A referendum is defined as a general vote by a specific electorate over a specific political question. The decision may take the form of a ballot question, a private survey, or a poll. The results of the vote are then implemented by majority vote.
Here are the pros and cons of referendums to consider.
List of the Pros of Referendums
1. It provides a level of political support for difficult decisions.
If there is a difficult decision to make, then a referendum can solidify support for it. When a majority of the people back a political decision, it helps to create a lock in the choice, making it easier to proceed.
2. It creates specific points of negotiation.
The priorities of the politicians may be different than the priorities of the people. By offering a referendum, the government is able to glean information about what their districts desire, making it easier to create policies or procedures which reflect the majority’s will.
3. It creates a mandate to follow.
In Colombia, the government had negotiated a peace deal with FARC, which had promoted civil conflict within the country for over 50 years. The referendum to proceed with the deal was rejected by 50.2% of the people, which created a mandate for the government to find a different way to operate. If any ruling body is unsure of which direction to go, they can seek a mandate from the people to know how to proceed.
List of the Cons of Referendums
1. It allows for false actors to campaign for specific results.
Referendums allow for a campaign to be started for each side of the question proposed. Campaigns provide space for false actors to misrepresent positions to the general public. Because the goal of a referendum is to provide more information to everyone, the false information offered is often believed.
2. It creates division.
Referendums create division within communities, especially if a narrow victory or loss occurs. These divisions take time to heal, if they ever do.
There is one general rule for a referendum: if you call one, there needs to be a level of certainty that you will win. The pros and cons of referendums show that the political costs for those who lose are often great.
Mandatory military service or military conscription is a strategy used by countries to build a large and powerful military ready to be deployed in times of war or when the need to protect the sovereignty of the state arises.
Many governments in history had used it, including the Qin Empire of China in 221 BC and France during the French Revolution in 1790s. Some countries impose mandatory military service even today. Among which are North Korea, which extends its 10-year military conscription last 2014; Myanmar, which requires the drafting of men and women into its armed forces; and South Korea, which imposes compulsory national service for all its citizens.
Mandatory military service is a controversial topic, and many objections have been raised against it on both religious and political grounds. This leads us to the question: Is compulsory conscription a good thing or a bad thing? Let us take a look at its pros and cons, and you be the judge.
List of Pros of Mandatory Military Service
1. Promotes National Unity
Mandatory military service can promote national unity in many ways. First, it allows citizens to learn and train together, creating that shared experience of having served in the military. Then there is also that general understanding of what life in the army is like, what is required of the job, and what has to be done in order to protect the country. Citizens are able to understand and develop appreciation for the sacrifices that people in the military made for their country. And all of these can bring people together, especially when dealing with a cultural or political threat from other nations.
2. Maintain Active Military Force
Having compulsory conscription to the military means having an active reserve of large body of armies that is ready to respond quickly and effectively to any threats to national security.
3. Ensures High Levels of Governmental Participation
With every citizen required to joined in the armed forces when the need arise, the public will be more aware and watchful of the government’s decision, especially in terms of national security and the like. With their lives at risk or at sacrifice, people will seek to understand more about the threats that face their country and will seek a greater voice on how their government approaches problems.
4. Can Provide Useful Skills
Life in the military can teach individuals more than how to throw a salute or shoot straight. The trainings they provide goes far beyond the technical skills needed to get the job done. Many military volunteers who have pursued a career in the civilian workplace mentioned several other skills and work-related attitudes that help them well in their job. These include teamwork, responsibility, initiative, stress management, diversity, and global awareness. Others learn the habits of healthy living and discipline as well as the skills in self-defense.
5. Promote Equality Among Citizens
Mandatory enlistment means that “no one” will be exempted from facing wars. All citizens, be they celebrities, rich businessmen or ordinary people, will be required to serve when the nation is facing war or in need of extra soldiers.
List of Cons of Mandatory Military Service
1. Violates Free Will
One of the arguments raised against mandatory military service is that it violates people’s rights to exercise free will. No one has the final say whether they should participate or not in the military training and enter the army since it is a compulsory mandate implemented throughout the country.
2. Interferes with Other Forms of Education
Mandatory military service typically drafts young men (and women) when they are at the peak of their learning ability (18 years old). This delays individuals’ pursuit for higher education as well as their entry into the into the civilian labor market, reducing returns to human-capital investments as a result.
3. Put Young People’s Lives at Risk
Though you might not like to think about it, part of the process is risking young people lives at risk. Casualties don’t just happen in actual combat or in the battle field but also during training and the like. Mandatory military service, which normally enlists able-bodied young people, put the next generation to serious harm and, at worst, death.
4. Compromises the Quality of Military Service
Unlike voluntary soldiers who are willing to undergo rigorous training and serve the country for a long time in the military, draft soldiers often lacks the necessary experience and preparedness, providing low combat skill quality when the time comes they are sent to war. This could lead to high casualty rate among soldiers drafted under compulsory military service.
5. Not Everyone Is Fit for It
Mandatory military service requires every citizen to join and serve in the armed forces, but not everyone is cut out for it. Whether it is mental issue, physical issue, or psychologically issue, not everyone is fit to meet the physical, mental and emotions demands of the job. Factors like anxiety, depression and the like should be carefully considered. Potentially killing someone is something that every person who was drafted in the military struggles with in their own way. A study conducted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America showed that approximately 40,000 military members who returned from war in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And that rate is three times higher among those who were deployed in combat than those who were non-deployed.
Mandatory military service has its advantages and has proven itself valuable in protecting the sovereignty of the state as well as in expanding its territories – take for example the Qin Empire that conquered a large area of what is now China, as well as the case of France during the French Revolution that was able to defend itself from the attacks of European monarchies in the late 16th century. However, its ramifications on the young people enlisted, the quality of military service, the labor market, the future generations and the like should be carefully considered.
There aren’t any clear records to show when the wearing of school uniforms really started. But this tradition has certainly been around for hundreds of years. In the United States, it was observed that more schools started to implement uniforms after President Bill Clinton pitched for the use of school uniforms in his 1996 State of the Union. The move was met with mixed reactions as some parties saw it as a nuisance and additional problem for students while others viewed it as the solution to improve the educational system and performance of schoolchildren in the United States. What do you think about school uniforms? This list of advantages and disadvantages might help you decide on your stand on the matter.
List of Advantages of School Uniforms
1. They create uniformity.
There can be a better sense of unity because everyone will wear the same clothes and they have a single identity. Also, there will be less competition among children about who has the more expensive outfits or who looks better or is more fashionable.
2. They give a sense of belonging and pride.
A uniform is an indicator of what school you belong to. This is especially beneficial for students who study in schools that are well known or are considered to be a top school in the locality. You can proudly wear your uniform and ‘show’ other people that you attend a good school.
3. They promote school spirit.
When everyone is dressed the same and feels proud to be a part of their school, it boosts morale. The student body has a greater sense of togetherness and pride, boosting school spirit.
4. They allow parents to save on time and money spent on shopping for school clothes.
Usually, school uniforms can be worn for a whole year or two. This means there isn’t a need to spend for new clothes every semester and parents don’t have to deal with picky children who demand expensive brands or a certain style of clothing.
5. They help students spend less time and energy on choosing what to wear daily.
Getting ready for school in the morning can be easier and faster. Plus, there is less stress in figuring out the whole night what to wear the next day or in trying to keep up with peers and fashion trends. Instead, kids can focus on doing their homework or other beneficial recreational activities.
6. They take away social segregation.
The way you dress usually dictates what sort of click you belong to, such as the goths, jocks, nerds, and so on. If everyone is dressed the same, it can take away the need to put a label on each person and the tendency to just stick with your ‘crowd.’
7. They provide a safer school environment.
Since all students are dressed in uniforms, it can be easier to pinpoint who is not supposed to be in there. This also prevents students from showing their gang affiliations by wearing certain colors or articles of clothing.
8. They encourage students to express themselves in other ways.
Because kids can’t show their individuality through clothes, they will try to express themselves through other methods such as the arts, academics, sports, or extra-curricular school activities.
9. They take away the need to create so many policies related to dress codes.
Most schools that don’t have uniforms have a dress code. But figuring out what rules to include can be taxing because they need to identify what materials, lengths and types of skirts are okay, what sort of footwear are inappropriate, and so on. With uniforms, setting an acceptable standard is easier since there is just one type of outfit to base the policies on.
10. They prevent bullying.
The way children dress is one of the most common reasons for bullying. Kids who dress differently or who can’t afford branded clothes are made fun of and discriminated. School uniforms can help stop this issue.
List of Disadvantages of School Uniforms
1. They take away individuality and freedom of expression.
Learning how to express yourself is a right that most parents want their children to learn from a young age. By not allowing kids to show their individuality through the way they dress, they may feel oppressed and discouraged to develop their own personality.
2. They can be an additional cost.
If children go to school 5 or 6 days a week, they needs at least 2-3 sets of uniforms.
3. They can cause additional stress to students and parents.
In relation to the point above, if the family can’t afford several sets of uniforms, they may have to wash the uniforms when the kids get home. This can be tiresome and takes away time that could have been spent on schoolwork or rest.
4. They can cause discomfort.
Some kids may have allergies or feel uncomfortable due to tightness and rigidness. This can affect their mood and learning throughout the whole day.
5. They promote an intolerance of cultures.
Most uniforms are not designed according to the cultural dress of a population or they represent only one culture. Also, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender students may become confused if they should wear a uniform that represents their inner sexual orientation or their external gender.
6. They cause resentment among students.
As children start to develop their own opinions, they won’t like being forced to do something they don’t want to. So requiring students to wear uniforms against their will can breed resentment towards the school, faculty, and even their parents.
7. They could cause outside bullying.
School pride and rivalry is something that some students take very seriously in a negative way. They can taunt or bully kids belonging to a rival school who they can easily identify through the uniforms.
8. They undermine free education.
Unless the school or government will sponsor the cost of uniforms, it will be the students’ families who need to shoulder the expense. And this contradicts the idea of free education since public schools are supposed to provide education at no cost to parents.
9. They become a band aid solution to bigger problems.
Poor academic performance, school violence, and decreasing attendance are some of the major issues schools face today. Opposing proponents question if school uniforms are really the answer to solving these problems.
10. They can hinder a child’s decision making skills.
Since you do not allow students to choose what they can wear, you are taking away their right to make a choice for themselves. This can disrupt the development of their ability to form their own opinions or make choices, and interfere with their transition into adulthood.
The United States has always had considerable influence on other nations. The US has significant effect on other countries in terms of pop culture, technology, business practices, etc. However, the gravity of how much influence America has on other governments is evidenced by American Imperialism, which is the military, economic and cultural influence of the US on other lands, which usually goes hand in hand with expansion on a grand scale into other territories. This means to say that this influence could the US’ first step to creating an empire, which was first popularized at the time of James K. Polk’s presidency.
The concept of colonization and imperialism didn’t die when colonies turned into independent nations. For quite some time, American Imperialism ruled everything, and continues to exist to this day.
American Imperialism started during the Spanish-American war in the 1790s. One of the things that motivated American Imperialism is economic. During that time, the US was already gaining industrial power, which means that they were trying to find new markets to sell their goods. Another motive that led to imperialism was military power. In that era, the US needed bases where their naval ships could refuel. Imperialism helped them secure these bases, giving the country more power to show the rest of the world they were strong and important. The last of the motives was cultural influence. This was the time when America felt it needed to spread its superior forms of culture, religion and government to those who didn’t have much. This was also the time when America was competing for territories with Europe. Nevertheless, American Imperialism was also able to promote nationalism. It became a point of pride to ensure their colonies around the world.
Here are some of the important pros and cons of American Imperialism you can consider:
List of Pros of American Imperialism
1. It paved the way for global modernization.
America has always been a leader in many areas. For one, they created the transistor, which allowed people to listen to live broadcasts of current news and events. It was also in the US that modern robotics was first introduced, as well as the exploration of space. All of which have been brought to other countries through imperialism. As a result, other nations were able to develop faster than what they would have been able to do without the US’ help.
2. It helped develop global defense support.
With over 650 military bases in 38 different countries, American Imperialism has helped give the world some level of defensive support, protecting people around the world during conflict. This is by providing training, support, equipment and other resources.
3. It brought about industrialization.
And by extension, imperialism brought about globalization. It paved the way in the advancement of infrastructure and machinery, helping the colonized countries progress. As a result, there was improvement in the standard of living while literacy rate increased exponentially as educational institutes were established. Aside from that, resources were efficiently utilized for manufacturing and trade, improving economies around the world. What’s more, there was a significant increase in competition between local and international markets.
4. It resulted in the exchange of traditions, cultural ideologies and customs.
With America bringing influence to other nations, cultural ideas, language, food, religion and other things are exchanged. This led to nations broadening their horizons.
5. It led to a myriad of technological advancements.
Despite nations gaining higher pedestal long after imperialism was dissolved, no one can deny the fact that such concept brought about significant changes to the colonies in several areas, including transportation, infrastructure, roads, educational institutions and more. Aside from that, there were innovations in science, information technology and healthcare.
6. It helped fuel economic growth around the world.
Innovation is the main focus American Imperialism, which should allow the US to gain as much profit as possible. This resulted in the development of new products and services not only in the United States, but also in other countries. This has fueled economic growth.
List of Cons of American Imperialism
1. It can cause political feud.
No country, person or organization wants to be controlled by another entity, which is the reason that there were a few discords among groups or nations that co-existed before imperialism. Because America obtained cheap labor and had easy access to natural resources from their colonies, there was a gap of differentiation between nations. Aside from that, foul play was becoming more obvious, and then got worse while imperialism continued.
2. It leads to discrimination.
Exchange of traditions and cultures is a good thing, but it should come naturally, not forced. Unfortunately, there were countries that suffered this kind of discrimination as they were forced to adapt to foreign ideas and thoughts despite their protests. What’s worse is that many people from the colonies were shipped and used without them knowing or agreeing, especially in Africa.
3. It causes exploitation.
Citizens of the colonies who did not accept the beliefs of the superpowers of the colonizers can be exploited and punished for doing so. Aside from that, the colonies’ wealth and natural resources were exploited as well.
4. It requires a considerable amount of money to defend more than one nation.
American Imperialism is still present in several countries up to this day. With military bases in numerous places around the world, from Germany to Japan, it will require the US government to support all of these defensive forces.
5. It is seen as unnecessary.
Many opponents of this concept believe that the US government should have spent their own money on developing resources to eliminate dependence from other nations. However, America is spending this money on imported goods. With advancements in technology, the US could have eliminated most imports by producing their own technology.
Now the question is: should America continue to expand to other nations to provide support or should it retract its naval and military bases and give the colonies a chance to stand on their own? By weighing the advantages and disadvantages, you can decide whether you want to support American Imperialism or not.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is made into a business or a sector by an individual or a company from another country. It is different from portfolio investment, which is made more indirectly into another country’s economy by using financial instruments, such as bonds and stocks.
There are various levels and forms of foreign direct investment, depending on the type of companies involved and the reasons for investment. A foreign direct investor might purchase a company in the target country by means of a merger or acquisition, setting up a new venture or expanding the operations of an existing one. Other forms of FDI include the acquisition of shares in an associated enterprise, the incorporation of a wholly owned company or subsidiary and participation in an equity joint venture across international boundaries.
If you are planning to engage in this kind of venture, you should determine first if it provides you and the society with maximum benefits. One good way to do this is evaluating its advantages and disadvantages.
List of Advantages of Foreign Direct Investment
1. Economic Development Stimulation.
Foreign direct investment can stimulate the target country’s economic development, creating a more conducive environment for you as the investor and benefits for the local industry.
2. Easy International Trade.
Commonly, a country has its own import tariff, and this is one of the reasons why trading with it is quite difficult. Also, there are industries that usually require their presence in the international markets to ensure their sales and goals will be completely met. With FDI, all these will be made easier.
3. Employment and Economic Boost.
Foreign direct investment creates new jobs, as investors build new companies in the target country, create new opportunities. This leads to an increase in income and more buying power to the people, which in turn leads to an economic boost.
4. Development of Human Capital Resources.
One big advantage brought about by FDI is the development of human capital resources, which is also often understated as it is not immediately apparent. Human capital is the competence and knowledge of those able to perform labor, more known to us as the workforce. The attributes gained by training and sharing experience would increase the education and overall human capital of a country. Its resource is not a tangible asset that is owned by companies, but instead something that is on loan. With this in mind, a country with FDI can benefit greatly by developing its human resources while maintaining ownership.
5. Tax Incentives.
Parent enterprises would also provide foreign direct investment to get additional expertise, technology and products. As the foreign investor, you can receive tax incentives that will be highly useful in your selected field of business.
6. Resource Transfer.
Foreign direct investment will allow resource transfer and other exchanges of knowledge, where various countries are given access to new technologies and skills.
7. Reduced Disparity Between Revenues and Costs.
Foreign direct investment can reduce the disparity between revenues and costs. With such, countries will be able to make sure that production costs will be the same and can be sold easily.
8. Increased Productivity.
The facilities and equipment provided by foreign investors can increase a workforce’s productivity in the target country.
9. Increment in Income.
Another big advantage of foreign direct investment is the increase of the target country’s income. With more jobs and higher wages, the national income normally increases. As a result, economic growth is spurred. Take note that larger corporations would usually offer higher salary levels than what you would normally find in the target country, which can lead to increment in income.
List of Disadvantages of Foreign Direct Investment
1. Hindrance to Domestic Investment.
As it focuses its resources elsewhere other than the investor’s home country, foreign direct investment can sometimes hinder domestic investment.
2. Risk from Political Changes.
Because political issues in other countries can instantly change, foreign direct investment is very risky. Plus, most of the risk factors that you are going to experience are extremely high.
3. Negative Influence on Exchange Rates.
Foreign direct investments can occasionally affect exchange rates to the advantage of one country and the detriment of another.
4. Higher Costs.
If you invest in some foreign countries, you might notice that it is more expensive than when you export goods. So, it is very imperative to prepare sufficient money to set up your operations.
5. Economic Non-Viability.
Considering that foreign direct investments may be capital-intensive from the point of view of the investor, it can sometimes be very risky or economically non-viable.
Remember that political changes can also lead to expropriation, which is a scenario where the government will have control over your property and assets.
7. Negative Impact on the Country’s Investment.
The rules that govern foreign exchange rates and direct investments might negatively have an impact on the investing country. Investment may be banned in some foreign markets, which means that it is impossible to pursue an inviting opportunity.
8. Modern-Day Economic Colonialism.
Many third-world countries, or at least those with history of colonialism, worry that foreign direct investment would result in some kind of modern day economic colonialism, which exposes host countries and leave them vulnerable to foreign companies’ exploitations.
Investing into another country’s economy, buying into a foreign company or otherwise expanding your business abroad can be extremely financially rewarding and might provide you with the boost needed to jump to a new level of success. However, foreign direct investment also carries risks, and it is highly important for you to evaluate the economic climate thoroughly before doing it. Also, it is essential to hire a financial expert who is accustomed to working internationally, as he can give you a clear view of the prevailing economic landscape in your target country. He can even help you monitor market stability and predict future growth.
Remember that we live in an increasingly globalized economy, so foreign direct investment will become a more accessible option for you when it comes to business. However, you should weigh down its advantages and disadvantages first to know if it is the best road to take.
Voting is a right and a responsibility. As a citizen of one’s country, it is important that you exercise your right to suffrage to help ensure that the government officials who are placed into office are the ones that the people actually voted. For many years in several countries, voting is non-compulsory. This means that the government does not force its citizens to show up at voting precincts to cast their votes. However, there are a number of nations that impose mandatory voting. These include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Greece and Singapore, to name a few. Twelve of these nations aggressively enforce the compulsion of voting, giving penalties and charging fees who violate such law. One of these is Australia. It has been requiring its citizens to participate in federal elections since 1924. The country’s argument to this strict mandate is that it needs to address low voter turnout, which is currently below 60 percent.
Now, many people are wondering if compulsory voting is fair not. After all, the whole point of democracy is giving everyone the freedom to make their own choices, to voice out their opinions. Are you pro- or anti-compulsory voting? If you haven’t made a choice yet, knowing its pros and cons could help you make an informed decision.
List of Pros of Compulsory Voting
1. Increase Voter Turnout
It is not democracy if there is only 50 percent of voter turnout. If only half of the population turns out at voting precincts at election, it can’t be called a democracy. With the number of voters declining year after year, political analysts and a few citizens fear that there might come a time when it would just be the candidates’ kin, friends and colleagues who will bother to show up.
2. It Broadens Representation And Legitimacy
If voting is made mandatory, it will ensure that the government will be represented by a majority of the population, not just a few individuals. It will also guarantee that members of the society who are not as politically active will not be neglected. It will also prevent political leaders to claim greater legitimacy.
3. Lessen The Need For Large Sums Of Money In Campaigns
Whether people admit it or not, money plays a significant role in politics. But if compulsory voting becomes a law, there will be no need for politicians to be backed by billionaires to fund their political campaigns.
4. Make Campaigns Broader
Compulsory voting will assist in not targeting specific subgroups. If it is guaranteed that everyone will vote, then politicians would stop creating campaigns that are only targeted to certain people. This should also mean more pressure on politicians to represent the beliefs of all citizens. As a result, determining the best candidate would be easier.
5. Promote Political Stability
Where there is division there is instability. So when a nation has an alarmingly low voter turnout, it could increase the risk of political instability brought about by crises or leaders with hidden agendas.
6. Encourage Voters to Better Educate Themselves
If people are obliged to vote every election, they will most likely want to make the most of their votes. So, they would want to research more on each candidate to ensure they’ll be able to make the right choice. As a result, candidates would be forced to be more transparent about their stance on controversial issues. Furthermore, better informed voters will be able to determine unrealistic plans, ensuring fairer decisions in the future.
7. More Serious Elections
It will make people take elections as well as candidates more seriously. Compulsory voting would compel the people to be more proactive in building a government that will serve the majority, not only a few groups. This will lead to a better and more united nation.
List of Cons of Compulsory Voting
1. Violate Freedom of Choice
A democratic type of government means that it was built on the basis of respecting basic human freedoms and rights, particularly free choice. However, it can be violated if voting is made mandatory because people would not have the freedom to not express their opinion.
2. Decrease Interest
It could push individuals who have no interest in taking part of building a government for the people to vote. Although it could compel the citizens to educate themselves, there is also the possibility that those who are honestly not interested will be forced to vote. This could push people to choose candidates randomly, forfeiting the purpose of an election, which is to place deserving people in key positions. In other words, votes and consequently the budget spent for the polls will go to waste.
3. Minimize Right to Express Religion
It could take away people’s right to express their religion. There are religious sectors that discourage their members from participating in political events. Therefore, forcing them to vote explicitly violates their right to practice their religion.
4. Wrong it Punish Those Who Refuse to Vote
It would be unacceptable and unlawful to punish those who would choose not to vote. It would be a violation of fundamental rights to punish people who refuse to practice their right to suffrage. Again, voting is a right, which means that people should have the freedom to choose whether to vote or not. Besides, imposing penalties and/or punishment to citizens who have no interest in politics would be unlawful because 1) they did not harm anybody, 2) they did not violate anyone’s right, and 3) they did not break any law.
5. Encourage Informal Votes
This means that ballot papers with no appropriate markings of voting rules could be used to cater for the large number of voters every election.
6. Increase Law Enforcement Costs
It will require a considerable amount of money to enforce such law. If voting becomes compulsory, the government will be compelled to punish those who violate it. When this happens, it will require a large sum for law to be enforced, which would involve finding out who may or may not have broken the mandate. Although there would be fines as a result of a violation, these could not be enough to compensate what the government has to spend to impose the law.
In the end, it’s all about making it fair for all parties involved. If enforcing mandatory voting would violate people’s basic right to not vote, then it would not be a practical law.
Biodegradable plastics have two classes. These are bioplastics which are made from renewable raw materials and plastics that come from petrochemicals that have biodegradable additives. Created to minimize pollution from plastic pollutants, these plastic types will turn to compost after a certain period of time. However, there are upsides and downsides to the use of these materials.
List of Advantages of Biodegradable Plastics
1. Carbon Emission Reduction
One of the advantages related to the use of biodegradable plastics is the minimal emission of carbon in the air during the process of manufacturing bioplastics. As opposed to the normal manufacturing of plastics that create four tons of emissions, bioplastics only emit approximately .8 tons of carbon that add to the greenhouse effect and global warming.
2. Consumes Less Energy
The manufacturing process of biodegradable plastics requires less amount of energy and does not need fossil fuels to be recycled. Conversely, traditional plastics demand more energy in production and at the same time requires the burning of fossil fuel. Since less energy is needed, more bioplastics can be produced while there is less pollution in the environment.
3. Less Landfill Area Needed
Plastics that are non-biodegradable are brought to landfills to discard them. Consequently, land area that could have been used for agriculture, residence or industrial applications is instead converted to landfills. If bioplastics are used, there is no need to add more landfills since these plastics can be absorbed by the soil and be converted to compost or humus.
Apart from taking less time to break down when discarded, biodegradable plastics can also be recycled and are non-toxic since they contain no chemicals or toxins compared to other types of plastics that can emit harmful chemicals, especially if burned.
List of Disadvantages of Biodegradable Plastics
1. Need for Composters
The flipside of using biodegradable plastics is that there will be a need for industrial composters to turn them into composts and availability of the equipment in some countries can be a problem. Apart from the cost, not all countries have the proper equipment especially if this is not the priority of the government. In the end, the bioplastics that need to be processed will not be discarded properly.
2. Engineering Issues
These bioplastics are plant-based and this means that they come from organic sources from farms such as soybeans and corn. However, these organic plants are sprayed with pesticides which contain chemicals that can contaminate the crops and be transferred or included in the finished product.
3. Risk of Contamination
Biodegradable plastics should not be mixed with non-biodegradable plastics when thrown in garbage bins. The problem here is that not all people know how to segregate or distinguish bioplastics from other plastic types. Once these two types of plastics are mixed together, these bioplastics become contaminated and cannot be used anymore. Consequently, these contaminated bioplastics will end in landfills and add to the volume of thrash.
Biodegradable plastics are becoming popular these days because of the increasing awareness on global warming and environmental issues. Despite having disadvantages, it will help to focus on the benefits of using bioplastics and on educating the people on its importance and effects on a global scale.
In bank reconciliation, the bank statement balance is reconciled, with the book bank account balance in the client’s books of accounts, resulting to the tallying of the two balances, where the calculated adjusted bank balance should be equal to the figure of the adjusted book bank balance. It involves a structured process of preparation, where forms, which contain pre-printed items, should leave out omission errors and are found on the back side of the hard copies of your monthly bank statement, making the entire process easier. However, this process also has its own set of drawbacks that should be looked into. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of bank reconciliation:
List of Advantages of Bank Reconciliation
1. It makes accounts to be in good standing.
Keeping your account in good standing through bank reconciliation means that, when you are aware about the amount that you can spend in your account, you are less likely to overdraw the account, which means withdrawing or attempting to withdraw more money than what your account have. Keep in mind that overdrawing will negatively affect your credit score and can prompt the bank to charge you fees. While some financial institutions offer overdraft protection, most often they would charge you or your company a fee for using such a service. And if you do not have such type of protection on your account, you will suffer worse consequences.
2. It prevents theft.
As you are going to compare your bank book’s transactions with the bank’s financial transactions, you will be able to spot transactions that are recorded by the institution, but are not in your records. As you can see, recording bank fees is a standard practice as you process your reconciliation, though it might a transaction that you have overlooked to record. By examining further the available original documents, these discrepancies will be revealed. Most importantly, this will reveal bank transactions that were initiated by unauthorized individuals who try to steal money from your account.
3. It will keep mistakes at bay.
You will know that a bank is reliable when it implements procedures to avoid making mistakes in your account, but unfortunately, mistakes do happen sometimes, with the most common being a simple entry error. Nevertheless, banks will be able to correct these mistakes when you point them out after you complete your reconciliation.
4. It helps you detect accounting errors.
By reconciliation, you will be able to detect accounting errors that commonly occurs in business, such as double payments, addition and subtraction errors, missed payments and lost checks. For example, if you have mistakenly recorded an invoice as “paid” on your ledger, bank reconciliation can reveal that you have forgotten to write the check. There are also cases where your bank committed an error in your favor, so you will be liable to return that money, even if you have already spent it.
5. It achieves accurate balance.
A bank reconciliation will reveal which cash transactions have been cleared with the bank and which of those are still outstanding. While a check is the most common form of transaction that would remain open at the end of the statement period, the bank may not clear it as of the ending date of the statement if you made a deposit at the end of the month.
List of Disadvantages of Bank Reconciliation
1. It can create checks that clear the bank after being voided.
As you may have noticed when making check transactions with your bank, if a check has remained “un-cleared” for a long period of time, you might have to void it and issue one for a replacement. Now, if a payee has cashed the original check that you have voided with the bank, the institution should reject it when the payee presents it. However, if you failed to void it, then it must be recorded with a credit to your cash account and a debit that indicates the reason for the payment, such as a decrease in a liability account, an increase in a cash account or an expense account. In a general sense, you should void such an un-cleared check with the bank at ounce if the payee has not yet cashed the replacement check, or you will be making a double payment that will require you to pursue repayment with the payee for the second check.
2. It can issue un-cleared checks that continue not to be presented.
As stated above, a bank reconciliation creates un-cleared checks, which are residual checks that are not presented for payment for a long period of time or are never presented for payment at all. That is why you should treat them similarly as other un-cleared checks even if it is just in a short term, with you keeping them in the listing of un-cleared checks in your accounting to make them as ongoing reconciling items. In the long term, you should ask the payee if he/she ever received the checks to decide whether you need to void them and issue new ones.
3. It risks changes in the dates covered by the bank statement.
Another drawback with bank reconciliation that can cause problems is that bank statement dates can be altered in order to include or exclude some items. This situation can arise when someone at your company requests the bank to change the closing date for your bank account, which can lead to fraud.
4. It makes possible that deposited checks will be returned.
In some cases, your bank would refuse to deposit your check for reasons like you have drawn it on a foreign bank account. This means that you need to reverse the original entry on that deposit, which will become a credit to your cash account to reduce cash balance. Remember that this comes with a corresponding increase in your accounts receivable account.
5. It risks having missing transactions.
Bank reconciliations can have missing transactions. This can be caused by transactions that have been modified while reconciliation is still on process or transactions that have been reconciled in another method of reconciliation.
Basically, bank reconciliation is carried to introduce transparency and efficiency into a business’s accounting system, but it does have some drawbacks that you should be aware of. By doing so, you will be able to avoid problems along the way.
In paternalistic leadership, people may feel like the situation that they are in is democratic as workers are encouraged to discuss and comment and their questions are answered. However, decisions will be up to the person at top. To know more about the advantages and disadvantages of paternalistic leadership, read on.
List of Advantages of Paternalistic Leadership
1. High employee loyalty due to employees feeling like they are being heard and their needs are met. 2. Good behavior is rewarded by the person at top, often with goods and food. 3. Absenteeism rates and staff turnover will decrease as emphasis is placed on the employee needs. 4. Most decisions will be made with the employees’ best interests taken into consideration 5. Feedback is invited and encouraged, which improves morale and makes employees feel important. 6. There is an open line of communication between the managers and the employees which will keep employees feeling important and satisfied. 7. There is an understanding that the manager wants everyone to succeed, which can result in a lower amount of competition among employees. 8. The manager is given the power to rule from the idea that they are the most capable in making the best decisions for the team, which fosters trust and loyalty with employees. 9. Managers are very involved in the employee’s personal lives, which makes the employee feel more connected at work.
List of Disadvantages of Paternalistic Leadership
1. Just like a parent, managers will sometimes have to discipline the employee in non-traditional ways. 2. Bad decisions from above cause major employee dissatisfaction. 3. The employees will become more and more dependent on the employer, which can cause an increase in necessary supervision in order to get things done in a timely and appropriate manner. 4. If loyalty to the manager is not established quickly then there can be poor staff motivation. 5. Issues can be cased and exacerbated with employee legislation and rights. 6. Employees rely on the leader more than they would in a typical work setting. Because of this, the team can become highly competitive as they all vie for attention and affection. 7. Managers can become blind with their power and make decisions that only benefit themselves. 8. If roles are not well defined and employees do not know what is needed from them there can be power struggles and internal issues.
As you can see, there are many pros and cons to this type of leadership.
While the usual definition of ethnocentrism is “the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group of culture”, a more accurate way to describe the term is “judging other groups as inferior to one’s own.”
Ken Barger from the Anthropology Department of Indiana University argues that everyone is ethnocentric and that “it cannot be avoided, nor can it be willed away by a positive or well-meaning attitude.” He notes that addressing deeper issues involved in ethnocentrism requires a more explicit definition of the term. In this case, ethnocentrism can be described as making false assumptions about the ways of others based on our own limited experience.
We are all raised adhering to certain customs and beliefs. However, it’s making assumptions about how others live or go about their lives that prompt false negative judgments. For instance, most Westerners put a value on industriousness that seeing someone else sitting around not doing work is perceived as “being lazy.”
Assuming something about the experience of others also triggers false positive attitudes. For example, those who work in an urban industrial society may think that those living in rural areas are blessed because they don’t experience the stress of modern society. While living in open spaces does alleviate stress, this doesn’t mean that those living in these kinds of places are immune to stress. For instance, there is a constant threat of starvation living in this kind of community as well as the inherent danger in operating machinery. So why are we ethnocentric and what are the pros and cons of being such?
List of Pros of Ethnocentrism
1. It drives individuals to have a strong national pride.
Good things can definitely come about when one loves their country or is proud of where they came from. A sense of national pride does help keep a nation united, which is what is needed especially in times of need. For example, love of country and the desire to uphold certain ideals drive men to serve in the army.
A passion for one’s country is what keep others going as well, especially if they’ve migrated to different country. They are not shy to let others know of the culture and tradition of their homeland. This kind of behavior is beneficial for others to understand the ways of those who grew up different from their own culture.
While a sense of national pride can be seen as a positive trait, often times it can get abused or used for all the wrong reasons – these will be discussed later on.
2. It creates a feeling of belonging.
Not everyone one of us have the capability of being happy while living alone – most of us crave the company of others.
Although wanting the company of those who share your own beliefs and culture produces a wonderful feeling because you all understand each other, it also breeds negative effects. For instance, not mingling with people from different cultures or at least getting to know them will not open your eyes to how different people can be.
3. It allows people to keep old traditions and practices alive.
We grow up following the traditions and practices of the culture we are a part of. However, this tends to fade away or get lost when different cultures are assimilated. For instance, a child from one culture brought up on going to church every Sunday may have different beliefs when they are exposed to other ideas. In a sense, this makes older members who still adhere to the old ways disappointed that the younger generation no longer appreciates their culture.
For some, not exposing young people to other ways may help preserve the old ways. While doing so may help, not allowing them to be part of something else will not broaden their perspectives.
List of Cons of Ethnocentrism
1. It drives us to make false assumptions regarding cultural differences.
As mentioned earlier, we are all ethnocentric. And this is made clearer when we use what is normal in our culture to make generalization about the customs and culture of other people. While we may make these generalizations without being aware that we are using our own culture as a gauge, doing so is way off base and leads us to misjudge other people. As such, ethnocentrism leads to cultural misinterpretation which may result in miscommunication between people.
2. It creates consequences within our own society and with others.
Even if we are from the same culture, there will be some of us who are more privileged than others. Those who have always lived in comfort may not find it easy to see the difficulties being faced by others, especially the minorities and the disadvantaged. But one good way of understanding is to think about how you would react when a concern of yours isn’t recognized, no matter how simple it may be.
Not being able to understand also creates problems in international relations. Ethnocentrism leads to the creation of conflicts as well as hindering conflict resolution just because we failed to understand the other.
Believing in one’s superiority creates extreme forms of ethnocentrism that result in serious social problems. Racism is one of the bigger problems being faced today and despite it being condemned the world over, we still see and hear it happen.
3. It can create a culture that is blinded by their own self-righteousness.
Trouble brews when people believe that their way is the only way. Having someone believe their views are totally or correct or morally superior is dangerous in itself; can you imagine what happens then if an entire population shares the same views?
Yes, ethnocentrism is considered a natural proclivity of human psychology is now a negative connotation. Making premature judgments of other people will always lead to misunderstandings. Our ethnocentric nature cannot be cured as it’s impossible for us to experience every life situation there is around the world. What we can do instead is be aware of our own biases and control them.