Wednesday, 4 June 2008

:: The Global Class War" by Jeff Faux
BridgeTheGap (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Wed Jun-04-08 12:55 PM
Original message
"The Global Class War" by Jeff Faux
"The Global Class War: how America's bipartisan elite lost our future and what it will take to win it back" by Jeff Faux

This is a well researched and well written book. Highly recommended.

(John Wiley, New York)
In his book, Jeff Faux, the founding president of the Economic Policy Institute,
presents an original explanation of how globalization is altering American living standards,
politics and our economic future – and a compelling strategy for creating a model cross-border
social contract that gets beyond the narrow and stale “free-trade vs. protectionism” debate.
Among the book’s themes:
􀂃 IN WHOSE “NATIONAL” INTEREST? The world economy is creating a global elite who have
more interests in common with each other than with the middle classes and poor who
happen to share their nationality. Yet we continue to talk and think about the politics of
globalization as a clash of national interests, obscuring the partnership between the rich
and powerful in both rich and poor nations. For example, it is not “China” that is
challenging the United States; it is a partnership between Chinese commissars who deliver
the labor and American CEOs who deliver the capital and the technology.
􀂃 RISING INEQUALITY. Arguments over free trade’s impact on jobs and wages miss the larger
point that globalization has permitted American economic elites to escape from the social
contract that has bound Americans together since the New Deal. One result, now welldocumented,
is increased inequality and financial insecurity of working Americans.
􀂃 AMERICAN POLITICS. In the past, despite economic class conflicts, capital and labor needed
each other: What was good for General Motors was good for America. Today, by their
own admission, corporate CEOs are indifferent to the nation’s long-term future. Yet they
remain the most powerful influence on both political parties. While tactics, styles and
sentiments may differ between Bill Clinton/Bob Rubin and George Bush/Dick Cheney,
since the end of the Cold War, Washington has consistently promoted a global agenda that
undercuts ordinary Americans who must work for a living.
􀂃 U. S. COMPETITIVENESS: WASHINGTON DOESN’T CARE. Despite the occasional hand-wringing,
Washington ignores the unsustainable rise in the nation’s trade deficit and the off-shoring
of the skilled jobs that were supposed to mean economic survival for American workers.
If our governing elite cared about the average American’s ability to compete they would
long ago have demanded effective policies such as investment in world-class education,
policies to increase national savings, and the promotion of international labor standards.
􀂃 GLOBAL POLITICS – THE PARTY OF DAVOS. Global economic governance is a “one-party”
system – dominated by informal, non-transparent political and business networks. As its
first director admitted, the WTO is not primarily about free trade among sovereign states,
but an effort to create a single “constitution” of one integrated world economy.
How America’s Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future
and What it Will Take to Win It Back
by Jeff Faux
Published by John Wiley in January 2006
􀂃 NAFTA, MIGRATION & MEXICO. NAFTA was the template for this “constitution.” It protects
and promotes the interests of just one citizen – the corporate investor. Not surprisingly, it
shifted income, wealth and power upward in all three countries – especially in Mexico,
where U.S. and Mexican politicians and business leaders designed privatization schemes
that cost American workers and Mexican taxpayers and consumers billions of dollars.
Today’s migration crisis is testimony to NAFTA’s failure to promote the growth in
Mexico its promoters promised.
􀂃 ECONOMICS: AFTER THE FALL. The standard of living of the average American worker is
certain to drop for a sustained period of time. This is the inevitable, if unintended,
consequence of a policy of permitting a chronic trade imbalance and the off-shoring of
good jobs in the face of a low savings rate. Common sense and simple arithmetic tell us
that, at some point, foreigners will no longer finance our growing debt. Whether the
landing is “hard” or “soft,” Americans will be forced to lower their prices and their real
income in order to export more and import less. This will have a profound impact on U.S.
politics. Reversing our trade balances could also bring a crisis to our NAFTA partners –
especially Mexico and the already tense and porous border.
􀂃 A CONTINENTAL DEMOCRACY. We cannot reverse NAFTA. But North America could become
a model for developing a cross-border social contract in a globalizing economy. A new
cross-border politics in North America could encourage those in Europe and elsewhere
who are seeking to solve the problems of democracy and economic integration and
become a model for the creation of a global social contract, region-by-region. Key
elements of such a North American contract might include:
• A new continental social contract to match the continental economy, including an
economic bill of rights for all citizens.
• A European Union-style agreement in which Mexico gets economic aid in return
for internal reforms that would redistribute income and power.
• A common continental competitive strategy whose first priority is to promote and
protect a decent life for the ordinary citizens of North America.
􀂊 􀂊 􀂊 􀂊 􀂊
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeff Faux is a widely cited expert on the impact of globalization on U.S.
living standards and politics. He has written articles for The New York Times, The Washington
Post, The American Prospect, Foreign Affairs en Español, The Nation, The Columbia
Journalism Review, and a variety of other popular and professional publications. He is frequently
interviewed on national television and radio, and has lectured at universities, government
agencies and other organizations in the United States and abroad. He is now a Distinguished
Fellow at the Economic Policy Institute, the think tank he created and directed from 1985-2002.
The Global Class War is his sixth book. Others include: Reclaiming Prosperity and TheParty’s
Not Over.
􀂃 Nancy Coleman or Karen Conner, Economic Policy Institute, 202-775-8810

No comments: