Globablization is destroying too many American jobs, too many American Industries. Thomas Friedman observing the effects of globalization on business and culture, referring to comments by Nandan Nilekani, the CEO of the Indian company, Infosys, says.
"Infosys said all the walls have been blown away in the world, so now we, an Indian software company, can use the Internet, fiber optic telecommunications and e-mail to get superempowered and compete anywhere that our smarts and energy can take us. And we can be part of a global supply chain that produces profit for Indians, Americans and Asians.
"Al Qaeda said all the walls have been blown away in the world, thereby threatening our Islamic culture and religious norms and humiliating some of our people, who feel left behind. But we can use the Internet, fiber optic telecommunications and e-mail to develop a global supply chain of angry people that will superempower us and allow us to hit back at the Western civilization that's now right in our face."
The walls are down. Our own government, our internet, satellite and other technologies have blasted the walls to oblivion. We are exposed, naked and sadly, particularly the middle class, suffering terribly as opportunistic predators and competitors have raced in to make the most of the opportunities. These include transnational corporations that have no loyalty to any nation, only the dollar, or euro, dinar, ruble or rupee. Uninhibited by rules or laws, these economic opportunists take advantage of the wide open, unprotected prime markets, the wealthiest customers with the best credit, our ideal laws that protect businesses and legal transactions,our lenient tax laws.
Take the wall/ barrier metaphor a step further, imagine a child born without a skin, or an adult who suddenly loses his skin-- to a fire, lets say. Long-term survival would not be possible. That's what the long term experiment of Globalization ( that's how the Harpers magazine cover article The End of Globalism by John Ralston Saul characterizes it) has done to the US-- flayed off our skin, torn down our walls, leaving us totally exposed to economic infection and bleeding to death. But it doesn't have to be that way. The alternative tearing down the old protective walls-- the old way of thinking, does not not require rebuilding of old walls. Instead of walls of protectionism, we need a membrane.
A membrane, in biology is sort of a barrier between two spaces, but it allows some things through and acts like a wall to block other things. www.dictionary.com defines a biological membrane as:
A thin, pliable layer of tissue covering surfaces or separating or connecting regions, structures, or organs of an animal or a plant
And it defines a chemical membrane as:
A thin sheet of natural or synthetic material that is permeable to substances in solution
And permeable is defined, at dictionary.com, as:
Capable of being permeated, or passed through; yielding passage; passable; penetrable; -- used especially of substances which allow the passage of fluids; as, wood is permeable to oil; glass is permeable to light. --I. Taylor.
image from Wikipedia selective barrier page
Fortunately, just as medicine has been able to synthesize artificial or laboratory-grown skin, it is also possible to create economic laws, policies and regulations that act as subtle, selective protective membranes rather than total walls. These globalistic laws would allow international trade with reasonable openness at some level, regarding some issues, while still protecting American industries and jobs and more. We're not just talking about economics. Globalism impacts upon laws that have been democratically decided upon. Being signatories to NAFTA and the WTO we have agreed to accept decisions by anonymous men in closed committees, decisions that can reverse laws democratically decided by US voters.
This may not make some countries and many transglobal corporations happy. Too bad. All the countries in the world are not equal. The US has invested its share of citizen blood in building and creating a nation with assets, resources, strengths and MARKETS that are incomparable.
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