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What is the purpose and significance of such international economic organizations as the IMF, World Bank, and WTO, and international political organizations as the United Nations? What was the American role in creating those institutions?
The IMF, WTO and the World Bank are the main counterparts in the evolvement and management of current global economy. Their activities are authorized by leading economic administrations and corporations. These organizations support and use free-market resolutions, neoliberal policies of debt-based economics and global trade as the way to reduce global poverty rates.
Together these institutions support economic structural alteration, privatization and market liberalization in the appearing markets. Inside the spirited international framework, evolving nations are left with practically no option, except to comply with this neoliberal agenda. Consequently, these nations are usually left owing huge debts to leading nations and having an extremely dependent, fragile economy. In the meantime, foreign investors and cosmopolitan companies obtain control of a crucial part of the globe’s finance, services, sources, technology and knowledge. While the cosmopolitan report record overwhelming earnings, 50,000 human beings pass away every day due to hunger.
To develop a balanced trade, steady finance system and effectual evolvement for the lower development countries’ (LDC) nations, the regulation of the international economy should be returned to the UN. The international public must, with the help of the global economy administrations, insist on the cooperative control over the sources that are essential for living and should be shared worldwide according to every nations’ requirements - not corporate earnings. Sharing sources may also lessen the degree of business controlled trade, debt growth and wasteful evolvement projects. As the dispatch of the worldwide financial institutions is decreased, they may be progressively taken apart.
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Created by the British and American Governments at Bretton Woods Conference after the Second World War (1944 Hampshire, the USA), The IMF and The World Bank were specially assigned to guarantee both corporate and economic sustainability for mostly Europe nations, which were influenced by the war. The World Trade Organization was created recently, in 1995, to substitute the GATT. The WTO aims to reduce tariffs and non-tariff obstacles to augment worldwide trade.
Given the business program of the World Bank, WTO, IMF and the innate bias since the formation, their mandates should be moved back to the UN. The United Nations system was initially planned to be the main regulatory instrument for the international economy, and the World Bank, IMF and GATT were initially created to function as a part of the UN system. Miserably, funding for the United Nations’ agencies has been restricted during the last few years, mostly by the USA. One of the grounds for this situation is the UN’s innate stress on friendly finances evolvement – an approach that is at odds with the American hegemonic intentions. The financial support has been lavished on global financial institutions that share a neoliberal philosophy.
UN agencies, for instance, Economic and Social Council and the UN Development Program have the essential knowledge, data and skills to re-establish the regulatory hold on the international economy and submit it within more reasonable and efficient terms. Importantly, the United Nations’ agencies are obviously democratic, unlike IFIs. Most crucially, the United Nations have to adopt the idea of sharing to fulfill its humanitarian mandate and to protect basic human requirements across the globe.
Please respond with your thoughts on the film we have been watching, The End of Poverty, which takes a critical view on the process of globalizaion. What would proponents of unfettered globalization say in response to this presentation? Did this film expand your understanding of the concept (positively or negatively)?
Sachs's forceful argument is quite simple. He states that a big part of the world is stuck in a “poverty entrap.” A mix of poor geography, infrastructure and health care renders societies have disabled the creation of any financial surplus for recent future. These places cannot allow investments, which would improve the financial systems over the long term when bare continuation is the short-term aim. For about two decades now, the West's refrain has inspired greater economic development with the help of market-friendly policies and, in turn, caused a decrease of poverty rates. Sachs adds that the initial step should be to augment foreign aid in a manner that would give a better return to personal investment. When investments are made, businessmen will be obtaining a larger rate of return from the businesses, activating the market-led economic development.
For the cynics who hesitate whether the global community has the will to achieve such a huge mission, Sachs asserts that international attempts on this scale have already succeeded in the past: the abolition of the Green Revolution in Asia is the best example for it. He adds that his planned annual financial plan, which scored less than it promised, still made the evolved globe at the Monterey Summit to dedicate 0.7% of its gross national product to progress aid.
Sachs praises the anti-globalization movement for being well-meaning, but censures it for assaulting international companies. “It is not their fault”, he asserts, “it is our fault for not offering the correct guidelines”. In “The End of Poverty”, Sachs claims that extreme poverty may be stopped by the current generation, and a possible strategy to accomplish this aim already exists and only requires funding support and realization of political will. Current generation is the initial generation where most human beings in the globe are not poor. We may be the first generation, in which no-one exists in tremendous poverty. Sachs makes a forceful case for actions to be made. It still remains to be realized, but administrations and people who elect them should pay attention.
Religion and Nationalism
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The documentary Beyond Our Differences makes the case that the world is too largely focused on the negative aspects of contemporary religion, particularly the Western tradition, and not enough on the positive. Did you agree or disagree with this essential message of the film and why?
The film “Beyond Our Differences” explores the traditional threads that combine the globe’s religious customs. In the film, politicians, religious leaders and celebrities provide with their voice to support positive impacts of morality and spirituality, concentrating on commonalities between members of the international faiths. Among the people interviewed for the film are Dalai Lama, the Prime Minister of Egypt, Ahmed Nazi, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and religious scholar - Karen Armstrong.
These lively and hopeful people honestly and personally discuss the matters in regard to belief and morality, as well as how they address the matters in terms of constructive and actual resolutions to the most troublesome and critical troubles of the present. They call for every person to examine and re-examine the traditional threads, which combine the globe religious traditions. Whilst the negative and even aggressive side of religion is extensively reported, the director Peter Bisanz demonstrates the hope for optimistic alteration to a numerous audience.
US Foreign Policy
What two theoretical forces does Krauthammer see as “converging” in the contemporary era? Do you support his logic of supportiing undemocratic dictators?
Krauthammer asserts the major architects nowadays of Bush II’s neoconservative foreign policy – its press for democratization – are individuals with no roots in neo-conservatism. They are realists with temperament and years of practice. September 11, nevertheless, altered the terms of realism, made it obvious that realism and its stress on stability and adjustment would no longer defend the USA, and that the novel realism would have to take idealism as its centre. Additionally, the current realist steadiness was exactly producing the risk of terrorist attacks to the USA and elsewhere. Krauthammer states that it is the issue that should be confronted.
But the novel neoconservative realists have not forgotten the realism and it tempers the approach to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan. Author takes into consideration US interests in the short and medium terms of fighting terrorism and energy safety on the one hand, and the lessons of Kirkpatrick’s dictators and double standards from the Reagan years on the other hand. The novel neoconservative realism converges with neoconservative idealism in placing democracy on the first place, but treating it as an aim to be accomplished, not the revolutionary ideology. Krauthammer is talking about the political realism/idealism conflict, stating that realism is based on the basic acceptance of the notion that ideals form individuals and movements to a far greater and far more potent degree than economic incentives and balances of power do.
Explain in your own words the ideas presented in the short documentary The Ecological Footprint. What sort of solutions presented in the video seems plausible for Americans to carry out?
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“We have been the most successful species on Earth” - sets the stage for a foreword of “The Ecological Footprint”, an idea exceptional not merely in the methodology, but in the fundamental aim – to acknowledge humanity’s demands on the environment and to carry on the success of the race in a sustainable way. Our race exists beyond the planetary means, but if people learn to “budget” accordingly, the quality of living on Earth may carry on.
“The Ecological Footprint” is the measurement analysis, which depicts our race requirements in terms of the quantity of biologically productive land needed to create what we use and to absorb the waste. The film provides with analysis of the acres, depicting how many biologically fruitful acres are obtainable on the Earth compared to what we utilize. When united with some fundamental assumptions, for instance, the wish to leave at least half of the obtainable biologically productive ground for wild species, Wackernagel demonstrates that humanity really exists on a “deficit” against the Earth’s sources – demanding more acres per a human being than are accessible.
The film mainly created as an interview with Wackernagel that flows smoothly with an engaging presentation. The thirty-minute presentation avoids the pessimistic trends usually exhibited in this genre, and focuses on the acknowledgement of a method and the general findings, emphasizing the significance of realizing own community footprint. The deepness of thoughts combined with the short length of the presentation makes it very convenient and very simple to digest.
The film makes almost no suggestions about how to resolve this planet-wide matter, but rather strives to give a set of unified terms, which may result in participatory dialogue. Wackernagel emphasizes that the biosphere is getting smaller as nations become more technologically successful. However, I think that the Americans like this era of modernizations and advanced technologies. It would be hard to stop utilizing all of the modern technologies, as we cannot live without them in the present world.
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