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Negatives and Positives

In the US, many public school systems are requiring their students to wear uniforms with the aim to enhance overall performance of children and to reduce their negative behavior. But like other things, standardized school clothing has also become a hot topic in national debates with experts having opposing arguments and taking their stands. To come up with good insight on this subject, let us take a look at its pros and cons.

List of Pros of Wearing School Uniforms

1. It improves academic outcomes.
There is a lot of educators believing that schoolchildren who wear uniforms show better academic performance. In fact, study shows a slight improvement in the grades of students who wear uniforms. Without uniforms, students are seen to be often focused on what they wear that it can distract them from learning, and some experts believe that a mandatory uniform policy would eliminate such a distraction and enhance student attention. Also, they believe that uniforms set a more serious atmosphere that is conducive to learning. Furthermore, it is found that school uniforms have improved attendance.

2. It improves the social aspect among schoolchildren.
According to experts, uniforms have improved the social aspect in a school environment. Often, fashion and clothing could become the root of social conflict, where some children are ridiculed by their peers because of the way they dress. Many of them use clothing to define and express themselves, which often lead to the formation of cliques in schools. Also, students feel to be judged based on their clothing by others and even teachers and administrators. Well, uniforms are believed to have the capability to remove this trend, thus relieving students from the pressure of fitting in. Experts believe that an improved social environment through mandatory standardized dress can improve both academic and behavioral outcomes.

3. It helps make better children’s attitudes.
Generally, it is thought that schoolchildren who wear uniforms would behave more appropriately in the campus. It is believed that uniforms dictate a stricter atmosphere and that those who wear them are more likely to abide by school policies. In fact, the Department of Education maintains that making standardized dress codes compulsory reduces school violence.

4. It is cost-effective.
In many cases, using school uniforms has allowed families to get more savings, as they do not need to buy trendy and expensive clothing for their children to wear at school. Also, uniforms are made to last and can be easily washed frequently, so after the initial investment you make when you buy them, there is no need to spend as much money on school clothing.

5. It can teach discipline.
While a lot of jobs do not require wearing uniforms, others do. So, if your children are growing up to become checkout assistants or nurses, then they should get used to putting on the same uniform day in and out.

6. It can enforce a positive attitude.
In a work environment, people wear smart clothes even though, normally, wearing uniforms is not required. Even among the self-employed, they are still trying to dress as though they were going to an office. This is because it will make them feel professional and, in turn, will encourage them to produce better-quality work each day. The same goes for schoolchildren; if they are in uniforms, they would a lot classier than they would with shirts.

List of Cons of Wearing School Uniforms

1. It hinders self-expression.
Some sociology experts and educators argue that requiring schoolchildren to wear uniforms would hinder their self-expression, which is an important part of child development. Also, they believe that that these students would only find other less-appropriate ways to express themselves, such as inappropriate use of jewelry and make-up.

2. It restricts individuality.
Some experts say that public education systems attempt to strip children of their individuality by forcing them to wear uniforms, believing that they do not meet the needs of these students who do not fall in the norm. They also add that uniforms attempt to coerce students into one mold, seeing the standard dress as another way to remove individuality among schoolchildren who should be celebrating and embracing diversity. They believe that it is not really in the best interest of children to try to control socialization, which is a part of human nature, and that school uniforms would not prepare students for the real world, where they will be judged by the way they look.

3. It means additional expenses for clothing.
Though they are seen as cost-effective by proponents, opponents think that school uniforms would increase the amount of clothing parents will have to buy for their children. In some cases, these pieces of standardized clothing can be more expensive for those who used to buy from second-hand stores or those who rely on hand-me-down clothes from family and friends. Plus, cost is definitely a negative aspect of school uniforms in the sense that they cannot be used outside of school.

4. It can be uncomfortable.
Varying kinds of clothing normally feel comfortable to different people. Considering that some children are more comfortable in a specific style or material of clothing, uniforms would reduce their ability to choose clothes that fit their individual comfort needs. And to maximize their learning, experts believe that schoolchildren should feel comfortable.

5. It delays children’s transition into adulthood.
Teenagers need self-identification and expression to make the leap into adulthood, and by forcing them to wear school uniforms, they are limited with the ability to express themselves, which might delay their transition into adulthood. Study shows that the only benefits from wearing school uniforms would end once students leave middle school, and there was nothing to it for high school.

Conclusion

Basing on the pros and cons listed above, there might be no easy answer to whether schoolchildren should wear uniforms or not. At the end of the day, it just boils down to your own philosophies. If you are a parent or a person in charge of uniforms at your school, then you should try thinking outside the box and end the age old debate. By being creative, perhaps you can satisfy both sides of this story to some degree.

Labor unions, also known as trade unions continue to be controversial despite the purpose of supposedly protecting the rights of employees and laborers. A labor union is an organization created by a group of workers of a company to protect its workers when it comes to concerns on wages, working conditions and hours at work.

These unions are more common in mining, construction, manufacturing and transportation industries and in recent years, have suffered a decline particularly in the private sector. Some economists are also not in favor of this practice because of the monopoly that goes along with it. In the United States, labor union organizations include the United Auto Workers, United Steel Workers, American Postal Workers’ Union and the Screen Actor Guild. Here is a look at the pros and cons presented by the advocates and critics of labor unions.

The Pros of Labor Unions

1. They protect the interests of employees.
Organizations like labor unions aim to ensure that workers are given fair compensation for their work. Employees who are members of a labor union are given the voice and support to demand for higher wages, a safe working environment and not work more than eight hours without overtime pay. Without this kind of organization, proponents are concerned about employers taking advantage of their employees. They say that without a support system to back up the employees, the management have all the right to impose policies at the office which are pro-management like no security of tenure, low wages and overtime hours without pay.

2. They can result to satisfied employees which is beneficial to the company.
Employees who are not satisfied with their jobs often leave the company, which can be a loss for the business. With more unhappy workers, resignation is high and this would mean having to train new members of the staff as well as added expense to the company. With a labor union to negotiate with the company regarding better working conditions and higher wages, employees are unlikely to resign because they will be content to work with their employers. This will also mean more productivity from the team and more sales for the company.

3. Labor unions are responsible for added benefits.
Advocates of labor unions believe that an employee is more likely to get what he or she wants when it comes to benefits such as number of paid leaves, retirement benefits and insurance coverage for both single employees and married employees. According to surveys, unionized members enjoy these benefits while only a small percentage of non-union members have access to these benefits.

4. Employees are protected from discrimination and inequality.
Individuals approving of labor unions say that employees who are union members will not be discriminated upon when it comes to religion, race, age and gender. Labor unions can include in their policy a clause about prohibiting the discrimination of an individual on certain factors, including sexual orientation and ailments such as being HIV positive. Without an organization to protect the right of an individual to work, it will be easy for some employers to hire not based on qualifications but on selection.

5. It results to collective power which is a good thing for employees.
Some proponents of labor unions believe that there is strength in numbers which makes these organizations effective in being able for employees to bargain with their employees and get what they want. Through collective bargaining, employees are more likely to get more benefits, higher salaries and better working conditions from management as opposed to forwarding these concerns individually.

The Cons of Labor Unions

1. They are cartels.
According to critics, labor unions can be monopolized and can be run by cartels. With their power to demand for higher wages, they also cut down the number of jobs available in the market. It might be beneficial to the union members but employers are forced to cut down on hiring other workers for certain jobs. Those who are against say that the ones who are in the losing end are those non-members, taxpayers and the consumers.

2. They enjoy privileges such as immunity from taxation and antitrust laws.
Opponents of trade unions raise their concern on these two issues. Even if a labor union is an organization, it is exempted from taxes, which opponents believe should be paid to the government. An antitrust law, on the other hand, finds any restraint in commerce and trade as illegal. With labor unions, employees have the right to stop production and go on strikes which in effect is a form of restraining trade and commerce. The end result will be less supply and higher prices of the affected products. They will not be sanctioned because they exempted from antitrust laws. These exemptions are contended by opponents,

3. Labor unions can be costly not only for the employers but to employees as well.
With the government backing up labor unions, critics say that in the long run, the employees are the ones who will suffer because these organizations often demand membership dues which can be a dent to the net amount employees should be bringing home to their families. They are also not agreeing to the way the system works especially when it comes to boycotts and strikes, pointing out that not all members want to join these activities. Despite their reluctance, they have no choice but to be a part of these unrests since they are union members.

4. Employees are dictated by these labor unions.
One of the criticisms thrown at labor unions is the effect on employees’ performance. Although these organizations can influence workers’ productivity by way of getting higher salaries, labor unions can also demand union members to stop carrying their tasks, which would curtail production and affect the consumers directly.

Conclusion

Both proponents and opponents of labor unions have relevant points when it comes to labor unions. These organizations have a number of benefits to offer members but there are also economists who don’t completely agree that it is what the economy needs and in the U.S., unions have become unpopular with the private sector. These types of organizations have advantages and disadvantages that should be taken in consideration by the government and voters alike. The important thing is for any employee to know and understand the policies of a certain labor union before he or she joins one.

Environmentalists and researchers have been talking for years about global warming and its numerous implications on the environment. Flight delays caused by extreme weather conditions, calamities and climate changes all points out to this phenomenon. However, there is one consequence of global warming that has been brought to the awareness of the people. This is the argument that it has been dramatically contributing to the melting of ice caps. Does it really have a hand in the disappearance of ice caps?

Global warming is defined as the rise of temperature on the oceans, atmosphere and the surface of the earth. These changes have been studied and recorded by scientists even two centuries ago, with figures indicating a rise of 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit during the last 100 years. And if the findings of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are correct, there is an expected rise between 2 to 11.5 degrees by the next century. This is quite an alarming concern humanity has to face if there will be no action taken to address this looming threat.

Although scientists consider global warming as a natural occurrence that has been present for hundreds of years, they are concerned of how human activities have affected its rate.

How Does Global Warming Work?

The heating of the earth’s atmosphere occurs with its interaction with the heat that comes from the sun. This process is what is known as the greenhouse effect. As solar radiation passes enters the atmosphere, it gets absorbed by a number of gases which in return causes latter to heat up. The more gases there are in the air, the warmer it gets. And with the ongoing activities of humans on a daily basis, global warming reaches higher heights which melts the glaciers and ice caps.

What Are The Greenhouse Gases?

Carbon dioxide.
The most common gas emitted in the atmosphere is CO2, which became prevalent in the age of Industrial Revolution. Nowadays, it comes not only from factories but also from the cars driven by people. With millions of cars plying the streets globally, the presence of this gas in the atmosphere has increased drastically. Burning of fossil fuels as well as deforestation had also been considered responsible for carbon emissions. When trees are cut or burned, they release carbon in the air.

Methane.
Although not as common as CO2, Methane is far more dangerous. It can come from natural forms but environmentalists say that humans contribute a lot to the releasing of this gas in the atmosphere. These activities include mining, raising livestock and building landfills.

What Is An Ice Cap?

It is an ice mass with an area not exceeding 50,000 kilometers of land. This is a type of glacier that can be found in polar and sub-polar regions. On the other hand, if the area covered by an ice mass exceeds 50,000 kilometers, it is then called an ice sheet. In a nutshell, ice caps are considered miniature ice sheets.

Scientists have recorded how the rise in temperature on the Earth’s atmosphere has caused changes in the salinity levels and temperature of oceans as well as on ice caps and sheets. Almost 80% of the snow in Kilimanjaro has melted since 1912 while ice in the Arctic Sea has been thinning for the last fifty years. What is more alarming is the fast thinning, melting and disappearance of ice caps and sheets as evident in the documentaries shown about equatorial glaciers in Indonesia, Switzerland and Peru.

As the temperature rises, the melting of glaciers will also become more rapid. In fact, there are already signs scientists pointed out by scientists.

List of Indications

1. Quelccaya ice cap used to be the largest in the tropics. With its continuous melting however, experts are fearing its complete disappearance by 2100 and the effects it can bring to people who rely on it for electricity and drinking water.

2. Another evidence of the effect of global warming on the rupturing of ice glaciers is the cracking of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf in the Arctic which began in 2000. It used to be a large area of ice which has been present 3,000 years ago. Now, it has been shed into pieces.

3. NASA also has images of the Polar ice cap indicating that it shrunk more than 20% since the year 1979. Meanwhile, in just a period of two years, between 2005 to 2007, more than half a million square miles of ice have disappeared in the Arctic Sea. According to scientists, if this continues, it will be completely gone in 2040. They also say that with the speed of melting, Glacier National Park will be totally gone from the map come 2070. There are only 25 glaciers remaining from what used to be 150 in the National Park in Montana.

How Will These Consequences Affect The People?

The melting of the ice in the Arctic has not only affected people but also the animals that have considered it home. With the breaking into pieces of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, many inhabitants like the walruses, whales, seals and Polar bears have to migrate somewhere else in order to sustain themselves. This in turn affected the people who rely on hunting these animals for food.

Another effect is the rise of sea levels. When this happens, drinking water can get contaminated and soil erosion will also be a problem. Coastal flooding and storm surges are also concerns that people should worry about. Extreme weather conditions as well as hurricanes are more likely to occur.

Food production and agriculture will also be badly hit by the effect of global warming. Wheat farmers in Kansas, for example, rely on cold air masses coming from the Arctic. If the ice disappears, the temperature in Kansas will be warmer, making it impossible for them to grow wheat.

Is There Any Way People Can Address The Problem?

Since humans are partly responsible for the rate of global warming, they can also help solve the problem. Environmentalists are pushing on mitigating its effects by encouraging people to use more energy-efficient fuels for cars and to think of alternative ways to travel such as the use of bicycles. Recycling and reusing are also recommended so as to lessen the demand for more trees to be cut and more fossil fuels to be burned. Simple ways can be done to fight global warming and lower the rate of melting ice caps. By being responsible and aware of what’s happening to the environment and through the efforts of leaders around the world, this concern can be given the attention and solution it needs.

The practice of music censorship has been observed for years now but still remains to be a contentious issue. It can stem from a law imposed by a government or voluntary censorship done by private individuals on their music and lyrics.

Since some songs played on airplays and some comments of radio personalities have gained the ire of listeners at times, censorship in the music industry has become commonplace. Some radio stations do their share by censoring in different forms like resampling, repeating, distorting and skipping.

However, this controversy still remains to be debatable. There are proponents and opponents expressing their views on its legality and relevance to society. Here are right of the pros and cons worth considering.

List of Pros of Music Censorship

1. Music can highly influence young children and adults alike and regulating it can provide balance.
Music is a very influential medium and can do so in a positive and negative way. Proponents of music censorship see it fit to ban songs with expletive lyrics like gangsta rap because of what most of this type of music implies. There are some lyrics that glamorize wrong doings and racism. By regulating the songs which are being played on the airways, people especially teens, will not be exposed to lyrics that have profanities and violence overtones.

2. It keeps the number of suicide attempts down.
People, especially some parents, are for music censorship because of several instances of suicide attempts committed by teenagers. One parent talked about a son who killed himself while listening to the music of Marilyn Manson. He also added that two of his son’s friends also did the same thing. With censorship, lesser attempts of suicide will be possible.

3. It limits the exposure of people to sex, drugs and violence.
Advocates of the censorship say that the music industry is so powerful that it is capable to produce songs which can entice the public to listen to materials which overtly advertise nudity, sex and drugs. Moreover, without censorship, irresponsible members of the industry which can include disc jockeys and radio program hosts will be free to play just any kind of music and air indecent content.

4. It cuts the power of record producers to come up immoral songs just to make money.
Many producers in the music industry are not in favor of music censorship because of the music business being a million dollar industry. Proponents are pushing for censorship because they know that if such law is imposed and implemented, these music moguls will be reluctant to produce songs for the sake of profit per se but be more careful to downplay words so as to keep their albums selling.

List of Cons of Music Censorship

1. It is not the true solution.
For some opponents, music censorship is not the solution. Instead, it should be literacy. They say that controversies are sometimes helpful because they can challenge individuals. If music is censored, they believe the challenge will be depleted. For them, the answer is to educate the people who listen to music about its message, particularly the children. Kids should be taught to understand what they are hearing, reading and seeing. This way, they will be given the chance to be critical of these things and be able to apply them in their lives.

2. It keeps children from the truth.
For some who oppose music censorship, they say they do not agree with hiding reality from people, especially children. By censoring music, they think it keeps the children from learning the truth about life. For them, some lyrics of the songs are harsh realities which should be accepted and overcome. If these real situations mentioned in songs are kept from listeners, they will not be able to practice certain skills in life like coping with challenges in life.

3. It is a violation of the First Amendment.
People oppose to music censorship say that this practice is a clear violation of the First Amendment which is about freedom of self-expression and speech. If censorship is made into law, it prevents artists from expressing themselves and conveying what message they want to get through to their listeners. They also point out that if censorship is meant to protect children from exposure from derogatory lyrics, they will not be prepared for things that happen outside of their homes. From their point of view, they regard censorship as a hindrance from doing so. They also added that children should be encouraged to express themselves and if there will be censorship in any form, be it music or poetry, these kids will not be able to learn self-expression since it is presented as something that needs to be censored.

4. It gives an impression that people are not mature and responsible enough.
Critics of music censorship say that people have the right to listen to the kind of songs they want. Also, they are the ones responsible to stop listening to songs they find too offensive or violent. They also believe that any individual above 18 years of age is mature enough to know what music to appreciate or not. And for children, parents should be the ones to monitor and keep their kids safe. They should take time to know what their sons and daughters listen to and read. Moreover, children will be learning about sex, violence and drugs from other means and at certain points of their lives. This is why for critics, music censorship is unnecessary.

Conclusion

Whether music censorship is necessary or not will always be an issue with contentions from different groups. Perhaps it is a matter left for the public to decide. Although there are songs which have inappropriate lyrics, there are also some which speak of the truth whether politically and socially. These are things that should stir the public’s awareness. Music censorship can be a positive thing if only it is done with limitations. Moreover, some artists and record companies already censor themselves. At the end of the day, the buying public is the one which decides if a song is worth listening to or not.

On October 26, 2001, just 43 days after the World Trade Center was leveled to the ground, the USA PATRIOT Act or what is commonly known as the Patriot Act, was made into a law. Swift as it may be, this decision was what most Americans thought the nation needed at that time.

After its reform in 2006, the 2011 signing of President Obama of the PATRIOT Sunset Extension act of 2011, the expiration of some parts of the Act in June 1, 2015 and the restoration of the same, after the passage of the USA Freedom Act a day after, the debate on the significance and effect of the enacted Bill refuses to die down. Were the Americans quick to support the Bill because of the horrifying 9/11 event or is this really the most effective way to preserve life and liberty?

What Is The USA Patriot Act?

Enacted by the 107th United States Congress, this is the acronym for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. As the title suggests, this Act was signed into law with the goal to protect the nation and the American Citizens from terrorists and ensure the tragedy in September 2011 will never happen again. Its inception has brought about some changes to U.S. law, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) and the Immigration and Nationality Act, among others. Here are some of the contentious issues from proponents and opponents to the Patriots Act.

What Are the Pros of the USA Patriot Act

1. It streamlines the surveillance process and makes it easier for the government to identify terrorists.
Before the Act was made into law, surveillance on persons of interest consisted of different steps such as getting separate authorizations to wiretap phones. With the Act, FBI agents are now authorized to act and tap the phones used by a suspected criminal or terrorist without having to make individual requests. This has cut down the time agents carry out their tasks and results are available faster. Communications among agencies are faster with the Act.

2. It supports families of the victims of terrorist attacks.
Part of the provisions of the Act included the granting of special immigrant status to grandparents, of a child whose parents were killed in September 2001 while at work at the World Trade Center, with either one being a citizen, national or having lawful permanent status on the day before the attack. Other cases on immigration status are included in the provisions of the Act and are to be addressed accordingly.

3. It makes possible the rebuilding of infrastructures and businesses destroyed in terrorist attacks.
Aside from supporting the families of the victims of 9/11, buildings and businesses affected by terrorist bombings and other crimes related to terrorism are being given financial support. This way, the structures can be rebuilt and the traces of the attack will be eliminated. Moreover, businesses can get back to normal operations in no time, which is a good thing for business owners who suffered losses in sales and profit.

4. It protects the First Amendment.
To refute the argument of opponents that the Act violates freedom of speech in connection to FBI agents to apply for an order to produce records, proponents say that instead, it protects the First Amendment, protects it. They say that records such as books can be vital in the investigation process of a suspected terrorist that if overlooked, can lead to hundreds, if not thousands of death if a terrorist attack is carried out. For instance, a potential bomber had borrowed several books from a library which are connected to explosives. With the access given to FBI agents, it will be possible for them to uncover this and put the individual to justice.

5. It strengthens national security and deters terrorism.
After the Act was enacted, there have been hundreds of terrorism-related convictions and this clearly shows its efficacy. With the stringent provisions of the act and the streamlined surveillance process, the potential threats to national security by terrorists are more likely to be prevented since planned attacks will be unfolded and intercepted.

What Are the Cons of the USA Patriot Act

1. It is unconstitutional.
One controversial issue thrown by opponents of the Act is the immigration provision that allowed the Attorney General to have an alien detained indefinitely if the former suspects the latter will be able to instigate a terrorist attack. A critic openly referred to this similar to the way the Taliban carry out justice. Other critical groups are also concerned about the new power given to the Attorney General on determining the fate of immigrants, saying the provision does not even conform and pass the basic constitutional standards of due process.

2. It results to abuses on privacy.
Opponents also describe the potential abuses the Act can bring about when it comes to people’s privacy, including Canadians residing in the province of British Columbia (B.C.). Concerns are raised in relation to the Act allowing the access of vital information such as medical records of Canadians working in American companies that outsource jobs.

3. It violates freedom of speech.
The provision that allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation to order for the production of tangible materials as part of investigation has earned criticisms from librarians. This part of the Act gives permission to the FBI to ask for records. Including documents and books from libraries it deems vital to the investigation process related to terrorism. The American Library Association openly opposes this provision and suggests that librarians should consult attorneys before complying with the orders made by the government agency.

Conclusion

For the last 14 years, the USA PATRIOT Act has undergone scrutiny and changes with the unfaltering vision to prevent terrorists from inflicting pain on Americans and destroying lives and property. While it has assured national security in certain levels, it has also gained criticism from being too extreme at some point. With the benefits and drawbacks that go with the Act, it is best to consider if the pros outweigh the cons and decide if it merits further renewal come 2019.

Pre-selecting the gender of an embryo or gender selection has been a divisive issue for since time immemorial. Although this has been an ongoing practice for decades, with sperm sorting and other methods, the thoughts of the public is contentious. While some support this treatment, others criticize the practice.

What is Gender Selection?

It is a procedure wherein a couple desiring to have a child can have a hand on choosing the gender or sex of their child prior to conception. There are two known methods available, sperm sorting and IVF with a PGD (Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis). PGD is a scientific advancement wherein a single cell from an embryo is extracted for genetic testing. It is done to ensure the egg to be fertilized has no genetic defects. Used in IVF, parents can now have the option to choose which embryos to implant, including the gender they prefer. The topic of pre-selecting the gender of a baby before conception have been in hot water for years now and people have expressed their views on this fertility method. Here are some arguments raised by supporters and critics.

List of Pros of Gender Selection

1. It gives the couple the option to plan a family.
Perhaps one of the positive sides of applying the gender selection method is the opportunity of would-be parents to raise the number of children they want. In some countries, limiting the size of a family is encouraged. In fact, in China, there was a 1979 law which prohibited families to have more than one child although over the years, there had been some changes. Also, there are couples who want a specific gender for a first-born. With this practice now available, mothers need not have to give birth multiple times just so they can have a baby with the gender they prefer.

2. It makes it easier for parents to take care of the kids.
Another advantage of sex selection which proponents find important is the capacity of parents to start a family. With having just enough number of children to raise, couples will be more capable to take care of their kids and give them good education as well as proper nutrition.

3. It is advisable for parents with genetic disorder problems.
There are medical conditions that are genetically related and gender specific that a mother or a father can pass on to a child. If this is a concern, pre-selection of gender before conception is an effective alternative to prevent this condition.

4. It gives parents enough time to prepare for the baby’s coming.
Supporters also find it practical to know the gender of the baby of an expectant mother so it will be easier for them to get ready for the coming newborn like preparing the nursery, buying clothes or hand down the old clothes and stuff of an older child with the same gender.

5. It makes parents more caring and loving to the child.
Proponents believe that it is possible for a parent or parents to want a baby with a gender they prefer. If this is the case, they say that it would be best for the family, especially the child about to be born, if the gender of the baby is what the parents desire. This way, they will be more loving to the child. And if a family is already consist of four boys and the parents want a girl, being given the chance to choose the gender of the next child with the possibility of making their wishes come true will make the family happier.

6. In instances where parents have lost a child, this can be a way to get over the loss.
For some pro-gender selection supporters, the pain of a couple who have suffered death in the family, say, a child, will be relieved if they will be able to conceive a child with the same gender as the child they have lost. Although it might not necessarily replace the other child, the newborn with the same gender can lessen the grief and give the family the chance to move on.

List of Cons of Gender Selection

1. It is a breach of morals and ethics.
One of the issues opponents are raising is the ethical and moral implication of breaking the law of nature, that is, the traditional way of conception without interfering with the gender of the unborn child. For them, parents should not act like “God” and deliberately choosing the sex of their baby.

2. It is an impractical expense.
Another contention of critics is the high cost of scientifically implanting an embryo with a specific gender. The amount is around $20,000 on the treatment alone. This is on top of the other expenses the couple need to save for. They also refute the accuracy of the method since it is not 100%, except for the IV with PGD which is not allowed for every couple who dreams to have a child. This is only permitted on parents after they have passed the criteria like the need to prevent genetic issues.

3. It might not be a good decision for the parents in the long run.
Critics say that there is no assurance parents who have undergone a complicated process to conceive a child or children will remain happy with the decision they have made. If things will not work out the way they have hoped for, they might end up with rue and consider it a mistake. Opponents say that if conception was done the natural way, there will be lesser chances of regret.

Conclusion

Although gender selection is an ongoing practice, there are still moral and ethical considerations debated upon by proponents and opponents. The privilege of choosing the gender of child a couple desires to have seems to be the most logical choice for some, but, it also brings up the question of morality when it comes to the embryos not selected in the process. At the end of the day, the burden and the decision lie on the hopeful parents. In the meantime, this will still be a controversial issue.

Organic foods refer to vegetables, fruits, fish, dairy products and meats that are grown naturally or through organic farming, and are not processed or refined. It is one of those food sources that promote ecological balance, biodiversity conservation, and recycling of resources. In terms of chemical composition, it has 17% higher concentrations of polyphenols compared to conventional grown crops, 69% higher content in other nutrients, such as flavonols, phenolic acids and anthocyanins. It also has 69% higher flavanones.

In terms of chemical composition, studies showed that it has higher concentrations of nutrients, lower levels of anti-nutrients, and reduced detectable pesticide residues. Overall, it is not only environment friendly, but also healthy. Despite of all these, some people still question the advantages that organic foods offer. Nothing is perfect, after all. Moreover, certain countries, such as the United States, European Union and Canada, require farmers and producers to obtain certification before they can grow or market their products, which are both good and bad, depending on who you are asking. So anyone who wish to switch to organic food must weigh their advantages and disadvantages before making a decision.

List of Pros of Organic Food

1. Healthier to consume
Proponents may claim that organic foods are more nutritious than the non-organic variety, but scientific studies showed that there is little difference in nutrient content, except for phosphorus and total polyphenols, which are significantly higher. Organic chicken also contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than its non-organic counterparts. So what makes naturally grown foods healthier? It is the fact that they are organically farmed, free from any pesticides and herbicides that may have harmful effects. This results in a more energetic and stronger body, with a reduced risk of disorders, illness and disease.

The absence of preservatives also enables you to control and keep unnecessary weight off the weighing scale. So even if nutrient and vitamin-content doesn’t have a huge difference, organic foods are healthier overall.

2. Better tasting
Some non-organic foods contain additives that can alter the taste, nutritional value and may even lead to weight gain. All of these are not found on naturally grown food items, which mean taste is better and more natural. Recent studies also showed that organic food has more healthy chemicals and mineral salts that increase nutritional value and quality.

3. Higher level of antioxidants
Organic fruits and vegetables contain 40% more antioxidants according to research. As an element that the body needs to keep the system healthy and free from disease, having more antioxidant is sure to be beneficial. This is because it reduces the risk of heart diseases, stroke and cancer. So, organic foods play a role in preventing terminal and life-threatening diseases, particularly heart problems since they also contain salicylic acid that keeps arteries from hardening.

4. Promotes a healthy family
An article on Cord Blood Test Results showed that a newborn baby’s cord blood contains traces of more than 200 harmful chemicals and 21 pesticides. So it is no wonder that conventional food practices have been closely associated with birth defects, ADHD, autism, childhood leukemia, learning disorders and nervous system disorders in children. Why put yourself and your future children at risk by eating non-organic foods?

5. Safer to eat
The use of chemicals and pesticides has been linked to a wide range of diseases, such as leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, infertility, cancer of the breast and prostate, Parkinson’s disease, and immune and endocrine disorders. Herbicides and fertilizers, on the other hand, can lead to immune disorders, heart diseases hypertension, cancers and other numerous diseases. So taking all of them out of the equation makes the food you eat a lot safer. Most importantly, it is nothing like genetically engineered foods or meat sources that have been given appetite enhancers and synthetic hormones.

In the United States, organic meat certification help ensure that farm animals meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture organic protocol. This enhances safety, as regulations require that animals are fed with foods that are certified organic and do not contain animal byproducts. No antibiotics or growth hormones must be used on them as well. Also, animal production must not involve genetic engineering or irradiation.

6. Protects the environment
Organic farming uses manure instead of fertilizers, crop rotation in place of single crop, weeding for herbicides, and nitrogen-fixing plants instead of nitrogen fertilizers. Without the chemicals, growing organic foods protect the environment from pollution and contamination of nearby bodies of water. Organic farming also conserve water and soil. And, compared to conventional soils, organic soils contain more micro-organisms that store carbon in the ground, helping maintain global climate. So, when you eat organic foods and support their growth, you are, in a way, doing your share in environmental conservation.

7. Promotes improved animal reproduction
Research showed that animals that feed on organic foods reproduce more compared to their non-organic food-eating counterparts. Apparently, animals also suffer infertility due to a large consumption of food items grown with chemicals, similar to humans. This results in lower levels of reproduction.

8. Supports the local economy
When you buy organic foods, you support local farmers and their organic farms. When the rest of the community does the same thing, there will be more farms and more jobs will be created. These, in turn, support the community’s local economy.

9. It is cheaper
Buying organic food may be expensive initially, but you will save money in the long run. Remember that whole foods prevent major and minor diseases, lowering health care costs because you are unlikely to get sick and be confined in a hospital. Moreover, you won’t miss work and your income will remain intact.

Once your body is accustomed to eating organic food, your taste buds and your body will develop a certain aversion to junk food, which would result in you not investing on them and be able to maintain a good and healthy weight.

Organic foods are also of high quality, which means you get exactly what you paid for. And if you still think it is too expensive for your grocery budget, you can always grow your own organic vegetable garden and then barter with other farmers. You can also try to barter goods or services in exchange for organic food.

List of Cons of Organic Food

1. More expensive
It is true that you will be able to save more money with organic foods because it prevents a lot of diseases that could send you to the hospital where your finances is highly likely to be used up. But when the concern is about the cost of initial purchase, naturally grown foods turn out to be not as cheap as proponents would have you believe. Because organic farmers do not use chemicals or artificial methods to grow crops or livestock, production is much lower. Add to this the extra manual labor, and the costs of organic farming are surely elevated. The only way farmers will make a profit is to sell their products at a higher price.

2. Doesn’t last longer
Because natural foods do not contain preservatives, they have shorter storage life and tend to spoil faster than conventional foods. If you have to buy them more than once or twice a week, you would have to double your grocery budget for food. In the end, you don’t get to save money.

3. Not widely available
It takes twice as long to produce organic crops than the conventional kind. This means organic foods are not always available in stores, and especially because only a few local farms are adapting organic farming. Some communities, however, are luckier than others when it comes to supply of naturally grown foods.

4. Takes a lot of work
Organic farming may have benefits, but before anything can be harvested, farmers have to go through a lot of work and face plenty of challenges. Using manure as fertilizer, for example, is difficult to apply, and even more difficult to control the mineral content. Weeding, on the other hand, is more labor intensive than using herbicides, and when nitrogen-fixing plants are used as part of crop rotation, the area available for growing crops is reduced significantly.

Crop rotation is also one of the techniques that organic farmers use, which is beneficial since it reduces plant disease and minimize damage to soil composition. Unfortunately, this results in lower production and an inefficient method of growing different types of crops.

5. Doesn’t live up to the hype
Organic foods are said to be more nutritious than the conventional kind. Unfortunately, scientific studies don’t back up this particular claim. There may be certain nutrients that show significant difference but only a few, which can be a letdown, considering that proponents of organic foods use high concentration of nutrients for promotion.

In terms of the bacterial contamination, the difference is not statistically significant either. What is even surprising is that the prevalence of E.coli is higher in organic produce than its conventional counterparts, 7% and 6% respectively. Organic crops also have a 5% greater risk of being contaminated. This may have something to do with the use of manure as fertilizer. So clearly, organic foods don’t live up to the hype.

Conclusion

Organic food certainly has many advantages, but it’s not all that perfect. Whether you are a consumer or farmer, it will bring pros and cons to your plate. Organic tomatoes anyone?

A simple concept that even us adults might have experienced in the past, open campus lunch allows students to leave the school campus on a break to have lunch outside. While some schools implement this policy, most of them do not. It has been one of the hot subjects in debates between individuals who have one opinion or another about it, where there is no real strong view. To come up with a well-informed idea on open campus lunch, let us take a look at its pros and cons.

List of Pros of Open Campus Lunch

1. Opportunity to Learn Responsibility and Interaction
Open campus lunch is observed to have taught students to be able to interact with the world and be more responsible in certain ways that are closer to how adults do it. Well, they have to communicate with other people when they go to the bank and then to the dining establishment, which is really helpful to their learning even if it is just quick.

2. Faith and Trust in Students on Managing Their Own Time
This policy requires schools to place their trust in their students on accordingly managing their time, teaching them an important skill for college and employment in the future—time management. Plus, when schools put their full faith on their students, they will feel empowered to make the right decisions for their future. As a result, they would do better at their studies. As individual responsibility is often seen to lack in students, an open campus lunch can provide them with just that.

3. Extra Time
Schools handle lunch differently in general, which makes a huge difference on how open campus lunch works. Some provide a short period of only minutes, specifically half of a class period, which will be almost impossible for students to leave and come back. However, others may give students long lunch periods, like an hour, which are likely perfect for this policy.

4. More Nutritious and Healthier Food Options
While the food that can be found within walking distance might not be the healthiest, it can offer more choices to students, which are good for those who want a varied diet. Also, not all school lunches are the same, and some providers are poorly doing their job with how they cook and prepare their dishes. Aside from lacking certain nutrients, they are not always cooked well or even palatable. On the other hand, when children are allowed to leave for lunch, they will have more opportunities to eat healthy.

5. A Break That Allows Children to Be Themselves
Being able to leave school for a while can be an excellent rest-and-restart for the rest of the day. This means that open campus lunch would energize children from being on their own and allow them to return fully prepared to finish things up.

List of Cons of Open Campus Lunch

1. Lack of Awareness
People always question whether students aging 16 years have the self-control to drive safely when running late. While adults think that it is better late than getting in an accident, young people do not. Also, there is the question of what other activities they might engage in during their time off campus. Normally, parents do feel they are placing their children in good hands with schools and can rest easy knowing they are safe. But with open campus lunch, parents would then have to wonder what their children during the given free period.

2. Opening for Children to Ditch School
By dropping their vigilance, many people believed that children will do everything possible not to learn. Along with spending more time off campus than they would if the policy were not implemented, there is the possibility that they will ditch school half the entire day. As a result, students would stop their studies, enrollment rates would decrease.

3. Chance for Children to Do Bad Things
On your end, what do you think would happen if children were let out, unsupervised and given the freedom to do whatever they want? For many people, they would not give children credit and would assume the very worst while they hope for the best. So, it is believed that children left unsupervised during open campus lunch may pose a certain danger to themselves and the community. Along with the concerns that children will use this chance to smoke, drink alcohol and take drugs, there is just unfavorable thought that they will get into trouble when they are not supervised.

4. Children Getting Hurt
This consequence can be the result of the previous cons. It is the responsibility of schools to ensure the safety and well-being of students, and having open campus lunch would make it more difficult to regulate these things if children are allowed to leave. From being physically assaulted to possibly being hit by a vehicle, letting them out would literally put them at risk. As a lot of parents do not have the luxury to supervise their children during the day, they sometimes push for a movement to cancel open campus lunches to better ensure their children’s safety.

Conclusion

One of the best ways to handle open campus lunch is to place some restrictions upon the time provided. This can be done by age restrictions, only allowing students who are 17 years or older or perhaps basing grade levels to ensure that students who are leaving are mature enough to handle themselves. Most probably, this will lead to growth, and the opportunity to learn from mistakes would certainly take place.

Some schools think creatively to consider their policies as potential sources of problems with student performance, and one of these policies is open campus lunch. Those who have it want to reduce the stress from housing and providing meals for students, but they should require students to police themselves and return to school in time. Based on the pros and cons listed above, what do you think about such a policy?

The US Air Force is considered one of the most significant institutions in the country. Not only it is the wings of the armed forces and meant for a higher level of national security, but it also offers many career options to many individuals. Being in this military branch is a matter of immense pride, where your job will be significant and will have far-reaching consequences. But like any other job in the armed forces, joining the Air Force has its fair share of pros and cons.

List of Pros of the Air Force

1. It offers personal security.
By joining the Air Force, you will be paid considerably well and have all your interests looked after. What’s more, your insurance will be extremely significant, where you will get lifetime medical insurance. Not only will you receive these benefits, but also your family. The government pays for the same, and you will not even need to get embroiled in formalities or the paperwork because the administration would take care of all of these things.

2. It offers job security.
This is definitely a great advantage of joining Air Force. It does not matter if there is a recession, if a certain industry is falling or if there is a massive policy reform that would change the nature of such a career. Whatever happens, a job in the Air Force is secured, and you would always get paid of your salary and benefits, unless you indulge in improper acts and get dishonorably discharged from duty.

3. Its jobs have the sense of thrill.
Getting to have the chance to use high-end weaponry and gadgets are just minor things; of course, you will get to fly some of the best aircraft in the world. You will be in the midst of technological gifts all the time. Moreover, it is not necessary for you to be a pilot to get such thrills, as every department can be fun. The satiation level is definitely high in this institution.

4. It brings about glamour and respect for the service personnel.
Having a certain rank and then aspiring for a higher one can surely make your life worthwhile. Being a commander or decorated officer can bring in a lot of satisfaction for you. Being an Air Force officer, you will be more respected by your immediate family members, relatives and neighbors. If there is a substantial accomplishment in your career, then the whole country would even come together to respect you.

5. Its careers imply that a person will get access to the best military schools, colleges and institutes.
As a member of the force, there will be no limit to how much you can learn, and the best part is, the government will fund all your educational aspirations. You can keep studying, performing better and learning new skills, while not worrying about insurance or anything that can take a toll on you financially.

6. It offers jobs that allow one to travel.
Being an Air Force pilot, you will be able to go around the world and live a jet-setting lifestyle. However, there is only so much you can do while at it. Of course, you cannot be a perennial tourist, and your travels will come with great responsibilities.

7. Its careers ensure financial security after retirement.
Financially, you would always be taken care of by the government for as long as you live.

8. Its careers help a person to stay healthy and fit.
When you indulge in physical activities at all times under training and disciplined, you will ensure yourself to remain fit and healthy. This is certainly a great reward, especially these days when there are more obese people than healthy ones.

List of Cons of the Air Force

1. It poses difficulty when it comes to getting into it.
In the Air Force, the physical requisites and training, the medicals and other attributes that are required will make it difficult for you to get in. Considering these, not everyone can get into this military branch.

2. Its careers can make people homesick.
You will be away from home and your family for months or, possibly, years, which can be very disappointing.

3. It requires a bond of service tenure.
In the Air Force, you will be required to undertake a minimum period of service. This bond will not allow you to quit the service once you complete your training. However, you are given the option to quit during training, but on a condition that you repay the amount that has been spent on you by the government.

4. Its jobs come with the risk of casualty.
This risk can only be negligible when you are assigned on the ground and away from war zones. However, international deputations and times of conflict will increase the risks of being a casualty on action.

5. It implements an imperialistic foreign policy.
Foreign affairs policy seems to be imperialistic, which has become a hot issue in debates.

6. Its jobs are glamorous, but not all of them are.
Take note that not all jobs in the Air Force are glamorous, as some assignments can be just as boring as ordinary jobs, such as facilitation and support functions or just those that requires you to sit in the back offices crunching numbers. However, you can still take pride in the fact that you are contributing to national welfare and security.

7. It poses the risk of being sexually harassed.
This factor does not just loom large in the Air Force but also exists in any military branch, generally happening in women. Being a male dominated field, this trend heightens the misery. But when it comes to such a case, the Air Force policy will surely give assurance of justice.

Conclusion

So, these are the pros and cons of joining the Air Force. These are also existent in other military branches, but joining the service should be something that comes from within. Despite the odds, your determination, feeling of pride and belongingness will eventually make you stay. As many people say, if you have it in you, you have it in you, but it is another story otherwise. So, think it out carefully.

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.

6. Expropriation.
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.

Conclusion

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.