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Period 2 - Elina Salyakhova
In our recent class, we delved into the complex realm of economic policies concerning farm subsidies in the United States and how they affect the global community. To initiate the students into the concept of farm subsidies, we kicked off the lesson with a 1.5-minute video titled "Farm Subsidies: How Effective Are They?" This engaging video served as an alternative to traditional explanations, adding a dynamic touch to the session. Following the video, we presented two fundamental questions to the students: "What do farm subsidies entail?" and "Based on the video, do you believe they are effective?"

After the video introduction, Viswa took the lead by presenting a 5-8 minute segment from Lisa Napoli. The transcript shed light on the issues surrounding farm subsidies and their ramifications for both the United States and the international community.

The key points emphasized in our ensuing discussion included:

Various terms used for farm subsidies, such as "direct payments to farmers," "safety net," "revenue protection," and a "temporary remedy."
Problems associated with U.S. farm subsidies and tariffs on agricultural imports, highlighting their negative impact on the world's poor and American consumers, who end up paying more for food.
Identification of beneficiaries and losers in the context of farm subsidies and tariffs, with American agricultural businesses and politicians benefiting, while international agricultural businesses, American taxpayers, and consumers bear the brunt.
The irony of U.S. farm subsidies, which contradicts principles of free and fair trade, ultimately affecting both domestic and international economies.
In the lesson discussing farm subsidies and their global impact, a student vividly illustrated the effect of subsidies with an analogy. They likened subsidies to a large stone thrown into a calm pond, causing ripples that extended far beyond the point of impact. In this metaphor, farm subsidies represented the stone hitting the pond, artificially reducing the cost of American farm products. These products then flooded the global market, undercutting local farmers in developing countries, harming their livelihoods, and hindering economic development. This metaphor sparked a lively discussion about the global consequences of farm subsidies.

To deepen the analysis and foster critical thinking, we introduced the "Four Worlds" analytical exercise. As the lesson progressed, we explored the concept of "rent-seeking," describing it as the pursuit of a larger share of the economic pie without creating additional value for customers. Various examples of rent-seeking, such as protection rackets, price-fixing cartels, unions demanding higher wages without increased productivity, and lobbying the government for policies benefiting specific groups at the expense of others, were highlighted.

During a think-pair-share activity, students pondered two essential questions:

What are the different interactions between the four worlds in relation to farm subsidies?
Should farm subsidies be allowed to continue?
In summary, this lesson provided a comprehensive understanding of farm subsidies and their impact on the U.S. and the international community. Overall, class participation was commendable, with most students sharing their thoughts voluntarily and others actively engaging after receiving hints. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching this lesson, especially because the students displayed a keen interest. Additionally, the opportunity to teach the last three sessions was truly fulfilling.

In our recent class, we explored the complex realm of international investments and how companies employ the CAGE framework to assess the viability of expanding their operations into foreign markets. The CAGE framework, which is a strategic analytical tool, comprises cultural, administrative, geographical, and economic dimensions, serving as a vital guide for businesses to evaluate the potential strengths and weaknesses of global investments. The class followed a structured format as described below.
To commence the session, we dedicated the initial 5-10 minutes to introducing the CAGE framework. This framework encompasses four core elements: cultural, administrative, geographical, and economic. We emphasized that these elements play a pivotal role in shaping a company's decision-making process when contemplating investments abroad. They provide a comprehensive view of the complexities involved in international business expansion.
The first dimension, the cultural aspect, involved a detailed exploration of the cultural barriers that often pose challenges to international expansion. We underscored the importance of understanding language, social norms, and consumer preferences, as these factors can significantly influence a company's success in a foreign market. Cultural awareness allows businesses to adapt their strategies to meet the specific needs and expectations of the local population.
The administrative dimension of the CAGE framework centered on governmental regulations, legal systems, and political stability. Recognizing the significance of these administrative factors is essential for ensuring a smooth entry and sustained presence in a foreign country. A thorough grasp of the legal landscape and political climate empowers companies to navigate potential challenges and risks effectively.
The geographical dimension delved into the physical factors that impact international business expansion. This encompassed considerations such as geographical distance, climate, and the state of infrastructure in a given region. These factors significantly affect logistical operations and the distribution of products or services, underscoring the need for in-depth analysis when contemplating global expansion.
The economic dimension of the CAGE framework focused on factors like income levels, market size, and the ease of financial transactions. Companies must factor in these economic considerations when evaluating the feasibility of entering a new market. A clear understanding of the economic landscape aids in making informed decisions regarding pricing, revenue generation, and financial stability.
The core of the lesson involved group analyses using the CAGE framework. The class was divided into five groups, each consisting of 4-5 students, with each group assigned a different American company, including Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, In-N-Out Burger, and Airbnb. Their task was to apply the CAGE framework to analyze factors pertinent to the company's decision to invest or abstain from investing in a specific foreign country.
As the students engaged in their analyses, the instructor moved among the groups, ensuring that everyone was actively participating. The instructor provided guidance and posed questions to stimulate critical thinking and research when students encountered challenges.
In the final segment of the lesson, each group presented their findings to the class, demonstrating the practical application of the CAGE framework in real-world business scenarios. These presentations not only had high levels of participation but also reflected the students' genuine interest and consideration of the companies. Even when some groups examined the same company as others, they managed to generate unique ideas. All in all, this interactive class session, focused on class participation, proved to be a highly successful learning experience!

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Period 2 - Elina Salyakhova - by CALIS - 09-26-2023, 10:00 AM
RE: Period 2 - Elina Salyakhova - by Elina Salyakhova - 11-16-2023, 04:32 AM

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