~ Archive for Globalization ~

Google Earth


“Want to know more about a specific location? Dive right in — Google Earth combines satellite
imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world’s geographic information at your fingertips.”

Google Earth is a new service of Google. It is almost unbelievable. Fly from place to place and then use the zoom and rotate controls. I can see my car parked in back of our home.

Don’t Count on Argentina to Help Fight Terror


Click on title.

More Jobs Hype


April’s job growth is consistent
with the depressing pattern of US employment growth in
the 21st century: The outsourced US economy
can create jobs only in domestic nontradable services.

Offshore outsourcing is a new
phenomenon that has received little attention from
economists, who mistakenly view offshore outsourcing as
just another manifestation of the beneficial workings of
free trade and comparative advantage. In fact, offshore
outsourcing is the flow of resources to absolute
advantage. Economists have known for two centuries that
absolute advantage does not produce mutual gains. Unlike
the operation of

comparative advantage,
absolute advantage produces

winners and losers.

China and India
are winning. America is losing. It
is as simple as that.”



First off, check out the newly launched Buzztracker (www.buzztracker.org),
put together by a 24-year old American expatriate in Tokyo, Craig Mod.
Mr. Mod started working a few years back on what he thought was an art
project — dots and lines representing news stories around the world
and the links between them. All very pretty, but the closer you looked,
he recalls, “suddenly land masses began to emerge and you started
forming associations.” News and geography were linked and Buzztracker
was born.

Launched last month, Buzztracker appears as a map of
the world, dotted with red circles of varying size. The circles denote
news stories gathered from Google News emanating from that location on
the date in question, the size depending on the amount of media
coverage. Each circle is linked by a gray line to other locations
mentioned in the stories. Click on a circle and you’re taken to a list
of news stories originating from that point.

It’s an elegant, simple view of what’s going on in the
world. But it’s more than that: The links underline the way that events
in one place are connected to those in other places — one great
example is the recent spat between China and Japan about how each
country was represented in respective textbooks, superficially resolved
by a summit in Indonesia. On Buzztracker you see a triangle of thick
red dots linked by thick gray lines. Such webs, Mr. Mod says, are
“supposed to get people thinking about why these connections exist.”

As Rich-Poor Gap Widens in the U.S., Class Mobility Stalls


“Technology, globalization and
unfettered markets tend to erode wages at the bottom and lift wages at
the top. But Americans have elected politicians who oppose using the
muscle of government to restrain the forces of widening inequality.
These politicians argue that lifting the minimum wage or requiring
employers to offer health insurance would do unacceptably large damage
to economic growth.

Despite the widespread belief that the U.S. remains a more mobile
society than Europe, economists and sociologists say that in recent
decades the typical child starting out in poverty in continental Europe
(or in Canada) has had a better chance at prosperity. Miles Corak, an
economist for Canada’s national statistical agency who edited a recent
Cambridge University Press book on mobility in Europe and North
America, tweaked dozens of studies of the U.S., Canada and European
countries to make them comparable. ‘The U.S. and Britain appear to
stand out as the least mobile societies among the rich countries
studied,’ he finds. France and Germany are somewhat more mobile than
the U.S.; Canada and the Nordic countries are much more so.

Even the University of Chicago’s Prof. Becker is changing his mind,
reluctantly. ‘I do believe that it’s still true if you come from a
modest background it’s easier to move ahead in the U.S. than
elsewhere,’ he says, ‘but the more data we get that doesn’t show that,
the more we have to accept the conclusions.'”

Letter to an American Textile Outsourcer


by Alan Tonelson, Research Fellow, U.S. Business and Industry Council
Sunday, April 24, 2005

… My correspondent … believes that [CAFTA is] far from perfect from
a domestic textile industry standpoint, but at least it will enable
them to keep some business in selling fabric that would otherwise go to
the Chinese — because the agreement’s provisions ostensibly give
preferences for apparel assembled in Central America from U.S.-produced

I think he’s wrong …

Dear X:

Far from being a quixotic campaign to go back to the past, my
organization and I consider a wholly new U.S. trade policy to be our
nation’s only option for retaining a critical mass of manufacturing at
home, along with all the economic, social and national security
benefits that manufacturing creates.

One of the main goals of our effort is preserving America’s ability to
set trade policy priorities, and thereby ensure that the intended
beneficiaries of new trade agreements – both domestic and foreign –
actually receive these gains. That’s of course one of the stated
rationales for CAFTA, as your letter recognizes. But nothing about
CAFTA or the rest of current U.S. trade policy provides any reason to
suppose that signing this agreement will produce these results.

In the first place, CAFTA contains many loopholes that will directly
undercut the important goal of helping Central American producers
maintain or create competitive advantage vis-

Don’t Trade on Me


In Forbes magazine, the official publication of the corporate wing of the GOP, columnist Steven Landsburg says: “I hold this truth to be self evident: It is just plain ugly to care more about total strangers in Detroit than about total strangers in Juarez… Even if Kerry-style (or Nader-style or Buchanan-style) protectionism could improve America’s well being at the expense of foreigners, it would still be wrong.” He goes on to equate protectionism with the politics of virulent racists like David Duke. This is absurd. Exporting America’s manufacturing base and technical capacity to Communist China has more in common with the culture of death (ours) than simple minded allusions to the magically operative virtues of free trade.

Libertarians hooked on nostalgia for the glory days when free enterprisers and anti-marxists marched against domestic socialist planners and global communists don’t see this threat to our country. In the glory days, they would have called Landsburg a traitor. Loyalty to one’s family, community, and nation used to be the essence of citizenship. He will sacrifice his fellow citizens on the altar of an ideology that will supposedly benefit the entire world. Echoes of communist rhetoric. Not all the beneficiaries of Landsburg’s compassion are foreign, to be sure. Some Americans, like Landsburg, will profit by managing their nation’s decline. Call them the free-trade aparatchiks.

Conservatives have forgotten that “free trade” and “free enterprise” are slogans that were coined in an intellectually substantive effort to limit the expansion of the federal government into the ambits of the states and their citizens. Conservatives agree on the continued relevance of these terms understood in this sense. Some have forgotten, however, that America’s rise to global prominence during the 19th and early 20th Centuries took place behind a wall of tariffs designed to shelter domestic industries from competition with the more advanced nations of Europe, a process that China now pursues to its great advantage in the 21at Century. It’s good policy to encourage domestic competition. But conservatives should be aghast at American workers having to compete with Chinese, Indians, et al. While the corporate wing of the GOP might champion such an ideology, voters are unlikely to go along … unless the free-trade aparatchiks find a way to have third world residents vote in American elections.

–James L. Murphy, Esq., Contributer



Washington Examiner: Opinion: “Examiner Editorial – AFTA NAFTA HAFTA CAFTA”

Don’t read this endorsement of so-called “free trade.” Just vote for it as “Best Headline of 2005.”

Freedom’s Labors: Lane Kirkland worked for more than his union


BY FRED SIEGEL, Wall Street Journal Online, Tuesday, March 8, 2005 12:01 a.m. (May require subscription.)

“He may not be much remembered today, but Lane Kirkland, president of
the AFL-CIO from 1979 to 1995, was a great man, and not only as a labor
leader. He was an architect of America’s victory in the Cold War and a
person of considerable intellect whose sense of history–and of
American interests–was often well ahead of the curve.

Policy makers now urge us, post 9/11, to reduce our dependence on Saudi
oil; Kirkland was making that case 30 years ago when he was
second-in-command to George Meany at the AFL-CIO. President Bush has
placed democracy at the center of our foreign policy; Kirkland was
advancing the argument 25 years ago. The Kurds are a key to our hopes
for the future of Iraq; Kirkland was supporting their claims in the
1970s. When American liberals sought an accommodation with what they
thought was a rising Soviet Union in the 1980s, Kirkland chided them
for appeasing our nemesis. And when Reaganites didn’t know what to make
of the emerging Solidarity movement in Poland, Kirkland championed its
cause. It was Solidarity’s strength that showed–to those willing to
see–that the Soviet colossus had feet of clay.

It is impossible to overstate the momentousness of such events, and yet
they have fallen into a shadowy disregard, eclipsed by recent history.
What is more, Kirkland has become, Soviet-style, a nonperson to the
labor movement he once led. Fortunately, Arch Puddington’s engaging
“Lane Kirkland: Champion of American Labor” returns this extraordinary
man to the pantheon of American heroes…

He believed that labor, at its best, represented an ethic of
brotherhood and solidarity that had something to teach the rest of
society. He often criticized American corporations for doing business
with our enemies. He argued that free societies were best for trade
unionists. Thus he pushed the Reagan administration into supporting
democratic reform for Central America, and he resisted the unionists
who backed the proto-communist Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Given the
choice, Kirkland insisted, ‘people will always choose freedom’…”

Dobbs fires away against outsourcing


By Michael McCarthy, USA TODAY, Updated 2/23/2005 3:24 AM

…”The ultimate message in outsourcing is this: America be damned.
It’s all about the lowest cost,” says the silver-haired, 59-year-old
newsman at his new Time Warner Center digs in Manhattan. “I can’t
accept that statement. Nor will I, whether it comes from a lawmaker, a
politician or a businessman or woman. The pain that’s being exacted on
our middle class from so many quarters is intolerable.”

In the brutally competitive world of 24-hour cable news channels, the
new in-your-face Dobbs is winning viewers. The Lou Dobbs Tonight
audience is up 4% for the first eight weeks of this season, ending
Friday, to 536,000 daily, according to Nielsen Media Research …

Dobbs says some CEOs have accused him of turning into Ralph Nader, but
“privately many CEOs say to me: ‘If everybody else would stop it, I’d
be delighted to end it. Until that happens we have to protect our
margin at the margin.’ That’s a shame.” …

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