Thursday, October 8, 2009

Group Blog

Stephanie's blog has this cool "Google Game" group blog and I simply could not resist.
You're supposed to google images of the following things:

1. Your Favorite beverage:

2. Your hometown

San Francisco, a small colonial town in the Dominican Republic. Now I live here:

3. Your favorite TV show

I am obsessed with True Blood

4. Your Occupation/You are in school for

Political Science.... I hope I don't look like that when I'm old.
5. Your first car

Haven't had a car yet. I live in New York City, we take the metro.

6. Your favorite dish

Delicious sushi. You must eat it.

7. Celebrity you've been told to resemble

Michelle Rodriguez. I don't see it but I think it's because we're from the same country.

8. Celebrity on your "to do" list

Maybe when he's older.

9. Favorite Childhood toy

I loved Max Steel

10. Any Random picture

Lady GaGa at the VMAs wearing something that looks like a nest.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Problem of Illegal Immigration

It is relevant that I tell you this before I begin my article: I grew up in a small town in Dominican Republic. Contrary to what most people believe, the majority of the Dominican population is of white descent (from Spain) there are though, of course, those who are descendants of the black slaves and the Native Indians. The majority of the blacks were pushed by the white population to the west side of the island to a country now called Haiti.

The economy of Haiti didn't do as well as the economy in Dominican Republic, on our side we had the best land, and grew coffee, cotton and sugarcane. The less fertile area of Haiti wasn't as prosperous. Our economy flourished and Haiti's didn't. Now Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and they illegally immigrate into the Dominican Republic looking for better jobs and a better future.

Hundreds of years after the Dominican war for independence against Spain and after pushing the now freed slaves into a different territory racism still lingers in the country. Like I had said before I grew up in a small town amidst this racism. My mother taught me to dislike Haitians because they were "dirty, smelly illegal construction workers and cotton pickers."

Now our country houses millions of illegal Haitian immigrants. They have, of course, taken the jobs that Dominican citizens don't want to do, they work in the sugar cane fields, making money that can't afford them a decent living, and yet, the majority of Dominicans believe that their large numbers threatens the sovereignty of our country.

I have grown up and now I see things in a different way. These people are not immigrating into our country because they want to be treated miserably, often with violence, having their houses, if you can call it that, burned, earning slavery wages and separating themselves from their families, they are in our country because back home they live in utter dispair, sometimes even forced to eat dirt. Yes, dirt. They bake 'cookies' out of it and sell it.

I have matured but apparently the world hasn't. These injustices are going on, not only in my country but also here in the United States. The only things Americans hate more than terrorism is illegal Mexicans. Ok, maybe not all Americans, but close.In the case of the Americans things aren't much different, immigrants are going to a country with a better economy looking for better jobs and a better future and encounter the same low paying jobs, the same racist people calling them "dirty, smelly illegals who take our jobs" just like Dominicans are doing in their country. Is this really what we should be doing? Complaining about how they are threatening the future of our country, telling them to go back home along with racist insults, or should we take a more assertive approach and try to fix the problem at the root of it, back in Mexico or Haiti, and try to help their economy? Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What's 'Free' About Free Trade?

Free Trade means exactly that, companies are free to do whatever they please. They are free to choose how many hours a week their employees will work, free to pay as high or low wages as they please and free from paying taxes. Because there aren't many workers in developed nations willing to work for slavery wages, these companies set out to Third World countries in search for workers to exploit.

Free Trade agreements bring jobs to these impoverished nations so their leaders embrace them and truly they will embrace anything that boosts their economy and lower the unemployment rates.

At first glance it may seem like Free Trades are beneficial to both parties, the developed country, because they get cheap labor which brings down their prices back home, and the developing nation, raises their country's GDP.

After examining the situation a little more we encounter that one country's standard of living continues to grow, meanwhile the other continues to lower, hence making the poor even poorer. International prices are set by the American dollar, which is where most of the products are sent to after they've been manufactured in free trade zones, after that, they need to be shipped, bringing the price up. So back in it's starting country, let's say Dominican Republic, the price of the product is more expensive than it's price in the United States. This is a problem because the workers in the starting country make less money than in the United States, and so not only do they get paid less at work, but also their products are worth more. It is because of things such as this that over 1 billion people in the world will go hungry next year.1

These things are only the economical perspective of it. I have decided to exclude other facts among them are child labor, income inequality, sweatshops, environmental degradation, and many other things. I leave you with a quote from Karl Marx:

"The bourgeoisie... has set up that single, unconscionable freedom -- Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation."

1 State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2008 FAO."Food Security Statistics".

Brave New World

Brave New World is the name of the book by Aldous Huxley. It is a book about a world that has been eradicated of poverty, war and misery. This blog is based on this book and in it I will discuss my views on politics, religion, science and other things I may feel are worth discussing.