# Globalization and poverty

russ. i was talking about standards as they were in early nineteenth century.
last year two very big companies like Enron and Palmelatte got bust by dishonest practices. thousands of people lost their jobs and savings from their fradaulent tactics. don't you think corporate accountability should be a lot tougher than what exists now? also i am concerned about large companies getting away with lax and polluting methods of manufacture in third world countries in order to produce cheaper goods to gain competative advantage. i wonder if you have heard about the accident in Union Carbide plant in bhopal?

loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Reportedly, it is more a function of the fact that California requires a unique gasoline formulation. If the distinctly volatile and high gas prices of California were simply a funtion of demand, the demand might soon be met by an increase in refineries and/or shipments as it is elsewhere in the nation.
Hmm. Interesting. I didn't realize MTBE had not been banned yet in other states. Thanks for that little tidbit. Do you happen to have any idea why you aren't allowed to pump your own gas in Oregon and New Jersey?

russ_watters
Mentor
sage said:
russ. i was talking about standards as they were in early nineteenth century.
But isn't that the point? Standards change. What used to be considered prosperous is now considered destitute. Thats a testament to how far we have come and how far much of the world's population has to go.
last year two very big companies like Enron and Palmelatte got bust by dishonest practices. thousands of people lost their jobs and savings from their fradaulent tactics. don't you think corporate accountability should be a lot tougher than what exists now?
The people responsible for ENRON are in jail (not sure about the CEO - that might be ongoing, but I know the CFO is). What more do you think should be done?
also i am concerned about large companies getting away with lax and polluting methods of manufacture in third world countries in order to produce cheaper goods to gain competative advantage.
Government oversight doesn't and can't extend beyond our borders: countries have started wars over less. It is mostly up to the countries that these companies do business in to fix the way their governments operate.

In Oregon, they were losing jobs in the timber industry, so they made it a law that attendants must pump gas, to create jobs for people in Oregon. I don't know about New Jersey. (Maybe they are still looking for Jimmy Hoffa, in gas tanks.)

I was just in California, I did see a lot of citrus, on trees. I was also told, by my grocer friend, that it confounds him to see Florida oranges on sale in California. I wonder if Florida can label imported oranges as Florida, because they are shipped out of Florida. The laws have just changed so that produce and foods do not have to be labeled according to Nation of origin. The Chinese apples is a real thing, since I was writing an article on agriculture, and the main produce broker in Brigham City Utah, was discussing this with me. They grow a lot of peaches, cherries and apples in Brigham City, Utah. They could not compete with the Chinese apples. Now you will not know, if you are getting Chinese apples.

russ_watters
Mentor
I didn't see this before:
the number 42 said:
If wealth were about nothing but TVs, nannies and the like, capitalism wins. But is that all we are going to judge our standard of living by? What about justice, equality, freedom?
Sounds good to me, but I'd add health to that. So how does capitalism measure up? Running water, refrigeration, pennicillin -- and how about the freedom of a capitalist country? Equality? I think you and I may have a different vision of what that word means:
Lets not forget relative wealth. The gap between the rich and poor continues to widen in the US
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/08/13/national/main635936.shtml
and UK
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...gap08.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/12/08/ixhome.html
Two severe problems with this: First, you are misinterpreting the word "equality." Equality (as promised in the Constitution) is equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. This misinterpretation is a big problem in modern liberalism and is the cause of a lot of the economic problems this country is having (Social Security, welfare, etc.). Yes, opportunity still depends a lot on who your parents are - the government can't (and shouldn't) completely eliminate that. What the government can, should, and does do is proivde the resources (such as shools and college tuition assistance) to enable kids to succeed.

Second, what's so great about equality if equality means you're likely to die young and spend half of your time working on your immediate survival? Gee, everyone is like that so it must be a good thing!?? No. The system that has a lot of a lower-middle-class families just above the poverty line also makes that poverty line at a level where a a 19th century king would be envious.

So take your pick: you can have running water, plumbing, innoculations, and a car while Bill gates lives in a solid gold house, or Bill Gates can live in a Medival castle with no running water (and a real risk of the plague) and you can take your chances with a dirt floor straw shack and the plage. Which would you prefer?
Someone has to make the TV, and be the nanny. Is the nanny glad she doesn't have to live in a ditch and die at 28? She'd be nuts not to. But that's a pretty desperate yardstick by which to measure the success of capitalism.
Desperate? I consider your position arrogant and greedy. To not use that yardstick is jealousy of what Bill Gates has and you're implying that you'd rather live in a ditch if you could ensure that Bill Gates did too. Where does this sense of entitlement come from? Heck, its this sense of entitlement that makes the rich-poor inequality worse. People think they are entitled to that solid gold house Bill Gates has - well guess what, you're not. You have to work for it - if you don't, you'll just have to be content with your indoor plumbing, refrigerator, and car.

And that entitlement? You're entitled to live in a ditch and die at 28. Or, you can suck up your pride, slum it, and choose to live better than most kings ever dreamed. That's freedom.

Edit: I'm sorry if this sounds like a rant, but liberal envy and ungratefulness really, really irritates me. Capitalism has improved the standard of living by 100 times for some and 10,000 times for others and people are saying the inequality of that is more important than the 100x improvement in standard of living for the poor. Its just so absurd.

edit2: Ethics case studies (and reality TV) have proven that people are greedy, but its surprising to see so overtly in a theory discussion. People really would rather see others lose than see themselves win.

edit3: Most liberals today seem to be of the belief that the fact that Bill Gates lives in that solid gold house (that's an exagerration...) prevents them from living in a better house than they currently live in. That's wrong. Its not an opinion, its a misinterpretation of data as bad as the crackpottery we see in the TD forum: the fact of the matter is that the fact that Bill Gates lives in that solid gold house is what prevents everyone else from living in that plague-rat infested gutter.

But-you'll say, Bill Gates could give more to charity and help people even more. Sure he could, but here's the thing: this is a free country. The same freedom that enables Bill Gates to make the choice is the freedom that enables him to make the fortune that keeps you out of the gutter (that's where the choice in edit2 comes in). And the fact of the matter also is that virtually all of those "robber barons" (Carnegie, Rockerfeller, etc.) [/b]did[/b] end up giving vast quantities of their money away later in life and after they died. Forceably taking it from them sooner just makes the end sum of money smaller.

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Aquamarine said:
Universities, especially humanities, are dominated by the left. They will, often unconsciously, present whatever are supporting their view of the world. That is part is the psychological need to diminish cognitive dissonance.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

One has to dig a little to find the usually very large cracks. That is part of the charm, in the "hard" sciences most basic things teached have been settled for centuries.

As for why they are dominated by the left:
http://www.techcentralstation.com/021304A.html
I must disagree with your statement about universities and especially humanities being dominated by the left. I do not want to sound harsh, but to me it sounds more like a political claim than one supported by studies. "Being dominated by the left" sounds very vague.

Cognitive dissonance is by no means a phenomenon unique to university professors or humanity majors, it applies equally much to anyone. While cognitive dissonance surely would be a good theory to explain a persons inclination to act according to their attitudes (and psychological distress if acting against them), it could be used to argue either case.

Your claim about social sciences having "cracks", by comparing them to natural sciences suggests you assume equal epistemological basis for the two very different disciplines. Social sciences do not even try to be "crack-less", since they deal with questions that cannot be answered in black and white. That's also why all the social scientific programs I know of present studies from different perspectives.

What I can agree on is that universities have traditionally valued sk. academic freedom. While academic freedom definitively is not absence of responsibility towards scientific methods, it has enabled university researchers to look at society with a critique eye and question the current development of affairs. At the same time, for example policy analysis, a branch of political science, deals with questions about rationalizing public administration, not questioning the direction of the politics. So, I do not see how universites could be "dominated" by any particular political ideology.

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:rofl: Ow! Did Santa leave you the wrong model tank for Christmas or what?

russ_watters said:
First, you are misinterpreting the word "equality." Equality (as promised in the Constitution) is equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome... Yes, opportunity still depends a lot on who your parents are...
I double dare you to tell this to the kids in downtown LA, or any of the many other deprived areas in the US. As far as I'm concerned, if the outcome is massive inequality, then you have to question how equal the opportunity was in the first place.

russ_watters said:
Second, what's so great about equality if equality means you're likely to die young and spend half of your time working on your immediate survival?
So if wealth was more fairly distributed we'd all be living in ditches?

russ_watters said:
So take your pick: you can have running water, plumbing, innoculations, and a car while Bill gates lives in a solid gold house, or Bill Gates can live in a Medival castle with no running water (and a real risk of the plague) and you can take your chances with a dirt floor straw shack and the plage. Which would you prefer?
Well, if you really think these are the only options then I'm not surprised you have come to hold the beliefs that you seem to.

russ_watters said:
I consider your position arrogant and greedy. To not use that yardstick is jealousy...
This is just childish. Have you heard of projection? Its when a person can't tolerate a trait in themselves, so see it in others instead.

russ_watters said:
Edit: I'm sorry if this sounds like a rant, ...
We're used to it. You obviously have your motives.

russ_watters said:
... but liberal envy and ungratefulness really, really irritates me.
Right - we should all be grateful for being part of an unequal, exploitative world. You feel irritated? Try supporting a family working in a t-shirt factory in South America.

russ_watters said:
Capitalism has improved the standard of living by 100 times for some and 10,000 times for others...
Okay then. If I say 'Thanks, I'm really grateful' will you promise to stop improving the world? Develop the good things e.g. medicine, but do we really need to price it so that many can't afford it?

russ_watters said:
edit2: Ethics case studies (and reality TV) have proven that people are greedy, but its surprising to see so overtly in a theory discussion. People really would rather see others lose than see themselves win.
People are capable of many things good, bad, & indifferent. If you encourage people to love & share, they will. If you encourage people to exploit each other under the guise of freedom, they'll do that too.

WTO is all about setting up uniform regulation and standards so that global companies are held accountable no matter where they are.same for governments to. will you buy cheaper products of a reputed company even if you knew in some thirld world country they are employing child labour in order to minimise production costs? we must not allow any company to get away by using unethical means anywhere in the planet. thus the need for a global regulatory body that sees to it that a corporate house is kept honest.i'm not against globalisation,but am merely pointing out some important measures to prevent its possible abuse by rich corporate houses.
another fact. its an open secret that in many democratic countries corporate houses fund one political party or the other. do you think this may undermine the democratic process by inducing favouratism?

loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
the number 42 said:
I double dare you to tell this to the kids in downtown LA, or any of the many other deprived areas in the US. As far as I'm concerned, if the outcome is massive inequality, then you have to question how equal the opportunity was in the first place.
Unless you're referring specifically to skid row (not many kids live there), Downtown LA is not that bad. It was a good deal worse 15 years ago, but even then, almost no one lived there. The main occupants now are either the neo-metropolitans living in the Promenade Towers or the USC students renting cheap lofts in the rebuilt bank district.

sage said:
.. will you buy cheaper products of a reputed company even if you knew in some thirld world country they are employing child labour in order to minimise production costs? we must not allow any company to get away by using unethical means anywhere in the planet.
well said. The problem is that while the media bombard us with sports, celebrity culture etc, we get very little on the places that stich the footballs and t-shirts. The BBC, bless its heart, on occasion with put on a news report about a case of this kind as if it is breaking news . Traditionally respectable resources by and large keep us in the dark over these matters.

loseyourname said:
Unless you're referring specifically to skid row (not many kids live there), Downtown LA is not that bad. It was a good deal worse 15 years ago, but even then, almost no one lived there. The main occupants now are either the neo-metropolitans living in the Promenade Towers or the USC students renting cheap lofts in the rebuilt bank district.
Well check this link and tell me which slum you'd prefer I cite:
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dpu-projects/Global_Report/pdfs/LA.pdf

Its from a report with the catchy title: UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003

"The migration of whites from Los Angeles intensified
during the period after the civil unrest; but the Los Angeles economy began to diversify and rebound during the late 1990s. While employment rates were
up, poverty did not decline. Rather, a shift to low wage
sector employment and now a steady stream of recent
immigrants to occupy these jobs appears to be a enduring
pattern in the city. Rents have risen sharply in poor
communities as the poor choose overcrowding rather
than homelessness. The high level of use of these residential
structures increases processes of decay and
deterioration. The growth in poverty is likely to continue
as well as the growth in disinvested areas over the

loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
the number 42 said:
Well check this link and tell me which slum you'd prefer I cite:
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dpu-projects/Global_Report/pdfs/LA.pdf

Its from a report with the catchy title: UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003
That report mostly cites slum buildings - not too many neighborhoods. There is still a good deal of crime and poverty in South Central (now officially called "South LA"), but the housing and population density aren't really that bad. Housing is worst in Hollywood. The only slum-like neighborhood close to downtown is Boyle Heights. Even that's cleaned up to the point where I feel fairly safe at night - but maybe I'm just insane. Not too many people live there, though. It's mostly a warehouse district and the railway yard is there.

loseyourname said:
That report mostly cites slum buildings - not too many neighborhoods. There is still a good deal of crime and poverty in South Central (now officially called "South LA"), but the housing and population density aren't really that bad. Housing is worst in Hollywood. The only slum-like neighborhood close to downtown is Boyle Heights. Even that's cleaned up to the point where I feel fairly safe at night - but maybe I'm just insane. Not too many people live there, though. It's mostly a warehouse district and the railway yard is there.
Okay, lets either continue this discussion on a new thread 'LA real estate: best deals on crack and one bedroom apartments', or on 'The Land of Opportunity' thread in Politics and General Tantrums section. My point was that not everyone starts from the same place, thus are at a relative disadvantage when it comes to reaching the upper rungs of the social ladder. This to me seems at least as 'self-evident' as 'all men being born equal'.

loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Okay. I don't disagree with you. I'm just saying that downtown LA has undergone a nice renaissance ever since Staples Center was built, especially now that all of the buildings in the old bank district are being converted to lofts and office space. Just don't want people to get the wrong impression based on movies from the 80's and 90's.

Heck, your post was just as off-topic as mine. It had nothing to do with globalization.

loseyourname said:
Heck, your post was just as off-topic as mine. It had nothing to do with globalization.
Globalise *THIS*, buster.

(Damn. Just doesn't have the same impact without my webcam).

the number 42 said:
I double dare you to tell this to the kids in downtown LA, or any of the many other deprived areas in the US. As far as I'm concerned, if the outcome is massive inequality, then you have to question how equal the opportunity was in the first place.
So are you implying that given equal opportunity, all people would perform equally?

Keep in mind that people like J.J. Hill, Cornelius Vanderbilt and many others rose from ditches to riches.
Why didn't others like them become what they became? It was not difference in opportunity but difference in ability.

As for the present distribution of opportunity, public schools do exist to educate students. You can't just given an isolated example and then imply that that is the general condition.

the number 42 said:
So if wealth was more fairly distributed we'd all be living in ditches?
"Fair" distribution of wealth simply means that everyone gets what one has rightly earned through one's ability, nothing more, nothing less.

It does not mean forcibly taking wealth from the rich through laws (a.k.a. robbery) and giving it to the poor. When an individual takes money without permission, it is called stealing. When the government does it, it is called justice.
What kind of justice is this?

the number 42 said:
russ_waters said:
So take your pick: you can have running water, plumbing, innoculations, and a car while Bill gates lives in a solid gold house, or Bill Gates can live in a Medival castle with no running water (and a real risk of the plague) and you can take your chances with a dirt floor straw shack and the plage. Which would you prefer?
Well, if you really think these are the only options then I'm not surprised you have come to hold the beliefs that you seem to.
This is precisely what happened in Communism.

The rulers (members of the Communist party) lived in villas while the general public suffered.
The same thing happened during monarchy.

the number 42 said:
Right - we should all be grateful for being part of an unequal, exploitative world. You feel irritated? Try supporting a family working in a t-shirt factory in South America.
Before the advent of capitalism, child mortality rates were 50%. People lived in medieval huts and could barely make ends meet.

Capitalism greatly increased wealth and provide opportunity and employment. Was this exploitation

Was improving human conditions of living exploitation?

Was creation of wealth exploitation?

As to your example of a poor family, keep in mind that without the t-shirt factory, the family wouldn't even have a job to earn money to live.

the number 42 said:
Okay then. If I say 'Thanks, I'm really grateful' will you promise to stop improving the world? Develop the good things e.g. medicine, but do we really need to price it so that many can't afford it?
And who would pay for the expenses involved in the research of new drugs?

the number 42 said:
People are capable of many things good, bad, & indifferent. If you encourage people to love & share, they will. If you encourage people to exploit each other under the guise of freedom, they'll do that too.
So now you are calling actual freedom, a guise of freedom?

sid_galt said:
So are you implying that given equal opportunity, all people would perform equally?

Keep in mind that people like J.J. Hill, Cornelius Vanderbilt and many others rose from ditches to riches. ... You can't just given an isolated example and then imply that that is the general condition.
:rofl: Ow! That foot must hurt, dude.

the number 42 said:
:rofl: Ow! That foot must hurt, dude.
What do you mean?

Math Is Hard said:
Are corrupt (greedy) governments to blame?

I have been reading about a garment worker in Nicaragua who earns about $15 dollars a week, but her expenses of living are closer to$30 a week. I don't know how these people survive.

Incidentally, the corporation she produces garments for earns several billion dollars in profits each year.

Corruption alone cannot account in entirety for the poverty in the world (only marginally it is really of blame), unfortunately it is the sytem itself which produces and entertains it. When looking at the whole picture, namely the situation at the world level, it's clear that capitalism has not succeded. Even in the so called rich countries, after hundred of years of contiunous growth, the problem has not been eliminated yet. See http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Globalization/Globalization_watch.html for a much more accurate picture...no, the accusations of corruption and incapacity to organize are not THE problems, the most important problem, overlooked currently, on purpose, by those who benefit from the system, is that the economic doctrine itself is of blame (unfortunately not all people, have the same chances as official propaganda often claim; capitalism alone cannot solve this). The truth is far away from the glamorous myths presented in let's say 'Fortune', 'The economist' or 'Forbes'.

I'd rather say that it is poverty which creates widespread corruption not the other way around. As for the myth that poverty disappears fast it is enough to look at South America, the preferred experimental ground of 'laissez faire' libertarians in the last 50 years, to realize that basically nothing changed. Unfortunately mere economic growth cannot solve the problems, not to mention the destruction of the environment due to necessity of 'growth' with all costs (the internal dynamic of capitalism make this imperative). What's funny is that, basically, there is no good reason to think that a continuous economic growth can be sustained forever. Something is putrid in Danemark...

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metacristi said:
Corruption alone cannot account in entirety for the poverty in the world (only marginally it is really of blame), unfortunately it is the sytem itself which produces and entertains it. When looking at the whole picture, namely the situation at the world level, it's clear that capitalism has not succeded. Even in the so called rich countries, after hundred of years of contiunous growth, the problem has not been eliminated yet. See http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Globalization/Globalization_watch.html for a much more accurate picture...no, the accusations of corruption and incapacity to organize are not THE problems, the most important problem, overlooked currently, on purpose, by those who benefit from the system, is that the economic doctrine itself is of blame (unfortunately not all people, have the same chances as official propaganda often claim; capitalism alone cannot solve this). The truth is far away from the glamorous myths presented in let's say 'Fortune', 'The economist' or 'Forbes'.

I'd rather say that it is poverty which creates widespread corruption not the other way around. As for the myth that poverty disappears fast it is enough to look at South America, the preferred experimental ground of 'laissez faire' libertarians in the last 50 years, to realize that basically nothing changed. Unfortunately mere economic growth cannot solve the problems, not to mention the destruction of the environment due to necessity of 'growth' with all costs (the internal dynamic of capitalism make this imperative). What's funny is that, basically, there is no good reason to think that a continuous economic growth can be sustained forever. Something is putrid in Danemark...
Regarding corruption and capitalism:
http://alpha.montclair.edu/~lebelp/EconFreedomandCorruption.html [Broken]

Regardin poverty:
http://www.worldbank.org/research/povmonitor/ [Broken]

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