The phenomenon of globalization has become ubiquitous in the new neo-liberal world order of the last few decades. This particular form of capitalism has steadily replaced socialistic and communistic forms of economic arrangement in many countries in the world. While proponents of this global economic model argue that this is the best possible system, there are also those who strongly oppose various aspects of this system. Taking a historical perspective, we see that the events of the two centuries are shaped and defined by the practice of capitalism. In a way, the peaking of European colonialism coincided with the consolidation of capitalist economic theory, which ultimately replaced it. In other words, the power and influence wielded by large multinational corporations today (which are the façade of global capitalism) is nothing short of a variant of imperialism. While conceding that concentrations of power and finance in and of themselves do not lead to oppression and . . . Read More
There are many sound supportive arguments for the view that developing nations have to be exempt from WTO rules. This essay will look into these in detail, while also presenting the rationale behind opposing viewpoints. Foremost among the arguments supporting exemption is the historical disadvantage suffered by developing countries. For example, most of the countries whose economies are in transition today are erstwhile colonies of European imperialist states. As a result of exploitation and usurpation of resources during the process of imperialism, these nations were left highly indebted and economically weak. Hence, there is a strong case to be made for WTO rules exemption from a post-colonial reparation perspective. Alongside several emerging economies, many other countries that presently fall under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) category are former colonies for European imperialism (Cappelen, 2007). Moreover, the prevailing political chaos in most of these countries . . . Read More
The problem of Third World Debt has been a talking point in international political meetings for more than half a century now. The new world order that had emerged with the end of Second World War had divided the world into three distinct political groups. The first was led by the United States and its allies, the second comprised of the former Soviet Union nations and the rest belonged to the Third World – a conglomeration of economically and politically backward nation-states. While the first two groups have lost their exclusiveness with the end of the Cold War, the block of poorest nations have essentially remained stagnant during this period (Loewenberg, 2005, p.17). Not only do these nations face internal challenges but they also have to contend with massive amounts of debt that they owe to developed countries. This issue will be the focus of the rest of the essay, which will elaborate on the merits and demerits attached to the policy of totally writing-off the debt . . . Read More
Rising affluence has been associated with a reduction in the production of waste emissions within the UK. However, the waste emissions associated with the total consumption in the UK have risen. Can both these statements can be true?
There is little doubt that contemporary industrial society is increasingly becoming more consumerist. The story of the twentieth century is the story of large multi-national corporations, some of which have an annual revenue surpassing the GDP of several sovereign countries. Such a situation gives these corporations enormous power over the lives of citizens and the kind of lifestyle choices they can make. One particular aspect of this consumerist society is the mountains of waste that it creates. Due to demands on minimum expected quality of many of the consumer goods, the companies manufacturing them follow elaborate packaging procedures, the disposal of which adds to the total rubbish . . . Read More
Throughout human history punishments have been meted out to people who are not guilty or only partially guilty. Actions that can invoke punitive action from the authorities include treason, fraud, crime, breach of trust, etc. Famous examples from recent centuries include Galileo Galilei, Charles Darwin, Bertrand Russell, etc, who were ostracized and punished for expressing their sincere beliefs and thoughts. Galileo, for example was threatened with torture for openly expressing his views on the cosmos, which contradicted the conventional Christian view of the universe. Darwin was condemned and treated with contempt by the Church for proposing the theory of evolution that linked all living matter in earth, including humans. In the case of Bertrand Russell, he was imprisoned as a ‘conscientious objector’, for expressing his opposition to British participation in the First World War. These are typical examples of people being wrongfully punished, when they were . . . Read More
With Europe being the epicentre of the two Great Wars of the last century, a robust arrangement of cooperation and mutual benefit was made imperative. With the collapse of the Berlin Wall, an opportunity was created for the erstwhile divided Europe to once again unite under a democratic framework. On the broader geo-political scale, the rise of the United States of America as the undisputed superpower had made a case for a suitable counterbalance. The greater integration within Europe, as witnessed in the last two decades is an attempt toward this end.
European integration as it exists today is largely confined to the domain of economics. In other words, the dismantling of labour movement barriers between nations, the floating of a common currency, the adoption of common laws pertaining to trade and commerce, are all outside the purview of domestic/internal policy. To this extent, the constituent nations retain their cultural and social . . . Read More
The word ‘globalisation’ is almost interchangeable with the term ‘economic liberalization’. Standing almost at the end of the 21st century, a question may arise in our mind –whether this open economy, a direct product of globalisation, has actually been a boon to the world’s economy including the social and economic scenario. Careful thought brings out the consequences like recession, global financial crisis and other related impacts. However just like every problem has a solution this issue is also addressable. We have come too far to look back at the time of conquests and colonization. Hence globalisation cannot be abandoned for sure, but a multidimensional approach might help in dealing with the economic problems associated with globalisation. Due to the enhancement of the technology and globalisation the countries are able to increase the production basket in their economy. In addition to these the benefits that have been reaped from it are improved consumption . . . Read More
The ideal remedial action from the government would have been to press forward with nationalization of banks. But unfortunately, the political pressures faced by President Obama and the stimulus announcements made in Europe had ended those hopes. President Obama was careful not to alienate the conservative sections of the House of Representatives by acting against their principle of “a small government”. The nationalization option would also have safeguarded taxpayer money by converting them into government-held equity stakes in banks. Furthermore, the collapse of Lehman Brothers was not an one-off event; several other major banks such as Meryl Lynch and Citibank were also on the verge of bankruptcy. This should have convinced the policy makers about the systemic failure of the financial system in America – something which piecemeal solutions like financial bailouts will fail to address. By partially nationalizing the banks, on the other hand, the government could . . . Read More
In economies where income and wealth are unevenly distributed, the supply-demand equilibrium is threatened. In both the cases of the Great Depression and the present crisis, this factor had played a major role. According to Paul Gusmorino, “the mal-distribution of income between the rich and the middle class grew throughout the 1920’s. While the disposable income per capita rose 9% from 1920 to 1929, those with income within the top 1% enjoyed a stupendous 75% increase in per capita disposable income.h (Gusmorino, 1996) In this scenario, the middle and lower classes, which form the majority of the population find themselves with inadequate disposable income to buy products and commodities. In other words, the supply overshoots the demand thereby leading to a state of economic instability.
As was the case in the 1920s, the first few years of this millennium also saw an increase in the gap between the affluent and the middle class. During the second term of . . . Read More
The Great Depression is one of the most significant periods in American history. This period of economic recession began in 1929 and continued for another ten years. Today we are in the midst of another economic recession, one that was triggered by the sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2008. The intensity and scale of the present recession is not as big as that of Great Depression, but the two events have quite a few similarities and differences.
The two events in discussion are similar in that they were the result of excessive greed on part of Corporate America. In the years leading up to the stock market collapse of 1929, the then President Calvin Coolidge had deregulated the corporate environment, thereby eliminating the necessary checks and balances required for accountability. This led to a free climb in stock prices purely based on financial speculation. In other words, the quoted stock prices were much higher than actual values. At that time in American . . . Read More