Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Today we have done the exam about Unit 2: Economic Organization of Societies.
It consists of 7 exercises:
They were about economic activities and agents, definitions, taxes, capitalism and socialism, and an exercise of true or false.
Paqui has send 2 exercises for homework.


Sorry for the delay.



Friday, November 26, 2010

How do the stock exchange markets work?

If you want to learn the basics of the stock exchange market, you can watch the following videos and presentations. They explain how the stock exchange market and other financial markets work in a very didactic way. The vocabulary is easy to understand and, if you like economics, you will enjoy and learn.

The first presentation explains the basic concepts and terminology used by traders: 



The stock exchange market is not the only place where people can buy and sell financial products. There are other markets, such as the currency and the commodities´ (raw materials) markets.  The next presentation explains how these financial markets work:



This video is a piece of an animated film of 1952 called What makes us tick. The film was produced to promote the stock market as the engine of the wealth of the U.S.A. 


If you want to watch the whole film, visit the following link: 


http://wn.com/nyse_what_makes_us_tick__1952

And finally, this is a piece of a British TV- show called The last laugh, similar to La hora de José Mota. In 2008 the comedians John Bird and John Fortune made a very good explanation of the causes of the recent economic crisis and its relation with the stock exchange market. The video includes subtitles in Spanish:

26th of November, 2010



Hello!
Today we have checked the crossword. Paqui has told us that there were some mistakes in the questions 13, 14 and 15. We didn't know what dumping was so Paqui has explained us what dumping is: a selling strategy , consisting on selling products with a very low price in order to eliminate competitions. After we corrected it Paqui has given us a better definition of capitalism, so she has told us the best definition. Then she has explained us how much money the European Union has given to Ireland to rescue their banks, a total of 100,000 million € and she has explained us our economic crisis.
When we have finished it we have started to do an oral summary of the unit. While she was explaining it, some students were studying Physic and Chemistry; so Paqui has told us that it wasn't good and then she has told all the people that this year we are worse than last year and she has also said us that this year she can't teach because we are always speaking and doing other things, so today she has been very angry.
Bye, bye!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

19th/NOVEMBER




Sorry I couldn´t write the journal las friday because my computer was broken.
Last Friday we have checked the exercises of page 29.
Then Paqui explained EQUITY POLICIES and the discrimination by sex, age, colour of skin...
At the end of the class Paqui said the date of the exam.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Speculators

Speculators are people who buy and sell goods, stocks and shares or bonds with the purpose of making profit with the variation of their value. They are not interested in the economic situation of the companies or the States that sell bonds. They are only focused on getting big profit margins. They play dangerous games, assuming great risks, but they also can put the economies of entire countries at serious risk. They move huge amounts of money from one stock market to another, betting on some values and provoking the collapse of some others. They use the stock exchange markets as casinos. The worst thing is that this is perfectly legal.

Here you have some cartoons that can help you to understand how speculators behave:






The stock exchange market in some cartoons

Many times the stock exchange market doesn´t work according to logic. The following cartoons can help you understand other factors that influence the stock exchange market´s dynamics:







If you want to get more information about how the stock exchange market works, you can visit the following link:

http://www.piggybank.co.uk/money.php

Wednesday, 24th /November/2010


Today in Social Sciencies, we have finished Unit 2. At the beginning of the lesson we have checked two exercises: one consisted of explaining what unions are and how they work, and the other one consisted of explaining what a strike is. In the last exercise we had to added one more thing because we haven´t written the exact answer. Paqui has asked to someones the different ways of go on strike for example work-to-rule strike, slow down...

Finally we have read the last point: STOCK EXCHANGE. It´s a place where stocks are bought and sold. Stocks are shares of a company, which give the owners the right of receiving benefits if there are any and the people how have the stocks are called "stockholders". The people that buy and sell stocks in the STOCK MARKET, are called " brokers". The name "Bourse" comes from the city of Bruges in where an important family os traders lived, the Van der Burse. They used their house as a place for trade meetings. In Amsterdam there is one of the most important Stock Exchange. The Speculators are the people who play with the values of stocks and they can cause the fall of country, this is not fair and they would have to be jailed. For homework, we have to do the crossword of the unit to review. See you :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tax burden and the Spanish perception about taxes

Here you have some interesting documents to improve your knowledges about taxes. Tax burden is the average percentage the population of a country pays to the State through taxes.  The following graph shows tax burden in the different countries of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development): 



And this is an interesting survey published today by the CIS (Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas), the State organization dedicated to sociological research in Spain. The survey reflects the opinion of the Spanish population about taxes. You can find a short summary on the following link: 


The complete report on the links below: 


Unemployment rate: updated figures

As you may know, unemployment is one of the most important problems workers have to face. Here you have some charts and graphs that show the official unemployment rates in different countries:

- The first chart refers to the European Union´s unemployment rates in 2004 and 2009. This information is very useful to compare how the economic situation has changed and how unemployment rates have raised in the last five years. You  can also compare the differences between the unemployment rates per sex and age groups (younger and older workers): 




- The following graph shows the unemployment rates in the countries that belong to the Eurozone (the European countries that use the Euro as currency). The data correspond to September 2010. You can compare the evolution of the unemployment rate in the last year in the different countries of the Eurozone: 



- This is another interesting graph that reflects the evolution of unemployment rate in the United States in the last two years: 



- On this link you can find updated data of the evolution of unemployment rates in the different states of the USA: 

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm

- And the last link refers to Spain. It explains the process unemployed workers have to follow to perceive the unemployment benefit and the amount of money they will receive in relation with the time they have been working. The link is in Spanish: 

http://www.oficinadetreball.cat/socweb/export/sites/default/socweb_es/ciutadans/pres_desocup/prestacio_atur.html

New definitions.

taxes: there are two types of taxes:
-Direct: collected directly
  * every month: part of the salary
  * income tax deturn: once a year
- Indirect: collected indirectly
  *trough value-Added tax(VAT)
  *special taxes:tobacco,alcohol,petrol
  to finance the healthcare system.

tax envaders: they hide their incomes in tax havens.

tax havens: places where the state doesn't collect taxes
with lots of banks that are specialists in hiding money

equity  policies: policies to promote equity

positive descrimination(u.k) and affirmative action(usa):
it consists in favouring people who are discrimnated normally in
order than they can get better jobs and receive fair saliaries.
Sometines governments give subsides to the enterprises that hire
discriminated people. Other times they established by law that discriminated groups have to be
febray shed.

glass ceiling(techo de cristal): invisible barnier that prevent women to get the highest posts in the enter prises
or in the administration.

strikes: last resort for workers.
*slow-sown strike: working alower
*work-to-rule strike: following the rules stricktly
*"japanese" strike: to work more and produce more in order to create stocks
and losses for the company
*normal strike: not going to work

scab=blackleg: workers who got work when the majority are on strike.

Image source: http://www.justinperry.net/justinsblog?Load=Comments&PostID=43025

Monday, November 22, 2010

The glass ceiling in the cartoons

Here you have some cartoons that show very well the invisible barrier that prevents women to reach the highest posts in the companies and the administration.

 






And the last one, that is a play on words between "glass ceiling" and "class ceiling" and shows a real situation in present world.


22nd of November 2010


protesters.jpgnttpnw.jpg


Today in Social Sciences Kelly has been with us. Today we have checked the homeworks of the last day. Then we have continued with the unit and we read about the different types of strikes can you do. For homework we have to do exercise 28 and 29 of the review page. Also Kelly has explained how they work in USA and some curiosities of this. I think that the class have been interesting because I like this unit and also the strike is a form to defend de right of the workers. I want to say that I don't like the people that destroy things and cause a lot of problems in the strike.

Low qualified workers and equity policies

As some people didn´t do their work, I´m going to include some links about some concepts we studied in last week´s lessons.

As we have studied, qualification is the most important condition for workers. Low qualification becomes one of the most important problems in times of economic crisis, because low qualified workers are the first to lose their jobs. Here you have some graphs about low qualified workers in the European Union. You can observe that Spain is among the countries that have more low qualified workers in the labour market. This may also be a reason to explain the high unemployment rate our country has:

 Low-qualified men and women aged 25–49 years, 2007 (%)

Low-qualified men and women aged 50–64 years, 2007 (%)


You can find a detailed report about low qualified workers in the European Union in the following link:


Other important concepts we studied last week referred to equity policies and possitive discrimination. The following link will bring you to the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. There you will find a definition of possitive discrimination/ affirmative action and what the law says about equality in Europe:

http://www.eucharter.org/home.php?page_id=98

The following link offers a list of pros and cons related to positive discrimination/affirmative action. Some of them also appeared in the classroom when we discussed this subject:

http://www.idebate.org/debatabase/topic_details.php?topicID=40

And this is an interesting survey published in The New York Times last June. The survey shows that the theoretical equality between men and women doesn´t exist. Many people still consider that men have more rights than women to work outside or to get better jobs. There is still a long way to real equality.




Thursday, November 18, 2010

The guys who make the economic decisions



Answering to Silvia´s demand, I´m going to include some links about the institutions that make a big amount of the economic decisions that influence the life of billions of people in the world

- The G-20 was created in 1999 as a response of the financial crises of the 90s. The countries that belong to this group are the following: France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Russia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, USA, Mexico, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, South Korea, South Africa and Australia. The European Union is also a represented in this group. This is the reason why the representatives of Spain participated in some of the last summits of the G-20. More information on this link:


- The G-8 is formed by the most industrialized countries of the world: the USA, Japan, Canada, Russia, Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The representatives of the European Union attend the annual meetings as well, but they cannot vote. On the links below you can learn more about the G-8:


- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was created at the end of World War 2 to supervise the world financial system. Nowadays they defend free market economy and promote measures of liberalization and deregulation of the economies. This policy has received a lot of critics, because of the sacrifices that liberalization entails for many people.


- The World Bank (WB) was also created at the end of World War 2. Its goal was to finance the development of countries, by providing loans at low interest. The policies of the World Bank have been criticised by many NGOs as well:


- The World Economic Forum is a private organization that celebrates an annual meeting in the city of Davos in Switzerland. Every January many influent people go to Davos to discuss and promote initiatives to improve the world. These meetings in Davos have been criticised as well, because of their defense of liberalization and globalization.


- The Federal Reserve is the central bank of the USA. His president, Ben Bernanke, is one of the most powerful men in the world. His decisions of increasing or reducing the value of the dollar can change the lives of millions of people, not only in the USA. Bernanke is an expert in the Great Depression of the 1930s and he has declared that he will avoid a new economic depression, even if he has to print millions of dollars and drop them  from a helicopter over Manhattan Island. This is why he is called “Helicopter Ben”.





- The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank of the European Union. It´s presided by Jean Claude Trichet and  has an important role in the economic policy of the European Union. For example, they decide on the interests of mortgages.

17th of november 2010

First, I' m sorry, yesterday I forgot to write the reflective journal because I was studying language.


Yesterday in social sciences, we checked the activities 4, 5 and 6 of the economic agents that Paqui gave us on Monday. In the exercise four Paqui explained the direct taxes and the indirect ones. In the exercice five we spoke about the public sector which this one formed by: the public administration, public services, social benefits and state companies.

In the exercise 6 Paqui explained us that it is a fiscal fraud, Paqui gave us this example: If you have 20,000,000 of euros and rides 18,000,000 of these 20 millions to another bank in which you do not give your identity and only you be known by a few numbers, only you declare to estate 2.,000,000, they take fewer taxes from you, it is a fiscal fraud, BUT IF THEY CATCH YOU, THE THING FOR YOU  CHANGES...You can go to the jail.

Finally we corrected the exercise 20 of the review and Paqui explained to us what was a tax evasion.
After correct the exercises, we read the labor market: we learned how the companies look for workers on the labor market, this is the place where workers and employers meet. Workers offer their services in exchange for a salary and employers offer work.

For homework we have to do exercices from 21 to 25 of the review.

The class has been very interesting, but also the class was exhausting for me, because some of us talked a lot and Paqui could not explain things properly.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tax Havens and the United States


Spain isn’t the only country that has a problem with tax evasion and the use of tax havens. The United States also loses a lot of money! This article calculated that, “…in 2008 the United States lost up to $100 billion a year in tax revenue to offshore tax havens.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/15/offshore-tax-havens-a-sta_n_186640.html


This is a table that shows the tax burden that American tax payers suffered because of people who put their money into tax havens. For example, in my home state of Connecticut $1,998,297,402 was not available in taxes in 2008 because dishonest people hid their money in tax havens.

Who pays the price? In the end, it's the tax payer who suffers because although they pay their taxes, they do not receive all the benefits that they would have received if everyone did the honest thing. Below you can look at the number for other states.





Monday, November 15, 2010

More about fiscal fraud and tax evasion



Fiscal fraud is an important problem in Spain. The Spanish fiscal fraud is ten points higher (23 %) than the average of the European Union (13%). Tax inspectors calculate that fiscal fraud is around 40,000 million €. Can you imagine how many things could be done with this money?

You can find further information in Spanish in the following links: 




In this link you can find a definition of tax haven and bank secrecy: 


Here you´ll find a short story of tax havens and a big number: the millions (trillions) of dollars experts calculated that were hidden in tax havens in 2007: 7,300,000,000,000 $:


And here it is an updated list of tax havens in the world and the classification the G-20 established last year: 




Last Friday´s journal




The first thing sorry, because I'm late.
I am going to write the journal of last friday because Yolanda Abad forgot to write it.
Last friday, Paqui told us that she didn't want us to study of P.E in her class.
We spoke about the economic agents.
We learnt that the economic agents are the families, the companies, and the State(this is the public sector).
We saw that companies can be classified in different categories:
Depending on their size, they can be multinational and big companies, or medium, small and microenterprises. Paqui asked me about my father's enterprise and I told her that it is medium, because it has more than 50 workers.
We also saw that another classification can be depending on the owner, and they can be public or private.
An they are also divided into companies of the primary, secondary and tertiary sector, depending on the activity they do.
Paqui told us that we had to do the exercises about purchasing power, deficit, surplus, and about the economic agents, for next day, that is, for today.
I think that's all we did! If I'm there are things left, you can remind me. Thanks!
And, I repeat again, sorry, I shouldn't have been late.

15th of November

Today in Social Sciences Kelly has been with us.
At the beginning of the class we have corrected some exercises about:
- Purchasing Power
- Deficit
- Surplus
- Economy
- Types of Economy
- Economic Agents

Afterwards we have talked about taxes:

Those ones which the state take directly (the tax return ). And those ones that are taken indirectly: V.A.T. (Value added tax) in Spanish, I.V.A.




Later we have talked about fiscal fade. Fiscal frude means tax evasion (don´t pay taxe to the state) If people do that they can go to the jail (Julian Muñoz with his rubish bags), we have talked about “with V.A.T. or Without V.A.T” too, this is a typical sentence that autonomous and home sellers say, and if they earn less money they will pay less to the state.

Then we have talked about tax havens (the places where there aren´t taxes to people there are only taxes to banks, it´s a good place to hide from a state goverment too). It is very curious that in Spanish the Translation is wrong. “Tax haven” a safe place for money but in the spanish translation confuse to "Tax heaven" that means Paradise. It´s very interesting. Which more things will Paqui the explorer discover?

For homework we need to do four exercises:

-Page 24: Exercises 4,5,6
-Page 29: Exercise 20

Bye

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cooperatives and how to create a enterprise



Yesterday we studied the different types of companies, depending on their size, their owners and the economic activities they develop. But have you ever asked yourselves how to create an enterprise? You can learn how to do it on the following links:  

 - How to create a company 


United Kingdom
http://www.bizfive.com/articles/misc/private-limited-company-england/


USA
http://www.sba.gov/index.html


Spain
http://www.emprendedores.es/crear_una_empresa/crear_una_empresa


- How to create a cooperative: 


United Kingdom 
http://www.uk.coop/resources/documents/starting-co-operative


Spain
http://www.crear-empresas.com/cooptram.htm


And finally, here you have an example of a big cooperative: Grupo Mondragón, the owner of FAGOR and other enterprises. This big cooperative has more than 85,000 workers at present. You can read its story on the link below. The most interesting part refers to the wages workers receive (wage regulation): 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondrag%C3%B3n_Corporaci%C3%B3n_Cooperativa

What´s happening with your posts and comments?



I don´t want to repeat the same things again and again, but this is a serious blog and we have to meet the deadline we established. The posts have to be written before 20:00 and not later. As the person in charge hasn´t done her work, can any of the other students write yesterday´s journal? Thanks in advance.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More about purchasing power and salaries


Source: http://www.expatify.com/advice/countries-with-the-higest-taxes.html

The following are some interesting links that will provide your with more data about some of the new concepts we have studied today:

- This is a study of GfK, a market research company, about the differences of purchasing power in Europe. If you click on the map, you will have acces to a table of comparison of the purchasing power of the different European countries:


- In this link you can find a chart of the minimum salary (wage) in different European countries:


- The last link is in Spanish. It´s a report of Adecco, a temporary work agency, about the average salaries in the European Union:


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

10th november 2010


Today in social sciences, Ana Margarita, has been with us, first we have corrected the exercise about the comic of Calvin and Hobbes. Then we have been spoked about advertising, and Paqui has said that the advertising can transmit a lot of things, like: That we have the necesity of buy something... And we have saw some pictures of advertising. Finally we have speaked abaut the minumun salary in the European Union. Spain has one of the smallest minumun salary, and Germany one of the biggest. Paqui has said that in USA the waitress haven`t a salary, they live from the tips.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Explanation of Calvin and Hobbes cartoon


Hi!

One remark: Calvin is the boy and Hobbes is a toy tiger, Hobbes doesn't appear in this story.

A girl is surprised because Calvin sells lemonade to 15 dollars a glass.Calvin tells him that he is based on the law of supply and demand.

But Calvin demand a big annual salary , a big profit and
Calvin does not care about the health of their consumers. The girl goes home and Calvin says that the girl is a anti-business person who ruin the economy.After Calvin says to his mother: I need to be subsidized.

Calvin plays with the word "demand", "demand" has got two meanings:
1. A noun with economic meaning.
2.And a verb.

Conclusion: you can not do business if you haven't got lower prices. This don't create supply and if there is not supply, there is not demand.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Soviet Mercadona




Today in Social Sciences we talked about some of the problems of centrally planned economies. We mentioned how centrally planned economies do not meet the demands of consumers. We specifically mentioned the lack of consumer goods in these countries. This lack happens because resources that could be used for the production of consumer goods are diverted to the production of whatever the state decides is most important.

On this website you can take a look at photos from supermarkets in the U.S.S.R. You can observe many interesting things - the lines of people waiting to buy things, the empty shelves, the lack of brands on the products. It's very interesting.

http://englishrussia.com/index.php/2008/09/19/2054/

Definitions


Hello, thes are all definitions we have learned to today, of the unit 2.


Economy: It's the science that studies the activities human beings develop to fulfil their necessities.


Economic activities: It's these activities, can be divided into two groups:

- The activities that consist in producing goods.

- The activities tht consist in rendering services that people need or desire.



Market: It's the place where the people who supply products or services and consumers meet.


Market economy or capitalism: The economy system based on the market and the accumulation of capital in the hands of the capitalists.

- Capitalist: Owners of capital and means of production .

- Workers: They don't have capital and means of production. They have to work to survive.


Social economic system: There was another economic system, different from capitalism.

- Workers: They was the owners and they organize production collectively, the wealth is distributed equaly.

- State: It was the owner of the capital the means of producion and the organized the work.


Well, I think you are all, I hope you help.

Kisses.


MONDAY 8TH NOVEMBER


Today Kelly has been with us, also Paqui has started with the end of the explanation about the socialist economic system.
First she has explained how centrally planned economies worked and his problems
Some of this problems are:
-Production was focused on some industries.
-The minority who made the decisions.
-The system was very rigid and it was very difficult to adapt.
-The development of black market.
When Paqui has finished the explanation of this we have read a mini-cartoon about economy works in a capatitalist system . This cartoon is a joke that play with different meanings of the word demand:

1) I demand
2) Demand

One more thing: the picture is the Gosplan, the office that plannified all the productions of the U.S.S.R. ( Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). It was located in Moscow and decided on the production of all the country.

When the bell rings we were starting another definition: Caveat Emptor.
This is all today.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The pyramid of capitalist system


Remember the feudal pyramid we studied last year? In 1911 the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a U.S.A. labour union, released the illustration above. The poster was a critique of capitalism. You can read more information about this image on the following link: 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Socialist and centrally planned economies

In our last lesson we learned a very short definition of socialist economic system. In theory, the means of production belong to the people and they organize production through cooperative work. But this system hasn´t really been put into practice. In the so called socialist economies the means of production belonged to the State and economy was planned by a central organization, which decided on every aspect of production. This type of economy is called "centrally planned economy". Here you have a short Powerpoint presentation, prepared by Brian Coil, a Social Studies teacher of Templeton, Pennsylvania. In this presentation you can learn the problems centrally planned economies experienced. 
In this cartoon you can observe one of the most common problems in the so defined socialist economic systems. Political leaders refused capitalism publicly, but they behaved as capitalists in private. 



After the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989 the socialist economic system almost disappeared in the world. Here you have another cartoon about the countries where this system still "survives". 




FRIDAY 5TH OF NOVEMBER


Today, Paqui has given the exams to the people who failed the maps. We have corrected the exercises about the economy. We have learned that market economy doesn´t really work according to the law of supply and demand, because there are a lot of factors that influence the prices. Paqui has explained us with drawings socialist economic system. She hasn´t had time to finish but the next day we will continue.

My opinion is that this class has been interesting.



YESTERDAY I COULDN´T WRITE THE JOURNAL, BUT I´M WRITING NOW AS IF IT WAS YESTERDAY.

Source: https://antenamisionera.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/valores-en-la-economia-pos-crisis/

Friday, November 5, 2010

Don´t forget the deadline for your posts!



What´s happening with the students who were supposed to write today? Remember that you have a deadline to write your posts, so the rest of the students can leave their comments and corrections. You have to write the journal before 20:00. 

P.S: If you want to create a personalized chalkboard with the text you want Bart Simpson to write, visit the link below the picture.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Capitalism in the cartoons

Some cartoons about how capitalism works:





Supply and demand

Here you have a very short presentation about the law of supply and demand, an important concept to understand how a free-market economy works. We will study this in depth next Friday:



Wednesday, November 3rd


Today in Social Sciences, the people who didn´t do the maps in the right way or the people who didn´t hand in the maps on time, have done an exam about the relief of the continents. While they were doing the exam, the other part of the class have done some exercises about economy. One has consisted in writing three examples of activities consisting in producing goods and three examples of rendering services. In´´Producing goods`` we have written: Stockbreeding, craftsmanships, agriculture, industry... They form part of the primary sector. In ´´Rendering services`` we have write: security, trade, education, transportation... in this group most of the jobs belong to the tertiary sector. After checked this exercise, Paqui has asked to some of us about the job of our parents, and most of our parents work in the tertiary sector.Then we have done five exercises more of the review and they have been very easy, because this unit is easy to understand. Finally Paqui has drawn on the blackboard some pictures that represented the capialists and the workers´s diferences.

We have to read the comic called ECONOMY ACCORDING TO CALVIN, and write the words related to ecnomy for homework.

This unit is interesting because this topic is very present in our lives.