What makes America great? Discussion
As an (Indian) American, I really believe and want the US to be #1 in everything. As an IB professional, I want USA to be the best in everything that can enhance our scope for International Business. Watch the mash-up video below. I want to see discussion on 3 issues that emerge from it. Please read / watch material on this topic to support your arguments.
1. Do you agree or disagree? Show evidence.
2. Pick 1 or 2 issues that you think are most important and suggest ways to fix them.
3. How will improvements on these indicators help with IB?
DISCLAIMER: There are a couple of expletives in the video that the speaker uses in his manner of speaking. The video is not vulgar, but has a couple of “cuss words” used in the movies and some songs nowadays. I tried to get a version with those words bleeped out, but could not find such a version. So please be warned. If you think you may be offended, please do not want to watch the video. Instead, search the internet for data that shows where USA is ranked in leading development indicators. like literacy, math skills, infant mortality, freedom off the press, etc., and use those to discuss.
Why America is NOT the greatest country in the world, anymore.
User: bajjaliproductions -Added: 6/26/12
Here is an alternate video posted by Yuhai, that I am pasting as a mash-up.
Getting America Back on Track
User: thomhartmann – Added:1/4/13
The first 20 points will be awarded for making a meaningful comment. Additional 10 points each will be awarded for (a) supporting or refuting others’ comments with substantial evidence; (b) introducing relevant new links / citation; and (c) linking issues to global business success. My purpose in having these Discussion Boards is to make you read outside the textbook.
Person #1 comment- I agree that math can be hard and look like a foreign language to many people. I think a big downfall in our learning of math is because they introduced common core. Seriously, have you seen it? I don’t understand common core at all and therefore I could not help my 5th grader with her homework or even my 1st grader. Common core asks questions such as how do I get 10 from 8 + 5? Now the way I learned math was 8 + 5 = 13 and no other value. The answer as it turned out was you borrow 2 from the 5. You mentioned teaching in a different way so each student could understand but they have tried the common core and we cannot teach students at individual levels because we do not have a one-to-one ratio of teacher and student. There is one person responsible to teach math to a class of 20+ or sometimes 30+ students in period. How do we fix this?
Person #2 comment-I do agree with the videos that America is not the greatest country in the world. Chinas’ economy is catching up to ours and is on a growth pattern that will pass the United States in a few years. Our middle class is getting smaller and there are a lot of people that are underemployed or not employed at all. Fixing the employment gaps and bringing back manufacturing jobs would help our economy to grow and prosper.
Underemployment brings lower wages to working families and most of the time and part time jobs do not have as many benefits like full time jobs do. It makes it difficult to get health insurance and save for retirement. An article on Bloomberg talks about how unemployment levels are very low but that there are a lot of Americans that are underemployed and working multiple part time jobs to make ends meet.https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-09…
One of the issues related to this is the manufacturing sector of our economy. The manufacturing sector is more productive now with new technology and automation but that also means that there are less people needed to do the work. We are producing more with less labor.https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimvinoski/2018/08/21…
Another issue related to this is that many college students get a degree in a profession that is in low demand or that the market has already been saturated with other graduates. This leads to college graduates being underemployed because they can’t find a job related to their field of work. Most take whatever job that they find available because they have student loan debt that they need to start paying off.
These two issues can be improved by high school counselors and colleges guiding students in the right direction. Students need to be made aware of the professions and jobs that are in high demand at that time and they also need to know which ones are in low demand. This will hopefully help students make better choices so that they can enter the workforce and make a good salary. This would also help fill the workforce gaps that we have in the United States and would improve the underemployment rate.
It would also help if students were more interested math and science. These two things help to drive innovation and technology breakthroughs. This could possibly lead to the creation of different types of manufacturing jobs, which in turn would increase the economy and the amount of goods that we export from the U.S.
Students who do not want to go to college to get a bachelors degree or higher should have the option of going through a technical program. These students who would normally try to get a manufacturing job can be trained in a profession to be a welder, electrician, plumber, HVAC technician, etc. These careers are always in demand and usually make decent wages which will help the underemployment rate.
All of these ideas to fix the underemployment rate help the economy grow and that helps to improve international business. If everyone is making a good wage, they can afford to buy more products and if everyone is also working, it causes the economy to increase. The creation of more manufacturing jobs and filling the gaps for the unemployed or under employed would lead to the increase in the number and types of goods that we export.
Person #3 comment – I am Japanese, and when I was young, I was taught at junior high school that the U.S. was the greatest country in the world in terms of its economic, financial, and political influences on other countries and its leading education systems. For example, the Japanese government is still dependent on funds and weapons provided by the U.S. to defend its country from neighbors like South Korea and China. So are other countries, and today many people still think the greatest country as one of the five superpowers of the world. Therefore, I would like to discuss its economic state and college education system from the perspective of an international student and then several global changes that we need to take into consideration.
I agree that the U.S. is the greatest country in the world, and I would like to briefly talk about several facts showing that it is still the greatest country. First, IMPROB (2018) writes that the U.S. is economically the most powerful country because of its massive entertainment and media industry. For example, approximately $2.3 trillion (13.3% of the U.S. GDP of $17.3 trillion) was produced in California as of 2014 (“The State of America’s Economy in 15 Charts,” n.d.). If the state were a country, it would be still ranked as one of the top six most powerful country. Other major states, such as Texas and New York, contributed to the development of the U.S. economy by $1.64 trillion (9.5%) and $1.40 trillion (8.1%) respectively. This has motivated a large number of international businesspeople to work in the U.S., and diversity and a variety of opportunities were the main result, as Louis and Sharon said. Also, the website writes that the U.S. still plays a very important role in supporting other countries’ growths. For example, Japan invests $373 billion in the U.S., United Kingdom invests $449 billion, Netherlands invests $305 billion, and many countries spend billions of billions of money as investment in this country in return for its assistance. My point is that the U.S. has still been a driving factor for many countries.
In addition, the number of international students studying in the U.S. has been increasing, and I know this because this semester I am working in the International Program Office as an intern to help develop initial marketing strategies to recruit more students from particular countries. According to Open Doors (2019), several reasons that they choose the U.S. universities over those located in other developed countries are its quality education, diversity, scientific and creative innovation, and employment prospects. U.S. universities help students develop critical-thinking skills through class discussions and case-solving problems, yet the education systems of Asia, especially Japan, South Korea, and China, still focuses more on the rote learning than on useful skills at work. Diversity broadens a person’s perspective, and he/she is more willing to understand cultural differences and make decisions based on his/her real experiences. Scientific and creative innovation enables students majoring in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields to develop skills necessary for their jobs like how to solve particular problems, how to more efficiently and more easily do so. Finally, international students need to be able to use English to graduate from University, and today a number of multinational companies highly value their college experiences and how they overcame certain problems in not their first language. In other words, international students that decide to study in the U.S. will be more likely to be hired by big companies and earn a larger amount of money than those who decide to study in their home country. Also, the majority of them are global-oriented, and they want to work in the U.S. as legal citizens. Therefore, they can contribute their knowledge and experiences to the development of the U.S. economy after they paid very expensive college tuition costs.
Having said that, I also believe that in the next few decades, China and some Latin countries like Mexico and Brazil will be economically more influential, and the U.S. economy will be worse. My answer to Question II is new language barriers. For example, as an International Business major student, I understand that there exist several financial and economic opportunities in Latin America. To take advantage of this fact for my successful career, I learned to speak Spanish fluently, and I am studying Portuguese. Thus, I will have no difficulty negotiating with people from countries where these two are spoken. English is still considered as the most spoken language by native speakers and non-native speakers, and, in order for companies to earn more profits overseas, use of English is required as the most common language spoken in many countries. However, George Ayankan (2019) points out that the 10 most spoken languages are as follows: Mandarin (1.1 million speakers), English (983 million), Hindustani (544 million), Spanish (527 million), Arabic (422 million), Malay (281 million), Russian (267 million), Bengali (261 million), and Portuguese and French (229 million). The important thing to remember is that the main reasons that people acquire international languages include cultures, friends, and also usefulness at work. Therefore, this indicates that more economic activities will take place outside the United States, and international businesspeople must learn Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory, dinner etiquettes, how to shake hands, etc. as well as foreign languages. I suggest that the best way to learn them at college is to make international friends and exchange languages, cultural and religious aspects. They also want to make American friends as well to learn about the U.S. culture, and both can learn more than what textbooks do not teach students.
Finally, understanding how the U.S. culture differs from other countries’ cultures will help you focus on deciding which country should be the main target market with more accurate primary and secondary data. Due to the rapid globalization, many pieces of economic, political, and financial information can quickly become obsolete and difficult to completely obtain, even though basic social and demographic information are relatively easier to find on the Internet. For example, the population of Japan has been decreasing, and so has its labor force. Thus, the government has decided to welcome more international businesspeople and tourists for its GDP. Based on this fact, one can identify how the demographic and economic changes are related to each other. Therefore, unless understanding the latter factors, you would risk making misleading decisions based on wrong assumptions and estimates.