7 comments on “Economics at The Guardian

  1. The whole article is appalling. The majority of comments worse.

    The ignorant privileged spouting tap-room feel-good sentimental economic drivel on behalf of the poor ‘enslaved’ world-wide.

    I despair.

  2. That particular one: partly because Americans cling to a set of falsehoods that constitute their national myth, and that’s one of ’em.

  3. “For all the stylishness and sleekness of its products, the Apple business model is an unattractive and, over the long term, possibly an unsustainable one. It subcontracts work that offers the Chinese little prospect of economic development, while at the same time selling to Americans and others products they want but increasingly don’t have the jobs or incomes to buy so readily.”

    Eh? Apple sold 4 times as many iPads in Q4 of 2011 than they did in the whole of 2010. The iPhone 4S had more pre-orders than any previous model. I don’t quite get the attractions to iProducts myself, but thems the numbers.

  4. I’m always uncomfortable with this sort of economic nationalism tbh. I am on the left politically and economically, but the Guardian and too many people on the soft left seem to at least on the surface privilege the welfare of the Western worker over the worker from a developing country.

    This is not to say that working conditions at the factories in China are good, and I would of course support attempts to improve the conditions that workers face, but I always have the suspicion that the soft left don’t really care about Chinese workers, and want them to unionise and demand higher wages because it may make jobs return to the West.

    I know some people compare the economic views of the far right with the far left, but I think it’s the soft left that resembles the far right economically these days, with it’s obsession with protectionism. Surely if jobs returned to the US, the Chinese workers would be disadvantaged? And with a minimal social safety net, there’s every chance it would lead to an increase in child labour.

    Again, I’m pro-trade unions and pro-workers’ rights, but I hate the chauvinism of the soft left at times. It’s as if workers in the West are all that matters, and stuff everyone else.

  5. And I read Tim’s Telegraph article about the Compass publication “Progressive Protectionism” and I admit it does make me uncomfortable the direction that the left is taking. It’s an international version of “pull the ladder up and sod the rest”, as if economic crisis means we should man the barricades and only look after our own, which I don’t agree with.

  6. SR819:

    But the attitude that you decry on the part of progressive (unionized) labor toward foreign workers is merely the same as held toward non-union domestic labor.

    Without casting any adverse reflection on the right of workers (or anyone else) to asssociate with others for legitimate benefits to be gained thereby, the chiefest of the manifest benefits to unionization constitute nothing other than the thinly-disguised threat of violence directed against employers’ property and even their (or other or prospective) employees’ lives.

    Unions (in the U.S.) are far less effective than formerly, at least partly due to their having had a many-years cumulative effect in influencing industry to seek alternate (foreign) sources of required labor.

    Quite literally, the entire labor/management dispute is based on one of the most widespread examples of economic ignorance (i.e., ignorance of Economics), whether on the part of workers, management, or the public at large: the very idea that companies have any effective control either over prices they are able to receive for their products or the sums they allot toward labor (or other costs of production). In these matters, the consumers are wholly determinant.

  7. On the specific issue of the Ford cars “factoid” – I suspect the tale persists because it has got into some school textbooks. At the very least it is taught in schools.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.