31 May 2016   Leave a comment

Foxconn, a Taiwanese company that produces many of the components for Apple and Samsung products and that operates primarily in China, has announced plans to replace 60,000 workers in China with robots.   That factory will go from 110,000 workers to 50,000.  Foxconn has had serious labor problems in the past and this move solves a number of those problems, but it raises another, more serious, societal problem:  what will these workers now do?  China’s lower wage advantage has slowly been eroded as wages have increased. a development that is a clear consequence of globalization.  But going from low wage production to no wage production suggests a longer term problem of consumer demand in a market economy.

For what we think is the fifth time, North Korea was unable to launch successfully its intermediate range ballistic missile.  South Korean official asserted that the launch did not survive take-off. There were three tests in April, all of which failed, and North Korea seems eager to deploy the missile but will not likely do so until it tests one successfully.  The UN Security Council has banned such missiles and it appears as if China is quite concerned about North Korea developing the capability.  North Korea, however, does not seem to be concerned about the apprehensions of neighboring states.

The rise of right-wing parties in Europe has led to a flurry of articles and op-eds about the possible rise of fascism in Europe.  The term is too loosely applied:  while there are some striking similarities between the 1930s and the 2010s in Europe, there are also some very important differences.  Zack Beauchamp interviews Cas Mudde, an associate professor at the University of Georgia and specialist on the European far right, in Vox.   Professor Mudde makes some very important distinctions between nativism, nationalism, xenophobia, and fascism about which we should be aware when we discuss right-wing politics in the world today.

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Posted May 31, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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