Fwd: Re: [saymaListserv] Fwd: Globalization and the Poor: Do Quakers have a realistic view of world poverty?
jhminshall at comcast.net
Sat Apr 2 19:19:57 JEST 2005
Hi Again Bill Reynolds, I will answer your question about
documentation of my commments in my 3/28 message concerning
globalization and outsourcing and how the companies which go abroad
"most usually pay significantly better wages, provide better benefits
and combat sexual, class and cultural/tribal/caste discrimination
more effectively than do local employers in the countries where they
send their work".
First I have to tell you that I have read examples which illustrate
this cause/effect relationship for many, many years. I don't have
access to a good academic economics library to go back and find the
chain of articles that lead me to my conclusions but it exists.
However, my primary interest is in reading and writing popular
political economics and so I am familiar with the location of current
detailed commentary from that area which is relevant to your
question. All of the academics who write for a popular audience
about the economic areas that most grab my attention, my head and my
heart, do also provide the necessary footnotes so I am able to
respond to your question with references which have extensive
The examples which you seek are actually in the two books I
referenced in that last message - In Defense of Globalization by
Jagdish Bhagwati and Why Globalization Works, by Martin Wolf. Of the
two, Bhagwati's book is more responsive in many ways to the concerns
of anti-globalizers than is Wolf's. In general, he gives details from
a longer perspective in economic history, which may be the result of
his being older. In Chapter 1, pg. 10, "Anti-globalization, Why?"
Bhagwati begins telling the history of the current anti-globalization
movement from his perspective. Read it. It is short and to the
point and provides continuity between anticapitalism as a Socialist
focus before the wars to antiglobalization as a wider focus after the
wars. Both Bhagwati and Wolf get carried away from their reader's
interests at times by pedantic concerns or repetitiveness, but they
are both worth reading.
Bhagwati starts his comments relevant to your question with the first
intensive efforts at globalization and outsourcing after WWII -- in
Japan. All of us over 65 recall that after WWII, suddenly we in the
US began to be inundated in the stores with articles made in Japan.
That was the result of the efforts made by the US and its allies to
bring their two major foes during the war, Japan and Germany, back to
economic and political equilibrium to minimize the possibility of
further wars. Indeed, from WWII on, increasingly, economics became
the focus of the same competitiveness and passion as armed conflict
and the coveting of another's land and military had been up to that
time. As a result of Marshall Plan type economic development, Europe
became the major market for Germany and the US became the major
market for Japan.
Bhagwati cites the importance of the exchange of management personnel
and the exchange of students to and from Japan as being one of the
most effective steps in post WWII globalization efforts. In his
Chapter 7, pg.73-74-75, "Women: Harmed or Helped?" Bhagwati uses that
exchange as an example of the beginning of the emancipation of women
in Japan. Japanese male executives were first sent to the US with
their wives and children. Wives saw how women lived, worked and went
to college in the US and began slowly pressuring for similar
opportunities in Japan, as did the wives of college and graduate
students after they returned home. (Remember that now, in 2005, many,
many more countries where multinationals are operating are sending
their foreign executive personnel with their families to live and
work in the US for awhile, and 60% of the students in US graduate
schools are foreign students who often bring their wives and children
along, just as the Japanese did).
Similarly, Japanese men learned back then during their time in the
US, and continue to learn more significantly over time that the old
habits of paying women lower wages for the same work that men did was
no longer acceptable. They have learned that "prejudice has its
price: any firm that indulges in it is going to be at a competitive
disadvantage to firms that hire without this prejudice....Now if
there is a closed economy and all domestic firms share this prejudice
(and pay women a lower wage) all firms will be equally handicapped.
But when we introduce foreign competition, the foreign firms that do
not share this prejudice will be able to gain in competitiveness
against domestic firms....Liberalized trade which enables foreign
firms to compete with domestic firms in open markets, therefore, puts
pressure on domestic firms to shed their prejudice. The gender wage
gap will then be reduced in industries that must compete with imports
produced by unprejudiced firms elsewhere."
This same principle applies even more widely now, both in regard to
multinationals who move production abroad to take advantage of a
lower wage structure and to the process of outsourcing to cheaper
labor markets. Multinationals and outsourcers have easy access to
traditional domestic labor forces as long as they they pay somewhat
higher wages and provide equal wages for equal work. In the rest of
the globalizing world both women and minorities in countries whose
producers have traditionally paid lower wages on the basis of sexual,
class, caste or color prejudices are experiencing a progressively
rising wage scale and a higher standard of living. If a woman or
minority worker's current domestic employer won't pay them adequately
they can go to the other side of town, or even move to the outskirts
of a nearby city, and work for a higher wage for a multinational or a
domestic company with an outsourcing contract. To counter the loss
of trained laborers in this manner, domestic producers must adjust
their wages and their discriminatory hiring and benefits policies to
retain their workers. This opening up of foreign labor markets
ultimately produces the impressive statistics I cited in my first
message about the significant and continuing reduction of world
poverty in those countries which are in process of globalizing.
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 12:11:45 -0500
To: CIsland at aol.com
From: Janet Minshall <jhminshall at comcast.net>
Subject: Re: [saymaListserv] Fwd: Globalization and the Poor: Do
Quakers have a realis...
Hi Bill Reynolds, Thanks for your question. I'm in the midst of a
medical emergency right now but will respond as soon as I'm able.
Bill Reynolds wrote on 3-29-05:
In a message dated 3/28/2005 9:19:47 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
jhminshall at comcast.net writes:
Our companies which outsource most usually pay significantly better
wages, provide better benefits and combat sexual, class and
cultural/tribal/caste discrimination more effectively than local
employers in the countries where they send their work.
I would like to see two or three specific examples of companies
outsourcing as you describe here with some concrete detailed examples
of how they accomplish these various ideals. Such detailed examples
would make these points more real to me. Thanks,
"Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders, than from the
arguments of its opposers." - William Penn
[I have added this quote to my signature setting. I did not attach it
for you or anyone else in particular but simply for general
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