Archive for September, 2006

A Question of Power

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

Recently, there has been growing recognition of the enormous increase in U.S. income inequality that has occurred over the last twenty-five years, bringing back inequality levels not seen since 1929. Paul Krugman has written of the danger of a new oligarchy, whose wealth is such that it may be able to control an economy and society even as large as the United States. (more…)

Trade Deficits Matter

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

Over the last several years the U.S. trade deficit has persistently set new records, hitting $717 billion in 2005, equal to almost 6 percent of GDP. China, in particular has contributed to the deficit, and now accounts for just shy of one-third of the total. By any historical standard, the economic warning lights are flashing red. (more…)

Fighting the Flat-Earthers

Sunday, September 17th, 2006

Progressives and trade unionists frequently complain about how globalization has tilted the playing field in favor of capital. By facilitating international trade and cross-border investment, globalization has enabled capital to go mobile. This has created multiple exit options for capital, and the credible threat of movement to other countries has raised capital’s economic and political bargaining power. Corporations, who control capital, have then used this increased power to shift income distribution in favor of profits, roll back taxes, and challenge policies promoting social protection and inclusion. (more…)

Globalization Tames the Left in Brazil

Monday, September 11th, 2006

This October Brazilians will go to the polls in an election that constitutes a referendum on the presidency of Lula da Silva. As the candidate of the Workers Party, or Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), Lula was elected in 2002 on a platform of progressive social democracy. Yet over the last four years, his macroeconomic policies have been marked by extreme caution and capitulation to the pressures of globalization. Consequently, Brazil has missed a golden opportunity provided by a robust global economy to chart a new and vibrant economic trajectory. (more…)