Section A: Make a numbered list of ten different items


Section A:  Make a numbered list of ten different items from ten different foreign (non U.S.) countries that you (preferably) or someone in your immediate family household owns (if you share in its use). Name what the item is and where it comes from. Choose items that are different in type and cost (not just all clothes or food or electronics, etc.). All items on your list should be from somewhere else, but were purchased here in the United States. Do not include things that you or a family member or friend picked up while travelling out of the country. The main purposes of this list are to demonstrate to yourself that you are integrally involved in foreign trade and to provide between one and four items to use in Section B of Part 1 of this exercise.

Section B: The object of section B is to write about four speculative observations or analyses: how an object is good for someone involved in its production overseas, how it is bad for someone involved in its production overseas, how it is good for someone here in the United States and how it is bad for someone here in the U.S. You only need to make four such observations, with each being one or two sentences long. You may do so by picking a single object from your list and analyzing its impacts four different ways or you may pick up to as many as four objects from your list, that is one for each observation. Do not discuss everything on your list.

The object of this entry is to think about positive and negative economic impacts your purchase of foreign products has on the many people and places involved.  You do not need to think about the impact of a foreign object on your own personal economy. We assume that it is positive (or, at least, you thought it would be) or you would not have acquired the object.  The basic reason we all buy goods that are made elsewhere is that we get better stuff for less money. This is the fundamental reason globalization happens altogether. Consumers everywhere want high quality products at the lowest possible cost and globalization enables this.

You need to think of at least four of the many types of people in the U.S. and elsewhere that were part of creating a product and somehow getting to you. This could include laborers, managers or owners; it could include suppliers of raw materials, equipment or manufactured goods for remanufacturing; it could involve transportation workers and systems; it could involve facilitators such as export and import businesses and customs agencies; etc.  Positive impacts include the people that benefit from you having an object and negative impacts include the people that lose out or somehow suffer because of the particular object you acquired. So somewhere between your list of objects and this list of groups of people, you should come up with the four observations you need.

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