Another day, another attempt by a Wall Street bank to pull a bunny out of the hat, showing off an earnings report that it hopes will elicit oohs and aahs from the market. Investors reacted by throwing tomatoes. Perhaps a bit of simple math that could fit on the back of an envelope, with no asterisks and no fine print, might win cheers instead of jeers from the market. After all, earning it, if you could call it that, has never been easier with a business model sponsored by the federal government. But maybe now the banks are simply following the lead of Washington, which keeps trotting out the latest idea for shoring up the financial system.
The USA is similarly at running at levels not seen in many decades, although they have at least finally done something about illegal immigration. Even NZ is jumping on board, with immigration running at similar levels to us - about 1.
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It's how governments grow the economy these days and generate the revenue required to pay for the unfunded "great retiring" - you just pile more and more people in. Much of the conflict between us and our politicians boils down to attitudes to population growth. And population growth in Western countries is entirely by immigration. Every survey I have ever read has made it very clear people do not want population growth, certainly not strong population growth. Yet the one thing on which there's complete, if unspoken political agreement on, it is population growth.
I wish our media would spend more time and effort on asking our politicians about "population policy". They are all determined to have a big Australia that none of the rest of us want - mostly because we are the ones who have to live with the reality of it. More people means more profits for big business. Big businesses are constantly lobbying governments for growth.
Jobs and growth is what the genius is selling us. It's up to the voters to decline the offer. I can't believe that immigration level isn't on the political agenda at all! There are full-time jobs out there, but they are being filled by immigrants. Soul destroying trying to look for work at the moment. I pointed to my concerns and they have to do with wealth distribution, the fear and loathing reaction to refugees as well as the potential for conflict because of Chinese and Russian's push for relevancy.
Free trade is not helping to resolve any of these conflicts. And while I fully support the concept I do not accept the present results. For there to be free trade there also should be free movement of labour and ideas. That cannot happen if there isn't also democratic government's. People are fearful and with good reason. Threats are all around them and there isn't a force that seems capable of standing up to the treat. It is the greed and power lust of the US corporate elite that is the greatest threat to international trade, world peace and stability.
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The refugee crisis has largely been caused by the US and its allies,UK, Australia, Israel, and Saudi Arabia and the wars and terrorist organisations they created. The US hegemony interferes in every corner of the globe provoking and destabilising in order to maintain perpetual war that benefits the corporate elite. The US government represents the interests of this oligarchy in the media,banking, weapons, aerospace and pharmaceuticals industries.
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They are bleeding taxpayers dry in every country around the world through the cost of military expansion,surveillance and security and managing the refugee crisis. Yank free trade agreements are not a threat to globalisation, they actually enhance it. The real threat is the growing rejection of what globalization means in developed economies.
What we are seeing is the mass social disruption that is being caused through the disappearance of traditional manufacturing and other blue collar jobs and the growing casualization of work. Donald Trump is hitting a chord in America because he is tapping into the working poor. All we hear from conservative politicians generally is that we need to be flexible and innovative and in respect to work this means less full time jobs, more part time and casual jobs and less hourly rates of pay.
Jut look at the penalty rate argument here in this country. I was in a supermarket recently and picked up a packet of house brand biscuits. Cynical politicians like Trump and others will take every opportunity to manipulate these feelings for power. There will be more violence particularly against minority groups. It has happened before and it will happen again and the results likely to be catastrophic.
You didn't read what I wrote did you?
I said It can be done economically because shipping a 40 foot container is relatively cheap. You can put a lot of packets of biscuits in a 40 foot container. And sold in Australia. How is that efficient? How much fuel is used to ship these things around the world? I can't say I agree with it all Rather than the end of globalisation we might just be witnessing the beginning. Agreed Dove. Globalization is inevitable part of human development. The only way it will end is if we end, and that is entirely up to us. I think the key problem with the globalization is its tendency to marginalize large sections of the population, particularly in First World countries like the US.
While it is easy to right this off as a "first world problem", those who feel marginalised will still react accordingly, so righting this problem off is not a solution.
The back-lash is already evident. An while I agree with GRF that it is all due to fossil fuels this is indisputable , this doesn't mean that we should stick with this aging technology. If the human species wishes to continue to exist, it must face up to the social and environmental consequences of globalization. That includes continuing to develop new technologies. A conservative approach to globalization will simply not work, and the price will be very heavy indeed.
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More the point, Globalization creatures massive amounts of instability, as it only works in economies that are largely balanced to each other, ensuring there is no one-sided shift in resource, wealth or employment relocation. Counter examples include Chinese investment in Australian housing that is, allowing a richer country with a superior economy to buy out basic living spaces at the expense of comparatively impoverished locals who are already having a difficult time affording them- which is arguably similar for Mediterranean countries allowing British buyers to acquire "holiday houses".
And let's not forget that Greece is in economic dire straits and enforcing austerity measures against the current party's biggest election pledge, because by harmonising its economy and currency to the Euro, all motives for neighbour state residents to buy from them disappeared they mostly wanted to buy things from Greece because it was extremely cheap. To put it bluntly- it enforces a singular economic standard that most nations arguably can't conform to. I get it TCC - the rich Chinese can come here and our poor can go to Greece which actually is not such a bad idea - it's one hell of a beautiful place to live and the aging Greeks could probably do with a stirring of the gene pool.
So not only does money and labour get "globalised" but eventually we morph into a mestizo mix What do I really think? Well the tower of Babel came down just when it's builders thought they had reached the heavens The appointed time for New Babel to come down has been set We can only rush headlong towards it but in the meantime, most will take on themselves the mark of the beast in order to trade, live and survive. Sure, AT. Global trade is a good thing and we'd all like to imagine entrepreneurs and businesses trading internationally on as level a playing field as possible.
Markets are usually the best way to allocate scarce resources and in this case, regulate commerce. The dangers lie in corporate oligarchies that essentially funnel that trade thorough their hands, who are able to exploit the differences in the monetary landscape between countries through their wealth and influence on the governments making those decisions. Maybe an acolyte of Freedman will convince me that's the very acme of a free market.
Until then, I'm not so sure. Australia is staring at the very real prospect of being a commodities economy. It might be coal, it might be uranium, it might be bananas. Globalisation would be great if economies traded their goods. Not so great if a supply chain can be spread out over multiple economies, exploiting in absolute and relative terms all under the aegis of legislation framed by the private company.
Perhaps the economics are less important than who writes the rules and my fear is that it's not the parliaments. Hi Dove, Both you and the Concerned Citizen both make good points, and I generally agree with both of you. Further, I feel it important to make the following distinction. I do not necessarily see Global Trade as a "good thing". Rather, an inevitable consequence of human trajectory. Whether or not it turns out to be a good thing depends on humanity's collective intelligence and to mention its moral capacity.
Hence, the fate of globalization and, therefore, us is no sure thing. Not by a long shot. Greed may well bring us unstuck much as it has in the past, but this time on a global scale. It's one of those efficiency vs. How much of one, how much of the other, and through what mechanisms are they realised. Globalisation is shaking all that up and not that much thought has been put into completing the circle. Globalisation as a concept is only half finished much like the EU. It's an unstable, leaky system, riven with loopholes and eminently suitable for exploitation.
That it functions the way it does is no surprise, you could almost say it was designed to be that way. This is just what happens when you have a massive financial crash. It's what happened after the First Wall St Crash in The Second Wall St Crash in is following a very similar trend.
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A rise in extremism and protectionism. It ends up that breaking the world's economies has consequences beyond mass unemployment and evictions. People are understandably scratching their heads wondering what the hell happened.