There are 105 items tagged:
Economy

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  • The Homelands Blog

    Sandy Tolan made five trips to North Dakota this past fall and winter to document the standoff between opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the pipeline’s supporters in government and business. As he reported on …

  • The Homelands Blog

    Los Angeles is a rapidly aging city in a rapidly aging county. In fact, over the next 15 years, LA County’s senior population will double, to nearly one-fifth of the total population. Housing, health care, …

  • The Homelands Blog

    Sandy Tolan has returned to North Dakota to report on the status of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in the aftermath of the presidential order instructing the Army Corps of Engineers to expedite the approval of construction permits. …

  • The Homelands Blog

    One of Los Angeles’ NPR affiliates, KCRW, has launched Bear and Rux’s year-long multi-platform project about aging in the city’s working-class and immigrant neighborhoods. “Going Gray in LA: Stories of Aging along Broadway” is part …

  • The Homelands Blog

    The strawberries on your breakfast cereal might not taste so sweet if you knew how bitter life can be for the folks who pick them. As if backbreaking labor and extremely low wages weren’t enough, strawberry workers are …

  • The Homelands Blog

    Homelands’ co-founder and senior producer Alan Weisman is spending nearly a month in Colombia and Ecuador giving talks and interviews about his two most recent books, The World Without Us and Countdown.

  • The Homelands Blog

    Since August 13, Ecuadorians from across the political spectrum have been observing a nationwide strike and marching in the streets against the policies of President Rafael Correa. Homelands’ Bear Guerra has been documenting the protests, which have received little attention in the international …

  • The Homelands Blog

    This month, as part of a special issue on the environment, VICE Magazine asked leading thinkers to weigh in with their ideas about what to do about climate change. Below is Homelands’ Alan Weisman‘s essay, based …

  • Power to the People

    Power to the People

    As politicians argue about what to do about climate change, communities around the United States are taking matters into their own hands – pledging to reduce their carbon emissions, then hustling to make good on their promises. From Ithaca, NY, an hour-long special for State of the Re:Union.

  • The Homelands Blog

    If you happen to visit Johnson City, NY, just outside Binghamton, you’re likely to pass under a stone arch inscribed with the words, “Home of the Square Deal.” The arch (there are actually two, one …

  • The Homelands Blog

    On the day Ruxandra Guidi  arrived in Quito last year, she spoke with the owner of her bed and breakfast, an English-speaking Ecuadorean in his late twenties with obvious entrepreneurial savvy. He’d attended college in the U.S. on his parents’ …

  • The Homelands Blog

    Before we say goodbye to 2014 we thought we’d give you a sneak peek at what we’re cooking up for the year to come. If you feel it’s worth supporting, far be it from us to stand …

  • The Homelands Blog

    We were closely watching the Kickstarter campaign for “The SEAMS,” a new podcast and radio series probing the history, culture, class, gender politics, and other deeper meanings hidden in the folds of clothing and fashion. …

  • The Homelands Blog

    For the 60,000 residents of Cañar, Ecuador, the costs of migration can be great, especially for children. But the benefits can be great as well: unprecedented access to education and jobs, freedom of movement and financial independence for …

  • Countdown

    Countdown

    In this monumental piece of reporting, Alan Weisman travels to more than 20 countries, beginning in Israel and Palestine and ending in Iran, on an urgent search for ways to restore the balance between our species’ population and our planet’s capacity to sustain us.

  • Alt Meat Lunch

    Alt Meat Lunch

    As global demand for animal protein surges, so do the environmental costs of producing it. Researchers in the Netherlands are exploring alternatives, from lab-grown burgers to edible insects to faux meat made from plants. But will people eat them?

  • Desert Lunch

    Desert Lunch

    In the desert of Qatar, scientists and engineers are working to transform “what we have enough of” – sand, sunlight, sea water, and CO2 – into “what we need more of” – energy, fresh water, and food. Does their idea hold promise for the world’s driest places?

  • California Looks to Milk China’s Dairy Demand

    California Looks to Milk China’s Dairy Demand

    As U.S. demand falls, California dairies are finding new markets in China. That may make sense for the industry, at least for now. But what about the planet?

  • Africa’s Supermarket Sweepstakes

    Africa’s Supermarket Sweepstakes

    The spread of modern grocery chains could lift millions of African farmers out of poverty. Or it could ruin them.

  • The Hidden Costs of Hamburgers

    The Hidden Costs of Hamburgers

    Americans love hamburgers. They’re tasty, filling, and cheap. But not if you consider the damage they do to the planet.

  • Vietnam Fish Farms Look for Future-Friendly Formula

    Vietnam Fish Farms Look for Future-Friendly Formula

    More than half the seafood eaten in the world today is farmed, not wild. As demand for protein soars, scientists and fish producers look to lessen the impact of factory farming.

  • Graying Farmers Force Japan to Rethink Food System

    Graying Farmers Force Japan to Rethink Food System

    As the average age of its farmers creeps into the 70s, Japan grapples with a question that many industrialized nations now face: Who will grow our food in the future?

  • Water Man

    Water Man

    Fast-growing India is pumping its aquifers dry. Rajendra Singh says solutions will come from the ground up.

  • Brazil Delivers on Hunger Promise

    Brazil Delivers on Hunger Promise

    In 2003, the Brazilian government declared that food was a basic human right. Then it found that ending hunger takes a lot more than a declaration.

  • Business Fund Puts African Farmers on Road to Market

    Business Fund Puts African Farmers on Road to Market

    A start-up in East Africa aims to give small-scale producers the tools they need to compete – and business is booming.

  • In Ethiopia, a Battle for Land and Water

    In Ethiopia, a Battle for Land and Water

    A controversial resettlement program in Ethiopia is the latest battleground in the global race to secure prized farmland and water.

  • Egypt’s Growing Pains

    Egypt’s Growing Pains

    More than one million Egyptian farmers have quit the land in the last 20 years, reshaping the country’s physical and political landscape.

  • In Egypt, Food for a Revolution

    In Egypt, Food for a Revolution

    Egyptians used to grow nearly all their own food. Today, the country relies on imports. The people on the street aren’t happy.

  • Food for 9 Billion: The Scientific Challenge

    Food for 9 Billion: The Scientific Challenge

    Nearly every prescription for feeding the world says we need to invest more money in science. What’s that money going to get us?

  • The Square Deal

    The Square Deal

    An inside look at the legacy of George F. Johnson, an industrialist who offered his mainly immigrant workers decent working conditions and generous benefits in exchange for labor peace. Until it all fell apart under the pressure of competition.

  • Shipbreaking Worker

    Shipbreaking Worker

    Ismael “Babu” Hussein works as an assistant in one of Bangladesh’s shipbreaking yards, where armies of laborers dismantle old vessels the way ants devour a carcass. The work is perilous, the bosses abusive, the hours exhausting. Heavy stuff for a 13-year old kid.

  • Banker

    Banker

    Risk, says Brandon Davies, is how we learn and grow as people. We should embrace it, not avoid it. At least that’s what he said in the summer of 2008. Then the global financial system collapsed.

  • Electronics Recycler

    Electronics Recycler

    Vicki Ponce was in her 50s, selling tamales in the street, when she and some middle-aged women friends decided to start a company dismantling old TV sets. Business is good. It would be even better if the jealous mayor would turn on the electricity.

  • Human Smuggler

    Human Smuggler

    For 30 years, Alidad has been smuggling Afghans on a secret nighttime passage through the mountains of western Pakistan into Iran. “I have a lot of sad memories,” he says.

  • Marriage Broker

    Marriage Broker

    If you’re a Korean man who wants to marry a Vietnamese woman, Hang Nga is your go-to gal. Vietnam’s government frowns on the match-making business, but Nga says it’s worth the risk. The money means a brighter future for her two young children.

  • Labor Inspector

    Labor Inspector

    Leandro Carvalho had a comfortable job as an insurance agent on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach when he decided to join Brazil’s anti-slavery task force. He says he won’t quit until the last slave is freed.

  • Miner

    Miner

    Fidele Musafiri spends his days, and often his nights, banging away at a wall of stone in a crude tunnel under a Congolese mountain. He’s a small man with a hammer, a spike, and a dream of striking it rich. But danger is never far away.

  • Pirate

    Pirate

    Agus Laodi could barely feed his family with his earnings as a cocoa farmer. So he left his Indonesian village to seek his fortune on an island in the Strait of Malacca. Now he slips out at night to rob cargo ships with a machete.

  • Industrial Designer

    Industrial Designer

    Industrial designers are the anonymous people who decide how the things around us look and feel. For Raffaella Mangiarotti, design isn’t about colors or shapes. It’s about solving problems.

  • Sex Worker

    Sex Worker

    Samanta plies her trade in Baku, an oil boom town. In a corrupt and violent society, it can be a very dangerous life – especially for a woman who was born a man.

  • Iceberg Wrangler

    Iceberg Wrangler

    With the Newfoundland fishing industry in the tank, Whyman Richards says he’ll give anything a try. So he steers his homemade boat toward the dreaded mountains of ice that break off the Greenland ice sheet every summer.

  • Tannery Worker

    Tannery Worker

    Mohmen left his village at 13 and quickly found work stacking animal skins in one of Karachi’s many tanneries. Now 17, he’s still doing the same job. The longer he works, the deeper his debt. “I don’t want to smile,” Mohmen says, “but it’s all I can do.”

  • Movie Director

    Movie Director

    Nigeria’s Nollywood film industry may be the third largest in the world, but with little government support, daily power failures, no real studios, and rudimentary equipment, Nigerian filmmakers must be masters of making do. That describes Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen to a tee.

  • Trader

    Trader

    Hussein Ralib Esfandiari crosses back and forth between Dubai and his native Iran laden with whatever bargains he can find at market. The Gulf is one of the most politically volatile regions on earth. But politics is the least of Hussein’s worries.

  • Cargo Agent

    Cargo Agent

    Foreign workers have the same rights in Saudi Arabia, as long as they’re alive. But when non-Muslims die there, as thousands do each year, they have to go home for burial. And somebody’s got to get them there. Meet Wahid Khan Habibula.

  • Textile Worker

    Textile Worker

    Marco Moreno’s parents were tailors, with a tiny shop in a working-class neighborhood in Lima, Peru. He and his brothers decided they could do better. But nobody said it would be easy.

  • Basketball Scout

    Basketball Scout

    Nigerian Sam Ahmedu is a foot soldier in the NBA’s army of international recruiters. A few of his finds have made it to the pros, but that’s not what motivates him.

  • Lobster Diver

    Lobster Diver

    Romulo Greham, a Miskito Indian on Honduras’ Caribbean coast, almost lost his life while diving for lobsters for the U.S. market. Now he’s trying to keep other divers from the repeating his mistakes.

  • Oil Worker

    Oil Worker

    Blair Ghent left a good job in Toronto to return home to rural Newfoundland. But work is hard to come by on the island, and soon he found himself joining thousands of unemployed Newfoundlanders commuting 3,000 miles to the oil sands fields of Alberta.

  • Silk Merchant

    Silk Merchant

    Chanta Nguon says Cambodian women are supposed to be quiet and cool, like moonlight. She’d rather be sunlight.

  • Express Mail Driver

    Express Mail Driver

    Mr. Wang has traveled through Beijing picking up perhaps a quarter of a million packages destined for dozens of countries. Does he ever wonder what’s inside? “No,” he says, “I just want to make some money!”

  • Pop Singer

    Pop Singer

    Diana Dimova says she’s never so moved as when she sings the ancient mountain music of her native Bulgaria. But it’s no way for an ambitious, attractive young woman to make a living.

  • Fixer

    Fixer

    Tarek Haidar Eskandar can deliver an interview with a rebel commander or an interview with a victim of the latest catastrophe. Or at least that’s the promise. It’s a seat-of-the-pants business, and Tarek’s a seat-of-the-pants type of guy.

  • Metal Worker

    Metal Worker

    Pedro Córdoba’s says his job in a giant Peruvian smelter has made him seriously ill. And he’s not going to take it lying down.

  • Mine Clearer

    Mine Clearer

    Valdet Dule is a Kosovar and father of two young children whose job is to find and detonate explosives left over from the wars of the 1990s. Until the land is safe, he says, his people won’t be able to realize their dream of independence.

  • Fighting the Water

    Fighting the Water

    On the tangled braids of earth and marsh that form the Mississippi Delta, the Houma Indians have lived for centuries, isolated by water. But now the land is dissolving beneath their feet, and many Houma fear that their unique culture will dissolve along with it.

  • Seeking the Middle Way

    Seeking the Middle Way

    For decades, the goal of the tiny Himalayan Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan has been neither to keep pace with the rest of the world nor to hide from it, but rather to increase what the king calls “Gross National Happiness.”

  • Café Rebeldía

    Café Rebeldía

    The Mutvitz cooperative in Chiapas, Mexico, sells a portion of its coffee on the growing global “solidarity market.” The farmers, who are part of the Zapatista rebel movement, see the coffee business as a way not just to move forward economically, but to strengthen their Mayan heritage.

  • A Map of the Sea

    A Map of the Sea

    For centuries, the Newfoundland fishery was hailed as the greatest in the world. Then, in 1992, the cod disappeared. Now the islanders must find a way to keep that culture from going the way of the cod. An award-winning meditation on memory, fishing, music, and dance.

  • Kinvara: A Spirit of Place

    Kinvara: A Spirit of Place

    For much of the 20th century, the town of Kinvara, on Ireland’s west coast, was rich in charm but poor in just about everything else. Then the Celtic Tiger awoke. Today, Kinvara is crawling with developers and speculators. The boom has forced the townsfolk to ask tough questions about where they want their community to go.

  • The Reindeer People

    The Reindeer People

    About 40 percent of all Mongolians are nomads, but officials there say they want most of them to settle down. With their reindeer herds dwindling and government support disappearing, the Tsachin people have to decide whether to abandon their ancient way of life.

  • Connecting the Hebrides, Part 2

    Connecting the Hebrides, Part 2

    Scotland’s Outer Hebrides are home to some of the purest Gaelic culture on earth – but they’re a tough place to make a living. That may be changing. In the second part of a two-part series, Vera Frankl looks at how the Internet is transforming the economy and helping keep the culture alive.

  • Connecting the Hebrides, Part 1

    Connecting the Hebrides, Part 1

    In the first part of a two-part series about change in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, Vera Frankl visits “crofters” (small-scale farmers) who are finally taking control of their land after centuries of working for absentee landlords.

  • Mezcal Dreams

    Mezcal Dreams

    Mexican migrants to the U.S. send back billions of dollars to their families every year, but their absence comes at a price. Marianne McCune reports on one tiny pueblo that is brewing up plans to keep its people from leaving.

  • Andean Harvest

    Andean Harvest

    Peasant farmers in Peru’s central highlands grow hundreds of varieties of potatoes. Now they’re being encouraged to sell them to high-end consumers. But potatoes are more than just food in the Andes – they’re part of a complex spiritual, biological, and cultural universe. Will the market change that?

  • Colonia Panorama, Tejas (Spanish)

    Colonia Panorama, Tejas (Spanish)

    A Mexican immigrant organizes the residents of his slum on the Texas side of the Mexican border. In Spanish.

  • Border Stories

    Documentaries and features in English and Spanish exploring social, economic, legal, and environmental issues along the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Camisea: A Light in the Jungle

    Camisea: A Light in the Jungle

    For the native peoples of the Amazon, petroleum development has often been an environmental and cultural nightmare. But in Camisea, a huge natural gas deposit in eastern Peru, the oil companies say they’re committed to getting it right. The Machiguenga people aren’t yet convinced.

  • Sarvodaya: An Alternate Path

    Sarvodaya: An Alternate Path

    Can development based on spiritual values, local activism, and volunteer labor compete with a global system built on western market economics? From Sri Lanka, Sandy Tolan reports on a movement that seeks to improve the lot of millions of poor people with self-help programs steeped in Buddhist principles.

  • An Exodus Of Women

    An Exodus Of Women

    Hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankan women work abroad as housemaids, mainly in the Middle East. Their remittances are a cornerstone of their country’s economy, and a desperately needed source of income for their families. But their absence is keenly felt.

  • Panorama, Texas

    Panorama, Texas

    A Mexican immigrant organizes the residents of his slum on the Texas side of the Mexican border.

  • A Bean of a Different Color

    A Bean of a Different Color

    How a humble bean spurred an international trade dispute and served as a metaphor for mounting intellectual property battles in the new global economy.

  • Coming North

    Coming North

    A visit to a shelter for transients in the Mexican border town of Nogales, where would-be migrants prepare for the harrowing trip across the border to the United States.

  • The Paint Factory

    The Paint Factory

    Townsfolk debate the fate of an abandoned 19th century paint factory on Gloucester’s inner harbor. It’s symbolic of a larger debate over Gloucester’s economic and cultural identity.

  • Lost at Sea

    Lost at Sea

    Over the last four centuries, Gloucester has lost, on average, one fisherman every thirteen days. The memory of the dead, and the knowledge that there will be more, have always haunted the town and its people.

  • St. Peter’s Fiesta

    St. Peter’s Fiesta

    For nine nights each summer, the Italian-Americans of Gloucester gather to pray to the patron saint of fishermen. It’s been a tradition since the 1920s. But with the depletion of the fish stocks, townsfolk are beginning to contemplate a very different future.

  • The Penny Fish and the Multinational

    The Penny Fish and the Multinational

    Gloucester was once one of the greatest fishing ports on earth. Today it’s a gritty place where fishermen struggle to make a living. A debate over a proposed foreign-owned herring processing plant casts light on the challenges facing a town – and an industry – in transition.

  • Solar Energy and Middle East Peace

    Solar Energy and Middle East Peace

    Developing solar energy is part of the Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement, but the modest plans may be overwhelmed by market forces.

  • Can Hydrogen Fuel the United States?

    Can Hydrogen Fuel the United States?

    Although scientists and engineers have shown that hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, is a clean substitute for fossil fuels, politicians and big business may never be ready to switch.

  • Visions of a Sustainable World

    Visions of a Sustainable World

    City officials from throughout Latin America come to Curitiba, Brazil, to learn about low-cost, environmentally sound planning from urban planner Jaime Lerner.

  • India Food and Global Trade

    India Food and Global Trade

    Indians have long considered “food security” to be a national priority. Now, dependence on the global economy sends India on an uncertain and, some say, dangerous course.

  • Gaviotas

    Gaviotas

    A group of Colombian visionaries has created a sustainable community in one of their country’s most inhospitable and dangerous places. This piece formed the basis of Alan’s award-winning book “Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World.”

  • Flowers for Export

    Flowers for Export

    Outside Bogotá, some of Latin America’s best soils have been covered with a sea of greenhouses for growing flowers for export.

  • Caribbean Dreams

    Caribbean Dreams

    Different sorts of dreams collide in the Dominican Republic, where industrial parks, sugar cane fields, and a posh resort all belong to a single U.S. corporation.

  • Sustainable Colonization

    Sustainable Colonization

    In Brazil, a peasant cooperative has planted native crops using methods designed to preserve the delicate forest soils. But the farmers have little formal education, and even less experience managing a business.

  • Escaping the Tourist Trap

    Escaping the Tourist Trap

    In the Mexican state of Chiapas, Chamula Indian artisans are trying to create a tourist economy on their own terms.

  • Rainforest Crunch

    Rainforest Crunch

    Deep in the Brazilian Amazon, seasonal rubber tappers harvest Brazil nuts to sell to Ben & Jerry’s. But the tappers aren’t happy, and the relationship with their NGO sponsor has frayed.

  • Yacyretá

    Yacyretá

    A giant dam project on the border of Paraguay and Argentina raises questions about the social and environmental impact of major infrastructure projects.

  • Refugees from a Fallen Landscape, Part 2

    Refugees from a Fallen Landscape, Part 2

    Part 2 of a two-part report from Honduras examines attempts by foreign and private relief agencies to regenerate the soil and help farmers stay on their lands.

  • Refugees from a Fallen Landscape, Part 1

    Refugees from a Fallen Landscape, Part 1

    Part One of a two-part feature about the effects of deforestation and desertification follows poor farmers in Honduras who are fleeing their damaged lands to an uncertain life in Tegucigalpa.

  • Shrimp Cocktail

    Shrimp Cocktail

    Backed by U.S. government funds, salt flats along the southern Honduran coast have been converted into giant shrimp farms where lax enforcement of environmental, social, and labor laws are the norm.

  • Ecuador’s Golden Cities

    Ecuador’s Golden Cities

    During the 16th century, the hills of southern Ecuador were a center of gold production for the Spanish. Today the region booms anew, its mines worked by thousands of desperate peasants.

  • In Panama, a Clash of Cultures on the Frontier

    In Panama, a Clash of Cultures on the Frontier

    The construction of a road and hydroelectric dam in eastern Panama has threatened the survival of Guna Indians who live in the area.

  • Quichua Indians and Oil

    Quichua Indians and Oil

    In the Amazon of Ecuador, two native villages have radically different attitudes toward oil development.

  • Ecuador’s Amazon

    Ecuador’s Amazon

    Faced with crushing debt and pressure from lenders, Ecuador is rushing to open its section of the Amazon to oil development. But spills and dumping threaten settlers, indigenous people, and the land itself.

  • Argentina’s Guaraní Indians

    Argentina’s Guaraní Indians

    Once the largest tribe in South America, the Guaraní have nearly all left their native forests. But one last band is holding out.

  • Celebrating the Discovery

    Celebrating the Discovery

    Preparations for the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas raise questions about the value of celebrating the event that led to the European conquest.

  • Miskito Coast

    Miskito Coast

    On Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast, Miskito Indians and American investors face off in a battle over the future of the region’s resources.

  • Sugar and Sorrow in Hispaniola

    Sugar and Sorrow in Hispaniola

    Haitian sugar cane workers in the Dominican Republic live in squalid conditions. Although the sugar they produce is exported to the United States, the U.S. government has declined to intervene.