Globalization Opponents Gaining Ground
From the World of Business
Here are three interesting news items from the folks at Business Ethics magazine.
(1) A shocker.
Number of stories in Wall Street Journal based solely on press releases: more than 50%.
(2) Another shocker.
GLOBALIZATION PROTESTERS MAY CREATE REAL CHANGEIs the anti-globalization movement capable of being more than a roving band of meeting stalkers? Recent evidence suggests the answer may be yes. Consider two recent developments.
First, leading activist organizations will have a chance to argue their point of view in a prominent public venue, during a debate agreed upon by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, scheduled for the groups’ annual meetings in Washington in September, according to the London Financial Times. As the Times put it, the debate "could prove a defining moment in the intellectual battle over economic globalization." The challenge to debate was made by four organizations: Global Exchange, Jobs With Justice, 50 Years Is Enough, and Essential Action. (For more information see www.globalexchange.org.)
Second, serious folk are taking the protesters seriously. Consider, for example, the August 20 editorial in the Financial Times by Felix Rohatyn – former U.S. ambassador to France and former financial executive. Rohatyn said official response to the protesters has primarily been increased security, which he called "not a very promising response," because it is "devoid of intellectual content." He called instead for a new Bretton Woods conference, to redefine the role established 50 years ago for the IMF and World Bank. To be convened by the so-called president of the U.S. and the secretary-general of the UN, such a conference would include representatives from both the developed and developing world, as well as non-governmental organizations and private sector leaders.
(3) Not so surprising.
DISNEY NAMED SWEATSHOP RETAILER OF THE YEARThe Sweatshop Retailer of the Year award this summer went to The Walt Disney Company, which narrowly beat out Wal-Mart. The award is given by the Toronto-based Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN), and was reported upon in World Monitors Emonitors newsletter (http://www.worldmonitors.com ).
The award winner was chosen in on-line voting by some 3,000 consumers who selected among four retailers most associated with sweatshop abuses over the past year, said Bob Jeffcott of MSN. The Sweatshop Retailer Awards are also known as "the Sweaties." Jeffcott said Disney’s selection was due to a report by the Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee that documented sweatshop abuses in a dozen Disney suppliers’ plants in China.
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