08 November 2006

My vision of globalization

The concept of globalization as I mean it, is not necessarily the homogenization of cultures, but more the homogenization of economic systems to facilitate the unencumbered exchange of products and ideas. Globalization is the economic equivalent of freedom of speech. Of course, we all know that freedom of speech is not, nor should it be absolute, just as free trade should not absolute. However, the concept of freedom of speech as well as globalization is overall a good idea. Obviously, with trade and speech, there should be certain limits in order to not squash the rights of others. For example, US, EU farm subsidies are an example of where limits should be enacted. Those subsidies effectively limit the economic freedoms of developing countries (such as in Africa.) Those subsidies are not just unfair, they distort the market. Just as the media can distort elections via biased coverage.

My globalization ideal would involve graduated elimination of all tariffs, but of course that would require the graduated elimination of domestic subsidies. Over time, the markets will create a more efficient and productive environment. This is the stated aim of the World Trade Organization, however domestic political agendas often preclude trade fairness. Much as Colorado can trade products and services with Illinois with minimal regulatory interference, I would hope that America and Zambia, or France and Uzbekistan could enjoy similar trade efficiency.

Economic balkanization is a poison. It is one of the root causes of poverty. If Africa can't sell tulips to Europe because the Dutch oppose tariff elimination, then Africa effectively will have a smaller or reduced market for their products, thus perpetuating poverty in that region. Bono is more of an expert in that area than me, go visit the One Campaign website for more about African trade and poverty.

I am not in favor of cultural imperialism from any country. I am in favor of eliminating barriers to trade as it will benefit all economies, from developed countries like the US all the way down to small Bangladeshi basket weavers.

Much as the civil rights movement in the United States reduced barriers between races, I want to reduce barriers between economies. Racial segregation seemed like a good idea to some people throughout history just as economic segregation seems like a good idea to some now. Realizing that segregation hurts a country took many years, but looking back it seems obvious (to most of us) that segregation was wrong, both morally and economically.

A rising tide will raise all boats -- we just need to ensure all boats are ready for the rising tide.

Read a speech from the WTO Director General Mike Moore about Globalization. In the speech he explains that "globalization works."

For an alternative view check out the Free Trade section of GlobalIssues.org. Much as I slant strongly in favor of globalization, this site provides links and commentary slanting against free trade policies.

7 comments:

Forced Prose said...

Hey Brian, it's understood. But where does that employment money go back to? Fueling the economic engine that keeps them in their place. Most workers, if they want to survive must work in these factories. There are no other options.
Yes, it's good they have a job, but the conditions that most of these people work in are just awful.
As for globalization, the economies have gone too far to repair what they've done, all they need now is balance.
This was a good post.
-Kristen

Brian Dear said...

The conditions are terrible -- there's no debate there. The key point is that without the job, they would not survive, just as you said, so the major point is that conidtions are better with global trade.. however, they need to improve. As developing economies develop, conditions will necessarily improve, much as they improved from the early days of US factories. You brought up great points.. thanks for reading!

Sean Kelly said...

An alternative vision of globalisation may be one where highly centrally controlled corporations are empowered and encouraged to base themselves all around the world so to force competition among unions and governments so that they degrade themselves just so they can get the corporations business, investment, and employment.

Brian Dear said...

If it is illegal in the United States for a company to have a monopoly on a product, why is it legal for a union to maintain a monopoly on skilled labor? I would encourage multinational companies to force competetion -- competetion leads to efficiency which facilitates growth and thus drives the economy forward. Compare the economic system of the Soviet States to the United States: Who had higher wages? Who had better products? What system imploded? It wasn't the free-market system.

JeffersDodge said...

There is a way to achieve the end of hunger. It starts with fiscal reform right here in the United States. Yes, we are the wealthiest country in the world, and there is a reason for this; it’s called free market capitalism within the framework of the U.S. Constitution.

Nowhere in world history can you find a more successful system as ours. It is time to shed the fiscal policies that have proven over and over and over never to have worked. I am speaking of the socialist welfare policies written by left wing politicians who would be out of work if poverty did not exist.

A good example is the payroll tax of every worker in the United States. The socialist elements of our tax system takes $15 dollars out of every $100 dollars you earn and delivers it to the entitlement fund. Our government, both Republicans and Democrats, seem fine with collecting $900 Billion per year in these taxes while only paying out $600 billion dollars to individuals in amounts that barely pay the rent. Where does the balance go? Nobody knows.

Now if you were to put that same mandatory $15 into a government regulated lockbox with your name on it under your control in terms of where it is invested (such as a government guaranteed diversified stock fund) you would retire a millionaire with a minimum $10,000 per month interest check and a million dollar nest egg that you can leave to your children after you die. And this is if you were to make minimum wage for 45 years.

Now here is where the end of poverty comes into play. When you set up your Living Will you can leave your nest egg to your children so that they can have permanent health care coverage, the best education, auto and life insurance and never, never go to bed hungry.

It doesn’t stop there. By shifting the $15 tax out of the public coffers and into the private sectors generates more capitol to expand business in terms of market share. When a business grows it needs educated employees who in turn pay taxes to the federal government. The result is a huge decrease in government spending and a huge increase in government revenues allowing the government to reduce taxes putting more money into the pockets of the citizens allowing them to better educate their children so they could get better jobs. This would result in less crime, less gang membership, less homeless and significantly less poverty.

The only problem with this is it will mean less government jobs which means the end of purposefully perpetuating poverty to make people permanently dependent on government employees to keep them poor.

This system of failure and corruption can be best illustrated here in Los Angles. We have a 70% dropout rate in our high schools. We have 120,000 gang members armed to the teeth ready to loot every jewelry store in LA as soon as there is a Katrina like catastrophe. There are only 9,000 police officers. Crime is on the rise. Our Mayor thinks it is a better idea to spend $2 billon dollars on planting tress in the LA River than to hire more police officers. Homelessness is at an all time high of 90,000 in the streets of LA County, and there are 300,000 illegal immigrants living in garages breaking all kinds of civil building codes. And speaking of illegal immigrants 90% of all outstanding murder warrants in Los Angeles is for illegal immigrants. Our schools, jails and hospitals are beyond the stress points because of illegal immigration. But I regress...

Charity starts at home. We can best take care of the world if we take care of our selves first. In terms of foreign policy why feed the dictators and tyrants the goodwill of the American people if all they do is keep the money? Why should the most compassionate nation/people on earth stand by while these same tyrants and dictators kill their own people by the millions through neglect and corruption?

Why would anyine choose not to help the family next door if there was a bad man looting their property and murdering their kids?

The world has change more in the last 35 years than in all time before it combined, because of one thing. The innovation of individuals who live in free countries with the United States in the lead by a huge margin. Technology is bringing awareness to an ever-shrinking world. How are we going to put shoes on all those kids? We need business to develop new materials, cleaner methods of manufacturing and newer means of distribution so these children can go to school with good shoes on their feet. The innovation needed to do this is bred only in free societies with free market economic systems not centrally planned socialist economies.

A good example of this innovation is the Internet. Look what it has produced. One great idea is Micro Loans. A company called Kiva has a website that acts as a loan broker between poor working people in third world countries and people that want to help. Here is a quote from there website. “Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.”

This is innovation at its finest - that only a free market can create. I love it.

Our system works theirs doesn’t. Face it conservative economic polices have created the most compassionate economic system in the history of the world. It is time to shed socialism because there is absolutely no example of its success anywhere in the world. Never has never will be.

If you want to discuss this with me please email me at Jeffers@thirdplanet.tv.

And that my friend is all I have time for…

Jeffers

Anonymous said...

The tool of Globalization which should be called Globalism is Free Trade. Free Trade is not trade as historically defined or practiced.

Free Trade is primarily about moving production from place to place for the sake of the cheapest labor markets of the world.

In the process, a working poor class has been created in the U.S. and an impoverished working class has been created in other countries.

Workers are "commoditized" in the process. They are the main commodities being traded in a new kind of slave trade. They are put on a world trading block to compete with one another with the bottom line being wage slave and even child labor.

Walmart in August 2008 admitted their core customers in the USA are running out of money before the end of the month. This was predictable for a long time. The working poor class in the USA, are finding it difficult to even afford the cheaper imported products while the workers who make the products can not afford to buy the very things they make let alone have anything left over to buy whatever the USA has left to sell. It is indeed a race to the bottom. It is a no win situation for all.

See Lend Lease was real Free Trade and not chopped liver as in the Globalist world, Welcome Dysfunctional Globalists and workers who have no voice in the process of Globalization at http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Ray_Tapajna and http://tapsearch.com/flatworld

Before spreading this nonsensical process any further, all should read The Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins. It is available in libaries.

Anonymous said...

See Bizarre Politics for a review of Alan Greenspan 's book - The Age of Turbulence. See http://www.bizarrepolitics.com/greenspan-from-the-trenches and http://www.bizarrepolitics.com/conffessions-for-history

Alan Greenspan played a large part in Globalization and Free Trade advising several presidents. His thoughts were largely based on Ayn Rand's ideas about business ethics. Greenspan does not trust human nature and leaves out Free Enterpise in his book. He uses Adam Smith concepts but paints them with his own brush. Adam Smith held labor as something sacred and the core of societies. Today, workers have no voice in the process of Globalization and Free Trade. We have international entities like the WTO and the World Bank controlling the flow of money outside the will of the people.
See also Open Letter to all U.S. Presidential Candidates starting with the question - who said we had to compete like this in a global economic arena? - at http://www.phillyfuture.org/node/5885