Case Study: Bancos Compartamos as an MFI in a New World of MicroCredit

Microcredit has taken the world by storm in the past few decades, as Muhammad Yunus’s founding of the Grameen Bank in densely packed, disaster-prone Bangladesh has been an innovative breakthrough for poverty alleviation. Through the provision of small loans at low interest rates and no collateral to the poor as a jumpstart to self-employment, the Grameen Bank has empowered up to 7 million borrowers in rising out of unsurvivable circumstances and living with the dignity they deserve. Yunus’s continuing belief in the impoverished as a booming population not unskilled, but untapped, has also spread after Grameen’s success. The bank has since inspired a plethora of similar programs around the globe, all seeking to ensure greater opportunity to those less fortunate. One of these is Banco Compartamos, Latin America’s largest microfinance bank that serves over 1.7 million borrowers today. This article analyses Compartamos and its policies in accordance to the values, principles and practices of traditional pro-poor and financially sustainable microfinance institutions like Grameen or Fonkoze.

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Understanding the Theoretical Explanation and Global Implications of the US-China Trade War

Hostilities in trade policy between China and the United States have starkly escalated since last year, with US President Donald Trump voicing distaste and concern over China’s practices. In what became a buildup bearing grave similarity to the USSR and US’s arms race during the Cold War, both countries imposed increasing tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s products. Given the wealth of “Made In China” labels seen on everyday products, as well as the US’s resources and technology, this issue is international. With two power giants head-to-head, further conflict would drastically affect not only the global economy, as third-party supplier countries and industries would lose business while consumers worldwide would lose purchasing power, but also political relations if the same hostile approach is applied. In an attempt to slow what could become a global disaster, new tariffs have been suspended for 90 days with trade talks between leaders of the US and China happening now.

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Case Study: Aravind Eye Care Hospitals as a Miracle of Medicine for the Masses

The Aravind Eye Care System, founded by Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy (also known as Dr. V) in Tamil Nadu, India in 1976, is renowned for its extraordinary success in providing quality, low-cost eye care to millions as a step towards eliminating needless blindness. The hospital’s allure stems not only from its accomplishments but also its attitude – commitment and an almost divine faith in its cause. This analysis closely examines Aravind’s methods as a social enterprise, the underlying values of its mission, and lastly comparison to other organizations.

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The Sabotage of Social Media

As we are well into summer, the heat wave is not the only thing that has washed upon us. Instagram’s plethora of beach babes and shirtless, sunglassed flexing, the Snapchat stories flaunting unwavering wealth, and so forth have blasted our screens. Bikini photo, luxury watch, sports car, clubbing, Kim Kardashians, repeat…maybe it’s just my feed. But it seems that the purpose behind a social media platform has become not just to share, but to flaunt? Conform? To maintain all pretense that the highlight reel we choose to showcase is the only picture we live in, with no gruelling behind-the-scenes.

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An Analysis of Two Works: “The Great Gatsby” and “Approaching Thunder Storm”

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Art has long been in existence beginning from the cave paintings of the prehistoric era and has since branched into various forms that can be touched, seen, heard, smelled and tasted – even cooking has evolved to be titled “the culinary arts”. However, although man’s methods of making art have developed throughout time, the roots from which the art of man stems – his feelings and thoughts – have not. Art is ambiguous and tangible; but its subject of emotion is universal. Two entirely different works could be analysed and their fundamental ideas could be the same. In the comparison between an 1859 art piece titled “Approaching Thunder Storm” and The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald, there naturally exist similarities of motifs, scenes, and character. The theme conveyed by the landscape painting through its colour and composition is similar to that of The Great Gatsby, in which both works suggest an image of solitude inherent in man as a result of his individual failures and yearnings.

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Should the government continue unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed within the United States?

Concerns for American individualism and character in the 21st century have early origins that date even prior to today’s era, among them the concept of work ethic and the American Dream. According to an academic journal published by the International Social Science Review, this could be explained by dramatic transitions in the workplace, which while seemingly improving in higher quality jobs and more educated workers, also was regressing with a lack of employer support for work ethic. The issue at hand was that intrinsic motivation and interest to work hard therefore no longer existed, as Americans increasingly pursued money and other extrinsic factors. Despite the journal being published in 1989 and in a vastly different context, these same concerns are still controversial as people debate over the current state of the American work ethic today.

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The Death Penalty at a Glance in the Future – Or Not

Capital punishment in the United States has been an enduring topic of controversy for decades, as its opponents present practical and ethical concerns while supporters justify the punishment’s necessity in deterrence, retribution, etc. According to the book Capital Punishment: The Revised Edition written by H. Henderson, the death penalty’s 1972 case of Furman vs. Georgia led to a Supreme Court moratorium on executions, until restoration in 1976. Since then it has been in decline, both in public opinion as recent polls show that support for the death penalty is the lowest since its 1976 reinstatement, and in practice as geographical disparities, racial bias, and other issues have become apparent. Despite this, Gallup (2016) showed a 60% majority of public support for the death penalty, and so the debate over its abolishment continues. With a change in context under the new Trump administration, and a vacancy on the Supreme Court about to be filled, this gradual decline in capital punishment may be officiated by abolishment or countered by reinforcement. The situation at hand thus demands the need to address the direction of where the death penalty is heading – whether it should be abolished, reformed, or kept – and other factors such as who may instigate legal action, on what grounds, and possible consequences. Given these findings upon which this report will elaborate, the death penalty cannot be continued within the United States and its abolition is necessary and inevitable.

Credits: High Road for Human Rights via Flickr

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Why National Honor Society At My School Is a Bluff

The grandeur and exclusivity of National Honor Society has always stunned me, as seemingly around the globe it is the pinnacle of academic success and extracurricular responsibility. High schoolers set on achievement, scramble to turn in their applications, groom their grades, and pray for acceptance. The club itself is regarded with honor, and is treated more highly than other school clubs. With all due respect, it does uphold reputable values and its select students do dutifully deserve its title, but having witnessed NHS at work personally in my own school, I’ve come to doubt the fairness of its pedestal and crown. Why is it such a big deal? Here’s what I think.

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