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1. What are the national and international forces at work in West Central Georgia?
International labor markets often offer lower wages and consequently, they are taking away jobs from West Central Georgia. The United States has an extremely high minimum wage as compared to many other countries in the world. Further, when it comes to the textile industry, the workers that are needed are low-skilled and consequently, these workers can be able to be gotten in other countries. These countries are in need for employment and consequently, when American companies come knocking most of them offer extremely cheap labor, and this means more profit for the American Textile companies.
Most of the textile industries in the area are closing down in the hope of getting the same services being offered in countries abroad at cheaper prices. The national economy is changing from the low-skilled jobs which it cannot compete with other countries and focusing on high skilled employment. This is because the American Economy is being powered currently by high skilled workers and the service industry and consequently, the place for low-skilled workers is running out each and every day. Therefore, the international forces that are work in West Central Georgia is the international labor market, and the national forces include a changing economy from low-skilled workers to high skilled workers.
2. Who are the important actors in the West Central Georgia case?
There are several important actors in the West Central Georgia case. These actors influence the livelihood of the people that exist in West Central Georgia as well as their economy. The first actor is the textile industries. It is important to recognize that the region that is West Central Georgia can be described as a historic textile-dependent local economy. Therefore, most of the people in the area depend on the textile industry for their livelihood.
Therefore, the magnitude of the impact that the textile industry has on the people in the area cannot be underestimated. It is of the essence to perceive that indeed this is the reason as to why the textile factories are the first main actors in West Central Georgia. By closing down and taking their business elsewhere, these companies are devastating the economy of West Central Georgia. This is because the economy is totally dependent on the textile industry in the area.
Another Important actor is the strength of Columbus economy. The area is experiencing phenomenal growth and it is in the South of the West Central region. There is the intention of building of the U.S military base Fort Benning which will employ around 14,000 civilians when it is fully operational. There is also the planned opening of the national headquarters of the insurance provider AFLAC and lastly a KIA auto manufacturing plant. Therefore, this might indeed bolster the economy of West Central Georgia by replacing the jobs that have been lost because of the textile industries in the area.
3. What are the main assets in West Central Georgia?
The first main asset is the population, West Central Georgia is blessed with a large population and consequently, this means that indeed that there is a large labor workforce. For example, Troup According to the U.S Census Bureau had around 27,652 persons. Further, the fact that the region’s population is diversifying is also of importance because it will increase a mixture of talent.
There is a fast-growing Latino people in the area as well as larger Black/African American population as compared to the national average. Another asset is the proximity to Columbus. Columbus has an extremely fast growing economy and consequently, this will undoubtedly pour into West Central Georgia. Columbus intends to be the home to a U.S military base Fort, National headquarters of a national insurance provider by the name of AFLAC and a new KIA auto manufacturing plant. Therefore, this proximity will undoubtedly help West Central Georgia as it will see an increase in revenue.
Further, West Central Georgia is also working to spec its buildings in order to entice KIA suppliers, as well as other important related businesses into the area. Lastly, another important asset that West Central Georgia has is the fact that has a strong local government that sees ahead, for example, trying to ensure that the buildings in the area are built to standard in order to ensure that business that comes from Columbus comes to the area. Further, they have also been able to mitigate the unemployment situation very well and ensured that indeed every person in the area remains hopeful for a better future. This is important as it gives people motivation to think and even start their businesses.
4. What is the role of the national and state governments in West Central Georgia's development and what role should local government have in the strategic plan for the development of West Central Georgia?
The National and state government should ensure that they keep an eye on the Textile industries. They should not just let the industries die; this is because the textile industry is indeed the background of West Central Georgia. The National and State government should inject capital into these textile industries in order to ensure their expansion and this means that they will be able to operate at large capacities, and it will be remarkably difficult for them to close abruptly down. Further, the National and State government should set up a clear and well-defined unemployment fund for the residents of West Central Georgia that have already lost their jobs.
This will ensure that the poverty levels in the area do not descend into deplorable conditions. Lastly, the National and state government should work hand in hand in order to ensure that the education levels as West Central Georgia increases and there is a high level of skilled labor getting out from the area as compared to the current status.
The local government should create a conducive environment for investors by removing bureaucracy and ensuring that it is extremely easy for investors to open their businesses in the area. The regulations should be kept reasonable. Secondly, there is a need to focus on the infrastructure of the area in order to ensure that they tap the businesses from other areas and they become the area of choice when it comes to entertainment and business. This will make it simpler for big companies to set their headquarters in the area and move ahead and introduce more business and employment to the people of West Central Georgia.
5. What planning approaches does West Central Georgia seem to be using? There are several international forces that are at work in.
There are several approaches that West Central Georgia seems to be using. The first is that there is the sprucing up of buildings in the area in order to entice more businesses. This has especially been done because of the fast growing economy of Columbus. The area is intended to be a hub, and consequently West Central Georgia does not want to be left underdeveloped when it comes to the growth and development that is about to take place in the area. This is the reason as to why it is focusing on infrastructure development and ensures that it indeed has a place in the economic growth of the area. Another approach that West Central Georgia is using is the elimination of bureaucracy in the business opening process.
This has been done in order to lure more businesses and investors in the area. It is of the essence to understand that in many cases, Investors often want to open their businesses where there are no many restrictions and bureaucracies. Consequently, this is one of the approaches that West Central Georgia has decided to take in order to increase business in the area.
There are no international forces that are work when it comes to the planning approach. However, the international labor market has changed the original plan of West Central Georgia. It can be said that it still does not play any role when it comes to the planning approach of West Central Georgia. There is the transformation of the West Central Georgia, and it can be said that indeed there will be an increase in businesses and jobs in the area in the near future.
Blakely, E. J., & Leigh, N. G. (2009). Planning local economic development: Theory and practice. London: SAGE.
The Far West is a term used by Colin Woodward in the book the American Character to refer to the Western States of the country. When the Europeans settled in the country, they started expanding westwards, and since then the meaning of the name ‘The Far West’ has changed over time. In fact, just before the 18th century, the western frontier was regarded as the region encompassing the Appalachian Mountains only but this has since changed, and the name is used to refer to the regions that are found west of River Mississippi (Halsted, “On the road along the Mississippi River”). More recently, the United States Census Bureau has included the Rocky Mountains, The Great Basin as well as the far-flung states of Alaska and Hawaii to the Far West.
Geographically, the Far West region is famous for arid plains and plateaus primarily in the southwestern areas. There are dominant forested mountains and ranges predominantly in the Sierra Nevada region as well as the Rocky Mountains. Furthermore, the Pacific coast is characterized by long shorelines and rain forests especially towards the Northwest Pacific (Everett 87). The Far West region comprises mainly the western areas of the United States and the Census Bureau aptly captured this information (see fig. 1) in its 2015 census report. Currently, the states that make up the Far West include Wyoming, Alaska, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Washington, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Idaho (United States Census Bureau, “American FactFinder”). It is by far the largest region in the United States and covers almost half the total area of the country. Because of its sheer size, historians and scholars have not always agreed on the boundaries but to make it easier to define the Far West, the U.S. Census Bureau divided the region into two: the mountain states and the Pacific states. The mountain states comprise Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. Likewise, the Pacific states include Oregon, Washington, California, Hawaii, and Alaska.
Other forms of classifications that have been used to distinguish the region are Northwest and Southwest, and West Coast. Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico are typically considered Southwest states while Washington, Montana, Oregon, and Idaho are considered Northwestern states though Washington, California and Oregon are also sometimes referred to as the West Coast. However, Hawaii and Alaska are a bit isolated from mainstream states and don’t fit into either of these classified regions.
According to a U.S. Census Bureau of 2014, the distribution of the population in the Far West is as follows; Whites comprise 66.4% of the general population with Latino/Hispanic people making up 28.6%. Interestingly, in a 2007 census report, the African American race was the third most populous in the region, but the 2014 report indicates that this has since changed and Asians now occupy the 3rd most populous slot at 9.3 percent. African Americans now comprise 4.8%, American Indians 1.9 percent and other races comprising 12.4%. The total population is estimated to be in the neighborhood of 74,254,423 million people (United States Census Bureau, “2010 Census: State population and profile maps”).
The Far West is regarded as one of the most sparsely populated areas in the U.S. with approximately 50 people inhabiting a square mile against a national average of 77.98 people per square mile. However, states such as Texas, Washington, and California has population densities that are way above the national average. For instance, Texas has a population density of 78 people per square mile while California has 213 inhabitants per square mile (American FactFinder, “United States Census Bureau”).
There is also a strong European, Latino, Native American and Asian influence in the region and studies indicate that this part has the biggest size of the minority population. Even though most studies delving into the racial dynamics in the U.S. tend to pit African Americans versus European Americans, it has been noted that these two racial communities combined don’t even make half of the population because this region is mostly favored by the Asians and Hispanics. Nevertheless, European and African Americans wield more political influence due to the low citizenship and voting rates among the Hispanics and the Asians (White 46). This region also contains a significant population of Native Americans and who are mostly found reservations in the desert and mountain states.
African Americans are mostly concentrated in cities such as Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and Oakland, just to mention a few. It is instructive that the largest concentration of African Americans is found in the state of Texas (12%) probably because this is the only state in the north to have practiced slavery. In general, the sex ratio in the American West leans more towards males than females – in fact, this region has the highest sex ratio in the whole of the United States (Lamar 156).
The diverse racial groups in the Far West means that the culture is just as diverse. For instance, Hawaii – the only state where Asians outnumber European Americans – has a distinctly unique culture as compared to the rest of the region. However, Asians have increasingly been settling in California as well as other coastal states and have contributed significantly to the building of infrastructure, development of agriculture, and high technology. Similarly, Border States such as Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and California also have significant Hispanic populations, and the many towns and features with Spanish names attest to their history as once Mexican and Spanish territories (New World Encyclopedia, “Western United States”).
Northwestern states such as Washington and Oregon also have a growing population of Mexican-Americans. The state of Alaska is probably one of the least inhabited and constitutes vast areas of wilderness with the majority of people living here being natives. The state of Hawaii is largely considered as the gateway between the United States and Asia and is also a tourist attraction. Areas of notable cultural distinctions include Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona which have become known as the Mormon Corridor due to their large Mormon population. Reno and Las Vegas are known for their extravagant casinos and the Amerindian tribal reservations (New World Encyclopedia, “Western United States”).
Regarding development, it should be noted that the region slightly lags behind other areas mainly because of historical issues such as conflicts that led to the civil war and the presence of Native Americans who naturally resisted the Europeans settlers. However, with the growth of the automotive industry, more businessmen began touring the West, and this promoted the development of industries and tourism in the region. During the 1950s, the Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Western Heritage Center was built in a bid to showcase the Far West and welcome travelers. With the advent of the 20th century, transcontinental highways were built across the region bringing in more tourists and trade opportunities from other parts of the country. The discovery of oil in Oklahoma and Texas intensified the growth and development in the region and brought even more wealth.
At the same time, the film industry begun to develop and movies based on western fiction quickly became the primary source of entertainment for most Americans. Obviously, readers are now aware that Hollywood is the headquarters of the film industry in the United States. As a result of these developments, California is now one of the biggest metropolitan cities in this region and if it were a country, would rank among those with the top 10 economies. This has attracted more people to migrate to California leading to the creation of megalopolis areas such as the Greater Los Angeles (Southern California) and San Francisco Bay (Northern California). Other metropolitan areas such as San Diego, Phoenix, and Denver have over one million inhabitants while Salt Lake City, Portland, and Las Vegas are the 3 fastest growing areas in the region (Pomeroy 115).
Washington and Oregon have witnessed rapid development due to the growth of the aerospace industry (read Boeing) and information technology (Microsoft). Similarly, the Silicon Valley is a famous city in the state of California mostly due to the growth of the tech industry. Moreover, mountain and desert states typically have low population densities but have over the years developed as mining and ranching areas and have started witnessing urbanization. On the other hand, Los Angeles and San Francisco are now the 2nd and 11th most populated cities in the whole country with populations over 13.3 million and 4.6 million people respectively (United States Census Bureau, “Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010, to July 1, 2015”).
Because the wave of development had not yet fully engulfed the region by the time conservation was a major issue, vast areas of land are owned and managed by federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. National Forest Service. These are mostly public land and account for 25 – 75% of the total area in this region. Most of these areas are used as national parks and for recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, camping, and boating but commercial activities such as mining, logging, ranching, and logging are also undertaken in these lands (New World Encyclopedia, “Western United States”). In the recent times, there have been a lot of conflict between residents who make a living from these lands and federal agencies who are keen to ensure that land use abides by the set environmental standards.
The Far West is mostly a Democratic Party region with the notable exceptions of California, Orange County, San Diego, and some urban centers along the Pacific Coast. The two dominant political parties in San Francisco, for instance, are the Democratic Party and the Green Party. Historically, Seattle has always been amiable to left-wing politics, and the Industrial Workers Party is particularly very active here. It is the only American city with a statue of Vladimir Lenin, the former Russian communist leader.
However, the interior areas lean more towards Republican ideologies. In recent times, there have been political contests for the rapidly growing Hispanic population by both the Democrats and the Republicans even as immigration remains one of the issues around which hotly contested debates revolve. In 1994, a law that sought to deny undocumented residents public services was widely criticized and resulted in the passing of the California Proposition 187. Consequently, many Hispanics voted for Democrats as the Republicans were seen as the force behind this law. Since the 90s, California (55 electoral college votes), for example, has always voted for Democrat candidates by an 11% margin, Washington (11 votes) by 8% margin, Oregon (7 votes) by 4% margin. On the other hand, Arizona (10 votes), Colorado (9 votes), and Utah (5 votes) have always voted Republican by margins of 5%, 5%, and 36% respectively (Lamar 72). This is just a sample of how the voting patterns reflect. But new studies indicate that minorities are increasingly playing a significant role in determining election outcomes, especially in presidential elections. According to Hudak and Stenglein (“How demographic changes are transforming U.S. elections”), more minorities are increasingly taking part in election processes, and candidates are now tailoring their election messages to address issues affecting such groups like racial bias, criminal justice reform, and immigration. A glimpse at the 2016 Presidential Poll, for instance, reveals that minorities in key swing states in the Far West had an impact in influencing the outcome between Trump and Clinton (see fig. 2 & 3).
Another reason that has been cited for the rising minority clout is the decreasing level of participation if Whites. In states such as Arizona and Nevada, for example, the population of White people has dropped significantly since 2008. In Nevada, this drop has been more prominent than the national average (see fig. 4). In 2016, the Republicans primarily relied on the dominant white majority for victory given that most minority groups already favored the Democrat candidates.
Hudak and Stengiener (“How demographic changes are transforming U.S. elections”) reiterated that this would have been a costly assumption for the Republicans to make in light of the fact that a majority of White people were not taking part in the polls and that, in general, as more minority groups were taking part in elections, Whites were not (fig. 4).
This finding implies that over time if the trend continues, the political clout of minority groups will continue to rise as that of the majority White decreases. Nevertheless, whether such a pattern can stand for a long time is subject to debate because obviously every group has vested interests, and the political messages that the candidates preach to the populace also have a bearing in the grand scheme of things (Hudak and Stenglein, “How demographic changes are transforming U.S. elections”).
The 2016 presidential elections produced results that were similar to what Hudak and Stengeiner predicted in their 2016 voting trends analysis. The results showed that White non-Hispanics voted for Trump by 21% points. In 2012, presidential candidate Mitt Romney also got the same level of support while competing against Barack Obama who eventually won the election. Even though Trump won the Electoral College vote, he lost the popular vote by over 1.9 million votes. However, despite the similarity of voting patterns over the years, most analysts believe Trump won the 2016 presidential elections because of other factors such as education, gender, and most importantly race (Maniam and Tyson, “Behind Trump’s victory: Divisions by race, gender, education).
" Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015." 1 July 2015." United States Census Bureau. Population Division. 1 February 2018. https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview....
"2010 Census: State population and profile maps." United States Census Bureau. 2010. 1 February 2018. https://www.census.gov/2010census/
"American Fact Finder." United States Census Bureau. 2017. Web. 1 February 2018. https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml
Everett, Derek R. Creating the American West: Boundaries and Borderlands. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2014.
Halsted, Jody. "On the road along the Mississippi River." Fox News Travel. 31 July 2014. Web. 1 February 2018. http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2014/07/31/on-road-along-mississippi-river...
Hudak, John and Christine Stenglein. "How demographic changes are transforming U.S. elections." Brookings. 13 September 2016. Web. 1 February 2018. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2016/09/13/how-demographic-changes...
Lamar, Howard. The New Encyclopedia of the American West. New Haven, CN: Yale University Press, 1998.
Maniam, Shiva , and Alec Tyson. "Behind Trump’s victory: Divisions by race, gender, education." Pew Research Center. 9 November 2016. Web. 1 February 2018. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/behind-trumps-victory-di...
Pomeroy, Earl. American Far West in the Twentieth Century . New Haven, CN: Yale University Press, 2008.
"Western United States." New World Encyclopedia. 8 August 2013. Web. 1 February 2018. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Western_United_States
White, Richard. It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own: A New History of the American West. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996.
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