Felipe Saravia

Durango, Mexico

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Felipe Saravia
Posted almost 2 years ago
Pankaj Ghemawat: Actually, the world isn't flat
There is something to be said about that “small” international trade. First of all, it happens first on products where cross-border price differences are greatest and, since it is concentrated, it will move prices and reshape economies. “The world is flat” is a relative statement. It will never be 100 percent flat. But since Marco Polo started the silk trade, it has been getting a lot flatter, and the rate of flattening is accelerating. Compared to even 10 years ago, the world is very much flatter. If we want to be precise, we can say that the world is rolling hills. Yet the opposite statement, “The world is not flat”, I can only ask: compared to what?. The only answer is compared to the future. THE WORLD WILL BE EVEN FLATTER
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Felipe Saravia
Posted about 2 years ago
Should basic economics now be a required subject in high school and/or college?
I don’t have any information about the behaviour of the Koch brothers and their companies So I can neither defend them or protest against them. What I found sad is that theese people were protesting against as a system and asking for government interventios, when government intervention was what caused most of the abuse on the first place. As they were calling for intervention in order to fight abuse, they were helping to set up the laywork for future greater abuses. They had no basic knowledge about free market, about setting the right incentives. Their efforts were then counter productive. Capitalism has many flaws. It is not a perfect system. It can be argued that it is not even a good system. It is “only” the best one we have found, by far. As mexican, the images of the movement reminded me of little kids in a piñata party, swinging their sticks into mid air wilie blindfolded. If they had a little economics education they would have gone stright to the piñata and, with a few bolows, released the candy for all of us. The energy of the young…wasted! Pity!
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Felipe Saravia
Posted about 2 years ago
Should basic economics now be a required subject in high school and/or college?
In the first world: yes. In the third world: ¡YES! The young are restless and want to change the world. Unfortunately they often apply simple answers to complex problems, sometimes doing harm to very causes they wish to help. If they understood basic economics, their effort would be so much better harnessed for the good of society. With knowledge in basic economics, they would not only want to change the world, but would know what parts of the world need changing, and which we should let time iron out. Most of our waking time is dedicated to making a living. If you do not understand economics you will have a very limited understanding of the world. The same principles studied in economics can explain, or at least help explain, situations found in many other areas that have nothing to do with money. Economics and Biology have a very crossover of concepts. In biology it can help explain the development of ecosystems, the need for stable weather, the food chain balance, the importance of microbes, Without at least basic economics, these issues are hard to grasp. Economics will make better citizens, more able and willing to defend our basic rights. Take the Occupy Wall Street movement. There have been abuses of the system and people are right to be upset. However, their movement was wasted by being spread out against the system itself. I believe that if economic literacy had permeated, those people would have focused their efforts on the few companies, or specific rules that have led to abuse. This would have had a positive effect. What a great loss. An entire social movement of rightful indignation was wasted!
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Felipe Saravia
Posted over 2 years ago
Is E-Learning competitive enough if compared to Class Room learning?
The short answer is remote learning for adults: yes. E-learning is training. I live in a small town in the desert corridor of northern Mexico, and far away from a medium city, so when a major and prestigious university announced a “virtual university”, I decided it was time for my MBA. The university had just invested in a satellite TV channel. Back then this was the newest technology, and it was expensive. It showed a type of forward thinking that top notch universities are supposed to have. There would be about ten of us in a classroom and we would watch a big screen. Five hundred miles away a professor would lecture in front of his live classroom/studio. He would have about 40 local students so he would have facial feedback. Instead of raising our hand we would pick up a phone and call in. Calls were picked up by a number of assistant professors and if they considered it relevant the call would be broadcast live. We would turn in our homework at the local office of the university where twice a week they were sent to the main campus by parcel. We would receive our graded papers in about ten days. The university assigned the best professors to the new system. It was fantastic. Then they tried to “fix” it. New was not good enough. They wanted newest. And newest meant more computer, less professor. Lecture hours were reduced. Professors were stripped away from their classroom and would attempt to talk to the camera. They started to sound like when you left a message on an answering machine (remember those?) The lessons felt canned. The only reason I finished is because I was already eighty percent into getting my degree, but the education value was lost. From my experience, remote learning can be fantastic for adults if it is done right, more so if other options are limited. The system, at least that system, will not work for children. But e-learning will never be an education, only training. Update: I am having second thoughts about posting this opinion, since
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Felipe Saravia
Posted over 2 years ago
If you could influence this issue, what would you do to drug addicts?
Make treatment available, but ultimately, respect their choices. I live in city in the middle of the drug wars. When you combine huge cash flows with life and death type power, corruption will sure follow. Institutions, government, human spirit and society as a whole are greatly undermined. I am sympathetic for the suffering of the consumer and his or her family, but truth be told: they finance criminal organizations that undermine the very concept of civility in many parts of the world. In its current form, drugs are produced, exported, imported, distributed, cut once, redistributed, cut again and redistributed and recut six times, and sold at the retail level. All is done by criminal organizations that enforce their own rules by corruption and violence. By the measure of value added, the drug industry mostly happens within the borders of rich nations. A gram of xyz will cost twenty times more in the street of a mayor first world city compared to what was paid to the wholesaler on a third world nation. This means that the crime industry is mostly within the rich nations, but in their much bigger economies, the power of the criminals is diluted. Drugs are terrible, but the current setup where they are exported from countries like mine by criminals, and those criminals are paid by with guns and ammo is far worse. A marihuana hit is not good for your health, but no one forced it on you. A gram of lead out of the end of a gun will do far more damage to your health. Yet the guns remain legal. This is unacceptable. Americans think of countries like mine as full of criminals, yet gun factories are considered high tech reputable corporations.
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Felipe Saravia
Posted over 2 years ago
If you could influence this issue, what would you do to drug addicts?
Drinking is harmful, yet you can drink in your own home or in a bar. As long as you do not mix alcohol and gasoline, you are clear. The same is true for smoking. I have suffered as my father and then my brother slowly consumed to death by smoking induced cancer. Yet you can smoke all you want, but not next to me indoors. With proper age restrictions, you can buy your booze and tobacco at regular stores. These are produced by legitimate enterprises such as Philip-Morris or British Tobacco. It is an issue of consenting adults. As long as drugs remain illegal, the will be produced, distributed and sold by criminals. The users are the victims that finance the murders. They must go underground where they can’t be treated. Drugs must be legalized and treated as a public health problem. Treating as a state security problem has proven to be ineffective. Jails are busting at the seams and most inmates are there for drug related crimes. These crimes are not only the ones related directly to the buying and selling, but also murder, robbery, attempted murder etc. Many addicts become felons to finance their own habit. Many felons diversify to other criminal rackets. Creating a system of huge profit incentives, and then trying to lock up those that follow the mirage of easy money is NOT working. Northern Europe is doing fine with legalized, yet highly restricted drug use. Amsterdam had a problem in the sixties since it was practically the only city in an entire continent that offered legalized drugs, so junkies from all Europe gathered there. Now that there are other places, they seem to be doing fine, and the addicts do not fall under the trap of the mafia and its criminal thugs. The victims do not become victimizers. Legalize drugs! Please!