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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Critical Analysis Essay on "We Won’t Solve Nation’s Problems without First Targeting Immigration" by Yeh Ling-Ling

Critical Analysis Essay on "We Won’t Solve Nation’s Problems without First Targeting Immigration" by Yeh Ling-Ling

The article entitled “We Won’t Solve Nation’s Problems without First Targeting Immigration” presents a powerful and emotional but flawed argument on the lax immigration policies of the United States and its social and economic impact on the United States.  It explains that the root of the social evils in the United States is the lax immigration policy and that the solution to the problem of health care, employment, crime and terrorism is to impose a stricter immigration policy.  Yeh stressed that it is not possible to find solution to the country’s crime, employment, terrorism and health care problems without first controlling immigration.  While Yeh is not against immigration per se as it was admitted that they can be assets to the United States, Yeh is against uncontrolled immigration.  Yeh advocates the reduction of the influx of immigrants in the United States as a solution to most of the United States social, economic and political problems. 

First, Yeh argues that the influx of immigrants creates a high demand for job which the labor market could not afford to adequately supply.  From a theoretical standpoint, it may appear to be a strong argument against immigration.  If there is a continuous influx of immigrants and the job market could not supply these demands then unemployment rate increases.  Immigrants and citizens will be competing for substantially similar job.  Employers shall have the prerogative to reduce the wages for these jobs because they know that the job applicants will nonetheless accept these jobs. 

However, the assertion is not supported by research.  Economists say that in most cases immigrants help fuel the American economy because of their willingness to perform jobs that not every citizen is willing to do.  For some people, immigrants actually give more than what they can take insofar as helping the economy is concerned.  If the employers hire and employ illegal immigrants at a cheaper price then employers can cut their overhead cost by a significant amount.  Lesser overhead expenditures mean more savings.  More savings translate to more profits.  More profits mean for incentive for businesses and investors to put up their own businesses in the United States.  Eventually, the benefit goes back to the job market because new investors put up their businesses in the United States.  (Deborah White p.3)  

Second, Yeh appears to present a strong argument that the immigrants are taking over the jobs that should go to the citizens of the United States.  Research shows that immigrants are not displacing citizens from their jobs.  It does not lead to lower wages and lower terms and conditions of employment.  In fact, the adverse economic impact on a relatively small number of unskilled workers is even mitigated by the gains the United States economy receives from the lower prices of goods produced by the immigrants.  Considering that wage is one of the factors that determine the cost of the goods and services, lower wages will result to cheaper goods and services.  This gives the public opportunity to purchase lower-priced goods and services.      

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Third, Yeh argues that the existing jobs should instead be given to low-skilled unemployment citizens and non-violent former prison inmates instead of the immigrants who come to the country.  The choice however of whom should the employers accept as his employee belongs to the employers alone.  It does not belong to the government.  It does not belong to the Yeh Ling-Ling.  It belongs to the employers who should decide for themselves which job applicants they should accept based on business decisions.  It should be borne in mind that these immigrants do not have any power over the individuals whom they work for.  Thus, to say that immigrants are taking jobs that belong to United States citizens is unfair to the immigrants who work hard to earn their living and who went through the same process as the citizens in applying their job. 

Fourth, it may also appear that Yeh’s example that California which receives more immigrants than any other state is on the verge of bankruptcy.  It may be true that California has the highest number of immigrants in the United States but it is unfair to blame these immigrants for the current financial condition of the State of California.  Whether California is on the verge of bankruptcy is debatable.  But to say that the immigrants are responsible for the financial condition of California is totally absurd since these immigrants do not have the direct access to the total budget of California.  They are not spending it directly.  They are also not in-charge of allocating the budget.  Secondly, the statement is not supported by evidence.  On the contrary, in a 64-page study entitled “The Impact of Immigration on the California Economy” which was commissioned by the California Economic Strategy Panel, it was found that California has done better than the national average over the past 15 years according the standards of wages, job creation and unemployment.  The report even stressed that the average wages in California have risen faster than those in the nation as a whole since 1990s. (Tom Abate 1)  In addition, its job growth has even exceeded the country since 1994. (Tom Abate 1)  Moreover, UC Berkeley economic David Card said that while it is true that immigration gives an economy more mouths to feed, immigration makes up for it since they help in expanding the economy. (Tom Abate 1)

Fifth, Yeh also blames the immigrants for the country’s budget deficits saying that low-skilled workers who are presumed to have lower incomes are not likely to pay enough taxes.  Yeh also added that the even if they pay the right taxes it is not even enough to offset the cost of educating their children and pay for social services.  The argument is also not based on studies and empirical research.  On the contrary, in 2007 the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated in the context of the overall budget, the net impact of immigration is relatively small. (James R. Horney 1) It is true that the immigration results in the increase of federal expenditure in terms of social welfare programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, but the immigrants help in the increase of government revenue in terms of the requirement of the payment of back taxes for immigrants who will gain legal status, increase in aggregate wages, incentives for more accurate reporting of income and imposition of fines and penalties. (James R. Horney 1)  It would appear that the revenues to be derived from immigrants would even reduce the deficit by a significant amount. 

Sixth, Yeh likewise argues that immigrants should be blamed for the 9/11 attacks and for the $100 billion spent on measures to curb international terrorism.  The 9/11 terrorist attack is a shock for everyone even for the immigrants who have resided in the country for years and have considered the United States their home.  While it is true that the persons responsible for the World Trade Center Bombing and the Pentagon bombing are foreigners, the immigrants per se should not be blamed for terrorism.  Instead, the government agencies and officials which have been allocated a substantial amount of public money to protect the nation against domestic and international threat should be blamed for what had happened.  Evidence shows that the terrorists planned the attack for months.  Intelligence officials should have known and found out about the coordinated attacks since these activities do not just happen without planning, funds and support.  The government should have been able to prevent them. Moreover, immigrants should not be blamed even for the government allocation since they were not the ones who made the decision to spend that amount of money to fight terrorism.  They were also not the ones who influenced the lawmakers and the government officials to make that decision.  Thus, to blame the immigrants for the government policies is highly absurd. 

No rational individual would perhaps disagree with Yeh’s statement that immigrants are assets to the country and that massive immigration affects everybody.  The issue is when does immigration become massive? Who determines when immigration becomes so huge that it affects the country? What are the parameters and standard? Yeh believes that immigration is already massive.  But there are economists who are experts in the field refuting the said statement. 

Based on Yeh’s arguments presented on the issue of immigration, it is clear that Yeh’s knowledge about the impact of immigration on the economic and crime is not adequately and sufficiently supported by studies and empirical research.  It would appear that Yeh’s knowledge and background information about the topic of immigration are based on hearsay and generalizations of the information received from advocates against immigration.  At first glance, the arguments may appear to be convincing and persuasive.  Yet if the arguments will be closely analyzed loopholes can be seen and detected which was already done in this analysis. 
Yeh is efficient in appealing to the sympathy of the millions of unemployed and victims of terrorism. Yet, as already emphasized the arguments do not hold any water since empirical research refutes the generalizations which Yeh has presented.  Yeh’s arguments could be improved and made more convincing if it will be supported by research and studies.  Statements from economists and researchers and other experts on the topic could have added persuasive effect on the article.


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Research Paper on Depression among Lawyers

Research Paper on Depression among Lawyers

Benjamin et al (1990) published an interesting yet alarming study about the prevalence of alcohol and cocaine users among lawyers.  In the study, it was found that the percentage of cocaine users among lawyers in Washington was twice the national average.  It was also found that around one-fifth of Arizona and Washington lawyers have developed depression that exceeded two standard deviations above the normal population mean.

The study reveals that depression knows no economic or professional boundaries. (Beck et al, 1996)  It is immaterial where a person is situated in the social scale.  It is also immaterial what one does for a living.  Everybody can be affected by depression.  Even lawyers can be affected by depression.  The only difference is that lawyers suffer depression more as a part of their job.  

It is a fact that many people dislike lawyers.  Lawyers are the ones who send demand letters to individuals who could not pay their debts.  Lawyers are the ones who file foreclosure cases so that the houses which have been mortgaged to banks maybe foreclosed.  Lawyers are the ones who file cases against individuals so that they will be placed in prison.  Lawyers are the ones who produce and manufacture evidence so that they will win in court.  Lawyers are the individuals who lie in court just so they could win their case in court and please their clients.

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Very few people understand the level of stress that lawyers face everyday.  Before a student becomes a lawyer he needs to study for years.  He needs to comply with all the requirements of his professors before he can pass all his subject.  Under pressure from his parents and family members a student needs to memorize the laws so that he may have a good chance at passing the bar.  The long years of studying do not end after passing the bar examinations.  In fact, the pressure becomes even worse since a lawyer needs to be able to prove himself before the prosecutor and the judge.  Female lawyers also realize that their working conditions as against the male lawyers are different at work.  They have to prove that they are at least as good as a male lawyer.  A lawyer also needs to prove himself to his client.  Legal practice is indeed very stressful. (Hagan & Kay, 51)

The public do not understand that when lawyers send out demand letters, foreclose mortgages, defend their criminal clients in court or tries to send suspects in court they are merely performing the duties of their profession.  It is part of their job.  Most lawyers who perform these jobs do not like what they are doing but they are nonetheless required to do so since it is their responsibility.  In the performance of the duties of their profession lawyers face tremendous amount of pressure that most of them who could not bear the pressure are forced to using cocaine and alcohol as an outlet.  In most cases, those who feel that they have failed go into depression. 

Yet, the pressure from work does not mean that they are justified from becoming cocaine users or abusers.  But they need help.  Perhaps, one reason why help is wanting for lawyers is that many people assume that they know what to do and they can handle the pressure.  Many feel that they are gifted at rationalization that they do not need outside help from their depressed state.  It is suggested that the Association of lawyers should not take the cases of depression among lawyers for granted. 


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Research Paper on the Environment and the Population

Research Paper on the Environment and the Population

Man is supposed to be an asset.  He is supposed to be an asset to his family, his organization or his country.  He is supposed to take advantage of the existing natural resources for the betterment of everybody.  He is also expected to take care of these resources so that the future generation may someday enjoy its benefits.  Recently, however, it has been found that human activities are affecting the environment to the point that these activities are slowly destroying the natural environment.  The destruction extends from the depredation of the natural forests which serve as the habitat of the animal species, the excessive wastage in the use of the natural resources, and destruction of the eco-system.   Recently, it has also been found out that the gradual destruction of the natural environment also impacts man in the sense that it leads to drought, famine and hunger. 

The principle of law and supplies states that the increase in demand must be off set by an increase in supply.  If the supply does not meet the demand there will be a shortage.  Applying the said principle to the use and consumption of water it can be inferred that there is a need for us to be able to conserve our existing sources of water. 

Studies say that the world population tripled in the 20th Century.  The increase in population carries with it the use of water resources which has increased six times.  The source of water however does not increase.  In fact, human activities have even made some of the sources of potable water undrinkable.  Since it is estimated that the world population will increase by another 40 to 50% in the next fifty years, human population may not have enough supply of potable water in the future.

A case in point is the drought that affected the Southeast from 2005 to 2007.  It was initially thought that the drought was caused by global warming.  Further study, however, revealed that the water shortage was the result of population growth (Cornelia Dean, 2009). For instance, in Georgia the population increased from 6.48 million in 1990 to 9.54 million in 2007.  

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In some countries, the lack of access to safe and potable water is already affecting the public. In Metro Manila, capital of the Philippines, access to water supply is extremely difficult.  In 2003, because of poor management by the water utility companies, a cholera outbreak occurred in one of cities in Metro Manila.  Health authorities found out that the cause of the cholera outbreak is the contaminated and illegally connected water pipes causing a scare in the use of water from water pipes.

Because of the problems of accessibility of clean and potable water supply, residents in the provinces and rural areas and in the urban cities have started to look for alternative sources of clean and potable.  Because the use of household filters remains very expensive, those in the rural and in the urban areas have started to patronize water refilling stations which is extremely expensive (Cris-Ann Ordonia, 2007, p.1). 

The continued reduction in the supply of fresh water may in the future be the primary cause for the spread of water-related diseases.  In Third-World Countries, the public may be forced to drink from unsafe water.  They may get sick and even die.  Infant mortality could increase and the majority of the population may suffer form water-related diseases.  Since it is the obligation of the government to protect the population it may undermine the development of the country and even impede its development.

The human population will not be the only ones who will be directly affected by the reduction of the fresh water supply.  Freshwater is essential for the survival of the different kinds of species that depend on water for their nourishment and survival.  If the water supply will be reduced these species could later on be extinct and affect the entire ecosystem. 

The issue of water shortage is a problem not only among Third World Countries.  It is a problem of the entire world.  It needs stressing that no amount of water conservation efforts by First World Countries will suffice to save the world if the Third World Countries which are more populous will continue to waste the water supply.  Water conservation and management should be a world-wide effort.  The First World Countries should encourage the Third World Countries to conserve and manage their water supply through education and awareness programs and grants.  It is time for the world to understand that the supply of water is not unlimited.  Just like any natural resources water supply is bound to be exhausted if we continue to use it improperly.  


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Critical Analysis Essay on "An Age of Limits and Definitions" by Charlie Stoddard

Critical Analysis Essay on "An Age of Limits and Definitions"

The article was written in 1994.  During this time, Charlie Stoddard had just graduated from college and was looking for a decent apartment to stay. Prior to her experience, she had preconceived ideas of what California apartments looked like.  She thought of a reasonably priced apartment with nice lawns, palms, fences and nice neighborhood.  She had always thought that she would be residing in these kinds of apartments in the future.

However, at the time she was looking for her own apartment to stay in she realized that the ideal apartment she had always envisioned were things of the past.  After two weeks of searching for her ideal apartment, she noticed that while there were many available apartments to choose from these apartments were either damaged by earthquake, or too small, or too old and dirty.  She also had to reject some apartments which she thought had suspicious looking neighbors.  When she found an apartment that passed her standards it was very expensive for her to be able to rent or lease. 

Based on her observations, she quickly realized that the California apartments which she had dreamed of residing were not affordable to many people.  In fact, she could not even afford these apartments.  Thus, she said, “It occurred to me that the California in which I grew up was a California not available to most people; in fact, it was a California not now available to me.” (Charlie Stoddard 1)

In fact, according to the Los Angeles Housing Department out of a total of 599,044 rent control units approximately 6,000 units are classified as slum houses with around 18,000 residents.  This represents 1% of the total rent control units.  The estimate of the Los Angeles Housing Department is still conservative as health promoters and tenant organizers estimate that 12,000 units or 2% of the total rent control units can be classified as slum which affects 48,000 people. (Earl Ofari Hutchinson 2)

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She realized that there were apartments and neighborhoods in California that were far from what she had imagined in the past.  It became clear to her that the California she had always dreamed of was not the reality but a dream that has never happened and can never happen in the future. 

Because of her experiences in looking for an apartment of her own, she realized that many people go to California to pursue a dream of a better quality of life for themselves and for their families.  Many people perceived that California was a means to escape the reality.   California however is far from what everybody had expected.  Thus, she said, “The reality of California occupies more than the occasional glimpse that we catch on our way to the airport or the Laker game, when we step outside our sheltered bubble. The reality of California is not the microcosm of palms and bungalows.”

In reality, there are very limited number of people who are able to live a comfortable life in California.  The rest of the people content themselves living in dilapidated, earthquake damaged, and dirty apartments with suspicious neighborhoods. 

The experience of looking for an apartment was an awakening for Charlie Stoddard.  She may have had a sheltered life in the past which made her unaware of these realities.  After her experiences, she had a paradigm shift from the ideal California to a real California.  She also learned that California was not only about good neighborhoods and decent houses.  She learned that California is California because of individuals who have the uncanny ability to adapt to the changes in the environment.  California is about the people who despite the difficulties in life manage to roll with the punches and absorb the complexities that life can offer them.  It is the resilience of the residents of California that should define California. 

After her life-changing experience, she is now willing to face life as it is now and not how she had envisioned it or how she was raised by her parents.  She will now face her own life based on how she understood it from her own experiences.  It was a time of realization for her.  She now understood that life is not only about looking for the best things in life but also accepting that part of life that is ugly and making the most out of it.  While she realized that life is not a bed of roses, she understood that she can survive life despite its difficulties.  Thus, she said, “For me, it is no longer a leisurely ride down tree-lined streets toward the park and not yet a frenzied commute down crowded highways toward corporate headquarters.”

I agree with most of the statements of Charlie Stoddard.  Having come from a foreign country, I had similar views about California.  Having watched several movies and the Los Angeles Lakers during NBA games, I had a preconceived notion that California was about celebrities, television personalities, movie stars, and famous athletes.  For me, it was all about the bright lights and the Walk of Fame.  For me, I thought that California was all about glitz and glamour.  Because of what I had seen on television and movies, I even thought that nobody was poor in California. 

When I had transferred to the United States to study, I came to know the parts of California that was hidden from my knowledge.  I came to see the ugly side of California.  California was not about bright lights, movie starts, and NBA games after all.  I found out that living in California was far from being a utopia.  There are crimes in California.  In fact, the crime wave is so high that there is a public outcry against crime.  Legislators have passed laws for the purpose of increasing the penalties for the commission of the crime.  Because drugs are being sold and bought out in the open lawmakers have passed laws making possession and selling of drugs criminal.  There are robberies, thefts and even killings. 

However, despite these realities, my vision for the future is still positive.  Despite these realizations and despite seeing the ugly side of California, I still see a bright future for California.  Similar to Charlie Stoddard, I believe that California should be remembered as a state where the majority of people live in harmony with each other and where the people do whatever they can to adapt to the continuous changes in the environment.  The resilience of the residents of California and their firm resolve to follow their dreams should always be remembered. 

Nobody should fear seeing the ugly side of everything.  If California has an ugly side it too has a beautiful side.  If life has an ugly side, the future may reveal the positive side of life.  Instead of being afraid to see the ugly side, everybody should be able to accept it and embrace it because it is part of life.  Because it is only after seeing the ugly side that an individual gets to appreciate the good side of life. 

Just like Charlie Stoddard, my realizations helped me become a better person.  It helped me better prepare for what lies ahead of me.  I know that my journey may never be a stroll in the park.  I may face difficulties during college and even after college.  I will be ready.  I know that I will be able to survive these difficulties and become the best person that I can be. 

I may not be able to get everything that I want.  I may desire so many things in life and yet not get all these things.  However, I now know that even if I do not get all these things, I will still be happy.  


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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Research Paper on the Impact of Global Warming on the Coral Reefs

Research Paper on the Impact of Global Warming on the Coral Reefs

One of the major problems our generation is facing today is global warming, wherein there is a rising average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. Global warming happens because of the build up of carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants in the atmosphere, forming like a blanket, trapping the sun’s heat and causing the planet to warm up (An Introduction to Climate Change). It is one of the causes why our planet’s climate is changing and it has affected the human population in several aspects, our industries, economies, and health to name a few. But global warming has not only caused trouble to us but to Mother Nature itself. 

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Part of the habitats affected by global warming is our marine environment especially the coral reefs which is home to many species of fish, crustaceans and marine invertebrates. Coral reefs are also natural protective barriers in coastal areas. However, coral reefs are sensitive ecosystems and can only tolerate a narrow range in temperature. According to Markey in his article Global Warming has Devastating Effect on Coral Reefs, authors of the first long term study of the effects of global warming on reefs pointed out that the increase in temperature of the ocean waters has caused the corals to bleach. When you go snorkelling or diving to view corals, you will observe that when they are full of life, they come in a variety of colors but when you spot a coral that is plain white then it’s a dead coral or a bleached coral with only the calcium carbonate skeleton or the remnants left of what used to be a home to marine life.

How does global warming lead to coral bleaching? With the increase of temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere, the oceans also warm up. The heat then affects the algae which live symbiotically inside the corals. Corals get food from the algae and so when heat stress kills the algae, they also die. If the temperature of the Earth continues to rise then the rate of coral destruction also increases posing a threat to our marine life, their diversity, their population and sustainability.        


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