Monday, May 29, 2006

Part Two of Review of Part One: The Control Theory Manager

Part Two of Review of Part One: The Control Theory Manager

Lead management is defined by Glasser as the key to successfully squeezing maximum productivity out of minions of workers but first defines boss management and why it really blows. It is entirely adversarial. However it works well for those who ascribe to Juran Management Systems. Fear is a considerable motivator under his framework. However Boss Management should be considered "Mutiny on the Bounty" Management .
"Mutiny on the Bounty" Management
1. Boss sets tasks/standards. Employees comply or suffer the keel-haulings of non-compliance.
2.Simon says, lemmings follow even if into the jaws of makos. No demonstration of task/opportunities to suggest better ways of cracking eggs or evading the makos.
3. Inspectors nose about the chum-ish results. Workers pile the white berries in the bottom of the basket or end up rolling around among the sharks grinning like jackals all the way to the pay window.
4. Resistance among workers is akin to mutiny in a thousand tiny ways. Attempting to squeeze quality out of stones leaves everyone with a really cheesy feeling and the boss floating around in a leaky dinghy waiting for his boss to yank his paintings off of the walls. Turning these leaders into viscious catberts and the followers into the geese Aunt Chloe chases around the barnyard in a never-ending cycle of all the way to "Who stole my offshore tax benefits because I could not find work onshore?" (for American expatriate readers).

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Review of Part One: The Control Theory Manager

The Control Theory Manager: Combining the Control Theory of William Glasser with the Wisdom of W. Edwards Deming to Explain Both What Quality Is and What Lead-Managers Do to Achieve It (William Glasser, M.D.:1994)
There is on the surface and in first review nothing apparently wrong with this Dr. Glasser other than a rather dated photograph which reveals his glasses to be about a quarter of the size of his actual head. Here writes an American, with a certain appreciation for the quality patron the "Indominatable Deming". In addition to whatever fortune it pertains, this is an eloquent psychologist foisting a new fangled theory (New? Well only a dozen years published anyway). I have no great fear of these theorists other than a painful memory of a conference session in Seoul where it seemed a psychologist turned ESL instructor seemingly repeatedly dazzled my retinas with laser pointers and power point presentations that seemed to take all the art of the art of teaching. Does Glasser glaze the retinas in similar fashion over the issues of quality? No, he is readable and sparingly written. Did I mention his glasses? The larger thus perhaps to perceive and thus lead?
His book is a mere ten years or so out of business fashion. Quality is no longer of key concern. It seems the latest buzz-words to punctuate the monotony of slogans (who said they were to be abolished, eh?) are multi-skilling, flexi-jobs, down-sizing and "ring around the shrinking insurance tax base abasing welfare rosie". So? Where did quality go?
It just seems Deming took some of the gleam from the glare of latest fads and while customers rumble over Krispy Cremes and Walmartization of their employment options the latest fads just seem paler and paler versions of more divine paths, taken by thinkers like Deming and followed along by Glasser. His book hooked me with its title so I wanted to know this man's take on Deming as there appear to be, so far, too few who could even heave themselves up out of the bowl of plastics beads (through which he would demonstrate the impossibilty of leading quality through inspections) and actually to the prows, bows, or sails, any part of a company that might move it in some perceivable, progressive direction and actually lead innovation and creativity trails. Deming still seems like he had it right even having been a living member of one of the world's least well organized mass consumer societies in terms of how necessarily to sustain itself.
Glasser attempts to explain the reasons for his book other than getting people like me to read a book which has such a high percentage of its total word length encapsulated within its title. He continues to rail American leaders with their mediocrity which in itself is highly uncharacteristic of the typical methods of management supposedly espoused by American leaders. Apparently to some, Americans make great use of humour to cajole workers, and then use incentives as a secondary measure thus "tricks or treats". In contrast it would appear Glasser believes the Japanese are better managers due to (far less than recent) results in Japanese business cases. However certain studies reveal Japanese managers to be far more authoritarian in their general methods of management than Americans. Why is that?
In the Korean case, which also reveals high variation from American management norms, a correlation could be made. Simply, conformity to authoritarian hierarchical patterns of leadership is easier to attain in many Eastern Asian nations simply due to full national conscription into military training and thus opportunities to exercise leadership and associated self-discipline, cooperation, group responsibility, initative all possibly absent from the "office space set" of dog eat dog underwear wearers present and accounted for in many leading American business models. Dilbert included.
For these creatures of habit and pattern, expansion of a business model is similar to the expansion of one's waist. The greater the intake of profits seemingly the farther a business leadership gets from the edges of its inseams and customer base. Thus these companies so horrendously lose touch with ethics and profitability, morality assundering and crashing down from time to time in horrendous enrons and fiascos. A proliferation of catberts thus running the show.
Currently the stop gaps for real goods or services quality is evident in the bottlenecks. These would include powering up nearly robotic call centres and firing and hiring (whole seemingly ants) regiments of workers to work and chatter about in them in an attempt to prove that Frankenstein, the corporate messiah, is really listening, that Frankenstein, despite his drooling and moaning, really cares, not only about its workers but its constantly "Pacabell cannoned to Hades" service inquirers. Quality has been rooted under, rotted from its very piers, and is thus measured in resolutions of problems rather than more humanely the eliminating of them from a product or service at the point of conception. Thus wooden eared engineers might have benefited from a few Deming mantras themselves but no one thought to invite them as they were not managers and might not know what to do with beluga caviar after the speeches anyway.
In some ways, the business world of America would have customers believe service takes weeks upon weeks rather than a few dodgy minutes with a waving soldering iron, a lick of concentration and a few quick surge checks. So the dinosaurs roaming around the buffet tables gathering to congratulate each other on the quality of their products or services, these Glasser wishes to shame back to the potato cellars. All you could eat seemingly appears to be nearing the point to soon eat no more. These soldiers of quality have seemingly gorged themselves upon the gilded meats of the concept and pitched the valuable bones and marrows of it all into the vast wastelands, cesspools, and environmental pitches of one or another stalled in development developing nations (or backpedallers like Mother Russia) where not even a handful of workers can afford to purchase even one hair of the fleece they now sew, the whole industrial engine of the modern world so stolen from the Gorgon herself. Given over to Glasser to resolve? No. Cyclops.
Quality as you might not know, is always carved in stone. It reads - "W. Edwards Deming."

A Nearly Final Review: The Silent Language

A Nearly Final Review: The Silent Language
Edward T. Hall (1959)

In the chapter "Space Speaks", Hall notes how all living entities have carefully defined physical boundaries suitable to their environments. However as organisms evolve into greater forms of complexity he defines proxemical spaces as similar to individual territorial fields of space and attempts to elaborate upon the finely tuned senses of space in its human variation from one cultural norm to another. His first example has to do with the way dogs perceive territorial spaces particularly in rural environments. What I have always observed about dogs in general is that there is some truth to the saying that dogs often look like their owners. So I would suggest that dogs which appear to be defending even whole portions of road or track with great yapping ferocity at times may be similar to their owners and somewhat confused regarding the concepts of private versus public roads and their intended use by any passersby. One may even find along the self-same roads other dogs with possible attendant tenants or landowners which have more discreet territoriality and allow mere pedestrians, bicycle riders or the like to pass with impunity and blissful silence. These are the dogs and neighbours whose discrimination I highly favour.
Hall notes many other animals which defend territoriality and I remember almost fondly an Australian, grouse-like fowl which pecked about upon the lawns and scattered about with a fearful chicken-like scrambling away from walking gaits in their general directions but upon breeding and nesting time became a frighful and loathsome beast of the air which would routinely dive bomb any interlopers, brandishing ripe yellow missles and poison darts upon its wingspans and fearful screams, swooping and attacking to nestle its fowl brood. So this type of territoriality in seemingly retiring and urbane creatures extends the elements of instinctive proxemics perhaps even to that part of the human animal which retains its lizard-like workings within its composites folds of layered brains. Hall sets out to explain that proxemics exist ona highly technical level in cultural underpinnings and are often intrinsically based. His example of the territoriality which students often set up within a classroom environment is often strictly adhered to and difficult to manipulate.
Fortunately I believe it is condusive to learning, especially the learning of language, to routinely reorganize groups, pairs, and lumpings of individuals in a classroom. At times, yes, with draconian delight I insist on separating the jelly-fish of associations in the classroom, often with brute force of "the countdown". I remind students that participation is a grade I give based upon their willingness to follow my instructions, and considering my various leniences, I can only ever be ferocious about this one particular issue. In reorganising groups to my own satisfaction I re-establish teacher territoriality to students who often believe polyps and tentacles of association shall reign in the land of the octopus, man, and orchid. If they do so, then my students do not ever seeme to get the point. As in, studying in class is meant mostly for future, undetermined usage outside of it. One may not "choose" who one needs to speak to in survival communication situations. This is the point of breaking up cliques.
Hall says in learning and growing one learns spatial cues and conditioning through a myrid of ways and those which one becomes first affixed with, as a mosaic upon bare stone often colours and effects reactions and successful or unsuccessful integration with or through other cultural proxemics standards. One man's spatial norm is another man's cue to aggression and anger. This is particuarly relevant to my own experiences in some foreign lands. Canadians have a lot of wide open spaces, of note in rural settings. Not only is their view of life and the world fairly broad, possibly widely tolerant of other cultures as a result intellectually. However their senses of personal space is also fairly broad, and perhaps easily tweaked to anger or aggression due to tail-gating, crowding, elbowing, and so on. Imagine the difficulty in navigating cultures where personal space is often a premium, and even perhaps disconcerting. The boredom urban Asians often feel in rural settings is not due to a lack of things to do, but perhaps a lack of movement, flurry, rampant change, or even the instilled silence of quite places, also perhaps unfamiliar and thus not a key facet of their own personal culturally tuned proxemical understanding.
Hall notes that urbanites tend to have little or no knowledge of rural spaces geographically or spatially, let one say proxemically. As a result perhaps they are easily marked out of the crowd by locals upon their arrivals on the scene simply by the way they navigate, or fail to navigate through space. Especially, if one spends one's life narrowly negotiating the ever spinning wheels, enticing bits of cheese, or hallways and passageways , whiskers forever testing the airs for threats or danger, would not one be fairly ill at ease when such realities are altered? Hall notes that spatially, children develop their sense of space from family norms to ever expanding understanding of greater and greater orbits of proxemics.
But one fails to appreciate the variations in cultural norms in areas of proxemics if one expects them to all hold the same values or creep ever closer to uniform or standard ones without the influence of manufacturered goods and new technologies. That there are probably better, more efficient ways to interact with technologies such as this information age has found us now, scrabbling and clattering over cobbles of letters and keyboards to interact with language, will only be determined through further research essentially on what new terms of proxemics cultures are willing to adapt themselves to. All changes in proxemics probably evolve through necessity and as they are intrinsic one could say such changes on cultural levels would also be very difficult to track. Anyone who has stood in the special darshan lines in Tirupati can agree that western concepts of proxemics spare the feet, toes, quarters, and limbs from the excessive pressing of strangers bodies, as equally valid in the passageways and catacombs of Seoul's wiggly subway lines and crushings of bodies together upon sweltering carriages.
It is difficult to say at what point a westerner actually ameliorates a sense of personal space invasion in any of a number of foreign nations under the terms of proxemics. But becoming more aware of the elements of such values systems, might one consider them to be associated with what one could consider in other perspectives as "ego"? One can appear excessively particular to natives of foreign lands when one insists upon space rules which break those locally. Physical privacy, along with its emotional concepts of well-being, also proxemically imbued on a culturally filtered level are arranged and ordered fairly differently in many foreign nations. A real expression of islands in the stream. Hall should be credited for really establishing these concepts of space and time and how intricately they are linked to cultural values. Such realisations, and the experience of living them in foreign or expatriate cirumstances are always challenging and increasingly fascinating.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A Few Interesting Quotes from Montaigne

A Few Interesting Quotes from Montaigne

A stack of more spiritual books have arrived on my shelves and were eagerly awaited, seemingly forever delayed. One includes Essays: Michel De Montaigne. Besides having influenced the existentialist movement and authors like Schaupenhauer, his style in translation by J.M. Cohen is appealing and energetic discourse.
So rather than merely read this book cover to cover, I wanted to extract three or four outstanding excerpts randomly and ponder over them here as Montaigne himself might have done with the authors on his bookshelf.
The first is: "When I play with my cat, who knows whether she is amusing herself with me, or I with her?" Quite simply, I still miss Pusky, a little cat I adopted in the desert and then found a home for before I left three years later. Three years onward, I still miss that cat and conversely wonder which one of us was taking care of the other sometimes.
"It is impossible to hold a straight argument with a fool...What is the good of setting out in pursuit of truth in the company of a man whose pace and walking power are inadequate?" This would appear relevant in the rambling, peg-legged, wild perusal of blogs these days. The reality is that readers of them often appear to have a very limited attention span, and I would wonder if increased technological development is not actually diminishing intellectual attention spans among the herds. One must be outlandishly clown-like to attract the attention of foppish, entertainment-minded readers. So many readers appear to be incapable of paying any attention to books these days, and among them, only the top ten lists appear to hold sway over general reading patterns.
"With all our efforts we cannot imitate the nest of the very smallest bird, its structure, its beauty, or the suitability of its form, nor even the web of a lowly spider." What we can do, is buy new, more comfortable beds from time to time. I am enjoying the fully affordable, luxurious refinement of a wonderfully Korean-crafted, full two mattress creation called an Ace Bed. A man has no need for constantly focusing upon his own creative inadequacies when compared to the humble nest-building fowl or crocheting spider if at the end of a day of workings, readings, and play, he can then fully slumber in tranquility. I fully endorse this company.
"It once pleased me to see, in one place or another, men who had, in the name of religion, made vows of ignorance as well, as chastity, poverty, and penitence." I would add to this list any number of evangelicals, advertisers, marketers, and side-show touts.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Three Favourite Tunes

Three Favourite Tunes

The Jeannie C. -
Words & Music by Stan Rogers (March 1978)
(I like singing this one for Dad)

Come all ye lads, draw near to me
That I be not forsaken
This day was lost the Jeannie C.
And my living has been taken
I'll go to sea no more

We set out this day in the bright sunrise
The same as any other
My son and I and old John Price
In the boat named for my mother
I'll go to sea no more

Now it's well you know what the fishing has been
It's been scarce and hard and cruel
But this day, by God, we sure caught cod,
And we sang and we laughed like fools
I'll go to sea no more

I'll never know what it was we struck
But strike we did like thunder
John Price gave a cry and pitched overside
Now it's forever he's gone under
I'll go to sea no more

A leak we've sprung, let there be no delay
If the Jeannie C. we're saving
John Price is drown'd and slip'd away
So I'll patch the hole while you're bailing
I'll go to sea no more

But no leak I found from bow to hold
No rock it was that got her
But what I found made my heart stop cold
For every seam poured water
I'll go to sea no more

My God, I cried, as she went down
That boat was like no other
My father built her when I was nine
And named her for my mother
I'll go to sea no more

And sure I could have another made
In the boat shop down in Dover
But I would not love the keel they laid
Like the one the waves roll over
I'll go to sea no more

So come all ye lads, draw near to me
That I be not forsaken
This day was lost the Jeannie C.
And my whole life has been taken
I'll go to sea no more.

Atlantic Blue
Ron Hynes
This one always makes me think of Debbie.

What colour is a heartache
From a love lost at sea
What shade of memory never fades
But lingers to eternity
How dark is the light of the day
That sleepless eyes of mine survey
Is that you Atlantic blue
My heart is as cold as you

How is one heart chosen
To never lie at peace
How many moments remain
Is there not one of sweet release
And who's the stranger at my door
To haunt my dreams forever more
Is that you Atlantic blue
My heart is as cold as you (as you)

I lie awake in the morning
As the waves wash on the sand
I hold my hurt at bay
I hold the lives of his children in my hands

And who's plea will receive no answer
Who's cry is lost upon the wind
Who's the voice so familiar
Whispers my name as the night comes in
And who's wish never fails to find
My vacant heart on Valentines
Is that you Atlantic blue

My heart is as cold
My heart is as cold
My heart is as cold as you
As you
As you

My Heart's In The Highlands
Robert Burns (January 25, 1759July 21, 1796)

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer -
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe;
My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North
The birth place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

Farewell to the mountains high cover'd with snow;
Farewell to the straths and green valleys below;
Farewell to the forrests and wild-hanging woods;
Farwell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer
Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe;
My heart's in the Highlands, whereever I go.

This is the version on Timeframe (1990).
One of my favourite Nova Scotia bands.

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MBAs Milling About: Willing to Relocate?

You are receiving this pinpoint job as you broadly specified either France or Netherlands as countries where you wanted to work, or fluency in either french or dutch (which are musts) -- it's not often we get this type of opportunity outside of the US, thus, we felt it appropriate to send to a wider net than usual. Please forward to peers who may be interested, We're not deviating from the requirements for either position in qualifying you. Please reply to and indicate position).

LOCATIONS: Marketing Associates or Customer Insights Specialists in any of three European cities, Amsterdam, Paris or Brussels.

As a marketing associate, you will work in teams with experienced professionals. You will help address many of the key marketing and sales challenges facing the top management of the world's leading organizations. You will build upon your experience and leadership skills and apply your mind to issues that matter.
As a member of its marketing and sales teams, you will ensure that customer insights are an integral part of the marketing and sales strategy efforts. This includes assessing current knowledge and processes, designing and coordinating proprietary market research, and building the client's capabilities in the market research area. You will also develop state-of-the-art research techniques and capabilities.
As a successful candidate, you have 3-8 years of work experience from a larger marketing department, from an advertising agency, or from consulting. Along with excellent academic qualifications, you have strong analytical and problem solving abilities.Candidates should be comfortable with quantitative analysis and also be strong problem solvers. Equally important is the ability to motivate others, to communicate complex ideas clearly, to gain the respect of clients and colleagues, and to work collaboratively. Fluent knowledge of English on top of fluency in Dutch or French required.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Search for the Self (A Short Review of Kierkegaard: Purity of Heart)

A Short Review of Kierkegaard: Purity of Heart Is To Will One Thing
Translated by Douglas V. Steere, Harper Torch, 1938
This little text has some relevance to my own personal affairs lately and my brief notes on the topic might highlight some of the links which may be made evident through review of Edward T. Hall's own thesis on individuality as being a filtered, conditioned facet of highly specific group cultural values determinants. I am all for the concept of selective filtering, and selective memory, specifically as it is detailed in the advertising and marketing theories of Messieurs Rossiter and Percy.
But is the human mind virtually an advertising sponge which only soaks up those rinds and juices which it might particularly find favourable in passing moments of consumptive awareness? Is that all individuals often allow themselves to be? Are we thus merely parrots of some cracker-driven spending and buying festival which ends up often with one more unsustained and thus failed awareness of happiness or fullfillment? Through purchase or credit versus a reoccuring craving, which would Kierkegaard say clearly begins and ends with the spiritual self entirely alone and wholey, thus completely existent within the conceptual confines of the solitary individual entity, pneuma, soul, or essence?
Luckily I am not alone in my questioning of conceptual frameworks which many might easily consider antique remainders of a more intellectually tweakish time. Business management these days appears to be all about spiritual organisation. However there is a border to which I have hovered but refuse to cross, culturally or theoretically. As in, convictions held by individuals, regardless if one thinks these were grown there, without soil, water, or minerals, grains or patterns of grains of thought, these are human patterns of behaviour. Convictions are often wholey engorged without tasting, as one might witness a fish rising out of the depths of itself to grasp something totally inappropriate to its continued well being and taking on new cultural values without proper congealing of the contents within an individual, or thus personal accounting as Kierkegaard might recommend. All this to appease the crowd. The churlish dogs who might often think themselves consuming the man when in reality, they merely perhaps consume their own ideas of individuality without executing them.
Thus it behooves me to relate that I do not wander the malls or strands in ill-cut, ill-fitting off white suits with matching fedoras, I do not attach a bolo tie with a plastic Jesus attached crucifix or the like. My eyes are not beady, black spheres wholey devoid of colour or wit. I do not fix my sweaty palms upon your lithe arms and thereupon squeeze out an answer to the perennial question (as if you were some risotto stuffed, pickled crab), "Do you believe in Jesus?" I do not wander the malls and strands with a full karaoke box tethered to my hip with a pig-tail wired microphone lustily chortling the chants and wailings upon the lots and reefs of the hopelessly damned. I do not raise my voice up out of the deeps as if I was resurrecting "The Wreck of the Hesperus" bowling itself out of salty sands and muds over distorted ranting chorale. I do not lie in wait like a vulture upon the vistas clear or peaks of yonder mountains mulling and waiting to stuff my tracts into the unsuspecting maws of the passing non-evangelist too polite to say just buzz off.
What I am saying is that Kierkegaard makes known and logically determines that man as an individual is spiritually alone before proverbial God, Higher Power, Thor, or Odin. Tkae your pick. As many of the Christian mystics, hell, most mystics, these trains of thought may attach themselves without obligation to grovelling or collection plate passing. That is, one cannot hide in the crowd from that which is spiritual or individual in the self neither now, nor in the hereafter, whatever it may be. Oprah cannot rule over the masses unless they willingly submit. Kierkegaard speaks mostly of inner light, inner awareness, knowing that each individual self, its thoughts, its feelings, are wholey unique in all of the world regardless of how much was moulded there and how much remains unmade. His context is wholely spiritual and of course God-related. For those for which there is no God, there is always something there even it be intellect alone, there is a belief system there within even if it be a non-belief. Inner nihilism, "the nihilistic cow or chichevache" resides there regardless to gnaw upon the bones of doubt never making clear that what is often so desperately missing it seems, to the great benefit of producers, buyers, and sellers, is a clearly defined sense of self in and among individuals.
A few quotes to rattle around in the great void or fragant garden of your inner world depending on how you will it:
"Oh, let us never forget this, let us not reduce the spiritual to the worldly."
"...a man can, to be sure, have an extremely different, yes, have a precisely opposite opinion
from ours, and one can nevertheless deal earnestly with him if one assumes that finally there may be a point of agreement, a unity in some universal human sense, call it what you will... One can dispute with a man, dispute to the furthest limit, as long as one assumes , that in the end there is a point in common, an agreement in some universal human sense: in self-respect."
'Then it follows so easily that the isolated voice of conscience (as generally happens to be a solitary one) becomes overruled- by the majority. But in eternity, conscience is the only voice to be heard. It must be heard by the individual, for the individual has become the eternal echo of the voice. It must be heard. There is no place to flee from it. For in the infinite there is no place, the individual is himself the place. It must be heard. "
Considering that I am rearing up on my final entry on The Silent Language, this book is being read at the right time I think. Furthermore, it gives comfort to that realm of the self which appears ever silent, peaceful, tranquil, deep, inviting, and so essentially that which speaks of the universal human longing for inner peace. I really needed to read this. Through my faith in selective filtering I believe I am consciously deciding which bits I wish to stick to my inner self and those which I shall let lie like dust upon the ways of being.

Monday, May 08, 2006

(International Economics) Free Trade: A Failure to Negotiate

For Jim
(International Economics)
Free Trade: A Failure to Negotiate
This essay will examine the statement, "Free Trade is Fair Trade" in the context of research on the topic through brief analysis. Free trade has evolved from a historical trade theory of competitive advantage more than two hundred years old. Whereas proponents claim lowered tariff barriers benefit the poor, improve labour standards, and protect the environment, fair trade as a concept of empowerment of the rights of workers has evolved from the principles of OXFAM, in fewer than thirty-five years, and has few convergences with free trade. A conclusion based on humanitarian principles is reached, "Free Trade is not Fair Trade".
Economists have used the arguments of David Ricardo for centuries to arrive at fair trade as specialisation of production leading to competitive advantage and, "the absence of barriers to the free flow of goods and services between countries." (Hill, 2003, p.384) Coincidentally, ILO core standards were not in place, nor applied in the age of Ricardo and might have implied value-added in terms of human rights, which in contemporary nations would forestall foreign investment due to costs of labour law standardization. However, this definition does not satisfy the perception among many societies as to the effects of free trade in terms of market distortions or failures. Non-economists attach, "an infinite weight to jobs they lose to trade and zero weight to jobs that are created..." (Baghwati, 2002, p.5) Dissatisfaction towards free trade brews among the shrinking middle-classes, in that the highest growth employment sector in the USA is the position of cash register attendant or that of Mexico is the ten-dollar-a-day, twelve-hour-a-day production worker position in maquilladora industries. (MacArthur, 2000)
Baghwati also posits that, "if markets do not work well, or are absent or incomplete... free trade cannot then be asserted to be the best policy." (2002,p.12) Job losses due to lower tariff barriers are perceived as the result of government deregulation attached to corporate concepts of self-regulation. Revenues governments once gained from tariffs are diminished; companies contributing high-paying jobs and tax revenue require enticements and tax cuts to remain. Such globalisation has regionalized production through auspices of the GATT, the WTO, and NAFTA without free votes among their electorate to pass such trade agreements. "The hours men and women worked, the wages they received, the conditions of their labour- these have passed beyond the control of the people..." (Roosevelt, 1936, in Hartmann, 2002, p.287) The agenda of the WTO, "extends beyond free ensure that markets are accessible to foreign commercial suppliers while at the same time they are secured for their investments." (Arup, 2000, p.9) According to Dr. Noreena Hertz of Cambridge University, as of 2001, in every environmental or species dispute that had come before it, "the WTO has ruled in favour of corporate interests against the wishes of democratically elected governments." (Hartmann, 2002, p.143)
Economists such as Baghwati, or Patrick Low of the WTO believe competitive advantage is a theory with which, "free trade can correspondingly be shown to be the optimal way to choose trade (and associated domestic production)." (Baghwati, 2002, p.12) Economic long-term historical data can also be shown to be less reliable than favourable short-term statistics when required, as in the case of NAFTA, where, "the ex ante expectations with respect to potential average cost savings stemming from trade liberalisation between Canada and the United States under the FTA were overly optimistic." (Keay, 2003, p.387) Further, Ricardian economists are neither willing to proclaim the success of NAFTA, nor to consider it a failure, indicating lack of evidence to support either assumption. "It is hard to evaluate NAFTA because it has only been in effect for five years..." (Shahabuddin, 2003, p.307) Competitive advantage and free trade can be selectively shown to operate to the benefit of the global economy, with forwards of current account surpluses out of national economies into US Treasury markets due to lack of local investment quotas. (Smith, 2002;Belderbos, Jie-a-Joen & Sleuwaegen, 2002)
The future ability for a nation such as Mexico (or any nation) to regulate foreign investments has been signed away, forever to the disadvantage of local workforces. "An export driven Mexican economy resulting from free trade has developed a more unequal distribution of income and evidence of falling real wages in a majority of the country's workers." (de la Garza 1994; Robinson, 1998-99; Dussel Peters 2000; Marina Flores 2001; in Gereffi, Spener, and Bair, 2002, p.328) Deregulated, barrier-free markets effectively outlaw local content requirements (LCR) among member countries. Yet research indicates FDI has not always been limited by LCR. "If economies of scale are not important and if the foreign firm is relatively efficient, the imposition of the LCR induces FDI." (Belderbos, Jie-a-Joen & Sleuwaegen, 2002, p.175)
"Fair Trade" as defined by OXFAM, not Ricardo or Baghwati, is the attempt, "to over-come poverty by enabling producers or workers to access the market in ways which enable them to obtain a fair return for the goods they grow or make." (Wilshaw in Jenkins, Pearson & Seyfang, 2002, p.209) NAFTA devasted Mexican cornfields, with over a million farmers forced to leave their homes and livelihoods as no ratification prevents corporate dumping among member nations. (Pollan, 2004) Free trade aims of reduction of poverty, or increase in environmental protection appear unaligned arguments, with greater similarity to OXFAM principles of fair trade developed in the 1970s. Oxfam established principles that included fair local wages, participatory decision-making, gender equity, protection of child labour, and sustainability of resources. (Wilshaw in Jenkins, Pearson & Seyfang, 2002) Thus it seems falacious to argue that free trade is equivalent to fair trade.
Free trade has never been free or fair. "No government on Earth permits totally free trade." (Aaronson, 2001, p.11) Notwithstanding, the arguments against free trade in North America have included the fact that it discriminates against Japanese and European trading partners and the workers of member nations themselves. "The inescapable contradiction of open regionalism is that it is not really open, because any regional arrangements for trading purposes are bound to give preferences to members against non-members." (Bhalla & Bhalla, 1997, in Carranza, 2002, p.155)
Host countries are cost reductions for investing companies, not spin-offs for their workforces, as, "developed nations have been able to produce more manufactured goods with fewer people." (Burtless, Lawrence, Litan & Shapiro, 1998, in Irwin, 2000, p.14) Southeast Asia and Mexico have been FDI destinations for multinational corporations seeking cheap labour, low environmental standards, reduced benefits and costs, which contributes to falling domestic investment, increases in low wage service jobs, falling union memberships, and falling growth in public infrastructure in home countries. (Gereffi, Spener & Bair, 2002; Hartmann, 2002; MacArthur, 2000) Price competition among nations has not benefited the worker, "as the demand for labour becomes more elastic, more of the cost of labour standards is borne by workers rather than firms." (Rodrik, 1997, in Irwin, 2000, p.16) The low wage, non-unionized environments of debt-burdened, underdeveloped countries provide the bald evidence of short-term gains. "Southeast Asians gained no pricing power on their exports; in this important respect they acquired no significant influence in world markets...Domestic demand was more or less ignored." (Smith, 2002, p.51) South East Asia and Mexico share a future similar to modern China , which is developing as a highly stratified society with a vast population of marginalized labourers. (Smith, 2002)
Free trade does not define benefits to the poor, or definition of fair market prices for goods or services produced in developing nations. It does not satisfy global middle class perceptions that job losses due to trade are a necessary benefit, or that job creation at lower benefits levels based upon free trade, will represent measurable improvements. The winners can be distinguished with exploration of long-term studies of middle-class statistics in the USA. "More- and richer rich, more poor, fewer in the middle: the pattern is clear, and it is a Latin American, not a North American, pattern." (Beatty, 1994, p.66) Multiple reasons for such patterns are posited to be combinations of rising energy prices, lowered rates of domestic investment, shifts from high wage manufacturing to low wage services employment, declining public-sector union membership, rising shareholder dividends, and falling growth in public infrastructure. (Beatty, 1994; Aaronson, 2001)
In conclusion, "Free Trade" is of greatest benefit to the rich, and to large corporate dividend-yileding shareholders. "There is widespread exploitation of workers." (Prieto, Hadjipateras & Turner, 2002, p.146) "Free Trade" prevents many from earning a decent living. "Liberty requires opportunity to make a living- a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for. " (F.D.R., 1936, in Hartmann, 2002, p.287)"Free Trade" cheapens the price of the working poor in every country on earth. "The bottom line is that neither the average working people of rich nations nor those of poor nations have benefited from free trade or its corollaries: The gains have gone to a few hundred corporations that are each larger, economically, than most nations. These treaties and agreements simply encourage a 'race to the bottom', pushing wages down here and exploiting people aborad so that multinational corporations can expand their profits." (Sanders, 2001, in Hartmann, 2002, p.144)
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