Thursday, March 15, 2012

Neoliberalism Hits a Speedbump?

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article today, which begins, " More Asian governments are pressing businesses to hike wages as a way to prevent outbreaks of labor unrest, raising the specter of higher manufacturing costs for global companies -- and the products they sell world-wide."

The problem is that people in Asia lack the necessary naiveté to make capitalism work efficiently; i.e. to maximize exploitation.

"Political leaders say they have little choice but to act, as voters grow savvier about wage gains" elsewhere, which they can research on the Internet. Recent protests by low-income workers in places like Indonesia and Thailand have added to pressure on governments to raise wages."

"There is a genuine feeling that the low-wage segments [of Asia's population] haven't made much progress in recent years" as the gap between rich and poor has widened in some areas, said Edward Teather, an economist at UBS in Singapore."

What is wrong with Americans that they can be bamboozled to think that the current neoliberal policies are constructive of anything more than more of the same?


James Hookway, Patrick Barta, and Dana Mattioli. 2012. "China's Wage Hikes Ripple Across Asia." Wall Street Journal (13 March).

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304450004577279111724105828.html?mod=ITP_pageone_0

4 comments:

Oliver said...

The difference between citizens of Asian countries and those of the West and places like Japan and Singapore is that the latter know that as individuals they may well be debtors and victims of Neoliberalism but that as countries they are creditors and thus beneficiaries.

Oliver said...

On second thoughts, that may hold for US businesses, who own a lot abroad - but obviously no longer holds for the US as a country. I was writing from a Swiss perspective...

Malory "Innocent Meat" Knox said...

From my point of view, this government did two big mistakes. First it prohibited bailed out the big banks (to which Stiglitz referred as Privatizing Profits, Socializing Losses). And then it did not invest enough money to a public employment program so there will be slow decline in the upcoming years.
With those two mistakes, the government entered the downward spiral, which would be really hard to overcome.

Suffern AC said...

What is wrong with Americans that they can be bamboozled to think that the current neoliberal policies are constructive of anything more than more of the same?

Who says we're bamboozled? Who would we complain to if we wanted to?

Anyway, culurally, at least on wages, it's not something that gets discussed. Have you asked an economist in Canada how much her raise was last year?