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The Curious Fate of American Materialism
Robert E. Lane is one of the most prominent and distinguished critics of both the human impact of market economies and economic theory, arguing from much research that happiness is more likely to flow from companionship, enjoyment of work, contribution to society, and the opportunity to develop as a person, than from the pursuit of wealth and the accumulation of material goods in market economies. This latest work playfully personalizes the contrast through a dialogue between a humanistic social scientist, Dessi, and a market economist, Adam. It is all too rare to have the two sides talking to each other. Moreover, in Lane's witty and literate hands, it is an open-minded and balanced conversation, in which neither side has all the answers. His unparalleled grasp of interdisciplinary social scientific knowledge is brought to bear on the largest questions of human life: What genuinely makes people happy? How should human society be organized to maximize the quality of human lives? --David O. Sears, Professor of Psychology and Political Science, UCLA "Lane's deep knowledge of the sources of human happiness enables him to develop a powerful critique of economic theory." ---Robert A. Dahl, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Yale University Robert E. Lane is the Eugene Meyer Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Yale University. His previous publications include The Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies (2000) and The Market Experience (1991).
National Policies in the Asia-Pacific
The case studies in this book focus on the emergence, extent and nature of national policies on ageing and associated strategies to address long-term care needs. Key opportunities for and constraints on policy are identified in this first round of regional studies, written by prominent researchers in Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, who are partners in the Ageing Research Network of the Asian Development Research Forum. The case-studies are set in the context of regional and international plans of action on ageing and the deliberations of the Second World Assembly on Ageing held in 2002.
Shock City of Twentieth-Century India
In the 20th century, Ahmedabad was India's "shock city." It was the place where many of the nation's most important developments occurred first and with the greatest intensity -- from Gandhi's political and labor organizing, through the growth of textile, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries, to globalization and the sectarian violence that marked the turn of the new century. Events that happened there resonated throughout the country, for better and for worse. Howard Spodek describes the movements that swept the city, telling their story through the careers of the men and women who led them.
How America Lost the Third World
In Alliance Curse, Hilton Root illustrates that recent U.S. foreign policy is too often misguided, resulting in misdirected foreign aid and alliances that stunt political and economic development among partner regimes, leaving America on the wrong side of change. Many alliances with third world dictators, ostensibly of mutual benefit, reduce incentives to govern for prosperity and produce instead political and social instability and economic failure. Yet again, in the war on terror and in the name of preserving global stability, America is backing authoritarian regimes that practice repression and plunder. It is as if the cold war never ended. While espousing freedom and democracy, the U.S. contradicts itself by aiding governments that do not share those values. In addition to undercutting its own stated goal of promoting freedom, America makes the developing world even more wary of its intentions. Yes, the democracy we preach arouses aspirations and attracts immigrants, but those same individuals become our sternest critics; having learned to admire American values, they end up deploring U.S. policies toward their own countries. Long-term U.S. security is jeopardized by a legacy of resentment and distrust. A lliance Curse proposes an analytical foundation for national security that challenges long-held assumptions about foreign affairs. It questions the wisdom of diplomacy that depends on questionable linkages or outdated suppositions. The end of the Soviet Union did not portend the demise of communism, for example. Democracy and socialism are not incompatible systems. Promoting democracy by linking it with free trade risks overemphasizing the latter goal at the expense of the former. The growing tendency to play China against India in an effort to retain American global supremacy will hamper relations with both an intolerable situation in today's interdependent world. Root buttresses his analysis with case studies of American foreign policy toward developing countries (e.g., Vietnam), efforts at state building, and nations growing in importance, such as China. He concludes with a series of recommendations designed to close the gap between security and economic development.
Les diverses pratiques novatrices d’altermondialisation, d’économie sociale et de coopération internationale mises en place par des acteurs d’organisations de coopération internationale et de mouvements sociaux nous invitent à penser que le phénomène de la mondialisation peut prendre de toutes autres formes que celles que nous connaissons actuellement. Plusieurs chercheurs, également engagés dans ces réseaux internationaux, soulèvent toutefois les problèmes qui se posent et mettent en perspective les débats de l’heure au sein de l’altermondialisation. Cet ouvrage relate les expériences et les savoirs qui se croisent, favorisant ainsi l’émergence d’un nouveau modèle de développement.
Thoughts on an Exceptional U.S. Labor Market
The U.S. labor market is the most laissez faire of any developed nation, with a weak social safety net and little government regulation compared to Europe or Japan. Some economists point to this hands-off approach as the source of America’s low unemployment and high per-capita income. But the stagnant living standards and rising economic insecurity many Americans now face take some of the luster off the U.S. model. In America Works, noted economist Richard Freeman reveals how U.S. policies have created a labor market remarkable both for its dynamism and its disparities. America Works takes readers on a grand tour of America’s exceptional labor market, comparing the economic institutions and performance of the United States to the economies of Europe and other wealthy countries. The U.S. economy has an impressive track record when it comes to job creation and productivity growth, but it isn’t so good at reducing poverty or raising the wages of the average worker. Despite huge gains in productivity, most Americans are hardly better off than they were a generation ago. The median wage is actually lower now than in the early 1970s, and the poverty rate in 2005 was higher than in 1969. So why have the benefits of productivity growth been distributed so unevenly? One reason is that unions have been steadily declining in membership. In Europe, labor laws extend collective bargaining settlements to non-unionized firms. Because wage agreements in America only apply to firms where workers are unionized, American managers have discouraged unionization drives more aggressively. In addition, globalization and immigration have placed growing competitive pressure on American workers. And boards of directors appointed by CEOs have raised executive pay to astronomical levels. Freeman addresses these problems with a variety of proposals designed to maintain the vigor of the U.S. economy while spreading more of its benefits to working Americans. To maintain America’s global competitive edge, Freeman calls for increased R&D spending and financial incentives for students pursuing graduate studies in science and engineering. To improve corporate governance, he advocates licensing individuals who serve on corporate boards. Freeman also makes the case for fostering worker associations outside of the confines of traditional unions and for establishing a federal agency to promote profit-sharing and employee ownership. Assessing the performance of the U.S. job market in light of other developed countries’ recent history highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the free market model. Written with authoritative knowledge and incisive wit, America Works provides a compelling plan for how we can make markets work better for all Americans.
Canadians long have engaged in in-depth, wide-ranging discussions about their nation's relations with the United States. On the other hand, American citizens usually have been satisfied to accept a series of unexamined myths about their country's unchanging, benign partnership with the "neighbor to the north". Although such perceptions of uninterrupted, friendly relations with Canada may dominate American popular opinion, not to mention discussions in many American scholarly and political circles, they should not, according to Stewart, form the bases for long-term U.S. international economic, political, and cultural relations with Canada. Stewart describes and analyzes the evolution of U.S. policymaking and U.S. policy thinking toward Canada, from the tense and confrontational post-Revolutionary years to the signing of the Free Trade Agreement in 1988, to discover if there are any permanent characteristics of American policies and attitudes with respect to Canada. American policymakers were concerned for much of the period before World War II with Canada's role in the British empire, often regarded as threatening, or at least troubling, to developing U.S. hegemony in North America and even, in the late nineteenth century, to U.S. trade across the Pacific. A permanent goal of U.S. policymakers was to disengage Canada from that empire. They also thought that Canada's natural geographic and economic orientation was southward to the U.S., and policymakers were critical of Canadian efforts to construct an east- west economy. The Free Trade Agreement of 1988 which prepared the way for north-south lines of economic force, in this context, had been an objective of U.S. foreign policy since the founding of the republic in 1776. At the same time, however, these deep-seated U.S. goals were often undermined by domestic lobbies and political factors within the U.S., most evidently during the era of high tariffs from the 1860s to the 1930s when U.S. tariff policies actually encouraged a separate, imperially-backed economic and cultural direction in Canada. When the dramatic shift toward integration in trade, investment, defense and even popular culture began to take hold in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s in the wake of the Depression and World War II, American policymakers viewed themselves as working in harmony with underlying, "natural" converging economic, political and cultural trends recognized and accepted by their Canadian counterparts.
The Plantation Economy of the Spanish Caribbean, 1898-1934
Engaging conventional arguments that the persistence of plantations is the cause of economic underdevelopment in the Caribbean, this book focuses on the discontinuities in the development of plantation economies in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic in the early twentieth century. César Ayala analyzes and compares the explosive growth of sugar production in the three nations following the War of 1898--when the U.S. acquired Cuba and Puerto Rico--to show how closely the development of the Spanish Caribbean's modern economic and social class systems is linked to the history of the U.S. sugar industry during its greatest period of expansion and consolidation.Ayala examines patterns of investment and principal groups of investors, interactions between U.S. capitalists and native planters, contrasts between new and old regions of sugar monoculture, the historical formation of the working class on sugar plantations, and patterns of labor migration. In contrast to most studies of the Spanish Caribbean, which focus on only one country, his account places the history of U.S. colonialism in the region, and the history of plantation agriculture across the region, in comparative perspective.This comparative study of the development of plantation economies in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic in the early 20th century shows how their economic and social class systems were shaped by the explosive growth of American sugar companies.Engaging conventional arguments that the persistence of plantations is the cause of economic underdevelopment in the Caribbean, this book focuses on the discontinuities in the development of plantation economies in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic in the early twentieth century. César Ayala analyzes and compares the explosive growth of sugar production in the three nations following the War of 1898--when the U.S. acquired Cuba and Puerto Rico--to show how closely the development of the Spanish Caribbean's modern economic and social class systems is linked to the history of the U.S. sugar industry during its greatest period of expansion and consolidation.Ayala examines patterns of investment and principal groups of investors, interactions between U.S. capitalists and native planters, contrasts between new and old regions of sugar monoculture, the historical formation of the working class on sugar plantations, and patterns of labor migration. In contrast to most studies of the Spanish Caribbean, which focus on only one country, his account places the history of U.S. colonialism in the region, and the history of plantation agriculture across the region, in comparative perspective.