Political Economy Days at Palomar

October 16, 2013 Students fill the Lecture Hall to listen to the Political Economy Lecture about Women's Studies.

October 16, 2013 Students fill the Lecture Hall to listen to the Political Economy Lecture about Women’s Studies.

On October 16 & 17 Political and Economic talks were hosted at Palomar campus. 22 Professors and professionals  came to speak on topics of their expertise.

 

Selected summaries:

Dale Squires, Senior Scientist, NOAA Fisheries, Adjunct Professor of Economics, USD: “Political Economy of International Fisheries Management.

Senior Scientist Dale Squires explains the decrease in fish across the globe.  His biggest question “can we maintain a sustainable marine life.”

Squires covers a very broad to very specific view on marine life across the globe covering tides that fish follow to what we are fishing the most of as a humanity to rules and regulations on fishing.

With 162 parties otherwise known as the “law” of the sea.  These parties cover different regions of the sea managing what is caught.  “many times people can fish whatever they want” with an exception to swordfish an tuna and other large species. Squire argues “What we need is a rule that is binding and universal”  though this is a vague argument he follows it with “water down an agreement so countries have nothing to lose by participating.”

Fish population are known as stocks.  Squire brings many examples of how blue fin tuna and fur seals are extremely low in stock and a treaty had to be written on fur seals before extinction became immanent.  Squires speaks with a passionate voice on much of the material and gives extravagant detail on rules and compliance of treaties.  After the lecture of approximately 90 minutes I asked Javier Calderon a student at palomar who attended the lecture what his thoughts were.  “I found it interesting and could feel the passion in the instructors voice.  Its apparent how much effort and time he spent on his research” said Calderon.   With political economy days just kicking off I can only anticipate even bigger topics to come.

October 16, 2013 Students listen to Martin Japtok lecture about Feminism and Pop Culture during the Political Economy Lectures.

October 16, 2013 Students listen to Martin Japtok lecture about Feminism and Pop Culture during the Political Economy Lectures.

 

Phil de Barros, Professor of Anthropology, Palomar College: “American Democracy? How Money, Inequality, and the Power of Belief are Defining what is “Truth” in America.” 

Dr. de Barros is also the head of the Archeology program at Palomar College. He received a bachelors in History and a masters in education from Stanford University, then went on to UCLA for another masters, this time in anthropology and archaeology, and then a doctorate in the same subject. He also wrote several books on African history and language.

The presentation surrounded American democracy and how our thoughts, feelings and beliefs have contributed to our current economic and political climate. According to the professor, much of our current state of our nation is owed to the immobility of political ideology in the government and “misleading and distorted information from the media”. De Barros took an anthropological kind of perspective in his description of what is corrupting American democracy.

“Beliefs. They can be strongly believed and strongly held, but they are not necessarily true. Just because you believe them doesn’t necessarily make them true,” de Barros said.

De Barros emphasized the attitudes with Congress as a representation of these beliefs; that the brain, even when concerned with politics, is more driven by emotion than logic.

To demonstrate, he referred to the current income gap in the US. According to a PEW research study, The US poverty rate is one of the highest in all industrialized countries, and we now rank #95 on the scale of income inequality.

“We are going back to where we were in 1928, with the top 1% earning 24% of the total income,” de Barros said. “That is unacceptable.”

When asked how individuals can aid in the resolving of these issues, de Barros said that each person should take the time to get educated on the current political system and vote.

October 16, 2013 Students fill the Lecture Hall to listen to the Political Economy Lecture about Women's Studies. Julio de la Torre/Telescope

October 16, 2013 Students fill the Lecture Hall to listen to the Political Economy Lecture about Women’s Studies. Julio de la Torre/Telescope

 

John Prietto, Owner & President

Mortgage Banker, Owner and President of JP Mortgage John Prietto bought his 30 years of expertise to Palomar College’s Political Economy Days on Oct. 16 to give students a crash course on lending and how it works.

“If you don’t understand interest you earn it. If you don’t, you pay it.” Prietto said to a group of 40 students that packed into the Governing Board room to hear his lecture “The Economics of Lending: Supply & Demand for Money”. Prietto started by explaining to students the word mortgage comes from the French root ‘mort’ meaning dead and ‘gage’ meaning hand, a point that he tied to his illustration of how loans work.

He then went on to explain the process and steps of buying a house, which start with running a background on the potential buyer by checking his “4 C’s” Prietto said.

Cash flow, Credit also known as the FICO scores, Collateral and Cash or money left over; these are the things that banks look at to see if one qualifies.

A credit score ranges from 400 to 800, but 640 or more is usually the “magic number” that one would need according to Prietto.

Next would be a research and creating an established time line of ownership of the property that will be bought followed by an appraisal of the property.

Prietto ended by juxtaposing how the mechanics of loans from banks to people aren’t all that different from exchanges made by the Chicago Board Of Trade and The Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae, this transactions are just bigger and use more money.

When asked for advice for young students with not much of a credit history on how to be prepared to buy a house Prietto mentioned “saving money early, keeping a clean credit score and getting a good job.”

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Author: Flor Marshall

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