Original article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/05/world/paradise-papers.html?_r=0
News broke out this past semester about the Paradise Papers. Basically, if you’re not familiar with the Panama Papers, a bunch of rich people and corporations had their money in these tax havens to avoid paying taxes. Many people are complaining that these individuals and organizations are not paying their fair share of the nation’s taxes.
I agree, but I also think that it will be an inevitable part of our economy so long as globalization continues. The only way to prevent this is to establish a global institution to regulate it, and no nation-state would want to give up their autonomy for something like that, especially if it goes to a slippery slope “world government-esque”.
Companies these days operate multinationally, meaning they cross borders. The resources and capabilities of these corporations are enormous since they are able to manage their way through the ever legal complexities whether it’s outsourcing the manufacturing or importing the goods into the states.
There’s no way to incentivizes paying your taxes unless their are deterrents. That usually comes in one or two ways: (1) a global institution as I mentioned early regulating the economy or (2) the punishments for getting caught could lead to severe time in prison. Crimes like these often don’t do much to deter people simply because the punishment isn’t as punitive (i.e. paying a fine) as say doing drugs (which disproportionately affect people of color, but another topic.)
This past Fall, I attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It’s an internatinoal student group dedicated to those from Southeast Asia (SEA). I got the invite from a Korean friend, which I really appreciate because I was able to attend despite it being on Thanksgiving weekend. The food, by far, way better than Asian Food Fair. It was a lot more authentic and reminds me of the flavors that my grandmom used to cook.
10/10. Highly recommend. Since I just found out about this group, I’ll probably end up doing stuff with them next semester perhaps?
As per tradition, every fall semester, I attend the Asian American Student Association Food Fair.
For those that don’t know, the food fair is part of AASA’s philanthropy project. All proceeds from the food fair goes into buying toys and providing a thanksgiving-style dinner for underprivileged families in Norman.
All of the food comes from authentic Asian restaurants both in Norman and in the greater Oklahoma City, particularly from Asian district.
This year, the fair was held at the South Oval to provide more attention to the fair. In the past, it was held in the armory. I personally liked the armory because one does not have to worry about the variables outside that can affect the experience (i.e. bugs and rain)
Nonetheless, it was a pretty cool event! I highly recommend it if you haven’t attend.
This past semester, I decided to try out AMWHO, or American Model World Health Organization. Think Model UN but for the World Health Organization. I got involved because of three things: (1) public health (2) diplomacy and (3) global mindset.
Part of why I became a GEF in the first place was to think from the global perspective. It’s easy for us to reflect and be concern about the issues and problems that are happening locally because those are the issues and problems that will have the most profound effect on our lives. Nonetheless, the problems and issues that are facing us globally are the ones that require much more effort and nuances to parse through because of the differences in the way many people want the world to work.
This past conference was all about climate change. This conference, of course, presupposes that climate change is (1) real (2) man-made and (3) have consequences that will negatively impact the ecosystems that we all live in. I think it was a good insight in connecting the political aspect of climate change and all of our presumed public health concerns.
Original article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/alibabas-jack-ma-tells-u-s-companies-to-stop-whining-about-china-1512476279?mod=e2fb
There’s been a growing interest in China, particular businesses trying to expand their revenue source outside of the United States. There’s been difficulties nonetheless. It’s easy to point out the language barrier, the difference in culture, and the growth of Chinese companies competing with multinational corporations as obstacles and difficulties for foreign companies, particularly American companies, to enter the Chinese market.
I think many companies are a bit optimistic in entering the Chinese market. Part of the reason why it is difficult is the political structure, which is intangibly related to its economy, and the its effect on consumer patterns in China. The ability to censor and lack of intellectual property protection give the Chinese government a lot of authority on incentivizing or selecting certain business practices from foreigners that may differ from that in the United States. In the United States, regulation is only encouraged when it is for the benefit of the consumer purchasing said product (i.e. product regulation, safety regulations, and etc.) In China, regulations are mostly arbitrary to the state given that the Chinese government has no way of being accountable, much like that of the US system. The particularities for companies to compete in China, therefore, are different from that in the United States.
Jack Ma is correct on one thing. If you want to compete in China, you have to play by China’s rules, not American ones.
The Catalan declaration of independence was a resolution passed by the Catalan Parliament on 27 October 2017, declaring the independence of Catalonia from Spain and the founding of an independent Catalan Republic.
After saying that the resolution was valid and binding, Carles Puigdemont, President of Catalonia, said the following:
I thought this was one of the interesting international developments, outside of the Middle East and Russia. Spain political structure is unique. For reference, the United States is a mixture of a confederation (Spain) and a unitary government (France). Due to Spain extraordinarily decentralized style, it facilitates sentiments on issues like Catalan independence. I have not developed a personal opinion on whether Catalonia should succeed from Spain, or that Catalonia should remain in it. Nonetheless, given the Brexit scenario last year, I’ll be inclined to check this out further when it becomes developed over the upcoming months.
On April 19th, I went to the joint College of International Studies and American Enterprise Institute Executive Council discussion regarding the future of foreign affairs regarding Syria. Dr. Joshua Landis and Dr. Andrew J. Bowen were originally the two to host the discussion, but Dr. Landis was unfortunately unable to attend due to scheduling issue. Nonetheless, I was excited to hear what Dr. Bowen had to say regarding Syria and wanted to learn about other opinions. Prior to this event, I was very sympathetic for the people, particularly refugees, who were affected by the ongoing event, and I was very opposed to Obama’s usage of drones due to the amount of civilian casualties involved. However, sympathy alone could not be able to address this growingly complex issue. Although I did not entirely agree with military intervention from the United States as the solution to the whole problem, no intervention was not a choice to be selected if one sympathizes those on the ground who are affected. After participating this event, I gain a much understanding of the complexity of the issues and decisions that are being weighed in, and I’m hoping that the current administration takes those considerations seriously and thoughtfully as much or more as I do.
As if we already had enough elections. One of the most highly covered elections this past semester was the French presidential election. For the political nerd like me, I was able to discuss the elections with online friends who are more affected by it (i..e living in France, EU.) However, I was more surprised to see my fellow everyday Americans discussing about the French politics.
It feels weird knowing how much populism is affecting a majority of the Western democratic countries, but it feels much weirder to see casual Americans discussing about it. It’s hard to keep up with what’s going on in our own political system alone. This is definitely one of the signs of an increasingly globalized community, where major events happening elsewhere is indeed a discussion point with our everyday neighbors.
My thoughts were on the side of those who have concerns with Marine Le Pen, but I was also preparing myself to not be shock if she wins because events like Brexit and the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections have demonstrated that any outcome is possible and likely. Overall, I was glad to see Macron win.
One thing that was coming up in my newsfeed was Macron’s address to American scientists, who were concern of the current events regarding the current administration’s plan to strip back funding and supporting for endeavors relating to climate change. It was smart of him to try to attract these disenfranchised scientists since renewable and sustainable energy are smart investments for any country to make. Whether or not we could see a brain drain as other countries are trying to woo American scientists would be an interesting event to cover.
As part of my final paper in my Modern Medicine class, I had to write a paper regarding another country’s healthcare system and how it compares with the United States healthcare system.
I decided to write about Japan. It boasted having some of the best healthcare outcomes despite one of the lowest healthcare expenditures comparatively with the world. The United States boasted having some of the highest healthcare expenditures comparatively with the world, but it has some of the worst healthcare outcomes. This discrepancy serves as a great starting point of inquiry.
What I learned was that Japan has universal healthcare coverage like the rest of the developed world, but it has a unique system of funding the system. It’s considered a multpayer system, which differs from a single payer system where the government covers all the healthcare expenditures. A high percentage, but not 100%, of all healthcare expenses is covered by the government and the rest is covered by the patients themselves or their private insurances if they have one. It was an interesting combination, but it assures that the patients have access to those healthcare procedures while not having to worry about the economical side effects. I also found it interesting that Japanese residents enjoy using their medical technology/procedures such as CT scans and MRIs more so than their American counterparts. One would think that by using more of such procedures would drive up the healthcare expenditures significantly, but that’s not the case for Japan. As a result, Japan is able to have a highly preventive healthcare system does lowering the rates of occurrences for chronic diseases.
Overall, I was very impressed with the Japanese healthcare system.
This past semester, Korean Conversation Club hosted not one but two K-Pop parties at Bison Witches in downtown Norman.
Unlike your typical college parties or clubs, the music in this one is entirely from K-Pop or Korean Pop. This may sound a little weird to have a K-Pop party in Oklahoma, but I was ecstatic when I heard of the opportunity.
The best way I can describe K-Pop is the best of both Eastern and Western influences. Much of what the East is known for, dancing and visuals, combines with Western genres to make a highly modernized genre. Also, K-Pop is well known for utilizing social media to promote its brand across Asia and the world. Nowadays, even Western artists have cited K-Pop as an inspiration or influence on how they promote themselves. Infamously, they are well known for their systematic way of training artists from early age, which has been criticized by many Western commenters. In the West, developed talent comes before signing with the media companies, a stark contrasts to the involvement with companies in Korea. Nonetheless, their music remains highly popular.
I highly recommend anyone at OU to come out to one of these next semester!