioned social role. Stereotypically women are perceived as weaker. We can certainly identify occupations typically male and typically female. In the consciousness is contained, that woman can not do typically male activities because she is very delicate and not strong enough and robust. If we analyze the gender segregation in the structure of professional women, they more often occupy the position associated with the “typical” feminine traits that means protectiveness, solicitude. Women occupied the position of nurses, teachers but it was often considered only as an addition to the role of housewife. The turning point was the 70 ‘when feminists began to question its role as housewives and began to demand equal wages. Nowadays assume that in a normal, healthy society where religion does not dictate the conditions, women can work in almost any profession. Unfortunately, access to certain professions remains restricted.

 

One of the biggest problems today is Wage Gap. Today, women in the same positions still earn less than men. According to the OECD report it is on average 24% less. The pension system in many countries is also a manifestation of overt discrimination. Women work for less which affects the calculation of the amount of pensions at the end of career. Furthermore, when one person has to quite work to take care of a child, it is usually a women. Fortunately, these situations were more common in the past but there are also present. The problem is also skipping on promotions. Increasingly popular are cases when the employer asks a woman with a medical certificate stating that the woman is not pregnant or employer will not hire childless women, fearing that become pregnant. Women are also often exempt from work after giving birth.

Governments must take control of the problem of gender inequality to get an additional 10 thousand pounds in world production. If the participation of women in working life increase until 2025, world production will increase by around 11%. To achieve this, governments must focus on improving the social advantages. The maternity and paternity leave should be improved. According to the report, UBS biggest barrier for women is just motherhood. Other data are also frightening. Two times more girls than boys did not begin education.

At present, the inequality of women is largely dependent on your country of residence. For example, the United States occupies a lower place than Kazakhstan in terms of the number of women in parliament and teenage pregnancies. Equal pay has increased there since 1979 and currently stands at 79% compared to men. Unfortunately, the participation of women in the labor market has fallen in recent years to 46% and in the coming years will remain at this level. In the United States, the situation of women is extremely complex. The chances of career usually depend on the place of birth and social status. The worst country for women has been recognized Niger. (According to the Girls’ Opportunity Index). 76% of women out there getting married before age 18. The problem also exists in Australia – 69% of women said they felt sexually inequality – although at the same time says he is in a better position than their mothers (The Guardian, 2016). In addition, to earn the same amount as men, women must work there on average 66 days more in a year. The difficult situation also applies to women in Afghanistan. Girls often finish education when they enter puberty. Parents are reluctant to send their daughters to school with boys There is a real danger for women who want to continue education. There are also no female teachers, which in the country when a girl can not be taught by men is a huge problem. Unfortunately, only 18% of women between 18-24 years of age can read.

By gender inequality and discrimination against women economy loses only. Profits would have been much greater if women had equal opportunities to learn and advance. Governments are trying to solve this problem. Unfortunately, according to the World Economic Forum report may take up to 170 women were granted full rights. The good news is that the problem is still publicized. Many public take part in the fight for equal rights for women.

By: Karolina Banaś

Bibliography:

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Alone Together : The Paradox of Social Media

Social media, smartphones and all of our electronic devices are now fully integrated into our life. It keeps us out of reality, by changing and challenging our social relationships day after day.

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Satirical illustration by John Holcroft

Sometimes I feel like I’m losing faith in humanity. I am a millennial, I belong to a generation that grew up with the Internet . Thus, I saw the development of smartphones and social networks. I saw the place of social media growing in the life of more than 1 billion users worldwide (Zendo,2012). The addiction is becoming unbelievable. According to a report from IDC Research, « 4 out of 5 smartphone owners check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up and among these people, nearly 80% reach for their phone before doing anything else »( IDC research, 2013) which literally means that people choose to be connected with the world before actually being connected with what surround them physically.In a globalized world where our phone is our new best friend the first thing we see in the morning and the last before going to bed, what is the future for the actual social relation ? is it threatened or simply modified by our changing environment ?
Social media is powerful. It completely changes human relations by creating a new form of exchange around the world that are happening faster than ever; creating this sense of being connected. The idea in itself seems very encouraging. It is a place where people have the power; a virtual community in which you express yourself you share what you think, what you feel , emotion and opinion. It gives us the opportunity to play our role as a more active citizen. The example of Arab spring gave hope, when traditional media were under the orders of governments, new technologies have enabled the popular masses to protest, organize, inform and consolidate their actions ( Mirande,2012). Unfortunately this is not enough.Social media is a double-edged sword that can become dangerous when people don’t know how to use it wisely.

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Likeaholic by Asaf Hanuka

The exhibition of intimacy in a place where its users share a lot of information about themselves can rapidly become out of control. When someone’s life is summarize on a wall make them a more appealing target to judgment, which may to lead to dramatic situation professionally or personally with scam or pedophilia. Bullying is one of them. Online this phenomenon called Cyber harassment is harsh. The distance between stalker and victim make the harassment on the Web more violent that what could happens in the real life. Obviously some people feel much more brave while sitting behind a screen specially when the post is anonymous.”The victims of bullying reported feelings of anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation “( Dorothy L. Espelage,2013). I’m furious to see that every year 7% of students in grades 6–12 experienced cyberbullying (stopbullying website); furious to see that hundred of them will commit suicide to stop their pain; to see that young adult Just out of childhood be pushed to make such terrible decisions. My heart mourns this kid , my head hate the one who forced them to give up, and I despise even more the one who remain silent by watching people being abused. This same one that think being just witnessing but are as guilty And will bear this burden all their lives.I feel responsible by being such an active user of this media. For this reason I try to remove my social networks; a desperate boycott As if I no longer wanted to be part of an industry of hypocrisies that were not in line with my ideas. The problem is that I just couldn’t. I couldn’t talk to my family and friend in France, I didn’t know the latest events or news happening around me, even My university group work is on Facebook. By deleting my social media I felt excluded from the rest of the world. At this moment I realize that I was dependent. It influences the way we live. We think we have the control but we don’t. We are slave of it and addicted to a certain extent.

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Can’t escape by Makkah Newspaper

Stromae a Belgian artist in his song Carmen denounce it. He criticizes the emptiness of Twitter which tends to summarize an individual to his number of followers. They digest our personalities to spit out a single thought. Paradoxically, this video which is supposed to sensitize people with the use of social media, was posted on youtube on of the most influential one.  Sherry Turkels in her Ted talk analyzes this social phenomenon. This technological advance is supposed to facilitate our life, but complicates even more our human relations. She talk about being Alone together: technology which is supposed to brings us closer end up isolates us more than ever. I do not think that social networking is a problem in itself, but just that it highlights representation of an individualist society grows in the extreme between selfies, vanity and narcissism.

Lola-Iris Kadri/ Dubai campus

References:

My neoliberal story: transitional awareness

In the past two decades’ economic growth has been at record highs, and poverty at record lows, there is more employment capabilities than ever before, however as good as it sounds, something feels wrong. From my personal perspective, I came to United Kingdom, in 2012 as a 19 years old kid with mediocre English skills, 3 moth of job experience as a luggage porter and with biggest ambition of personal independence. My families background well by Lithuanian standards middle class I would say. It is hard to rate yourself by class, because when minimum wage is 300 euros the line between classes is quite blurry and on the good days you are middle class (paydays) and on other days ( days of bills, usually 8th of every month) surviving class. So weekly salary equivalent to months’ salary, sounded like a good deal to me. The main point was that, with this salary which at that point was 6.08 pounds an hour, you are able to pay your rent, go for a beer on the weekends and save around hundred quid every week. For me, parents-money-depended young fellow, it was decision confirming argument. Of course, to explore my view horizons by meeting new people from variety of cultures, Big Ben, double-Decker and famous British sense of humor, excited me not any less, however romantic side of me was not dominant as realistic one. However, after living and working for a few years, you start questioning, is the easier access to consumerism really are inevitable part of better quality of life?

 

Neoliberalism, capitalism was not the clearest definitions for me before I started my course. You see, in my secondary education back in Lithuania, political science doctrines and ideologies wasn’t explored or explained in depth, only ideologies I was aware of was the evils of Nazism and Communism and especially communism. Well that is quite understandable after being occupied for 60 years you don’t want to infiltrate any of nostalgic thoughts to up incoming youngsters (if there is anything to infiltrate, anyway). However, in a way strong opposition of ideas takes away liability in critical thinking, but that is other matter. First encounter of neoliberal ideology I had was after reading Guy Standings book “The Precariat”. Since blurry understanding of my class, Guy Standing’s description of precariat class was quite intellectually intriguing for me. The class in between. Too proud to be working class and too poor to fit the middle class level. Or as a Guy Standing suggested himself, precariat is not the working class because there is no fixed long-term, stable agreements between employee and employer, moreover worker is not a subject of unionization and any security agreements ( sick pay, holiday pay, etc.) neither the middle class fits the class description, because there is no predictable salary or the status and benefits that middle-class people supposed to possess. (Standing 2011:6) This new class is the consequence of economic growth and political ignorance, but how does it work? Basically neoliberalism is based on maximization of labour market flexibility and before coming to UK practically I didn’t really knew what it means, but my first encounters with recruitment agencies helped me understand what Guy Standing means by precariat. The recruitment agencies work in highly flexible way, you just pop-in, nice receptionist gives you an agreement with basic brackets to fill in, such as name, address, what job you are looking for and how flexible you are and after that, only thing you can do is wait for call or a message. First weeks was OK actually, I think I was lucky, because the work agency had offered 2 week’s work with fixed 8 hour shifts, so it means I am able to make plans at least 1 week forward. However, after 2 weeks my lucky charm had expired and no job was offered for a few days. And again you are forced to live in this limbo of today’s certainty and tomorrows precariousness. The most defying thing that hit me was that even though money you make is more significant than back in my country, you are living by weekly plans with no scheduled future. And only thing you can comfort yourself with, is that getting new iPhone going to take 4 times quicker than back in Lithuania which in the long-run do not mean anything.

 

Zero-hour contract, temporary labor was imposed as a main reflection of labor markets flexibility, to boost competition and equalize market’s ability to change together with main workforce without knowing or possible ignoring the consequences of society. The consequences of growing inequality, loneliness and emergence of populist movements across the western world. (Monbiot 2016) The picture which never been clear to my eyes, because of lack of consumerism power I had and since that was the only power I was forced to desire. The imaginable power of things, the power of nothing.

By Aurimas Mieliauskas

 

 

Bibliogrpahy

  1. Standing, G. 2011, The precariat: the new dangerous class, Bloomsbury Academic, London
  2. Monbiot, G. 2016, Neoliberalism-the ideology and the root of all our problems, The Guardian.

“Darling, everyone knows a woman belongs only in the kitchen”

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In 2016, it is still a man’s world. It’ll be a a tough adjustment when they have to share with another gender… oh wait, another gender DOES inhabit this planet too! They’re everywhere… like ants. Pesky ants trying to casually walk away with food, and  jobs, and masculinity.

Men, meet women. You’ll have to look really far down, because they’re obviously beneath you. But not on the office floor! Make sure you go to the kitchen!

Continue reading ““Darling, everyone knows a woman belongs only in the kitchen””

Why the UK decided to leave from the EU?

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By the referendum held on 23rd in June 2016, the United Kingdom decided to leave from the European Union (EU). It was resulted in “52% to leave and 48% to remain.” (BBC, 2016) This was a little bit surprising for many people because they never expected that, neither did I because Britain’s withdrawal does not seem good for the country itself. As catching up with the news about the referendum, I had a question as to why plenty of people wanted to leave, even though it is seemed that to withdraw is not remarkably advantageous for people in the country. Also, it will have great impacts on many countries, particularly in the European region, for a pivotal country in the EU to leave. what are reasons why lots of British people voted to leave the EU and how will the withdrawal affect the United Kingdom?

In order to explore reasons why people wanted to leave the EU, in the first place, it is needed to explain what the EU is and what are advantages and disadvantages of being a part of the Union.

An idea of the EU is to try to unify countries like one country. ECSC (European Coal and Steel Community) that is the origin of EU was established in 1950. It appeared in that era because of reflecting on the two tragic war, happened partly because countries had tried to exploit natural resources such as coal and steel. To prevent a great war like that from happening again, ECSC was established by some European countries by leading of Germany and France.

Being a part of the EU has some advantages in economic and political dimensions. Countries in the union can trade stuff without tariffs and, by unification of currencies, trades amongst countries can be easier. Also, people can move freely in countries amongst countries of the EU, which revitalize the economy of each country in the EU. On the other hand, all countries in the EU do not have the same level of economy, which produces some disadvantages such as immigrants and financial problems.

It is said that one of reasons why many people wanted to leave the EU is immigrants from other European countries into Britain. As mentioned above, as long as Britain belongs to the EU, people in other countries becoming to the EU can move freely. Because of that, there are huge impacts on Britain.

The first problem is about employment. Immigrants in poor countries, particularly Eastern Europe such as Poland come to Britain because they can earn more. Because of them, the number of vacant work decreases, which makes it difficult for British people to get a job. Especially, young British people cannot be easily hired. The second is that immigrants put the pressure on the British economy. Many poor people come to Britain for earning money but, they take social services from British government as social welfare. “According to a research in 2014, migration from the EU added £160 million in additional costs for the NHS across the UK.” (Full Fact, 2016) British government needs to spend a lot of money, gathered from the nation as tax, on social welfare for those disadvantaged people from other countries.

It is true that a number of immigrants come to Britain and they give some negative effects on the country. However, there is a question as to why the withdrawal is really because of them. In areas where there are various races like London, people voted to remain. If what people wanted to leave from EU was truly because of immigrants, people in London must have voted to leave to prevent people from coming from other countries. However, actually, “Remain won with getting 59.9% in London.” (BBC, 2016) It shows that the problem might not be really about immigrants. The result of this referendum is one of symbol that Britain is becoming nationalistic.

According to Benedict Anderson “Near-pathological character of nationalism, its roots in fear and hatred of the Other, and its affinities with racism.” (Benedict Anderson, 2006, p.141) in other words, exclusiveness is based on nationalistic ideas.

In London, there are various people who have different backgrounds. That is why, many races are a part of “their”. However, in other areas where there are few people different from indigenous people, in that case, who are British with the right to vote, the purity is stronger. In other words, they are intolerant to “others” like immigrants. That is why, what they think “their” are totally different from people in areas having diversity like London. People in areas with less diversity, people have the same image that immigrants are less beneficial without a real connection with them. In the condition that there is less diversity, the feeling of exclusiveness tends to become stronger. In this referendum, it can be said that British people clearly distinguish “their” and “others” and tried to exclude “others”.

In the globalized world, two types of power are produced; to accept the globalization and to refuse it. In this referendum, there were a little bit more people wanted to leave than people did not want to. One of the reasons why they wanted to leave was not about immigrants itself but the feeling of fear to unexpected existences such as immigrants. Globalization partly means to make the borderless world, but ironically, because of removing borders, people need it more.

This tendency might be appeared more often than ever because of globalization. In this last 20 years, our world has been shrunken. In other words, the physical distance amongst people and nations is not actually changed. However, the distance amongst people’s thought have been undoubtedly shortened. Because of developing various kinds of technology especially the Internet, people can easily connect with people in different regions, which is resulted in making people in different places have the same thoughts.

By Rita Furutani
Bibliography

・BBC, Brian Wheeler & Alex Hunt “Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU” (24th November 2016) http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32810887 (accessed 25th November 2016)

・Full Fact, Mark Dayan, Nuffield Trust “EU immigration and pressure on the NHS” (11 July 2016) https://fullfact.org/europe/eu-immigration-and-pressure-nhs/ (accessed 24th November 2016)

・Full Fact, Sam Ashworth-Hayes “Do half the UK’s exports go to Europe?” (09th Nov 2015) https://fullfact.org/europe/do-half-uks-exports-go-europe/ (accessed 25thth November 2016)

・東洋経済オンライン, 遠藤 乾 ”英国はEU離脱で「のた打ち回る」ことになる” (27th June 2016) http://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/124569 (accessed 26thth November 2016)

・Benedict, Anderson (2006). Imagined Communities, Verso Books.

Why women are in socially disadvantageous situations?

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Historically speaking, women relatively have been in disadvantageous situations in many dimensions such as economically, culturally and socially compared to men because of historical reasons. Particularly, in the wartime, women suffer. However, even after the war, it still remains in the modern world. Especially, in the economy, women are forced to be in an inferior position than men. According to a research held by International Labour Organization, at the world level, women on average earn two-thirds of what men earn even though they work longer than men. (ILO) In developed countries, it is remarkable and there is the same issue in the UK as well.

In the UK, what women can earn for a full time job in one hour is 9.4% less than what men do. In other words, women can earn £1.30 less than men do per an hour. However, it cannot always apply for any ages and social classes. (BBC, 24 September 2016) It depends on what kind of job they have or how old they are to decide the gap. Among some professions, one having the most remarkable gap is health care. In the industry, on average whilst women can earn £24,000, the money that men can earn in the same position to women is £28,000. However, there are some industries that mostly there is no gender pay gap which are medicine, dentistry, engineering and technology. When it comes to gender pay gap among women in different ages, young women have a relatively smaller gap than women born earlier. The older women are, the bigger pay gap women have. (Richard, 2016) People could say in the decade, negative situations among women have been improved little by little.

According to a research, the hourly gender pay gap between men and women has been decreased in approximately 8 percent from 1997 to 2015. One of the reasons why the pay gap has been become slightly close is that women started to fulfill something required by the society such as higher education. In other words, the number of women who enter university has been increasing during that time. It makes easier for women to get a better job. However, a research showed that even at the same time both gender start to work after graduation, there is a pay gap between them. Men tend to be paid more than women. (Richard, 2016) Although the working situations of women have been improving little by little and the gender pay gap has been close, a research showed it takes more time to get rid of the pay gap between women and men in the UK. According to the research, the gender pay gap will have remained until 2069. (BBC, 24 September 2016)

Then, people should focus on the reasons why women are suffering from the inequalities. Socially, women are expected to do housework even if they work at the outside of home and some people believe that women are good at treating things sensitively and kindly so, they are engaged with caring professions such as nursing, sawing, and social services. One of the reasons why women are regarded as people like that can be traced back to the era around the industrial revolution in Europe. After the revolution, a relation between men and women have polarized, domestic and outside. Because of the industrial revolution, men were needed to work at factories whilst women were left at a domestic sphere, which resulted in giving a different role to men and women each other. Since then, men have been regarded as a “breadwinner”, on the other hand, women as a “housewife”. Because of the structure produced at that time, even now people naturally consider women are domestic existences. Also, people regard housework as not actual labour but just an obligation according to their role. That is why, women are forced to have double burden. (John, 2014)

After all, the situation that women are forced to be drove into disadvantageous positions in the society all over the world still remains although it has been improved step by step. women are in relatively negative situations compared to men, which is true. However, it cannot always apply for every woman. Women relatively well educated tend to get a better job and salary. Recently, the pay gap between men and women has become close because more women tend to enter university, which makes it possible that they are in a better position in the society. However, according to a research, it takes approximately over 50 years to get rid of the gender pay gap in the UK. In order to solve this problem, firstly people should know about what causes of the pay gap between both gender, men and women, are such as a stereotype that women should do house work.

By Rita Furutani

Bibliography

BBC, 24 September 2016, Gender pay gap to remain until 2069, report says
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37460778 (Accessed: 26 November 2016).

BBC, 12 February 2016, Firms forced to reveal gender pay gap
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35553573 (Accessed: 26 November 2016).

Richard Braham 23 Aug 2016, Do women earn less than men in the UK?
https://fullfact.org/economy/UK_gender_pay_gap/ (Accessed: 26 November 2016).

Emily Peck, 24 March 2016, The Main Reason Women Make Less Money Than Men
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/women-paid-less-men_us_56f16a22e4b03a640a6bbdc6 (Accessed: 26 November 2016).

John Baylis, Steve Smith, Patricia Owens. 2014, The Globalization of International Politics, Oxford University Press

International Labour Organization “Facts on Women at Work”, Available at: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_067595.pdf

The story of a Taiwanese bus driver – why labour did not enjoy the fruit of economic development?

When you go to travel, what would be the things you concern? Food, scenery, or cost of travel?

After the Taoyuan Bus Fire happened in July 2016 which killed 26 people (BBC, 2016), numbers of Chinese tourist and Taiwanese citizens started concern about the safety of the tourist groups in Taiwan. However, they still did not concern the person who would closely related to the safety of the tourist group, which is the bus driver.

Taiwan is one of the Four Little Dragons that enjoy her significant economic growth in 1980s, and tourism is one of the emerging industry in Taiwanese economic development. However, even in this developed region, did the labour also enjoy the fruit of their prosperous in tourism development?

According to the figure of the Executive Yuan, the GDP income of Taiwanese tourism had been doubled since 2008 to 2015, and reached US$ 14.3 billion. The number of tourist visiting Taiwan had also tripled from 3 million people in 2008 to 10 million people in 2015 (Executive Yuan, 2016). Under such kind of background, the labour in Taiwanese tourism ought to be well-treated nowadays.

However, the truth is on the opposite side. The working condition of a Taiwanese tourist group bus driver could be very harsh. A typical driver who work for a Chinese tourist group would need to drive for over 8 consecutive days, as most of the Chinese tourist group would have an itinerary throughout the whole island. For each day, they would need to drive at least 14 hours, sometime even reach 16 hours, as the tourist group would go out at 7 in the morning, and back to hotel at 9-10 at night. (Chiang, 2016)

As a result, a driver could only have about 6 hours to sleep. Then how about their sleeping environment? It could be really bad as well. As the travel agents aimed to minimized their cost, bus drivers always need to share room with other drivers and tour guides. Living with a people who have different living habits could make a really bad resting experience for the drivers.

Tourist buses parked in a row at the parking lot in Taipei
Buses waiting for tourists.

Even for their lunch, they had to be rushed. The tourist group usually have about 1 hour of lunchtime. However, when they having lunch in the downtown area, it is hard to find a parking place for bus. Therefore, drivers often grab only 10 dumplings, and then search a parking place for about 20 minutes. After they have a quick lunch, they then would rush for picking up the tourists. As a result, the drivers did not get enough food and rest, and he had to work again for the full day. (Chiang, 2016)

“We affect the safety of a whole tourist group, but we could not enjoy a reasonable working condition.”

Under such a high workload, Taiwanese tourist group bus driver definitely deserve a high income. However, the truth is the income of those bus drivers could be extremely unstable. A driver could only have about US$464 of monthly salary at the lowest point, which is far behind their minimum wage, which is US$659 per month. The remaining part that a driver could earn is fully depends on tips given by the tourist, as well as commission from tourist who bought local souvenirs. (Chiang, 2016)

“Why didn’t the situation became better even there is a growth of income in tourism?” The reason is quite simple, the growth of tourism income actually comes from the blood, sweat and tears from the labour in tourism.

Since 2008, numbers of Chinese background tourism enterprise came into Taiwan. Under their operation mode, they would offer huge discount, or even operating “free tourist group” to attract customers. As a result, they had to minimize the operating cost in order to maintain their profit. One of the way is just to cut the cost in wage and operating cost related to drivers. Drivers had to drive old models of buses, share hotel rooms with stranger. (Wu, 2016)

As a result, the tourist from mainland China had constantly increase, and profit from the tourism in Taiwan had also grow steadily. However, this is based on low-cost operation mode, and victims are actually the workers in tourism. The situation is just like Karl Marx said, the Chinese tourism enterprises holds “means of production”, and “exploited” the working class in Taiwanese tourism industry. Enterprises in a communist state is actually behave in a capitalist way.

“Then how about the consumers? Did the tourist concern on the working situation of the bus drivers?” The answer is no.

General Economy Ahead Of Taiwan Presidential Election
Chinese tourist in Taiwan.

For most of the tourists, they only concern about the scenery and food of Taiwan. Some of them would concern about the bus, but they would like to know would the bus provide Wi-Fi or USB charger for them, instead of concerning would the bus provide a comfortable environment for driver. (Wu, 2016)

Since the inauguration of the new Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who strongly promoted the Taiwanese identity, the Chinese government had tried to isolating Taiwan by cutting down the number of Chinese tourist group to Taiwan (Smith, 2016). As a result, travel agents had to further cut down the operation cost of each tourist group. It seems that the working condition and salary of a bus driver would be continue to worsen.

“The future of the bus drivers just like a severe winter.”
Said by a Taiwanese bus driver.

Even in a developed country, the labours are hard to share the fruit of the prosperous economy, let alone the developing countries. Chinese capital in Taiwanese tourism shows that the labours may not really benefit from the globalisation of industries. It is important to think how to let the labour become a winner from economic development as well. At least, we may pay attention to the bus driver and tour guides when we going to travel.

—– Wai Lun SO (M00601209)

 

Bibliography

BBC. 2016. Chinese tourists die in Taiwan bus fire. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-36832232[Accessed 24 November 2016].

Chiang, J. 2016. 當陸客遊玩、吃飯、睡覺時,遊覽車司機在做什麼? Available at: https://theinitium.com/article/20160726-taiwan-mainland-tourists-killed/[Accessed 24 November 2016].

Marx, K. Capital. 1976. Capital: a critique of political economy. Penguin; New Left Review.

Smith, N. 2016. China Is Using Tourism to Hit Taiwan Where It Really Hurts. TIMES. Available at: http://time.com/4574290/china-taiwan-tourism-tourists/[Accessed 24 November 2016].

Wu, Y. 2016. 我父親是遊覽車司機,我目睹中資一條龍怎麼讓台灣旅遊業生病? Available at: https://www.twreporter.org/a/opinion-tourist-car-safety[Accessed 24 November 2016].

 

The 2016 US election- why did Trump win and Hillary loose?

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As one of the most powerful countries in the world, the US election always attracts attention from people worldwide. As it has been all over the news during the past few weeks, everyone is aware that Donald Trump has won the election and become the president of the US. According to CNN (2016), in order to win the election, the candidate needs 270 electoral votes. After a tough final battle between Trump and Clinton, Trump has won the election with 290 votes, whilst Clinton losing with 232 votes. It is a shock for many people because during the election Trump’s competitor- Hillary Clinton has received supports from a lot of people, including celebrities. However, is Trump’s victory a shocking at all, or is it an inevitable result?

From the US election 2016, it is seen that there are several reasons that predict Trump’s victory. First of all, Hillary Clinton has years of political experience and is a representative of the Democracy. On the one hand, it may sound like her advantages and should have led Hillary Clinton to her victory. On the other hand, during her time working as a Secretary of State, she has to deal with a number of scandal, including the coming to power of the Islamic State, the fallen of Libya, and the fact that Iran gets it closer to obtaining nuclear weapons. Her vote for the Iraq War also worsens her image amongst the public. This is considered a result of her bad policy decisions, which leads to the suspicion amongst the public that Hillary Clinton has not earned her titles.

All the bad decisions Hillary Clinton has made remind Americans the failed Democratic system, which has made Americans to have doubts in what the US and their lives in the US would be life if the Democrats keep having the majority of power in the US government. As they are losing hopes on democracy, it led to millions of democrats not voting. This has led to Hillary’s lost in the presidency election. The fact that Hillary Clinton during the election keeps promoting old ways of politics, not believing in anything other than what can get her elected. That is the reason why she kept changing what she was fighting for during the election. One moment she fought against gay marriage, the next she supported it, knowing that it would have made her gaining supports from the public. This has made the majority of Americans thought that they needed change, and Trump might be the one who could lead them to change.

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Secondly, although there are many arguments that Hillary Clinton did not win because she is a woman, which brings out the sexist and inequality for women in the workplace. Maybe it is the issue with the sexist, or maybe it is Americans want to have a female president, but it just not is Hillary. The fact that Hillary Clinton did run for the presidency in 2008 and she did not win suggests that Americans do not want her to be the president and maybe she is not meant to be a president after all.

In terms of Trump, despite being exposed to negativity on the public by what he has said and done, the main reason that Trump won is because he promised that he would make America great again. It can be said that his slogan captures both optimism and pessimism. This implies that America was great in the past, but lost in during the last few decades. Yet, if Trump won, he would make America restored to its greatness, representing hopes that the majority of Americans have been looking for. Although there is no guarantee that Trump can and will achieve that, since he has no political experience, there are hopes that he might do the right thing, unlike Hillary Clinton that has made too many wrong decisions during her career that has made most of Americans lost faith in her.

Another reason that leads to Trump’s victory is that he has tackled a number of issues facing American during the past periods, including increasing illegal immigrants and terrorism. Incidents regarding 11/9, and other terrorist attacks in the US, as well as the false perception amongst many Americans that immigrants take all their jobs, have strengthened anti-muslim and anti-immigrant feelings amongst Americans. This has led them to believe that if Trump won, he would done things that would ease their fear. These things added up have led to Trump’s victory and Hillary Clinton’s lost. So what are your thoughts about the 2016 US election?

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
BBC News. (2016). US election 2016: Why Hillary Clinton lost – BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-37930966 [Accessed 23 Nov. 2016].
BBC News. (2016). US Election 2016 Results: Five reasons Donald Trump won – BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2016-37918303 [Accessed 23 Nov. 2016].
CNN. (2016). 2016 presidential election results. [online] Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/election/results/president [Accessed 23 Nov. 2016].
Forbes. (2016). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorgan/2016/11/15/why-trump-won-the-election/#9ce68105af99 [Accessed 23 Nov. 2016].
Fox News. (2016). The five essential reasons Hillary lost (no, she can’t blame Comey). [online] Available at: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/11/17/five-essential-reasons-hillary-lost-no-cant-blame-comey.html [Accessed 23 Nov. 2016].
Gregory Krieg, C. (2016). How did Trump win? Here are 24 theories. [online] CNN. Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/10/politics/why-donald-trump-won/ [Accessed 23 Nov. 2016].
The Daily Beast. (2016). Seven Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Lost and Donald Trump Won. [online] Available at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/14/seven-reasons-why-hillary-clinton-lost-and-donald-trump-won.html [Accessed 23 Nov. 2016].
Trump, T. (2016). There’s a simple reason for Clinton’s shocking loss to Trump. [online] Business Insider. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-hillary-clinton-lost-2016-election-2016-11?IR=T [Accessed 23 Nov. 2016].

Jidapa Ketrat (M00416639)

The economic impacts of populism in Latin America

To understand the consequences of populism we should explain what are the main characteristics of this movement. Populism is usually born of a charismatic leader who is perceived as part of the people, and who as part of the people understands their problems and difficulties.

Usually, populist leaders exploit the sense of mass oppression and social injustices to mobilise people, often against the interest of social or political elites. Furthermore, populist leaders remain in power precisely through their popularity, and therefore, it is necessary for them to implement policies that favour the people, which often means putting aside the laws and regulations of the constitution. This is reflecting in the nationalisation of foreign companies. Corporation and economic elites tend to be most affected by populist policies since the leader comes to them to create social antagonism that favours their position.

The leader is perceived as the ombudsman against the voracious interest of the corporation and the upper classes.

 

venezuela-grocery-story

Grocery shortage in Caracas-Venezuela. Available at: https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2016/07/21/middle-class-venezuelans-liquidate-savings-to-stockpile-food/comment-page-1/.  Continue reading “The economic impacts of populism in Latin America”

Wait… Does America Need Poverty?

end-poverty-in-america

The World Bank’s motto is “Our dream is a world free of poverty.” Similar to the World Bank’s motto, I like to imagine a world where everyone is happy, healthy, and living comfortably. I made the decision to become a social worker because I want to help people improve their quality of life and I believe in social justice. So it’s difficult to try to view topics such as poverty and inequality with a different or uncommon perspective. As a future social worker, I want to help uplift people out of poverty. I want to make sure no human being has to go to sleep hungry or worry about how they’ll make it through the next day. Poverty is a real thing, and it’s astonishing how prevalent it is around the world. After all this time, why are there still so many people in a developed and prideful country such as America suffering from poverty?

What if the answer to that question is that as a society we need poverty? (Why do I feel slightly ashamed for allowing this thought to cross my mind?) I came across an interesting article and this was the argument that I found in it. The article titled, “Benefits of Poverty,” by Herbert Gans made me think about how we often talk about ways to get rid of poverty and wanting to lessen the gap between the rich and the poor, but maybe the truth is that poverty will always be with us. No matter how many groups or people come together to rally against it. No matter how many welfare programs and policies are developed. No matter how many donations are made. No matter how many times we toss spare change into an old paper cup for someone sitting against a cold brick wall on the street. Poverty will never disappear- because it’s a necessary part of the societal system. This is the idea that was proposed in the article and it made me stop and think. This idea is rarely discussed but does it hold some truth?

According to the 2015 US Census, there were 43.1 million people in poverty. The official poverty rate was 13.5% which is down 1.2% from 2014. Even though the rate had declined between 2014 and 2015, 43.1 million people is a significant amount. In addition, the United States has the highest poverty rate of the developing world (“Poverty Program: USA Poverty,” 2016). I find this ironic because America is known as “the land of opportunity.” That is- if you put enough effort and work hard enough, you can live the American dream and climb your way up to the top of the latter of success. Then why is it that there are so many people who still haven’t been able to lay even a toe onto that latter?

Poverty is all bad and as a society we must work together to abolish it… in my ideal world of course. However, in the real world, we’ll pretend to believe this but the masked truth is that poverty may benefit the better off members of society and because of this, unfortunately there will always be a level of poverty needed to keep society going. In return, the better off will “help” the poor by creating policies, paying taxes, donating, etc. to keep antipoverty programs going and provide aid to those in need. It has to look like they’re at least trying, doesn’t it?

Herbert Gans points out many ways that a society may benefit from poverty; there are economic benefits, political benefits, cultural benefits, etc. As interesting as this idea is, it is very difficult for me to accept and agree that my society (America) needs poverty and that there is a reason to maintain some level of it. But looking at it from this prospective, it makes me wonder why we’ve failed to completely eliminate poverty. Sure, there’s been a lot done to decrease the poverty rate, there are so many programs and charities out there, there are studies and awareness is raised- but why isn’t that enough? Is it because deep down or subconsciously, there is the belief that having some level of poverty in a developed country is needed in order to keep everything structured?

By: Tanisha Lazarre

Bibliography  Continue reading “Wait… Does America Need Poverty?”