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Archive for 'globalization'

Surely lighthouses are simply a good thing?

“From a conventional view of progress, there were few projects more useful and less problematic than building lighthhouses to save life and cargo. From the shore, however, this was not so obvious. Among the local population were wreckers, who waited for storms to drive vessels ashore which they looted for cargo and parts – or […]

“Globalization” and Unions

Last weekend I participated in a labour law conference at the University of Western Ontario, speaking on a panel which was asked to speak on the impact of trade and investment on labour rights. I weighed in somewhere between my co panelists Kevin Banks and Marley Weiss, arguing that there are very strong downward pressures […]

In the Wake of the Crisis: Bully Capitalism

A shorter version of this article appears today at Economy Lab, the Globe and Mail’s on-line business feature.  Capitalism has entered an ugly new era, one that may work well for the shareholders of world, but not for the rest of us. I couldn’t help but notice that, on the very same day Caterpillar shuttered […]

Souvenirs de Cannes

I was in Cannes last week with CLC President Ken Georgetti for the G20 Labour Summit.  (I know, tough job.) This event was arranged by the International Trade Union Confederation with the support of the French Presidency of the G20. Our group as a whole, consisting of labour leaders from the G20 countries and leaders […]

Neo Liberal Globalization Kills Good Jobs

Well, you’ve heard that kind of line from labour and the left, but now the IMF seems to have been pretty much won over to the argument that global supply chains and technological change are killing more good jobs than they create. In a distinctly gloomy Box starting on p.41  in the latest World Economic […]

What Newfoundland & Labrador Can Teach the Rest of Canada About 21st Century Globalization

A shorter version of this analysis appears at the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab. See article and comments here. Last fall Premier Danny Williams wondered what could drive anyone to let hundreds of millions of dollars slip through their fingers. Last week he got his answer. The Roil report on the 18-month strike at Voisey’s […]

Majority Conservative Government Ushers in New Era of Economic Stability

“The choice for Canadians is crystal clear,” said Harper. “Continuing our low-tax plan to complete the recovery and create jobs, financial security, stability and certainty for Canadian families and businesses. Or the high-tax, reckless-spending Ignatieff-NDP-Bloc Québécois agenda that will stall our recovery, kill jobs and produce political instability and economic uncertainty by re-opening constitutional debates. […]

The Rise of the Global Elite

“The already wealthy have emerged from the global recession in an even wealthier position. What does the rise of global elites mean to power and influence at home and abroad?” That’s the blurb from TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, the latest Canadian news show to tackle the issue that explains so much of what […]

What’s Canada’s Carbon Debt?

Martin Khor, of the South Centre, has done an interesting analysis for the (doomed) Cancun negotiations on climate change. The talks have broken down on north-south lines, with southern countries wanting to keep the Kyoto framework that puts the onus on northern (advanced, industrialized) countries to reduce emissions and give carbon space to southern countries […]

Seoul Survivor

My thoughts on the Seoul G20 – from the Mark.

Follow the Lead of China’s Strikers

How fascinating, and inspiring, to see China’s workers continuing to build their fightback against the low pay and grueling working conditions that have unfortunately been part and parcel of China’s recent development. And how appropriate that it was a fight against a global auto giant, Honda, that finally put the global spotlight on this struggle. […]

Different perspectives on GHG emissions

When emissions are reported for the US or Canada, there is an accounting convention that restricts the total to emissions released within the borders of that jurisdiction. This means that Canada’s exports of tar sands oil are counted only to the extent that fossil fuels are used in the extraction and processing, not the combustion […]

Remember the Battle of Seattle!

Ten years ago I was in Seattle for the now famous showdown between activists and the World Trade Organization. Those were good times: we stayed downtown at the youth hostel (since converted to high end condos), ate in and around Pike Place Market, and attended an excellent two-day teach-in put on by the International Forum […]

What Happened at Pittsburgh?

Summary The main result of the Pittsburgh summit was to institutionalize and modestly extend the global economic governance role of the G-20 which arose as a necessary response to the global economic crisis. There is talk of medium-term co-ordination of national macro-economic policies, and a “re-balancing” of the global economy. However, while this is welcome, […]

World Bank, IMF and Labour Rights

I’m posting below an interesting missive from Peter Bakvis, the Washington representative of the International Trade Union Confederation, on an intersting shift of position on labour rights by the IFI.s “The World Bank has issued a memorandum to its country and sector directors instructing them to stop using the “Employing Workers Indicator” (EWI) of its […]

The Predator State — More Progressives Who Saw True and Through

PEF people are not the only ones who correctly anticipated some of our recent economic and fiscal events.  Jamie Galbraith also saw a lot of this coming in his book The Predator State. With no further ado, I’m posting an enthusiastic review of the book by fellow traveler and Sorbonne PhD economics graduate Henry Sader:

A global carbon tax

Ralph Nader and Toby Heaps make an excellent case for a global carbon tax. With an Obama administration there is the possibility of such a thing happening, and it would be much more sensible that a complicated cap-and-trade system that will take years to get up and running. Even if a North American cap-and-trade system […]

The Workers’ Olympics?

On the eve of the Beijing Olympics, recognition should certainly go to the scores of workers who toiled to build the stunning spors palaces and who have made China into the economic powerhouse it is today.  Instead, many have received layoff notices and warnings to leave the Chinese capital, as the New York Times reported […]

A Carbon Tariff is Eminently Sensible

I am really glad Stephane Dion supplemented his Green Shift proposal with a call for a carbon tariff.  This is utterly consistent with demands the left has been making for years, namely that the rules of globalization have to be broadened to effectively address the role of environmental, labour, and social standards in determining competitiveness […]

Workers Uniting – The Global Union

I was a delegate to the United Steelworkers’ triennial Constitutional Convention in Las Vegas last week. Video of Obama’s speech and other highlights is available through the union’s revamped website. The 2008 convention will likely be remembered for three historic decisions. First, a new position was added to the union’s International Executive Board. (Semi-regular news […]

Corporate Taxes: The International Race to the Bottom

A nice commentary by Kristian Weis in the OECD Observer http://www.oecdobserver.org/news/printpage.php/aid/2229/Corporate_tax_warning.html

Equal per capita CO2 emissions vs global population growth

George Monbiot’s book about climate change, Heat, recommends a scheme of global emission reductions based on the principle of equity. That is, every person on the planet should have an equal right to emit a certain amount of CO2 per year, with some long-term total emissions cap that keeps the planet from getting too hot. […]

Canadian Manufacturing, Global Supply Chains and National Regulation

I spent the morning at Industry Canada’s global supply chains conference. The general tenor of the opening plenaries was as expected – Canadian corporations should slice and dice their supply chains asap to take advantage of lower costs (especially labour costs) in relation to productivity and quality if they are to survive. In a phrase, […]

Cameron: Why the WTO talks have collapsed (again)

The WTO talks have collapsed. Wait, did I not report that last year? Alas, talks are never really over, the Doha Round never really “dead” as reported in the papers. Just stalled. But as Cameron points out in his rabble.ca column (thanks to Duncan and rabble for sharing columns with RPE), this recent impasse has […]

Monbiot’s case for global democracy

Below is an edited text of Monbiot’s lecture to the Royal Society of Arts: By George Monbiot, June 2004 Without global democracy, national democracy is impossible. If you don’t believe me, take a look at what has happened to Luiz Inacio da Silva. Before he became president of Brazil, Lula promised to transform the way […]

The Real Cost of Offshoring

BUSINESS WEEK, JUNE 18, 2007 http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_25/b4039001.htm COVER STORY By Michael Mandel The Real Cost Of Offshoring U.S. data show that moving jobs overseas hasn’t hurt the economy. Here’s why those stats are wrong Whenever critics of globalization complain about the loss of American jobs to low-cost countries such as China and India, supporters point to […]

Industry Canada Promoting Out-Sourcing of Canadian Jobs?

From my morning e mail – bold added. <<Picture (Metafile)>> Le français suit On behalf of Chummer Farina, Director General, Policy and Sector Services Branch, Industry Canada Dear Sir or Madam: I am pleased to invite you to the Global Value Chains Conference to be hosted by Industry Canada on September 25-26, 2007.  This by-invitation […]

Whither the Anti-Globalization Movement?

An article on the end of militant anti-globalization protests may seem odd given what happened at the G-8 meetings, but the following piece is interesting nonetheless: IMAGES Julie Oliver, the Ottawa Citizen Police in riot gear move up Elgin Street during the 2001 protest at the G20 summit. Taking it off the streets; Where did […]

Wolfowitz Dead in the Water

Here’s a communique (posted about 9 pm) from Peter Bakvis of the Global Unions office in Washington who has been closely observing this fiasco. One wonders if Canada is caving along with the Bushies or will stand as the last defenders of this nepotistic ultra neo con.., (And you read it here first — was […]

Comparative advantage?

All economists are always in support of “free trade” all of the time, right? Some interestings conversations are happening in the econo-blogs about international trade theory and reality. First, I love how Dani Rodrick is challenges the conventional wisdom on international trade: One of my favorite stylized facts about development is contained in the graph […]