The Chinese middle class is growing and, with it, so are the costs of labor. Only a few short decades ago, the world turned to China (as well as some other Asian countries) to produce manufactured goods for low costs. Now China is looking to do the same. China’s target: Africa.
The following is a research project conducted to determine how those businesses most affected by an increase to the national minimum wage feel about President Obama’s proposal from a few months ago.
After the Executive Summary and Report, please find the Questionnaire used as well as some visuals in Data Findings.
The topic of whether the minimum wage should be increased to $10.10, as proposed by President Barack Obama, has become an intense issue. This study has been conducted to bring to light the current sentiment by those most affected by a change in the minimum so that policy makers have a better understanding and grasp of what needs to be done.
The research conducted was limited to an area in Monmouth County, NJ that includes a range of socio-economic groups from upper lower class to high middle class. The target of the study was divided into two main demographic groups; Professional Managers and Owner Managers. These two groups represent Large Companies and Small Businesses, respectively. Further categorization includes gender and number of employees. Once the data was collected, it was then analyzed to yield results that could be used to complete the objective of accurately portraying how different demographics feel they will be impacted by increasing the minimum wage.
The results have limitations based mostly on the small sample size and specific area that the study was conducted in, as well as the types of industries represented. The implications of the information are important, nonetheless. Large Companies tended to be more against increasing the minimum wage than did Small Businesses. This seems to be because of the large labor force employed by retail corporations that have multiple locations across the state or country. Large Corporations also have more financial burden relative to Small Businesses and would feel the strain of increased labor cost more so than smaller businesses.
After considering the study results and factoring in the limitations, it seems important that policy makers and interested parties conduct similar research on a much larger scale in order to better represent the scope of the nation. With concern to this study, however, recommendations to policy makers would be to increase the minimum wage incrementally on a national scale, however to encourage states to take more of a lead based on each state’s respective economies. A change in the tax code is also necessary to allow businesses, large and small, to better face the current economic challenges. Increasing the minimum wage is only one small step to revitalizing the nation’s economy.
On this past week’s broadcast/podcast of The Motley Experience on WRSU, the topic of Bitcoins was discussed.
The use of bitcoins has been highlighted in the news recently and will most likely continue to do so due the controversy surrounding the subject.
To ensure that readers of The Motley Experience have a better understanding of what bitcoins actually are, I have put together a basic overview.
Bitcoin is a digital currency and software
Bitcoin is often referred to as a new kind of currency. But it may be best to think of its units being virtual tokens rather than physical coins or notes. However, like all currencies its value is determined by how much people are willing to exchange it for.
The current national minimum wage is at $7.25
There has been quite a lot of chatter recently concerning a raise in the minimum wage. Discussion has increased since President Obama’s State of the Union Address this past Tuesday, where he called for a raise in the minimum wage to $10.10 (the current national minimum wage is $7.25, although the number varies by state). The major issue with a wage hike is whether the consequences will be positive or negative for the economy.
Anyone following world events will have noticed that there continues to be a growing tension in East Asia. The conflict predominantly stems from the rivalry between China and Japan; a rivalry that has stretched back centuries.
Recent headlines concerning the conflict are centered on the dispute of which of the two countries have sovereignty over a small island chain. Japan has legally owned the islands for decades, but has claimed ownership since the late 1800’s. Despite this, China still claims the islands belong to them and have gone so far as to include the islands in their Air Defense Identification Zone. This, of course, has only further aggravated the debate over the island chain, as well as the overall relationship between the two nations.
Conflict between China and Japan is nothing new. Armed conflict dates back centuries. The First Sino-Japanese War was held from 1894 to 1895, mostly over control of Korea. The most infamous conflict held between the two countries was the Second Sino-Japanese War which was held from 1937 until 1945. This war merged with the greater, global conflict being fought in World War II. The main purpose of the Second Sino-Japanese War was to expand Japanese control over China’s vast natural resources, and was a result of Japan’s imperialistic policies. The most controversial event to come out of this war was the Nanking Massacre, commonly referred to as the Rape of Nanking. It is because of such atrocities committed against the people of China, that the relationship between the two nations has never quite healed.
East Asian Conflict
Conflict in East Asia, specifically between China and Japan, continues to escalate. A major focus of the conflict seems to be territorial disputes over a small chain of island, called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. Japan bought the the privately held islands not long ago, nationalizing them, though they have been under Japanese control since 1895. China views these islands as belonging to them and that Japan stole them. In fact, China has included the airspace above the islands in their Air Defense Identification Zone, which requires all aircraft to enter flight plans and radio information.
The United States economy has shown positive growth since the Great Recession. Despite the positive overall trends, the economy is still sluggish. The fact remains that unemployment is still plaguing middle and lower class demographics and is leading to weaker-than-preferable economic activity (1). Below you will find several policies that, if undertaken collectively, will revitalize the US economy.
I read a BBC.com article on ‘fracking’ in the US. More specifically, this article discusses a new $20 billion project to open an export terminal in Louisiana where extracted natural gas will be shipped abroad. To give a brief overview, when the terminal was first started it was intended as an import terminal for natural gas. However, with recent discoveries of plentiful reserves, the US is moving towards exporting the energy source to countries such as the UK. A factor in this recent boom is the new innovations in the processes of discovering and exploiting natural gas reserves.
Hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, occurs when pressurized water is forced into the shale. Granules of sand in the water help make the fissures in the shale larger, allowing the natural gas to flow out. The 90 degree turn allows for a wider field of exploitation.
While perusing the Financial Times over the past few days, I have come across several articles concerning rising issues with China. The most common theme among these articles was the growing amount of cyber theft that US officials have traced back to China. Other articles detail growing tensions between China and the US, as well as China and the EU.