Regulations of GMOs in the EU and the USA


The composition of the agricultural industry has changed over time, which has affected the food industry. Genetically modified foods have been a major topic of discussion in the world. Since the long-term effects of GMOs on human’s health and the environment are not yet defined, the European Union has decided to place very strict regulations on GM food, while the United States is more lenient. The consumers in each country have affected the severity of the regulations. The EU has adopted strict regulations since the consumers do not trust their regulatory agencies as much, due to their history of health outbreaks such as mad-cow disease. The EU is following a precautionary principle and the US is following a postcautionary principle. Continue reading

18 vs. 21


The drinking culture today attracts a lot of attention. Since 1984 the drinking age in the United States has been twenty-one. This law has been considered a “bad social policy and a terrible law.” There is a lot of discussion why a soldier can fight and die for the country and not enjoy a beer. I believe this poses a very interesting paradox. Furthermore I believe the drinking age at 21 has caused a culture with more binge drinking and reckless alcohol consumption.
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If the drinking age is lowered, I suppose the college drinking atmosphere would be different since it would be less of a deal to drink heavily. I believe the drinking culture today is a result of deprivation. Continue reading

Google Docs


Upon taking the technology quiz I was deemed a “Digital Collaborator.” This grouping means I enjoy using information technology to connect with others. I am also confident in my skills to manage and use technology. I would agree that I fit into this category. I believe advances in technology have made it much easier for people to collaborate.

I choose to stick with the theme of collaboration for my blog. I would like to focus on the invention of Google Docs.googledocs I have had many group projects in college and Google Docs has made group work much easier and more convenient. Google describes Google Docs as, “an easy-to-use online word processor, spreadsheet and presentation editor that enables you and your students to create, store and share instantly and securely, and collaborate online in real time.” Continue reading

Actions Have Consequences


 

             The composition of the agricultural industry has changed tremendously over time.  New technology and corporations have impacted and changed the traditional culture of agriculture.  Farming with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has increased in popularity in the United States. Monsanto has revolutionized the agricultural industry through its genetically engineered seeds (Ferrell, Fraedrich, Ferrell, 304). Monsanto is a highly scrutinized corporation due to its infamous reputation for accusing farmers of patent infringement and its manipulation of dairy products through biotechnology processes. Continue reading

Is China The New Idol For Emerging Economies?


I watched Dambisa Moyo’s Ted talk: “Is China the new idol for emerging economies?” I decided to watch this talk because I am taking an African Economic Development course this semester and my professor mentioned Dambisa Moyo’s point of view on developing countries. This talk raised many interesting questions about economics and political systems.images

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Monsanto & Business Ethics


My paper two focuses on Monsanto. To begin my research I went to Bucknell’s library website and then the Worldcat Library website. I searched “Monsanto ethics.” Many sources came up and I choose to locate the book titled Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases. I wrote down the call number and retrieved the book.

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After reading the online description and contents of the book, I decided this would be a perfect book since it discussed business ethics and had a case devoted to Monsanto as well! Continue reading

Employer Requirements


This is another good topic for this week’s blog. I enjoy how these subject matters are very pertinent to today’s political and economic debates. The quiz was a great way to start discussions. I got a 8/10 on the quiz. I knew a fair amount on the rules behind the PPACA, but I did not expect to get an 80%. I would admit that this quiz was not the best indicator of my knowledge since I guessed on a couple of questions. One question I got wrong was “Will the health reform law require employers with 50 or more employees to pay a fine if they don’t offer health insurance?” The answer is yes. I was unaware of this provision. I did not know the PPACA required employers, who employed over a certain threshold of full time employees,  to pay a fine. Instead I was under the impression employers would only face a fine if they did not offer health insurance to employees who worked over thirty hours a week.

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The provision, 4980H, applies to “applicable large employers” or companies that employ more than 50 full time employees.  If small companies do not meet the “applicable large employer” criteria, the penalties do not apply to them. Furthermore the small employers may be eligible for a health insurance tax credit if they employ fewer than 25 employees and the average income is up to $50,000. The provision requires large employers to offer its full time employees and dependents to enroll in minimum essential coverage under the employer-sponsored plan, or pay a $2,000 penalty annually multiplied by the number of full time employees, excluding the first 30 workers. However if the employer offers coverage but the insurance does not pay for at least 60% of covered health care expenses for a typical population or if at least one of the employee(s) has to pay 9.5% Continue reading

Who Decides What Services are “Essential?”


The quiz was a great way to start off this political discussion. I believe many young people today are not as fixed and rigid on their political stance as earlier generations. This may be a generalization, but from my experience and talking with my peers, it seems today people may identify with one party, but are more open minded and willing to stray a bit away from their party’s ideals. This is the visible problem with government. The two parties are becoming more polarized and unwilling to wander from its ideals. Upon taking the quiz I identified as a Libertarian, which did not surprise me. I am more conservative on fiscal issues, and liberal on social issues.

I found a very thought provoking article on The Nation. The title of Kramer and Comerford’s article caught my attention: ” That Time When DC Stopped Funding Domestic Violence Shelters While Both Congressional Gyms Stayed Open.” The main argument is who can and should decide what services are “essential” during a shutdown?US+1+October+2013

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Reckless Behavior


I believe the notion of “Too big to fail” still exists today. As we have learned from the recession and the fall of Lehman Brothers, the few major banks have a colossal affect on the economy.  Due to the massive amount of power these banks possess, it is imperative to keep the financial system sound and resilient, even if this means government intervention. The influence these banks have is very far stretching, reaching areas beyond Wall St. For example in the video it reveals due to the Lehman Brother’s struggle, there were catastrophic consequences in European banks and even GE was having trouble funding their day-to-day operations.

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Praise Globalization for Problems and Opportunities


Foxconn Shenzhen Plant

Foxconn Shenzhen Plant

On one hand globalization is good because when transnational corporations outsource production, it create opportunities for jobs in developing countries. Yet on the other hand, outsourcing to factories in these developing nations is harmful because many times these laborers are exploited and getting paid next to nothing. In fact the very reason these transnational corporations, such as Nike and Apple, are outsourcing production is to reduce the cost of production. Professor Zhu who has an intrusion in The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, does a fantastic job of explaining how China is a nation full of contradictions. Although these working conditions aren’t great, there are still thousands of people waiting at the gates of Foxconn for jobs. Factory jobs offer Chinese people with an opportunity for employment and to escape poverty, at the cost of facing exploitation.

 

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“Stories Should be Subordinate to the Truth”


I completely understand why The American Life has retracted Mike Daisey’s podcast discussing Apple and Foxconn since it was not up to the standards of journalism, in fact it should have been used as a memoir in a theater setting. Daisey fabricated many of the facts, such as the workers’ ages, unofficial blacklist documents, the name of the translator, and workers’ injuries. Although I believe some of Daisey’s story, it is difficult to decipher between the lies and the truth.

It is hard for me to decide if Mike is an unethical liar or not. I would like to think he is not unethical because of his purpose of the memoir. Daisey admits that the truth is important, but states his objective was to make people care again. He said in 2010 there was a lot of coverage of Foxconn and the suicides, but when the coverage became scarce people weren’t interested in the workers anymore. His intention was to make a monologue that caused people to open their eyes to these injustices again. Since the working conditions of the factories are causing workers to commit suicide, I would say Foxconn is being unethical. Supposedly Daisey’s intention was to expose these unethical tendencies to the public and give these workers a voice. Although Daisey manufactured or exaggerated many of his points, I don’t believe it was for immoral reasons.

Daisey’s argument would have been more accepted if it was considered a memoir. Mike was very subjective in his findings and if the audience knew it was a memoir, they would be able to listen and interpret it in their own way. It is important to avoid blindly accepting others’ ideas as fact. In the media today there is so much information available that anyone can post. This is good in the sense there is ample information and a broad range of ideas, but a reader has to be wary of what is creditable.

“Mr. Daisy and Apple”


I reevaluated my consumer habits upon listening to the podcast, “Mr. Daisy and Apple.” I can’t help but feel a sense of guilt as I listen to half of the podcast on my Mac laptop and the other half on my Apple iPhone. My sense of guilt climaxed when Mike interviewed a worker who works on the assembly line, yet has never seen a finished iPad. I regrettably admit I usually don’t think twice about the factories where my possessions are manufactured and the conditions, since I feel far removed as a consumer. Although I have heard about Foxconn, I never realized the extremity of the factory and how they treat their employees.

The working conditions in these factories seem appalling. I imagined a factory with many loud machines producing Apple products, but according to the podcast the factory is quiet since thousands of fingers assemble products. Hands are overworked at a young age, causing workers to injure their bodies when they are older.  I was appalled by the age of the workers and the number of hours worked. An 8 hour workday was unheard of, instead shifts usually lasted from 12 to 16 hours. Someone even worked to his death after a 34 hour shift! I belive these statistics are inhuman and inexcusable. An Apple product is not important and worthy enough to take some innocent worker’s life. Furthermore supposedly only 32% of Apple’s suppliers follow their codes and regulations, but Apple won’t disclose the other 68% suppliers’ names. These suppliers may be deceiving the auditors, but Apple seems to be turning a blind eye to these injustices and in turn deceiving their customers as well.

I am now hesitant to support Apple and purchase their products, but I also feel powerless. Apple is such a big company, so what impact will I make if I stop buying their products, while the majority of people ignore these facts and continue to support Apple? Poverty is addressed at the end of this podcast. Factories produce opportunities and jobs for people which helps fight poverty. Many workers risk losing their jobs if Apple cuts off these suppliers. However as humans, I agree we have some obligation to make sure innocent people are treated right and working in safe factories, with acceptable working conditions. I believe there definitely needs to be a change in the way Apple products are produced, but I also believe this is going to be a very complex and difficult process.

SAS


SAS is a leading organization in the business analytics software and services and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. SAS works closely with their customers trying to give them the best services and offering hands on support. Furthermore the primary asset SAS focuses on is “creative capital,” always seeking employees who have technical and domain expertise.

SAS differentiates itself from other competitors by following an employee-focused philosophy since 1976. Their business model stems from the idea that “satisfied employees create satisfied customers.” They pride themselves on the trust they create between their employees and the company by rewarding creativity and innovation, encouraging new ideas and taking chances, and caring about employee’s personal and professional growth. The SAS culture focuses on a positive work-life balance so that the dedicated and satisfied employees bring their whole selves to work and feel as if they have meaningful work. This company is known for “treating their workers like royalty.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-ebIGpZIWI)

SAS is definitely an example of stakeholder managing Ed Freeman would argue. Not only does SAS develop and nurture their customer relationships, always offering hands on support, but they also focus on meeting their own employee’s expectations. Those with “stake” in the practice have attention paid to them. The employees have meaningful work and therefore a sense of purpose is transferred to them. SAS has integrated the company’s business objectives with employee’s personal needs, thus reducing the tension between employee’s professional and private life. When an employee is able to balance work with their interests, they are much more willing to devote themselves to their work and ultimately deliver a better product or service to their customers.