Monday, July 17, 2017

Pavan Sukhdev’s TED Talk, “Put a Value on Nature”

A project called TEEB in 2007 initiating conservatism movement towards nature. It consists of environment ministers of the G8+5 whose realizing nature’s contribution to human life and businesses in local, national, and international level. An example lies on Amazon rainforest as the pool of carbon, biodiversity, and rainfall granting the success of agricultural sectors in countries surround it. The coral reef, insects, and deserts also contribute for businesses. However, most big businesses are careless with the sustainability of these natures. Taking into account all of these factors, the nature becomes worsen in recent years. This happens due to people tendency on caring more on private profits rather than common goods.
Pavan Sukhdev has explained rationale environmental issues. As the population in almost part of the world increasing and the advancement of technology keeps growing; replacing jobs by robots and making stiff competitions in getting a job. In order to fulfill demands on certain products as well as providing nutritious foods, people start exploiting natures for their own sake. Although many environmentalists as well as NGOs begin explaining the importance of economic sustainability, only few businesses care with it. They put more attention on getting profits to expand their businesses as globalization makes an ease to open branches in foreign countries. These ego activities are never seeing nature worth for their businesses. The National Geographic reveals the average temperatures in 2016 increase by 1.3 degree Celsius. The sea level is predicted increasing by 2-3 feet in 2100 and Greenland will be uncovered by ice in 2050. When these phenomena happen, human’s goal on providing nutritious foods and gain more profits seem easier to achieve by today but will become harder in 30 years later. Pavan Sukhdev through his TEEB project provide comprehensive understandings on how we should see natures and taking steps to tackle environmental issues. Businesses in any sectors are the key for doing sustainable business practices and value the nature more.

National Geographic. (2016). Seperti ini keadaan bumi seratus tahun lagi. Retrieved from

The Skeptical Environmentalist

In my opinion, the most compelling viewpoint is delivered by the Worldwatch Institute. Hence, the ideas from Bjorn Lomborg are interesting since he supported his arguments with over 2500 footprints and more than 400 articles which in some points, it is considered logic. Although Lomborg tries to use data and interpret it as convincing as he can, his article “Earth Hour is Bad for the Poor” contradicts with my personal point of view. In his article, he stated that switching off the light for an hour ignores the poorest. We all know that electricity might not available for all people, especially for whom living in rural areas or people who are considered poor. This happens due to the bad infrastructure in certain areas, nothing to do with earth hour celebration. Limiting the use of electricity, although an hour, can reduce the use of energy and save the fossil energy. If we want to make electricity available for all people, the infrastructure should be good.
In the other hand, the Worldwatch Institute’s viewpoint is in line with my perspective. Currently, many farms are shifted to housing area, losing some of green areas as well as the job of farmers. The issue in Sumatera, Indonesia, related to the forest fires has distracted the ecosystem stability in the forest, the animals were dead and losing their homes, and the plants were gone. Not only that, the mining industry has received some critics related to low wage, longer working hours, and exploit the environment. These phenomena are real and even happening in my hometown. Therefore, as stated in the Worldwatch Institute, without taking green actions, the healthiness of people and ecosystems will become a question and no one can guarantee the sustainability of it.
Lomborg, B. (2017). Earth hour is bad for the poor. Retrieved from (2001). The skeptical environmentalist: measuring the real state of the world. Retrieved from

Choosing the Location for the Major Transshipment Point

The company plans to build a hub in the Southeast Asia region for shipping products to other specific countries. Among nine countries in this region, there must be one selected country to locate the hub. Before making this plan real, the company needs to consider several factors including the customs, quality of transport, and all the necessary logistics functions.
The World Bank has released the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2016 and indicated Germany as the best country for logistics. Following Germany, one of the Southeast Asia countries ranked 5 among all countries in the world. The country is Singapore. Since the company is looking for the transshipment hub in Southeast Asia region, Singapore deserves as the best choice. The LPI is measured by several indicators including customs, infrastructure, international shipment, logistics competence, tracking and tracing, and timeliness. Each of which Singapore is included in the top 10 country. Singapore achieved first rank for the custom indicator with the score of 4.18 where Germany is only 4.12. This indicates customs in Singapore will not become a burden for company to locate the hub and do transshipment. The transshipment activities are regulated by Singaporean Government under the Customs Act, the Strategic Goods (Control) Act, the Regulation of Imports and Exports Act, and other related legislations. A specific system for this matter is called TradeFirst. This system will provide company a greater convenience and facilitation through six assessment frameworks; company profile, procedures and processes, security, inventory management, other scheme-specific requirements, and compliance (Singapore Government, n.d.).
Furthermore, Singapore commits to create efficiency in the supply chain and logistics hub. They transform the procedure and regulation related to security and the operation to be simpler allowing company better adapt with Singaporean and any international customs. This creates an ease for company to get clearance, documentation, as well as a permit towards their products. An application has been built in Singapore called TradeNet. This gathers around 35 controlling agencies to assess and give permit to company for trading activities. Despite the business-friendly customs, Singapore is located strategically in the heart of Southeast Asia making it an important hub for the meeting point of major shipping lanes. The quality of the transport is measured by the facilities provided in this country. Singapore hub is facilitated by the world class infrastructure such as Airport Logistics Park of Singapore, Changi International LogisPark, and Banyan LogisPark. All of these infrastructures are specialized to serve domestic and international distribution. Thus, among 25 global logistic firms, 20 of them are operated in Singapore (EDB, n.d.).
The aviation hub in Singapore has AS9120 certification with various capabilities.
1.      Aircraft-on-ground (AOG) for fast delivery of missing part to the waiting-aircraft.
2.      Service Parts Logistics (SPL) for aftermarket facilities.
3.      Integration of the airline inventories.
4.      Master of the engines and other related functions of the transportation.
In addition, it is also providing packaging facilities and chemical processing in the Jurong hub by implementing the system of Katoen Natie. The Vopak has also built its facilities there, providing the chemical storage, distribution system for domestic market, and other services for better chemical substances quality. The electronics product is also be supported by the DB Schenker by building the Competence Center focusing on the Production Vendor Managed Inventory (PVMI). This will help Singapore managing the electronics and other manufacturing sector. In terms of healthcare and cold chain logistics, Singapore is facilitated by the Coolport offering storage with the temperature ranging from -28°C to 19°C. This Coolport has also a Halal certification (EDB, n.d.).
The potential of transshipment in Singapore will be maintained by its domestic resources, especially the human resources mastering in supply chain management and logistics. The education in science and engineering offer variety programs for creating potential talents in this industry. The EDB mentioned that the graduates with specialization in Supply Chain Management in Singapore have reached 8,500 people. It also offers double masters program nurturing over 150 professional who work in SCM field. Despite the educational system, Singapore conducts TLI-AP THINK Forum gathering experts and professionals in SCM to discuss and outline potential SCM and logistics to be developed and maintained in Singapore (EDB, n.d.).
Singapore is ranked first for logistics in Southeast Asia. It has a business-friendly customs and world class infrastructures supporting the transshipment. These infrastructures ranging from aerospace to healthcare and cold chain logistics will ensure the quality of the transport. The government has also collaborated with educational and other institutions to maintain the quality of the logistics and supply chain processes. Its human resource will be prepared to be the expert and professional in the SCM field.

Singapore Government. (2017). TradeFirst. Retrieved from

Singapore Government. (n.d.). Transhipment procedures. Retrieved from

EDB. (n.d.). Logistics and supply chain management. Retrieved from

Global Debt

Global debt keeps increasing from 2007 to 2016. It exposes countries to challenges related to government debt, household debt, financial-sector debt, and china’s debt. There are some ways to address this problem with the big goal to deleverage the economy.
The global financial crisis and recession led global debt to grow by $57 trillion. According to an article of Business Insider Australia written by David Scutt, the 2016 global debt reached $215 trillion. The emerging market contributed to a large portion of its increase where in 2006 the global debt of emerging market was only $16 trillion and jumped to $56 trillion in 2016. Below is the graph showing the growth of global debt both in emerging markets as well as mature markets.

The McKinsey & Company report shows that some areas including government debt, household debt, financial-sector debt, and china’s debt contributed the growth of global debt. These areas remain a challenge. Since 2007, the government debt reaches $25 trillion urging the decline of the demand in the private sector. Unfortunately, this growing will continue to the five years afterwards in most developed countries such as Japan, European, and US. Encountering this growth, the fiscal balances need to deleverage into 2% of GDP in these countries. Hence, it remains challenging since the private sectors seems not improving to make these countries gaining benefit from high demand of the export. Despite all that, the experts underline increasing the inflation rate and the taxes imposed to the wealth as well as distribute the sales of public asset into wider areas might reduce government debt.
Furthermore, the household debt serves as the main factor causing global debt. The declining of housing price while financial crisis happen will lead to a recession. Deleveraging the household depends on the mortgage and limits by regulation as well as urbanization. Thus, managing the population to be widespread within a country is needed. This happens since highly concentrated population has a potential to a higher household debt. Moving into financial sector debt which increased by $17 trillion in 2007 from $20 trillion in 2000 leading to the existence of shadow banking system. This increasing debt can be reduced by the increasing non-bank credit. The online lending system contributed to this growth. Although the online system might be risky in terms of the security, the regular and advance monitoring system can tackle this potential problem.
In addition, Chinas as the second largest economy in the world contributes largely on the global trade as well as the global GDP. China’s debt in 2014 reached $28.2 trillion, four times bigger than its debt in 2007. Its debt reaches 250% of GDP. This could be resulted on fatality. Unfortunately, China seems to be addicted towards corporate debt which may weaken their financial system.
“We find three particular areas of potential concern in China: the concentration of debt in real estate, the rapid growth and complexity of shadow banking, and the off-balance sheet borrowing by local governments.” (McKinsey Global Institute 2015, 11).
All of these challenges can be addressed through several ways.
  1. The flexibility of mortgage contracts is needed. Although it seems to be risky and costly, however, it may eliminate the cost against social and economical aspects thus making better the stability of the financial system.
  2. The private-sector debt has to have a good process. This involves non-resource loans to eliminate the potential of bad debt.
  3. The macro-prudential regulations are needed to reduce borrower’s intention to increase their debts. This will also provide an ease to leverage the economy.
  4. The tax imposed in debt has to be reduced in order to trigger company allocates their budget in capital goods.
  5. Paying attention on the total government debt can be done by utilizing several tools to encounter sovereign debt. This will lead to sustainable economy.
  6. The lenders and regulation making have to collect more data to analyze the global debt and its potential risk towards the global economy. They also need to monitor every single change in this debt.
  7. Although the bank credit keeps increasing, however, this can be tackled by improving the non-bank credit.
  8. Developing economies contribute largely to a global debt in current year. In increased by $40 trillion in 2016. Thus, the focus to monitor and manage the debts in these developing economies should become the priority.

The global debt is triggered by the government debt, household debt, financial-sector debt, and china’s debt. The 2016’s global debt reached $215 trillion and indicated by emerging markets debt that increased significantly in this year. There are several ways to tackle this. One of them is focusing on the development of developing economies since their debt has increased significantly in past year. Another focus has also be addressed to China’s debt since it serves as the second largest economy in the world, thus, contributing a large portion of the global GDP.
McKinsey Global Institute. (2015). Debt and (not much) deleveraging. Retrieved from
Scutt, D. (2017). Global debt has hit an eye-watering $215 trillion. Retrieved from
France-Presse, A. (2016). China’s debt is 250% of GDP and ‘could be fatal’, says government expert. Retrieved from

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has its trend, growing or declining. The financial crisis happened in 2008-2009 has an impact to FDI. Hence, it does not mean that FDI will collapse in the upcoming years. Comparing the FDI overall flow and specifically FDI inflows in developed and developing economies, the sectors and industries in both economies, as well as determine the largest type of FDI growth can be done to comprehend this trend.
The recent FDI was growing globally. It reached $1.76 trillion, increasing by 38% compared to FDI in 2014. The major cause of this growth was mergers and acquisitions (M&As) that reached $721 billion. Similar to M&As, the greenfield investment was also high reaching $766 billion. Both developed and developing economies showing FDI growth. Hence, the growing of FDI flow in developed countries remained higher than developing countries. The 2015 FDI in developed economies reached $962 billion with the strongest growth in European countries, following by the United States. Europe became the most favored region to invest due to its high FDI flows reaching $576 billion. Meanwhile, the FDI flow in developing economies, except the Caribbean, was growing by 9%, reaching $765 billion in 2015. Unfortunately, FDI in the upcoming years is predicted declining due to global economic fragility and related tax and policies.
Although the overall FDI flow of developed economies higher than FDI flow in developing economies, however, the FDI inflows in 2015 based on region showing that developing Asia had the highest FDI inflows, reaching $541 billion. Europe, in the same year, has significant growth of their FDI inflows from $306 billion to $504 billion, made them achieved the second highest FDI inflows in 2015. In Asia, the largest FDI inflows achieved by Singapore, having $65 billion in developing economies while $68 billion for the transition economies. Furthermore, Brazil as a part of Latin America reached the largest FDI inflows among other Latin American countries. It reached $65 billion for developing economies and $73 billion for transition economies.
Moving into the sector, it is reported that service sector become the largest industry in 2015. It was dominated the FDI stock into two third of it. The second largest sector was manufacturing, worth 27% of the total FDI stock. Among these manufacturing industries, pharmaceuticals achieved largest M&As in 2015, worth $61 billion. It was followed by non-metallic mineral products,, furniture, then chemicals and chemical products.
Comparing the two FDI types, the M&As reached $721 billion whereas the greenfield investment served as the largest FDI in 2015. It was worth $766 billion although it did not significantly increasing.
The FDI in 2015 was growing significantly, reaching $1.76 trillion. According to the FDI inflows report, developing economies achieved higher FDI inflows compared to developed economies. It was achieved by developing Asia region with Singapore as the second largest FDI inflows getter after China. In Latin America, it was achieved by Brazil. Although M&As increased significantly in 2015, the greenfield investment remained the largest. The largest sector of FDI stock was service followed by manufacturing as the second with pharmaceuticals served as the largest industry.
United Nations. (2016). World investment report 2016. Retrieved from

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Fighting Against Unjustness

Discrimination towards African-Americans continued after the Civil War. Most of white built paradigm that African-Americans were proud to be the second-class citizens due to their unintelligence and weak power compared to white. During decades, they worked as a labor in white homes in order to fulfill their needs. It might be true that Civil War Amendment struggled for blacks by enabling Congress and States in creating equality. However, blacks still need greater effort to be accepted as citizens with the same exact civil rights implementation as whites.
By the end of nineteenth century, disenfranchisement and segregation towards Civil War Amendment happened because of Jim Crow Laws. This law legalized segregation between white and blacks in using public facilities as well as accommodations (Saylor, 159). Basically, there were three main ideas regarding to blacks’ limitation, especially in the voting process. They were poll tax which asked voters to pay, literacy test as a way to ensure voters ability in reading, and white-only primaries which prevented blacks and whites in influencing Democrats candidate in the election. At first, these seem fair for both whites and blacks. However, the practice was different. One of the examples lies in the literacy test where blacks got difficult type of questions while white easier. This rule even supported by grandfather clause which enabled whites to vote even if they failed as long as their grandfathers were registered as a voter before the Civil War.
Due to the unjustness of Jim Crow Laws, Supreme Court emphasized that federal government did not even have a right to ruin individual’s right. Therefore, the Court supported Plessy v. Ferguson case in establishing “Separate but Equal” notion to underline that race did not determine the unequal protection towards people (Saylor, 160). It can be said that both whites and blacks receive the same treatment although they were separated. Not only that, they were also some mobility against segregation; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909 served as a interest group who likes sue people under the case of equality, World War I (WWI) caused blacks got more freedom since white immigrate to Europe in order to find job, and World War II (WWII) enforced black men learn on how to fight to defend their families.
Ironically, in the 1940s, the practice of the notion “Separate but Equal” has to be ended. It happened due to the existence of Brown v. Broad of Education which was finally supported by the Supreme Court to end segregation. This case emphasized that separation will never create equality. Because of this, blacks began doing a mass movement in their colleges and churches (Saylor, 162). One of the most famous movement done by Rosa Parks who rejected a rule to give a sit for whites. It caused she was being arrested. However, this significantly brought impact in declaring equality by boycotting Montgomery bus led by Martin Luther King Jr. although in the end, the Court rejected this action (Saylor, 163). Furthermore, another movement also happened by 1960s. It was Greensboro four who bravely had a lunch in white’s restaurant. The same as Rosa Parks, they were jailed but also successfully influence the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to do more confrontational actions (Saylor, 164).
These actions show how blacks want to be not only officially recognized as US citizens, but also gain the same rights implementation as whites. Luckily, their effort heard by Congress which then pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect them towards discrimination against “race, color, religion, or national origin” (Saylor, 166). It also applied the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as well as asked primary and secondary school to teach students both their native language and English as a Second Language (ESL). In addition, a year after passing Civil Rights Act, Congress also approved the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to help the use of each individual political right. This act regulated the voting document to be written in the voter’s original language, too out the literacy test, and ensured the federal government monitored the voting process.
The above two acts, unfortunately, trigger the benefits for other minorities, women, lesbians, gay men, and disabled. The examples can be seen from the idea of ESL which benefited Latinos to learn English, the recognition of Asian Americans as US citizen in 1988 where 62% of them being arrested during WWII, and the protection of Native Americans by the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) of 1968 (Saylor, 174). Furthermore, the 19th Amendment has also served as the first women’s right to vote. It enabled women to get protection against sexual harassment. These benefits were accumulated in the affirmative action which increased the greater involvement of minorities and women in the workplace as well as attend higher education (Saylor, 168). Not only that, lesbians and gay men were finally able to vote and supported by EEOC to get the same opportunity in the workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) were also enable people with disabilities to get access towards public facilities (Saylor, 183).
Diversity might become the most crucial and sensitive problem in the past with some cases keep happening today. However, with a good understanding towards diversity and awareness to be global citizen, people starts to realize that diversity is a gift.
The Saylor Foundation. (n.d.). American government and politics in the information age. Retrieved from
Sokol, J. (2008). White southerners’ reactions to the civil rights movement. Retrieved from 

Minority’s Power in Judicial Offices

Judges have crucial role in the judicial power to solve any disputes both categorized as civil and criminal cases. In the mid-nineteenth century, the process of choosing state’s judges had metamorphosed from appointive system into election. This transformation explicitly explained the hope of states toward judges to truly represent their community (Ifill, 1998). However, this hope becomes only a will in Texas. According to the data of total judges in 2014, it noted that 77% of Texas’s judges were whites although the population of African American combined with Hispanics reaches 50% in this States (Texas Politics 2015, 7.10). This condition leads to representation gap between whites and minority group.

            In 2011, federal judges found some cases indicated as discriminatory intend towards minority group in Texas. One of the examples is redistricting area or usually called as gerrymandering. While drawing the 23rd congressional district, Texas lawmakers deceived Hispanic’s district by taking over the district of active Hispanic’s voters and change it into Hispanic who tend to be apathetic towards voting. This widened the chance of whites to win the election. Furthermore, lawmakers had also intentionally reduced the number of minority’s districts in congressional seats. According to census of 2010, Texas’s population has increasing rapidly which dominated by 65% of Latino and resulted on gaining more representatives in Congress. However, although 14 districts claimed as Latino’s, Texas lawmakers only registered 10 of them. As the result, Latino had limited power to vote their representatives. The issue became even worse when minority groups had complicated requirement to get their voter-ID. They need to go to state Department of Public Safety Office and pay for high cost to get the required document. Most of African American as well as Hispanic who was more likely poorer compared to white had difficulties to afford it (Beckett & Lee, 2013).

            The above cases reflect a great strategy done by lawmakers to weaken the Voting Rights Act among minorities; they made transparent all the needs of this Act to benefit whites. Although these cases can be considered as civil case, however, it remains debatable to make sure that redistricting will trigger a party sue another party since both Democrats and Republicans usually done it together for the sake of their own party. Therefore, none of them will sue one another. Before 2000, state courts have right to regulate redistricting process although today it becomes the responsibility of federal judges (Boatright, 2001). Yet state judges still play important role in investigating the issue. In the past, the condition was not balance where whites or Republicans become more powerful rather than minority group especially African American who belongs to Democrats in almost all governmental branches. If Democrats party intended to sue Republicans, they would mostly fail due to the inexistence of their supporting power in state’s government. When they tried to rely on fairness value towards states court nonetheless, they would not get succeed either due to limited number of their representatives in judicial branch. In so doing, people are concerned on the issue of having equal representative in state courts exceptionally state trial courts.

            State trial courts have lower level compared to appellate courts since every dispute will be brought, proceed, and decided in trial courts before appealing process in appellate courts. For that reason, trial judges become intimately close with the disputes both for understanding the root of the cases as well as analyzing certain circumstances that will affect their decision (Ifill, 1998). Since people rely on them to represent their community’s values, many highly personal disputes asked them to find a solution. Hence, any subjectivity could not be ignored. In the United States, racial discrimination does still exist although not as extreme as in 1880s or 1990s. This becomes such a tradition in this country as well as downgraded into each states including Texas.

The racial discrimination is such provincialism; never be objective in valuing any objects and issues. If this applies in trial courts, trial judges will only struggle for cases of people with the same race; zero chance for another race to win the case. As the consequence, when minority groups’ representatives absent on this judicial offices, minorities’ voice will mostly be neglected. Therefore, more minorities should hold judicial offices. If this happens, Texas will able to eliminate redistricting issues as well as any other issues and make fairness truly implement among its citizens regardless their race. 

The Texas Politics Project. (2015). Texas politics (2nd ed.). Retrieved from
Beckett, L., & Lee, S. (2013). Five ways courts say texas discriminated against blacks and latinos voters. Retrieved from
Ifill, S. A. (1998). Judging the judges: racial diversity, impartiality, and representation on state trial courts. Boston College Law Review, 39(1), 95-149. Retrieved from
Boatright, R. G. (2001). Judicial independence and partisan politics. A Paper for the Brennan Center Conference on Judicial Independence, The University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved from