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Opposing Viewpoints

Real-estate mogul Donald Trump makes the news for a variety of reasons, but his latest foray into the headlines cost him relationships with Univision, NBC and Macy’s.

Trump is running for president of the United States in the 2016 elections and his apparent way of wooing voters is by vilifying illegal immigrants. He called them rapists and drug criminals. Then again, this wasn’t the only time Trump has said words against undocumented immigrants.

In a March 25, 2015 interview with Iowa-based conservative podcast host Steve Deace, Trump referred to illegal immigrants as “destroying America”: “People are flowing into this country by the millions, not by the thousands, by the millions, and destroying the fabric of the country.”

Apparently, the man has been doing it for quite some time and it’s just now that people are taking notice.

As you can see, illegal immigration is such a conscientious topic – anywhere. But maybe most particularly significant in big nations like the US with thousands upon thousands of undocumented immigrants coming from not just close to their borders but from other countries as well.

In November 2014, US President Barack Obama announced that he will be granting temporary legal status and work permits for close to five million illegal immigrants. However, the deal is only applicable to undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country for at least five years. It asks them to register, pass a background check and be granted a stay of deportation and a work permit valid for at least three years.

A lot, particularly Republicans, did not agree at all with the decision. For President Obama, the action was necessary to address the immigration issue in the US. In addition, Obama reached a decision as Republican lawmakers refused to pass an immigration bill that he favored.

The Senate – which is led by Democrats – passed a bill in 2013 that would grant long-term pathway to citizenship for most of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in America.

The decision was not met with applause unlike the recent decision to legalize gay marriage across America. Even those who are immigration reform advocates didn’t quite like the decision as they felt more could be done. For Wilfredo Seda, a radio host and immigration activist from Lancaster, Pennsylvania: “This will impact less than half of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living here right now. By ignoring that many people, we are still leaving most people in the shadows.”

So what are people in favor of and against with this amnesty for illegal immigrants?

List of Pros of Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants

1. It helps contribute to the economy.
Illegal immigrants don’t contribute to the economy even if they work. That is because their pay isn’t taxed because they don’t have the legal right to work in the US. In essence, there are millions of dollars that goes unpaid in income taxes each year. With the amnesty program, unauthorized immigrants would be recognized and hence, their pay will be considered as legal income and can be taxed.

2. It can result in a stronger nation.
Illegal immigrants don’t feel as part of the nation because of their status. They are always left out in terms of benefits and such. By lifting them to legal status, they might be a bridge towards building a stronger America.

3. It gives people a second chance.
They may have committed a crime by coming to the US without consent, but amnestying them would allow them a new start – not in hiding anymore. As some say, when people are given a second chance, they can do great things.

List of Cons of Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants

1. It encourages more illegal immigration.
In February 2015, Judge Andrew S Hannen rejected an argument raised by Texas in trying to establish legal standing. The state showed that the amnesty policies of President Obama would cause an increase of illegal residents and would also put a dent on state coffers as a result.

The state of Texas even included a written testimony from Karl Eschbach, a Harvard Ph.D. who was a former demographer for the state as well as an expert in racial demographic trends, ethnic health disparities and illegal immigration, but that didn’t even help their cause. Texas has been paying out close to $1.7 billion in the last two years in uncompensated health care associated with illegal residents.

In the testimony, Eschbach noted that amnesty policies “encourage those eligible [for it] to stay in the United States and incentivize other ineligible unauthorized immigrants to remain in the United States with the hope that they will be the beneficiaries of a future adjustment of status.” He added, “the effect of DACA and DAPA is to incentivize residents of other countries to come to the United States.”

This isn’t just speculation though, it has happened.

The DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act is a legislative proposal for undocumented US immigrants that would grant them conditional residency and when they meet further qualification, permanent residency. In June 2012, Obama suspended enforcement action against Dreamers. Within three months, 150,000 teenagers and families from Central America crossed across the border.

2. It erases the fact that people broke the law.
While advocates do feel for the plight of those who want to hopefully better their lives by immigrating to the US, it also doesn’t change the fact that they broke immigration laws. Everything that has been proposed absolves unauthorized immigrants of their sins – basically, the slate is wiped clean.

With the latest amnesty for illegal immigrants, Obama has seemed to forget what he said in the past. For some time, he has pleaded for relief for the young ones who were unknowingly brought into the country by their parents. For the president, the children “often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license or a college scholarship.” The message at that time was: don’t blame the children for the faults of their parents. However, fast forward to 2014 and the policy Obama has put in place exempts the parents from their wrongdoing.

3. It is costly.
Let’s face it, not everyone who illegally migrate ends up being wealthy. Most of the time, they end up poor and employed in low-income jobs because of their status. Amnestying them would mean they would qualify for means-tested social programs. Data shows that 41% of net growth in the Medicaid population between 2011 and 2013 were made up of immigrants and their children. By legalizing millions more, programs such as Medicaid, Section 8 housing vouchers and food stamps will grow astoundingly.

Put simply, immigration policy in the US has increased the number of poor people living in the US dramatically.

Geothermal energy is really beneficial, offering people the ability to tap into the Earth for a renewable source of power. Once it was discovered, it became a revolutionary energy solution that quickly spread from one corner of the globe to the other. But as with any other power-generating solution, you might want to take a look at the upsides and downsides geothermal energy brings if you are thinking of using it for your home. So, to help you with coming up with a well-informed decision, we have gathered some answers to a probable question that is running inside your mind, “What are the advantages and disadvantages of geothermal energy?”

List of the Advantages of Geothermal Energy

1. It is renewable.
This is probably the biggest advantage of geothermal energy—being renewable. This means that as long as we do not pump too much cold water into the Earth, which can cool off hot rocks, such energy will just keep on coming.

2. It allows for direct use.
Since the old times, we have been using this energy source for heating our homes, taking a bath, preparing our food and, today, heating directly our offices. This has made geothermal energy more affordable for everyone. Though the initial investment you have to make is quite high, you will enjoy huge cost savings in the long run.

3. It causes no pollution.
Another great advantage of using geothermal energy is that it does not produce any type of pollution. At the same time, it does not contribute to the worsening greenhouse effects.

4. Its set-up just requires less area.
Power stations that generate geothermal energy do not take up a whole bunch of room. Because of this, they tend to have less of an impact on their locations’ surroundings and the environment.

5. It does not require external power sources.
Due to the fact that geothermal energy is already energy in itself, it does not require an outside source of fuel to keep its power houses running.

6. It reduces reliance on fossil fuels.
According to expert observations, dependence on fossil fuels dropped with the rise in the use of geothermal energy. With the sky-rocketing oil prices, more and more countries are now pushing businesses and organizations to adopt such a clean source of energy. Also, it is important to note that burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases that are the main cause of global warming.

7. It creates more job opportunities.
Considering that governments of various nations are now investing hugely in geothermal energy generation, more jobs for the people in the locality are also created.

8. It is economical.
Efficiency of geothermal energy even offers a more exciting benefit to the frugal homeowner. By building a geothermal power station, the energy you can use is nearly, free! While it may require a little amount of power to run its pump, you can just tap into the existing energy to handle the task.

9. It offers significant cost saving.
Somehow related to the previous advantage, geothermal energy generally involves low-running costs, since it is capable of saving 80% of the costs needed to make use of fossil fuels and it needs no fuel to generate power. Also, the costs of purchasing, transporting and cleaning up plants are quite low.

List of the Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy

1. Its plant cannot be set up anywhere.
Perhaps the biggest downside of geothermal energy is that you just cannot set up its power station anywhere you want. First, you will need a location that has the right kind of hot rocks. Remember that not just any kind of hot rocks will do, since some of them are just too strong to drill through. These rocks also need to be within a reasonable depth to make drilling a feasible option. The most efficient place to have a geothermal plant constructed is a volcanic area.

2. It requires high installation costs.
To generate geothermal energy, installation of power plants that gather steam from deep within the earth is needed, which also require a huge one-time investment. In addition, electricity towers are needed to be set up to move the power generated from the plant to the consumers.

3. Its sources are not widespread.
Since geothermal energy is not widely used, the unavailability of infrastructure, equipment, staff, and training poses a hindrance to the installation of plants across the planet. This is not the only problem facing geothermal energy, but also the insufficient skilled manpower and availability of suitable locations.

4. Its sources might deplete.
In some cases, geothermal sites might, well, literally run out of steam, and when this happens, the dry spell may last for very long periods, such as decades.

5. It poses potential hazards.
When you are drilling into the earth and letting steam escape, other not-so-friendly things might escape as well. Hazardous minerals and gases can seep up from beneath the ground, and finding a solution to dispose of them safely may prove highly dangerous and difficult.

6. Its transportation processes are not that easy.
Put in mind that geothermal energy cannot be easily transported. Once we extract the tapped energy, the power can only be used in the surrounding areas, unlike other sources of energy, such as oil, coal and wood, which can be transported to residential areas.

Conclusion

So, when the time comes that you are considering making an energy change at home, it is important to weigh down the advantages and disadvantages that come with your decision. For geothermal energy, just like any other form of power-generation technology, it does not only bring about many benefits, but also drawbacks. If you live in a place where it is a viable solution, consider getting in touch with a geothermal site builder for some consultation. As an expert in the trade, he will be able to offer you a more thorough explanation of the benefits, risks and other important information behind geothermal efficiency and what this energy source can do for you.

In a pass fail grading system, students receive either a pass or fail mark, instead of the traditional letter or number grade. This is considered advantageous to both the students and faculty since the level of assessment is only limited to 2 options — a passing or failing grade. Students who receive a C or higher will typically pass, while those who get a D or F will fail. In some cases, only an F is considered a failing mark. With just two grades to consider, teachers will have fewer options to choose from when evaluating a student’s performance.

Students, on the other hand, will get the education that they need without the added stress and pressure of competing for higher grades. According to a testimony of a Yale student, which was posted on the school’s website, “Yale allows you to make your education truly yours without worrying about grade competition”.

Since the 1960’s, Yale has adopted the pass-fail system. Harvard and Stanford only followed suit during the early part of the 21st century.

In a study conducted through the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota, evidence showed that the pass fail grading system has a positive impact on the mood, stress, test anxiety and group cohesion among medical students. Research showed that students graded through this system have less perceived stress and have greater group cohesion than those students who were graded through the previous 5-interval grading system. In terms of mood, however, the difference between the two groups is not that significant. In conclusion, the pass fail system reduces stress and increases group cohesion.

While the pass fail grading system has its advantages, many of its opponents have something negative to say about it.

List of Pros of Pass Fail Grading System

1. Takes pressure off students at certain levels
In a pass-fail grading system, a student’s actual scores are not reported on the transcript, which means their GPA will not be affected with either a pass or fail mark. This spares students from obsessing about getting a high letter grade, allowing them to relax, while still getting the education necessary for them to land a good job and mold them to become responsible citizens. What is even better is that they will receive credit for the course. Without the worries that come with scoring an A, students may even be encouraged to enroll in more challenging courses that they would have avoided with the traditional letter grading system in place.

2. Give students a clear cut idea of their weaknesses and strengths
Knowing exactly which subject(s) that they fail in, students will easily determine where to switch their focus on. In a letter grade system, they would be wondering whether to study on areas where they are performing so-so (grade of a C) or concentrate all their efforts on where they are likely to fail (grade of a D). Seeing evidence of their competency in certain subjects, students will also learn early on which degree would have a positive effect on their job placement in the future. Chances of being employed would not be solely dependent on their GPA as well.

3. Make class work easier
Without emphasis on achieving a high tier grade, students can focus on true information retention rather than just focus on specific details that will help them receive a C or higher. In a pass fail grading system, knowing generalized amount of information is often enough to achieve a passing grade, so there’s no need to cram for tests just to remember specific data.

4. Lead to better engagement
Classes or courses that are often difficult are best taken as pass fail, as this allows students to engage with the difficult content in a way that is suitable for them. They will have an easier time to learn the difficult concepts, and have an opportunity to excel.

List of Cons of Pass Fail Grading System

1. Eliminates competitiveness
When all that is required of you is a passing mark, you would not find the urgency or the need to work hard to get a higher grade. An A, after all, indicates your best performance, which is far from what an F represents. But without such distinction, you will be satisfied with just satisfactory or good enough. This will result in you becoming lazy and less focused. The same thing could be true with the rest of the student population.

When laziness becomes habitual due to the lack of competitiveness, future performance of students will be affected up to the point when they are already working. Under the circumstances, the pass fail system proves to be a failure.

2. Doesn’t provide accurate representation of performance level and knowledge
So a student passed, but how well exactly did he do in his exam? So-so may be enough in a classroom setting, but not in the real world. If a student failed, how bad did he do, really? Without an accurate representation that a traditional letter grading system provides, there is no easy way of knowing a student’s level of performance and knowledge. The teacher might know, but the student won’t, unless he bothers to ask.

3. Conversion to exact scoring is not possible
Say you worked hard to recover from a failing mark and successfully got a passing score. With a pass fail grading system, you can’t determine if you got an A or a C for all your efforts, which would have made a huge difference in your sense of achievement. An A or a C makes no difference in a pass fail system.

4. Lack of incentives
Proponents of the traditional letter grading system believe that every letter is an incentive to do good, better or best. Knowing they get a B could prompt students to exert extra effort to get an A. After all, they are just one step closer to getting the highest mark. By taking this away, however, students will not have that extra incentive to do well. This is why proponents blame pass fail in the increasing number of students who are mediocre and lazy.

Knowing the pros and cons, can you say that the pass fail grading system is a pass or a failure?

A flat tax system is where ALL taxpayers – regardless of income – pay the same tax rate. Having everyone pay the same rate no matter how much they make stirs debate between those who are in support of it and those who are against it. Supporters argue that the system is fair while those who don’t find it an unpleasant situation especially for the lower income class.

While the US adopts a progressive tax system, there are other countries in the world who have imposed a flat tax rate system on both individuals and businesses. The results? Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia have all experienced economic growth since switching to the system.

Estonia adopted the system in 1994 and put a 26% tax on both personal and corporate income. The country experienced an 11.7 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 1997 which continuously grew between 7 and 10 percent throughout the early 2000s. Then again, other factors contributed to the case as well.

But an article by Josh Barro in Bloomberg View in 2013 will argue otherwise. In it was detailed the exit of several central and eastern Europena countries from flat-rate income taxes. The Czech Republic and Slovakia changed theirs to a progressive system. Barro wrote: “Even the poster child for flat-tax fans, Estonia, isn’t looking so hot. Since the 2008 crash, Estonia has resolutely kept its flat tax and signed up for severe fiscal and monetary austerity, even joining the Euro area. Its economy has strongly rebounded since 2010, but only after an extremely hard crash has left its gross domestic product still below its 2007 peak.”

Even more recently, Senator Rand Paul, in an article on The Wall Street Journal, suggested a flat tax rate system for the US. Rand is of course a candidate in the 2016 US Presidential Elections and this is his ticket he hopes would take him to the White House. In his plan, the following would be implemented:

replacement of complicated personal income tax with a 14.5% flat tax.
replacement of complicated corporate taxes with a new 14.5% value-added tax.
elimination of payroll tax.
elimination of estate and gift taxes.
elimination of excises and tariffs.
elimination of most credits, deductions and loopholes.
elimination of most double-taxation of income.
elimination of much of the IRS.

The plan is hedged on the GOP’s three goals of tax reform: simplicity, fairness and growth. Paul’s plan does make things simpler and could do very well on growth. However, it’s still rather vulnerable when it comes to fairness.

According to the Tax Foundation, the Paul Plan can increase gross domestic product a full percent each year. Based on static analysis, the plan would raise the deficit by $3 trillion over 10 years.

While some agree that the plan looks good (even conservative pundit Glenn Beck called the plan “erotic”), there are several downsides to it as well. For one, it looks to favor the wealthy – even if it would increase income for everyone in the income scale – as they look to get the biggest gains out of it.

Arguments the Paul Plan mention that it’s not a true flat system as it still preserves several loopholes and exemptions such as the charitable deduction, mortgage-interest deduction, child credit, earned-income credit and tax exclusion for workplace health benefits.

Another argument for the Paul Plan is the system won’t likely stay flat. After all, some countries in Europe have opted out of it when they got into trouble. Just take a look at the tax reforms implemented during Reagan’s time – Reaganomics if you will. It limited taxes on the wealthy on the belief that it would “trickle down” to the lower-income class. While it did partly improve the economy, that system didn’t last long – just four years. And what happened then? The US diverted back to the really sad system that Reaganomics replaced.

The idea of flat tax in the UK has also been thrown around. George Osborne cited Estonia as economies with “lessons we can learn from.” But he also admitted it wasn’t a popular choice for “mature economies.” But just like anywhere else, the idea had dissenters too. Robert Halfon called the measure “deeply regressive and would be hard to defend as fair.”

So, what is it exactly? Is there more harm than good of implementing a flat rate tax system? Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument:

List of Pros of Flat Tax

1. It is fairly simple
Let’s take the US tax bracket as an example. For taxes filed on April 15, 2015, these were the tax rates:

Tax Rate Single filers Married filing jointly or qualifying widow/widower Married filing separately Head of household
10% Up to $9,075 Up to $18.510 Up to $9,075 Up to $12,950
15% $9,076 to $36,900 $18,151 to $73,800 $9,076 to $36,900 $12,951 to $49,400
25% $36,901 to $89,350 $73,801 to $148,850 $36,901 to $74,425 $49,401 to $127,550
28% $89,351 to $186,350 $148,851 to $226,850 $74,426 to $113,425 $127,551 to $206,600
33% $186,351 to $405,100 $226,851 to $405,100 $113,426 to $202,550 $206,601 to $405,100
35% $405,101 to $406,750 $405,101 to $457,600 $202,551 to $228,800 $405,101 to $432,200
39.6% $406,751 or more $457,601 or more $228,801 or more $432,201 or more

 

What happens then with these brackets when a flat tax is implemented? Eliminated and replaced with just one rate for everyone. It wouldn’t give tax filers a hard time and those at the IRS would welcome the easy computation. Flat rate taxes only one income and that makes it easier to understand and report.

2. It provides a cost benefit for taxpayers
The financial cost of complying with regulations set by the IRS is high. For one, taxpayers may need lawyers, accountants and other resources. That can be eliminated with the implementation of a flat system.

3. It eliminates other taxes
With a flat tax system, a section of the tax code biased against capital formation is removed. In addition, death tax, capital gains tax and double taxation of savings and dividends are eliminated. In other words, families and individuals won’t be asked to report dividends, interest or any other business-related income. As a result, individual taxpayers will do away with paying interest, dividends and other business tax.

Basically, it taxes only earned income.

4. It employs territorial taxation
Territorial taxation is when the government taxes income generated within national borders.

5. It promotes economic growth
Almost every country that has adapted the flat tax system experienced economic growth. It’s worth noting too that former communist nations were the first to apply global tax reform. It started with Estonia in 1994, which is a few years after the demise of the Soviet Union. They were followed by two other Baltic republics of the former Soviet Union: Latvia (opting for 25%) and Lithuania (choosing 33%).

Russia too, inspired by its neighbors, shifted to a flat tax system in 2001. The move yielded some positive results: the economy did prosper and revenues streamed into government coffers. In 2003, Serbia chose a 14% rate and the following year, Slovakia shifted and stuck with a 19% rate. Other countries with a flat rate tax system include:

Ukraine – 13%
Georgia – 12%
Romania – 16%
Kyrgyztan – 10%

6. It is deemed as fair
Let’s say that Person 1 earns $5,000 and Person 2 makes $500,000. With the progressive system, they have to pay different tax rates based on how much they make. With the flat rate system, both will pay the exact same amount.

Also, it should be noted that Person 2 is paying much bigger tax because they have a greater income. But when considered as a whole, the percentage each have to pay is equal.

List of Cons of Flat Tax

1. It penalizes low-income earners
Low-income earners, well, earn much less than others. The fact that they have to spend on the same necessities are more well-placed folk is also an issue as when necessities expense is taken out of the picture, low-income earners are left with so little for anything else.

In other words, the poor get poorer.

2. It eliminates the IRS
This can be taken both ways, actually. With Rand Paul’s flat tax proposition, not everyone was in agreement with retaining a small portion of the IRS. On the other hand, if the IRS gets re-adjusted, then some employees would surely lose their jobs. And that’s another problem to deal with: unemployment.

3. It benefits the rich
Let’s go with another example: Person 1 earns $1,000 while Person 2 makes $10,000. They live in a country where a flat tax system is in place and the rate is 10%. Person 1 would only have $900 left after taxation while Person 2 would have $9,000. Can you spot the discrepancy?

Even with taxes at the same rate, well-paid individuals are well, still well paid. Or put simply, the rich still gets richer.

Hearing is a sense that most of us take for granted. Many of us do not realize that within that seemingly simple organ is a complex and intricate anatomical architecture capable of recognizing and processing sounds. The process begins when the sound waves arrive at the outer ear. After which, they are funneled into the air canal where they will find themselves banging on the eardrum. This creates vibrations which move a tiny connected bone called the hammer or malleus. As the hammer vibrates, it passes down the sound vibrations to the other two small bones (ossicles) and then send them through the fuel-filled and snail-like structure called the cochlea. Inside the cochlea is the spinal organ of Corti, the receptor organ for hearing. The latter contains tiny hair cells, which translate the vibrations of sound into electrical impulses that are carried on to the brain by sensory nerves to be interpreted.

So, that is how our ears process sound. Incredible isn’t it? Not every one of us though is lucky to have that gift of hearing, and this is where cochlear implant makes a world of difference. As soon as a person with hearing disability puts this artificial ear on, he is able to hear the creak of a chair, the crackling of fireworks, the coo of a pigeon, and the swooshing of the waves. It gives him the ability to hear different kinds of sounds, recognize their source, and know where they are coming from. Most important, it helps develop his communication skills, enables him to learn the sounds of words, and allows him to hear and recognize his own voice. This elegant, sophisticated technology bypasses the role of the hair cells by transmitting sound signals directly to the brain.

List of Pros of Cochlear Implants

1. It can improve hearing.
Unlike a hearing aid, a cochlear implant does not amplify sound. Rather, it stimulates just a few locations in the cochlea, replacing the functions of thousands nerves fibers. This improves hearing and allows deaf individuals to hear sounds. The implant enables them to verbally communicate with others and makes it easier for them to function in mainstream society.

2. It allows children born with ANSD to attend regular school.
It can be devastating for parents to hear other children bubble as they talk while their own child can’teven mutter “mum” or “dad”. Choclear implant offers hope because it can be implanted on children beginning at 12 months of age. This gives ANSD children a chance to live a normal life as well as attend normal schools.

3. Adults may benefit immediately.
After the initial tuning sessions, adults may immediately experience the benefits of hearing, which may continue to improve after three months. Although in some cases, improvements are slower and may take more than three months.

4. Helps people understand speech without lip-reading.
Most individuals born deaf learn to communicate through lip reading. A cochlear implant can make communication easier by not needing one to lip read anymore. However, even if this is not possible, the implant can eventually help a person recognize the sound of words with the aid of lip reading.

5. Enables one to enjoy music.
Imagine hearing a beautiful music for the first time. This is inarguably one of the best gifts of hearing.

List of Cons of Cochlear Implants

1. The sounds are unnatural sound.
While cochlear implant makes hearing possible, the sounds patient hear are not the same sound heard through normal hearing. Environmental noises and people’s voices just sound different when heard through the device.

2. The surgical procedure is risky.
A cochlear implant is a major procedure. Since the location of the operation is near the brain, general anesthesia is needed to put the patient to sleep (and we know that general anesthesia has negative side effects to some people). Injury to the facial nerve is also a serious risk. This nerve goes through the middle ear and is the one responsible for the movement of our facial muscles.

When this nerve is injured, a person may suffer from temporary or full weakening of the facial muscles, or at worst full paralysis on the side of the face that is on the same side as the cochlear implant. There is also the risk of acquiring meningitis. In 2002, the FDA first issued its first warning about the increased risk of bacterial meningitis among children who have undergone cochlear implant. A study by both the agency and the CDC showed that children whose implant includes a positioner are at increased risk of bacterial meningitis caused by Streptococcus pneumonia. This risk can continue for up to 2 years after the implantation.

3. Loss of residual hearing.
Another risk presented by having the implant is that any remaining or residual hearing a person has maybe destroyed in the implanted ear.

4. Risk to infection requiring the implant to be removed.
A cochlear implant can cost thousands of dollars, and that money could just be easily wasted when a serious infection requiring the removal of the implant occurs.

5. Made some medical examinations and treatments not possible.
This hearing device is made of a combination rubber, plastic and metal. Certain medical examinations and treatments, such as MRI imaging, ion radiation therapy and electrical surgery, may dislodge the implant or demagnetized its internal magnet.

6. It is for a life time.
Children who have undergone the operation at a very young age may have to grow old with their cochlear implant on in order to retain their ability to hear. What is worse is that during a person’s lifetime, the manufacturer of the implant could go out of business. This makes getting a replacement part or customer service in the future very uncertain.

Conclusion

The cochlear implant is no doubt one of the best things that happened to people with hearing disability. However, its cons showed us that deciding to get one should not be done in a rush. Individuals, and especially parents who are planning to let their toddler go through the implant procedure, should carefully consider its long-term effects.

Because of its focus on regular testing, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has become a huge subject of controversy. The debates surrounding the act have become heated since it was put under review and in the process of reauthorization. While the NCLB initially received bipartisan support, political parties in the US are now pushing arguments on whether the act is being implemented effectively. Both advocates and critics cited extensive evidentiary support of their own position on this controversial matter. To get a well-informed insight on this topic, let us take a look at the act’s pros and cons.

List of Pros of the No Child Left Behind Act

1. Improvements in Test Scores
Generally, test scores have been observed to have improved since 2002 when the act was implemented. Aside from this, test scores of students belonging to minority groups have also improved since then, which is a good sign for the future.

2. Quality State Academic Content
The NCLB links state academic content to student educational outcomes. It requires the implementation of school improvement using scientific research methods in the classroom, teacher development courses and parent programs.

3. Quality Education for the Underserved
It is good to know that the act requires educational institutions to focus on providing quality education to underserved students, including children from low-income families, those with disabilities, those who are non-English speakers, as well as those belonging to African-American and Latino communities.

4. Higher Teacher Qualifications
One of the primary issues the NCLB was designed to tackle is making sure that teachers are highly qualified for the work jobs that they do. Since it was pushed, more people in the field of teaching have become more qualified and more highly educated than before. This means that schoolchildren are now getting quality education from the best possible instructors.

5. Extra Help
Regular testing has its benefits, and one of them is helping schools with identifying students who need extra help. And due to the fact that schools would lose financial support if students do not do well on their exams, they offer extra incentives to help struggling students. Since the passing of the NCLB, thousands of students have been receiving tutorials and other free supplemental help from their schools.

6. Parental Understanding
Remember that without proper assessments, we cannot know how well students are doing in school. Thanks to the tests the NCLB mandates, parents are having a better idea of how their children are performing. And because the test scores are made public, parents are also getting a better understanding of what available options, such as charter or private schools, can provide a better place for learning.

7. Advantage for Minority Students
The NCLB was designed to measure educational growth and status by ethnicity and to help close the achievement gap between white and minority students.

List of Cons of the No Child Left Behind Act

1. Doubts of the Acts Effectiveness
In the eyes of the opponents of the NCLB, which include major teachers’ unions, the act has not been effective in improving education in the public arena, especially in high schools, as proven by combined results of standardized tests since the act’s inception.

2. Federal Underfunding
During the Bush Administration, the NCLB was significantly underfunded at the state level, but still required the states to comply with all its provisions or risk losing federal funds. As stated by Senator Ted Kennedy, who was the Senate Education Committee Chair and a sponsor of NCLB, “The tragedy is that these long overdue reforms are finally in place, but the funds are not.” This resulted to most states being constrained to make budget cuts in non-tested school subjects, such as foreign languages, science, art and social studies, as well as in school supplies, books and field trips.

3. Bias and Deep Flaws
Opponents claim that standardized tests, which are the center of NCLB accountability, is biased and deeply flawed for many reasons. Also, the stricter qualifications for teachers have exacerbated the teacher shortage across the country and have not provided a stronger pool of teachers.

4. More Focus on Test Scores
Many teachers and parents arrogate that the NCLB encourages children to score well on their tests, instead of teaching them the primary goal of learning. Consequently, teachers are compelled to teach narrow sets of test-taking skills and a test-limited knowledge range.

5. Lack of Constitutional Authority by the Government Over Education
Some critics believe that the federal government lacks the constitutional authority in the field of education and that it erodes local and state control over educating children.

6. Very High Teacher Qualification Standards
The NCLB sets very high qualifications for teachers, like requiring them to possess one or more college degrees in particular subjects and to pass a battery of proficiency tests. These new requirements have caused huge problems with getting qualified teachers in certain subjects, such as math, science and special education, and certain areas, such as rural, inner cities, where school districts are already experiencing teacher shortages. Moreover, teachers strongly object to the Bush Administration’s proposal in 2007 to allow districts to circumvent their contracts to transfer them to poorly performing or failing schools.

7. Failure to Address Reasons for Lack of Achievement
At its core, the NCLB faults curriculum and the schools themselves for student failure. However, critics claim that there are other factors to blame, including old and damaged school buildings, class size, homelessness, hunger and lack of health care.

Conclusion

The No Child Left Behind Act has definitely changed the procedures and standards disadvantaged students in public schools, requiring the states to develop basic assessments of students each year to see their level of development. However, this change in policies did come as quite a shock to teachers, students and parents alike. On your part, do you think it really benefited the children in the US or do you think it has become more of a hindrance?

Plea bargaining is an agreement used in criminal cases to avoid a lengthy trial. Here, the prosecutor and the defendant work together to agree with each other, instead of taking the litigation to a jury. It often includes things like pleading to a lesser charge and pleading guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. It is highly common in the US, where many cases are settled through plea bargains than by trials.

This type of legal agreement enables both parties to avoid a prolonged trial under court and enables the defendant to avoid the risk of a guilty verdict at court, which can lead to a more severe sentence. Plea bargaining has been carried out as an intentional agreement that leaves the defendant and the prosecutor better off, in which the former have various procedural and substantive rights. However, if the defendant pleads accountable, he is trading his rights to a prosecutor in return for concessions that are highly respected than surrendered rights. Withal, plea bargaining has become a hot topic in debates whether it is good for the society or not. To get a good idea on this subject, let us take a look at its advantages and disadvantages.

List of Advantages of Plea Bargaining

1. It helps deal with case loads.
In plea bargaining, the state and the court are aided in dealing with case loads. Also, the process decreases the prosecutors’ work load by letting them prepare for more serious cases by leaving effortless and petty charges in order to settle through.

2. It makes trial scheduling uncongested.
For the judge, the key benefit of accepting a plea bargain agreement is that he can alleviate the need to schedule and hold the trial on a docket that is already overcrowded. Judges are also aware of overcrowding in jails, so they might be receptive to process out offenders who are unlikely to do much jail time anyway. This means cases will be closed much quicker, which is good for the society as the method de-clogs court systems for more serious cases.

3. It hastens the process of trials.
Plea bargains are a significant factor in restructuring offenders by letting them agree to the blame for their trial and by letting them voluntarily submit before the law—without having expensive and time-consuming trials.

4. It eliminates a case’s uncertainty.
From the criminal defense’s perspective, the most useful benefit of this type of agreement is its ability to remove the uncertainty of a trial. It helps defendants with making sure they will not receive more serious charges for the criminal acts filed against them.

5. It brings great possibility to find the accused guilty.
When it does happen that the prosecution is feeble or that the court wants proper witnesses or evidence, and the outcome is likely acquittal, it is possible that the prosecuting party will still find the accused guilty.

6. It prevents a case from getting worse.
When a charged individual takes a plea bargain, he will not have to go through trial. This means that some crimes, which may have been committed, and any damning evidence are not going to be discovered.

7. It does not allow maximum sentence.
One of the biggest reasons why many people opt for plea bargaining is the fact that they cannot receive maximum sentences for their crimes.

8. It may allow for aiding larger cases.
In a plea bargaining agreement, prosecutors will often roll other conditions for the defendants to testify against a co-defendant, which might help solve larger cases in a prosecution.

9. It lets the justice system breathe.
If all criminal cases should make it to a trial by jury, then our justice systems would not be able to sustain themselves. Courts will probably be backed up by months or even years.

List of Disadvantages of Plea Bargaining

1. It allows presentation of the accused with unconscionable pressure.
In a plea bargaining agreement, the prosecution can present the accused with unconscionable pressure. And even though the process is controlled, there is still a chance of it being coerced.

2. It can lead to poor case preparation and investigations.
Some judges and attorneys argue that plea bargaining has led to attorneys not taking the time to properly prepare their cases and poor police investigations. They believe that, rather than pursuing justice, the parties would rely on making a deal, where the details of what happened and their legal consequences will become less important.

3. It might be biased to the prosecution party.
Plea bargaining might allow prosecutors to take full advantage of accepting criminal acts in the weakest trials. The more beneficial will be a guilty claim for the prosecution is if the trial ends in acquittal.

4. It might charge innocent people guilty.
Even if you are innocent, but agreed to a guilty plea, you still have to pay a fine or be imprisoned for a crime you did not commit. Not only this, but you will also have a criminal record that cannot be erased.

5. It is unconstitutional.
It is argued that plea bargaining is unconstitutional, as it takes away the defense’s constitutional right to a trial by jury. If the defendant is pressured or coerced into such an agreement, then this argument may have a considerable weight. But if the defendant, at all times in the criminal case, retains his right to a trial by jury without pressure to make an agreement, then the court finds that this procedure remains constitutional.

6. It can make the justice system suffer.
Since both the defense and prosecution parties depend on their power to negotiate a deal, instead of winning a trial, the justice system might suffer.

Conclusion

If both parties agree on a plea bargain, then the agreement shall be stated clearly on the court record before a judge who will issue the sentence that is agreed upon. Plea bargaining can have benefits for defendants and for the society, whose interests are represented by the government prosecutor. However, it is always important that both the prosecution and defending parties carefully weigh their options before reaching an agreement through a plea bargain.

Debate on whether military draft is necessary has been on-going for years with proponents and opponents belonging in all walks of life expressing their points of view. Contentions about serving one’s country voluntarily or mandatorily have been brought up and discussed in different platforms. Some supporters are saying military draft should return because what of what it can contribute to the nation and the citizenry.

What Is a Military Draft?

Also known as conscription, it is a system that requires individuals between 18-25 years old to enlist and serve in the military if they are eligible to join the service after assessment. Drafted men and women will undergo months of training and be sent to wars or assigned to designations in the military.

While there are some who are supporters, there are non-conformists as well. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of mandatory enlistment in the military people are talking about.

List of Pros of Military Draft

1. It assures national security.
With strengthening the number of service men and women to defend the country when national security is put on the line, the country will be safer. There will be enough soldiers to fight in times of war, be it a civil war or one where many countries are involved. Since having casualties is inevitable, it is best to have other soldiers to replace those who will be injured or killed in the battle and a military draft can make this possible.

2. It is contributory to building character.
Military draft is for people 18 years old and above and most of the draftees belong to the youth. This experience will teach them to be respectful of authority, enhance their leadership skills and have self-discipline. These are character traits they can use even after military service and throughout their lives. Moreover, young people will learn how to take on great responsibilities not only to the community but to the nation and the world.

3. It can reduce unemployment in the long run.
As drafted soldiers, men and women will be taught skills and given training in engineering, IT and the like since they will be assigned to different departments and given duties from cooking to driving. After they are done serving the military, they can use these newly learned skills and expertise when they go back to the real world and seek employment.

4. It is a great way to travel and learn new cultures.
One of the benefits of being drafted in the military is the opportunity given to people to travel the world and learn about other countries and cultures. Soldiers are sent to war-stricken countries as well nations in need of relief and help. The experiences they gain from meeting other nationalities and at the same time helping other people enrich them as human beings. They gain knowledge and learn about compassion.

5. It creates equality and diversity.
In conscription, there is no rich or poor, no social status to take into consideration since everyone who is eligible will be included in the list. People, especially the youth will learn how to mingle with other people from all walks of life, with no special treatment whatsoever. They will learn about equality. Sons and daughters of leaders and children of ordinary citizens will be treated fairly and at the same level.

6. With children of politicians included in a military draft, there will be no abrupt decisions in getting into war.
Some powerful countries with sufficient weaponry and resources often are too eager to strike and threaten smaller countries. However, if their sons and daughters are in military service, they will think twice before instigating war with other nations. This will avoid unnecessary wars and save more lives. Instead, leaders will be more diplomatic in their decisions.

7. It cuts down expenses of the government to have enlisted soldiers than an all-volunteer force.
With people mandated to military service, there is no need to spend for convincing them to join by way of giving free tuition for college, salaries and sign-up bonuses. These are some of the expenses the government will incur with recruiting men and women to volunteer as soldiers.

List of Cons of Military Draft

1. It takes away precious time from the youth.
One of the disadvantages of military draft which critics are pointing out is the time that will be lost by the young men and women forced to join the military. They say that the years spent in the military will affect their transition from high school to college.

2. Not all drafted soldiers are as competent as professional soldiers.
Opponents say that professional soldiers spend years of training especially for combat. They have enough time to train physically and emotionally unlike drafted soldiers who only get months of training with inefficient training courses.

3. Compulsory service in the military creates more expenses for the government.
Another disadvantage of conscription, according to groups that are against military draft, is the cost of having to train a large number of people especially if the country is not in imminent threat. Aside from the direct expenses, there are other expenditures conscription entails, not to mention the work force that is lost during the service.

4. It is one of the ways to strengthen militarism which should be avoided.
Those who are opposed to military draft has expressed concerns that forcing people to join the military, regardless of the social status, is imposing militarism on the society. Case in point, if professionals like engineers, lawyers and doctors are drafted, even the lowest ranking soldier will be superior to them. This is what opponents are not agreeable with. Moreover, even if a lawyer or a professional is called to serve for a few months, his or her educational background might not be of much help given the short time of service.

5. Not all drafted soldiers are members of the youth but older individuals with family.
For some critics, the number of young people does not constitute all soldiers in the military draft. There are husbands and wives with children and families left behind. In the end, it is the family that suffers.

Conclusion

Political leaders aim to protect their countries and defend their territories from enemies. However, is military draft the only solution? Should citizens be forced to risk their lives to fight for their country? Leaders should take into consideration the benefits and drawbacks of military draft and see if the good effects outweigh the bad.

The ongoing contentions about the importance of homework have been in discussion for years among educators, parents and students. There are parents and educators who support this practice but there are also those who are not in favor of making students do extra school work at home. There are even some countries that implement a no homework policy. Is homework really an integral part of learning?

List of Pros of Homework

1. It makes up for the insufficient time children spend in school to learn.
Proponents say that giving school children activities to do at home can offer them more time to master a subject. Teachers give school assignments to students on the lessons they have tackled in the classroom to assess if students have understood what was learned from academic subjects like Math, Physics and English. Advocates of homework believe the time spent in school to learn is not always sufficient and letting students spend extra time to solve problems and learn new vocabulary words is crucial to their learning . It also serves as a foundation for further learning that students will benefit from in the long run.

2. It is an effective way for students to learn discipline.
People who support the giving of homework to students is a way to teach young individuals and growing children discipline since they will have to learn how to focus and set aside unimportant activities to prioritize finishing the tasks they have to submit the following day. For homework supporters, not giving students school work at home might make them derelict with their studies and be lazy.

3. Mastery of knowledge and skills depend on practice.
Aside from the time allotted for students to learn during class hours, continuing their learning at home can enhance what they already know. Take home activities give students more time to practice. Homework given to college and high school students give them more time to master their subjects and absorb the teachings of their professors and teachers.

4. Parents can see what their children are doing in school and help with the homework as well.
Another benefit of homework is to both the parents and students. If students have school work to do at home, parents will be able to see the kind of education their kids are getting. They are assured their children are into their studies and are really learning from school. Moreover, this can be a bonding time between parents and children especially if they will be able to help their kids with their homework and school projects.

5. It can instill good study habits and reduce time spent on watching television and playing video games.
By giving students projects and take home assignments, students, especially the younger ones can acquire good study habits at an early age. With the evolution of technology and the myriad of gadgets and computer games to keep children distracted, it is best to give them something worthwhile to do so they can understand the importance of studying and learn to like it as well. Moreover, they will be motivated to use their gadgets and computers for studying and research instead of spending hours playing video games, checking their Facebook accounts and watching television on end.

6. It prepares them for the real world once they finish education.
By giving homework, children will learn to be responsible, solve problems, analyze, manage their time and take on responsibilities. The skills they learn from school are the same skills they will need when they start their independence and be young adults. Proponents are firm in saying that when these kids become adults and be members of the workforce or even be entrepreneurs themselves, they will be using what they have or not have learned while studying. Extra time spent at home for doing school work can help them overcome the challenges they will face when they get out of the real world.

List of Cons of Homework

1. It can be stressful for the student especially for young kids.
Critics argue that homework given to students especially the younger school children are too much to handle. If this is the case, homework can be a stressor instead of a motivator. If bombarded with lessons at school and even at home, children might lose interest and worse, dread school days. This is a concern that bothers some parents and even educators.

2. It is not as effective as proponents say it is.
Some opponents say that homework is not a guarantee that students will master skills and absorb what they learned from school. They say that some parents or tutors are the ones doing the homework instead of the students. If this is the case, giving homework is irrelevant when it comes to knowledge enhancement. They also point out that there are students with parents to help them with their school projects and there are those who don’t have parents to guide them which make homework an uneven playing filed for students.

3. Homework does not necessarily result to improving school performance.
For opponents, homework gives less or no benefit when it comes to motivating students to improve performance in school. They oppose what proponents are saying that there is a positive correlation between homework and how students perform in school for the reason that not all students have equal levels of intelligence. What might be helpful and easy for students who are good in a certain subject might be useless and difficult to students who have different levels of intelligence.

4. It can be a burden to students, especially younger kids.
With all the activities in school, both academic and extracurricular, students, specifically the young ones, are already tired when they get home. Having to solve difficult math problems, memorize long lines or read several chapters can be tiresome for them. Not only will they end up staying up late but they might not be able to absorb anything.

Conclusion

Both proponents and opponents have presented rational and acceptable views about homework. While it can be an effective way to master the skills of students, too much homework can also drain the minds of students. Perhaps one question needs to be answered. How much homework should a student has to be given? In the end, it is best to assess the student’s level of learning and give homework accordingly.

Genetically modified (GM) foods are organisms that have had new genes added to themselves from other organisms. Being around since 1994, they are produced in a way that is very similar to genetic engineering. The technique used in this type of crop management has been introduced to ensure farmers and merchants are able to improve crop or food quality in a more efficient way. Some people arrogate that this technology will help those in the agricultural industry decrease the amount of wasted crops and foods. But while there are many benefits of genetically modified foods, there are also potential drawbacks that are present. Here are their advantages and disadvantages:

List of Advantages of Genetically Modified Foods

1. Insect Resistance
Some GMO foods have been modified to make them more resistant to insects and other pests. A report from the University of California in San Diego states that toxic bacteria (yet safe for human use) can be added to crops to make them repel insects. This means the amount of pesticide chemicals used on the plants are reduced, so their exposure to dangerous pesticides are also reduced.

2. Stronger Crops
Another benefit that GM technology is believed to bring about is that crops can be engineered to withstand weather extremes and fluctuations, which means that there will be good quality and sufficient yields even under a poor or severe weather condition. As populations across the world grow and more lands are being utilized for housing instead of food production, farmers are prompted to grow crops in locations that are originally not suitable for plant cultivation, and culturing plants that can withstand high salt content in soil and groundwater, not to mention long periods of drought, will help them grow healthy crops. Also, animals and plants that have been genetically modified can become more resistant to unexpected disease problems. We can just think of the technology as a vaccine for the species, except that it is encoded into their genes, rather than being shot into their immune system.

3. Larger Production
It has been easier to raise crops that are classified as genetically modified because all of their examples have the stronger ability to resist pests. This attribute helps farmers with producing greater amounts of crops or foods.

4. Environmental Protection
According to an Oklahoma State University report, the increase of GM animals and crops often requires less time, tools and chemicals, and may help with reducing greenhouse gas emissions, soil erosion and environmental pollution. This means the general health and beauty of the environment that surrounds farms will be improved, contributing to the preservation of better water and air quality, which can also indirectly benefit every person’s well-being.

5. Extensive Protection for Crops
GM foods were created with the use of genetic engineering—a technology that was designed to make sure crops will never be damaged in a fast rate. The method also allows farmers and merchants to preserve the good quality of foods more efficiently by using special substances.

6. More Nutritious Foods
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, some GM foods have been engineered to become more nutritious in terms of vitamin or mineral content. This not only helps people get the nutrients they need, but also plays a significant role in fighting against malnutrition in third-world countries. In fact, the United Nations recommends that rice that is enhanced with vitamin A can help with reducing deficiencies of such nutrient around the world.

7. Decreased Use of Pesticides
It has been proven that genetically modified crops do not need pesticides to become stronger against various types of insects or pests that may destroy them.

8. More Income
With genetic engineering, farmers will have more income, which they could spend on important things, such as the education of their children for example.

9. Less Deforestation
To sufficiently feed the growing population of the world, deforestation is needed. But with genetically modified animals and crops, the use of this method will be minimized. This would decrease carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which would, in turn, slow global warming.

10. Decrease in Global Warming
As more plants and crops can be grown and at more areas, including those that were previously unsuitable for farming, oxygen in the environment is increased, decreasing the proportion of carbon dioxide and, in turn, reducing global warming. In fact, British economists noted in a study that genetically modified crops have made significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 10 million tons, which is equivalent to removing 5 million cars from the road each year. This means that people would not have to give up their vehicles.

11. Decrease in Food Prices
Due to higher yield and lower costs, food prices would go down. As people in poorer countries spend over half of their income on food alone, this means automatic reduction of poverty.

12. New Products
New kinds of crops are being developed to be grown at extreme climates, such as those present in dry or freezing environments. As an example, scientists have developed a new type of tomato that grows in salty soil. Another good discovery in genetic engineering of plants is the exclusion of the gene responsible for caffeine in coffee beans, creating decaffeinated coffee beans, which can then be grown naturally.

List of Disadvantages of Genetically Modified Foods

1. Allergic Reactions
According to research by the Brown University, resent genetically modified foods can pose significant allergy risks to people. It states that genetic modification often adds or mixes proteins that were not indigenous to the original animal or plant, which might cause new allergic reactions in our body. In some cases, proteins from organisms that you are allergic to might be added to organisms that you were not originally allergic to. This means your range of food choices will be lessened.

2. Not 100% Environmentally Friendly
Though it is claimed by many experts that genetically modified foods are safe for the environment, they actually still contain several kinds of substances that are not yet proven to be such. And what’s worse? These substances are remained hidden to the public.

3. Lower Level of Biodiversity
One big potential drawback of this technology is that some organisms in the ecosystem could be harmed, which in turn could lead to a lower level of biodiversity. When we remove a certain pest that is harmful to crops, we could also be removing a food source for a certain species. In addition, genetically modified crops could prove toxic to some organisms, which can lead to their reduced numbers or even extinction.

4. Decreased Antibiotic Efficacy
According to the Iowa State University, some genetically modified foods have antibiotic features that are built into them, making them resistant or immune to viruses or diseases or viruses. And when we eat them, these antibiotic markers will persist in our body and will render actual antibiotic medications less effective. The university also warns that ingestion of these foods and regular exposure to antibiotics may contribute to the reduced effectiveness of antibiotic drugs, as noticed in hospitals across the planet.

5. Unusual Taste
Genetically modified foods are observed to have unnatural tastes compared with the ordinary foods that are sold on the market. This could be the result of the substances that were added to their composition.

6. Not Totally Safe to Eat
It is proven by scientific studies that GMO foods contain substances that may cause diseases and even death to several kinds of species in this world, including us humans. For instance, mice and butterflies cannot survive with these foods.

7. Cross-Pollination
Cross-pollination can cover quite large distances, where new genes can be included in the offspring of organic, traditional plants or crops that are miles away. This can result in difficulty in distinguishing which crop fields are organic and which are not, posing a problem to the task of properly labeling non-GMO food products.

8. Gene Spilling
It is unclear what effects, if there are any, the genetic pollution resulting from inadequate sequestering of genetically modified crop populations would have on the wild varieties surrounding them. However, it is stressed that releasing pollen from genetically altered plants into the wild through the insects and the wind could have dramatic effects on the ecosystem, though there is yet long-term research to be done to gauge such impact.

9. Gene Transfer
Relevant to the previous disadvantage, a constant risk of genetically modified foods is that an organism’s modified genes may escape into the wild. Experts warn that genes from commercial crops that are resistant to herbicides may cross into the wild weed population, thus creating super-weeds that have become impossible to kill. For genetically enhanced vegetation and animals, they may become super-organisms that can out-compete natural plants and animals, driving them into extinction.

10. Conflicts
GMO foods can cause a lot of issues in the merchants’ daily life. How? These products might encourage authorities to implement higher tariffs to merchants, who would be selling them.

11. Exploitations
Some countries may use genetic engineering of foods as a very powerful weapon against their enemies. It is important to note that some scientists have discovered that these products can kill a lot of individuals in the world by using harmful diseases.

12. Widening Gap of Corporate Sizes
This disadvantage can possibly happen between food-producing giants and their smaller counterparts, causing a consolidation in the market. There would be fewer competitors, which could increase the risk of oligopolies and food price increases. Moreover, larger companies might have more political power and might be able to influence safety and health standards.

13. New Diseases
As previously mentioned, genetically modified foods can create new diseases. Considering that they are modified using viruses and bacteria, there is a fear that this will certainly happen. This threat to human health is a worrisome aspect that has received a great deal of debate.

14. Food Supply at Risk
GMO seeds are patented products and, in order to purchase them, customers have to sign certain agreements for use with the supplier or creator. As the reliance on these seeds expands around the world, concerns about food supply and safety also continue to arise. Furthermore, these seeds structurally identical, and if a problem affects one of them, a major crop failure can occur.

15. Economic Concerns
Bringing a genetically modified food to market can be a costly and lengthy process, and of course, agricultural bio-technology companies want to ensure a profitable ROI. So, many new plant genetic engineering technologies and products have been patented, and patent infringement is a big concern within the agribusiness. Also, consumer advocates are worried that this will raise seed prices to very high levels that third-world countries and small farmers cannot afford them, thus widening the gap between the rich and the poor.

One way fight against possible patent infringement is introducing a “suicide gene” into GM animals and plants, which would be viable for only a single growing season and would produce sterile seeds that do not germinate, prompting farmers to buy a fresh supply of seeds every year. However, this would be financially disastrous for them, especially those in developing countries, who cannot afford to do this and traditionally set aside a portion of their harvest to plant in the next growing season.

Conclusion

Genetically modified foods can potentially solve many hunger and malnutrition problems in the world, as well as help protect and preserve the environment by increasing yields and reducing reliance upon chemical pesticides and herbicides. However, it is important to proceed with caution to avoid unfavorable consequences for the surroundings and our health, considering that genetic engineering technology is very powerful.

Remember that there are really potential benefits and risks to these products, which you will learn further as you dig deeper into this subject. You can also read a brief fact sheet to familiarize yourself more with their purported benefits and problems. By doing so, you will be well-informed about these foods and the way they can affect your life.