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Discuss the complexities associated with domestic political support for armies spending and high military budgets. Can the current military budget be justified?
It is a fact that the United States budget expenditure on the military is relatively huge. For instance, for 2005 year the defense budget totaled $490 billion. It is arguably evident that the national security expenditure in the United States is about 50 percent of the global national security expenditure. The complexity is due to the fact that the defense expenditure is not large comparing with the measured using of the GDP basis, because it only takes about 4.9% of the Gross Domestic Product, which is relatively smaller against the earlier national security expenditures (Wirls 58).
On the contrary, the defense expenditure is large then measured usage of absolute standards. For instance, it takes about $5000 per household. In addition, when compared to other sectors such as education, energy, transit and railroads and recreation and culture, the defense budget is relatively large. This poses a question whether the United States is accruing adequate returns on the huge national security spending, which is mainly aimed at peace and public safety and may be oil supplies and exports. In order to assess the plausibility of the huge military budgets, it is important to compare it with the military budgets of other countries and their security threats assessments (Wirls 59).
The US has not been involved in major wars after the World War II, and its security is only threatened by one country that is involved in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. From this, it can be concluded that either the United States is exaggerating its level of national security threats or the other countries are ignoring their national security threats, which is unlikely. The huge military budget cannot be justified because it is an instance of economic waste.
What is the purpose and significance of such international economic organizations as the IMF, World Bank, and WTO, and international political organizations as the United Nations? What was the American role in creating those institutions?
In the modern day global political and economical systems, international organizations come in handy to play a significant role in ensuring stability in the global sphere. International economic organizations are established mainly for the purpose of common economic development. The increasing levels of interdependence among countries has compelled the present day states to look for areas of mutual advantages for economic development steering such as trade and communications (Warren 102). Therefore, in the case of international transactions among many countries, the international economic organizations play an important role in ensuring fairness and equity. This implies that the international economic organizations play an integral role in ensuring the stability of the global economy.
This is attained through the specification of the rules of behavior by the countries in the global marketplace and reconciling the policies of the various nations. In addition, international economic organizations strive at stabilization of the global economy through persuading the countries to adjust their national policies to ensure that they respect for other nations' interests. International organizations are also established with the principal objective of ensuring that there is peace at the world; this is achieved through the establishment of international laws that regulate the conduct of countries during international relations. Owing to the fact that the United States is a single super power, it plays a significant role in a creation of the international institutions. The United States serves to make the international organizations more powerful due to its multilateral efforts when handling international issues. The hegemonic nature of the United States implies that its multilateral efforts with the international organizations are likely to be successful. For instance, the United States uses a multilateral approach when handling terrorism, offering aid for economic development and solving global environmental issues (Warren 103).
Please respond with your thoughts on the film we have been watching The End of Poverty, which takes a critical view on the process of globalization. What would propound regarding unfettered globalization in response to this presentation? Did this film expand your understanding of the concept?
The End of Poverty film attempts to explore the core causes of poverty that are being witnessed around the globe. Therefore, the film provides a phenomenal discussion on the existence of the earth poverty that is well endowed yet with a lot of wealth and natural resources. The thesis of the film is that poverty is not an accident and can be traced back to the colonial times and the consequences of colonialism that played an integral role in creation a global economic environment, whereby the wealthy countries usually tend to exploit poor countries. Some of the attributes depicted in the film are actually evident in the present economic system, such as the natural resources exploitation, the use of free markets idea, the increasing demand for corporate profits and the transformation of the global economic system characterized by a situation whereby 85 percent of the global resources are consumed by 25 percent of the global population.
The unfettered proponents of globalization would argue that the film is not an accurate depiction of the causes of the modern day poverty in the sense that they cannot blame the high poverty levels on globalization, which leads to establishment of unified financial and economical system as in the case of free markets and international trade. The unrestrained proponents of globalization would claim that the international market and economic sphere is a free and fair playground. This is not depicted in the film that mainly direct problems of poverty of western capitalism and the view of natural resources are a subject to ownership.
The film offers a complete understanding of globalization and poverty in a positive manner. The only limitation is that it does not address the potential solutions that can be used to alleviate poverty in this field of economic interdependence and globalization. From a holistic point of view, the film provides offers a comprehensive discussion of the relationship that exist between poverty and globalization of financial and economical systems, which cause to western capitalism resulting to the exploitation of poor nations.
The documentary Beyond Our Differences makes the case that the world is largely focused on the negative aspects of contemporary religion, particularly the Western tradition, and not enough on the positive. Did you agree or disagree with this essential message of the film?
With diverse problems facing the world in the present day including poverty, war, starvation, draught, environmental issues and overpopulation, people usually keep their believes in embarking on spirituality and religion. This denotes the significance of religion in bringing hope and eliminating the desperation that has being witnessed. However, this is not the main case due to religious differences, with the most people focusing on the negative aspects of western religion instead of embarking its positive aspects by going beyond our differences. I consent to this essential theme in the film due to the fact that the it calls upon all the religious leaders to address the most complex issues of the contemporary times, this can only be achieved by putting the differences aside and embarking on the positive aspects of contemporary western religion instead of its negative aspects.
It is vital to embark on the commonalities that attempt to unify the religious viewpoints of human, something that can only be achieved through laying emphasis on the common threads of hope in order to foster positive change and healing of the various cultures across the globe. A notable fact is that the commonalities of the various global religions prevail over their differences, implying that people should not focus on the negative aspects of western contemporary religion because it is the central point of the diversities. In addition, most of the problems that are currently facing the world could be easily eliminated of the global religions and cultures acted in unison for a common cause without taking into consideration their dissimilarities, which are usually perceived as the negative elements of a given religion. In the light of this view, I consent with the essential message of the film that the world is largely focused on the negative aspects of contemporary religion; especially the western tradition and people do not focus enough on the positive aspects of the modern religion.
Explain in your own words the ideas presented in the short documentary The Ecological Footprint. What sort of solutions presented in the video seems plausible for Americans to carry out?
In The Ecological Footprint, Mathis Wackernagel depicts human beings as the most successful species on the earth. However, the increasing economic growth is imposing high levels of demand for ecological resources that are limited. The film provides a framework that can be used to assess the future of the wellbeing of humans. One of the most effective methods that can be used in evaluating the ecological sustainability and avoiding the depletion of natural resources is to keep track of the level of natural resources consumption; this helps people undertake informed decisions when consuming the natural resources. The concept of Ecological Footprint serves to measure the human demand on the natural resources that are founded on earth. This is helpful in assessing whether we are consuming the natural resources at a rate that is more compared to the rate at which they can be renewed. This is an important measure of environmental sustainability and a core contributor of development that is sustainable.
As an element of the concept of environmental sustainability, it plays an integral role in ensuring that the present processes of human interaction with nature are undertaken with the main objects of environmental preserving and aims at keeping the environment as perfect as possible. Environmental sustainability ceases when nature capital is consumed at a rate which is faster compared to the rate that nature can replenish itself. As such, sustainable development dictates that humankind should consume natural resources at a rate whereby their replenishment can take place naturally. It is based on this approach that sustainable development can be associated with the concept of carrying capacity. Basing on a theoretical framework, the outcome of environmental degradation implies lack of nature’s abilities to sustain humankind. The global environmental degradation poses imminent threats for humanity and has the potential of inflicting human extinction. Having based on this approach, a combination of environmental degradation and consumption of renewable resources at a rate that more than nature’s ability to renew creates an environment is not sustainable. Environmental equilibrium and a consumption rate are equal to nature’s capacity to renew results to steady state economy. Environmental sustainability is characterized by environmental renewal and consumption of natural resources at a rate that is less compared to the ability of nature to renew.