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Economy and Coal

In: English and Literature

Submitted By alison100
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CIA4U – Analyzing Current Economic Issues

Comparative Systems Worksheet

The following chart will have you fill in geographic, social, political, and economic information on various countries. As you can imagine, each country represents a different type of economic system. Work in groups of 4 to complete this chart and once completed work as a group to answer the accompanying questions. The information can be found at the CIA World Factbook (

|Indicators |Canada |United States |North Korea |Chad |
|Geography |
|Natural Resources – How many and what types of | |Coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, | | |
|natural resources are available? | |phosphates, rare earth elements, | | |
| | |uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, | | |
| | |mercury, nickel, potash, silver, | | |
| | |tungsten, zinc, petroleum, | | |
| | |natural gas, timber, arable land | | |
| | |The US has the world's largest | | |
| | |coal reserves with 491 billion | | |
| | |short tons accounting for 27% of | | |
| | |the world's total. | | |
|Land Use – What percentage of the land is | |agricultural land: 44.5% | | |
|arable (capable of being farmed)? | |arable land 16.8%; permanent | | |
| | |crops 0.3%; permanent pasture | | |
| | |27.4% | | |
| | |forest: 33.3% | | |
| | |other: 22.2% | | |
|People |
|Life Expectancy at Birth – How long are | |total population: 79.68 years | | |
|children born today expected to live? | |male: 77.32 years | | |
| | |female: 81.97 years | | |
|Total Fertility Rate – How many children does | |1.87 children born/woman | | |
|each woman have, on average? | | | | |
|Literacy Rate – What percentage of people over | |97.9% | | |
|the age of 15 can read and write? | | | | |
|Government |
|Government Type –How are leaders elected? | |constitution-based federal | | |
| | |republic; strong democratic | | |
| | |tradition | | |
|Government Spending as Percent of GDP (Budget | |21.4% | | |
|Expenditures Divided by GDP). | | | | |
|Military Spending as a Percentage of GDP. | |4.35% of GDP | | |
|Economy |
|Economy Overview – What are the most serious | |Long-term problems for the US | | |
|economic problems facing each of these three | |include stagnation of wages for | | |
|nations? | |lower-income families, inadequate| | |
| | |investment in deteriorating | | |
| | |infrastructure, rapidly rising | | |
| | |medical and pension costs of an | | |
| | |aging population, energy | | |
| | |shortages, and sizable current | | |
| | |account and budget deficits. | | |
|GDP Per Capita – What is the value of goods and| |$54,600 | | |
|services produced per person? | | | | |
|Population Below Poverty Line – How many people| |15.1% (2010 est.) | | |
|live in poverty? | | | | |
|GDP Composition by Sector – What percentage of | |agriculture: 1.6% | | |
|GDP is industry and services? | |industry: 20.7% | | |
| | |services: 77.7% | | |
|Labor Force by Occupation – What percentage of | |farming, forestry, and fishing: | | |
|workers is in agriculture? | |0.7% | | |
|Industries – What are the primary industries? | |highly diversified, world | | |
|Are they primarily producing for consumer or | |leading, high-technology | | |
|government consumption? | |innovator, second-largest | | |
| | |industrial output in the world; | | |
| | |petroleum, steel, motor vehicles,| | |
| | |aerospace, telecommunications, | | |
| | |chemicals, electronics, food | | |
| | |processing, consumer goods, | | |
| | |lumber, mining | | |
|Agriculture Products – What are the primary | |wheat, corn, other grains, | | |
|agricultural goods produced? | |fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef,| | |
| | |pork, poultry, dairy products; | | |
| | |fish; forest products | | |
|Industrial Production Growth Rate | |2.8% | | |
|Electricity Production | |4.048 trillion kWh (2012 est.) | | |
|Telephones – Main Lines in Use | |129.4 million | | |
|Internet Service Providers | | | | |
|Railways | |293,564.2 km | | |
|Paved Highways | |4,304,715 km (includes 76,334 km | | |
| | |of expressways) | | |
|Airports with Paved Runways | |5,054 | | |


1. How can the presence or absence of natural resources and arable land affect a nation’s economy, regardless of the type of economic system? Natural resources have a great influence on a nation’s economy. Regardless of what the economic system is, the country needs natural resources that it can use. Having arable land makes a country fertile, and it allows to country to produce its own agricultural products. The country can therefore distribute or sell the resources among themselves or other nations, therefore improving the country’s economic status. Natural resources such as oil, coal, and metal ores can be harvested and sold, also giving benefits to the nation’s economy. However, not having enough natural resources will make a nation dependent on other countries. The nation must buy food, metal, oil from other countries, and therefore becomes reliant on other countries. Although the outcomes may vary between nation and nation, being reliant on other countries is usually not a good thing.

2. How can life expectancy and literacy rates affect the quality of labor in the economy? Life expectancy affects the age of labor in the economy. Having a higher life expectancy means higher retirement ages, which also means having experienced hands working in the various jobs. Having higher retirement ages may have negative consequences, such as taking the jobs of younger, more talented people from finding jobs after college. Literacy rates also directly affect the quality of labor, as people who can read and write are vastly more useful in the economy than people who are illiterate. Almost all jobs require their workers to be literate, and therefore having low literacy rates means there would not be enough qualified workers in the economy. High literacy rates, on the other hand, translates to good quality of labor. Fertility rates measure the number of babies who are born in the nation in ratio to the adults. High fertility rates means that the resources will further be stretched, as there will be more people in the population every year. Having higher fertility rates means that the nation must be able to allocate the scarce resources even more efficiently, as there are more people to allocate the scare resources to.

3. How can fertility rates affect the use of scarce resources? Fertility rates and resources are connected because in areas where there are scarce resources and high fertility rates there will be problems in the ability to provide for the members of this hypothetical society. Therefore, individuals or animals could potentially live shorter and less healthy lives because of the lack of proper resources such as food, water, healthcare, or education.

4. How can GDP per capita and poverty rates indicate standards of living in each system? The GDP per capita measures the entire GDP of the country divided by the population of the nation. Looking at the entire GDP of a country may be misleading, as massive countries like China may have a high GDP because of their population. The GDP per capita is a fair indication of how rich the country is, and higher GDP per capita means more money per person in the country. More money translates to higher living standards, as the residents will have more purchasing power. Poverty rates, as its name indicates, measures the percentage of people who fall under the category of being in “poverty”. Being poor means one has an inadequate amount of income and money, and therefore can also be assumed to have poor living standards. So poverty rates also directly measures the living standards of a country by looking at the number of people who have bad living standards.

5. How can the size of the industrial/service sector and the agriculture employment rate indicate the level of industrialization? The size of the industrial/service sector can show the division of labor in a nation. Generally, the agricultural sector is the most “primitive”. The agricultural sector reflects the amount of farming and mining. Having a large agricultural sector means that the country’s economy is reliant on its farmers, miners, fishers and such. This shows a low level of industrialization. The industrial sector is the next step, meaning that it includes the manufacturing of products such as textiles, metals, automobiles, and energy. A nation under industrialization is usually heavy in terms of its industrial sector. The service sector, on the other hand, includes industry not only in terms of products, but also in service. Education, real estate, restaurants, hospitals, and practice of law all fall under this category. Highly developed countries such as the U.S. have very large service sectors. Through the relative sizes of these three sectors, one can deduce the general level of industrialization in the country. Agricultural employment rate just shows how many people work in the agricultural sector. Having a high agricultural employment rate means having a high rate of farmers, fishers, and miners. This usually indicates that a nation is less industrialized.

6. How can electricity, communication, and transportation facilities indicate the potential for industrial growth? The electricity, communication, and transportation facilities in a nation shows the efficiency in which a nation can grow. Having ample amounts of electricity means industries are free to use as much energy as it needs to accomplish its tasks. Communication is very important, as it controls the speed and efficiency of communication between and among industries and businesses. Finally, transportation decides how fast resources can travel, whether it be products, packages, or human labor. Having good facilities for all three of these components allows a country to have a high ceiling for industrial growth, as it is neither hindered with a lack of resources, efficiency, or time.

7. Considering the lack of natural resources, the labor problems, and the lack of capital and little industrialization of developing countries, how can developing countries develop? Many countries, such as Chad, seem to lack the resources to develop and industrialize under its own power. In many instances, foreign countries will come into the country to start or invest in industries. In Chad, countries like the U.S. are investing in its oil reserve developments, and eventually, if successful, this will be a mutually-benefitting relationship. The U.S. is helping Chad develop, but eventually the investments will pay off when the U.S. is able to mine from the oil reserves of Chad.

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