Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Gulf Cooperation Council Economic Development

Introduction A strong, reliable, and sustainable economy is always the objective of every nation across the world. Globally, oil-producing countries have continuously played a significant role in the international economy.Advertising We will write a custom research paper sample on The Gulf Cooperation Council Economic Development specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a renowned political and economic union, specifically for the Arab states, mainly depending on production of oil for economic development (Coury and Chetan 1). The union has played a pivotal role in ensuring peace and economic expansion in countries covered by the union. Countries in the GCC have prospered in their economies through economic development strategies and successful transformation agendas. However, recent studies have indicated that some countries within the GCC are threatening their economic power by over depending on oil production as the chief financial resource. Since gas and oil are exhaustible resources, there is a growing need to diversify economies in the GCC (Looney 138). This paper investigates economic diversification in Qatar compared to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Literature Review Countries in the Middle East have found oil to be the most precious natural resource, which truly has been quite imperative in enhancing their economic growth. For several decades, most countries in the Middle East have ranked top in the global oil production overview, with the majority of them depending on oil and natural gas wealth as major commodities for economic intensification. According to Shediac et al. (2), the Gulf Cooperation Council, including countries like Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are the largest oil-producing nations covering up to 80 per cent of the overall global oil production.Advertising Looking for research paper on business economics? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Oil in the GCC union started being the most appropriate economic booster since its discovery several decades ago, with the global wars revolving around oil production centres. However, oil boom within the GCC union seems to be losing its capacity gradually, which became eminent in years 1973-74. Conventionally, despite the triumph associated with the GCC as the greatest oil-producing nations, something seems to be going wrong. Previous studies have continuously indicated that the GCC economies have consistently been dependent on natural resources for growth by investing heavily on oil and gas production and leaving other non-oil sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, and hospitality overtly underutilised and underdeveloped (Basher 3). This aspect may best explain the reason behind economic predicaments that struck the GCC union during the global financial credit crunch and collapsed oil prices that laste d for decades from late 1980s to 1990s and even currently in the 21st century (Basher 2). With the existing socio-economic difficulties and financial problems worsened by unprecedented changes in the climatic conditions, concern has risen over the GCC and other oil-producing to change their propensity of depending on oil as the main economic commodity to other profitable sectors. Due to the prevailing pressure, several transformational changes are emerging within the GCC. The GGC union has developed several strategies to avert the pressure on oil. Some countries have almost completely shifted their economic activities from oil production to depending on public sector activities (Basher 3). Diversification within the GCC has been successful despite the fact that these countries face daunting challenges in diversifying, with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia diversifying through other potential sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, and hospitality industries.Advertising We will wr ite a custom research paper sample on The Gulf Cooperation Council Economic Development specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More In a bid to reduce its dependence on oil, Qatar has been investing heavily on natural gas production, which plays only a partial role in protecting the country’s unfavourable oil price fluctuations that affect national economic condition (Basher 4). Compared to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia who have diversified in almost all non-oil sectors, natural gas is barely enough to protect Qatar from depending on oil for economic support. Problem Statement Currently, nations within the GCC and others across the Middle East regions depending on oil production for economic growth are calling for enhancement of a diversified economy. Research noticed that the level of global oil production is gradually diminishing with climatic conditions and over-exploitation of natural resources exacerbating the situation. On noticing this, Middle Eastern governments, especially those under the GCC, have formulated economic development and transformation agendas (Shediac et al. 1). In this context, transformation agendas principally involved diversification of economy targeting to shift from depending on single economic commodity to well-diversified ones from a range of profitable sectors. Given that oil and natural gas revenues are exhaustible resources, the GCC governments have started substituting them with other considerable resources to enhance sustainable economy (Coury and Chetan 1).Advertising Looking for research paper on business economics? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Contrarily, Qatar has opted to shift to natural gas, which is still an exhaustible natural resource to avert the pressure on the oil consumption, making a null change. Methodology In a bid to provide empirical evidence needed to reinforce the argument in this study, this paper reviewed latest case studies conducted to examine the prevailing condition in the diversification of the economy within the GCC union. Two important case studies remained imperative to this study. A case study conducted by Basher (1-30), which concentrated on comparative analysis of dependence of oil in three countries, including Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, significantly proved the argument for this study. This study also undertook a quantitative assessment of the determinants of the business cycle synchronisation. The other empirical evidence involved case studies conducted by Shediac et al. (1-3), which principally examined diversification of the economy across the GCC economies. Both studies intended t o compare dependency of oil as the main economic commodity to others in a bid to distinguish which country among the three mostly depended on oil as the major economic commodity. In a bid to provide empirical evidence for the first study synchronicity or rather synchronisation method dominated the first study. Synchronicity, a term used to describe the experience between two that are actually unrelated, but normally coincide under circumstances in a meaningful manner. This study validated data produced concerning oil output and output from other non-oil sectors for the years ranging from Kuwait (1978-2007), Qatar (1980-2006), and Saudi Arabia (1968-2008). The study employed a nonparametric filter technique that usually estimates â€Å"trend component by minimising deviations from trend, subject to a predetermined smoothness of the resulting trend† (Basher 8). This aspect allows the estimation of synchronicity of oil output gap of the respective GCC economies. On the other han d, a case study of the GCC, the G7, and developed economies countries were significant in the study. Shediac et al. (2) confirm that this methodology involved measuring Gross Domestic Product (GDP) distribution across all sectors within the GCC, including agriculture and/or manufacturing to ascertain â€Å"concentration ratio† and â€Å"diversification quotient.† Results/Discussion First Argument By comparing the output ratio of oil and other non-oil sector products from the three GCC member countries, including Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, this paper managed to estimate the extend at which each country depended on oil products for economic growth. As synchronicity measure fluctuated over time, it was significant to include important events like, â€Å"the first oil crisis (1973-74), second oil crisis (1979-81), the Gulf war (1990-91) and the recent oil price shock (2005-2008); during all these episodes oil prices significantly increased† (Basher 10). This el ement primarily denoted how non-oil sectors depended on the oil sector with synchronicity being highly volatile and different across the three GCC countries. For Kuwait, the long run synchronicity measure indicated that non-oil sector’s dependence on the oil sector increased during a given period, thus suggested decreased diversification. Comparing to Qatar, the long-run trend of synchronicity was decreasing by then, although this aspect portrayed less meaningful economic diversification. The synchronicity trend for Saudi Arabia increased diffidently until mid-1990 before declining afterward. The estimated value of synchronicity in non-oil sectors in Qatar indicated that 53 per cent output of the non-oil sector revealed similar figures/percentage, which coincided with the output gap of the oil sector showing that the level of diversification within the non-oil sectors remained considerably weak. For the case of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, using different span of time indicated t hat the synchronicity measure between oil and non-oil sectors revealed only 45 per cent for Kuwait, demonstrating that the level of diversification in non-oil sectors had gradually been increasing (Basher 10). The case study yielded almost similar results in Saudi Arabia where the synchronicity measure for oil and non-oil sectors produced 46 per cent a trend that like Kuwait demonstrates reduced dependency on oil as the main economic commodity in the two countries. Basher affirms that this aspect revealed, â€Å"Qatar’s non-oil sector shows a slightly higher degree of dependence on the oil-sector relative to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia† (10). Second Argument In a bid to provide empirical evidence to this paper to prove the argument between oil dependency in Qatar and Kuwait together with Saudi Arabia, the study investigated the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) distribution across the three GCC economies, including Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. Following the case study condu cted by Shediac et al. (2), it became apparent that for a country to have a sustainable economy, several measures of diversification must reflect. Diversification is achievable, where the GDP reveals an even distribution across a variety of economic sectors (Srinivas 5). Therefore, to measure the contribution of GDP across sectors in the three countries, the study involved two important concepts, which are measurable and normally signify diversification of an economy. Shediac et al. affirms, â€Å"The concepts of economic concentration and diversification can be captured with the computation of the respective point estimators of concentration ratio and diversification quotient for the sample of studied economies† (3). Table 1: Economic Concentration and Economic diversification Latest Figure revealing data sample in the year 2005 Qatar Kuwait Saudi Arabia Economic Concentration (%) 39% 33% 28% Economic Diversification (%) 2.59% 3.0% 3.63% (Source: Shediac et al. 3) As demonstrated, the table only involved comparative figures for three GCC economies, viz. Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. Research has demonstrated that economic concentration quotient and diversification quotient are significant determiners of economic diversification that predominantly depend on a range of economic sectors for economic development (Shediac et al. 3). Normally, â€Å"the concentration ratio measures a nation’s concentration in a given sector by taking the sum of squares of percent contribution to the GDP† (Shediac et al. 3). Countries with high economic concentration normally suffer from volatility in the economic growth and fluctuating economic cycles. In explainable manner, in the case of high economic concentration a country normally depends on vulnerable external events, including changes in the prices of dominant commodities a case eminent in Qatar’s economic concentration. From the source of the above data, from the three GCC countri es sampled for this study, Qatar ranks top in the economic concentration compared to all other GCC countries. However, comparing the figures for the three countries in the GCC economies as used in this study, Qatar recorded highest economic concentration of 39 per cent, followed relatively close by Kuwait with about 33 per cent and finally Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with 28 per cent. The essence of these figures is to provide an overview of how high concentration correlates with economic diversification where high economic concentration reveals high reliance of economic activity in the three GCC countries on the oil and gas sector. Normally, higher economic concentration depicts low diversification in economical terms. Based on the above table, Shediac et al. note, â€Å"Qatar tops amid the three GCC countries with highest concentrations in terms of sector contribution to GDP and thus, exhibits the lowest diversification scores† (3). According to studies conducted to investigate the contribution of non-oil sectors to the GDPs across the three GCC nations, comparative analysis revealed that Qatar depends considerably high on oil than both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Both studies conducted by Basher (15) and Shediac et al. (6) demonstrate that Qatar has heavily invested on oil than other sectors. Screening through sectors like manufacturing and agriculture in the three GCC countries, Shediac et al. (7) concluded that the oil industry in Qatar is relatively highly depended by other sectors that in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which is an evidence to demonstrate how Qatar heavily relies on oil than the other two countries. Srinivas (11) postulates that the monopolised oil production sector in Qatar has forced researchers to cite this element as the main cause of lack of diversification in the country, thus exposing it to dangerous events like global price fluctuations. Conclusion Based on the empirical evidence provided by the two case studies to prove the argument f or this study, it is evident that Qatar has continuously depended on oil production as compared to Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Comparing figures on the economic concentration and economic diversification of the three GCC countries, Qatar ranks top in the economic concentration and the lowest diversification quotient, whereby the higher the economic concentration the lower the diversification in economic terms (Shediac et al. 3). On the other hand, Basher (15) used the synchronisation technique, where synchronicity referred to similar situations coincided with each other. As both oil and natural gas revenues are exhaustible, all GCC nations, especially Qatar, should be cautious on diversification. Works Cited Basher, Syed 2010, Has the Non-oil Sector Decoupled from Oil Sector? A Case Study of Gulf Cooperation Council Countries. PDF File. Web. Coury, Tarek, and Dave Chetan 2009, Oil, Labour Markets, and Economic Diversification in the GCC: An Empirical Assessment. PDF File . Web. Looney Robert. â€Å"The Gulf Co-operation councils caution approach to economic integration.† Journal of Economic Cooperation 24.3 (2003): 137-160. Print. Shediac, Richard, Rabih Abouchakra, Chadi Moujaes, and Ramsay Mazen 2008, Economic Diversification: The Road to Sustainable Development. Web. Srinivas, Kastoori. â€Å"Economic Development of GCC Countries: Risks and Challenges: An Overview.† Indian Journal of Business Review 4.1 (2011): 1-14. Print. This research paper on The Gulf Cooperation Council Economic Development was written and submitted by user Griffin Hurst to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly. You can donate your paper here.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Pliny Trajan Correspondence Essay Example

Pliny Trajan Correspondence Essay Example Pliny Trajan Correspondence Essay Pliny Trajan Correspondence Essay Plink explained to Trojan that in he past he had asked the people he came across whether they were Christians, and if they said they were Christians he would threaten them with punishment and ask them twice more whether they were Christian, and if they agreed every time he would send them for execution (Roman law does not accept a single confession as proof of crime). He would also send them to be executed if they were stubborn, as obstinacy and unbending perversity deserve to be punished. If there were Roman citizens Plink deemed to be insane he noted them down to be sent to Rome. Roman citizens had an advantage over others at this time, as if you were ordered to be executed you could appeal to the Emperor but if this appeal failed and you did have to be executed it would be by beheading, not crucifixion as per the other accused. Before long, Plink was handed a piece of unsigned paper that revealed the names of many Christians. When he met some of the people named on this list they told him they werent Christians, and proved this by reciting a prayer to the gods, made supplication with incense and wine to your statue, and moreover cursed Christ as Plink had heard that true Christians could not do his and refused to. Thus Plink had a dilemma on his hand -? he didnt know what to do, as the piece of paper he had been handed proved untrue (although some people said they had been Christians in previous years but had realized the error of their ways, so Plink let them leave peacefully after they worshipped Tartans statue and cursed Christ). These unsigned letters that he was handed allow us to have an insight in the early Church habits, as the repented earlier Christians told Plink what they used to do. They told Plink that Christians assembled on a fixed day (which we assume is Sunday, but we eave no proof) before day light to pray to God, to take an oath to not commit crime, theft, robbery or adultery, not to break their word and not to deny a deposit when demanded. They then departed and met again to eat ordinary but harmless food (I. E. He Christians were not eating human flesh as was common folklore). Plink was confused as to what to do he had not experienced this before and he needed advice on what to do. To gain more information on Christians, he asked 2 maid-servants how far this Christian tale was true, however he discovered nothing from them. They said it was a perverse and extravagant superstition. He concluded that the matter was worth deliberation. Christianity was having a huge effect on Bathing, where Pl ink was sent. Plink writes in his letter All ages and every rank, and also of both sexes are brought into present or future danger. The contagion of that superstition has penetrated not the cities only, but the villages and country; yet it seems possible to stop it and set it right. At any rate it is certain enough that the almost deserted temples begin to be resorted to, that long and issued ceremonies of religion are restored, and that fodder for victims finds a market (the farmers who brought into the various markets food for the temple victims Were in danger Of being ruined (Hardy) I. . Christianity Was bad for business at the time), whereas buyers till now were very few. We can gather from this that the superstition of Christianity was leaving Pagan temples deserted, hence clearly the Church had expanded noticeably and was impacting social and economic life in the province. Banks also says Plink however informs the emperor that his actions have reversed this trend. Trojan responds to Plink v ery bluntly, which is ironic compared to Plinks lengthy letter. He says Plink took the right course of action, but there is no laid no rule involving something like a set form of procedure. Trojan does give Plink some advice in case he gets into the same situation again. He says they (Christians) are not to be sought out; but if they are accused and convicted, they must be punished Papers, however, which are presented unsigned out not to be admitted in any charge, for they are a very bad example and unworthy of our time. Terrestrial concluded what a decision, owe hopelessly entangled! He says they must not be ferreted out, implying they are innocent; he orders them to be punished, implying they are guilty. He spares them and rages against them, he pretends not to see and punishes. Bruce also concludes Entangled as the ruling was, Trojan no doubt thought it was the most reasonable and expedient course in the circumstances. J Stevenson that Tartans belief that Christians were both innocent and guilty is sensible and a pragmatic decision, avoiding groundless accusations on one hand, but retaining sanctions if necessary on the other.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

International Economics between New Zealand and Morocco Research Paper

International Economics between New Zealand and Morocco - Research Paper Example The volume of export trade in New Zealand has been falling over the last two years. The export communities include meat, wood, and also mechanical machinery, with the top leader countries accounted for 56% of the total exports. Some of the top export markets include China, Korea, US, and Australia. On the other hand, the import of New Zealand has been on a rising trend over the years. The highest increase include the import from Brunei and Oman, while the imports entailed imports from Russia (Hirschman, 176). Some of the top partners were from Australia and China. Top 10 export commodities in New Zealand include dairy products like birds eggs and honey, meat, wood, prep milk, wood pulp, machinery, iron and steel, paper and paperboard, edible fruits, modified starch, and electric machinery while the top 10 imports in New Zealand include mineral fuel, electric machinery, boilers, plastics, vehicles, food industry residues, rubber articles, animal fats, miscellaneous edible fruits, and surgical instruments. In New Zealand, the terms of trade rose 1414 points in 2014 from 1389 in 2013. The terms of trade in the country was averaged at 1044.98 from 1957 to2014 reaching an index point of 1438 during the 2nd quarter of 1973 and lowest in 1975 with an index of 796. The index graph is as shown in the diagram below. Agriculture is the main economic block of New Zealand. The processing and production of the agricultural products lie wine, fruits, dairy products, and wool generate 16 per cent of the GDP and employs 15% of the workers (Helpman,  121). The products of agriculture generate almost half of the country’s GDP. In New Zealand, the regional and bilateral Free Trade Agreement play a crucial role in the international trade. The free trade agreement helps in maintaining high standards in protecting, supporting, and promoting sustainbale development and building capacity to address the issue of trade. The country has sought in

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Video from TED Talks Movie Review Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 250 words

Video from TED Talks - Movie Review Example In order to meet the required energy levels to sustain such a trip, it is critical to have a reliable source of energy. Over and above that, the chosen source of energy must have adequate capacity to propel the aircraft without taking high risks that threaten life. It is interesting to have an environmental enthusiast like Bertrand Piccard. However, his project will take long to make a difference as far as use of fossil fuels is concerned. Today, flying has increasingly become commercialized. Airlines have invested billions of dollars in air transport, an area in which Bertrand Piccard is far from proposing a reliable solution. As he speaks, Bertrand Piccard has invested significantly in the project. The project only accounts for a couple of people as Bertrand Piccard plans to fly around the world. While Bertrand Piccard might actually fly around the world in a solar-powered aircraft, his arguments or propositions will probably take ages to be adopted. There are diverse and dynamic resource criticalities that would have to be addressed before such an ambitious project is commercialized for public use. Bertrand Piccard’s approach to environmental sustainability, however, is highly

Monday, January 27, 2020

Need for Universal Social Security and Pension Schemes

Need for Universal Social Security and Pension Schemes Securing Old Age Abstract Pension system aims on poverty release, consumption smoothing, and insurance coverage in respect of ageing population. In India, most of the old age citizens are not covered under any social security program. A miniscule number of Government employees and few private sector workers retire with pensions. Majority of the total workforce is engaged in the unorganised sector with no access to old age income security. The issue of old-age security is gaining importance and it is now high on the public policy agenda. The developed countries generally provide pension to those who contribute for pension whereas in majority of the developing countries pensions are provided in a discretionary manner which reduces the coverage of pension. The article discusses the need for a universal pension scheme that will help the working population in the unorganized sector with increased coverage of pension. Key words: Pension scheme, Old age, social security Introduction The increased rate of the aged people in the total population has created a substantial demand for old-age social security. Thus it has become important to provide social security to its elderly people. Pension is one of the major component of old age social security. Developed countries have a good pension system with highly organised formal labour markets. Indian old-age income security is not well developed. India, being a welfare State, has taken upon itself the responsibilities of extending various benefits of Social Security and Social Assistance to its citizens. As per the reports out of an estimated work force of about 397 million, around 28 million workers are having the benefit of formal social security protection in India. Rest of the workers are in the unorganised sector. A well organised social security system for the workers in the unorganised sector will help in improving productivity, contribute to the harmonious labour relations and thus contribute to socio and economic development. Social security is a system of protection of individuals who are in need of such protection by the State as an agent of the society. Such protection is relevant in contingencies such as retirement, resignation, retrenchment, death, disablement which are beyond the control of the individual members of the Society. The current study attempts to examine the need for a universal social security and pension scheme. And a non-contributory pension scheme can guarantee a regular income in old age to all residents of the country, regardless of their earnings or occupation. It explains the scope for implementing a universal pension scheme which will increase the pension coverage and ensures proper income security to the old. The findings suggest that a reasonable increase in the amount of the pension and streamlining the delivery mechanism would significantly help to reduce old-age vulnerabilities. The paper concludes with policy directions for reforming the Indian pension system. The coverage of formal old age security is low, as majority of the population belonging to the informal sector of the developing countries is deprived of old age security. Indian pension system could potentially influence policy decisions in other developing countries with similar reliance on the national provident fund system. Indian provident fund schemes are low coverage and under performance schemes due to the investment restrictions. Majority working populations are engaged in the unorganised sector and have no access to any formal system of old age economic securities like provident fund and pension fund. Public sector employees are privileged with a vast pension provisions while private sector employees are aggrieved with low returns from their benefit schemes. Old age and social security The disappearance of large family system in India that took care of the social security needs of all members has necessitated provision of social security for senior citizens. For the senior citizens, social security can works like a protection cell which provides security through the medical benefit and old age pension plan. Social security pensions are meant to help disadvantaged sections of society such as the elderly, widows and disabled persons to live with basic financial security. Social security has gained paramount importance in the changed economic scenario. Social security programmes are actively undertaken even in developed nations. Social security is the financial assistance provided by the Government to the needy citizens such as disabled persons, aged persons, widows, unemployed youths, survivors of the deceased workers to promote their welfare by enabling them to access to food, shelter, health etc. social security acts as safety net for the disadvantageous sections of the society. Social security has gained paramount importance in the changed economic scenario. India also has enacted many social security measures for its needy citizens. In order to protect the welfare of unorganized workers the legislative measures namely minimum wages Act, 1948, the employees compensation Act, 1923, the maternity benefit Act, 1961, the bonded labour system (Abolition) Act, 1976, the contract labour (Regulation Abolition) Act, 1970, the inter-state migrant workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979, the building and other construction workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, etc. were implemented. In India, the elderly population is projected to reach 116 million in 2016 and 179 million in 2026. This raises the need for an effective system of pension. Population in India across Different Age Groups (million) Source: Census of India Percentage Distribution of Population by Broad Age Groups, Sex and Residence, 2012 Source: Sample Registration System (2012). Old age social security plays a pivotal role in a welfare state and one of its’ major components is pension. Pension provides a long-term income security in old age. Need for Pension scheme Need for Pension arises because of: à ¯Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ · One is not as productive in the old age as in youth. à ¯Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ · The rise in the nuclear family system as compared to earlier joint family system. à ¯Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ · Migration of younger earning members as they are no longer interested in their family business. à ¯Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ · Rapidly growing informal and unorganized sector. à ¯Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ · Rise in cost of living. à ¯Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ · Urbanization andimproved standard of life à ¯Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ · Increase in the life span because of good medical facilities. à ¯Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ · Bringing unorganized sector into formal scheme of pension. Unlike most of the developing countries, India did not have a universal social security system for the old aged people. As there is no formal pension scheme in India for the newly appointees, a need was felt to have a scheme so that people can save for their future when they are no longer working. Pension is a financial tool for old-age income security. These are generally defined as monthly payments made on superannuation to an individual to enable her/him maintain a decent standard of living post retirement and in old age. The developed countries generally provide pension to those who contribute for pension whereas in majority of the developing countries like India, pensions are provided on a discretionary basis which reduces the overall coverage of pension. The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) was introduced in India in 1995. Currently, five schemes come under the NSAP: the IGNOAPS, the Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS), the Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS), the National Family Benefit Scheme and the Annapurna Scheme. The central government makes a diminutive contribution of Rs 200 per month per person to old-age pensions, raised to Rs 500 per month under IGNOAPS, for persons aged 80 years and above. The patterns of usage of the pension are indicative of its importance in the lives of the benefi ciaries. The accepted defined benefit pension system, which was the broader goal of a welfare state, is slowly giving way to the defined contribution system where risk is borne by the final beneficiaries. Pension reforms in India in the last decade have seen three major initiatives a paradigmatic shift in the civil servants pension scheme, the National Pension Scheme for all citizens and the New Pension System Lite for the economically disadvantaged sections with small savings. Pension system in India Pension plansprovide financial security and stability during old age when people dont have aregular source of income. Retirement plan ensures that people live with pride andwithout compromising on their standard of living during advancing years. Pension scheme gives an opportunity to invest and accumulate savings and get lump sumamount as regular income through annuity plan on retirement. The history of the Indian pension system dates back to the colonial period of British-India. The Royal commission on civil Establishments, in 1881first provided pension benefits to the government employees. Government of India Acts of 1919 and 1935 made further provisions and expanded the retirement benefits to the entire public sector workforce. Several provident funds were set up after the independence to extend the coverage to private sector employees. Indian pension system largely hinges on financing through employer and employee participation. It denied the vast majority of the unorganised workforce’s access to formal channels of old age economic support. A common objection to social security pensions is that they might displace or undermine family support for widows and the elderly. Traditionally, joint family structures in India worked as a hedge against old-age economic crisis and a support network that precluded the need for third-party pension instruments. Universal Social Security and Pension Schemes Table: Details of Pension Beneficiaries of Selected Pension Schemes Source: Economic Political Weekly and Government of India. Universal pension schemes are often criticized for high fiscal costs. Recently Government of India announced a slew of low-cost pension and insurance schemes, in the budget for 2015-16. It includes least half-dozen social security schemes like Atal Pension Yojana and Universal Social Security scheme that will lead to a universal social security system for all, especially the poor and the underprivileged. Atal Pension Yojana will provide defined pension according to contribution. Of this, 50 percent contribution would be made by the government The government proposes to work towards Universal Social Security for all Indians. These social schemes reflect the intention that no person suffers from avoidable pain due to illness, old age. In countries like Canada and New Zealand, a progressive income tax system taxes the pensions for higher income individuals, making even the universal pension system relatively targeted. However, most of the lower income countries which might institute a universal pension system may not have a progressive income tax structure and may find it difficult to use the tax system to make the universal pension more targeted. Depending on the income distribution within the country, making the pension small enough may be sufficient for higher income individuals to not bother with collecting the pension. Such is the case in Nepal where higher income Nepalese often do not collect the very low universal benefits. A second set of issues arise regarding the service delivery for a universal pension. In the case of Namibia, despite a mandate for a universal pension, many rural elderly were not receiving the pension. The reasons ranged from lack of access to the pension distribution network and difficulties with verifying age and eligibility to different types of fraud. However, the administrative cost of the system was raised. Since poorer regions are harder to reach, the poorest may still not be reachable with a universal pension without a sizable investment in administrative capacity. This service delivery issue applies to all types of social pensions, not just the universal type. Some countries as noted above, offer universal pensions to all residents above a certain age regardless of income or assets. Even non-citizens who have fulfilled a minimum residency requirement in the country are often eligible. Universal pensions are clearly the best way to drastically reduce old age poverty since all the elderly, regardless of work or contribution experience, are eligible to receive some benefit. However, as with any universal benefit, many people who will be receiving it will not be poor. As a result, in terms of poverty reduction achieved per dollar spent, the expenditure may not be wholly effective. Furthermore, in the countries where such programs have been adopted, such as Namibia13 and Mauritius, cost considerations are forcing the governments to move toward means-testing and other methods of providing old age security. Universal pensions systems involve less administrative apparatus and administrative costs than targeted systems, but the actual benefits, since they are received by the nonpoor as well as the poor, cost more. A large proportion of Indias population is without insurance of any kind, health, accidental or life. Worryingly, as the young population ages, it is also going to be pension-less. Conclusions The current study attempts to examine the need for a universal pension for the elderly. Indian financial sector reforms have made significant progress in the spheres of banking and capital market. But sectors like insurance and pension are still hitherto untouched sectors. India has low coverage pension and the pension system is unable to fulfil its purpose. Since independence, many reforms have been initiated. The introduction of a universal pension scheme will facilitate social security and also helps in assuring the young that in old age there would be national savings to take care of any difficulties, implying that over-accumulation is not necessary during the younger days. The introduction of a universal pension scheme will enhance the welfare of the working cohorts of India majority of whose future lies in uncertainty.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Media Frames and Hip Hop Culture

The media has an increasing presence in all of our lives, and there has been a lot of research conducted on the various ways that it affects the very ideas that pop into our heads, the impressions we formulate of other cultures and musical genres, on foreign policy and the things that we buy. It’s obvious that the media is playing a role in our daily lives, but to what extent is it affecting the way hip hop music and the culture itself are understood by the average citizen, specifically children?Via the radio, the newspapers, magazines and most commonly, the television and internet, is it possible to see just how these easily available media are influencing younger people and those of an older age bracket and notice what kinds of frames the media are using with regards to hip hop? This paper will take a look at the available literature sources on the subject of media messaging and hip hop culture and review the established theories, as well as use household surveys to examine just how much exposure children in America actually have to mass media.Media framing is the process by which the media chooses its context for a news story and portrays it with a certain slant – common framing is done with a conservative viewpoint or a liberal one, and often as pertains to the hip hop culture the frame is that of a violent, consumerist culture (Robinson 20). Media framing is a technique by which journalists and reporters give basic context to their stories, and framing can tend to promote a particular political or social agenda or because of a fundamental lack of knowledge on the subject. Ramsey (pp 22-40) thinks that it is a case of the latter, since researchers and sociologists tend to regard hip hop cultures in American as being quite separate from the rest of the population to begin with.This isolation, to whatever degree it is actually apparent in these subcultures, is portrayed by the media and therefore understood by all viewers and listeners as the tr uth. Americans who are not a part of the hip hop culture are easily made to notice themes in hip hop music that relate to violent gang mentality and blatant consumerism that sees younger black people showing off expensive clothes, jewelry and cars. Mukherjee calls this media frame the â€Å"ghetto fabulous† and explains how what was originally an isolated feature of the hip hop culture has become widespread due to media attentions. This primary isolation is one of the major frames used by the media to portray a specific picture of hip hop culture, and these depictions are undoubtedly helping to shape the hip hop scene in the mind of the average television viewer and magazine reader.Saunders describes the generalized version of hip hop culture as a group of thieves, graffiti artists, vandals, drugdealers, sex-obsessed men, objectified women and joyriders (37-134), and unfortunately although this is a part of the underground culture of both the hip hop artist and the people lis tening to the music, the author accepts that there is more to it than this perception. Although it has been correctly noted that these themes are recurrent in rap music, an individual listener could easily fail to notice these same themes – or any other recurrent themes, for that matter – inherent in other types of music or even literature and film.The media has honed in on the negative themes in rap and hip hop music, however, and uses such sensationalist aspects of the culture and music to deliver a message of negativity, and create fear. The attentions unrelated groups of people have tried to intervene and have such songs and music videos censored. This has not generally had a positive effect on hip hop lyrics, and in fact has actually helped to raise the popularity of such music and the culture surrounding it (Davidson 74).Where once hip hop was purely restricted to the groups of black Americans forming their own subculture, now media attentions (both positive and negative) have brought hip hop and rap music to larger numbers of people who wouldn’t have originally had access to it. With the widespread hip hop scene, people of other ethnic origins and social situations are discovering the music and starting to participate in the culture, and this can be attributed in a large part to the success of the Motown Corporation (Neal).Some of the aspects featured in hip hop music, like graffiti, can be looked at as holding a specific role within the culture itself. Graffiti, for example, can be viewed as a â€Å"microcosm of how people communicate, participate, and learn within a community† (Rahn 137), specifically within the hip hop communities of urban America. Although it seems unlikely that media bodies realize exactly what they are portraying to viewers and readers of popular magazines, stories about graffiti artists involved in the hip hop lifestyle are being framed in such a light as to highlight the rebellious qualities of the su bculture.Graffiti is portrayed in a conflicting way; negative in that it defaces public and private property and can be used to mark gang territory, but also mildly positive in that it is obviously an artistic outlet. The artistic aspect has a negative side as well, however, since the media can only seem to look at graffiti art in a good way if it is an expressive emotional outpouring from an impoverished neighborhood (Rahn).Basically, hip hop artists are only getting attention from the media for negative qualities in their music and lifestyles, at least as perceived by the media itself and the majority of average citizens watching the news and reading the magazines and newspapers. People see rappers on TV when they are involved in gang related crimes and gun violence, or when their lyrics have come under scrutiny for what is deemed unsuitable content. Although every genre of music has questionable lyrics, hip hop artists are the primary suspects when it comes to bringing out the ce nsors.The media frames hip hop and rap artists in an unfavorable light the vast majority of the time, citing them in one all encompassing category that is violent, untrustworthy and obsessed with material possessions. Unless a person is directly involved in the hip hop scene, they are very unlikely to hear about positive things going on within the culture. The media on the whole simply reports on negativity within the hip hop world, something that many artists are understandably frustrated with.What this media framing is proving to the hip hop culture is merely an ignorance on behalf of media and the general viewing audience towards black American society. With very few years – relatively speaking – of freedom and equality between black people as a minority group in America and the majority whites, black Americans have found themselves grouped together in poor areas still facing huge difficulties in achieving better standards of living. These societal factors have had a huge impact on the subculture of blacks themselves, resulting in part in hip hop music as both a rebellious act and a validation of black survival in an often hostile larger environment.Mollyanne Brodie used her book Kids and Media in America: Patterns of Use at the Millenium to discover just how much of an impact media images such as these portrayals of hip hop culture are affecting young children throughout the country. The results of these surveys are instrumental in understanding the role of media framing in American children with regards to hip hop music and culture. She noted that although there are ways of discerning how long a television set is on during the day in the average household, there is no real way of knowing which programs or advertisements are seen by which members of the family.With specialized surveys distributed to households in the United States, Brodie collected answers from members of different families to work out just how much time children were spendin g watching which kinds of shows on the TV during the day. â€Å"The ‘in-home’ sample consist[ed] of 1,090 young children, ages 2 through 7 years, and relie[d] on parent responses to questionnaires† (Brodie 18). Keeping in mind that children can lack vital information about the programs they are watching and other related questions, it was up to parents to share the viewing habits of their children and this data was collected to get a firm, solid look at the American child and media influences.The conclusions were that today’s young person in the United States spends more time with media sources than any other preceding generation, and that this is likely to increase in the near future. With the television, computers, the internet and advanced mobile technologies, kids have access to more information than ever before and the media therefore has access to the kids as well. For this reason, the media has taken on a more powerful role than ever before in human history.The findings of these surveys were conclusive in revealing the simple fact that kids can go about their daily lives without fully realizing how they are being affected by the barrage of media images, and when it comes to the hip hop culture this is no different. Negative comments, news stories and lyrical debates are at the forefront of a young person’s mind, since survey statistics have proven that music is the most important aspect of a child’s life, especially in the teenage years. Hip hop has infiltrated the routine of the average youth due to censorship issues, gang reports and all kinds of negative imaging, however it is with this younger generation that the truth behind the hip hop culture is beginning to be truly appreciated.The average youth experiences difficulties that are thematically similar to that of the oppressed and underprivileged black American who is a part of the hip hop culture, and kids are able to make this connection when they take a l ook at the music coming out of such groups. Rap and hip hop were born out of frustration and the need for freedom of expression, which is just what the average teenager is looking for as well. With this fundamental likeness, youths turn to hip hop music as a way to bond with each other and feel validated in their opinions and feelings of loneliness and desperation.Lyrics about gang violence can represent the need to fit into a group, while songs featuring bling and ownership can represent the ultimate triumph over adversity. Kids can really relate to this kind of music despite media imagery that portrays it as negative, because they are used to having themselves portrayed in a negative way by their parents, schoolteachers and other authority figures.Media framing of the hip hop culture might not be affecting the youth of America in a straightforward way, but it is affecting them nevertheless. The older generations are reacting in the expected manner, however, when they tend to latch onto the negative side of hip hop and work to eradicate it from the American music scene. Parents are becoming concerned about their children participating in what they consider a different culture of music and behavior, and the media is merely serving to continue this sort of thinking.When people see rap music videos, they have years of pre-conceived notions in their minds, placed there by the media, and so it becomes very difficult to differentiate between real opinion and actual negativity. A person tends to consider issues such as this based on the information they already have, and then value that information on the source that it came from. If the source is trusted, a person will tend to follow that train of thought; if not, they might look further into the issue to find features of it they can relate to themselves.It is this characteristic of each individual person that leads them to a certain degree of media influence. Where an adult who trusts major news sources and hears that rap music is synonymous with violence and crime might believe it with few questions, a teenager who has become wary of any older authority figure who hears the same thing will probably not accept this as the complete truth.Brodie’s surveys helped to prove what most of us already thought to be true: the media is playing a huge role in our perception of the world, particularly with the younger generations. â€Å"A typical 11- to 14-year-old gives more than 6 ½ hours per day to media, and because he or she often uses several media simultaneously, encounters almost 8 hours per day of media content† (Brodie 190). These conclusions do go to support secondary sources like the essays The Ghetto Fabulous Aesthetic in Contemporary Black Culture and Sold Out on Soul: The Corporate Annexation of Popular Black Music.Both papers solidify the notion that the media has a great impact on hip hop portrayal throughout America in every aspect, particularly in music and consumerism. Researchers are in agreement with statistical evidence that proves children in America are incredibly susceptible to media influence, although it is clear that there are other factors that determine just how a young person will react to the same media frames in hip hop.Works CitedBrodie, Mollyanne, Ulla Foehr, Donald Roberts and Victoria Rideout. Kids and Media in America: Patterns of Use at the Millennium. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2003.Davidson, Sandra. Bleep! Censoring Rock and Rap Music. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999.Rahn, Janice. Painting without Permission: Hip-Hop Graffiti Subculture. Westport, CT: Bergin and Garvey, 2002.Mukherjee, Roojali. The Ghetto Fabulous Aesthetic in Contemporary Black Culture.Neil, Mark. Sold Out on Soul: The Corporate Annexation of Black Popular Music.Ramsey, Guthrie. Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003.Robinson, Piers. The CNN Effect: The Myth of News, Foreign Po licy, and Intervention. London: Routledge, 2002.Sanders, Bill. Youth Crime and Youth Culture in the Inner City. New York, NY: Routledge, 2005.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Golden Valley Foods, Inc. Essay

In this case, that Neal Middleton is trying to decide why Golden Valley Foods, inc., isn’t as profitable as it once was. I would suggest to Neil Middleton to do a big change in the company’s policy, and do market segmentation. Golden Valley Foods has a line-forcing policy, requiring any store that wants to carry its brand name to carry most of 65 items in the Golden Valley Foods line. This policy, resulted in a decreasing in its sales. Unfortunately, smaller stores are not generally to accept the Golden Valley Foods policy. Then most of their sales come from major supermarket chain store such as Safeway, Kroger, and A$P. According to the last president of the company said â€Å"The influence of our old parent company is still with us. As long as new products look like they will increase the company’s sales volume, they are introduced. traditionally, there has been little, if any, attention paid to margins. we are well aware that profits will come through good products produced in large volume.† I think that, by reducing the large amount of items in the policy Golden Valley Foods could increase its sales; marketing is the process of discovering and translating consumer needs and wants into product and service specifications, creating demand for these products and services and then, in turn, expanding the demand. Goods and services do not move automatically from the makers to the users. A marketing segment is a meaningful buyer group having similar wants. Market segmentation is the process of grouping buyers into different categories having common desires or needs. Thus, segmentation is a consumer oriented marketing strategy.; that could increase the sales as well.