Each arc represents a unique person, where the yellow color denotes how long they lived before being shot, and the white color how long they could have lived. Each arc is clickable and reveals more detailed information about that casualty.
A relatively hidden button at X-axis origin shows a cumulative graph of this data, revealing the relative peaks of age of the victims of gun crimes. Additionally, at the bottom of the page, a small collection of insights is provided.
I always keep track of the images from space taken by NASA. They usually have impressive “natural hazards” photographed with the highest technology available. However, sometimes the natural hazards to humanity are not caused by the natural cycles of Earth. In those cases, it is humans who have created hazards for themselves and people die. Now, why would we create things that harm us so much? Why would we support and contribute to such terrible things? A good explanation is the one given by economists with the complex and difficult term negative externalities.
A negative externality is a spillover of an economic transaction that negatively impacts a party that is not directly involved in the transaction. The first party bears no costs for their impact on society while the second party receives no benefits from being impacted. This occurs when marginal social cost is greater than marginal private cost (MSC > MPC).
The case of pollution in China elucidates very well how the market-driven approach to correcting externalities by “internalizing” third party costs and benefits fails to work in a globalized economy. For example, by requiring a polluter to repair any damage caused. But, in many cases internalizing costs or benefits is not feasible, especially if the true monetary values cannot be determined. In fact, our technological gadgets and thousands of products imported from China are the cause of the hazardous health conditions in that country. We as consumers are part of this chain by buying the products. How can we do something?
I would suggest that the best way to participate in a positive way is to continue creating awareness of the failure of the government of China to protect the lives of the Chinese people. It is at the end of the day the responsibility of that government to protect the life and property of its citizens, not ours. We as consumers can only morally sanction them and stop consuming their products whenever possible.
This is a good (and very unfortunate) example of how globalization without an objective code of values becomes a zero sum game. I share with you the information regarding how dangerous has become the air in the surroundings of Beijing and Tianjin,
acquired January 14, 2013download large image (7 MB, JPEG, 5000×6400)
acquired January 14, 2013download GeoTIFF file (47 MB, TIFF)
acquired January 3, 2013download large image (8 MB, JPEG, 5000×6400)
acquired January 3, 2013download GeoTIFF file (51 MB, TIFF)
acquired January 3 – 14, 2013download Google Earth file (KMZ)
Residents of Beijing and many other cities in China were warned to stay inside in mid-January 2013 as the nation faced one of the worst periods of air quality in recent history. The Chinese government ordered factories to scale back emissions, while hospitals saw spikes of more than 20 to 30 percent in patients complaining of respiratory issues, according to news reports.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired these natural-color images of northeastern China on January 14 (top) and January 3, 2013. The top image shows extensive haze, low clouds, and fog over the region. The brightest areas tend to be clouds or fog, which have a tinge of gray or yellow from the air pollution. Other cloud-free areas have a pall of gray and brown smog that mostly blots out the cities below. In areas where the ground is visible, some of the landscape is covered with lingering snow from storms in recent weeks. (Snow is more prominent in the January 3 image.)
At the time that the January 14 image was taken by satellite, ground-based sensors at the U.S. Embassy in Beijingreported PM2.5 measurements of 291 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Fine, airborne particulate matter (PM) that is smaller than 2.5 microns (about one thirtieth the width of a human hair) is considered dangerous because it is small enough to enter the passages of the human lungs. Most PM2.5aerosol particles come from the burning of fossil fuels and biomass (wood fires and agricultural burning). The World Health Organization considers PM2.5to be safe when it is below 25.
Also at the time of the image, the air quality index (AQI) in Beijing was 341. An AQI above 300 is considered hazardous to all humans, not just those with heart or lung ailments. AQI below 50 is considered good. On January 12, the peak of the current air crisis, AQI was 775 the U.S Embassy Beijing Air Quality Monitor—off the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scale—and PM2.5 was 886 micrograms per cubic meter.
Walmart‘s latest push to Buy American and Hire Veterans is irrational. In a world of interconnectedness in which products from pencils to airplanes are produced with parts and components made all over the world the “buy American” argument falls into pieces.
In today’s world mass consumption economy there is not a single product that can be claimed to be “national” or “unique” without ignoring the intertwined network of global production. If your argument is “yes” there is such a thing as “100% national” or “100% American” then I will still be able of arguing against your position. Why? Because the economy of the United States of America is not only part but dependent on the global economy.
By 2012, only about 32 cents for every dollar of U.S. debt, or $4.6 trillion, was owned by the federal government in trust funds, for Social Security and other programs such as retirement accounts, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury.
The largest portion of U.S. debt, 68 cents for every dollar or about $10 trillion, is owned by individual investors, corporations, state and local governments and, yes, even foreign governments such as China that hold Treasury bills, notes and bonds.
Foreign governments hold about 46 percent of all U.S. debt held by the public, more than $4.5 trillion. The largest foreign holder of U.S. debt is China, which owns more about $1.2 trillion in bills, notes and bonds, according to the Treasury.
Nobel laureate and Classical Liberal economist James M. Buchanan has died today. He was one of the most important economist of the 20th. Century and will be long remembered for his work on the principles of economic self-interest and their use to understand why politicians do what they do.
I read today’s article”A Low-Priced iPhone Awaits” in the Wall Street Journal with disappointment. For some reason, it has become widespread for people to think that “successful products = low price” and that “happy costumers = low price“.
While those affirmations are truth I consider them to be only partially truth.
I want to bring into consideration the fact that it is not only “low-price” products what makes customers happy. As a owner of stores that sell electronic accessories and as a user of cellphones I can tell you this:
No matter how expensive a telephone is, the owner of those products is going to be willing to take care of it without caring much for the original price paid for their phone. So, no matter if the phone is a $500 iPhone or a $50 Samsung S 1st Generation. Both of the owners would consider paying from as little as $10.00 to as much as $75.00 in extra accessories to PROTECT and personalize their phones.
The owners of more expensive phones are always willing to invest a little bit extra to protect their phones. However, the owners of cheaper phones are also going to be willing to pay a little bit extra to “improve” their phones quality and DURABILITY by adding other electronic accessories or gadgets.
That being said, while companies may continue offering lower-price products the overall quality of these items continues decreasing. It is IMPRESSIVE the amount of customers I used to received in my store with broken screens in their iPhone’s, Samsung’s, and other Smartphone devices. Those companies are REALLY making a profit by selling products that can be damaged very easily while forcing costumers to buy new ones.
When did design became more important than functionality and durability?
Why do big screens are so easily to get broken and they are not made with better products?
The best example for this is the iPhone that has also what seems to be some type of glass cover in the back! It was impressive to see many of those covers broken and hearing the stories of sad costumers who want to replace it! The behind glass has no functional use rather than just making the product being overall weaker and less resistant…
While the Wall Street Journal article says that “Apple is working on a lower-end iPhone” the only thing I read is “Apple is working on an EVEN LESS DURABLE, WORSE QUALITY and lower-end iPhone”. This is unfortunate… specially because I still have many of the old generation “black bean” phones that I used to own 10 years ago that are in perfect shape and resistant very hard falls from my pockets when I was younger.
Lets fight this wave of “lower-end products”! As consumers we should receive the best we can get for our money! Not the worse we can get for it!
A month ago the world’s richest woman made a comment that got everyone’s attention. Major sensationalist papers in the globe elaborated different arguments on Gina Rinehart case for a $2-a-day pay. But putting emotions aside, what was she really talking about? Well, she was explaining in very rough terms what globalization is about and what is the role of competition in the global political economy.
In order to understand what Ms. Rinehart referred to, it is necessary first to briefly evaluate the history of the word competitiveness. The term is historically rooted in the writings of classical economics. Its core is the theory of comparative advantage expressed by David Ricardo in 1819, in which he underlined how countries should/do compete. Later on, the term was used by Marxist economists starting with Marx’s “Capital: A Critique of Political Economy” where he emphasized the impact of the sociopolitical environment on economic development in a global perspective, and therefore the communist idea that changing the political context should precede economic performance. Later, in 1942 the term was integrated to the role played by capitalists and entrepreneurs in the writings of Joseph Schumpeter, who stressed their creative and economic (“economic” here refers to capital as a mean of production) role as a factor of competitiveness by underlining that progress is the result of disequilibrium, which favors innovation and technological improvement. Further, Israel Kirzner’s emphasis on the redefinition of entrepreneurship by highlighting how global competitiveness is more about the capitalist’s innovative abilities rather than just the capital accumulated and how he/she invests it.
Ms. Rinehart’s comment reflects both the impact she plays as an actor in the global sociopolitical environment and her role as a capitalist and entrepreneur capable of generating innovation and of inciting creative destruction.
A $2-a-day pay in Africa means that many capitalists and entrepreneurs as Gina Rinehart are considering the possibility of moving their investments from less competitive continents to places in which competitiveness allow them to produce at lower costs.
Unfortunately, the region Ms. Rinehart was referring to has disincentives to competitiveness and innovation. Competitiveness is more than just lower wages and a cheap offer of labor. By following Ricardo, Marx, Schumpeter and Kirzner in order for Africa to become competitive in global terms the regions will require also to achieve what Stéphane Garelli in the “IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012” explains as the need to also A.) Create a stable and predictable legislative and administrative environment. B.) Ensure speed, transparency and accountability in the administration, as well as the ease of doing business. C.) Invest continually in developing and maintaining infrastructure both economic (road, air, telecom, etc.) and social (health, education, pension, etc.). And finally, D.) Strengthen the middle class: a key source of prosperity and long-term stability.
Ms. Rinehart’s comments were not a call for Australians to lower their wages to a $2-a-day pay since they have already achieved other of Garelli’s requirements for competitiveness. Her comments are a very clear example on how global economy works. If African governments manage to improve the rule of law in their territories, develop infrastructure and allow for a stronger middle class then the chances that investment will move to Africa are going to be higher. As such, economies as Australia’s should continue producing at the same efficiency rates or improve and innovate in order to avoid losing investors. Ms. Rinehart’s comment on how “her country’s mining industry couldn’t compete with nations that are willing to pay workers less than $2 a day for their sweat and labor” is as such partially truth. Australia’s economy has many other competitive assets to offer and as such do not require to compete by offering lower wages. The country has many other competitive assets to offer for investors. However, as time has passed since Australia’s boom in the last decades many other countries are also trying to spur competitiveness.
There is much more to be said about this topic and on how global competitiveness allows for rising standards of life and prosperity. Also there is much more to be said on how competitiveness in other regions of the world can destroy (remember Schumpeter’s work) the not-so efficient economies of other countries that have not managed to cope with a changing global economy.