Raised on textbooks that obscure the role of institutions, economists often imagine that markets arise on their own, with no help from purposeful, collective action. And, once we recognize that markets require rules, we must next ask who writes those rules.
Tagged with “globalization” (5)
Nils Gilman describes deviant globalization as "the unpleasant underside of transnational integration."
There’s nice tourism, and then sex tourism, such as in Thailand and Switzerland. The vast pharmacology industry is matched by a vast traffic in illegal drugs. The underside of waste disposal is the criminal dumping in the developing world of toxic wastes from the developed world. Military activities worldwide are fed by a huge gray market in weapons. Internet communications are undermined by floods of malware doubling every year. Among the commodities shipped around the world are exotic hardwoods, endangered species, blood diamonds, and stolen art worth billions in ransom. Illegitimate health care includes the provision of human organs from poor people — you can get a new kidney with no waiting for $150,000 in places like Brazil, the Philippines, Istanbul, and South Africa. Far overwhelming legal immigration are torrents of illegal immigrants who pay large sums to get across borders. And money laundering accounts for 4-12% of world GDP — $1.5 to 5 trillion dollars a year.
These are not marginal, "informal" activities. These are enormous, complex businesses straight out of the Harvard Business Review. The drug business in Mexico, for example, employs 400,000 people. A thousand-dollar kilo of cocaine grows in value by 1400-percent when it crosses into the U.S. — nice profit margin there.
The British know something about rise and fall. Their Edward Gibbon wrote The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Their own empire came and went.
Now, two big British historians and thinkers who live in the United States are thinking hard about the American future.
Simon Schama says he’s in love with America, and sees the makings of potential renewal emerging right now. Niall Ferguson admires America too, and sees — even so — the makings of disaster around us.
While the US media showered the new president with 24-7 adoration, Obama’s deafening silence over the slaughter of innocents by the Israeli war-machine laid bare the cruel calculus of American Empire in the Middle East. Whether by fascist bombers in Spain or the Zionist IDF in Gaza, the US government has never concerned themselves with the butchery of civilians. Also, we present Gary Lapon’s insightful commentary on an article by NYT columnist, Nicholas Kristoff entitled, “Where Sweatshops are a Dream”. We also look back on this day, January 22nd in revolutionary history.
“So far, Obama’s missed the point on Gaza…” by Robert Fisk Hamas Militants Were Everywhere by Left I on the News Gaza Villages Wiped off the Map Eric Hobsbawm from the London Review of Books Recycling Free Market Myths by Gary Lapon
Music: American Woman by Jello Biafra with Randy Bachman, Chris Houston and Garnet Sweatshirt from a Pop Defect Radio Mix Song the Songbird Sings by David Rovics Socialism by Dillinger
Originally broadcast Thursday, January 22, 2009 8 PM EST on WXOJ-LP 103.3 FM Valley Free Radio Northampton, MAFrom http://seeingredradio.wordpress.com/
"When you actually ignore reality for years on end, the payback is a bitch brother! … We’re seeing just frantic collisions of fundamentalist delusion with objective reality… We’re on a kind of slider bar between the unthinkable and the unimaginable now, between the grim meat hook future and the bright green future. There are ways out of this situation; there are actual ways to move the slider bar from one side to the other, except that we haven’t invented the words for them yet."