1. What is the most important thing for a country’s leader to assure the prosperity of the country:
1) Creating more jobs for unemployed worker
2) Increasing agriculture and lowering the food price
3) Increasing access to affordable house
All governments on the planet engage in finding the best methods to develop their country into a more powerful nation with abundant resources. These methods are supposed to cover as many people as possible and with no doubt, be effective enough to bring about profits as soon as possible. Among all the approaches that are aiming at advancing a country. I firmly believe that the issues associated with food are more important and should be paid more attention to by countries.
First of all, under no circumstances can human live without food supply, which is the premise of all human activities. As a result, solving the problems in agriculture and the availability of food to all people is an essential factor in the development of a country. When people have rice to eat, they have more energy to work in the fields; when people are supplied with meat, they are more passionate in manufacturing crafts and tools; when people have cheaper fruits on the markets, they become more willing to serve his customers at work; when people have easier access to clothes, they are more inspired in doing researches and experiments. No progress can be made with hungry stomachs.
Second, it is easier to advance agriculture than to create more job positions for unemployed workers. Increasing agricultural production depend largely on good command of planting or farming knowledge and technology. For the knowledge aspect, information can be obtained through diverse channels like books, magazines and the internet, where information is not only authorized but also comprehensive. For the technology aspect, the governments can either invest in researches in crop properties or genetic modification or purchase equipment or technology from those few highly developed countries that fulfill the responsibility to help more other countries. Nonetheless, creating work opportunities is not that easy, since companies, either state owned or privately owned, have certain precise requirement for the number of workers according to the types of business they undertake and current situation of the market.
Finally, promoting the food industry benefit more people than affordable housing can do. As we have discussed above, food is needed by everybody and better agricultural conditions make a so great difference that it extends how far a government can go. In contrast, few people need houses, especially in this modernized society. As a direct consequence of building more housing apartments, most individuals already possess a house to live in, where means whether the houses are affordable or not has little or no influence on the overall development of the country.
To sum up, I believe what we eat means more than what we do and where we live. The leaders of all countries should focus more on the improvement of food availability and more and more people will live a happier life.
2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement that the only effective way for governments to encourage energy conservation is to increase the price of gasoline and electricity?
The effective only way for governments to encourage energy conservation is to increase the price of gasoline and electricity.
Energy shortage is an issue that plagues many governments and causes increasing concerns. The way of raising the price of gasoline and electricity to encourage energy conservation does have some merits. But I contend that there are more effective and feasible approaches to reach the same purpose.
Admittedly, by motivating energy users to reduce their consumption, the increased prices can take effect in energy conversation to some extent. For the purpose of saving money, people will restrain themselves, driving less and using electricity less. However, such solution only scratch the surface, just a temporary relief, not a permanent cure. The majority of people use gasoline and electricity out of necessity, especially those whose commutes to work are rather time-consuming, so they will not change their consumption habits just due to the raised prices.
A more efficient way is to improve the density and convenience of public transportation. When the places where people works can be reached by mass transit. Especially by metro which does not have the plight of traffic jam, most of people will choose not to drive their own cars because it takes more time and more money compared with metro, which can remarkably reduce energy consumed for transportation.
The second plausible solution is to stimulate the inventing of energy-efficient products and encourage consumers to use such products. A prominent example of this is the energy savings that can be made by replacing incandescent light bulbs with more modern alternatives, such as compact fluorescent and LED bulbs, which may have higher upfront cost but their long lifespan and low energy use can save consumers a considerable amount of money. Very similarly, fuel-efficient vehicles should be the trend of future, as well as new energy cars such as those powered by hydrogen-based fuel-cell or ethanol.
In conclusion, higher energy price is not the best solution to energy conservation, while the improvement of infrastructure and energy-efficient products are more effective and efficient.
3. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Government is not doing enough work to educate people the importance of nutrition and healthy eating.
For most of human history, we’ve struggled to have enough food. Now most developed countries have an overabundance of food, and we have a new problem: people are eating too much or they’re choosing to eat unhealthy food. The government isn’t doing enough to help the situation. They need to work harder to educate the population on the value of eating healthy.
First off, it’s definitely the government’s role to educate people on healthy eating. Some might argue that teaching about nutrition isn’t the government’s job. However, it’s in the government’s best interest to make sure its citizens are healthy. Healthy citizens are productive citizens, and productive citizens produce a successful society. If the government invested more resources into nutrition education, the funds for that program would have to come from taxes. That would be tax money very well spent because it would improve our quality of life.
On the topic of nutrition education programs, the first step the government should take is to fund nutrition studies so that they can be sure they know what is and is not healthy. Along with the overabundance of food, we also have an overabundance of information and it becomes frustrating to try to find the truth. Every week, a new diet fad comes out, but most of these fads die off and we laugh about them a month later. I have one friend who is a vegetarian and can give me sources saying that meat is unhealthy. Then I have another friend that eats meat every meal and can give me sources saying that meat is necessary to a healthy diet. I have no idea where to begin searching for good information on nutrition because it seems that so many studies are funded by private companies with a profit as their end goal. We need publicly funded nutrition studies.
After the government is certain they have the right facts, they will need to implement nutrition education programs. A lot of this will probably come from obvious things like school classes and publicly funded commercials on TV, but they should also put practical programs into place. For example, they should entirely revamp public school lunch programs. At the moment, there’s so many unhealthy meals and unhealthy side choices so that kids pick up bad eating habits at school even if they come from families who typically eat healthy. The government should provide only healthy meals and choices at school so that kids develop a taste for healthy food.
Public health is failing, and so the government needs to step in. They currently try to do some nutrition education, but there is significantly more they could do, and significantly more they need to do.
4. Schools have always offered students three types of after-school activities. But due to recent limited budgets, they can only support one kind of activities. Which one would you choose? Why?
3) Volunteering (eg. for the community)
All three activities are beneficial for students, and will help them build various skills, as well as teach them important values; however, I am convinced that, in case of a budget cut, schools should only maintain volunteering as an after-school activity.
It has been proven that students that have been assigned to volunteer work finished their semester healthier and happier than their peers who did not volunteer. They became more altruistic and empathetic, and had less negative attitudes. Moreover, volunteer bring students into contact with individuals from all walks of life, which helps broaden their minds and challenge their vision of power and privileges. All and all, volunteer has all kinds of positive impact on students’ mind.
On a more practical note, volunteering experiences will boost a student’s resume. Employers like seeing that the student volunteered his or her time, it shows that he or she is able to manage time well enough to take on an unpaid position. Volunteerism also suggests that the candidate is a team player, a quality that many employers will look for in potential hires. Indeed, students may find in volunteering opportunities for a future career path. By volunteering students can try out different careers, and have first-hand experience of certain sectors.
Finally, volunteerism fosters personal growth. Volunteers feel good about themselves. The work they do will be rewarding and beneficial to segments of the population and areas of the community that need volunteers to thrive. In a volunteer situation, one person can make a real difference, and students will get that feeling once they start. Not to mention that the community itself will benefit incredibly from the volunteers’ work.
In conclusion, in case of limited budget, schools should focus their resources on promoting after-school volunteering programs. Volunteering experiences will help students feel more accomplished and become altruistic and empathetic. In addition, they will be advantageous for the students’ future careers.
5. It is often not a good idea to move to a new city or a new country because you will lose old friends.
In this day and age, globalization allows people from every corner of the world to travel around and even settle down easily at almost any place they favor. Is it a good thing for people to move to a new town or new country? Opinions vary about this issue. Some people oppose it by arguing that moving away means the loss of old friends. From my view, it is not true. Instead, moving to a new place might lead one to a new world.
To begin with, moving to a new place does not necessarily weaken the bond between friends. This is mostly because modern means of communication allows people to keep close contact with friends even hundreds of miles away. Therefore, it is not uncommon that friends who have not seen each other for years might know about one another’s life quite well and still have much in common. For example, a person moving from Shanghai to New York can easily get in touch with his friends at home through the simultaneous communication tools such as MSN, We chat and so on. It is incredible that these tools can make it possible to transmit not only voice and image but also real time video! Chatting with friends like this is of no difference from talking face to face. Besides, the popular online social network such as Facebook provides a platform for people to share important moments with friends by posting pictures and videos online anywhere and anytime. It is not exaggerated to say that technology has transcended space and time; distance, a traditional friendship killer, would beat a retreat in front of modern technology.
Secondly, even if old friends are not as close as before, it is not justified to say that moving to a new place is not advisable. People move to different places for a variety of reasons ranging from career development to a new start of life. In this case, old friendship should not become a hindrance to one’s development. On the other hand, old friends might be strong supporters of those who have decided to move. A new job opportunity in a larger market might exploit the greatest potentials of a sales person, whose talents would otherwise be stifled in a small retail store at home. A lady troubled by marriage issues might start a new family and open a new page of life in another country, where no one knows about her past. Thus, the possibility of losing old friends is not strong enough to judge whether moving to a new place is good or not.
In conclusion, even though moving to a new town or country might risk the loss of friends, modern technology has managed to minimize such risk. Besides, choosing where to live depends on a combination of factors, which are too complicated to be justified by the state of the old friendship.