Archive for November, 2011

We’ve had a post about the “UN as a stepping stone to world government.”  I’ve noted that the American right seems quite paranoid about the notion of a ‘world government’ (and the UN)… and if the American right is paranoid about something, one can bet that this reflects the paranoias of the corporate elite… since, need I spell this out… the American right is basically the world’s best mouthpiece for global capitalism, i.e., the interests of the main global corporations.  (Like microsoft, who took over skype, forced you to accept multiple downloads per day, and then when you go to contact skype customer service, are directed to the microsoft website, which has ‘support options’ for about 16 different ‘products’, none of which is skype!!!)

Well, one reason why the American right (and thus the global corporate elite) is paranoid about any notion of world government is that it represents the possibility of having uniform global labour laws.  Now, friends, global corporations thrive, and make most of their dough, on exploiting legal loopholes which arise between different countries.  It’s interesting, because while feudalism thrived on having many local legislations, capitalism is seen as having broken down this feudal mentality.  But now we see that the global companies are actually happy with the current fragmented world system, insofar as it gives them major tax shelters, and also, employment loopholes.

Thus, when unions in the developed world got too strong, they moved to the third world, where they can exploit the workers much more handily, for much less dinero paid.

Some day, however, it is more or less inevitable that we will come up with some global labour laws – kind of like global bills of rights.  This is simply too logical, too scientific, for it not to happen; (more…)

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So here’s a little insight that one can only get from living in Europe after having lived in the US/Canada, which is this:  In the US/Canada, you have much more house per family; I’ve seen the statistics; it’s roughly double the square footage on average in the US.

This has a number of hidden effects that I don’t think that many economists plug into their primary equations.  In Holland, the houses are really small indeed, almost everyone lives without appreciable yards.  We stayed in the townhouse of this wealthy yuppie couple with a baby, and they had literally no garage, and one single storage closet.  The dude’s only tool area was one single toolbox stored in the cupboard where the brooms and cleaning stuff were stuffed.

So the point is that this dude cannot de facto be in the market for lots of dudely stuff, such as wheelbarrows, lumber, metal poles, chainsaws, giant tool benches, riding mowers, and a whole host of other things which for decades every middle-class American male took for granted as being part of his lifestyle.  Just think of all the things which the average American consumer buys  to fill up their garage space, their toolsheds, etc.  All of these things there is a huge market for in the U.S., and this in turn stimulates the economy.

In Europe, they literally do not  have space for more than a few smallish carpets, a few lamps, one or two framed pictures,  etc., and so there is little market for this, meaning that buying things, even for an uppery middle-class couple, is a relatively rare event.  Because normal household goods are de facto luxury items,  every single household thing is ridiculously expensive.  This is why anywhere outside of Ikea, (more…)

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