Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Stuff to check out;

I heard Author P.W. Singer on Fresh Air while in Seattle talk about his most recent book The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry. Sounds like stuff outta Science Fiction. I may have to check this out, but thats after I read McWorld Vs. Jihad;

Singer wrote the new book, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry. Over the last decade, private companies have provided tactical support, advice, training, security and even intelligence to the military. In the recent war against Iraq, private military employees handled everything from feeding and housing U.S. troops to maintaining sophisticated weapons like the B-2 stealth bomber. The practice raises troubling ethical questions. Singer is an Olin Fellow in the foreign policy studies program at the Brookings Institution and coordinator of the Brookings Project on U.S. Policy towards the Islamic World.

- I hate to sound or feel like a doom and gloom liberal, always in fear of what the future holds since we don't live in a fantasy world socialist Utopia, but after hearing this report I heard on Marketplace (on July 21st, 2003; clips starts at 3:33, the clip can be found at this url;, the link would not operate correctly for some reason), it is very depressing and hard not to fall into that mindset. Sometimes I wonder if getting the Computer Science degree I've been working on part time is going to be a waste of time. When I finally graduate will there be any jobs left? The clip promo;

As tech companies shift more and more white-collar jobs overseas, will these higher-paid workers finally look into organized labor?

Here's another article about the same report, which was written in the NYT. And Vermont Rep Bernie Sanders mentions it too on his web page.

-I have to admit I like Dick Gephart's solution to another similar problem. I don't think it's enough for me to want to vote for him, but would the Democratic Nominee please appoint this guy Labor Secretary should the Dems manage to capture the White House? His proposal has more to do with blue collar jobs and manufacturing being exported, and it is unlikely to happen, but at least he's got some kind of idea. It is a start;

Establish a variable international minimum wage. Gephardt would raise the U.S. minimum wage. Then he would press the World Trade Organization to require every country to enforce a minimum wage sufficient for its citizens to live on. The minimum would vary according to each country's cost of living and its degree of development. The WTO would compensate for some of the costs. In addition to helping workers in each directly affected country, Gephardt believes an IMW would reduce the incentive for American corporations to shift operations abroad in pursuit of cheap foreign labor.


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