What Is the Purpose and Significance of Such International Economic Organizations as the IMF, World Bank, and WTO, and International Political Organizations as the United Nations? What Was the American Role in Creating Those Institutions?
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a global organization that supervises the worldwide financial system by tracking macroeconomic policies of the member states, especially with an influence on the payments’ balance and exchange rates (Woolf 24). The main aim of the organization is to improve living standards of the member states’ citizens. Its purposes include facilitating the balanced growth and expansion of global trade, promoting the stability of exchange, and global monetary cooperation, offering technical assistance and policy advice to enable the member countries maintain strong economies (Woolf 24). The IMF also provides loans to aid the member states. The World Bank, on the other hand, focuses on the promotion of long-term poverty reduction and economic development. It achieves its goals through offering financial and technical support to assist nations’ in executing specific projects, like building hospitals, schools, as well as environment protection. (Woolf 24).
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is a global body with the purpose of promoting the free trade via persuading nations to eradicate import tariffs, as well as other barriers. It is quite necessary, because it is the only global body charged with the mandate of setting international trade rules, organizing trade negotiations and settling trade disputes between various governments (Woolf 24). The United Nations is a global organization whose purpose is to maintain the global security and peace, develop friendly relationships amongst all countries in the world, and work together in solving global humanitarian, cultural, social, and economic problems. It also promotes respect for basic human rights and freedoms (Woolf 24).
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The United States has played a dominant role in founding of the above institutions. Being a superpower, America has a strong influence and authority within the above-mentioned institutions. The founding, structure, location and mandate of these organizations have been determined by the United States to a significant extent. It is vital to mention that America has over one third of the voting power in every of these institutions, and no decision can be passed without considering the opinion and receiving approval from the US.
What Duties, if Any, Do Wealthy Countries Have Toward the World’s Poor?
According to the World Bank (n. p.), poverty refers to any deprivation in the well-being of humans, and it is composed of various dimensions, such as the lack of ability to acquire fundamental goods and services needed for survival with dignity, low incomes, low health and education levels. It also includes lack of voice, poor access or inaccessibility to clean water and sanitation, insufficient physical security, as well as the inadequate opportunity and capacity to better one’s life. It is estimated that more than 2.7 billion people in the entire globe live on $2 or less per day (World Bank n.p.). This raises the question about how such people are able to meet their daily needs, for example, serve food on their tables, have a roof over their heads, plan for medical emergencies, and even save for retirement with such a small amount of money (World Bank n.p.). It is important to mention that the majority of the world’s poor come from developing countries. There are numerous poor countries in the world, for example, Zimbabwe, Congo, Burundi, Chad, Liberia, Mali, and Angola among others. On the other hand, it is a fact that the rich people and countries constitute a significant percentage of the world’s population. The question is whether the poor countries and people should be left to languish in poverty, or the wealthy nations should step in and support them. This question covers the duties of the wealthy nations towards the world’s poor.
Dower (n. p.), thinks that wealthy nations have no obligations to the world’s poor because duty/ responsibility ends at the edge of the country’s borders. It means that the rich nations have no liabilities to the poor people of any other country because they do not have any social ties with them. However, I strongly disagree with this argument. I believe that the poor should not be blamed for their predicament, and since the rich possess excess resources, it is their moral obligation to give back to the deprived irrespective of their race, gender, or social ties. After all, it would be unfair to watch a poor child suffer and die from malnutrition when one has excess food. Except the moral obligation, the rich have a duty to help the poor countries improve their living standards, so as to be able to live better lives. This should be done by establishing sustainable projects, such as building of hospitals, schools, health centers, digging bore holes for irrigation purposes, which would offer the long-term solution to the problems of the poor. This way, the countries will be able to help themselves in the future without depending on the external aid.
The Documentary Beyond Our Differences Makes the Case that the World Is Too Largely Focused On the Negative Aspects of Contemporary Religion, Particularly the Western Tradition, and not Enough on the Positive. Did You Agree or Disagree With This Essential Message of the Film and Why?
There are several problems facing the world currently, for example, wars, diseases, poverty, overpopulation, and environmental degradation. This has made millions of people desperate and longing to find a meaning in life. Consequently, numerous people have turned to religion in the hope of finding solutions to their problems. However, religion has been undermined by some individuals, who are seeking to multiply their personal power and wealth, but are pretending to be preachers of the gospel. Beyond Our Differences is a documentary that was produced by Peter Bisanz, Vladimir Trushchenkov, Tonko Soljan, and Catherine Tatge, and aired on the Bill Moyers journal in 2008. The documentary explores the positive role that faith plays in the modern world. It calls people all over the world to exercise tolerance, peace, and mutual goodwill irrespective of their differences (Bisanz n.p.). The producers of the documentary have included personal expressions of faith from different people; politicians, heads of states, kings & queens, priests, and social activists to empower the observer to develop a positive impact on their lives and the lives of others, through their faith.
I totally agree with the documentary’s message that the world is focusing more on the negative aspects of the modern religion, especially the western tradition, and not enough on the positive aspects. Numerous denominations have risen in the modern religion suited to the needs of every individual. People have a variety of problems, and the church has become a place of solace for many people, who hope that their problems will be solved. Nonetheless, greedy, dishonest individuals have seen this as a business opportunity to exploit the worshippers. The people, who position themselves as preachers, know what their congregations want and, therefore, they have tailored their summons to suit the needs of the believers. They preach what people want to hear, while concealing the gospel truth, in order to attract more followers; this, in turn, will translate to the increased donations. These donations, accordingly, will multiply the preacher’s wealth.
What Two Theoretical Forces Does Krauthammer See as “Converging” in the Contemporary Era? Do You Support His Logic of Supporting Undemocratic Dictators?
The two theoretical forces that Krauthammer sees as ‘‘converging’’ in the contemporary era are democratic globalism and democratic realism. The United States of America, being the world’s superpower, has been committed to abolishing tyranny throughout the world, led by the countries’ presidents (George Bush, Clinton, and Obama). In an attempt to attain its democratic aims, America has been supportive of both autocracies (e.g. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan) and totalitarians alike (Krauthammer 19-20); for instance, the American invasion of Iraq was portrayed by many as a hypocritical step. Arabs, in particular, doubted the sincerity of the United States intentions; they claimed that America was targeting the oil basins in the country. However, according to Krauthammer, American desire to democratize the whole world is genuine and universal; it is not only a preserving the interests of the Westerners.
According to Krauthammer, winning the hearts of dictators necessitates that the United States forms a temporary alliance with the dictators and supports them until they are mature enough for democratization (19-20). This is evident in the way the Americans have supported Iraq for years, even to the extent of sending the U.S. troops to Iraq to offer security, despite knowing that it is ruled by the dictator. Finally, the American effort has paid off because the democracy of Iraq has matured, and the country can now rule itself. This was evident by the last withdrawal of the U.S. troops from Iraq by the Obama administration. I totally agree with his reasoning because if the United States is to condemn the dictator countries, it will affect how America relates to them, which may hinder the democratization process.
Victor Wallis’s Article Draws Distinctions between Both Capitalist and Socialist Responses to Contemporary Ecological Thought. Examine His Argument and Discuss Your Position on His Arguments.
According to Wallis (25-40), the global ecological crisis is a complicated mix of dangerous trends. Capitalists have widely acknowledged ecological crisis, but with reluctance and little seriousness, for instance, the build-up of greenhouse gases. Such problems have been viewed either as opportunities of making profits in the future, or just being taken as a local issues. Wallis said that sufficient response to the ecological crisis necessitates addressing all its dimensions, including the development of the thorough awareness.
The capitalists, according to Wallis, have responded to the ecological crisis by going green, by investing in the manufacture of products, which are environmental-friendly, adopting the use of renewable energy, as well as, propagating fuel-producing crops that produce a clean form of energy. However, Wallis thinks that this approach fails to address the core aspects of the crisis. He argues that even though bio-fuels produce fewer greenhouse gases than petroleum, their accumulative impact is more severe, in terms of water and oil pollution, soil degradation, and increased food prices. Socialists, on the other hand, want the economic decisions, which is made in response to the ecological crisis, be grounded on the wider social consensus based on how to use the resources. Wallis tends to support the socialist response as opposed to the capitalist approach to the ecological crisis, because of the numerous negative impacts it has on economic growth, such as the high prices of goods and services. I agree with his opinion totally. To my mind, before humanity settles on any measure of curbing the ecological crisis, it should firstly consider the effects on the society in general.
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