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Loss of Jobs in America

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
El Guapo talks about "true conservatives" Its interesting to read what one of Ronald Reagan's gurus has to say about our current "Import everything and pay for it with credit" economy:

Loss of Jobs in America
Paul Craig Roberts
Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2003
Are we being spun on jobs by the White House and the rah-rah Bush media like we are being spun on Iraq? Make up your own mind after considering the following.

Only a few of the 116,000 private sector jobs created in October provide good incomes: 6,000 new positions in legal services and accounting – activities that reflect corporations gearing up to protect their top executives from Sarbanes-Oxley.

The remainder of the 116,000 new jobs consist of temps, retail trade, telephone marketing, and fund raising, administrative and waste services, and private education and health services.

Physicians' offices hired 9,000 people to cope with Medicare and insurance company paperwork. Nursing and residential care facilities hired 5,000, childcare services hired 6,000, and hospitals hired 3,000.

Many of the new jobs do not pay enough to support a family. The temp and retail jobs are 40 percent of the total.

All of the new jobs are in services. None of the new service jobs are capable of producing export earnings to bring balance to our massive trade deficit.

Jobs capable of producing tradable goods and services continue to be lost at a rapid rate. In the last three months, the United States lost 91,000 manufacturing jobs.

Computer jobs have disappeared. In Tampa, San Antonio, Seattle and California, office buildings are closed that a few years ago contained tens of thousands of computer engineers. People who in 2000 were making between $60,000 and $100,000 annually cannot today find jobs.

On Nov. 3, CBS News reported: "U.S. October layoffs surge 125 percent." Layoff announcements from U.S. companies more than doubled in October to 171,874, the highest in a year according to the outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas. In October, the auto industry sacked 28,000 workers and telecommunications companies cut 21,000 jobs.

While the ladders of upward mobility are collapsing, the United States continues to import several million legal and illegal poor immigrants each year. Thirty-five million Mexicans are not needed to pick the California fruit and vegetable crops. There is no economic or social rationale for the United States to permit massive inflows of poor people, whose needs are overwhelming U.S. taxpayers, hospitals and government budgets.

Population experts predict that immigration will boost the U.S. population by 100 million people by mid-century. Imagine what that portends for energy consumption and the environment.

The United States is already a heavy energy importer with a serious trade deficit. The economic development projected for Asia means a huge increase in world energy consumption. Unlike the United States, Asian economies have export surpluses with which to pay their energy bills.

It is possible that the loss of American jobs in tradable goods and services, combined with the importation of massive numbers of poor people, will leave the United States without the means to purchase its energy needs in world markets. When the dollar's value is undermined by budget and trade deficits, energy prices for Americans will explode.

A country that substitutes foreign labor for its own domestic labor via outsourcing, offshore production and Internet hiring, a country that transfers its wealth to foreigners to pay for imports, a country that fills up with welfare-dependent multitudes while it squanders $200 billion in Iraq is a country headed for Third World status.

Some industry experts argue that the United States has lost so much of its core industrial capability that advanced manufacturing skills are disappearing in this country. The United States lacks mass production ability in critical areas of high-tech manufacturing.

The United States assembles parts made elsewhere. Knowledge- and capital-demanding activities, such as charge-coupled devices, industrial robotics, numerically controlled machine tools, laser diodes and carbon fibers, are passing out of U.S. hands.

A service economy has less to export than a manufacturing economy. What will the United States sell abroad to pay for its energy and manufacturing imports?

We are currently paying for our imports by giving up the ownership of our companies, real estate, and corporate and government bonds. Once the United States has spent its wealth, we will have no way to pay for the energy and manufactured goods on which we have become import-dependent.

While the once fabulous U.S. economy erodes, the hapless Bush administration thinks its most important goal is to waste American lives and massive sums of money to force "democracy" on Middle Eastern peoples who do not want it.


COPYRIGHT 2003 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

Dr. Roberts' latest book, "The Tyranny of Good Intentions," has been published by Prima Publishers.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
Wow... you're into deep sh*t! There goes the number one world superpower.. Don't worry, the Third World is a welcoming Clube... :p
The bad thing is that a crisis in the US means crisis worldwide... Will another Black Thursday come? Although the roles seem to be inverted this time... The US is the one that can't pay their debts, rather than Europe..
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Of course, that is the other side of the coin. Once the US is "tapped out," who will buy all of the cheap goods manufactured in China and the like. Certainly not a workforce paid 50 cents per day.

I am being a lot like Kunstler, I guess, in the sense that I see no solutions. These are inevitable forces of history-especially when these forces/trends benefit-for the short term-the people who control the American economy and government.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
Messages
2,713
Points
24
Nice article.

Dont think it has anything to do with the 2nd Gulf War.

The ALL business should pay MUCH more in taxes AND pay a living wage argument is great politics. How does that keep manufacutirng business in the US? You can't be pro-business AND pro-workers without changing some of the way we do things. I believe in a minimum wage and want people to earn living wages, every one can buy more crap that way.

Seems to me like both PARTIES and PARTISANS get it wrong again! The pole we had a week back about who pays more taxes was stupid and it misses the whole point. The point is how to stem/solve the whole problem associated with successfully industrialized nations pricing themselves out of business. Has not yet been acomplished ANYWHERE. That is why each nation has thier pet subsidies to protect certain industries.


That very well would make us MUCH more competitive in the world market place than at present, IMHO.

As a solution, I propose the following:

A successful business does not pay taxes. An unsuccessful business does not pay taxes for long. We would be better off not charging a single business a single penny in taxes with the only exception being "the percentage of workers who do not live within the boundaries of the US is the percentage of taxes you will pay on goods sold IN the boundaries of the US". (those nations that wish a balanced trade agrement with similar ways of measuring could come to an arangement)

Socialize our health care or whatever you want to name the new system so business did NOT have to pay to provide that to workers. That is something that should be funded by people any way. Companies only offered to start paying for health care in the first place during the second world war because wages were frozen and workers were short. It was incentives to lure workers. It was never meant to be permanant and part of the reason the system is broke today.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Socialize our health care or whatever you want to name the new system so business did NOT have to pay to provide that to workers. That is something that should be funded by people any way. Companies only offered to start paying for health care in the first place during the second world war because wages were frozen and workers were short. It was incentives to lure workers. It was never meant to be permanant and part of the reason the system is broke today.
An interesting point. I read somewhere during the tech boom that a semiconductor manufacturer located its plant in Ireland rather than the United States partly because Ireland has "socialized medicine."

One of more pollyannish co-workers glibly asserts that we can be a purely service economy-that the medical industry pays a good living wage. I responded that the US medical care system is broke (too many examples like my own family-the Federal Government spent more than 1/2 million dollars on the last year of his life for my mother's second husband (RIP)-we won't be doing that for very long.)

I could see your corporate tax thing IF things were structured to require corporations to meet the original intent behind the concept of a limited liability corporation-that is, the community grants such a charter in exchange for certain concrete public benefits. Get rid of the whole Delaware (or Bahamas) scam. (Sorry Delaware. No apologies for Bahamas)

As for no country successfully solving the dilemna you speak of-thats true. Some boutique nations (Denmark) are doing a better job-but that's a country of what, 5 million people?
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
I think we should:

A) Require all goods sold in the United States to be produced using processes that do not break our environmental laws, regardless of where they are manufactured

B) Require all goods sold in the United States to be produced by workers being paid a living wage (that would have to be defined in more detail) with the right to organise and following all of our labor laws (like 8 hour workday, etc), again, regardless of where they are manufactured.

That virtually eliminates the appeal of going off to the third world. There is still some advantage, because differences in the price of the dollar and the cost of living for workers would still make it cheaper in some circumstances.

But workers in those places would be getting a living wage, so they'd have discretionary income that they can use to buy the goods they're producing. They will become consumers as well, and the cost of living would rise as well as the value of their currency against the dollar, so advangages to moving would be short-term.

The end result is a "race to the top," rather than the race to the bottom we have now.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
Messages
2,713
Points
24
Its not enough just to fix the import side of the equation. We have to Make goods people need or want to buy, plus those goods need to be affordable. This is the problem of All of the developed nations.

Denmarks economy is similar enough to all developed nations economies. They have had better days for themselves in history also. France, a once great, has leveled off. By no means has it sunk into obscurity as some would like. It is also not the same as it once was. Same for England. A German friend of mine tells me the situation there is so bad it is illegal to moonlight at a second job because you would be stealing a job from somebody with NO job. Japan has had 10 years of stagnant economies and misery.

The article fails to point out this is the problem of the entire developed world, not just the US. The developing nations need a way up too or it remains broken for everyone. Wish I had the answere but I don't. Got to be a way out of it though.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
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26
Actually come to think of it... didn't the same thing happen to Rome? They started buying and buying things from their colonies and the rest of the empire.. that lead to their doom. Romans at the end of the empire didn't even grow their own food!, everything was imported and romas just partied all day long.

If you examine this carefully, the developed countries send out their manufacturing out to the sub-developed countries, the developed countries lose jobs, and the sub-developed world wins jobs and money. But in no case the sub-developed countries can survive without the developed countries, hence if one falls, everybody falls.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
Messages
2,713
Points
24
SkeLeton said:
Actually come to think of it... didn't the same thing happen to Rome? They started buying and buying things from their colonies and the rest of the empire.. ........But in no case the sub-developed countries can survive without the developed countries, hence if one falls, everybody falls.
Yup, your getting the idea now. Rome was a lot more complicated than that, but the basics are there. I don't think the Romans were that decadant. :)

Sub-developed countries always survive, its what they do, just not in the lap of luxury.
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
Jordon--would your proposal lead to cd players costing 500 dollars and mens suits costing 1500? Ok, maybe a bit of an exaggeration. Are you willing to pay union members 100,000 a piece to make widgets?

I am going to look into Mr. Robert's--the author of the article--for his true frame of reference.

Before I do that, I am not sure the reason for the shot at the Bush administration at the end of the article--or was that shot from BKM?. If things are as bad as he opines, it is essentially an indictment of the American way as it has evolved.

I am back

Looks like Mr. Roberts is a bit of an anti-immigration advocate, bordering on the racist. From an article appearing in Newmax.com:

"White American males face deteriorating career prospects because U.S. companies substitute foreign labor for U.S. labor, civil rights policy requires discrimination against white males in employment and promotion, and massive immigration drives down wages in construction, services and other employment."

Nice.

I just like to make sure everybody knows that everybody has an agenda.
 
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Bangorian

Member
Messages
198
Points
7
gkmo62u said:
"White American males face deteriorating career prospects because U.S. companies substitute foreign labor for U.S. labor, civil rights policy requires discrimination against white males in employment and promotion, and massive immigration drives down wages in construction, services and other employment."
Isn't that basically Bush's position on Affirmative Action???

We DO need more blue-collar jobs in the US. Jobs where the poor guy who didn't go to college can work and live a decent life. Instead we have half the country working at Taco Bell and recieving social assistance because their jobs don't pay them enough to get by.

I thought republicans and businesses hated taxes! Then why is our government and corporate lobby pushing the service-sector economy so hard... won't bad jobs and poor wages require more people to be on social programs and thereby raise taxes?

And, by the way, you CAN be pro-business and pro-worker. Its called compromise. Where the employer and the employees can agree on the terms of their employment - like an independent contractor would. Unfortunately, right now all our policies are slanted to be about 90% pro-business and 10% pro-worker, with work on the way to make things even worse for the common American. Sorry if the price of a CD player goes up by $10. How much cheap palstic junk do we really need?
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
As long as the average CEO makes 475 times what the average worker makes i don't think we're in any danger of paying some guy on the assembly line or in the stock room too much money.

Capitalism doesn't work. It's failing like communism did. You can deny the correlations but as they say "it ain't just a river in Africa" I've said it before but our economy need to grow at 3% a year to be considered healthy. It needs to constantly expand and it's running out of places to go - enter privatization of schools, hospitals, the postal/parcel system, the military, etc. And in case you've missed Tom Brokaw's Fleecing of America, don't be surprised to see an Iraqi constitution drawn up as soon as their national assets have been privatized by majority American companies.

Adam Smith, when he advocated for the free market, was saying this 200 years ago. He spelled out very clearly what would happen and he's been absolutely right so far. There's nothing free about our economy. When companies like Wal-Mart and GE have internal GDPs larger than most countries, and all of the money is borrowed and spent in 5 year plans . . . well, that's capitalism (or laissez-faire capitalism if you prefer)not a free market.

( sorry, this is from David Korten)

Pyramids, bubbles and the global casino

Albania recently suffered a national crisis brought on by the collapse of fraudulent pyramid schemes. Westerners wise in the ways of the market were bemused by the naiveté of the Albanians who fell for "investment" schemes promising returns as high as 25 percent a month with no real business activity behind them. During the course of the nationwide speculative frenzy, farmers sold their flocks and urban dwellers their apartments to share in the promised bonanza of effortless wealth. The inevitable collapse sparked widespread riots, arson, and looting when the Albanian government failed to make up the losses.
Those inclined to laugh at the innocence of the Albanians should first consider their own response to proposals that social security contributions be invested in a stock market that even Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says is substantially over valued. The speculative financial bubble, which involves bidding up the price of an asset far beyond its underlying value, is little more than a sophisticated variant of the classic pyramid scam.
Investing in a bubble is a form of gambling and it isn't entirely naive. Who cares if there is nothing behind it? The bubble is the action. The trick is to place big bets and get out before it bursts. It is a game of nerves. The action gets especially exciting when banks are willing to accept the inflated assets as collateral and lend new money into existence to stake further play, which pushes prices ever higher. This process of borrowing into bubbles with newly created money is key to making financial wealth increase faster than real wealth. Furthermore, when a leveraged bubble bursts and banks are left with substantial portfolios of uncollectible loans, governments are almost forced to step in with a bailout to stop a banking collapse -- as the US government did in the case of the Great Depression and the more recent Savings and Loan crisis. This amounts to another money transfer, this time from taxpayers to those with money.
Betting on financial bubbles is only one of the lucrative games that attract players to the global finance casino. There are as well opportunities to speculate on short-term price movements, buy and sell simultaneously in different markets to profit from minute price differences, and bet on derivatives contracts. While economists have become exceedingly facile in rationalizing how such activities actually benefit society, in truth they are more accurately described as forms of legal theft by which a clever few expropriate rights to the real wealth of society while contributing more to its depletion than to its creation.

Consuming capital to make money


William Greider, in his newly released book One World Ready or Not, observes that corporations get caught in the trap of having to compete for investment funds against the often more lucrative financial games of the world of pure finance. With the rare exception of companies with a hot product or distinctive market niche, in an unregulated global economy most corporations have little choice but to use their economic and political power to externalize ever growing portions of their costs onto the community. The dynamics of a competitive global economy favor the cost externalization process because they pit workers and communities against one another in a deadly race to the bottom. By competing for the jobs corporations offer, workers and communities are compelled to deplete real wealth to make corporations more profitable.
Responding to the pressures of financial markets, corporations:


Deplete social capital by moving production to places where they can pay less than a living wage or use the threat of moving jobs to break up labor unions and bargain down wages. Gains from productive activity are thus shifted from working people to money people. Furthermore, the stress of attempting to maintain self and family on insecure jobs paying less than a family wage results in family breakdown and violence, depleting the social capital of society.

Deplete human capital by hiring young women in places like the Mexican maquiladoras under conditions that lead to their physical burnout after three or four years. Once eyesight problems, allergies, kidney problems, and repetitive stress injuries deplete their efficiency, they are replaced by a fresh supply of younger women. Such practices destroy lives and deplete society's human capital.

Deplete the Earth's natural capital through strip mining forests, fisheries, and mineral deposits, dumping wastes, and aggressively marketing toxic chemicals.

Deplete institutional capital by fighting environmental and other regulations essential to the long-term health and viability of society. Corporations further demand direct public subsidies, subsidized infrastructure, and relief from their fair share of taxes. This shifts a greater share of the tax burden onto working people and undermines the credibility and performance of government in its essential functions, thus eroding the legitimacy of democratic government.

Deplete business capital. Corporate managers are forced into a short-term view even in regard to their own operations. They cut investment in research and training essential to their own future prospects. As they downsize, the sharp employee quickly learns to use the job only to build a resume to attract a higher bidder. These actions erode the corporation's own human, intellectual, social, and physical capital.
 
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jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
gkmo62u said:

I just like to make sure everybody knows that everybody has an agenda.
In the interest of logic, how does your painting this guy as a racist (or any other person you disagree with for whatever reason) make what he says any less true? I'm not saying that i agree with him on economics (i might but i can't tell from one article) or on affrimative action but how does that make his assessment of the state of the economy any less relevant?

Are you saying that "this guy is against affirmative action therefore trade deficits must be OK?"

Just saying that I agree with Pat Buchanan on a number of issues and i'll readily admit it regardless of the names I call him for other stuff that he says.

Sometimes Pat and I come at issues from different angles and sometimes from the same angle. I still think he's xenophobic, patronizing, and paternalistic but that doesn't mean there's no truth to what he says.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
gkmo62u said:
I stopped reading after "Capitalism doesn't work."
well when you or anyone else can show me that it works, and is viable for 51% of humanity i'll retract my statement, take down my picture of Emma Goldman, and edit my post to say "Go Capitalism!"
 

Miles Ignatius

Cyburbian
Messages
368
Points
12
Great Piece!

Thanks for putting this out there; I think if it been penned by one of those "lefties" the Fox-Bushite media would have assaulted him. When somebody like Roberts says "look at the numbers" we'd better stand up and take notice before we're just another "banana rupublic."
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
BKM said:
El Guapo talks about "true conservatives" Its interesting to read what one of Ronald Reagan's gurus has to say about our current "Import everything and pay for it with credit" economy:
el Guapo did a search an he doesn't find any instance of his using the term 'true conservatives" on Cyburbia. Which once again makes him doubt the liberal media lies of BKM ;)
 

Bangorian

Member
Messages
198
Points
7
Re: Re: Loss of Jobs in America

el Guapo said:
Which once again makes him doubt the liberal media lies of BKM ;)
The liberal media? I've never heard of such a thing! Tell me quick so I can turn it on - Which multi-national corporation owns/operates/sponsors that one? And which advertisers pay to run commericals on that channel?


PS- Yes, I am really posting this at 12:30 on a friday night. I am SOOO lame. Maine is too quiet for the likes of me.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

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24
jresta said:
....Capitalism doesn't work. It's failing like communism did. .....


And your replacement is?

If I have no money or currency, but we use cattle instead, and I have more cattle than you, that is still capitalism.

If we use shells instead of coins and I find more shells, I still have more.

If I am a better hunter, farmer, or brewer than you, IT IS STILL CAPITALISM!

I wish things were different, but as long as there are people with free will AND differing skill sets, you will be living in a capitalistic society. You can't get around it. No possible way around it. Or are you going to enlighten us as to the altruistic benifits of giving up your hard earned currency no matter what that currency is?

Altruism, if it exists, is too statisticly insignificant to matter.

Believe me, it pains me to agree with gkmo62u, but you bitch about capitalism but you have NO alternative. Please inform us of your model, the nobel prize committee is perched on thier seats.
 

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,267
Points
25
Gotta have markets, competition -it's the best system. Some markets are a little to controlled for my taste and amount to socialism for the very very very well off, nevertheless, even some of those big boys get knocked off the perch and replaced. The American economy is about as good a model the world has ever seen, imho. That being said it's not perfect, nor is it 100% capitalistic, never will be, there is a place for government in markets, always will be, sorry purist'.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
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4,853
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26
Mabye Jresta got confused and wanted to say that the neoliberal capitalist model doesn't work... because as DoD said... we've had capitalism since the dawn of humanity.
As for the neoliberal capitalist model, the only countries in which that model works decently are the US, Chile and I forgot which else...
Theoretically a mixed economy, in which state and market rule the economy, would be the best, but the state and private sector generaly are bumping eachother, so that's one of it's biggest problems, which of course can be fixed.
Humanity will never see perfect economic model, but that doesn't mean we can't create better ones.
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
The open market with currency is the best way to deliver and price goods and services.

However, there is constant pressure to make a market less open. So the goal should be to maintain the sweet spot in the market, where competition is strong and regulation is reasonable.

The forces against the open market are:

Monopoly, which raises prices and closes the market.

Goverrnment intervention against consumers by mandating that consumers use a certain product (like ethanol as a prescribed clean air fuel).

Government intervention against business (increased costs for business that fall outside of "reasonable.")

Government subsidies for products (requires taxpayers to pay to guarantee higher prices for a product).

Government regulations that raise costs of a product.

Note that the market is still a "market" after any of these anti-competitive things are done. It's just that costs are higher and choice is lower and jobs disappear. Right now, we have a government that hypothesizes monopoly to be the "open market." Consider the FCC granting media oligopolies. Your local news and commentary is recorded in some far away place (sorry far away places). So the opportunity for local employment is gone -- as is the opportunity for a free press. That's why we have a jobless recovery.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
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1,474
Points
23
Duke Of Dystopia said:
And your replacement is?

If I have no money or currency, but we use cattle instead, and I have more cattle than you, that is still capitalism.

If we use shells instead of coins and I find more shells, I still have more.

If I am a better hunter, farmer, or brewer than you, IT IS STILL CAPITALISM!

No, you just described a free market economy. Not capitalism. Capitalism takes its name because it involves the control and movement of huge amounts of capital. If you and i have equal access to cattle or shells and if we both have equal opportunities to hunt, fish, or farm on land/waters of equal value - then that's a free market.

If i was just starting out (farming) in a capitalist economy the land available to me would be the cheapest because, well, i'm just starting and i don't have any money . . . i hope we all agree that cheap agricultural land in most cases means "marginal". My inputs are greater and my yields are lower. Plus, you've been doing it longer and maybe you have a few tricks up your sleeve that you're using to keep yourself on top.

In a capitalist economy money, land, resources flow up and trickle back down but every time the water cycles through some of it is lost and some of it gets stuck at the top.

In a free market economy money flows in a more horizontal fashion with those who actually put in more effort being justly rewarded.

I don't have time to respond to every reply right now but that doesn't mean i won't get around to it so bear with me.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
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1,474
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23
SkeLeton said:
Mabye Jresta got confused and wanted to say that the neoliberal capitalist model doesn't work... because as DoD said... we've had capitalism since the dawn of humanity.
As for the neoliberal capitalist model, the only countries in which that model works decently are the US, Chile and I forgot which else...
Theoretically a mixed economy, in which state and market rule the economy, would be the best, but the state and private sector generaly are bumping eachother, so that's one of it's biggest problems, which of course can be fixed.
Humanity will never see perfect economic model, but that doesn't mean we can't create better ones.
5 years ago Argentina was the darling of the neoliberals. Before that it was South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, etc. One by one they all went down. You don't think Chile is next?
 

SkeLeton

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4,853
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26
Chile may be next, if the right wing populist candidate wins in the next presidential election. Otherwise, Chile may be safe, because we have our economy controled. Yes that is quite contradictory with the neoliberal model, but that's what will probably save us from the others' destiny, although we already had a big crisis in 1982-1983.
 

jresta

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1,474
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23
If you want to read the whole interview - it's not that long - i recommend it. Korten has the clearest vision of what a different economy might look like, at least from what i've read, and most of what i read is about economics in a community context (rural or urban).

the whole interview is here
http://www.paraview.com/features/korten.htm

"My claim is that we do not have a market economy, but a capitalist economy. Capitalism and the market are presented as synonymous, but they are not. Capitalism is both the enemy of the market and democracy. Capitalism is not about free competitive choices among people who are reasonably equal in their buying and selling of economic power, it is about concentrating capital, concentrating economic power in very few hands using that power to trash everyone who gets in their way. That is not what Adam Smith envisioned. The first principle of the market economy is that it is comprised of many small buyers and sellers, which implies a substantial degree of equity. Another fundamental market principle is that costs are internalized in the producer’s price. The whole thrust of global capitalism is almost the opposite, by externalizing costs as much as possible: get as many public subsidies as possible, and pass off other costs to workers and the environment and anything else. This is not a market, and definitely not a democracy. The basic principle of democracy is one person one vote and in the capitalistic society, we have one dollar one vote. It is interesting to note that the 200 richest people have more assets than the 2 billion poorest."
 

jresta

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1,474
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23
SkeLeton said:
Chile may be next, if the right wing populist candidate wins in the next presidential election. Otherwise, Chile may be safe, because we have our economy controled. Yes that is quite contradictory with the neoliberal model, but that's what will probably save us from the others' destiny, although we already had a big crisis in 1982-1983.
It's funny how the last president elected, Allende - was a socialist and the first president elected after the Pinochet regime (I think Frei can be lumped in with that bunch) was a socialist.

It's also interesting to note that the disaster of the early 80's is directly attributable to the economic policies of the neoliberals sent by Kissinger to advise the Pinochet dictatorship.

What kind of reforms has Lagos made to avoid another meltdown? Isn't the country's debt burden still really high as a percentage of GDP? Are you guys still under all the structural adjustments of the 80's and 90's? Isn't economic growth in Chile pretty anemic at this point, like 1% per year? How free from the rest of South America is the Chilean economy? Things are not looking to good right now for Brazil, Argentina is going nowhere, Ecuador, Bolivia, and even Venezuela are having problems. Chile is going to be the domino that doesn't fall?
 

SkeLeton

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Allende and Lagos(3rd president after Pinochet) have great differences, both are socialists, but Lagos doesn't want any revolution nor does he want to convert Chile into a new Cuba.
The first two presidents after Pinochet were from a center party.
Lagos hasn't made any economic reforms, but on the contrary of other latin american countries, we have not privatized all state enterprises and used that money in a populistic way (like Argentina)
Our country's debt isn't that high, and currently we're the safest country in Latin america to invest.
Our economic growth is at the same rate as the US more or less, and it went down because of the Asian crisis in the late 90's. Right now it's going up again. And our main economical partner is the APEC, rather than the south american markets.

Sorry for going off topic, but I think it's very important to clarify said facts. :)
 

BKM

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I'm back after the long weekend!

el Guapo did a search an he doesn't find any instance of his using the term 'true conservatives" on Cyburbia. Which once again makes him doubt the liberal media lies of BKM
This wasn't a direct quote, El Guapo. But, I remember you saying something in some thread about true conservatives not necessarily being shills for the corporate elite. That's all I meant, and I didn't mean to misquote you. I think the whole issue of what conservatism means is very interesting. For example, I would recommend another book, Egotopia, that questions the moral implications of the purely economic world view of the "New Man." Interestingly enough, the pure neoliberals seem to share the view of the Marxists that society and humanity are purely economic creatures. That economics is the only thing that matters. In our world, we get clearcut forests in third world countries. The marxists give us festering steel mills.

jresta: About Mr. Roberts-I agree (reluctantly) with you-it seems like some unsavory people (Roberts, Pat Buchanan, etc) have joined in with some of the more naive anti-globalists in talking about these issues. Like you, I can't dismiss their arguments on THIS topic out of hand. I'll have to look form at your reference. One of my favorite books-more of a description rather than a prescription-is "False Dawn" by a former adviser of Margaret Thatcher. I still wonder how in the world we can implement some of the ideas expressed in your quoted interview, but they are interesting ideas.
 

jresta

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SkeLeton said:
Allende and Lagos(3rd president after Pinochet) have great differences, both are socialists, but Lagos doesn't want any revolution nor does he want to convert Chile into a new Cuba.
The first two presidents after Pinochet were from a center party.
Lagos hasn't made any economic reforms, but on the contrary of other latin american countries, we have not privatized all state enterprises and used that money in a populistic way (like Argentina)
Our country's debt isn't that high, and currently we're the safest country in Latin america to invest.
Our economic growth is at the same rate as the US more or less, and it went down because of the Asian crisis in the late 90's. Right now it's going up again. And our main economical partner is the APEC, rather than the south american markets.

Sorry for going off topic, but I think it's very important to clarify said facts. :)
Thanks for the clarification. I was always under the impression that Frei, despite being a "centrist" was a Pinochet sympathizer because he never opened his prosecution. I will say, though, that if Allende had not made a commitment to democracy he might still be alive. Castro held onto power in the beginning because he threw democracy in the Carribean. He surrounded himself with the military, rounded up his enemies, and put the rest on boats. Not to say Allende didn't make his own economic and political mistakes but there was no way in hell Kissinger and the CIA were going to watch a democratically elected Marxist run a successful economy - and indeed they didn't.

Anyway - I guess what i'm trying to get at is - Argentina was considered a safe place to invest. So were Malaysia and Thailand. The problem was that their economic growth was all paper. It was all speculative and when the bubble went boom there were little, if any, physical assets to show for it. It was all inflated currency and building booms riding on the crest of investment without the real growth to actually fill new office towers and condos. It was not unlike our own S&L scandal.

So what i'm wondering is - is Chile's growth measurable in its traditional sectors like mining and perhaps automotive and agricultural (fruit)? Is that "growth" measurable in the product being delivered? In other words, is the growth in those sectors real - are more fruit, cars, and copper actually being sold or is just that investments are on the rise so the black ink is growing because more money is flowing in?

The problem being when investors realize that the growth is just ink they pull out and the whole thing collapses.
 
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jresta

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BKM said:
I'm back after the long weekend!
jresta: About Mr. Roberts-I agree (reluctantly) with you-it seems like some unsavory people (Roberts, Pat Buchanan, etc) have joined in with some of the more naive anti-globalists in talking about these issues. Like you, I can't dismiss their arguments on THIS topic out of hand. I'll have to look form at your reference. One of my favorite books-more of a description rather than a prescription-is "False Dawn" by a former adviser of Margaret Thatcher. I still wonder how in the world we can implement some of the ideas expressed in your quoted interview, but they are interesting ideas.
It may seem like semantics but i'm not an anti-globalist on any level. Buchanan et al are looking at the globalization thing from a protectionist point-of-view. They want to defend fortress America. I'm of the mind that global trade should come from the grassroots up and not from the top down, that's all. Because when it's miners and farmers who are contributing to the dialogue you can be sure that environmental and labor concerns are going to be a part of the picture. It may mean slower growth in some of those countries but it would be much more balanced in the long run.

But like Korten says, capitalism - or neoliberalism if you prefer - can't survive without externalizing its costs on labor, on the environment, or on communities which brings me to some basic rules of a free market.

Buyers&sellers must be too small to influence the market price
(no Wal-Mart sized operations that tells a seller how much his product costs and no DeBeers type establishment that tells buyers how much they will pay.)

Complete information must be available to all participants and there can be no trade secrets.

Sellers must bear the full cost of the products they sell and pass that cost on in the sale price. (no subsidies and no wage suppression and if some hazardous material was a byproduct the disposal of that would have to be part of the sale price)

Investment capital must remain within national borders and trade between countries must be balanced.

Savings must be invested in the creation of productive capital
(ie, producing something - that means no stock market gambling, no currency speculation, no futures markets)
 

jresta

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That's the other thing that all of these neoliberal/capitalist poster children have in common - Chile, Argentina, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia - other than having their economies collapse at one point or another in the last 20 years (actually the last 7 years if you exclude Chile)

all of their "free" economies were only brought about under dictatorships or oligarchies which brings me to the question . . .

is this a very democratic way to do things and is this how an economy would develop under your average, western, semi-democratic beauracracy?
 

BKM

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Nor am I really a believer in fortress America. Heck, I'm glad I can buy some imported goods (French (freedom) cheese!).

Some interesting points. My only concern is that imported capital is often the a major way for some countries to advance. And, it could be argued that large scale capitalism and out of town firms have not always been negative forces. How many small town business continued to have regressive social/racial policies in their employment and merchanidisng-until a larger, more "modern" firm came into town?

I find this genteman's ideas interesting. Again, how to implement it will be difficult, as it goes against the entire pattern of current economics. Maybe it will take the United States' collapse (as posited by Mr. Roberts) to bring other ideas to the forefront.
 

jresta

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BKM said:
Some interesting points. My only concern is that imported capital is often the a major way for some countries to advance.
Western investment in some place like the Phillipines or Jamaica is not investment in infrastructure for the commonwealth. It's investment in tools of extraction. In the phillipines maybe it's fishing, or forestry, or garment factories. Either way more capital (natural resources) is leaving the country than is being invested. That's a net loss. My guess is that places like that wouldn't be attractive if there wasn't a quick profit to be made.

BKM said:
And, it could be argued that large scale capitalism and out of town firms have not always been negative forces. How many small town business continued to have regressive social/racial policies in their employment and merchanidisng-until a larger, more "modern" firm came into town?
I'm not going to give the credit to the Gap for bringing domestic partner benefits to Birmingham. I think the way the economy is in the first place has a lot to do with why those problems exist. In fact, the quickest way to end apartheid in South Africa wasn't to bring in diverse multinationals but to divest completely. They changed their tune quite quickly.

But back to the first part, and what should be the center of our discussion, I look around places like Philly or Chicago and see the legacy that industrialists left behind 100 years ago. Some of the most beautiful parks and architecture in the country, endowments, schools - whatever they left it was and still is part of the physical and social infrastructure. It's wealth.

Now CVS or Wendy's comes to town and takes our money at the cash register and every night it gets deposited and wired to an account in Rhode Island or Ohio. The profit or the franchise fees or whatever you want to call it - leaves the local economy almost immediately. But Philly has Comcast and QVC so eventually some sucker in Ohio or RI is going to break out his wallet and spend that money back into the Philly economy. If you're some city that's short on the Fortune 500 list the problems could be a little more vexing.

The same thing happens on an international scale but the impact is much worse because once the profits come back to the US they are unlikely to be circulated back into the country of origin. Meanwhile they're losing their natural resources and their social capital is being whittled away as well, making an economic recovery that much more difficult.

Let's say some economy like Jamaica needs hospital or water purification equipment that it obviously doesn't produce on its own - Then Jamaica would have to sell us (hypothetically) $2 billion worth of bananas and vacations to have the US currency to be able to buy a new hospital and a new water purification system.

Instead most of Jamaica's trade surplus goes to pay off their huge debt to international lending institutions. Their external debt is $5.3 billion. Their GDP is $10 billion. That's crushing.
 

BKM

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. Their external debt is $5.3 billion. Their GDP is $10 billion. That's crushing.
Well, WE should all prepare to be crushed. Especially since, because of our cultural arrogance we may not have a lot of friends left in the world once the monetary bribes are gone.

Everything you are saying echos my concerns about the lack of local or even regional economies. There are few local companies that invest in local communities. A wall of posters at the local WalMart is not the same thing-especially since these companies act exactly like you act. But, you know what, people DON'T CARE on the whole. As long as they can save money, who cares if the store is a blank concrete tilt-up box and the employees are undocumented aliens working 70 hour weeks?

Everything is centralized into fewer and fewer hands. Rightists always complained that "communism doesn't give you any choice." In some small owns, the local economy is gone, so your only choice is WalMart. Admittedly, they are much more efficient that the Russian state at meeting consumers needs, but still, there ain't any choice.

Not sure I agree with you about capitalism creating the social system that denies, per your example, partnership benefits. Too often, local control, local economies, and local culture mean things like Sharia courts, American Jim Crow, the Untouchable Caste System, and the like. Let's not forget the dark side of local control and "traditions."

And, foreign capital is not always bad-it depends on the society receiving that capital. I think you could argue that Korea's economy, for example, DID benefit from foreign capital. Certainly, exploitation of natural resources rarely benefits anyone but a tiny elite and the foreign company.
 

jresta

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BKM said:
Not sure I agree with you about capitalism creating the social system that denies, per your example, partnership benefits. Too often, local control, local economies, and local culture mean things like Sharia courts, American Jim Crow, the Untouchable Caste System, and the like. Let's not forget the dark side of local control and "traditions."
? - As far as the domestic partner benefits thing - That was just in response to you saying:
"How many small town business continued to have regressive social/racial policies in their employment and merchanidisng-until a larger, more "modern" firm came into town? "
And i was saying that i really don't think any of that changes just because the Gap or Barnes&Noble comes to town (both companies offer domestic partner benefits).

I totally agree that provincialism is dangerous. I just think ramming an economic system down the throats of communities that it doesn't benefit is a poor excuse. I'm sure the brightest minds can come up with better ways (as i mentioned in the case of South Africa it was DIvestment not INvestment that ended apartheid) to left the veil and free the water fountains.

And, foreign capital is not always bad-it depends on the society receiving that capital. I think you could argue that Korea's economy, for example, DID benefit from foreign capital. Certainly, exploitation of natural resources rarely benefits anyone but a tiny elite and the foreign company. [/QUOTE]

If i read you correctly you're saying that foreign capital is beneficial for economies trying to modernize/industrialize. I also agree that South Korea benefited substantially from foreign investment but i'll give that with a caveat. Certain people in South Korea benefited substantially while most everyone else in the country trudged along. Years of crony capitalism backed up by the military dictatorship of the 80's insured benefits for a few. Massive street violence was the only thing that changed that situation - the people had enough. Continued labor unrest is the only thing that guaranteed it . . . and if you've ever seen a picket like in South Korea - well let's just say they make the longshoreman's strike in Charleston (where 17 were arrested for duking it out with the cops) look like a sockhop.

I agree that foreign investments are def. a way to speed up the process of development but it's just not necessary and it causes more problems than it solves. Every country has a GNP - that product can either be reinvested in the country or it can go out as dividends and loan repayments.

What countries need for development is foreign currency. You can't order a ship from Denmark unless you're paying for it in Euros or Dollars. The way countries get foreign currency is either through loans or other investments, tourism, or direct trade. If trade were balanced there would be no reason for foreign investment. The developing country would grow as fast as its GNP would let it. People looking for quick profits are interested in seeing an economy rapidly expand but in the long run it doesn't do the rice farmer or Hyundai worker any good.
 

BKM

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I always find the articles about Korean trade unionism pretty amazing. :)

I'm not sure we are necessarily disagreeing, jresta, overall.
 

jresta

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I went to a screening of a documentary last night that United Artist has picked up and will be releasing in 9-10 months.

It's called the "Yes Men" and let me just say I haven't laughed that hard at any movie in a long time. http://theyesmen.org/

These 2 guys made a parody website of the WTO called
http://www.gatt.org/ If you bother to read it you realize that is says some pretty blunt stuff about the "free trade" agenda that any PR firm would soften up but they kept getting emails and phone call invitations to speak at seminars, summits, and other trade meetings. So they got their friends involved, went to the meetings as "experts" on free trade and taped all of them.

They were saying the most ridiculous, facetious things - that if most people were to take seriously they would find them highly inflammatory - hoping someone would realize they weren't who they claimed to be, or at the very least challenge them. No one made a peep and their questions suggested that they took the presentations seriously.

In the first instance they get invited to Finland and he gives a presentation on the KLM & Alitalia merger and saying that a barrier to integration is the laziness of the southern european workers who sleep when they feel like it rather than at night like the northern europeans. Then he went on to talk about how voting could be made much more efficient if it were brought into the marketplace and if candidates actually had to bid on votes in an online auction. The questions offered after his presentation were "what is the WTO doing to counter these protestors who have no idea what they are talking about?"

In the second one they constructed this costume that consisted of an inflatable phallus with a computer monitor on the end of it from where a manager could keep track of his employees through "humanely planted" tracking devices. After saying how slavery would've come to an end itseld because it is more expensive to maintain slaves than it is to pay sweatshop wages in poor countries he reveals his suit which he had been wearing under a traditional suit and tie. He inflates the phallus and explains that it would "allow management greater flexibility and leisure". Not a word, just applause, from the audience in Vienna. Afterwords the only challenge came from a woman who was slightly insulted at the suggestion that only men could be managers.

I can't wait to see this in its entirety. The producer said it will be opening in the San Francisco area so maybe you can check it out.
 

BKM

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Knowledge workers-the next obsolete class

Further ammunition for my skepticism about Richard Florida. Not that this source is "accurate," but I think it does clearly illustrate some trends in the world.

www.ctheory.net/

look for the story on off-shoring intellectual employment: "The Digital Death Rattle of the American Middle Class."
 

jresta

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I totally agree that cities are fighting over a dwindling middle-class. But that doesn't necessarily refute Florida's argument. Cities can't decide "well we're just not going to compete" well, they could. They could adopt a different economic strategy all-together, one that implies a social contract . . . but you know, that would be . . . "socialist"

So yeah, i think cities are faced with two choices. Compete for the dwindling middle-class and tech workers or reinvent the ball game.
 

BKM

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Well, you're right, jresta. I guess my point is that because the middle class is dwindling, most cities will fail at this competition and that the Creative Class is not really going to save our cities (they will be unemployed). :)

I thought the WalMart article on Planetizen was interesting. The rapid rush to the bottom for all but a tiny few continues.
 
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