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June 16, 2008

Neo-Colonialism

An excellent research paper by Colin De Laval - Spring 2008.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organization (WTO), Group of Eight (G8), and other economic institutions of predatory capitalism are intrinsic to the continuation of exploitation of third-world countries, without them, neo-colonialism could not exist. When we study countries who have been afflicted by colonialism, we see an immense pattern of underdevelopment created by resource and industry hungry capitalists, and this economic underdevelopment trend carries over into the neo-colonialist tradition. Economic dominance, an inherent trait within neo-colonialism, follows the fundamental economic imperialism within capitalism at the expense of underdeveloped nations. Forced dependency on US and first-world goods is the only logical way to continue the first-world status, by destroying the infrastructure of these countries. MNC's (Multi-National Corporations) play an enormously important role in neo-colonialism, by being the major financier and profiteer.

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June 13, 2008

World rice shortage

An excellent research paper by Marina Johnson - Spring 2008

"They're taking no chances with this year's harvest on the farms in Supamburri. Alongside the heavy machinery, there's a new feature: shotguns. The message is clear: Hand off my rice." ITV News Correspondent, Inigo Gilmore ("Rising Food Prices"). This is the heart of Thailand's rice-growing region, and there's great anticipation around this season's harvest. With many countries facing shortages, rice has never been more prized, so prized, in fact, that for the first time this area has seen significant and organized thefts of the crop. For this reason local farmers are keeping a close watch on this harvest.

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May 12, 2008

Inequalities in the Work Force

Excellent example of paper 1 by Marcella Zavala.

I'm on my way to school and as I'm walking out my building I take notice of the group of janitors that regularly clean my apartment complex. There are four total standing outside the building smoking a cigarette. One person is a black male; another is a black female, one that would seem to be at first glance, a lesbian, and lastly an older white female. It's just a short walk to where the PCC shuttle meets, but on my way there I pass a main bus stop, where it is brought to my attention again that the majority of the people waiting for the bus are the minorities. When I finally get to the shuttle stop I board the next arriving shuttle to find my bus driver is a Native American male. Eventually, I get to school, sit down and listen to my white female professor lecture the class. At 3:50 pm class gets out and by this time I'm starved, so the cafeteria is my next stop and here I observe the different cafeteria workers and once again Hispanics and Asian Americans are taking the lead role. It would be easy to tell ourselves that everyone picks the job they want or maybe even going as far to think, " at least that person has a job,".

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May 5, 2008

American jobs and wages

Excellent sample of paper 1 by Marina Johnson

From the very beginning of America it was a grand dream to live in the land of opportunity. 400 years ago people came to escape from oppression. As the years passed, more and more people came from far and wide looking for that "American Dream." It was thought by some that in America the streets were paved with gold. Anybody, no matter their race, age, or sex, could come to America and find work, become successful, buy a home, and save for retirement. What happened to that dream? What happened to America?

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December 11, 2007

Habeas Corpus

Sample paper 3 by Reid Pearson - Fall 2007.

Constitutional rights are the essence of our country. Our founding fathers provided us with a document designed to uphold all the personal freedoms they believed a country should possess. As Americans, we have grown to expect that these rights will never change. This is a devastating error of our judgment. Living in the United States, it is foolish and irresponsible to sit back and trust that the rights we've been given will never alter. Being part of a democracy means that constant action, observation, and attention is especially important. In 2006, one of our constitutional rights was taken from us and many were too blind to see it. With a majority vote and the President's signature, habeas corpus was no longer a right for all peoples. The stripping of Habeas Corpus was a dangerous step in our democracy and now we must stand up for our rights.

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Democracy vs Globalized Capitalism

By Noah Carpenter. December 2007.

Latin America saw a resurgence in Centre-Left candidates in the democratic elections of 2006. In Ecuador Rafael Correa took office, Nicaragua saw Daniel Ortega regain the presidency, in 2005 Evo Morales became the first indigenous president of his country, Hugo Chavez was re-elected to the chagrin of the Bush administration, Chile elected Michelle Bachelet, Peru elected Alan Garcia, in Uruguay Tabare Ramon Vazquez Rosas took office, and in Brazil Luiz Ignacio Lula de Silva one in the second round of votes. Even though all of the candidates are left leaning they all have somewhat varied approaches to what they promise to bring to the table during their presidency. Chavez and Morales being the most socialistic and radical of the group, and others such as Bachelet, Lula de Silva, and Garcia favoring more socially democratic views when it comes to the market place (ODI). The common threads that do hold these Presidents and their voters together is their severe dissatisfaction with neoliberal free market economic policies that have been implemented under the "Washington Consensus" during the 1980s and 90s. People in Latin America have watched as the divide between rich and poor has grown tremendously over the years, some statistics labeling South America as the most unequal in the world. With trickle down economics failing to provide better lives and more jobs it seems that the people of the Southern Hemisphere are ready to try something new. Coupled with the Bush administration's priorities, or some would say distractions, in the Middle East and the rising discontent among the marginalized, the 2006 elections became the time for change. What are some of the mechanisms for change that the people of Latin America have used to wrestle power away from the economic elites?

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October 26, 2007

Technology and Cultural Genocide

Sample student paper By: Samantha Steerman

So here we are. It's 2007. The cold war has ended. There are technological advances every day. The world is connected by the Internet. Previously sheltered countries are now able to see what is going on in the rest of the world. People in India, Pakistan, Israel, Germany, etc. know what movie stars and fashions are popular in America, Great Britain, France, and Japan.

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Social Change, Culture, and Economy

Sample student paper by Jeff Shelton

The means by which a group of human beings choose to sustain their lives is a basic corner stone to the doctrines of survival. The methods or methods used play a major role and some would argue the main role in the making and passing of culture. If we look at culture as the ways and means by which a group of people survive and grow as a society we can easily see that the economic system that is used is a key block in the social structure. What happens when a society changes its economic base or when the economic model is changed for them by force or coercion?

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October 7, 2007

Capitalism is not a success

Sample student paper

By: Noah

"Capitalism is not a success. It is not intelligent, it is not beautiful, it is not true, it is not virtuous and it doesn't deliver the goods. In short we dislike it and we are beginning to despise it. But when we wonder what to put in its place we are extremely perplexed." John Maynard Keynes (Albert, Judging Economics) Contemporary alternatives such as centrally planned socialism as well as market socialism have both been attempted with the later possibly being the more successful of the two. Even though their goals were more equitable distribution neither provides a totally egalitarian society. In the centrally planned systems there was clear division between the planners and the workers, which immediately created class conflict. In the market socialist economies private ownership of the means to production were eliminated but the force of markets still exists as well as a division of labor between the coordinator class and the working class. (Albert, Market Socialism) So if we decide that either of the latter options are not the answers to overcome the capitalistic machine and that the capitalistic system is not successful in providing equity among all its citizens where can we turn for hope?  The answer could possibly be found in what is known as Parecon (participatory economics), which is an economic system that is based on the democratic participation of every citizen in both their working life and their life as a consumer.


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