And the message that companies are moral beings with social responsibilities diverts public attention from the task of establishing such laws and rules in the first place. It is much the same with what passes for corporate charity. But shareholders do not invest in firms expecting the money to be used for charitable purposes. They invest to earn high returns. Shareholders who wish to be charitable would, presumably, make donations to charities of their own choosing in amounts they decide for themselves.
The larger danger is that these conspicuous displays of corporate beneficence hoodwink the public into believing corporations have charitable impulses that can be relied on in a pinch. The only way for the citizens in us to trump the consumers in us is through laws and rules that make our purchases and investments social choices as well as personal ones. A change in labor laws making it easier for employees to organize and negotiate better terms, for example, might increase the price of products and services.
By Tara Lohan
A small transfer tax on sales of stock, to slow the movement of capital ever so slightly, might give communities a bit more time to adapt to changing circumstances. The return on my retirement fund might go down by a small fraction, but the citizen in me thinks it worth the price.
Extended unemployment insurance combined with wage insurance and job training could ease the pain for workers caught in the downdrafts of globalization. Let us be clear: The purpose of democracy is to accomplish ends we cannot achieve as individuals. But democracy cannot fulfill this role when companies use politics to advance or maintain their competitive standing, or when they appear to take on social responsibilities that they have no real capacity or authority to fulfill.
That leaves societies unable to address the tradeoffs between economic growth and social problems such as job insecurity, widening inequality, and climate change. As a result, consumer and investor interests almost invariably trump common concerns.
Capitalism, Global Trade, and the Reduction in Poverty and Inequality | Cato @ Liberty
The vast majority of us are global consumers and, at least indirectly, global investors. In these roles we should strive for the best deals possible. That is how we participate in the global market economy. But those private benefits usually have social costs. And for those of us living in democracies, it is imperative to remember that we are also citizens who have it in our power to reduce these social costs, making the true price of the goods and services we purchase as low as possible.
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We can accomplish this larger feat only if we take our roles as citizens seriously. The first step, which is often the hardest, is to get our thinking straight.
Women and Global Capitalism
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Instead, today's supercharged global economy is eroding the power of the people in democracies around the globe. Welcome to a world where the bottom line trumps the common good and government takes a back seat to big business.
Superintending Global Capital
By Robert B. Reich October 12, , PM. View Comments. More from Foreign Policy.
To the contrary: The big story after is the collapse of communism and the spread of market institutions, albeit imperfect ones, to India, China and Latin America. This was a process mightily abetted by freer flows of international trade and private capital, which were, in turn, promoted by a bipartisan succession of U. This is the good news about the world today.
- The Editors;
- Seventy Weeks (SG Essays).
- Ordinary Lives (Portable);
- Lesson Plans As a Driven Leaf.
- News and Views from the Global South;
Indeed, it's the most important news about our world. We hear so much about poverty, inequality, gaps, resource depletion, and the like, it's a wonder any NPR listeners can bear to get out of bed in the morning. Ironically, Dirlik points out that the denial of the validity of metanarratives such as capitalism and its most uncompromising critique, Marxism, is itself due to the rise of global capitalism: the set of flexible production relations and "space-time" compression associated with the "new international division of labor," the consequent blurring of distinctions between the "three worlds," and the appearance of "Third World" conditions in the heartlands of the most [End Page ] advanced economies.
Associated with these changes have been large diasporic movements, and it is not an accident that discussions of multiculturalism among corporate managers and business magazines preceded discussions of "hybridity" and "in-betweenness" among postcolonial theorists.
Given postcolonialism's political irrelevance, Dirlik argues for a resuscitation of the term Third World, not because of its descriptive utility but because it keeps alive the possibility of resistance to structures of domination. On another register, the emergence of major centers of capital accumulation in east Asia has meant that capitalism has become a truly global abstraction as, for the first time in history, non-European capitalist societies make their own contributions to its narrative.
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