News Investigations

Lindsey Miller

World Poverty Rate to Fall Below 10% for the First Time

According to CNN Money, the global rate of poverty is projected to fall below 10% for the first time in history. Investments in education, health, and social safety nets have helped to lower the rate of those living on $1.90 or less per day. The projection for 2015 is 3.2% less than the rate from 2012. However, a decrease of economic growth can put a damper on this. It also has been warned that the progress is still not stable due to some regions falling behind. This article can be related to our discussion on the Great Depression. Many Americans were living in poverty during the Great Depression due to the failing economy. I learned what living in poverty actually is (living on $1.90 or less per day), from this article. I also learned what regions are to blame for the higher rate (Sub-Saharan Africa, where 50% of global poverty population resides). Finally, I learned what helps and what contributes to the world poverty rate.

Why Europeans Hate Obama's Free Trade Plan

According to supporters, President Obama's Free Trade Plan will ease trade between the world's largest economic unions, and create over a million jobs. Despite these positive possibilities, over 3.5 million Europeans have signed a petition against the plan. CNN Money reports that the dislike is due to five reasons: secrecy (talks have been held in private), power (deal could give more power to United States corporations), the public sector (plan could lead to more privatization), health and safety (possible weakening of food safety and environmental protection guidelines), and jobs (possible job transfers). This article can be related to the topic of trade. We've discussed in class that when we buy something, we are exchanging our money for a product. The same process is performed when trading overseas. From this article, I learned not only the overall opinion by the majority of Europeans, but also their reasoning for disliking the plan. I honestly didn't really consider just how much Europeans are effected by the Free Trade Plan. I think it's extremely important to look at both sides of the situation before building an opinion, and this article is a perfect example of why that is.

U.S. Dollar is Having a Rough October

Throughout the majority of 2015, the U.S. dollar has done quite well; that is until now. Several currencies are doing very well against the dollar. So why is the dollar having a not-so-great month? One possible factor is the increased price of oil. Another factor has to do with how the economic growth of the U.S. has slowed down. That can lead to a weaker dollar, which can help strengthen emerging markets. This article can be related to our class discussions comparing currencies around the world. Many European nations share the euro as their national currency. In class, we recently discussed how inflation can influence the value of a nation's currency. A great example of this is Germany between the world wars. To help cover the cost of reparations, the government increased the production of their currency. Rather than help the situation, it weakened the value of Germany's money.

Obama is Trying to Rescue Puerto Rico

The Obama Administration has recently announced its support for Puerto Rico cities to receive access to the same bankruptcy rights as cities in the United States. The governor of Puerto Rico has repeatedly asked Congress to allow the option of bankruptcy. However, even if the Congress did approve the plan, which doesn't seem very likely, it would only cover one third of the $72 billion debt Puerto Rico currently has. This article can be tied to class through the topic of government interference. We've discussed different ways that our government has been involved with other countries. We've also talked about how Puerto Rico is a commonwealth and how that effects our country. Before reading this article, I didn't know anything regarding Puerto Rico's national debt.

The Gender Pay Gap Widens Again

This article discusses the recent observations comparing the the pay of men and women. It informs about how these observations are drawn, including how it is now being recorded does not actually tell us what we want to know. The article then goes on to theorize that children are the defining point when comparing wages earned. This article can be related to class through the topic of household income. The gender pay gap is measured by comparing the incomes of both genders. These incomes are included in a household income, which is the sum of the income earned by those living in the household. From this article, I learned that there really isn't a gender pay gap, but rather a motherhood vs. fatherhood pay gap, as I previously mentioned that children are the defining point.