Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Globalization's Next Victim: US

Filed under
Misc

President Bush says the U.S. economy is the envy of the world, and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan insists economic growth is solid despite a bit of froth, but the truth is that the global economic scene is now more troubled that at any time since the trade wars with Japan 20 years ago.

The U.S. trade deficit was considered unsustainable at around $25 billion annually by the Reagan administration. It is now nearing $700 billion, an unprecedented 6 percent of our gross domestic product.

As a result, the U.S. economy is on life support. Our lifeline to finance this deficit is huge infusions of foreign lending, much of it from the central banks of China and Japan. Congress is calling for China's scalp, and Treasury Secretary John Snow is demanding that Beijing revalue its currency. The new U. S. Trade representative is promising to get tough with China just as I and other U.S. trade officials promised to do with Japan in the past.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker is forecasting a 75 percent probability of a major international financial crisis within five years.

How, if the United States is the envy of the world, can we be having all these problems? Easy.

Although the world, as characterized by columnist and author Tom Friedman, is getting flatter as a result of removal of trade and other barriers, it is also being tilted at an increasingly steep angle.

Think of it as a sliding board, very flat and smooth but inclined to speed the move of production, services, technology, wealth and power from West to East and often from open, democratic systems to more opaque, authoritarian regimes.

In short, despite the miracles it has accomplished in the past and may bring in the future, globalization is distorting the world economy in ways that pose increasing risks to the United States and the rest of the international community. This is an issue that didn't make it onto the agenda of the world leaders at the G-8 meeting in Scotland last week, but should make it onto future agendas.

Part of what's wrong is illustrated in recent statements by the chief executive officers of Intel and IBM. In testimony to a presidential advisory panel, Intel's Paul Otellini said his company might build some future factories overseas. After selling his company's personal computer division to China's Lenovo, IBM's Sam Palmisano told the New York Times that he had gotten a blessing on the deal from China's top leaders and added that "IBM wants to be part of China's strategy."

Remember now, we're talking about Intel and IBM, two of the three or four top technology companies in the world, both based in the United States.

According to our elite economists, America's future lies with high tech - - with companies like Intel and IBM. Yet here are two of U.S. high-tech industry's top CEOs saying the future may lie abroad, especially in China.

Add the fact that U.S. trade in high-tech products has swung from a surplus to a deficit, and it is not at all clear that this country's future will be in high tech.

At the heart of the problem is the false assumption that all the countries in the globalization contest are playing the same game. They're not: Some countries have strategies, but others don't have a clue. The United States is in the latter category.

Full Article.

More in Tux Machines

Oracle Adds Initial Support for Linux Kernel 4.14 LTS to VirtualBox

Oracle recently updated their VirtualBox open-source and cross-platform virtualization software with initial support for the latest Linux 4.14 LTS kernel series. VirtualBox 5.2.2 is the first maintenance update to the latest VirtualBox 5.2 stable series of the application, and it looks like it can be compiled and used on GNU/Linux distribution running the recently released Linux 4.14 LTS kernel. It also makes it possible to run distros powered by Linux kernel 4.14 inside VirtualBox VMs. Read more

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

  • How a Linux stronghold turned back to Windows: Key dates in Munich's LiMux project [Ed: This explains the progression of Microsoft's war on GNU/Linux, typically using proxies]
    The project is temporarily put on hold while a study investigates whether it could be derailed by software patents.
  • End of an open source era: Linux pioneer Munich confirms switch to Windows 10 [Ed: Microsoft paid (bribed) all the right people, got a Microsoft fan -- by his own admission -- in power, gifted him for this]
    Mayor Dieter Reiter said there's never been a unified Linux landscape in the city. "We always had mixed systems and what we have here is the possibility of going over to a single system. Having two operating systems is completely uneconomic.
  • Ubuntu Podcast: S10E38 – Soft Knowledgeable Burn
    This week we refactor a home network, discuss how gaming on Linux has evolved and grown in recent years, bring you a blend of love and go over your feedback.
  • Live ISOs for Slackware-current 20171122
    I have released an update of the ‘liveslak‘ scripts. I needed the tag for a batch of new ISO images for the Slackware Live Edition. These are based on the latest Slackware-current dated “Wed Nov 22 05:27:06 UTC 2017“) i.e. yesterday and that means, the ISOs are going to boot into the new 4.14.1 kernel.
  • Am I willing to pay the price to support ethical hardware?
    The planned obsolescence is even worse with tablets and smartphones, whose components are all soldered down. The last tablet with a removable battery was the Dell Venue 11 Pro (Haswell version) announced in October 2013, but it was an expensive Windows device that cost as much as a mid-range laptop. The last Android tablet with a removable battery was the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (GT-N8000 series), released in August 2012. It is still possible to find mid-range smartphones with removable batteries. Last year the only high end phones with removable batteries were the LG G5 and V20, but even LG has given up on the idea of making phones that will last longer than 2 years once the battery starts to degrade after roughly 500 full charge and discharge cycles. Every flagship phone introduced in 2017 now has its battery sealed in the case. According to the gmsarena.com database, the number of new smartphone models with non-replaceable batteries grew from 1.9% in 2011 to 26.7% in 2014, and now to 90.3% in 2017. It is highly likely that not a single model of smartphone introduced next year will have a replaceable battery.

More Coverage of New Lumina Release

  • Lumina 1.4 Desktop Environment Released
    The TrueOS BSD folks working on their Qt5-powered Lumina Desktop Environment have issued a new feature update of their open-source desktop.
  • Lumina Desktop 1.4.0 Released
    Lumina 1.4.0 carries a number of changes, optimisations, and feature improvements. Lumina is the default desktop of TrueOS, a BSD-based operating system. The desktop itself is lightweight, modular, built using Qt, and uses Fluxbox for window management. Although Lumina is mostly aimed at BSD users it also runs on Linux, including Fedora, Arch and — *mario coin sfx* — Ubuntu.