Identify and discuss in several pages, ONE out of the following TEN questions (give references if you use an outside source)
- How many people live on $2 dollars a day or less? What percentage of the world’s wealth is owned by the Top 1% of the world’s population? And what percentage by the bottom 80%? How can we distinguish between the orthodox economic definition of poverty and the alternative view embraced by the UN Millennium Program? Why should we be especially concerned with female literacy and poverty? What can we expect will happen to the percentage of world living in poverty by 2050 under the most severe environmental forecasts?
- What country was the greatest source of CO2 emissions by 2011? What other countries will emerge as the major sources of CO2 emissions by 2050? What fossil fuel source is driving this global increase in emissions that pushed over the threshold of 400 PPM of CO2 this year? What’s the significance of that number? Why did we choose a 2.0 celsius temperature rise as a safe threshgold? What will happen to the world of 2050, if we follow a “business as usual” scenario in terms of fossil fuel consumption? What did Exxon Mobile know about Climate change in the 1980’s? What did they think it was a threat to their business model? Bill McKibbins right to call them a “rogue industry?” What organizations stand to lose the most from the deployment of alternative energy systems?
- What did Aristotle mean by the term “Oligarchy?” And how has that term been used in the post -communist era in Eastern Europe? Why do you think that term become popular in the American media to describe the “shadow elite” that links government policy outcomes to the demands of the private sector. Does Larry Summers have the profile of a modern “Oligarch?” Why? And what would Michael Taibbi say about the degree of criminal responsibility of the Big Banks and financial elites and our seeming inability to bring any of them to justice? What does that say about role of professional ethics in modern economics?
- The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria wishes to eliminate the national borders of the Mid-East which date back to the Sykes Picot Treaty n 1917. How does the Islamic Caliphate of IS differ from the strategy and organization of Al Queda? How much responsibility does the United States bear for creating the conditions necessary for IS’ rise in Iraq? And Saudi Arabia? What role if any did climate change play in the failure of the Syrian and Iraqi states? What are the aims of IS terrorist attacks in Western countries? How does Islamophobia help advance the political agenda of the IS? Should we put boots on the ground in Syria?
- Does America have one power elite or many competing ones? Why does Bill Moyers among others argue that party leaders have become dependent on private business and professional elites? Is it true that Big Business holds American politics “hostage?” How has the decline of Big Labor altered the balance of power within the American system? Is there much room for the average citizen to influence political decisions? Who has power in Obama’s America? Oligarchs? or Veto Groups? And how do we see that playing out in the politics of Health reform or the Bank Bail-outs.
- C.Wright Mills argued that the American military were an important part of America’s power elite. What’s evidence do we have the American military has become an important actor in our domestic politics. How did the Bush a nd Obama administrations “privatize” the “American Way of War?” How would that have changed the way policy networks – what we call “Iron Triangles, “ usually work? Is the Military Industrial Complex today better described as an “iron triangle” or a “policy diamond?” How does the MIC fit into the larger system that Michael Lofgren called the “Deep State’?