But the major system for addressing that currently seems to be People Getting Upset, and the article proposes more organizations for People Getting Upset. But this isn't very efficient; sometimes the global economy DOES need to make Gladstone a bit less pretty. And people have only a limited amount of Upset within them, not nearly enough to make the system work well.
We need better tools of addressing externalities as a society.
Or maybe just the ability to actually implement those we have. Property rights work pretty well where they can apply. Carbon taxes seem decent, but they usually go straight to government coffers and don't pay out to citizens (that seems like a flaw to me). I'm not an economist, but I'd be interested in better ideas.
If that were done in a largely revenue neutral way on a worldwide scale, we could turn carbon emission around in a hurry. I'd actually advocate for putting aside some of the money to reward people actively removing airborne carbon dioxide down to the 290ppm threshold, not just holding at 400ppm.
I think in practice it would work like a VAT, which is well understood and creates a reasonably level playing field.
This is why I've stopped listening to people attempting to make externality-based policy arguments. If you believe that a carbon tax needs to be high enough to change companies' decisions, you're not actually making an externality argument. You've already decided that the world should change, and how it should change, and you're just trying to find some magic words that you think will get other people to agree with you.
A real externality argument would try to determine the value of the externality, and set the tax to equal that value. It's not relevant at all whether that changes anyone's decision -- if there's no change, and you see just as much pollution as before, that's fine, because the cost of that pollution is now being accounted for correctly, and it's been decided that the pollution was better than the alternative.
Anyone claiming otherwise simply would rather not lose their profits, or is being payed/brainwashed by those people.
Decided by whom? By the one party who is externalizing. Their may be able to offset the additional costs, however the ones that bear the consequences of the action in the first place (e.g. the ones who suffer from pollution or climate change) might not. Yet they still wouldn't have a say in the matter.
I'm fine not getting a share of the carbon tax if the monies are used to fight the problem.
Actually, quite the opposite. Government coffers belong to the government and state institutions, which is comprised of the ruling elite and the long list of apparatchiks at their service. "The people" are nothing more than a rhetorical device used to cut dissent by fooling "the people" into believing the ruling elite acts on everyone's best interests.
For one thing, governments are inefficient, and externalities aren't always easy to reverse. So probably after the Department of Externality Taxation is established, either the funds raised by the tax aren't enough to compensate the people damaged, or something bureaucratic and symbolic is done that doesn't really help. After all, if there isn't really anything the department can do to address the problem, the last thing they're going to do is put themselves out of a job and return the money. They'll start wasteful moonshot projects instead.
For another, the government is now heavily incentivized to tax the Bad Thing as much as they can, both to show voters that they're Tough On Bad Thing and also to raise money. That's not what we want- we want to disincentivize externalities by exactly their true cost, and preferably return that true cost to the people damaged by it.
Finally, assuming we can't perfectly tell what the externalities cost individual people, directly giving them a return equal to average damages is efficient. It drives people who suffer the externality disproportionately away, and it attracts people who can bear the externality at minimum cost.
On the opposite side of the spectrum of journalism was the NY Times article from earlier today, about the Arizona aquifers. Great photography and research. Awesome Web presentation, too. Cheap journalism with big pretenses is a scourge on our society.
Multinationals are almost all in favour of open borders.
They want a) cheap labour and some, good companies need b) high end talent. The later is more rare though.
Every big company I know is 'pro migration' I can't think of a single one that's against it.
Google is more in favour of getting 'highly skilled' people, while most others are in favour of 'bodies' for cheap labour. Companies that are allowed to think long term, like large banks, want migration because 'adding bodies' is the only way most Western economies actually grow. So in Canada, CIBC, BMO, RBC (i.e. big banks) make their $ from mortgages and small business lending - there's no real way for them to grow other than 'more mortgages'. So they push for more bodies as part of national strategy.
Because most political entities, most big business, and a lot of social activists are globalist in nature, it creates a friction with other groups.
This friction is actually a big deal and is reshaping the political landscape in the entire Western world.
It's getting to be less about left/right than it is those with a globalist view and those with a more localist view. 'Nationalists' tend to fall in the later camp.
Given that wages in India and other places are clearly artificially depressed, or people wouldn't want to come to the US, I don't think it's obvious that the multinationals do want open borders. I think it's in the interest of workers though.
Average wages for immigrants is lower than the non-immigrant average in almost all societies.
Because we are in high-tech, we think about 'Google' bringing in great talent, which is good ...
But for most, it's not remotely that.
In Canada, in the Oil Sands, they push for migration and the term they use is 'high labour input cost'. Literally high wages.
So yes, in the long term migration can be good depending on a nations actual need and ability to make use of people, but it's about wages and Supply and Demand there.
It's a similar story everywhere. I don't think anyone, even hardcore nationalists are pushing to get rid of bringing in talented people, the numbers are small. And the issue with H1B for example is not so much the nature of it, but that it was kind of being abused by Infosys etc. in the eyes of some.
"Given that wages in India and other places are clearly artificially depressed, or people wouldn't want to come to the US"
No, this is not any kind of 'artificial depression'. India has a fundamentally different economy than the US. Those differences are not artificial.
I would also add that it's wrong to assume that just because an immigrant was hired for a highly skilled job that automatically means there is a native somewhere with an equivalent skillset and able to do the job as well. It boggles the mind how some people assume that somehow every single top expert in the field happens to live in the same city/state/country where a job opening is published.
The labor market is not national or local for a multinational company. Hence, as I wrote, if people are being underpaid in some countries, it is in a multinational's interest to keep them in those countries to exploit, and not let them immigrate to where they could make more money.
"Nationalism" usually means something stronger than the existence of nations, such as "the belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international goals".
Restrictions on the free flow of people are not a binary decision. Countries in the Schengen Area which have almost completely given up the ability restrict movement between their territory and 25 other nations are not restricting the movement of people as much as say North Korea which doesn't even let most of its own citizens travel abroad.
And it seems to me that it's that lack of "nationalism" as you've defined it that's helping US-based companies exploit cheap labor in (or from) other nations.
And of course, restrictions on freedom of movement can't be summed up exclusively with number of immigrants. There are many countries that are much, much easier to get into than the US; people just don't want to go there as much. And of course, nationalism isn't exclusively border control. That is just one nationalistic behavior.
If you're intentionally misinterpreting me, this discussion isn't going anywhere. But in the hope that that's not the case, I'll try again:
What country offers freedom of movement to the most people? The US, by far.
The freedom to move from France to Germany, or from California to New York, has nothing to do with the freedom of movement of people born outside those systems.
The constituent countries in the EU are still sovereign countries. Unlike US states, they are free to leave at any time.
The EU already has a parliament, "federal" laws, and a single currency. They're building an EU army and discussing federal taxes. At what point do you call them a nation?
Loosening restrictions on select people is not loosening restrictions on everyone.
Vatican City, with their tightly controlled migration policy, is not the country with the most freedom of movement simply because they allow freedom of movement to carefully chosen people.
In the Vatican, for example, a given person either has a 100% chance of migration or a 0% chance. Israel has similar numbers. In the Schengen area, it's either a 100% chance or a very small chance.
Perhaps this will be clearer. Every free country grants total freedom of movement to some group of people. In Israel, this is Jewish people. In the United States, US citizens. In the Schengen area, citizens of the Schengen area.
What does that have to do with nationalism? Nationalism is a distinction between the treatment of in-group people and out-group people.
In the Schengen area, people from the Schengen area are the in-group.
Changing loyalty to a larger nation isn't the same as becoming less nationalistic.
It doesn't even have a shared government to try to make it fit if you are trying to use "nation" as a synonym for "country". Most of the countries are part of the EU, but Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland are part of the Schengen Area but not the EU.
Are you saying Europeans don't have any descent, history, or culture in common?
There are some groups of countries that have some descent and culture in common like Portugal/Spain or Benelux or Scandinavia, but there is no pan-European culture. Portugal, Greece, Monaco, Latvia and Iceland have almost nothing in common.
Spain is a lot closer to Morocco than to Norway, but Spain partnered with Norway rather than Morocco because they share the same descent (European) and culture (Christian).
I’d say the idealistic nationalist sees each nation akin to a cell in a cellular automaton and believes that each nation looking after itself in the context of some fundamental rules will achieve better outcomes globally, not just locally, than heavy handed large scale top down control, aka empire.
Taleb cogently argues that scale is of fundamental importance to understanding human behavior. I also accept the argument that distributed local control is generally to be preferred.
Rules that we have defined to protect the environment in which we live, safety of the products we use, security/privacy of our data.
All of that gets arbitraged away, just like offshore havens are used to hide dirty cash behind veils of various legal stuctures.
Multinationals would prefer to get rid of all nationality, ethnicity, religion, culture, political ideology etc - it stands in the way of their bottom line.
Strong nations can stand up to big corps.
Strong cultures make it difficult to 'define consumer behaviour' - example: in Europe, American companies have a difficult time selling some consumer products because Europeans 'have their own way' of doing things. Why do you think Starbucks doesn't have a lot of stores in Italy? Because Italians don't care for it - they do their own thing.
This is kind of ugly - but there is a kind of 'culturally secular left' and a 'big / globalist business right' that actually get a long quite well - they both want to get rid of what they view as 'outdated norms'. The left wants to re-write social structure, the right wants to re-write consumption, consumerism and define our aspirations.
I'm not being conspiratorial, it's not like there's a cabal of evil globalists pulling strings, it's just overall in the best interest of these groups. BigCos tend to promote policies which benefit them - not the local population. Shareholders just don't think or care that much about people or culture.
It seems to me that multiculturalism if anything leads to more tensions as it seeks to add more groups that don't have as much in common as the people already there.
Yes, there was a play arbitrage with labor, but nationalism never feed into that because it was all inside one country.
Most corporations (I can't think of any counter examples, but maybe someone here will find one) are all on board with abolishing borders. It makes the most sense from the POV of a capitalistic institution since it drives down wages and increases efficiency much more than strong national borders and "nationalism" would. (Wouldn't your local tech giant like an unlimited supply of work visas to pass out like candy?)
It seems to me that open borders and pro-globalization activists are mostly playing right into the wildest dreams of corporate robber barons. Who prefer the "race to the bottom" WRT labor costs that is "globalism."
I think globalisation under mines union, to some extent labour laws. I you don’t do the job there is often someone cheaper who don’t care about work hours, vacation who will.
The best lie that America ever told the world (best exemplified by the 1939 World’s Fair) was that democracy and capitalism go hand in hand. But when the U.S. blinked after the 1989 Tienanmen Square massacre and kept on buying cheap goods from China, it became clear that the Western world - the only long term bastion of democracy - cared more about capitalism than democracy, and China showed the world that you don’t need democracy for capitalism. Democracy has been in decline ever since, along with human rights.
The US did very little trade with China in 1989, though more than a few years earlier. I don’t think Tiananmen Square or its response says much about US internationalism or commitment to whatever abstract principles. You can draw much stronger conclusions from them about internal Chinese politics.
Impose Cuba-style sanctions on China until they held free elections. It may not have changed their policy, but it would at least have shown we were serious about it. And knowing what we know now, it would obviously have had significant economic consequences over time.
US policy toward Cuba had much bigger impact because Cuba is a tiny island next to the North American continent, and being cut off from your obvious larger trading partner is more severe.
The US sanctions on Cuba didn’t have anything to do with free elections though, and their primary effect was entrenching the Cuban government while impoverishing the Cuban people.
The US is China's largest trading partner and the relative size of China's economy was much smaller at the time. Moreover, other democratic countries could have adopted the same policy which would have given it real teeth.
And the sanctions did nothing to entrench the government. The government was already entrenched. If the people there don't like the policy then they know how to end it -- change their government.
This is why it's weird to hear people bring up gulags in the US--most "democratic socialists" are just trying to catch up to europe.
Implying Europe is somehow "ahead." (They aren't.)
Rules aren't rules, rules are further obstacles that capitalism as a large evolving system is there to evolve around. Most of what we see as rules are only suggestions if you've got enough capital, or things in place to prevent tragedy of the commons: capitalism is not 'commons-alism' and not there to support the system on which it runs. If the entities maximizing capital get to amass more, as far as capitalism is concerned that's the whole point and everything is working optimally.
We assume we can get new workers, a new planet, whatever, because capitalism sort of processes through any such thing in order to reduce it to abstracted value that's assigned to whoever competes most effectively for it.
Of course democracy is orthoganal to this system.
"Social Conservatives" often champion free markets while at the same time those free markets destroy social norms in order to open new markets and increase market utilization (LGBT industry, eschewing traditional gender roles in favor of a world where everyone works "like a man" and everyone can buy cosmetics "like a woman", etc...).
Socialists get bought off by cheap entertainment and a subsistence level of welfare, cutting their hopes of mobilizaing the working class off at the knees.
Social Justice Warrior types get support insofar as they promise to increase labor participation and drive down wages (this is how Diversity and Inclusion is financially justified), but in the end they will at best just succeed at integrating new people into the corporate structure without really making any grand changes to society at large.
List goes on. No one has been able to control capitalism with their ideology.
Always keep in mind that China is a rather poor country. It's per-capita GDP has just passed above Brazil, and that's mostly because Brazil is facing the biggest crisis in its history. When you claim that China is a successful dictatorship, always remember that it's successful only from some points of view.
Now, if someone depends on those multinationals for a better living and have no options otherwise, then they gotta pay up one way or the other. Typical path we have seen is for societies to get rich first and then start demanding nicer things like clean air / water.
See The Great Barrier Reef  for example. The Australian government has done little to protect it while exempting mining companies from damages, approving dredging and generally being climate change denialists.
To the extent this is politics, I guess you could say it's a battle between liberalism which would see the situation as efficient and the result of free capitalistic action while a nationalist perspective would lead you to see the beaches are apart of the nation itself and cannot simply just be sold off.
Firstly, it is unlikely that the mine manger has less power in the modern era than they did in the days of old. Mine managers wield enormous power under law and in practice.
Secondly, the real issue here is likely that nobody cares about small limestone mines, but the economies of scale in Gladstone are such that the mines are projects of importance at the State and global level. Local groups with real power (enough influence to get council moving) can still sway mine operations quite convincingly, larger mining companies have had some experiences with fighting real local opposition and it is not a profitable exercise. But the flip side of that, once a mine operation gets large enough it can no longer please everyone, and when the State & local governments support your operation, the people who are not pleased feel very powerless. Nobody likes that situation, but there isn't a straightforward resolution.
The idea that globalisation is responsible is a bit tenuous. Make the case that councils are blinded by greed, that is an easy one. I will politically remind the reader that the State government, who takes the cut, is also the same group who needs more money to fund schools & hospitals. EDIT And mining corporations usually spend lavishly on local projects to suppress organised opposition on council.
tl;dr; I have observed the process and don't believe that globalisation has broken the chain. Local government still has sufficient power to yea, nay or influence operations. State governments have absolute power to yea, nay and influence operations. They are responsible, not some shady globalist in Shenzhen, America or Japan.
Yes, local goverment still have power and no, the state goverment don't have absolute power when the contract has been deal.
You know who else holds enormous power? The mine managers employer, as well as the collective will of all the subordinates of the mine manager who depend on high paying mining jobs. The mine manager may also be close friends with many of these people, and many of them may have spouses who are friends of the mine managers spouse.
Then, there's the letter of the law, and there's de facto (in practice) law. Sometimes these are closely aligned, sometimes they are not.
Also, there is huge variance in individual companies' ethics and compliance with local laws and customs, as well as variance in compliance in different operational locations around the world - you likely wouldn't get away with very much in advanced 1st world countries very often, but I wonder if the same can be said in smaller, less fortunate countries.
> The idea that globalisation is responsible is a bit tenuous.
Agreed. A more plausible culprit is the corporation as a legal structure, with multi-national corporations being even worse. I'm pretty far right fiscally, but one documentary that had a big effect on my opinion is The Corporation.
This seems to be the entire documentary:
As it was produced 15 years ago I imagine it's a bit dated (I watched it over 10 years ago so can't recall much detail), but it's well worth the 2hr24min investment of your time.
As for the article itself....
> Global population and the world’s interconnections are increasing at an unprecedented rate; internet access, tourism, migration, and increased trade, among other phenomena, are transforming the planet. While the world gross domestic product has grown by 250 percent since 1980, world trade has grown by 600 percent; the ports of Shanghai and Singapore alone more than doubled their turnover of goods between 2003 and 2014. Cities like Mogadishu, Somalia, have seen growth rates of 1,000 percent in a generation, expanding from a couple hundred thousand inhabitants in the 1980s to a couple of million. The faster the rate of change, the harder it is for people to adapt.
I wonder if some important truths are hiding within or near these statistics. GDP up 250% while world trade is up 600%. Not stated is the extra layer of complexity around in what way the flows of money changed during this transition. Has great good come out of this for millions of people, raising them out of hellish poverty? Undoubtedly, and it makes me happy.
However, I often encounter a related opinion (that I'm often told disagreeing with in the slightest proves various things) that things have improved for everyone. Everyone is better off under globalization, full stop. I often find myself wondering whether this claim is actually true, and I also wonder how everyone is so certain about this fact when I've never encountered any evidence-based analysis that does a good job of substantiating it, without also leaving a large number of unanswered questions in my mind. I suppose it could be that I am really just as dumb as I'm told, but I can't find much else that corroborates that theory.
> There are alternatives to the current situation of powerlessness. One way to counter globalized power is to globalize the response by forging alliances between local community groups and transnational organizations that are capable of putting pressure on governments, public opinion, and corporations. This has been a successful strategy among feminists, trade unionists, and environmentalists in the recent past. Another option—an opposite yet complementary strategy—is to resist the forces that threaten to overrun and disempower local communities. One of the most striking examples of this strategy is the burgeoning support for locally grown food.
Another example is cooperative nationalism - sovereign nation states who trade with each other in a self-beneficial way, as well as assist those less fortunate nations (due to unfortunate geographical locations, plain bad luck, etc) for self-interested reasons of pragmatism as well as general humanity. How difficult it would be to pull this in real life I do not know, but neither does anyone else despite what they might say. But another side benefit this approach offers is that it enables true diversity. As globalization normalizes behaviors and conventions around the world (yes, often good, but there's more than one way to achieve goodness), diversity is actually decreasing in many ways (and if you think a variety of skin colors equals diversity, I happen to mostly disagree, and I actually think it's a tad racist). An independent nation state approach allows different countries to try different approaches to the full spectrum of life over long periods of time, and as optimal individual strategies arise, individual countries can choose to adopt them, or not.
It seems to me it would make sense to get some solid evidence and large-scale enthusiastic agreement that we've "got it all figured out" before we start merging the entire planet into a mono-culture, and rapidly rising populist sentiment in many nations would seem to suggest there might be some truth to this idea.
You would just have 0 ability for anyone to apply market forces and accountability on a localized level and it would become giant scam for elites to siphon off.
The only way to add more accountability in the way you want it would be more selling off of public land to public companies that anyone could buy stocks in.