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

today's howtos

KDE: Qt, Plasma, QML, Usability & Productivity

  • Qt 5.11.1 and Plasma 5.13.1 in ktown ‘testing’ repository
    A couple of days ago I recompiled ‘poppler’ and the packages in ‘ktown’ that depend on it, and uploaded them into the repository as promised in my previous post. I did that because Slackware-current updated its own poppler package and mine needs to be kept in sync to prevent breakage in other parts of your Slackware computer. I hear you wonder, what is the difference between the Slackware poppler package and this ‘ktown’ package? Simple: my ‘poppler’ package contains support for Qt5 (in addition to the QT4 support in the original package) and that is required by other packages in the ‘ktown’ repository.
  • Sixth week of coding phase, GSoC'18
    The Menus API enables the QML Plugin to add an action, separator or menu to the WebView context menu. This API is not similar to the WebExtensions Menus API but is rather Falkonish!
  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 24
    See all the names of people who worked hard to make the computing world a better place? That could be you next week! Getting involved isn’t all that tough, and there’s lots of support available.

Programming: Python Maths Tools and Java SE

  • Essential Free Python Maths Tools
    Python is a very popular general purpose programming language — with good reason. It’s object oriented, semantically structured, extremely versatile, and well supported. Scientists favour Python because it’s easy to use and learn, offers a good set of built-in features, and is highly extensible. Python’s readability makes it an excellent first programming language. The Python Standard Library (PSL) is the the standard library that’s distributed with Python. The library comes with, among other things, modules that carry out many mathematical operations. The math module is one of the core modules in PSL which performs mathematical operations. The module gives access to the underlying C library functions for floating point math.
  • Oracle's new Java SE subs: Code and support for $25/processor/month
    Oracle’s put a price on Java SE and support: $25 per processor per month, and $2.50 per user per month on the desktop, or less if you buy lots for a long time. Big Red’s called this a Java SE Subscription and pitched it as “a commonly used model, popular with Linux distributions”. The company also reckons the new deal is better than a perpetual licence, because they involve “an up-front cost plus additional annual support and maintenance fees.”

Linux 4.18 RC2 Released From China

  • Linux 4.18-rc2
    Another week, another -rc. I'm still traveling - now in China - but at least I'm doing this rc Sunday _evening_ local time rather than _morning_. And next rc I'll be back home and over rmy jetlag (knock wood) so everything should be back to the traditional schedule. Anyway, it's early in the rc series yet, but things look fairly normal. About a third of the patch is drivers (drm and s390 stand out, but here's networking and block updates too, and misc noise all over). We also had some of the core dma files move from drivers/base/dma-* (and lib/dma-*) to kernel/dma/*. We sometimes do code movement (and other "renaming" things) after the merge window simply because it tends to be less disruptive that way. Another 20% is under "tools" - mainly due to some selftest updates for rseq, but there's some turbostat and perf tooling work too. We also had some noticeable filesystem updates, particularly to cifs. I'm going to point those out, because some of them probably shouldn't have been in rc2. They were "fixes" not in the "regressions" sense, but in the "missing features" sense. So please, people, the "fixes" during the rc series really should be things that are _regressions_. If it used to work, and it no longer does, then fixing that is a good and proper fix. Or if something oopses or has a security implication, then the fix for that is a real fix. But if it's something that has never worked, even if it "fixes" some behavior, then it's new development, and that should come in during the merge window. Just because you think it's a "fix" doesn't mean that it really is one, at least in the "during the rc series" sense. Anyway, with that small rant out of the way, the rest is mostly arch updates (x86, powerpc, arm64, mips), and core networking. Go forth and test. Things look fairly sane, it's not really all that scary. Shortlog appended for people who want to scan through what changed. Linus
  • Linux 4.18-rc2 Released With A Normal Week's Worth Of Changes
    Due to traveling in China, Linus Torvalds has released the Linux 4.18-rc2 kernel a half-day ahead of schedule, but overall things are looking good for Linux 4.18.