April 4, 2014

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‘Deglobalization’ Is the Way to Reduce Inequality

huffingtonpost.com | Original Article | by Pablo Solon

The race of globalization is leaving the majority of the world's population far behind. According to Unicef, the richest 20 percent of the population gets 83 percent of global income, while the poorest quintile has just 1 percent. This trend is getting worse. A new UNDP report called "Humanity Divided" estimates that 75 percent of the population lives in societies where income distribution is less equal now than it was in the 1990s, although global GDP ballooned from $22 trillion to $72 trillion.

For developing economies in Asia, the Gini coefficient -- which measures income inequality on a scale from zero to one where one is worst -- rose from 0.33 in 1990 to 0.46 in 2010. Read More...

Image Courtesy of Emmanuel Saez (CC by SA 3.0)

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March 27, 2014

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The Future of Europe: An Interview with George Soros

nybooks.com | Original Article | by George Soros and Gregor Peter Schmitz

Parts of the following interview with George Soros by the Spiegel correspondent Gregor Peter Schmitz appear in their book, The Tragedy of the European Union: Disintegration or Revival?, just published by PublicAffairs.

This interview will appear in the April 24, 2014 issue of The New York Review.

Gregor Peter Schmitz: The conflict in Crimea and Ukraine has changed the shape of European and world politics, and we will come to it. But let us first talk about a subject on which you’ve taken a critical position over the years: the crisis of the European Union: With regard to the euro, isn’t the worst over? Read More...

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March 20, 2014

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How to Save the US

ft.com | Original Article | by Simon Kuper

‘The solution to America’s problems is obvious – it should model itself on its military...’ Read More...

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March 6, 2014

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Mobilized Identities: Mediated Subjectivity and Cultural Crisis in the Neoliberal Era

OnGlobalization.com | Bookstore | Cameron McCarthy, Alicia Kozma, Karla Palma-Millanao, Margaret Fitpatrick, and Nicole Lamers (eds.)

Mobilized Identities: Mediated Subjectivity and Cultural Crisis in the Neoliberal Era is a collective attempt to capture a glimpse of how modern individuals face and negotiate the crisis of global capitalism, as well as the formation of identity in the realm of media, education, and culture in a highly dense, networked world. We are living in times within which even the existence of a solidity that “melts into air” is questioned, and where individuals are forced into a type of identity-survival mode that requires the complex and simultaneous negotiations of time, space, nation, and self simply to remain intact. It is in this rapidly moving and changing terrain of social relations that the contributors of Mobilized Identities explore issues that range from popular culture and education to digital technologies and the fluidity of race and identity in a supposedly post-racial era as strategic articulations of identity creation and self-preservation.

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March 6, 2014

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Class on a Global Scale: The Emerging Transnational Capitalists

theconversation.com | Original Articel | by Andrew Self

The Conversation is running a series, Class in Australia, to identify, illuminate and debate its many manifestations. Here, Andrew Self examines how class operates on a global scale, and whether or not it is a cross-border phenomenon.

Economist Adam Smith wrote famously in 1776 that:

A merchant, it has been said very properly, is not necessarily a citizen of any particular country.

Over 200 years later, the head of Gillette, Al Zeien, espoused a similar view.

A global company views the world as a single country. We know that Argentina and France are different, but we treat them the same. Read More...

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February 27, 2014

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Essay: Anatomy of the Deep State

billmoyers.com | Original Article | by Mike Lofgren

Rome lived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face. Industry is the only true source of wealth, and there was no industry in Rome. By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks and spices of the East, the marble of Asia Minor, the timber of the Atlas, the grain of Africa and Egypt; and the carts brought out nothing but loads of dung. That was their return cargo.

– The Martyrdom of Man by Winwood Reade (1871)

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power. [1] Read More...

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February 21, 2014

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A Line in the Sea: Chile, Peru and the ICJ

The Economist | Original Article | From the Print Edition: The Americas

For more than a century, Peru’s collective psyche has been scarred by its defeat in the War of the Pacific of 1879-83 and Chile’s subsequent stalling in implementing the terms of a peace treaty. So when Peru’s government asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to redraw the maritime boundary between the two countries, many Peruvians saw a chance to heal wounded national pride.

In its long-awaited ruling on January 27th the court duly awarded Peru control of some 50,000 sq km of ocean but confirmed Chile’s hold over inshore waters rich in fish. The decision was arbitrary but broadly fair—less than Peru had hoped for, but less bad than Chile had feared. It offers both countries a chance to move on from the past, but only after what is likely to be months of wrangling over how to implement the ruling. Read More...

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February 11, 2014

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No One’s World

huffingtonpost.com | Original Article | by Charles Kupchan

"The twenty-first century will not belong to the United States, Europe or China. It will be no one's world."

Charles A. Kupchan is Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University and Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. These reflections are excerpted from the current issue of Aspenia Italia.

The global distribution of power is fast changing. Europe and the United States, which for some two centuries have together dominated the global landscape, are ceding power and influence to China, India, Brazil, and other emerging powers. The implications of this continuing redistribution of global power will be magnified by the fact that rising nations are forging their own brands of governance and capitalism, not embracing the political and economic norms associated with the "Western way." The twenty-first century will not belong to Europe, the United States, China, or anyone else; it will be no one's world. Read More...

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January 27, 2014

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The Big Mac Index: Global Exchange Rates, To Go

The Economist | Original Article | By D.H. & R.L.W.

The Big Mac index was invented by The Economist in 1986 as a lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their “correct” level. It is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP), the notion that in the long run exchange rates should move towards the rate that would equalise the prices of an identical basket of goods and services (in this case, a burger) in any two countries. For example, the average price of a Big Mac in America in January 2014 was $4.62; in China it was only $2.74 at market exchange rates. So the "raw" Big Mac index says that the yuan was undervalued by 41% at that time.

Burgernomics was never intended as a precise gauge of currency misalignment, merely a tool to make exchange-rate theory more digestible. Yet the Big Mac index has become a global standard, included in several economic textbooks and the subject of at least 20 academic studies. For those who take their fast food more seriously, we have also calculated a gourmet version of the index. Read More...

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January 16, 2014

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Ireland’s Rebound Is European Blarney

NYTimes | Original Article | by Fintan O'Toole

Dublin — I was talking just before Christmas to a young man who sells shoes in a department store in Dublin. He told me that a television news crew had filmed interviews in the store the previous day. They wanted to know if sales were picking up during the vital holiday period, indicating that the battered Irish economy was, after five grim years, on the rise at last.

Most of his colleagues said that, actually, sales were rather sluggish. One was more hopeful and said that there were signs of improvement. When the young man watched the TV news that night, he was not entirely surprised to find that the only interview that had made the cut was the one with the optimist.

Everyone wants Ireland to be a good-news story, proof that a willingness to take the pain of prolonged austerity will be rewarded in the end. Ordinary citizens are hungry for some hope. The government, in the words of Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore, was “determined that Ireland would be Europe’s success story.” An influential board member of the European Central Bank, Jörg Asmussen, says, “The Irish program is a success story.” Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany praised Ireland as an example of how crisis countries could turn themselves around. Read More...

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