Take Home Assignment #3, from the book Nobodies
In the conclusion
to this book, John Bowe argues that the vast inequalities of wealth and power in the globalized world make the common arguments for ?free markets? and ?free trade? highly suspect. In fact, he sees labor coercion as well as environmental degradation as the likely result if global regulations are not placed over the global marketplace.
Read this chapter and its arguments carefully. The following quotes from it sum up the central claims he makes:
This is not the time or place to mount a rousing, solid argument against free trade as it?s currently practiced and defined. My own feeling is that it?s a neat idea, as are communism, free love, and Santa Claus. But if free-market capitalism was ever a meaningful concept within the United States alone, it does not work as a concept in the ?globalized? world, with so many powerful, well-defended players pitted against so many utterly destitute ones with hardly any rights at all. (271)
Americans have already experimented with myriad ways to improve the lot of the working and lower classes: minimum wage, the right to form unions, workplace safety standards and guaranteed compensation for workers injured on the job forty-hour workweeks, minimum guaranteed vacation time, a free universal education. While we?re at it, we could include standards for sanitation and utilities systems, purity of water, air, medicines, and foods; transportation, parks, Social Security, and so on. As resented as they are, these are the laws that made the habits, and these are the habits produced by the laws, that brought the West out of the medieval world and into the modern age.
Why, one wonders, is it so hard to imagine that some combination of these approaches couldn?t or shouldn?t be encouraged in the Third World? (275) (He then goes on to argue for mandatory labor and environmental standards.)
Critically analyze Bowe?s argument. Who has the stronger argument: those arguing for ?free trade? or critics such as Bowe? Briefly state and critique arguments on both sides; state which side you agree with more, and why.
(Do not repeat the above quotes in your answer - find other support for your views.)
(As usual, this assignment should be 3-5 typewritten pages with normal size type font and margins, double spaced.)
Please add pages number in case of any citation.
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