Why Olympic Basketball Seems Boring

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Why Olympic Basketball Seems Boring

Similar to sports such as baseball and American football, basketball is one of the most popular sports in the United States. Events such as the National Basketball Association (NBA) Playoffs and the East-West Championship tend to garner considerable viewership across the United States with millions of fans contributing significantly to the sport’s lucrative nature, especially for the players involved. While such events tend to gather massive attention across all states, it is impossible to ignore the extent to which Olympic basketball has become rather less popular over the years (Cohen para. 1). Usually, Olympic basketball is comprised of some of the best players handpicked to represent a particular country. The same framework also applies for the United States, which was able to form a unique team comprised of key star players such as Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan, Carmelo Anthony, DeMarcus Cousin, and Paul George among equally strong substitutes. Nonetheless, the less popular nature of Olympic basketball in comparison to NBA basketball is attributed to the structural differences that exist between the two. In contrast to the NBA, Olympic basketball is characterized by smaller courts, shorter quarters, greasier balls, modified regulations, and a closer three-point line that is significantly close to the basket (Cohen para. 2). Even though such aspects may be increasingly overlooked, they actually pose an implication on the complexity and difficulty of the game, especially by making it less challenging in respect to the NBA. For instance, a closer 3-point line is transformational since it modifies the worst shot in NBA events into the best possible shot in Olympic basketball (Cohen para. 3). Additionally, the changes made during the Olympics in terms of basketball tend to affect NBA players who are used to long distances and wider shots. For instance, it was noted that DeMar DeRozan, who is usually effective in 2-pointers, might perform significantly in making 3-pointers due to the tweaks made in the Olympics (Cohen para. 6). Such reasons may actually be sufficient to understand the lack of popularity surrounding Olympic basketball.

 

Works Cited

Cohen, Ben. “How to Make Olympic Basketball Interesting.” The Wall Street Journal, 28 Jul. 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-make-olympic-basketball-interesting-1469731919. Accessed 12 Nov. 2016.

Differences Between Chinese and American Education

Differences Between Chinese and American Education

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Differences Between Chinese and American Education

Currently, education has evolved into a resource that can be disseminated across different people and systems irrespective of the limitations imposed by traditional borders. Because of the force of globalization and the advent of technology, people have become capable of engaging in their respective studies locally and internationally. Apart from this, the respective influential factors have created a platform that has allowed research on education to thrive across borders. Nowadays, governments have become capable of studying and researching education systems that are preferable and effective in order to incorporate them in their own frameworks. The following discourse particularly focuses on the comparison of Chinese and American education, especially in terms of the disparities that exist between the respective systems. Arguably, the key differences evidenced between the Chinese and American education system are illustrated by the teaching style, the grading structure, and the aims or objectives of the educational framework.

One of the first differences evident between the Chinese and American education system constitutes the style of teaching. Generally, the teaching style tends to assume a considerable role particularly in determining and enabling access to information provided by instructors to the students regardless of structural differences. Despite this, the education in China and the United States utilizes disparate teaching styles depending on aspects such as influences from cultural or social backgrounds. More specifically, Chinese instructors require students to pay attention by listening carefully. In fact, students are restricted from posing any questions until the conclusion of their classes. Additionally, teaching styles in Chinese classrooms generally incline towards self-study rather than group discussions. On the other hand, teaching styles in American classes place emphasis on active participation and communication between students and teachers.

Another different aspect present between Chinese and American education involves the disparities that underlie their respective grading frameworks. In Chinese institutions, the aspect of grading is seen as an aspect that can be shared among classmates by instructors. Simply, in most situations, teachers usually show the grade of a student to other students within the class. This is commonly interpreted as a way of increasing motivation and competitiveness among the members of a class. In addition to this, the grades that Chinese students receive are purely based on the scores they attain from examinations. Alternately, the grades in American institutions are comprised of different activities such as homework assignments, quizzes, tests, attendance, and participation. Furthermore, the examinations count for nearly 20 percent to 30 percent of the overall grade. Aside from this, American instructors observe the student’s privacy by keeping the grade to themselves and the involved student.

Lastly, the Chinese and American education systems differ on basis of their educational aims and objectives. Chinese instructors generally concentrate on the provision of basic knowledge. This is evidenced by the emphasis placed on certain aptitudes such as calculation skills. Furthermore, the Chinese education system is focused on uniformity, which is furthered by the extent to which most schools establish a uniformed clothing or dress type for male and female students. On the other hand, American education emphasizes on the implementation of creativity or imagination. This is evidenced by the inclination towards recreational activities in addition to class-based work such as soccer, basketball, swimming, and art. To this end, it is evident that the differences present in Chinese and American education are depicted by the teaching style, the grading structures, and the educational objectives.

MLA Citations on Sources Provided

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MLA Citations on Sources Provided

  1. “Non-Accounting Skills in Demand and How to Build Them.” Accountemps, 5 Feb. 2014, https://www.roberthalf.com/accountemps/blog/non-accounting-skills-in-demand-and-how-to-build-them. Accessed on 1 Nov. 2016.
  2. “Bracken Business Communication clinic: Effective Use of Bullet points in Business Writing.” Montanna State University, http://www.montana.edu/business/bracken/bbcc/documents/bullet-points.pdf. Accessed on 1 Nov. 2016.
  3. Liraz, Meir. “How to Manage a Business Effectively.” BizMove, http://www.bizmove.com/general/m6b.htm. Accessed on 1 Nov. 2016.
  4. “Becoming a CPA” NASBA, https://www.nasba.org/education/becomingacpa/. Accessed on 1 Nov. 2016.
  5. Schlesser, James H.Client Tax Fraud and the CPA.” Journal of Accountancy, 1 Aug. 2011, http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/issues/2011/aug/20114034.html. Accessed on 1 Nov. 2016.

Green Garden Case

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Green Garden Case

Issue

The issue before the court of law is a claim of fraud by Green Garden Packaging against Schoenmann Produce Company. In the claim, the defendant is accused of breaching a contract on confidentiality that was reached with the plaintiff. The defendant used the trade secrets that were disclosed by the plaintiff to further business interests that did not involve the defendant. The plaintiff who is a former supplier to the defendant feels aggrieved because the plaintiff has used the secrets provided to source for alternative suppliers to a venture that could not have been granted without his or her help.

Rule

Rule § 2-201 applies to the rule because it enforces the sale of goods contracts that are equal to or greater than $500. The law states that a contract of sale of goods for a price that is 500 dollars or more should only be enforceable by writing. However, there are exceptions to the rule. The first exception is that the goods need to be manufactured specifically for the buyer to enforce. Secondly, is when then defendant admits that the verbal contract was entered in a court of law. Thirdly, is when payment has been received for goods and services rendered to fulfill the contract.

 

 

Analysis

The court examined the facts of the case and rightly so determined that the rule § 2-201 is the applicable law in the case. It was also determined that no fact in the case fulfilled any of the three requirements for an exception. Therefore, the law was to be applied as it is.

Conclusion

The ruling was for the plaintiff Schoemann Produce Company mainly because of the verbal contract entered between the two parties. The plaintiff denied existence any contract between them and the defendant failed to prove that it indeed existed.

Baldrige Principles versus Deming’s 14 points

 

Baldrige Principles versus Deming’s 14 points

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Baldrige Principles versus Deming’s 14 points

The overarching differentiator between the two emerges from their definition of quality. Both the Baldrige and Demi’s principles have essential principles that help in maintaining quality control in firms but they concentrate on different areas. Baldridge is customer-centric implying that end user of a product is the only person that can measure the quality of a product. Conversely, Demi’s principles are producer-oriented towards inspiring accountability. They assert that producers are critical in ensuring conformance to the set specifications. Therefore, their core focus varies slightly as Baldrige majors on customer satisfaction while the Demi’s on statistical quality control.

The Demi’s principle integrates sustainability as a strong component of quality. The emphasis on ecological consideration is meant to ensure that firms do not focus on the end product without acknowledging the repercussions of the process. As such, Demi gives more weight to ways of attaining an objective rather than the end (Deming Institute, 2014). They perceive the productivity of the company to include the level of compliance with safety measures, the delivery of the products, and the overall impact on the environment. On the other hand, Baldrige principle reiterates the essence of analysis courtesy of information management. Baldrige asserts that companies should leverage the data availed by information systems to enhance customer satisfaction. Interactions with the client are essential in determining customer experiences. Baldrige strives to improve the quality of management while Demi’s focuses on the management of quality. The latter employs statistical techniques towards quality assurance. The former supposes that the quality of the product corresponds to the caliber of the management running the company. Towards rating the excellence of companies according to their respective criteria, Baldrige does an extraneous analysis for half a year whereas Demi consults with the companies for a year towards facilitating conformance to specifications.

 

Reference

Deming Institute. (2014, May 7). W. Edwards Deming: The 14 Points [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?=Dq1ms2JhYBI&feature=related

 

Ethics versus Human Nature

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Ethics versus Human Nature

Ethics is a human phenomenon. Humans are innately subjective thus value things with sentimental attachments higher than recent acquisitions. It follows that I am more likely to rescue a dog given to me by my late grandfather than to save the regular street child when forced to choose However, the ethicality of placing a premium on my dog’s life regardless one’s attachment over a humans is contentious. In the same line, family members tend to pay their kin higher wages than the market rate by asserting their extraordinary input into the business and their unwavering commitment to protect its interests relative to their contemporaries. Ethical accounting especially when markup salary is used to justify tax deductions demands objectivity. This entails treating the family member as a stranger to validate their assertions and mitigate claims of conflict of interest. Quantifying the additional input in accounting terms often proves problematic.

The proponents of accounting ethics attempt to protect objectivity in financial transactions. Their mandate is essentially mitigating natural human tendencies. The fall of the Lehmann Brothers financial empire was collateral damage of man’s tendency towards self-preservation. Their ingenious off-balance-sheet-liabilities a technique of hiding debts proved to be their downfall. Rather than a gradual decline of the company, its shares fell abruptly when the public, my parents notwithstanding, scrambled to protect their interests condemning the firm to bankruptcy. Every decision financial or otherwise has an emotional dimension. Instead of attempting to subdue the emotions to optimize rationality, one should strive to make emotional aspects of a subject that conform to the overarching moral code of conduct. Illustrate that ethic behavior aligns with their best interests. Fraud is usually the confluence of attitude and opportunity. Adherence to an unofficial code of conduct is more enduring a moral behavior will persist even in the absence of legislations. Ethical attitudes will be maintained even when the opportunity to be fraudulent occurs beyond the law’s scrutiny.

 

The Best Little Girl in the World

The Best Little Girl in the World

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The Best Little Girl in the World

Diagnosis

            The Best Little Girl in the World is a popular television film that was directed by Sam O’Steen in 1981. The film revolves around a teenager known as Casey Powell who has the ambition of becoming a professional ballet dancer. However, as she  begins to seek out loss of more pounds to reduce her weight and qualify for the professional ballet trials, Gail, her sister notices that she has lost a lot of weight. Casey is sent to a doctor and is diagnosed with anorexia nervosa (Durning et al., 1986). She was also diagnosed with bulimia nervosa. She is then sent for treatment because of her compulsive dieting. Although she is taken through a series of intensive counseling to help her improve on the dietary procedures, Casey fails to adhere to the treatment.

Pathophysiology

            Anorexia nervosa is a disorder that is seen in the eating habits that people display. The fundamental characteristics that commonly highlight anorexia include constant weight loss, the fear if adding on some weight, the urge to be thinner and thinner and restrictions from certain foods. As in the case of Casey, practitioners have associated the illness with a strong feeling that they are overweight and do not conform to the societal surroundings. Casey with the strong urge to join a professional ballet dancing team aimed at becoming thin. Her attention shifted to dieting that caused her ignorance and deterioration in other activities. She refuses to eat during several occasions and uses dietary pills used as supplements for weight loss.

Background

            Initially, Casey is considered as a top performer and achiever in school. However, her urge and intensity to become a professional ballet dancer causes her to exploit a new avenue. That of loosing weight. A contributor to her vigor and zeal is her ballet teacher who notices her expertise and encourages her to lose a few pounds. Considering that Casey’s parents have always viewed Gail as the better child, Casey decides to take up her dream. Among the physical causes of anorexia include, low self esteem, depression, lack of control, anxiety and loneliness. Casey displayed all these signs before she decided to diet. The sociological background to the ailment may be exposure to certain sports such as ballet dancing.

ADPIE

            As the standardized process that was designed to improve the condition of a patient as well as the health, ADPIE employs proper analysis and treatment for people with various ailments (Gardner, 2003). The acronym stands for Assessment, Diagnosis, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation. The assessment stage involves identifying the problem with the patient. In this case, Casey feels ignored and desires to pursue ballet dancing. She would do anything to lose weight and become a professional dancer. During the diagnosis stage, the practitioners evaluate the patient’s current and potential health problem. Casey has become very thin and her diet has dilapidated. This stage involves an evaluation of the corresponding symptoms. The planning phase involves building a nursing care plan. In this case, therapy sessions were offered to Casey. The implementation and evaluation stages involve actualizing the nursing plan and evaluating the goals and outcomes of the treatment and interventions.

Conclusion

            Casey showed distinct signs of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. This conditioned worsened as she used dietary pills and failed to eat healthy. Such ailments may be caused by social or physiological factors that she displayed. The ADPIE process enables the patient as well as practitioners to employ conscious and informed treatment while approaching the ailments.

 

References

Top of Form

Top of Form

Durning, C., Saint, E. M., Leigh, J. J., Levenkron, S., Aaron Spelling Productions., & Continental Video. (1986). The Best little girl in the world. Los Angeles, CA: Continental Video.

Gardner, P. (2003). Nursing process in action. Australia: Thomson, Delmar Learning.

Bottom of Form

Bottom of Form

Child Development

Child Development

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Child Development

Language Development

John Watson delved deep into the controversial debate on nature versus nurture. His quote leaned more on the side of nurture. He stated that the he can train a healthy child to become a specialist in any field. The theory of nurture believes that indeed genetic influence on human traits exists (Knight & Ember 43). However, it does not take precedence over the environmental factors. A child is born with genetic traits from genes but the traits have to be activated by the environment for them to manifest. The argument for nurture is evidenced strongly by the analogy of a set of twins raised in different environments. Obviously, they are going to exhibit both different and same character traits.

The theory of nature believes that the coding of genes is in the cell of humans determines the physical traits as well as the character traits. There is no controversy on the part about the physical traits. However, it is very difficult to ascertain the effect of genes on the behavioral attributes of a child. Abstract traits such as intelligence and personality cannot be quantified. Therefore, one cannot measure the worth a child is born with. In the case of language development, I believe that both sets of theories apply. Language development in a child is determined by both physical and abstract attributes. The physical attributes are applicable because they determine how a child is going to pronounce some words, for example, the shape of a child’s mouth. The abstract attributes such as intelligence determine whether a child is going to learn how to speak quickly or slowly. Therefore, I do not agree with the quote by John Watson. A child can be trained but one cannot ascertain how quickly they are going to grasp what they are being taught.

 

Attachment

            The pre-attachment behavior of a child begins to exhibit in the first six weeks of a child’s life. During that phase the child is does not show any signs of an attachment (Davies 19). After the six weeks the first phase begins and it is about eight months. The infant begins to bubble and smile in order to get the attention of the caregiver. In the second phase the infant begins to discriminate the adult care givers. The child only clings to people that are familiar. The third phase is between six months and two years.  The child becomes more goal oriented and he or she demands attention only for the purposes of meeting certain targets. Infant exploration is greater when the caregiver is present.

             An attachment is the emotional bond that is created between a parent and the child. An attachment is formed between a child and a care giver as a result of the child’s need for security, safety and protection (Davies 19). An attachment is developed instinctively and it is regulated by various levels of the phylogenic scale. The behavior is goal corrected meaning that it changes as the child develops. As the child grows the needs of the child also change and the instincts begin to adapt differently. Therefore, it can be said that attachments in infants not driven by love and affection as it is widely thought. Breast milk is also one of the factors that are said to promote the bond and attachment between a mother and the child. However, it is difficult to ascertain whether the chemical composition of the milk is the trigger or it is the need of the child for milk.

A healthy attachment is one that is secure. An infant is securely attached to the parent because the parents will be there for the long term. Parents who respond to their children’s need form very good attachments with them. The reason is that the children are always certain that the parents are dedicated to make them comfortable. A negative attachment is one that is irregular.  A child is not sure whether the person will be available the next day.

Cognitive Development

The behaviorist approach is deals with matters concerning the common mechanics of learning. The psychometric approach is concerned with measuring the intelligence of people quantitatively. On the other hand, the Piagetian approach is a description of the qualitative stages as far a cognitive reasoning is concerned (Bornstein & Lamb 370). The psychometric approach would asses the issue of Santa clause very differently to the other approaches. The approach would first analyze the knowledge base of the person who is talking about Santa. For example, children up to a certain age are allowed to have such conclusions. However, it would be very difficult to understand an adult who still thinks that Santa exists. In such situations, the approach results to analyzing the attitudes and personality traits of the person.

Parenting Styles

            The environment that parents create in homes determines the relationship that they will have with their children and the development of the ability of those children to face challenges in life. The family structure determines the kind of discipline that is dispensed. In a family with a father as the head of the family the children look up to him on guidance on how to behave. Child abuse and neglect distorts the development of children. They begin to develop violent tendencies and their performance in school and other activities is distracted. Children who are abused should be taken through a psychiatric rehabilitation first before being taken to a new family. Spanking with an intention of correction is an appropriate form of punishment. However, care should be applied so as not to injure the child.

 

Works Cited:

Bornstein, Marc H., and Michael E. Lamb, eds. Cognitive development: an advanced textbook. Taylor & Francis, 2011.

Davies, Douglas. Child development: A practitioner’s guide. Guilford Press, 2010.

Knight, Elizabeth Brestan, and Ember L. Lee. A Guide to Teaching Development Psychology. John Wiley & Sons, 2009.

Private Finance Initiative (PFI)

Private Finance Initiative (PFI)

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Private Finance Initiative (PFI)

Private Finance Initiative (PFI) remains a critical mechanism whereby intensive public infrastructure projects are successfully delivered. Traditionally, governments around the world have utilized a number of strategies in the delivery of public goods and services, which have been inclusive of private-public partnerships. Developing and develop countries are in constant pursuit of the best returns and optimal cost for public projects. In addition, PFI is a relatively effective and innovative capital budgeting strategy for management and financing of public projects.

The private and public sector in the United States are deeply embedded in the delivery of goods and services to the public[1]. Contractors are increasingly becoming an effective and appropriate means of delivery of different ancillary elements of government functions and operations such as construction, stationery, maintenance, and others. In addition, it is critical to note that governments usually contact a number of output functions and activities to the public such as ambulatory and refuse collection services.

Supporters of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) argue that it resonates with prevailing global demands and trends towards privatization of delivery of public services as it provides a new public management model. Private Finance Initiative (PFI) is driven by the need to pursue enhanced efficiency across the public sector by focusing on utilization of entrepreneurial, managerial skills and expertise in the management of resources, initiation, and completion of projects. Returns from private-public partnerships may include partial or full revenues collectible from delivery of goods and services by a select PFI entity. PFI negotiations involve a variety of parties namely public sector agencies, private sector consortium and financial institutions involved in the provision of financial facilities for completion of a project.

In PFIs, the private sector is tasked with the provision of designs and development of public assets, by seeking finance and operation of services that use the established asset. The United Kingdom Treasury conducted a study aimed at apprising PFI processes, which was indicative of the need for quantitative economic assessments to be carried out early on in PFI procedures to ensure that market conditions for operation of a project or asset are understood adequately.

Advocates of the system have argued that projects executed through PFIs attract low investments when compared to conventional procurement strategies. On the other hand, it is argued that PFI projects are relatively efficient when compared to conventional projects given that they are reliant on private sector innovation, technology, and expertise in the assessment of risks and benefits associated with a project, which leads to enhanced management and transference to private sector entities or institutions[2].

A treasury committee in the year 2000 in the United Kingdom noted that the initial justification for undertaking PFIs was the opportunity it provided for enhancing investments in the public sector. In addition, PFIs were viewed as a means of addressing under investments associated with private-public investments. Furthermore, the attention shifted from the generation of capital towards the creation of value for money on projects undertaken through PFIs. Creation of value for money has been termed as one of the main benefits associated with PFIs as it provides a means of achieving an optimum combination of overall costs and quality of the goods or services accruable from an asset or project. Furthermore, the success of PFIs is influenced by the capacity to achieve optimal efficiency than other projects within the public sector given that governments have relatively low capital costs when compared to the private sector.

Studies note that governments are able to raise relatively cheap financing when compared to private sector entities given that it is a risk-free borrower due to its powers over taxation policies and systems

On the other hand, critics claim that the real costs associated with debt are similar across public and private sectors, given that despite the public sector having low-interest costs, taxpayers have to contemplate the possibility of project failure and inefficiencies with the probability of high rates of return for bearing risks of project failure. Additionally, it is argued that the real costs of capital for governments are the opportunity cost associated with the use of such funding. Irrespective of the theoretical framework utilize, the value for money theoretical model is reliant on a number of factors related to service and product quality of a given project or asset while taking into consideration risks associated with both private and public sectors.

Capital costs is one of the primary factors out of a possible fifteen, which should be considered in the assessment of the best procurement route to be utilized such that value for money for the taxpayers is achieved. A competitive tension between PFI bidders is necessary if PFIs are to take advantage of opportunities inherent in private sector service delivery and procurement, which ensures that the taxpayers pay minimal costs for projects. Studies note that issues such as prolonged tendering processes and exorbitant bidding costs are a hindrance towards the engagement of an incremental number of private entities in procurement and service delivery in the public sector.

Competitive dialogue strategies have been utilized in procurement and service delivery, as an effective approach towards encouraging communication between suppliers and procurers. A critical feature of this strategy is the development of an agreement between parties involved in the tendering phases before the winning bidder is selected. In the event that a government issues specific outcomes that should be achieved by a project, then private sectors are able to use such guidelines as scope for innovation in design and development of projects and assets for public use[3]. The association of PFI payments to quality of service delivery, as opposed to asset or project costs, ensures that contractors are provided with incentives to take into consideration maintainability, sustainability, reliability, and effectiveness of project design.

PFIs are contrasted from conventional procurement in public sector, whereby the public sector is involved in the design specification. The risks associated with conventional procurement strategies includes minimized capital cost projections in seeking approval of a project, potential for challenges associated with maintenance backlog as a result of unreliable and poor project design. Evidence on the role of PFIs in enhancing innovation in public service delivery has included differing perspectives. Studies take note of incidences where PFI projects have resulted in the development of projects with low slippage and minimal budget overruns when compared to conventional procurement strategies.

PFIs should focus on the provision of incentives to contracting parties such that they are able to undertake comprehensive and accurate estimate of construction costs with the aim of reducing risks associated with excessive costs and poor performance in public projects. Despite the extensive flexibility, availed private entities in PFI deals, significant contractual changes were not subjected to competitive include and project management function by public sector agencies was not provided with sufficient resources for effective management of changes in project scope. In essence, certainty and reliability in regard to cost estimates provide a means of ensuring that value for money objectives are achieved. In addition, this may be achieved through best risk management practices, enacting project certainty regarding achievement of the desired quality of services and projects.

While conventional procurement involves the payment for inputs, PFIs involves the payment for outputs or outcomes, whereby payment is made for services delivered by utilizing private-sector developed projects or assets. Therefore, PFI strategies should be oriented towards reducing risks accruable to governments from ownership of an asset, which is deemed as unreliable and inappropriate regarding the expected outcomes regarding service and asset quality based on costs. If an asset were insufficient to meet service needs of the public, a government would not make payments for the asset in the form of service charges.

Two main advantages of PFI over conventional strategies have been identified. The first advantage is that PFIs provide a consistent and planned strategy towards the maintenance of assets, given that a contractor is obligated to ensure that an asset is adequately maintained until completion of a contract[4]. Additionally, if an organisation fails to adhere to set out maintenance standards, it may be penalized for failure to meet agree on reliability, usability, and performance threshold. Secondly, pricing or costs function within the public sector with knowledge on the estimated cost of a contract on a long-term basis. Such eliminates the probability of replacement costs of an asset, which may arise unexpectedly, or in the event of delay because of budgetary constraints.

PFIs are associated with the transference of risks to the private sector, as it results in the allocation of specific risks to parties poised to manage and influence such risks. A number of risks have been associated with transference into the private sector namely:

  1. Cost overruns risk in the development phase
  2. Timely conclusion of the project
  • Adhering to specific standards of asset delivery and completion
  1. Underlying contractor or operator costs
  2. Risks from physical damage and industrial action to an asset
  3. Demand risk whereby there is a risks that the demand for a project is lesser or greater than estimated by the contractor
  • Risk of obsolescence of the project after completion, rendering it unsustainable and ineffective in delivery of specific services
  • Risk of generation of third party revenues, resulting in diversion of funds meant for the government
  1. Residual value risk arising from variations in the expected versus actual value of the asset upon completion

Essentially, the benefits associated with PFIs are accrued from the presumption that a number of diverse risks associated with critical investments are absorbed by parties best positioned to manage such incidences. A number of risks are best absorbed by the public sector given that it may be positioned optimally to handle them. For instance, risks that are related to uncertainty regarding the demand levels for government services should be best absorbed by the public sector. If the public sector absorbs such risk through service charge which variety with demand volume, it becomes possible to add premiums to PFIs bids with the aim to cover uncertainty risk associated with the ability to meet service costs.

Furthermore, demand risk associated with third party users of a service is best absorbed by private sector players as it encourages the use of third-party assets such that there is a reduction in costs subsumed by the public sector in regard to PFI charges for services. Sub-optimal allocation of risks across the private and public sectors is bound to result in cost consequences for a PFI project. Such is influenced by the fact that businesses are involved with raising finance for projects in capital markets with the costs of financing being pegged on the investor perception of risk of a project. In addition, the risk is influenced by the possibility of repayment or non-repayment as well as returns on investment on a given project.

Critics argue that a number of risks such as cost overruns in development or underlying costs for contractors of a given service may be a challenge to transfer in part or fully to private sector players. Studies conducted in Manchester, UK on PFI NHS healthcare facilities noted that the annual charges accruable to PFI contractors by hospital trusts were relatively higher than expected, which raises concerns over the reliability and effectiveness of PFIs in achieving value for money in public projects[5].

Essentially the overall risk burden of PFIs is absorbed by financial backers such as lenders and shareholders. These parties assume the financial risk of possible failure in achieving the desired returns on investment, which are necessary to make debt repayments. In addition, the government may be better positioned than the private sector in the absorption of risks associated with the cost of finance due to its risk-free solvency nature.

Essentially, Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) is critical and effective tools in the provision of efficient and innovative services across various areas such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, and defense. The success of PFIs is reliant on three critical and complex issues. First, a government should be able to provide accurate definitions and over time, goods and services it aims to purchase or deliver to the public. Secondly, adequate understanding and subsequent allocation of different risks into private and public sectors is critical for the success of PFI. Third, the public sector should endeavor to deliver competitive markets for delivery or production of goods and to ensure that such markets are managed effectively and efficiently. If such problems are addressed, PFI provides a relatively cost-effective means of delivering goods and services to the public.

 

References

A Bentz, PA Grout, and M L Halonen, What Should Governments Buy from the Private Sector–Assets or Services? (2005)

E Ahmad, A Bhattacharya, A Vinella and K Xiao, Involving The Private Sector And Ppps In Financing Public Investments: Some Opportunities And Challenges (Asia Research Centre Working Paper 67, 2014)

E Lossa, G Spagnolo and M Vellez, The Risks and Tricks in Public-Private Partnerships (Working Paper n. 64. IEFE-The Center for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy at Bocconi University, December 2013)

FB Brude and Roger Strange, How Banks Price Loans to Public-Private Partnerships? Evidence from the European Markets, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance • Volume 19 Number 4 2007 29-41

House of Commons, Private Finance Initiative – Its Rationale and Accounting Treatment, (House of Commons, June 2008)

JE Kee and J Forrer, Private Finance Initiative—The Theory behind the Practice, (14th Annual Conference of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management October 10-12, 2002)

P Edwards, J Shaoul, A Stafford, L Arblaster, Evaluating The Operation Of PFI In Roads And Hospitals (Research Report No. 84 Certified Accountants Educational Trust, London, 2004)

The Trade-Union Coordinating Group, The Real Cost of Privatization (Trade-Union Coordinating Group, 2013)

 

[1] E Lossa, G Spagnolo and M Vellez, The Risks and Tricks in Public-Private Partnerships (Working Paper n. 64. IEFE-The Center for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy at Bocconi University, December 2013) 16

 

[2] Edwards, J Shaoul, A Stafford, L Arblaster, Evaluating The Operation Of PFI In Roads And Hospitals (Research Report No. 84 Certified Accountants Educational Trust, London, 2004) p.43

 

[3] House of Commons, Private Finance Initiative – Its Rationale and Accounting Treatment, (House of Commons, June 2008) p. 27

 

[4] A Bentz, PA Grout, and M L Halonen, What Should Governments Buy from the Private Sector–Assets or Services? (2005) p. 18

[5] JE Kee and J Forrer, Private Finance Initiative—The Theory behind the Practice, (14th Annual Conference of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management October 10-12, 2002)  p. 29

Roper v. Simmons

Roper v. Simmons

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Roper v. Simmons

Facts of Case

            The case Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005) was a landmark court decision that was presided over by the Supreme Court of the United States (Vollum et al., 2015). The case established precedents that determined a modern legal principle with great significance. This case was among other cases that posed an effect to the interpretation of an existing law. The case was reviewed in the Supreme Court to preside over the constitutionality of the death penalty as in criminal and coon law against juvenile delinquents. The defendant, Christopher Simmons was convicted for the murder of Shirley Cook. The defendant was 17 years old when found guilty of murder. He was sentenced to death with conviction of first-degree murder (Vollum et al., 2015). However, after nine years, the Missouri Supreme Court analyzed the case and nullified the case. Their argument was because the public and national educated associations echo an accord that that failed to support the death penalty. Based on the eighth amendment provision that elaborates on the impact of cruel and unwarranted punishment juvenile executions were prohibited.

Arguments

            The case argument took into account whether the imposition of execution to a person who was below the age of 17 was permissible if they performed the murder crime as provided by the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Case hearings began in 2004 where the appeal disputed the constitutional allowance of issuing capital punishment through execution for juveniles (Vollum et al., 2015). In this case, juveniles were considered people below the age of 18. Based on the previous court cases in 1988 and 1989, the Supreme Court disqualified any possibility of execution for people who were between the age 16 and 17 at the time of conviction. In light of these convictions, the Supreme Court in support of the majority highlighted that it was inappropriate to execute juveniles considering the immaturity level as well as irresponsibility that is associated by the adolescents. This argument was solely based on the sociological and scientific research that was presented against the adolescents.

Similarly, the court was sensitized on the challenges that the adolescents face such as external peer pressure and negative influence. In respect to this, it is possible that the defendant lacked control of their actions and over the situation. As part of the national accord, the Supreme Court identified that it lowered the rate at which it issued capital punishment to criminals below the age of 16. Most of the courts had not implemented any juvenile executions for junior offenders as much as the law was effective. The arguments posed in this case sought reference from the Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002) that focused on mental cases of juvenile capital crimes (Vollum et al., 2015).

Holdings

            The Supreme Court held that the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments prohibit the imposition of execution for juvenile offenders who are older than 15 but below the age of 18 years once they committed a capital offence (Freeman & Goodenough, 2009). This holding took the effort of the Supreme Court to come to a consensus with the Missouri Supreme Court regarding the death penalty for juveniles. The holding from the original court ruling had issued execution of the defendant for an indefinite time. The appellate court highlighted that the case constituted a juvenile offender and punishment through execution was impermissible. The Missouri court reversed Simmons death verdict and sentenced him to life incarceration with no likelihood of parole. In light of this, the U.S. Supreme Court established certiorari to find out if the obligation of the death penalty on a juvenile who commits a capital offense is brutal and a bizarre penalty and is barred by the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

APA Brief

The American Psychological Association (APA) in regards to the court case through research and developed arguments has offered its opinion on the execution of the juveniles (Haider, 2005). Their argument is meant to incorporate the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to the benefit of the society and to ensure the improvement of the people’s lives. Together with the Missouri Psychological Association (MPA), the APA released an amicus brief behavioral research on the characteristics that adolescents display as they aim at understanding various issues. In the brief, APA identifies that adolescents as a group tend to think and behave differently from adults. In such cases, the constitutional rational that is used to preside over such cases is limited. Arguably, during the adolescent stage, people often experience a number of psychological and psychosocial characteristics that warrant different approach. It is a crucial stage where adults are required to understand their adolescents and help them through.

Considering the characters that come with this stage, it is more likely that the adolescence is susceptible to risks that may lead to criminal behavior. From previous research, adolescents have been associated with reckless behavior that continually increases with exposure to inappropriate peers. For instance, the case of Simmons was meant to be robbery that emerged to be a murder case. It was performed with the presence of the peers. Once criminal cases are grouped and evaluated, the frequency and incidence levels for the adolescents are considered higher. Most behaviorists associate this increase with the inability of the offenders to understand the implication of such activities. They often consider the excitement, peer recognition and impulsivity that come with crime. However, this behavior changes as the people grow into more responsible and conscious of the consequences.

A major issue that has been seen is the unavailability of the law to cater for capital offences against adolescents. The standards kept by the Eighth Amendment surpass the ability of the capital sentencing proceedings to offer a remedy for cases of juvenile offenders. From the jurisdiction offered by the court, it may be impossible to reverse various judgments made by the Supreme Court. However, the credibility of the court may be questionable considering that the Missouri court reversed Simmons conviction based on the argument that he was an adolescent. Nonetheless, based on the provisions offered in the Eighth Amendment, the law allows the jury an opportunity to welcome any evidence corresponding to the judgment. Often, it considers the behavior and previous record of the offender. It allows the jury the opportunity to judge based on the future dangerousness of the juvenile.

Opinion

In my opinion, I believe that the court ruling was appropriate. Based on the provisions offered by the APA and MPA, the Supreme Court needs to design new standards that will consider the consequences for juvenile offenders below 18 years (Haider, 2005). Similarly, I believe that the principles of decorum have changed in a way that executing juvenile offenders who committed crimes while younger than 18 is considered a brutal and bizarre penalty. The Eighth Amendment also outlaws it. In the future, it would be important to focus on additional issues such as capital crimes committed by mental juvenile delinquents (Vollum et al., 2015). Considering the nature of adolescents, it is unlikely to conclude that the rate of juvenile capital crime will reduce. It also needs to lapse of time connecting an offense and sentencing, which is likely to obscure judgment of the juvenile capital defendant. Nonetheless, it is important to understand how to approach such offenders and work towards rehabilitation. Once they understand the areas adversely affected, they will be able to employ competence and professional approach to avoid issues that were present as in the case of Roper v. Simmons.

 

References

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Freeman, M. D. A., & Goodenough, O. R. (2009). Law, mind and brain. Farnham, England: Ashgate.

Haider, A. (2005). Roper v. Simmons: The role of the science brief. Ohio St. J. Crim. L., 3, 369.

Vollum, S., Del, C. R. V., Frantzen, D., San, M. C., & Cheeseman, K. (2015). The death penalty: Constitutional issues, commentaries, and case briefs. Waltham, MA : Anderson Publishing.Bottom of Form

 

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