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What the Flat World Means for America “…America, as a whole, will do fine in a flat world with free trade—provided it continues to churn out knowledge workers who are able to produce idea- based goods that can be sold globally…” (p. 230) “The Indians and Chinese are not racing us to the bottom. They are racing us to the top – and that is a good thing!” (p. 233)
Races to the Bottom Tendency of political units to reduce regulations/taxes/standards in order to match the reductions of others as a part of competition for the location of value-added activities in their territory. Seen as a negative consequence of globalization.
Examples of Possible Races to theBottom Corporate taxes Environmental regulations Wages and other labor practices Internet-related: pornography gambling hate groups
The Quiet Crisis (ch. 7 of The World is Flat) Shortages of U.S. scientists and engineers “In China today, Bill Gates is Britney Spears. In America today, Britney Spears is Britney Spears– and that is our problem.” (p. 265)
Various Friedman Sound Bites Green is the New Red, White, and Blue (chap. 10) “green is the color du jour” “a green New Deal” “Give me a green America and I shall green the earth.” Add (clean) energy technology (ET) to information technology (IT) -- the next global industry Dirty Fuels System vs. Clean Energy System Tom Friedman video on “The Power of Green”
Elements of a Clean Energy System Innovating clean elections Intensifying energy efficiency Diffusing family planning across the planet Embracing an ethic of conservation Preparing to adapt to climate change Friedman video on the Dirty Fuels System
Clean Electrons Solar photovoltaic Wind Solar thermal Geothermal
The Impact of China on Wind Power At the end of 2010, China generated 41.8 gigawatts of power using wind generators 15 companies producing wind turbines 80 wind farms Use small wind turbines on lamp posts (along with solar panels US firms are having trouble competing with low-cost Chinese turbines; NIMBY problems; question of US green jobs creation potential Video on Obama’s wind power views
Criticisms of Corporate Capitalism Too much power Not enough public oversight Short-term profit orientation Insufficient loyalty to traditional local communities Willingness to engage in questionable practices: Industrial espionage, pretexting Advertising unhealthy products, espec. to children Corporate responsibility PR as cover for unethical activities
Example: Naomi Klein Canadian journalist Books: No Logo (2000) Fences and Windows (2002) The Shock Doctrine (2007)
Review of Naomi Klein’s Pointabout Brand-Name Politics Just as environmentalists often take advantage of highly publicized issues about specific species – e.g. whales, dolphins, turtles – so do anti-corporate groups focus on familiar firms and products Thus, brands like McDonalds, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and Nike provide ready-made targets for anti- corporate politics Klein makes a good point about the need not to ignore less familiar species and brands
McDonald’s Corporate web site McSpotlight McDonald’s Simulation Game People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: PETA Prince Charles vs. McDonalds Extreme Drive Through
Pro- and Anti-Starbucks Sites Starbucks web site Ihatestarbucks.com Organic Consumers Association Starbucks Delocator Fair trade coffee Anti-starbucks ad on Revver.com
Nike and Anti-Nike Sites Nike web site Boycott Nike Clean Clothes Campaign Oxfam Australia’s Nike Watch