Hitler’s racial policies began as part of his desire to purge Germany of what he described as inferior humans. In 1933 Hitler initiated policies to rid the Aryan race of undesirable elements and eliminate other races that he considered inferior and dangerous to … Continue reading
Economy during the Zhou
The Economy during the Zhou was mostly a commodity one. Chinese agriculture had originally developed from the cultivation of millet in the north and rice in the south. Wheat, oats, barley, and lentils were also cultivated, but were less important. In the Eastern Zhou period, farming techniques were gradually improved. Irrigation, the use of organic fertilizers, and carefully planned field management increased productivity. Arable land was reclaimed from swamps, lakes, foothills, and woodlands to increase agricultural production. These developments were crucial for survival in many states that were expanding and facing difficult interstate struggles.
Contact between the states, both in war and in peace, increased. Networks of roads were built to facilitate the movement of troops, as well as for interstate commerce. Archaeological findings indicate that metal coins were circulated far beyond the regions in which they were minted, which was a testament to the well-developed transportation network of the period. Administrative and military centers gradually grew into cities with tens of thousands of residents. In the late Warring States period, several major cities, such as Chang’an and Luoyang, had hundreds of thousands of people.
The metallurgical industry progressed in the development of bronze-casting techniques. In particular, the lost-wax method reached a high level of sophistication. The practice of casting weapons and farm implements out of iron had begun during the Spring and Autumn period, at the same time that the development of irrigation works had also become widespread. Together, these advances allowed the Zhou people to vastly increase their agricultural production, which in turn stimulated economic growth. In the Eastern Zhou period, copper and iron mining became important industries. Specialization of various trades and production techniques reached such a level that active commercialization was possible, which helped create a strong urban economy. The Economy during the Zhou dynasty grew strongly as certain areas of production was integrated in to the economy.
The unit of currency in Afghanistan is the Afghani, which is divided into 100 puls. The exchange rate of the Afghani has fluctuated widely over time. High inflation rates of up to 57 percent contributed to a drastic decrease in the purchasing power of the Afghani from 1981 to 1994, a trend that continued during the Taliban regime. The Afghani was so devalued by two decades of wartime inflation that the government issued a new Afghani, with a higher value per note, in late 2002. The exchange rate subsequently stabilized, and in 2005 one U.S. dollar was worth about 49.50 Afghanis.
Afghanistan’s central bank, founded in 1938, is the largest bank in the country. The central bank issues all notes, executes government loans, and lends money to cities and to other banks. All private banks in Afghanistan were nationalized in 1975, mostly because a lack of clear terms for borrowers and lenders had made it difficult for people to use the country’s credit resources. No stock market or other modern form of economic development exists in Afghanistan. Instead, traditional “money bazaars” exist to provide money-lending and foreign exchange dealings. This informal and largely undocumented money transfer system, called hawala, is common throughout the Middle East and South Asia, and is considered to be one of the means by which terrorism from this part of the world has been funded.
The first three demonstration plants of the Department of the Interior’s program to develop methods for converting saline water to fresh water were completed during 1961. The plants at Freeport, Tex., and San Diego, Calif., use distillation processes; that at Webster, S.D., electro-dialysis. Plants are still to be completed at Roswell, N.Mex. (distillation process), and at Wrightsville Beach, N.C. (freezing process). The plants at Webster and Roswell are for converting local brackish water to potable water; the other three convert seawater. Meanwhile, Congress authorized $75 million for saline water research over the next six years, a big increase from previous government spending. Several private companies are working on conversion techniques, such as freezing and electro-dialysis, too.
The Interior Department‘s helium conservation program also got under way during 1961. Under the program, the government can buy up to $47.5 million worth of helium a year from private companies participating in the program. Contracts were signed with several gas-producing and pipeline firms, which will build plants to extract at low temperature the very small amounts of helium found in natural gas. In addition, Kerr-McGee Oil Industries is building a private plant in Arizona for recovering helium for sale on the market; this plant is not connected with the government program.
- Chemical Industry in 1960: Expansions (egrejeen.wordpress.com)
Chemical production has been growing more rapidly in many foreign countries—especially some European nations and Japan—than in the United States. As a result, overseas producers have been competing more aggressively with U.S. firms in their home markets, in the less-developed areas, and even in the United States itself.
At the same time, the rapid growth in demand overseas, lower labor and operating costs in many foreign lands, and the establishment of larger coherent market areas through such organizations as the European Common Market and the European Free Trade Association has led American firms to step up their international operations. Most major U.S. chemical firms — and many smaller ones, too—have organized international subsidiaries, built plants abroad, acquired foreign firms, or formed joint ventures overseas with foreign producers and investors. During 1960, according to the Department of Commerce, U.S. chemical companies invested nearly $250 million abroad, including $86 million in Europe and about $70 million in both Canada and Latin America.
- Chemical Industry in 1960: Expansions (egrejeen.wordpress.com)
Government antitrust lawyers have often opposed merger activity in the chemical industry. During 1961 the Federal Trade Commission ordered Union Carbide to rid itself of the polyethylene film business it had acquired in merging with Visking Corp. Visking was the largest U.S. producer of polyethylene film when Carbide took it over in 1956; Carbide is the largest U.S. maker of polyethylene resin. Carbine has appealed the decision.
Less drastic was FTC’s ruling regarding Hooker Chemical Corp.’s acquisitions in phenolic resins. The Commission permitted Hooker to keep Durez Plastics and Chemicals, acquired in 1955, but forced it to sell the less significant phenolics business it bought later from Monsanto.
In what could prove to be a precedent-setting case, the Justice Department has charged that a joint venture set up by two chemical companies violates antitrust laws. The charge centers on Penn-Olin Chemical Co., owned by Pennsalt Chemicals Corp., and Olin Mathieson Chemical Corp., which started producing sodium chlorate at Calvert City, Ky., during 1961.
The twelve-year court battle over Du Pont‘s 23% interest in General Motors Corp. moved to a close when the Supreme Court ruled that Du Pont must dispose of its 63 million GM shares within ten years to comply with antitrust laws. The U.S. District Court in Chicago must now set a plan under which Du Pont can divest itself of the stock.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman‘s Awami League, which won a landslide victory in 1970, is probably heading for a split. The league’s amorphous ideological character has always encouraged divisive tendencies, but they have been held in check in the past by the fervent nationalism that converted the 1970 general elections into a referendum on autonomy as well as by Rahman’s charismatic personality. Both forces appear to have lost some of their compelling power, and a polarization between right and left is evident.
The breach became open on the eve of May 20 student elections at Dacca University, when the leaders of the student Chhatra League split into two groups, one dedicated to socialism through parliamentary democracy (‘Mujibism’) and the other demanding Marxist economics and a ‘revolutionary’ government. Two months later, the rival factions called separate conferences on the same day in Dacca. Rahman inaugurated the meeting favoring parliamentary government. He was flanked on the ceremonial dais by the leader of the pro-Moscow National Awami Party (NAP) and by several dignitaries of the Bangladesh Communist Party, which is also aligned with the Soviet Union.
Rahman’s plea for socialism, secularism, nationalism, and democracy was received with thunderous applause, the massive gathering roaring ‘Mujibism! Mujibism!’ each time he stood up to speak. The breach became final and Mujibism was approved as the country’s guiding philosophy.
Marxist revolutionaries are being expelled from unions and are being weeded out of the Awami League’s ranks, but the radicals are believed to be waiting only for an opportune moment to announce the formation of a new party. When that happens, many prominent Awami Leaguers are expected to defect. Up to now, opposition groups seem to have made little headway. A ‘hunger march’ staged by the pro-Peking United Front in September fizzled out, and even the well-organized NAP has only one representative in the Constituent Assembly.
Monetary unit, taka; T1 = US$0.1325. Budget (est. 1972-1973): revenue, T2, 853.8 million; expenditure, T2, 184.3 million; surplus (including capital deficit), T588 million. Development plan (est. 1972-1973): T5, 010 million (including T3, 750 million foreign aid); agriculture, T1, 030 million; education, T437.2 million; defense, T400 million.
Despite lingering resentment toward American support of Pakistan in 1971, the Bangladesh government has taken a moderate stance with respect to the United States, possibly because of U.S. aid. In the first six months of 1972, the United States contributed $267.5 million of the $800 million received from abroad. But U.S. recognition on April 4, when Bangladesh had already been recognized by 55 countries, was too late to have any dramatic effect on the country’s international status.