Friday, January 29, 2010

Pro Gambling

Pro Gambling

Gambling is a very good thing to have in a state's government. Not only does it provide entertainment for its customers and create jobs, but it also brings money into the economy. With a cash-cow such as casinos, we would slowly rise from the debt that we have dug ourselves into.

The main reason for gambling is the chance to earn the big bucks, money. It's not all in slots or card games, but the lottery and scratch are very popular ways to gamble. You spend a dollar or two on a lottery ticket, and come next Saturday, you are a millionaire! This is what every person who gambles looks to do, become rich over night. People love the risk, and getting that extra rush makes it even more fun.

In 2008 (according to the American Gaming Association), casinos have employed over 375,000 jobs. That is not including sporting events, race tracks, and lotteries. The AGA also stated that eighty-five percent of casino employees find their job "satisfying", and about half plan to stay working their within the next ten years. With a government controlled gambling system, the number of jobs available would increase drastically.

The last reason why gambling is a good thing, is the amount of money it brings into the state. Casino worker's wages totaled over $14 billion. These wages go directly back out into the consumer economy. Commercial casino revenue totaled at $32.54 billion. Money gained by taxes for the state is also in the multi-billion dollar range.

So gambling is not all about having fun and blowing money, but about getting money back into the economy. Having gambling nationwide would at least triple the number of jobs available, and double the tax revenue gained for the states. Laws could also be made to lower the rate of gambling abuse. These are reasons why gambling is a good thing to have.

Works Cited
"Gambling." Northern Kentucky University. Web. 29 Jan. 2010. .
"Industry Information : Fact Sheets." American Gaming Association. Web. 28 Jan. 2010. .

Google vs. Beijing

Google vs. Beijing

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Geopolitics of Electricity

The Geopolitics of Electricity

A Failure to Imagine the Worst | Foreign Policy

A Failure to Imagine the Worst | Foreign Policy

Command China vs. Network China

By Thomas Friedman
Last week, I wrote a column suggesting that while some overheated Chinese markets, like real estate, may offer shorting opportunities, I’d be wary of the argument that China’s economy today is just one big short-inviting bubble, à la Dubai. Your honor, I’d like to now revise and amend my remarks.

There is one short position, one big short, that does intrigue me in China. I am not sure who makes a market in this area, but here goes: If China forces out Google, I’d like to short the Chinese Communist Party.

Here is why: Chinese companies today are both more backward and more advanced than most Americans realize. There are actually two Chinese economies today. There is the Communist Party and its affiliates; let’s call them Command China. These are the very traditional state-owned enterprises.

Alongside them, there is a second China, largely concentrated in coastal cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong. This is a highly entrepreneurial sector that has developed sophisticated techniques to generate and participate in diverse, high-value flows of business knowledge. I call that Network China.

What is so important about knowledge flows? This, for me, is the key to understanding the Google story and why one might decide to short the Chinese Communist Party.

John Hagel, the noted business writer and management consultant argues in his recently released “Shift Index” that we’re in the midst of “The Big Shift.” We are shifting from a world where the key source of strategic advantage was in protecting and extracting value from a given set of knowledge stocks — the sum total of what we know at any point in time, which is now depreciating at an accelerating pace — into a world in which the focus of value creation is effective participation in knowledge flows, which are constantly being renewed.

“Finding ways to connect with people and institutions possessing new knowledge becomes increasingly important,” says Hagel. “Since there are far more smart people outside any one organization than inside.” And in today’s flat world, you can now access them all. Therefore, the more your company or country can connect with relevant and diverse sources to create new knowledge, the more it will thrive. And if you don’t, others will.

I would argue that Command China, in its efforts to suppress, curtail and channel knowledge flows into politically acceptable domains that will indefinitely sustain the control of the Communist Party — i.e., censoring Google — is increasingly at odds with Network China, which is thriving by participating in global knowledge flows. That is what the war over Google is really all about: It is a proxy and a symbol for whether the Chinese will be able to freely search and connect wherever their imaginations and creative impulses take them, which is critical for the future of Network China.

Have no doubt, China has some world-class networked companies that are “in the flow” already, such as Li & Fung, a $14 billion apparel company with a network of 10,000 specialized business partners, and Dachangjiang, the motorcycle maker. The flows occurring on a daily basis in the networks of these Chinese companies to do design, product innovation and supply-chain management and to pool the best global expertise “are unlike anything that U.S. companies have figured out,” said Hagel.

The orchestrators of these networks, he added, “encourage participants to gather among themselves in an ad hoc fashion to address unexpected performance challenges, learn from each other and pull in outsiders as they need them. More traditional companies driven by a desire to protect and exploit knowledge stocks carefully limit the partners they deal with.”

Command China has thrived up to now largely by perfecting the 20th-century model for low-cost manufacturing based on mining knowledge stocks and limiting flows. But China will only thrive in the 21st century — and the Communist Party survive in power — if it can get more of its firms to shift to the 21st-century model of Network China. That means enabling more and more Chinese people, universities and companies to participate in the world’s great knowledge flows, especially ones that connect well beyond the established industry and market boundaries.

Alas, though, China seems to be betting that it can straddle three impulses — control flows for political reasons, maintain 20th-century Command Chinese factories for employment reasons and expand 21st-century Network China for growth reasons. But the contradictions within this straddle could undermine all three. The 20th-century Command model will be under pressure. The future belongs to those who promote richer and ever more diverse knowledge flows and develop the institutions and practices required to harness them.

So there you have it: Command China, which wants to censor Google, is working against Network China, which thrives on Google. For now, it looks as if Command China will have its way. If that turns out to be the case, then I’d like to short the Communist Party.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Drug Legalization

Drug Legalization
People have opinions on topics that involve every part of daily life. Many individuals in society think differently about what is right and what is wrong. Whether it is the topic of abortion, gay marriage, or drug legalization, every person has his or her own thoughts on what is acceptable. That is what makes up some of the most interesting topics people talk about today. Drug legalization is one of the hottest arguments currently talked about all over the United States, to legalize or not to legalize?
There are many pros and cons about this touchy subject. Some say that if drugs were legalized then it would lead to economic benefits. People would no longer have to secretly sell drugs and the drugs could then be taxed. Some offer that legalizing drugs would also be beneficial because then the money could be used for people's health and education. Another pro is the fact that legalizing drugs would reduce the crime rate since people would no longer have to steal or kill for drugs. The people in jail for selling drugs might get a new chance to start over and then jail cells would be less crowded. If drugs were regulated then it might decrease the amount of deaths because clean needles would be used, and HIV and AIDS cases would therefore decline.
Although crime would decline in some areas it may increase in others. Legalizing drugs might increase the risk of people committing a crime while intoxicated. Drug markets probably wouldn't disappear because there would still be people wanted to buy the drugs at a cheaper price. Many people also think that if they legalize marijuana it will just lead to legalizing too many other drugs. It is a well know fact that some kids already drink alcohol and smoke illegally, so will harder drugs just become a normal everyday thing if legalized?
If drugs were legalized, the economy might lose more money due to building rehabilitation centers and hospitals for people who are addicted to drugs and get sick because of their bad side effects. There are many unknown health effects caused from doing drugs.  Drugs may change people's mental state and may lead to bigger problems such as people robbing, raping, and doing harm to others in society. Drugs often affect how people act and make decisions. These affects may cause a person to do things that he would not normally do because of being under the influence of drugs. Drugs might impair a driver's vision and cause that individual not to see clearly while driving.  Drugs could also change a person's physical appearance. Skin color might turn a dark or yellow color and wrinkles might occur. Drugs could also cause body sores, change the appearance of an individual's nails and thin a person's hair.
Drugs do harm too many people in society. If drugs were not legalized society could stay away from many problems.  Although there are many good reasons why drugs should be legalized there are also many reasons they shouldn't. This matter is still being debated and if there is one thing to agree on, then it's the fact that this subject will not go away for a long time.
Works Cited.
"The Pros and Cons of Drug Legalization." Freelance Writing - Internet Article Marketing - Publish Articles Online - EduBook. Web. 23 Jan. 2010. <>.
" - Legalization of Marijuana (Pros & Cons, Arguments For and Against)." - Free Balanced, Non-Partisan Discussion of Political & Social Issues for Debate (Pros and Cons - Decision Making Politics). Web. 23 Jan. 2010. <>.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Can Google Beat China?

BEIJING — At the elite Tsinghua University here, some students were joking Friday that they had better download all the Internet information they wanted now in case Google left the country.

But to many of the young, well-educated Chinese who are Google’s loyal users here, the company’s threat to leave is in fact no laughing matter. Interviews in Beijing’s downtown and university district indicated that many viewed the possible loss of Google’s maps, translation service, sketching software, access to scholarly papers and search function with real distress.

“How am I going to live without Google?” asked Wang Yuanyuan, a 29-year-old businessman, as he left a convenience store in Beijing’s business district.

China’s Communist rulers have long tried to balance their desire for a thriving Internet and the economic growth it promotes with their demands for political control. The alarm over Google among Beijing’s younger, better educated and more Internet savvy citizens — China’s future elite — shows how wobbly that balancing act can be.

By publicly challenging China’s censorship, Google has stirred up the debate over the government’s claim that constraints on free speech are crucial to political stability and the prosperity that has accompanied it. Even if it is unlikely to pose any immediate threat to the Communist Party, Google’s move has clearly discomfited the government, Chinese analysts say.

“The average age of Chinese netizens is still very young,” said Hu Yong, a journalism professor at Peking University. “This is a matter of the future and whether the government’s Internet policy wants to fight with the future.

“If this process goes on, more and more people are going to realize that their freedom of information is being infringed upon, and this could bring changes down the line,” he said.

Google may rank a distant second to the Baidu search engine, but its estimated 80 million users are comparatively better educated and wealthier. Surveys show that roughly two-thirds are college educated. A Beijing technology consultant, Kaiser Kuo, describes them as “a potentially very noisy constituency.”

An Internet expert who insisted on anonymity for fear of repercussions from the government said: “They have bought into the bargain of get rich, have a good job, life gets better, just don’t mess with the Communist Party.”

If Google leaves, he said, “they may start asking, ‘What’s wrong with my country that it doesn’t let me do this?’ ”

“It is not like they are going to take to the streets,” he added. “But it further erodes the legitimacy of what the Communist Party is doing. This is a group the party doesn’t want to lose any more than it already has.”

On the other hand, the Chinese government managed to cut off nearly all Internet access to an entire region of 19 million people for half a year without encountering any significant political resistance. The blackout, imposed in the western Xinjiang region after deadly riots in July, is only now being gingerly lifted.

Other Internet users argue that Google must respect the Chinese government’s policies if it wants to do business here.

“I think government control of this is quite reasonable,” said Liu Qiang, 29, a Tsinghua University mechanical engineer graduate student. “Our party needs to stabilize its governance.”

Some predict that any inconvenience caused by Google’s exit will be short-lived. “The Internet is really big,” said Wang Quiya, a 27-year-old worker in Beijing’s financial district. “Something will take its place, right?”

The government’s recent efforts to tighten Internet controls have already cost some Chinese some pleasures. In the name of rooting out pornography and piracy, Chinese authorities have shut down hundreds of Web sites offering films, music downloads, video games and other forms of entertainment since November.

Li An, a Tsinghua University senior with wide eyes and thick black braids, said she used to download episodes of “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy” from sites run by BT China that are now closed. “I love American television series!” she said with frustration during a pause from studying Japanese at a university fast-food restaurant on Friday.

The loss of Google would hit her much harder, she said, because she relies on Google Scholar to download academic papers for her classes in polymer science. “For me, this is terrible,” Ms. Li said. Some students contend that even after Google pulls out, Internet space will continue to shrink. Until now, Google has shielded Baidu by manning the front line in the censorship battle, said one 20-year-old computer science major at Tsinghua.

“Without Google, Baidu will be very easy to manipulate,” he said. “I don’t want to see this trend.”

A 21-year old civil engineering student predicted a strong reaction against the government. “If Google really leaves, people will feel the government has gone too far,” he insisted over lunch in the university cafe.

But asked whether that reaction would influence the government to soften its policies, he concentrated on his French fries. “I really don’t know,” he said.

Xiyun Yang, Li Bibo and Nancy Zhao contributed research.

Saturday, January 9, 2010