Looking at elections in the US and Baltimore we are seeing just what happens as global corporations take control of our government----elections are filled with fraud and corruption to assure those same pols at all levels of government stay in office---the young man from Singapore refers to that ------and we see it below in Peru where UnderArmour has had a subsidiary global sweat shop headquarters since before Fujimori was forced out and no doubt is behind his daughter now coming to office. Remember, Johns Hopkins has been effecting elections in International Economic Zones around the world for decades as it does here in Baltimore these few decades. PUGH is the same in mentality as those dictators I listed---she has focused and done the work of installing every policy sent out by Johns Hopkins and Clinton/Obama---she is determined to follow through with Baltimore as an US International Economic Zone and THAT is why she won. It is all in the ballot reading.
When Reagan/Clinton brought International Economic Zones to Chile, Argentina, and Peru the first thing they do is push the citizens of these nations out of these zones while bringing HUMAN CAPITAL DISTRIBUTION moving people from developing nations around the world to these zones. This is why the US had the flood of Latino immigrants these few decades.
Tens of thousands in Peru protest against presidential candidate Fujimori
A huge crowd of people has taken to the streets of Lima to protest presidential frontrunner Keiko Fujimori. The demonstration came on the 24th anniversary of her ex-president father's notorious power-grab.
Under Armour, Inc Corporate Office | Headquarters
1020 Hull St.,3rd Fl. Baltimore, MD 21230
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Under Armour, Inc.
Traded asNYSE: UA
Founded1996; 20 years ago
HeadquartersBaltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Under Armour, Inc. is an American sports clothing and accessories company. The company is a supplier of sportswear and casual apparel. Under Armour began offering footwear in 2006. Under Armour's global headquarters is located in Baltimore, Maryland with additional North American corporate office locations in Austin and Houston Tex.; Denver, Colo.; New York, NY; Portland, Ore.; Nashville, TN; and Toronto, Canada. Under Armour's International Headquarters is located in Panama City, Panama,
Decades ago when Malaysia was made an International Economic Zone that's what happened. Malaysian citizens who were already struggling with no employment became part of this global human capital distribution and as you see----Mahathir's counterpart in Brunei-----Bolkiah----was the one receiving all those displaced Malaysians----his people now called indigenous are only a few percent to almost all Malaysians and Chinese working in his International Economic Zone global sweat shops. Bolkiah is that dictator the young man from Singapore called his leader.
The point is this-----this same model is now coming to US International Economic Zone cities like Baltimore so as we have been seeing---Baltimore pols are installing policies that push Baltimore citizens out. Now, all this is made to look like it is simply poor black citizens in the hundreds of thousands but know who has been leaving lately? The black and white middle-class and I hear after this election with PUGH that talk of leaving is stronger. All this displacement of citizens meets the growing flood of immigrants from around the world and VOILA-----Baltimore looks like Brunei in population distribution.
Former Malaysian PM Mahathir: ‘I was a dictator’
by Asian Correspondent Staff | 28th March 2016 | @ascorrespondent
By Joshua Norman CBS News June 19, 2011, 8:48 PM
The world's enduring dictators: Hassanal Bolkiah, Brunei
Population: 401,890; Malay 66.3 percent, Chinese 11.2 percent, indigenous 3.4 percent, other 19.1 percent; Median age is 28.
Constitution and the Rule of Law: Constitutional sultanate (locally known as Malay Islamic Monarchy); Everyday law based on Indian penal code and on English common law; for Muslims, Islamic sharia law supersedes civil law concerning Muslim marriages and inheritance.
White Democratic voters cannot understand how black citizens especially in US cities can vote for Hillary or continue this attachment to Wall Street global corporate policies and this is why------just as in Asian and Latino nations being prepared for International Economic Zones----US cities have often 50% unemployment for black citizens ------it is especially that high for black youth----and this economic crash will make that worse. This allows Clinton/Obama pols to keep telling black citizens to support these global corporate campuses because they are going to bring jobs, jobs, jobs. That is how crony pols in US cities like Baltimore keep getting the vote and it is what has been sold by Wall Street Baltimore Development and its 'justice' organizations as the answer to hiring. U nderArmour has a wall of pictures of black ministers working to send that message to black communities in Baltimore and UnderArmour did the same in Malaysia, Brunei, Peru etc......
Social Democrats have since the 1990s shouted to stop these abusive global corporate campuses overseas as I showed with the Bernie Sanders/Church testimony on C-SPAN and this occurred because we knew these global corporations would be coming back to the US to do the same. Today, white citizens are mostly as concerned as black citizens as to the deliberate stagnant economy causing the growing unemployment----I know Baltimore citizens have not liked seeing the growing anger and frustration of our black citizens in surrounding communities. When less than 4,000 votes elected Mayor Rawlings-Blake----you see no one wants this decline. It was the same captured crony group of pols in Baltimore who pressed all the worst of policy to create the dynamic of people being made desperate for ANY KIND OF WORK. So, in come the International Economic Zone global corporate partners from Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Peru, Panama-----
Why Is Milwaukee So Bad For Black People?
March 5, 201512:59 PM ET
Kenya Downs Milwaukee, Wis., lags behind in educating black children, incarcerates the most black men and is ranked one of the worst states to live for African-Americans.
Morry Gash/AP A new report from UCLA finds that K-12 schools in Wisconsin suspend black high school students at a higher rate than anywhere else in the country and has the second-highest disparity in suspension rates between white and black students. Milwaukee, the state's biggest city, suspends black high school students at a rate nearly double the national average.
While many Rust Belt cities — Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, etc. — have similar histories of African-American struggles, Milwaukee has some of the same problems but not the same profile, mainly because it isn't well known for its large black population at all. But blacks make up 40 percent of the city and, for many who grew up there (like me), none of this data is surprising. Milwaukee is a vibrant city known for its breweries and ethnic festivals and can be a great place to live — unless you're black. Statistically, it is one of the worst places in the country for African-Americans to reside. Here's a breakdown of how — and why — being black in Brew City carries a heavy burden.
Suspensions are just the beginning. The state also has the largest achievement gap between black and white students in the country, and ranks last in reading comprehension tests among black fourth-graders. Milwaukee has the most black students in the state and is the biggest contributor to Wisconsin's achievement gap. Its public school system has been plagued by federal and state funding cuts and a 20-year-old school choice program that diverts public tax dollars to private schools through vouchers. With 4-out-of-5 black children in Wisconsin living in poverty, an inadequate education can set up the most vulnerable students for failure.
Over the past decade, many states have transitioned to policies that favor rehabilitation over incarceration. Wisconsin, on the other hand, has actually invested more in public and private prisons over the last 20 years. The state budget now allots more funding for corrections than it does for higher education. Wisconsin also incarcerates the most black men in the country, and in Milwaukee County, more than half of all black men in their 30s and 40s have served time. In the 53206 Zip Code alone, 62 percent of all men have spent time in an adult correctional facility by age 34.
A report from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee links the state's massive black prison population to sentencing and policing policies that disproportionately affect African-Americans.
"The prison population in Wisconsin has more than tripled since 1990, fueled by increased government funding for drug enforcement (rather than treatment) and prison construction, three-strike rules, mandatory minimum sentence laws, truth-in-sentencing replacing judicial discretion in setting punishments, concentrated policing in minority communities, and state incarceration for minor probation and supervision violations."
Milwaukee County is divided along racial and political lines, and the city is the most segregated in America. An old, racist joke among locals is that the city's 16th Street viaduct bridge is the longest structure in the world, linking "Africa to Europe." Basically, black people lived on the city's north side, and whites lived on the south side. The same holds true today, although Hispanics are now the majority in the south, and Asian-Americans make up the city's west side. Whites have mostly moved to the suburbs.
There's a unique history behind Milwaukee's segregation. In the late 19th century, Milwaukee was "the most foreign city" in the country, made up mostly of German, Polish and Irish migrants who came in search of jobs in the city's bustling manufacturing industry. Unlike the rest of the Midwest, Milwaukee was slow to attract African-Americans from the South during the Great Migration. Instead, most settled in Chicago, located just 90 miles south.
As The New Republic explains, by the time blacks arrived in large numbers beginning in the 1960s, the economy had reached a stalemate, no longer the thriving industrial capital it once was, creating tension between the black and immigrant communities.
"This delayed arrival would prove highly consequential. Not long after a substantial African American community took shape, Milwaukee's industrial base began to collapse and its manufacturing jobs disappeared. This left almost no time for the city to develop a black middle class or a leadership elite. Within short order, Milwaukee had some of the most glaring racial disparities in the country. Today, it has the second-highest black poverty rate in the United States, and the unemployment rate is nearly four times higher for blacks than for whites. The city had never been exactly welcoming to African Americans—its tight-knit enclaves of Germans, Jews, and Poles had fiercely resisted housing and school integration. But the decline of the black ghetto so soon after many of its residents had arrived made it easier for white Milwaukeeans to write off the entire African American community, or to blame it for the city's troubles. White flight, like the Great Migration, came late to Milwaukee, but it came fast and fueled with resentment."
Many local and state leaders have launched efforts to tackle Milwaukee's racial disparities. But with few resources, and an educational and criminal justice system that is often stacked against them, many Milwaukeeans — myself included — move elsewhere for opportunities beyond the borders of "Brew City."
Europe saw the opening of flood gates to immigrants with the expansion of the Euro Zone and as is now happening in the US with immigrant workers getting employment over white and black citizens-----long-term tensions are exploding around Europe. Just as will happen between racial groups from Asian and Latin America----so too will white citizens start feeling this same tension as they now lose jobs, wealth, and security. Many see Trump as that symbol and indeed he is----not that he personally does not want immigrants brought into the US and not that he does not support US International Economic Zones because Trump is the face of all these policies as is Hillary. Trump already has his own immigrant sweat shops outside of NYC. National media is deliberately creating these same tensions in the US as are existing in Europe and the goal is simple----
WALL STREET GLOBAL POLS ARE MOVING TOWARDS EXTREME POVERTY AND UNEMPLOYMENT THIS COMING DECADE AND WANT TO CREATE FACTIONS FIGHTING ONE ANOTHER SO WHAT SHOULD BE A DEMOCRATIC BASE OF LABOR AND JUSTICE IS COMPLETELY DESTROYED.
That is what this election with Bernie Sanders vs Hillary was about. Bernie represents that old social Democratic alliance of labor and justice that held power to creating quality of life, strong wages, and civil rights and liberties. Hillary represents the breaking down of all that----dismantling all of MLK's legacy of equal opportunity and access -----and yet we see black and brown voters often voting for Hillary as with CASA de MARYLAND and NAACP. Only a small percentage of citizens whether white, brown, or black have been recruited and are being made wealthy creating these tensions to come.
This will be what keeps citizens busy while PUGH and HOGAN work with Wall Street Baltimore Development in installing US International Economic Zones in Baltimore and region.
It would make no difference to elect Hillary because she is the face of these International Economic Zone goals in the US----she would do the same as Trump. Also, the far-right is often called Nazi----but the far-right was Stalin----it was MAO in China-----and it was Hitler----in all cases this far-right environment combined with deepened poverty and unemployment makes it more difficult for a WE THE PEOPLE REVOLUTION. Remember our young man from Singapore flashing his list of fascist dictators like his national leader----corporate fascism is less about race and more about breaking down the ability of 99% of people to join and fight against growing oppression.
Fascism is Exploding in Greece, Raising Fears About Neo-Nazi Rule
By Almir Hodzic July 18, 2013
Like Mic on Facebook: Greece, the birthplace of democracy, could be heading down a path toward fascism. Since the beginning of the global recession, there has been much news coverage of the economic turmoil in Greece, and the rise of far-right organizations that blame immigrants and the European Union for the country's problems. Many have come to fear that one such group, Golden Dawn, a radical party with a neo-Nazi ideology, will soon gain enough momentum to become the ruling party in Greece. Golden Dawn won its first municipal council seat in 2010, and its popularity has since increased, with the party gaining more governmental positions. Golden Dawn won 18 of 300 seats in the Greek parliament during the 2012 election.
There is concern that that this ultra-right party could lead Greece along the same path as the Nazi’s led Germany. Members of Golden Dawn have avidly preached in favor of ridding the country of illegal immigrants, promoted books on Aryan supremacy, and denied the Holocaust. This group promises to give the Greek people an alternative path to prosperity from the austerity measures imposed by the EU. According to Nikos Zydakis, commentator and editor in chief of the daily newspaper Kathimerini, "It really shows the aggression in Greek society right now .... This is a society not just in crisis, but in depression — like Germany or Italy in the 30s. The EU is pushing too hard on the economy, yes, but also on society, which is cracking. When that happens, all the barriers to extremism fall." The atrocities of World War II are still fresh in the minds of many Greeks, and some worry that a massive fascist movement in any country could create ripples across the globe. Many fear that Greece could become be the new Nazi Germany, but I, for one, do not believe there is anything to fear.
First, violence has been rampant in Greece in recent years, due to instability on both ends of the political spectrum; at times, left-wing and right-wing contingents have clashed in the streets. Even so, it's unlikely that ultra-right parties would overcome opposition by force. Greece has had a democracy for too long to give it away to a party that made its political debut in the last couple years. In Germany, it took the National Socialists years to instill any sort of political agenda, especially because of the isolation of the German people.
Which brings me to my second point. Greece is not being punished economically by the international community, as Weimar Germany was. Greece's membership in the European Union will prevent far-right parties from seizing power. The EU just won a Nobel Prize for “the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights,” and is likely to maintain close observation of activities contrary to its ideals in Greece. The EU previously stepped in when Hungary’s ruling party proposed authoritarian legislation, and they would do the same if Golden Dawn ever became Greece's ruling party. Meanwhile, Golden Dawn's leadership cannot blame isolation for the country’s recession, as Greece is not the only country suffering; many of Europe’s democracies have been hit hard by global economic instability.
Finally, Golden Dawn does not have the support of Greece’s historic allies, such as the United States, which has aided Greek fascists in the past. After World War II, the CIA supported the pro-Nazi fascists in a struggle against the Communist Party of Greece. In April of 1967, a military coup d'état took place, and a fascist military government ruled Greece until 1974. The United States fully supported this action because of its desire to suppress communism in the region. Today, there is no “enemy” that American elites are aligned against; communism died with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Furthermore, the annual U.S. State Department report on Greece describes concern about the rise of Golden Dawn, and the party’s participation in harassment and increasingly violent physical attacks against individuals, many of whom are Muslim, it perceives to be immigrants and refugees. The U.S. government is clearly distancing itself from far-right organizations, and expressing a need for the current Greek government to crack down on such incidents.
It is natural to fear that a far-right party could rise into power. In reality, there are ultra-nationalist parties all across the globe, even if few have such momentum. We have to remember that fascism has been a part of Greek politics since the 1930s, but has only ever gained power thanks to external assistance. For now, I don’t believe that the rise of Golden Dawn should be feared. The Greek people need the international community during times of crisis such as this economic recession. The ideology of Golden Dawn would further push the U.S. and EU away, and I think that the everyday citizens of Greece understand that.
We are already seeing fears from US citizens as foreign rich are being allowed to buy the real estate and be the global corporations in our US cities deemed US International Economic Zones. This is where Republican voters get these ideas of Sharia Law----and where our GBLT communities are organizing against the threat to gay rights. These fears may seem fringe today---but Trans Pacific Trade Pact allows a global corporation to operate in the US as it does overseas and YES, that will include what environment it creates on these global corporate campuses where workers are forced to live, eat, be schooled, and work. It will not occur right away as Congress will POSE PROGRESSIVE in telling these global corporations that things like gay rights do not harm global profits----but the power of these multi-national corporations in International Economic Zones is complete---they control all aspects of societal and work conditions as we see in Baltimore as Baltimore Development and Johns Hopkins loads the city with its corporate non-profits. Women always lose in these very brutal conditions geared to maximize profits.
Brunei’s Sharia law creates backlash in Beverly Hills
05/06/14 06:13 PM--Updated 05/07/14 11:56 AM
By Emma Margolin
Outraged over Brunei’s newly-enacted penal code that will soon allow death by stoning for “crimes” including gay sex, the Beverly Hills City Council is slated to consider a resolution Tuesday evening calling on the Southeast Asian country to divest its ownership of two Los Angeles hotels, which have become the target of a growing boycott.
Nine events have been canceled so far at the historic Beverly Hills Hotel, which – along with the Hotel Bel-Air – is owned by an arm of the Brunei government. Last week, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah began phasing in a Sharia-based penal code that will soon add the oil-rich nation to a list of seven other countries with the death penalty for sex between gay people. Brunei will also implement flogging and amputation of limbs as possible punishments for crimes such as rape and adultery.
Dozens staged a protest along Sunset Boulevard Monday, calling for a widespread boycott of the hotels owned by Brunei until the country either cuts ties with them or reverses its draconian penalties. The Motion Picture & Television Fund said it wouldn’t hold its annual Night Before the Oscar party at the Beverly Hills Hotel as it has for many years, while the Hollywood Reporter, Feminist Majority Foundation, and Richard Branson’s Virgin Group made similar pledges. Celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Osbourne, and Jay Leno lent their support as well, either in person at the protest, or through social media.
“What year is this?” said the former Tonight Show host during Monday’s demonstration. “What is this, 1814? Come on people, it’s 2014.”
Jansing & Co. , 5/7/14, 11:36 AM ET
Backlash against the Sultan of Brunei
Christopher Cowdray, chief executive of the Dorchester Collection which operates the L.A. hotels, told the Los Angeles Times that boycotting was a misguided response – one that could potentially hurt employees who rely on tips, and derail millions of dollars that the hotels pump into the city’s economy.
“They won’t stop the implementation of the new laws,” he said of the protests. Cowdray also told the San Bernardino County Sun that the hotel chain was an autonomous company with a strict code of conduct that calls for equality, despite its owner’s view on the subject.
Ahead of Tuesday’s resolution vote, the chorus of condemnation against Brunei and its property grew louder. City Attorney Mike Feuer announced in a press release that he would “not set foot in either the Hotel Bel Air or Beverly Hills Hotel until this issue is resolved,” and welcomed other Angelenos to join him. Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign also called on the two hotels to cease their promotion of specialized services to LGBT couples, which the group’s president called “the height of hypocrisy” in a statement.
“The Sultan is offering free strawberries to LGBT couples in L.A. and death by stoning to those in Brunei,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.
It is unclear whether the growing Western backlash will have any impact on Brunei’s leader, who is worth an estimated $20 billion, according to Forbes, and has called the new penal code “a great achievement.” In addition to the Los Angeles hotels, the Dorchester Collection also operates several establishments in Europe, none of which are facing the same type of response.
Threatening business interests in Arizona proved to be an enormously effective strategy in scuttling that state’s religious liberty bill, which would have made it easier to discriminate against gays and lesbians. But when Russia passed a series of anti-gay laws last year, calls for a global boycott of vodka didn’t turn out to be quite the same shot to the jugular. The #DumpStoli campaign was a far milder response than what many opponents were pushing for – which was a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Olympics – and created confusion by targeting Stolichnaya vodka, which is produced by the Luxembourg-based SPI Group in Latvia, not Russia.
I am sure there are many American Muslims who want to be able to practice their faith as closely as they can. They want religious schools----they support these Sharia Courts----although I hear often Muslims coming to the US from other nations KNOW the value of Separation of Church and State because----their nations are often torn apart over these religious factions. Yet, as a foreign corporation is brought to an US International Economic Zone---it will install what that nation sees as its religious preference and it will operate a specific sect as ruling over others. Iraq's Hussein empowered SUNNIs----Iran empowers Shiites----so all this will inject and break down our US history for centuries of SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS.
THAT IS WHAT OCCURS IN INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONES AROUND THE WORLD AND IT WILL COME TO THE US IF WE ALLOW THESE POLICIES TO CONTINUE.
Global human traffic cartels are kidnapping people from all over the world to bring them to these International Economic Zones so just because a worker is from the Middle-East and Muslim does not mean they are going to unite for justice----often they have been removed from their own religious wars.
I had that very discussion on a feed months ago------Egypt vs Lebanon, vs Iran, vs Saudia Arabian, vs Iraq, vs Indian Muslim beliefs----this is what makes it so hard for workers in Asian International Economic Zones to unite against this oppression.
Islamic Shariah Tribunal Begins Operating in Texas
A group of Muslims in northern Texas has created what may be the first official Shariah law system in the United States.
The new Shariah tribunal in Irving, Texas, is trying to assure Americans they're not planning to follow the type of Shariah law practiced in Muslim countries. But critics aren't convinced.
Dr. Frank Gaffney, who leads the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., has studied what happens when Shariah law enters into state court decisions.
"I think what we will see is a coercion of Muslims to participate in this program," he said.
If Shariah law continues to encroach into our legal system, how might if affect the constitutional rights of Americans, particularly women? Dr. Gaffney explains more.
Gaffney said he thinks that some in the Muslim community think they're following Shariah law to some extent, but they're not following the authoritative version of it.
"Which is a brutally repressive - very hostile to women, hostile to homosexuals, hostile to Jews, hostile to Christians - kind of totalitarian system," he said.
CSP has found that at least 146 cases have been identified where the U.S. court system has allowed a Shariah court to adjudicate.
"In about 20 percent of those cases the court agreed to use Shariah instead of American laws with our constitutional gaurantees respected," Gaffney said.
In some Muslim countries, severe punishments are common, women have very few rights, and blasphemy against Mohammed can result in a death sentence.
But Tribunal Judge Imam Moujahed Bakhach is denying that will happen in America.
"The misconception about what they see through the media is that Shariah means cut the head, chop the heads, cut the hands and we are not in that," he said. "We are not here to invade the White House or invade Austin."
But Robert Spencer of JihadWatch writes: "There is no school of Islamic jurisprudence among either Sunnis or Shi’tes that does not mandate stoning for adultery, amputation of the hand for theft, and the subjugation of women."
Imam Bakhach and three other Muslim judges are planning to bypass the traditional legal system of Texas to handle civil cases on their own.
They plan to start by administering their own rulings for cases like divorce and business disputes.
But critics caution that allowing Shariah tribunals to operate in the U.S. essentially allows Islamic law to replace U.S. law, and will undermine the established U.S. rights of some of the victims.
The Center for Security Policy issued a report in 2011, documenting how Shariah law is already being applied in official state courts across America.
"The facts are the facts: some judges are making decisions deferring to Shariah law even when those decisions conflict with constitutional protections," the group states.
The report discovered 50 such cases involving "Muslim American families, mostly Muslim women and children, who were asking American courts to preserve their rights to equal protection and due process."
"These families came to America for freedom from the discriminatory and cruel laws of Shariah. When our courts then apply Shariah law in the lives of these families, and deny them equal protection, they are betraying the principles on which America was founded," the Center for Security Policy states.
Spencer agrees, pointing out that is the track record of Shariah around the world.
"Sharia polities throughout history and today have denied the freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience, and they have mandated discrimination against women and non-Muslims," Spencer says.
It is all this division in the US of our Democratic base of labor and justice that keeps the US citizens silent while the rest of the world is massively protesting and forcing change. The 5% of American citizens partnered with Wall Street and global corporations are feeding policies that pretend to solve a social problem instead of educating against the gorilla in the room----the US International Economic Zone and Trans Pacific Trade Pact policies that will kill all American population groups and move Latinos to the status of Asian global sweat shop workers----that $2 a day.
The revolt in France is growing! Up to 500,000 people went on strike and took to the streets across the country to protest unpopular pro-business labor reforms that would leave many people unemployed and would be an attack on worker's rights.
France’s largest cities saw a new wave of street demonstrations and strikes as student groups and unions tried to maintain pressure on the government just days before the bill is brought to Parliament. Violent clashes between police and mainly young protesters broke out in Paris, as well as the cities of Nantes, Rennes and Lyon.
Tyres were burned as students tried to block the main commercial port serving the French capital and its surrounding region. In Lyon, France’s third largest city, hundreds of students clashed with police as they tried to march on the city centre. Some threw objects at police, who responded with tear gas. Similar incidents were also reported in Nantes and Rennes. Despite concessions, unions and student organisations plan further protests on May Day, as well as on May 3, when parliament begins debating the bill.
Meanwhile, an air traffic controllers strike canceled 20 percent of all the flights at Paris' Orly Airport and also caused delays at Charles De Gaulle Airport, according the Paris airport authority. #LoiTravail #manif28avril
Ripples and Rising Tides: Organizing in the Philippine Economic Zones. Study by Philippines NGOs
Dec 01, 2011
'Ripples and Rising Tides: Organizing in the Philippine Economic Zones' gives an overview of the current features of special ecozones in the Philippines, the various changes in the concept and practice in the establishment of these zones, and the impact on various aspects of the economy.
The rapid expansion of economic zones in the country and the massive conversion of agricultural lands that accompany it, urge a review of the adverse consequences of this program on the national economy and the country’s natural resources. Equally important is determining the impact on labor rights, particularly the right to free association, which is labor’s most basic instrument for defending its rights and interests.
One chapter in the study is dedicated to the work of the NXP Workers´Union ´Union-building amidst corporate restructuring´. It is seldom that unions are formed inside economic zones, and rarer still for one to exist for over two decades. However, such is the experience of the NXP Semiconductors Cabuyao Incorporated Workers Union currently based at the Light Industry and Science Park I (LISP I) based in Cabuyao, Laguna in Southern Luzon. As in the case of other genuine workers’ unions, it has never been smooth sailing for the union’s membership. Changes in company ownership, management clampdown, and weaknesses in leadership, among other issues, have all posed serious challenges to the union. What kept it afloat, however was the wise use of union democracy and unity-building efforts to save the union from compromise and eventual ruin.
Last October 1st, the authors of the study, NGOs working in the labour sector in the Philippines, organised a panel discussion on Freedom of Association (FoA) in Philippine Economic Zones, with the new study as a basis. Representatives from the Philippine Ecozone Association (PHILEA), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) sat on the panel of reactors.
At the panel disucssion, the Workers’ Assistance Center (WAC), Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER), Crispin B. Beltran Resource Center (CBBRC) and Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) presented a recent study “Ripples and Rising Tides: Organizing in the Philippine Economic Zones”. The study cites workers experiences in ten factories located in various ecozones in the country. She underscored the difficulties and major obstacles in union organizing in ecozones, testaments to the incredibly low percentage of unionized workers relative to the total workforce and an even lower percentage of existing collective bargaining agreements.
WAC, EILER and CTUHR express the hope that this will be the start of a genuine and fruitful workers-labour agencies-investors dialogue-discussion and relationship aimed at pursuing workers rights and welfare inside production plants.
These several years after the 2008 crash has seen the most merger and acquisitions globally than in world history and much of that activity by US global corporations was with Chinese corporations to create that multi-national structure that comes back to the US International Economic Zone operating as they do in China
While all this enslavement was happening to the lowest wage workers over these few decades of Reagan Republican neo-liberalism the global pols needed to find a way to bring down Western high-skilled wages and VIOILA----we have the global worker pool now tied to those International Economic Zone nations----the wealthy have always been global business people----students in Ivy Leagues have always tied themselves to world travel in working---but now what was simply a US professional job----someone having a degree or two----are now becoming that global worker pool AND I AM HEARING FROM EVERY NATION---THEY HATE IT.
So, that Chinese or Indian student deemed BEST OF THE BEST in the world coming to the US are doing so just to bring US wages down and to build DENSITY in immigrant labor at the high-skill level. These foreign students are no better than our US university grads----they simply represent that same movement of immigrant labor to US International Economic Zones that will work on the UnderArmour or Hopkins global campus in Baltimore just as they did in China or India---for the same wages and under the same work conditions----15-18 hours a day. While these foreign workers may for now be getting the low end of the US wage system---soon with Trans Pacific Trade Pact they will be back to their developing nation wage system as will US citizens.
THIS IS WHAT ALL CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR OF BALTIMORE ARE WORKING TOWARDS WHEN THEY SUPPORTED GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUSES INCLUDING JOSHUA HARRIS WHO ONLY HATES THOSE TIFS.
The article below is long but please glance through---also remember when national media calls this class of billionaires---the world's elite----most have that money because of the massive frauds against Western nations----moving all that first world wealth to a 1% of people in developing nations through fraud. Even the Gates and the Buffetts would not be billionaires had they not been the driver of breaking Glass Steagall and global Wall Street and the models of fraud. The PIMCO example for one---PIMCO is to the coming bond market fraud and collapse as AIG was to the subprime mortgage fraud and collapse and that PIMCO owner-operator is of course rich from orchestrating this huge fraud against the American people.
The Rise of the New Global Elite
F. Scott Fitzgerald was right when he declared the rich different from you and me. But today’s super-rich are also different from yesterday’s: more hardworking and meritocratic, but less connected to the nations that granted them opportunity—and the countrymen they are leaving ever further behind.
Stephen Webster/Wonderful Machine
If you happened to be watching NBC on the first Sunday morning in August last summer, you would have seen something curious. There, on the set of Meet the Press, the host, David Gregory, was interviewing a guest who made a forceful case that the U.S. economy had become “very distorted.” In the wake of the recession, this guest explained, high-income individuals, large banks, and major corporations had experienced a “significant recovery”; the rest of the economy, by contrast—including small businesses and “a very significant amount of the labor force”—was stuck and still struggling. What we were seeing, he argued, was not a single economy at all, but rather “fundamentally two separate types of economy,” increasingly distinct and divergent.
This diagnosis, though alarming, was hardly unique: drawing attention to the divide between the wealthy and everyone else has long been standard fare on the left. (The idea of “two Americas” was a central theme of John Edwards’s 2004 and 2008 presidential runs.) What made the argument striking in this instance was that it was being offered by none other than the former five-term Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan: iconic libertarian, preeminent defender of the free market, and (at least until recently) the nation’s foremost devotee of Ayn Rand. When the high priest of capitalism himself is declaring the growth in economic inequality a national crisis, something has gone very, very wrong.
This widening gap between the rich and non-rich has been evident for years. In a 2005 report to investors, for instance, three analysts at Citigroup advised that “the World is dividing into two blocs—the Plutonomy and the rest”:
In a plutonomy there is no such animal as “the U.S. consumer” or “the UK consumer”, or indeed the “Russian consumer”. There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take. There are the rest, the “non-rich”, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie.Before the recession, it was relatively easy to ignore this concentration of wealth among an elite few. The wondrous inventions of the modern economy—Google, Amazon, the iPhone—broadly improved the lives of middle-class consumers, even as they made a tiny subset of entrepreneurs hugely wealthy. And the less-wondrous inventions—particularly the explosion of subprime credit—helped mask the rise of income inequality for many of those whose earnings were stagnant.
But the financial crisis and its long, dismal aftermath have changed all that. A multibillion-dollar bailout and Wall Street’s swift, subsequent reinstatement of gargantuan bonuses have inspired a narrative of parasitic bankers and other elites rigging the game for their own benefit. And this, in turn, has led to wider—and not unreasonable—fears that we are living in not merely a plutonomy, but a plutocracy, in which the rich display outsize political influence, narrowly self-interested motives, and a casual indifference to anyone outside their own rarefied economic bubble.
Through my work as a business journalist, I’ve spent the better part of the past decade shadowing the new super-rich: attending the same exclusive conferences in Europe; conducting interviews over cappuccinos on Martha’s Vineyard or in Silicon Valley meeting rooms; observing high-powered dinner parties in Manhattan. Some of what I’ve learned is entirely predictable: the rich are, as F. Scott Fitzgerald famously noted, different from you and me.
What is more relevant to our times, though, is that the rich of today are also different from the rich of yesterday. Our light-speed, globally connected economy has led to the rise of a new super-elite that consists, to a notable degree, of first- and second-generation wealth. Its members are hardworking, highly educated, jet-setting meritocrats who feel they are the deserving winners of a tough, worldwide economic competition—and many of them, as a result, have an ambivalent attitude toward those of us who didn’t succeed so spectacularly. Perhaps most noteworthy, they are becoming a transglobal community of peers who have more in common with one another than with their countrymen back home. Whether they maintain primary residences in New York or Hong Kong, Moscow or Mumbai, today’s super-rich are increasingly a nation unto themselves.
The Winner-Take-Most Economy The rise of the new plutocracy is inextricably connected to two phenomena: the revolution in information technology and the liberalization of global trade. Individual nations have offered their own contributions to income inequality—financial deregulation and upper-bracket tax cuts in the United States; insider privatization in Russia; rent-seeking in regulated industries in India and Mexico. But the shared narrative is that, thanks to globalization and technological innovation, people, money, and ideas travel more freely today than ever before.
Peter Lindert is an economist at the University of California at Davis and one of the leaders of the “deep history” school of economics, a movement devoted to thinking about the world economy over the long term—that is to say, in the context of the entire sweep of human civilization. Yet he argues that the economic changes we are witnessing today are unprecedented. “Britain’s classic industrial revolution was far less impressive than what has been going on in the past 30 years,” he told me. The current productivity gains are larger, he explained, and the waves of disruptive innovation much, much faster.
From a global perspective, the impact of these developments has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly in the poorer parts of the world. Take India and China, for example: between 1820 and 1950, nearly a century and a half, per capita income in those two countries was basically flat. Between 1950 and 1973, it increased by 68 percent. Then, between 1973 and 2002, it grew by 245 percent, and continues to grow strongly despite the global financial crisis.
But within nations, the fruits of this global transformation have been shared unevenly. Though China’s middle class has grown exponentially and tens of millions have been lifted out of poverty, the super-elite in Shanghai and other east-coast cities have steadily pulled away. Income inequality has also increased in developing markets such as India and Russia, and across much of the industrialized West, from the relatively laissez-faire United States to the comfy social democracies of Canada and Scandinavia. Thomas Friedman is right that in many ways the world has become flatter; but in others it has grown spikier.
One reason for the spikes is that the global market and its associated technologies have enabled the creation of a class of international business megastars. As companies become bigger, the global environment more competitive, and the rate of disruptive technological innovation ever faster, the value to shareholders of attracting the best possible CEO increases correspondingly. Executive pay has skyrocketed for many reasons—including the prevalence of overly cozy boards and changing cultural norms about pay—but increasing scale, competition, and innovation have all played major roles.
Many corporations have profited from this economic upheaval. Expanded global access to labor (skilled and unskilled alike), customers, and capital has lowered traditional barriers to entry and increased the value of an ahead-of-the-curve insight or innovation. Facebook, whose founder, Mark Zuckerberg, dropped out of college just six years ago, is already challenging Google, itself hardly an old-school corporation. But the biggest winners have been individuals, not institutions. The hedge-fund manager John Paulson, for instance, single-handedly profited almost as much from the crisis of 2008 as Goldman Sachs did.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of U.S. workers, however devoted and skilled at their jobs, have missed out on the windfalls of this winner-take-most economy—or worse, found their savings, employers, or professions ravaged by the same forces that have enriched the plutocratic elite. The result of these divergent trends is a jaw-dropping surge in U.S. income inequality. According to the economists Emmanuel Saez of Berkeley and Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics, between 2002 and 2007, 65 percent of all income growth in the United States went to the top 1 percent of the population. The financial crisis interrupted this trend temporarily, as incomes for the top 1 percent fell more than those of the rest of the population in 2008. But recent evidence suggests that, in the wake of the crisis, incomes at the summit are rebounding more quickly than those below. One example: after a down year in 2008, the top 25 hedge-fund managers were paid, on average, more than $1 billion each in 2009, quickly eclipsing the record they had set in pre-recession 2007.
If you are looking for the date when America’s plutocracy had its coming-out party, you could do worse than choose June 21, 2007. On that day, the private-equity behemoth Blackstone priced the largest initial public offering in the United States since 2002, raising $4 billion and creating a publicly held company worth $31 billion at the time. Stephen Schwarzman, one of the firm’s two co-founders, came away with a personal stake worth almost $8 billion, along with $677 million in cash; the other, Peter Peterson, cashed a check for $1.88 billion and retired.
In the sort of coincidence that delights historians, conspiracy theorists, and book publishers, June 21 also happened to be the day Peterson threw a party—at Manhattan’s Four Seasons restaurant, of course—to launch The Manny, the debut novel of his daughter, Holly, who lightly satirizes the lives and loves of financiers and their wives on the Upper East Side. The best seller fits neatly into the genre of modern “mommy lit”--USA Today advised readers to take it to the beach—but the author told me that she was inspired to write it in part by her belief that “people have no clue about how much money there is in this town.”
Holly Peterson and I spoke several times about how the super-affluence of recent years has changed the meaning of wealth. “There’s so much money on the Upper East Side right now,” she said. “If you look at the original movie Wall Street, it was a phenomenon where there were men in their 30s and 40s making $2 and $3 million a year, and that was disgusting. But then you had the Internet age, and then globalization, and you had people in their 30s, through hedge funds and Goldman Sachs partner jobs, who were making $20, $30, $40 million a year. And there were a lot of them doing it. I think people making $5 million to $10 million definitely don’t think they are making enough money.”
As an example, she described a conversation with a couple at a Manhattan dinner party: “They started saying, ‘If you’re going to buy all this stuff, life starts getting really expensive. If you’re going to do the NetJet thing’”—this is a service offering “fractional aircraft ownership” for those who do not wish to buy outright—“‘and if you’re going to have four houses, and you’re going to run the four houses, it’s like you start spending some money.’”
The clincher, Peterson says, came from the wife: “She turns to me and she goes, ‘You know, the thing about 20’”—by this, she meant $20 million a year—“‘is 20 is only 10 after taxes.’ And everyone at the table is nodding.”
As with the aristocracies of bygone days, such vast wealth has created a gulf between the plutocrats and other people, one reinforced by their withdrawal into gated estates, exclusive academies, and private planes. We are mesmerized by such extravagances as Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s 414-foot yacht, the Octopus, which is home to two helicopters, a submarine, and a swimming pool.
But while their excesses seem familiar, even archaic, today’s plutocrats represent a new phenomenon. The wealthy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s era were shaped, he wrote, by the fact that they had been “born rich.” They knew what it was to “possess and enjoy early.”
That’s not the case for much of today’s super-elite. “Fat cats who owe it to their grandfathers are not getting all of the gains,” Peter Lindert told me. “A lot of it is going to innovators this time around. There is more meritocracy in Bill Gates being at the top than the Duke of Bedford.” Even Emmanuel Saez, who is deeply worried about the social and political consequences of rising income inequality, concurs that a defining quality of the current crop of plutocrats is that they are the “working rich.” He has found that in 1916, the richest 1 percent of Americans received only one-fifth of their income from paid work; in 2004, that figure had risen threefold, to 60 percent.
Peter Peterson, for example, is the son of a Greek immigrant who arrived in America at age 17 and worked his way up to owning a diner in Nebraska; his Blackstone co-founder, Stephen Schwarzman, is the son of a Philadelphia retailer. And they are hardly the exceptions. Of the top 10 figures on the 2010 Forbes list of the wealthiest Americans, four are self-made, two (Charles and David Koch) expanded a medium-size family oil business into a billion-dollar industrial conglomerate, and the remaining four are all heirs of the self-made billionaire Sam Walton. Similarly, of the top 10 foreign billionaires, six are self-made, and the remaining four are vigorously growing their patrimony, rather than merely living off it. It’s true that few of today’s plutocrats were born into the sort of abject poverty that can close off opportunity altogether— a strong early education is pretty much a precondition—but the bulk of their wealth is generally the fruit of hustle and intelligence (with, presumably, some luck thrown in). They are not aristocrats, by and large, but rather economic meritocrats, preoccupied not merely with consuming wealth but with creating it.
The Road to Davos To grasp the difference between today’s plutocrats and the hereditary elite, who (to use John Stuart Mill’s memorable phrase) “grow rich in their sleep,” one need merely glance at the events that now fill high-end social calendars. The debutante balls and hunts and regattas of yesteryear may not be quite obsolete, but they are headed in that direction. The real community life of the 21st-century plutocracy occurs on the international conference circuit.
The best-known of these events is the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, invitation to which marks an aspiring plutocrat’s arrival on the international scene. The Bilderberg Group, which meets annually at locations in Europe and North America, is more exclusive still—and more secretive—though it is more focused on geopolitics and less on global business and philanthropy. The Boao Forum for Asia, convened on China’s Hainan Island each spring, offers evidence of that nation’s growing economic importance and its understanding of the plutocratic culture. Bill Clinton is pushing hard to win his Clinton Global Initiative a regular place on the circuit. The TED conferences (the acronym stands for “Technology, Entertainment, Design”) are an important stop for the digerati; Herb Allen’s* Sun Valley gathering, for the media moguls; and the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival (co-sponsored by this magazine), for the more policy-minded.
Recognizing the value of such global conclaves, some corporations have begun hosting their own. Among these is Google’s Zeitgeist conference, where I have moderated discussions for several years. One of the most recent gatherings was held last May at the Grove Hotel, a former provincial estate in the English countryside, whose 300-acre grounds have been transformed into a golf course and whose high-ceilinged rooms are now decorated with a mixture of antique and contemporary furniture. (Mock Louis XIV chairs—made, with a wink, from high-end plastic—are much in evidence.) Last year, Cirque du Soleil offered the 500 guests a private performance in an enormous tent erected on the grounds; in 2007, to celebrate its acquisition of YouTube, Google flew in overnight Internet sensations from around the world.
Yet for all its luxury, the mood of the Zeitgeist conference is hardly sybaritic. Rather, it has the intense, earnest atmosphere of a gathering of college summa cum laudes. This is not a group that plays hooky: the conference room is full from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and during coffee breaks the lawns are crowded with executives checking their BlackBerrys and iPads.
Last year’s lineup of Zeitgeist speakers included such notables as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, London Mayor Boris Johnson, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz (not to mention, of course, Google’s own CEO, Eric Schmidt). But the most potent currency at this and comparable gatherings is neither fame nor money. Rather, it’s what author Michael Lewis has dubbed “the new new thing”—the insight or algorithm or technology with the potential to change the world, however briefly. Hence the presence last year of three Nobel laureates, including Daniel Kahneman, a pioneer in behavioral economics. One of the business stars in attendance was the 36-year-old entrepreneur Tony Hsieh, who had sold his Zappos online shoe retailer to Amazon for more than $1 billion the previous summer. And the most popular session of all was the one in which Google showcased some of its new inventions, including the Nexus phone.
This geeky enthusiasm for innovation and ideas is evident at more-intimate gatherings of the global elite as well. Take the elegant Manhattan dinner parties hosted by Marie-Josée Kravis, the economist wife of the private-equity billionaire Henry, in their elegant Upper East Side apartment. Though the china is Sèvres and the paintings are museum quality (Marie-Josée is, after all, president of the Museum of Modern Art’s board), the dinner-table conversation would not be out of place in a graduate seminar. Mrs. Kravis takes pride in bringing together not only plutocrats such as her husband and Michael Bloomberg, but also thinkers and policy makers such as Richard Holbrooke, Robert Zoellick, and Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf, and leading them in discussion of matters ranging from global financial imbalances to the war in Afghanistan.
Indeed, in this age of elites who delight in such phrases as outside the box and killer app, arguably the most coveted status symbol isn’t a yacht, a racehorse, or a knighthood; it’s a philanthropic foundation—and, more than that, one actively managed in ways that show its sponsor has big ideas for reshaping the world.
Philanthrocapitalism George Soros, who turned 80 last summer, is a pioneer and role model for the socially engaged billionaire. Arguably the most successful investor of the post-war era, he is nonetheless proudest of his Open Society Foundations, through which he has spent billions of dollars on issues as diverse as marijuana legalization, civil society in central and eastern Europe, and rethinking economic assumptions in the wake of the financial crisis.
Inspired and advised by the liberal Soros, Peter Peterson—himself a Republican and former member of Nixon’s Cabinet—has spent $1 billion of his Blackstone windfall on a foundation dedicated to bringing down America’s deficit and entitlement spending. Bill Gates, likewise, devotes most of his energy and intellect today to his foundation’s work on causes ranging from supporting charter schools to combating disease in Africa. Facebook’s Zuckerberg has yet to reach his 30th birthday, but last fall he donated $100 million to improving the public schools of Newark, New Jersey. Insurance and real-estate magnate Eli Broad has become an influential funder of stem-cell research; Jim Balsillie, a co-founder of BlackBerry creator Research in Motion, has established his own international-affairs think tank; and on and on. It is no coincidence that Bill Clinton has devoted his post-presidency to the construction of a global philanthropic “brand.”
The super-wealthy have long recognized that philanthropy, in addition to its moral rewards, can also serve as a pathway to social acceptance and even immortality: Andrew “The Man Who Dies Rich Dies Disgraced” Carnegie transformed himself from robber baron to secular saint with his hospitals, concert halls, libraries, and university; Alfred Nobel ensured that he would be remembered for something other than the invention of dynamite. What is notable about today’s plutocrats is that they tend to bestow their fortunes in much the same way they made them: entrepreneurially. Rather than merely donate to worthy charities or endow existing institutions (though they of course do this as well), they are using their wealth to test new ways to solve big problems. The journalists Matthew Bishop and Michael Green have dubbed the approach “philanthrocapitalism” in their book of the same name. “There is a connection between their ways of thinking as businesspeople and their ways of giving,” Bishop told me. “They are used to operating on a grand scale, and so they operate on a grand scale in their philanthropy as well. And they are doing it at a much earlier age.”
A measure of the importance of public engagement for today’s super-rich is the zeal with which even emerging-market plutocrats are developing their own foundations and think tanks. When the oligarchs of the former Soviet Union first burst out beyond their own borders, they were Marxist caricatures of the nouveau riche, purchasing yachts and sports teams, and surrounding themselves with couture-clad supermodels. Fifteen years later, they are exploring how to buy their way into the world of ideas.
One of the most determined is the Ukrainian entrepreneur Victor Pinchuk, whose business empire ranges from pipe manufacturing to TV stations. With a net worth of $3 billion, Pinchuk is no longer content merely to acquire modern art: in 2009, he began a global competition for young artists, run by his art center in Kiev and conceived as a way of bringing Ukraine into the international cultural mainstream. Pinchuk hosts a regular lunch on the fringes of Davos and has launched his own annual “ideas forum,” a gathering devoted to geopolitics that is held, with suitable modesty, in the same Crimean villa where Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill attended the Yalta Conference. Last September’s meeting, where I served as a moderator, included Bill Clinton, International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin.
As an entrée into the global super-elite, Pinchuk’s efforts seem to be working: on a visit to the U.S. last spring, the oligarch met with David Axelrod, President Obama’s top political adviser, in Washington and schmoozed with Charlie Rose at a New York book party for Time magazine editor Rick Stengel. On a previous trip, he’d dined with Caroline Kennedy at the Upper East Side townhouse of HBO’s Richard Plepler. Back home, he has entertained his fellow art enthusiast Eli Broad at his palatial estate (which features its own nine-hole golf course) outside Kiev, and has partnered with Soros to finance Ukrainian civil-society projects.
A Nation Apart Pinchuk’s growing international Rolodex illustrates another defining characteristic of today’s plutocrats: they are forming a global community, and their ties to one another are increasingly closer than their ties to hoi polloi back home. As Glenn Hutchins, co-founder of the private-equity firm Silver Lake, puts it, “A person in Africa who runs a big African bank and went to Harvard might have more in common with me than he does with his neighbors, and I could well share more overlapping concerns and experiences with him than with my neighbors.” The circles we move in, Hutchins explains, are defined by “interests” and “activities” rather than “geography”: “Beijing has a lot in common with New York, London, or Mumbai. You see the same people, you eat in the same restaurants, you stay in the same hotels. But most important, we are engaged as global citizens in crosscutting commercial, political, and social matters of common concern. We are much less place-based than we used to be.”
In a similar vein, the wife of one of America’s most successful hedge-fund managers offered me the small but telling observation that her husband is better able to navigate the streets of Davos than those of his native Manhattan. When he’s at home, she explained, he is ferried around town by a car and driver; the snowy Swiss hamlet, which is too small and awkward for limos, is the only place where he actually walks. An American media executive living in London put it more succinctly still: “We are the people who know airline flight attendants better than we know our own wives.”
America’s business elite is something of a latecomer to this transnational community. In a study of British and American CEOs, for example, Elisabeth Marx, of the headhunting firm Heidrick & Struggles, found that almost a third of the former were foreign nationals, compared with just 10 percent of the latter. Similarly, more than two-thirds of the Brits had worked abroad for at least a year, whereas just a third of the Americans had done so.
But despite the slow start, American business is catching up: the younger generation of chief executives has significantly more international experience than the older generation, and the number of foreign and foreign-born CEOs, while still relatively small, is rising. The shift is particularly evident on Wall Street: in 2006, each of America’s eight biggest banks was run by a native-born CEO; today, five of those banks remain, and two of the survivors—Citigroup and Morgan Stanley—are led by men who were born abroad.
Mohamed ElErian, the CEO of Pimco, the world’s largest bond manager, is typical of the internationalists gradually rising to the top echelons of U.S. business. The son of an Egyptian father and a French mother, ElErian had a peripatetic childhood, shuttling between Egypt, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. He was educated at Cambridge and Oxford and now leads a U.S.-based company that is owned by the German financial conglomerate Allianz SE.
Though ElErian lives in Laguna Beach, California, near where Pimco is headquartered, he says that he can’t name a single country as his own. “I have had the privilege of living in many countries,” ElErian told me on a recent visit to New York. “One consequence is that I am a sort of global nomad, open to many perspectives.” As he talked, we walked through Midtown, which ElErian remembered fondly from his childhood, when he’d take the crosstown bus each day to the United Nations International School. That evening, ElErian was catching a flight to London. Later in the week, he was due in St. Petersburg.
Indeed, there is a growing sense that American businesses that don’t internationalize aggressively risk being left behind. For all its global reach, Pimco is still based in the United States. But the flows of goods and capital upon which the super-elite surf are bypassing America more often than they used to. Take, for example, Stephen Jennings, the 50-year-old New Zealander who co-founded the investment bank Renaissance Capital. Renaissance’s roots are in Moscow, where Jennings maintains his primary residence, and his business strategy involves positioning the firm to capture the investment flows between the emerging markets, particularly Russia, Africa, and Asia. For his purposes, New York is increasingly irrelevant. In a 2009 speech in Wellington, New Zealand, he offered his vision of this post-unipolar business reality: “The largest metals group in the world is Indian. The largest aluminum group in the world is Russian … The fastest-growing and largest banks in China, Russia, and Nigeria are all domestic.”
As it happens, a fellow tenant in Jennings’s high-tech, high-rise Moscow office building recently put together a deal that exemplifies just this kind of intra-emerging-market trade. Last year, Digital Sky Technologies, Russia’s largest technology investment firm, entered into a partnership with the South African media corporation Naspers and the Chinese technology company Tencent. All three are fast-growing firms with global vision—last fall, a DST spin-off called Mail.ru went public and immediately became Europe’s most highly valued Internet company—yet none is primarily focused on the United States. A similar harbinger of the intra-emerging-market economy was the acquisition by Bharti Enterprises, the Indian telecom giant, of the African properties of the Kuwait-based telecom firm Zain. A California technology executive explained to me that a company like Bharti has a competitive advantage in what he believes will be the exploding African market: “They know how to provide mobile phones so much more cheaply than we do. In a place like Africa, how can Western firms compete?”
The good news—and the bad news—for America is that the nation’s own super-elite is rapidly adjusting to this more global perspective. The U.S.-based CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds told me that his firm’s investment committee often discusses the question of who wins and who loses in today’s economy. In a recent internal debate, he said, one of his senior colleagues had argued that the hollowing-out of the American middle class didn’t really matter. “His point was that if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade,” the CEO recalled.
I heard a similar sentiment from the Taiwanese-born, 30-something CFO of a U.S. Internet company. A gentle, unpretentious man who went from public school to Harvard, he’s nonetheless not terribly sympathetic to the complaints of the American middle class. “We demand a higher paycheck than the rest of the world,” he told me. “So if you’re going to demand 10 times the paycheck, you need to deliver 10 times the value. It sounds harsh, but maybe people in the middle class need to decide to take a pay cut.”
At last summer’s Aspen Ideas Festival, Michael Splinter, CEO of the Silicon Valley green-tech firm Applied Materials, said that if he were starting from scratch, only 20 percent of his workforce would be domestic. “This year, almost 90 percent of our sales will be outside the U.S.,” he explained. “The pull to be close to the customers—most of them in Asia—is enormous.” Speaking at the same conference, Thomas Wilson, CEO of Allstate, also lamented this global reality: “I can get [workers] anywhere in the world. It is a problem for America, but it is not necessarily a problem for American business … American businesses will adapt.”