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Marolas   Marolas Maria Morales's TIGblog
Maria Morales's profile

Beijing and Berlin winners of globalization

Germany's leadership role within Europe has grown since 2008, when its robust economy weathered the economic crisis while others faltered. Today, the EU faces the Ukrainian http://tqq5.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html crisis on its borders. Does this reflect the EU's declining strength, as some observers have claimed? And what are the prospects of EU sanctions on Russia? German Foreign Minister http://amm6.blogspot.com/2014/04/f.ning.com.html Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Steinmeier) answered questions of Global Times (GT) reporter Chen Chenchen during his latest China visit.

GT: You once described the Ukraine http://hqq7.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html crisis as "the worst in Europe since the fall of the Berlin wall." There are comments that the Ukraine issue has demonstrated the EU's declining strength: The EU wasn't able to http://kii8.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html prevent Russia's actions in Crimea, and there are internal worries within EU member states that the sanctions against the Kremlin might also harm the EU itself. What's your view? http://hqq7.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html Steinmeier: It's important not to mistake prudence and common sense for weakness. I see much resolve and unity in Europe's reaction. We categorically condemned http://amm6.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html Russia's actions in Crimea, which violated Ukraine's territorial integrity and international law. In our view, we are in agreement with a large majority of states which, just like http://hqq7.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html us, voted in favor of a UN General Assembly resolution. And what's equally important is that we don't want any further escalation in the situation and are keeping the door http://hqq7.blogspot.com/2014/04/f.ning.com.html open for talks. We have to do everything in our power to get Russia and Ukraine to sit down at the table and enter into a dialogue accompanied by international partners. http://zqq2.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html We're pleased that Germany and China are working closely together on this difficult issue and that their assessment of the situation is very similar.

GT: Russia has been http://zqq2.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html isolated by the G7 despite German opposition. Some believe freezing out Russia will prove pointless because it is already the era of the G20. Do you agree? Is the G7 still the http://hqq7.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html center of global power? Steinmeier: We believe that both formats have an important function. The G20 devised key solutions for the global financial crisis after 2008. http://tqq5.blogspot.com/2014/04/f.ning.com.html Industrialized countries and key emerging economies come together to discuss the global challenges of the 21st century in this format. We need that, but the smaller G8 http://zqq2.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html format can also make valuable contributions, such as a forum for dialogue in times of crisis. Unfortunately, Russia's conduct at present would seem to indicate that such a dialogue http://kii8.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html in the G8 format would not have much prospect of success.

GT: There have been discussions over rifts between the US and Europe, especially since the scandal about Washington http://amm6.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html spying on European leaders was exposed last year. How do you see such rifts? Steinmeier: The transatlantic partnership between the US and Europe is and will remain a http://tqq5.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html solid and crucial cornerstone of our foreign policy. We're working very closely together with our US partners on all key questions on the international agenda. That hasn't http://kii8.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html been changed by the differences in opinion that have cropped up now and again during the last few decades. At the moment, there is a very lively debate in and among our http://amm6.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html societies on the relationship between freedom and security in the digital age. Given the rapid technological progress in information and communications technology, there are http://hqq7.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html important questions here about our common future which are globally relevant and go far beyond the transatlantic relationship.

GT: Germany is seeking a more active http://zqq2.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html approach in diplomacy. And the Chinese leadership has stressed that it seeks to pursue a more active approach in diplomacy, especially when dealing with neighboring countries. How http://zqq2.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html do you see China's diplomacy in transition? Steinmeier: There was an intensive and very constructive exchange of views on this at the highest level between Germany and http://amm6.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html China during the visit by President Xi Jinping to Germany a few days ago. We stated our shared commitment to the peaceful settlement of regional and international disputes and http://kii8.blogspot.com/2014/04/f.ning.com.html conflicts on the basis of international law. That is a crucial area of agreement between our two countries. Germany and China are among the winners of globalization. We http://tqq5.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html have benefited economically from the peaceful coexistence of states and regional cooperation. Europeans have been especially successful: The ever closer cooperation in Europe has http://kii8.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html brought an unprecedented period of peace, freedom and prosperity following the horrors of WWII. We also want to see flourishing regional cooperation in Asia. Promoting http://zqq2.blogspot.com/2014/04/f.ning.com.html regional cooperation and mechanisms to resolve conflicts and shouldering responsibelity for global challenges; these are and will remain core tasks for a more influential foreign http://tqq5.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html policy.

GT: During his recent European trip, President Xi described China as a "peaceful, amicable and civilized" lion which has woken up. China has indeed shown a http://amm6.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html different side of itself compared to past centuries. How do you see the world's various judgments and expectations of China? Steinmeier: We welcome China's peaceful rise to http://amm6.blogspot.com/2014/04/g.ning.com.html prominence. It brings with it greater responsibelity, nationally, regionally and globally. Germany has been closely following China's changed role and its engagement in many fields http://tqq5.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html of international politics. The rise above poverty and hardship of hundreds of millions of people, especially in China, has made the question of sustainable development the http://kii8.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html focus of the global agenda. We're therefore very keen to enter into an intensive exchange of views on solutions and technologies, for instance in the spheres of sustainable urbanization, innovation, and climate and environmental protection.


April 16, 2014 | 7:51 AM Comments  {num} comments



Marolas   Marolas Maria Morales's TIGblog
Maria Morales's profile

Globalization is the real issue in Ukraine

Chief among the elements of good writing, a cunning author focuses on plot, skillfully thickening it and foreshadowing slowly what this story is really about.

In the drama unfolding in Ukraine, it is now evident http://q95j.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html that the power struggle over that country is only partly about Ukraine itself. Something much begger is at stake. Namely, this is a seminal test of nearly 25 years of globalization, the economic, political and security http://m5iz.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html integration of the world, largely controlled by the Americans and their European allies. Ukraine is not so much a crisis as a test.

The drama in Ukraine is real, to be sure, but can be understood through the http://x5n3.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html basic elements story-telling. Initially, the story seemed to be a local struggle between plundering oligarchs and a rabble of reformers and fascists. Suddenly, the characters expanded to include the Americans and the Russians, http://m5iz.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html each of their presidents casting the other as the villain. The chorus alternately fretted about a new Cold War or gloated that economics trumped geopolitics.

The truth, of course, lies somewhere in the middle. http://g54j.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html Vladimir Putin is not trying reverse the process of globalization. But he is trying to bend it so that Russia alters globalization to its benefit. Just as firmly, the Americans and their European allies have pushed to profit http://k5o2.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html even more. NATO would love nothing more than Kiev inside the Western military alliance. Yet the Western strike force this time is composed of bankers from the International Monetary Fund, offering bellions in loans, replete http://x5n3.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html with strings that would keep Kiev beholden for decades.

Indeed, Russias endgame in Ukraine can seem quite puzzling. NATO and the government in Kiev have warned of further incursions into the eastern half of the http://q95j.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html country. But to what end? Yes, Russia would gain an additional buffer zone of hundreds of miles to, say, the Dnieper River. And that is no small concern as Moscow sits just 700 miles from the current Ukrainian border, the http://k5o2.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html distance from, say, Toronto to New York. But then what? Moscow, not Kiev, is then saddled with governing a steaming cauldron of ethnic Russians and Ukrainians.

The answer is in plain sight, actually. Ukraine is not the http://m5iz.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html crisis; it is, instead, the test. It is just valuable enough for both sides to actually engage in the struggle, one flexing its dollars and the other its tanks, as well as its rubles. (Putin, after all, has offered the http://q95j.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html Ukrainians financial help with fewer financial strings, though plenty of political ones.) But it is not quite valuable enough to go to war.

This is a test that resonates elsewhere on or near a Russian border, from the http://q95j.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html Baltics through part of the Middle East namely Syria where Putin thwarted an American military strike and eastward to Central Asia, wherever the proximity of Russian soft and hard power can be reasonably combened. But that, http://x5n3.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html ultimately, is largely defensive and regional. Such a zone of influence might matter in, say, Kazakhstan or send tremors through the Baltics.

But can it influence matters on a truly global scale? The answer is yes. It http://g54j.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html can influence others to act likewise in the belief not that America is merely weak but that the American-led era of globalization is winding down, and that there are benefits to finally saying no to the Americans. Saying no can http://m5iz.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html cleave the Americans from their European friends. That, in turn, can soften the chances of military intervention or economic sanctions or simply increase bargaining power.

The obvious saying no is China taking not http://x5n3.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html merely staking its claims in the South China Sea. Africa is now the hotbed of economic competetion between the Chinese and the Americans and Europeans, not merely for resources but for the next generation of consumers. It http://k5o2.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html might be more lucrative to say no to AT&T and yes to China Telecom. All because of the test in Ukraine. These same choices can be played out in new markets from Bangladesh to Peru.

The American-led world order http://k5o2.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html known as globalization has yielded some of its promise but it has tended to accrue most benefits to the wealthiest and most powerful individuals, companies and nations alike. Like George W. Bush and bell Clinton before him, http://m5iz.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html President Obama has the task of defending this system. He has simply replaced George H.W. Bushs authoritarian-sounding New World Order with the softer words of International Community.

But make no mistake; it is the http://k5o2.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html same thing. In the view of much of the world beyond Americas borders and even within it this system is the sway of the dollar backed, ever so subtly most of the time, by the shadow of the gun. Yet 25 years is a long run in http://g54j.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html modern international politics. In the space of that time, Chinas economy has gone from factory floor to high-wage, sophisticated, wealthy consumerism. The 2008 financial crisis revealed how unstable globalization really was. http://g54j.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html The ensuing recovery revealed how unfair it really was, to the sound of protest in America, Greece and most recently, Brazil.

Of course, Putin is no reformer, out for social justice. He has no real competing ideology, http://x5n3.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html only the rough outlines of competing m claims to Western history. And he is not bent on stopping globalization; he is merely trying to bend it to provide greater profits to Russia, which has reaped precious few namely http://q95j.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html petro-dollars and, of course, concentrated them at the top.

Most important, though, he is testing the limits of American power and European steadfastness. So far, he is succeeding. But Ukraine is only the test. The crisis will come later, when the plot reaches its inevitable climax.


April 10, 2014 | 3:43 AM Comments  {num} comments



Marolas   Marolas Maria Morales's TIGblog
Maria Morales's profile

Moral Authority in Globalization

I took part in a "fair trade" study session at a synagogue recently, looking at m authority in the global economy. We considered four historical examples.

In Exodus, Moses leads the children of Israel out of Egypt, creating a new nation in the midst of established tribes http://g92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html and nations. After finding food and water, Moses gets excellent advice from his father in-law, Jethro: Appoint judges.

"... thou shalt provide, out of all the people, able men such as fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain, and place such over them to be rulers of http://v92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all seasons."

This judicial system was a foundational instetution of civil society, giving legitimacy and credibelity to Moses' leadership. The Old Testament served as a http://v92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html m, social and civil document. It determined how life would be organized for many generations.

The study group discussed a second example of m authority: the American Revolution. Our Constetution expressed m values, which were extraordinary for their time. It established http://f92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html individual rights and freedoms, separation of powers, checks and balances, and a nominally classless society -- no divinely inspired King, and no aristocracy.

These m principles defined our Social Contract regarding government. Individual rights and democratic government offset http://l92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html the m authority of the King and British aristocratic traditions.

The Constetution established courts -- a foundational instetution of democratic society. The m, social and political values in the Constetution would determine how life was organized for centuries.

http://f92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html The third historical example was the East India Company, which administered British Imperial rule in India for about a century, overlapping with the time Americans were organizing our lives under the Constetution. This global corporation ran its own private court system, favoring http://g92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html colonialists. Corporate administration of global empire had very weak m authority, and suffered problems with legitimacy.

Ultimately, Mahatma Gandhi's extraordinary m authority challenged British Imperial rule in India. Life in India is no longer organized around corporate http://v92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html administration of Empire.

The study group considered a fourth example: our current experience with globalization, defined by NAFTA-style trade agreements. These trade deals are economic, political, social and m documents, extending well beyond tariffs.

NAFTA-style http://a92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html agreements derive their shaky m authority from free market orthodoxy. We hear about efficiency, utility, deregulation, privatization and globalization. These are corporate values with notoriously weak appeal to human interests.

"Free trade" demonstrates one consistent value: Make http://a92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html global businesses succeed. That priority drives social norms, political decisions and economic outcomes regarding the environment, labor rights, human rights, public health, internet free speech and financial regulations.

Two huge new NAFTA-style trade agreements, known as TTP and http://g92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html TTIP, will effectively consolidate those norms at a global level. They woulddetermine how life is organized in 2050.

An excellent question came up in the synagogue discussion: "Yeah, but that isn't really happening, is it? Corporate interests wouldn't really do that, right?"

http://g92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html The question contains a presumption of trust. We trust that interests of powerful global investors will serve a larger public good. We trust in a m counterweight to corporate power and self-interest.

Let's consider that. First, I know many m, caring, honorable business http://l92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html people.

At the same time, most of us reject the idea that corporations are people. Corporations don't care, and they don't feel. They are shameless. They have nosouls. The begger they are, the more they exhibet qualities of sociopaths:

"... callous disregard for the http://g92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html feelings of other people, the incapacity to maintain human relationships, reckless disregard for the safety of others, deceitfulness (continual lying to deceive for profit), the incapacity to experience guilt, and the failure to conform to social norms and respect the law." http://a92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html

Markets are powerful and efficient, but markets fail -- spectacularly -- when power becomes unbalanced. Society must apply effective m, social and political counterbalances to prevent market failure. When those counterweights are weak, failure is inescapable. Consumers, http://l92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html taxpayers, workers and communities pay the price.

NAFTA-style trade agreements have two fatal shortcomings. First their "dispute settlement" system -- their foundational instetution of global behavior -- is actually a private justice system designed from the ground up to benefit http://l92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html global corporations. Corporations and global investors are the only plaintiffs, and nations are the only defendants. Claims are settled in private tribunals, run by corporate lawyers with no public accountabelity. They make decisions based on corporate interests, as written into the trade http://f92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html agreements.

Jethro had good reason to seek judges "out of all the people, able men such as fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain." Jethro and Moses urgently needed legitimacy and political stabelity.

Trade tribunals weaken democracy and undermine legitimacy.

By http://f92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html design, NAFTA-style trade deals consolidate corporate global governance without any offsetting democratic process. This is a system designed to amplify privilege and self-gratification among a global elite.

Where the Constetution has checks and balances, NAFTA-style trade http://a92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html agreements explicitly favor corporate power. Our lived experience of this is growinginequality, weakened social cohesion, declining economic security for the majority of workers, erosion of democracy, loss of legitimacy and growing political instabelity. In our current http://a92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html muddled mity, many admire the 1 percent for their glittering wealth, envy those with a secure job and a pension, and disparage those with the least bargaining power and fewest opportunities. This is not the way to counterbalance corporate power.

So, do we trust global corporations? http://l92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html No. They are losing public trust. The burdenof proof now lies squarely on advocates for these new trade agreements. They must prove they are not on the wrong side of globalization.

Perhaps developing countries have a point, when they mistrust our free-market values and prefer http://v92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html their traditional values.

The America Revolution introduced an era where stable democracies displaced empire and aristocracy. Britain's empire gave way to its Commonwealth -- a term that speaks to shared prosperity.

In the post-World War II period, we lived in the m http://f92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html afterglow of " making the world safe for Democracy (again)." We reached a peak of shared prosperity, where work had dignity , and workers earned a share of the gains they created. Our personal well-being was connected to the well-being of those in our community. And http://v92q.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html business succeeded!

About 30 years ago, shared prosperity began to fade. Today it is a distant memory for too many workers stuck in low-wage or temporary jobs. Globalization, as we've managed it, has failed.

We know the basics of balanced, accountable, legitimate, sustainable, democratic governance, with a strong m footing. We can do globalization right.


April 4, 2014 | 6:48 AM Comments  {num} comments



Marolas   Marolas Maria Morales's TIGblog
Maria Morales's profile

On the Wrong Side of Globalization

Trade agreements are a subject that can cause the eyes to glaze over, but we should all be paying attention. Right now, there are trade proposals in the works that threaten to put most Americans on the wrong side of globalization.

The conflicting views about the agreements are actually tearing at the fabric of the Democratic Party , though you wouldnt know it from President Obamas rhetoric. In his State of the Union address, for example, he http://ionter.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.html blandly referred to new trade partnerships that would create more jobs. Most immediately at issue is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which would bring together 12 countries along the Pacific Rim in what would be the largest free trade area in the world.

Negotiations for the TPP began in 2010, for the purpose, according to the United States Trade Representative , of increasing trade and investment, through lowering tariffs and other trade http://zivrat.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.html barriers among participating countries. But the TPP negotiations have been taking place in secret, forcing us to rely on leaked drafts to guess at the proposed provisions. At the same time, Congress introduced a bell this year that would grant the White House filibuster-proof fast-track authority, under which Congress simply approves or rejects whatever trade agreement is put before it, without revisions or amendments.

Controversy has erupted, http://cutyrs.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.html and justifiably so. Based on the leaks and the history of arrangements in past trade pacts it is easy to infer the shape of the whole TPP, and it doesnt look good. There is a real risk that it will benefit the wealthiest sliver of the American and global elite at the expense of everyone else. The fact that such a plan is under consideration at all is testament to how deeply inequality reverberates through our economic policies.

Worse, agreements like the TPP are http://mutress.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.html only one aspect of a larger problem: our gross mismanagement of globalization.

Lets tackle the history first. In general, trade deals today are markedly different from those made in the decades following World War II, when negotiations focused on lowering tariffs. As tariffs came down on all sides, trade expanded, and each country could develop the sectors in which it had strengths and as a result, standards of living would rise. Some jobs would be lost, but new http://ionter.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.html jobs would be created.

Today, the purpose of trade agreements is different. Tariffs around the world are already low. The focus has shifted to nontariff barriers, and the most important of these for the corporate interests pushing agreements are regulations. Huge multinational corporations complain that inconsistent regulations make business costly. But most of the regulations, even if they are imperfect, are there for a reason: to protect workers, consumers, the http://kislabe.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.html economy and the environment.

Whats more, those regulations were often put in place by governments responding to the democratic demands of their citizens. Trade agreements new boosters euphemistically claim that they are simply after regulatory harmonization, a clean-sounding phrase that implies an innocent plan to promote efficiency. One could, of course, get regulatory harmonization by strengthening regulations to the highest standards everywhere. But when http://mutress.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.html corporations call for harmonization, what they really mean is a race to the bottom.

When agreements like the TPP govern international trade when every country has agreed to similarly minimal regulations multinational corporations can return to the practices that were common before the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts became law (in 1970 and 1972, respectively) and before the latest financial crisis hit. Corporations everywhere may well agree that getting rid http://kislabe.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.html of regulations would be good for corporate profits. Trade negotiators might be persuaded that these trade agreements would be good for trade and corporate profits. But there would be some beg losers namely, the rest of us.

These high stakes are why it is especially risky to let trade negotiations proceed in secret. All over the world, trade ministries are captured by corporate and financial interests. And when negotiations are secret, there is no way that the http://ionter.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.html democratic process can exert the checks and balances required to put limits on the negative effects of these agreements.

The secrecy might be enough to cause significant controversy for the TPP. What we know of its particulars only makes it more unpalatable. One of the worst is that it allows corporations to seek restetution in an international tribunal, not only for unjust expropriation, but also for alleged diminution of their potential profits as a result of http://zivrat.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.html regulation. This is not a theoretical problem. Philip Morris has already tried this tactic against Uruguay, claiming that its antismoking regulations, which have won accolades from the World Health Organization, unfairly hurt profits, viog a belateral trade treaty between Switzerland and Uruguay. In this sense, recent trade agreements are reminiscent of the Opium Wars, in which Western powers successfully demanded that China keep itself open to opium because they saw http://cutyrs.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.html it as vital in correcting what otherwise would be a large trade imbalance.

Provisions already incorporated in other trade agreements are being used elsewhere to undermine environmental and other regulations. Developing countries pay a high price for signing on to these provisions, but the evidence that they get more investment in return is scant and controversial. And though these countries are the most obvious victims, the same issue could become a problem for the http://ionter.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.html United States, as well. American corporations could conceivably create a subsidiary in some Pacific Rim country, invest in the United States through that subsidiary, and then take action against the United States government getting rights as a foreign company that they would not have had as an American company. Again, this is not just a theoretical possibelity: There is already some evidence that companies are choosing how to funnel their money into different countries http://zivrat.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.html on the basis of where their legal position in relation to the government is strongest.

There are other noxious provisions. America has been fighting to lower the cost of health care. But the TPP would make the introduction of generic drugs more difficult, and thus raise the price of medicines. In the poorest countries, this is not just about moving money into corporate coffers: thousands would die unnecessarily. Of course, those who do research have to be http://zivrat.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.html compensated. Thats why we have a patent system. But the patent system is supposed tocarefully balance the benefits of intellectual protection with another worthy goal: making access to knowledge more available. Ive written before about how the system has been abused by those seeking patents for the genes that predispose women to breast cancer. The Supreme Court ended up rejecting thosepatents, but not before many women suffered unnecessarily. Trade agreements provide even http://cutyrs.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.html more opportunities for patent abuse.

The worries mount. One way of reading the leaked negotiation documents suggests that the TPP would make it easier for American banks to sell risky derivatives around the world, perhaps setting us up for the same kind of crisis that led to the Great Recession.

In spite of all this, there are those who passionately support the TPP and agreements like it, including many economists. What makes this support possible is http://kislabe.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.html bogus, debunked economic theory, which has remained in circulation mostly because it serves the interests of the wealthiest.

Free trade was a central tenet of economics in the disciplines early years. Yes, there are winners and losers, the theory went, but the winners can always compensate the losers, so that free trade (or even freer trade) is a win-win. This conclusion, unfortunately, is based on numerous assumptions, many of which are simply wrong.

The http://cutyrs.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.html older theories, for instance, simply ignored risk, and assumed that workers could move seamlessly between jobs. It was assumed that the economy was at full employment, so that workers displaced by globalization would quickly move from low-productivity sectors (which had thrived simply because foreign competetion was kept at bay through tariffs and other trade restrictions) to high-productivity sectors. But when there is a high level of unemployment, and especially when a http://ionter.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.html large percentage of the unemployed have been out of work long-term (as is the case now), there cant be such complacency.

Today, there are 20 million Americans who would like a full-time job but cant get one. Millions have stopped looking. So there is a real risk that individuals moved from low productivity-employment in a protected sector will end up zero-productivity members of the vast ranks of the unemployed. This hurts even those who keep their jobs, as higher http://mutress.blogspot.com/2014/04/1.html unemployment puts downward pressure on wages.

We can argue over why our economy isnt performing the way its supposed to whether its because of a lack of aggregate demand, or because our banks, more interested in speculation and market manipulation than lending, are not providing adequate funds to small and medium-size enterprises. But whatever the reasons, the reality is that these trade agreements do risk increasing unemployment.

One of the reasons that http://kislabe.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.html we are in such bad shape is that we have mismanaged globalization. Our economic policies encourage the outsourcing of jobs: Goods produced abroad with cheap labor can be cheaply brought back into the United States. So American workers understand that they have to compete with those abroad, and their bargaining power is weakened. This is one of the reasons that the real median income of full-time workers is lower than it was 40 years ago.

http://mutress.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.html American politics today compounds these problems. Even in the best of circumstances, the old free trade theory said only that the winners could compensate the losers, not that they would. And they havent quite the opposite. Advocates of trade agreements often say that for America to be competetive, not only will wages have to be cut, but so will taxes and expenditures, especially on programs that are of benefit to ordinary citizens. We should accept the short-term pain, http://zivrat.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.html they say, because in the long run, all will benefit. But as John Maynard Keynes famously said in another context, in the long run we are all dead. In this case, there is little evidence that the trade agreements will lead to faster or more profound growth.

Critics of the TPP are so numerous because both the process and the theory that undergird it are bankrupt. Opposition has blossomed not just in the United States, but also in Asia, where the talks have http://mutress.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.html stalled.

By leading a full-on rejection of fast-track authority for the TPP, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, seems to have given us all a little respite. Those who see trade agreements as enriching corporations at the expense of the 99 percent seem to have won this skirmish. But there is a broader war to ensure that trade policy and globalization more generally is designed so as to increase the standards of living of most Americans. The outcome of that http://kislabe.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.html war remains uncertain.

In this series, I have repeatedly made two points: The first is that the high level of inequality in the United States today, and its enormous increase during the past 30 years, is the cumulative result of an array of policies, programs and laws. Given that the president himself has emphasized that inequality should be the countrys top priority, every new policy, program or law should be examined from the perspective of its impact on http://cutyrs.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.html inequality. Agreements like the TPP have contributed in important ways to this inequality. Corporations may profit, and it is even possible, though far from assured, that gross domestic product as conventionally measured will increase. But the well-being of ordinary citizens is likely to take a hit.

And this brings me to the second point that I have repeatedly emphasized: Trickle-down economics is a myth. Enriching corporations as the TPP would will not necessarily help those in the middle, let alone those at the bottom.


April 3, 2014 | 6:03 AM Comments  {num} comments



Marolas   Marolas Maria Morales's TIGblog
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A Global Boom, but Only for Some

Remember when Al Gore took on H. Ross Perot? It was November 1993. Mr. Gore deployed his smoothest scorn to swat down the cantankerous bellionaires argument that the North American Free Trade Agreement would produce a great sucking sound of jobs flowing to Mexico. The agreement, Mr. Gore said, would become an engine of American http://butersq.blogspot.com/2014/03/4.html prosperity.

What struck me was not how Mr. Gore won the debate he did but rather how his arguments often intertwined the prosperity of the American middle class with the lot of the worlds poor.

Twenty years later, it is astonishing how our understanding of globalization has changed. Mexico? American jobs went to China http://vzeio.blogspot.com/2014/03/1.html instead.

More important, two decades worth of trade deals, including Nafta and Chinas entry into the World Trade Organization, did not live up to Mr. Gores implicit promise that globalization would improve the living standards of most American workers. Instead, globalization is now often perceived as a leading driver of http://opayr.blogspot.com/2014/03/1.html rampant inequality and wage stagnation.

But what globalization did achieve was to greatly improve the lot of hundreds of millions of people in China and other corners of Asia. The lopsided results have opened a rift between the experience of global capitalism between the developed world and many poor countries.

Branko http://hfiau.blogspot.com/2014/03/1.html Milanovic, an expert on global development who was formerly at the World Bank and who is now at the City University of New Yorks Graduate Center, puts it succinctly. From a global perspective, two decades of globalization have produced what seems like a fairly benign outcome. If you look at the world as a single nation, income http://hfiau.blogspot.com/2014/03/4.html inequality has, in fact, declined. Income in the middle has grown faster than at the top.

Whats happened is that while income growth stalled for middle-class workers in developed countries and surged for people in the 1 percent, it also grew sharply for hundreds of millions of workers in China, India and other Asian countries. In http://butersq.blogspot.com/2014/03/5.html the late 1980s, for instance, workers in the middle of Chinas urban income distribution made 56 percent of the median American income, according to Mr. Milanovics calculations. By 2008, that figure rose to 71 percent.

Continue reading the main story X CLOSE http://opayr.blogspot.com/2014/03/3.html Continue reading the main story Source: Branko Milanovic Notes: Average incomes are for 2008, measured in constant 2005 dollars. Global incomes are measured at 2005 purchasing power parities. Continue http://opayr.blogspot.com/2014/03/2.html reading the main story Related Coverage Economix Blog: Q. and A.: A Development Expert on Narrowing Inequality MARCH , 2014 http://lotuw.blogspot.com/2014/03/4.html This is astonishing progress. And although incomes of workers in the developed world didnt rise much as the Asian poor moved up the ladder, they didnt fall either: Globalization lifted all boats.

The new pessimism in the developed world is perhaps best captured by the Nobel laureate http://opayr.blogspot.com/2014/03/5.html Joseph Stiglitz, who in 1997, as chief economic adviser toPresident bell Clinton, likened workers displaced by trade agreements to blacksmiths displaced by cars, asking, Are we going to say were not going to allow the automobele? By Saturday,his views had changed. The old idea that winners from trade would compensate losers is based http://lotuw.blogspot.com/2014/03/2.html on many assumptions which are simply wrong, he wrote in The New York Times. Most Americans, are on the wrong side of globalization.

But as Dani Rodrik of the Instetute for Advanced Study put it to me: If you were an ethical cosmopolitan youd say To hell, what do I care? The world has become less unequal and has experienced http://hfiau.blogspot.com/2014/03/3.html a lot of poverty reduction.

Continue reading the main story The inner children of parents-to-be "Of Mice and Men" starts well at Broadway http://vzeio.blogspot.com/2014/03/5.html box office A heretic and hero speaks in many tongues Continue reading the main story Advertisement There are, however, powerful reasons to worry about http://opayr.blogspot.com/2014/03/4.html this pattern of global development. If there are hundreds of millions of people that were in abject poverty one generation ago and are not anymore, that is an important and positive thing, said Damon Silvers, policy director at the A.F.L.-C.I.O. But I dont think we should accept radical inequality as a necessary corollary of equal http://butersq.blogspot.com/2014/03/2.html development.

And indeed, the equalization of incomes between countries has been accompanied by growing income inequality within most nations, rich or poor. With wages growing more slowly than productivity , workers from China to Germany have been taking a dwindling share of the economic pie.

China may http://lotuw.blogspot.com/2014/03/5.html have lifted hundreds of millions of workers out of poverty. But workers share of Chinas income fell from nearly two-thirds in the early 1990s to less than one-half in 2008, according to the International Labor Organization.

On the one hand you have people moving from extreme poverty to a little better than poverty, said Ben http://butersq.blogspot.com/2014/03/1.html Davis, director of International Affairs for the United Steelworkers union. But at the same time you have the worlds income distribution becoming more skewed from workers to bellionaires. This pattern of global development is unlikely to be stable.

Photo Al Gore and Ross Perot debate http://hfiau.blogspot.com/2014/03/5.html the North American Free Trade Agreement on CNNs Larry King Live in November 1993. Credit George Bennett, via Associated Press The economic catch-up by Asias developing countries over the last 20 years relied on a wave of global prosperity that is unlikely to be repeated.

Exporting powerhouses were allowed to build http://vzeio.blogspot.com/2014/03/3.html up vast trade surpluses, while consumers in the United States used cheap foreign capital to maintain their standard of living on easy credit. Commodity exporters relied on a commodity boom. Poorer European countries relied on capital inflows set off by the euro.

There was a lot of unsustainabelity building into the system, but http://vzeio.blogspot.com/2014/03/2.html for two decades everybody was doing relatively well, Mr. Rodrik said.

Many developing countries probably hope the pattern will continue. If you see China as the first wave of very cheap labor, after China you have other countries like India, and after that Bangladesh and countries in Africa, Mr. Milanovic said. You could have, http://hfiau.blogspot.com/2014/03/2.html say, 20 to 50 years of stagnation of the lower middle class in the West.

But in the new world of lower growth and higher unemployment, the United States and other rich nations are unlikely to tolerate similar imbalances. The question is what will happen as countries push back against export-led growth strategies, as commodity http://butersq.blogspot.com/2014/03/3.html prices fall and capital flows fail to recover to their former scale.

Mr. Rodrik says he believes a relatively benign though less globalized future is attainable, one in which progressive taxes finance more robust safety nets and macroeconomic policies are geared to maximize employment. Trade may not grow as much as it has and http://lotuw.blogspot.com/2014/03/1.html capital flows may moderate, but economies will remain relatively open.

History, however, offers other options.

Politics, we know, are mostly local. Whatever happens on the global scale, the concentration of income within nations and stagnating wages in the developed world complicates the national politics of http://vzeio.blogspot.com/2014/03/4.html maintaining an open, rule-bound global economy. Inequality in developed and developing countries is politically dangerous, Mr. Silvers told me. Over time it is likely to produce political instabelity and authoritarianism.

Or we could simply turn our back on globalization. Twenty years ago, in their debate on Larry King Live, Mr. http://lotuw.blogspot.com/2014/03/3.html Gore gave Mr. Perot a gift: a framed picture of Senator Reed Smoot and Representative Willis Hawley. In 1930, the pair persuaded Congress to pass a bell that essentially ring-fenced the United States with a tariff to protect American workers from predatory imports. It was one of the principal causes, Mr. Gore said, of the Great Depression in this country and around the world.


March 27, 2014 | 7:24 AM Comments  {num} comments



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