If we watched as CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA built Foreign Economic Zones overseas moving all our US corporations and factories to Asia and Latin America we would have seen the steps taken to install these economic structures AND we would have seen these same steps coming to our US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES. Global Wall Street created an economic structure that is FAR-RIGHT, AUTHORITARIAN, MILITARISTIC, DICTATORSHIP overseas and thinks that is a great model for rebuilding our US cities creating independent US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES operating under a global corporate tribunal ----no US, state, or local sovereignty.
Let's continue to look at the North and South Korea in Asia and bring back Sweden in Europe to see how these policies relate to each US citizen.
I called North Korea's leader GREAT LEADER when of course he is GREAT LEADER JR. When JR came to power WORLD BANK, South Korean 1% et al wooooooooed him to global banking neo-liberal Foreign Economic Zones. What were global factories used as prison and political prisoner labor under GREAT LEADER SR slowly opened to being a global naked capitalist Foreign Economic Zone.
GREAT LEADER JR WENT GLOBAL CAPITALIST JUST AS CHINA.
As with China, North Korean 1% do not want that 99% of citizens they keep impoverished and enslaved to know they are going to become EXTREMELY RICH while the 99% is enslaved in global sweat shop factories. Meanwhile, South Korean 1% who did in South Korea what Clinton era 1990s did to America created extreme wealth and extreme poverty by lying, cheating, and stealing the 99% of South Korean personal and public wealth moving it to the top 1%. Now, South Korea as the US wants to MORPH into far-right, authoritarian, militaristic, extreme wealth extreme poverty ---that pesky LIBERTARIAN MARXISM. North Korea is already there except GREAT LEADER SR AND JR were never able to accumulate extreme wealth====only moderate wealth.
Feeling adventurous with your money? North Korea wants your investment.
By Anna Fifield June 2, 2015
TOKYO – When it comes to untapped markets, there are very few places left in the world that haven’t yet been touched by global capitalism. Newly-opened Myanmar is getting a KFC, and it's probably just a matter of time until you can order a caramel frappuccino at Havana airport.
But for Indiana Jones investors out there, never fear. There’s still the cash-strapped, heavily-sanctioned pariah state of North Korea.
And the North Koreans want your money.
As evidence, they've just released a promotional video touting for investment in their special economic zones — or, as the video’s translation puts it, “peculiar” economic zones.
Released by the “Voice of Korea” – North Korea’s answer to “Voice of America” — the video features the electronic music, flashing lights and low-tech graphics of a Pyongyang karaoke room. The video, released at the weekend, is an edited version of an investment pitch first published in 2013.
“The government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea makes efforts to establish and develop unique economic development zones so as to develop the economy of the country and improve the material and cultural life of the people,” the subtitles read, against a shot of a statue of Chollima, the mythical Korean Pegasus.
Legend has it that Chollima was so fast it could cover hundreds of miles a day, leading Kim Il Sung, the founding president of North Korea, to purloin the idea to encourage his people to work hard — at “Chollima speed” — to rebuild the devastated country after the Korean war.
The video goes on to mention all the usual considerations of foreign investors, like the legal framework — even showing a copy of the Constitution, something that seems to count for little in everyday North Korean life.
“We have laws related to the special economic zones,” Hong Chol Hwa, Director of the Law Institute under the Academy of Social Sciences, says in the video. “We have laid a legal foundation to ensure the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors through the rules for the enforcement of the laws.”
Just as investors like legal certainty, they tend to detest taxes. “The tax policy interests all businessmen,” the video continues, showing a photo of the tax regime written in Korean, detailing income tax, transaction tax and resources taxes.
“They are less than the kinds of taxes levied in other countries and the tax rates are very low,” the video says. Gross profit tax is 14 percent, but 10 per cent in “encouraged” sectors.
“The special economic zones of the DPRK are attracting the world’s attention,” the video says, showing fish processing, heavy machinery like dump trucks, and a few happy Western tourists.
It is true that North Korea’s SEZs are attracting some attention. It’s one of the few parts of the economy where there does seem to be some movement.
Kim Jong Un, who took over the leadership of North Korea from his father at the end of 2011, has made “byungjin” his top priority — the idea that North Korea can pursue economic growth and nuclear weapons at the same time.
He’s at least been giving the appearance of progress on the military front — he recently claimed North Korea launched a submarine ballistic missile and had been able to miniaturize nuclear warheads, though there is skepticism about the former claim in particular.
But he’s also overseen a slew of economic policy experiments, including freeing up farmers to sell more of their crops and creating more than a dozen SEZs. So far, almost all the action there has been Chinese.
“These zones, with a variety of intended functions and ostensibly foreign-friendly regulations, signal a willingness to explore policy options, yet also clearly illustrate the development challenges that the DPRK continues to both face and perpetuate,” Andray Abrahamian wrote in a report for the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS published late last year.
As part of Choson Exchange, a business training program, Abrahamian has visited several of North Korea’s special economic zones.
“While most of these zones will languish as underfunded and underconnected, a handful will be positioned to attract moderate investment should North Korea’s relations with neighboring countries improve,” he wrote in the report. “Moreover, they will open up spaces in which further policy experiments can take place, perhaps including rules on internet access, ownership rights or immigration procedures.”
North Korea has also been holding trade fairs like one focused on commodities in Dandong, the Chinese border city last year, and the Pyongyang international trade fair last month.
North Korea has a checkered history when it comes to SEZs.
Rason, the abbreviation for Rajin-Sonbong, was first established as a free trade zone in 1991, modeled on China’s Shenzen, but has languished.
The Kaesong industrial park, an inter-Korean project where North Koreans work in South Korean-run factories on the northern side of the border, has been plagued with problems, most recently involving a wage dispute.
But in the video, North Korea highlights the zones that many outside analysts consider most viable — the Rason zone on the border where Russia and China meet North Korea, two zones at the southernmost point along the border with China, and another at Sinuiju, directly across the river on the North Korean side. There’s also, as the video puts it, the “Unjong Cutting Edge Technology Development Zone” in Pyongyang.
“Development zones have been selected in the favorable regions of the provinces so as to further develop the economy of the country,” Ri Chol Sok, chairman of the State Economic Development Committee, says in the video.
Not included in the video: International sanctions that make it incredibly difficult to move money in and out of North Korea, assuming that the North Koreans are willing to let investors take out any profits.
Orascom, the Egyptian telecom company that started North Korea’s mobile phone network, apparently froze investment in the country because of its inability to repatriate profits.
Also not mentioned is the fact that the two large zones on the border have been frozen because of tensions with China resulting from Kim Jong Un’s decision to execute his uncle Jang Song Taek, who was a main conduit for business dealings with China.
And another thing missing: Electricity is generally considered a desirable commodity, no matter what business you’re in. But reports coming out of North Korea, which is overwhelmingly dependent on hydro-power, suggest that after a dry winter, power cuts are even worse than usual, even in the capital.
But despite the video’s dubious production values and the apparent folly of putting your money into a place where most “consumers” endure severe repression and struggle to feed their families, there are some reasons to think that North Korea’s pitch might attract some interest.
Ruediger Frank, a German expert on the North Korean economy who studied in Pyongyang for a semester and visited the Rason zone late last year, called the level of commerce there “simply mind-boggling.”
In a paper for 38 North, he described seeing markets where unlicensed stalls sell cigarettes; fruit vendors offering imported pineapples, bananas and grapes; and a regular bank that exchanges money at the “black market rate” rather than the official state rate.
Meanwhile, Adam Cathcart, who teaches at the University of Leeds in England, has been keeping an eye on the zones along the Chinese border near Dandong.
China appears to be going along with North Korea’s new SEZ strategy in the border region in a reluctant bid to remain engaged with its errant client state, he wrote in a paper last year, after Jang’s execution.
“Chinese hopes for reform in North Korea are not so much rooted in a desire for Kim Jong-un to start things, but for Kim Jong-un to merely follow through on positive initiatives which had begun in 2010, or, in some cases, 2002,” Cathcart wrote.
China has pumped about $354 million into building a huge new bridge between the zone and North Korea — but North Korea has so far refused to build a road connecting the bridge to its roads, apparently expecting China to build that too.
Laws updated in 2013, attempting to encourage investment into these SEZs, allow foreigners a 50-year land lease period as well as “the right to buy, sell re-lease, donate or inherit the land use right and building ownership”.
But, as with previous laws, there are what Abrahamian calls “troubling ambiguities.”
Perhaps the most striking is Article 7: "The State shall not nationalize or expropriate the property of the investors. Where an investor’s property is, under unavoidable circumstances, to be expropriated or used temporarily for public interest, notification thereof shall be made in advance and sufficient compensation commensurate with its value shall be made in good time."
Or to put it another way: We won't take your property unless we say we have to, and then we will decide to perhaps pay you something for it, at some point. This is, frankly speaking, unappealing to investors.
Still, for the financially adventurous, there are opportunities in North Korea.
What's most important from where the world meets Washington
"North Korea used to be called the most isolated country in the world. Not any more," said Paul Tjia, a Dutchman who outsources clothing production for European companies to North Korean factories.
At a conference in South Korea devoted to investing in the North, Tjia showed photos from inside the factories and said that North Korea’s seamstresses were world class, and their orders were delivered on time.
Or, as the famously bullish American investor Jim Rogers puts it: “If I could put all of my money into North Korea, I would. Massive changes are taking place there.”
That might be an over-statement, but for some people, the prospect of breaching this final financial frontier is alluring. And for Kim Jong Un, that means one thing: cha-ching.
As here in US, South Korean young adults are being left unemployed/under-employed in a nation of fraud, corruption and extreme wealth moving towards extreme poverty. This is why the US, Europe, Africa are filling with global labor pool South Koreans who once had a thriving economy. Same Clinton/BUSH/OBAMA happening in South Korea. These folks may not know the goal of their 1% is reunification bringing that far-right authoritarian, militaristic dictatorship structure of NORTH KOREA to the south. Don't worry---they will still have FAKE ELECTIONS with global banking pols calling themselves social Democrats et al-----just as in the US.
Remember, the goal of global market neo-liberalism is CREATING A GLOBAL LABOR POOL where all global citizens are thrown in and left to feel they have no sovereign country or rights so that is what is happening in South Korea as is happening in Sweden as is happening in US. Meanwhile, North Korean citizens who were simply subjected to authoritarian cruelty will now be shipped off to global factories around the world.
ECONOMIC FEUDALISM -----that's the goal of US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones!
It is much more easy for third world nations----or Asian nations to make these changes because they do not have a WESTERN NATION CONSTITUTION AND LEGAL RIGHTS AND COURTS FOR CITIZENS.
This is happening to all new citizens coming to Western nations thinking we still have democracy and freedom---they fall into promoting the very public policies that will enslave them in a decade or two.
WE THE PEOPLE MUST EDUCATE BROADLY TO HELP OUR NEW CITIZENS KNOW HOW OUR US RULE OF LAW, US CONSTITUTION, AND GOVERNANCE IS SUPPOSED TO WORK----
Young South Koreans call their country ‘hell’ and look for ways out
By Anna Fifield January 31, 2016
A lone office worker is doing an overtime shift in downtown Seoul. (Jun Michael Park/For The Washington Post)SEOUL -- Don’t be fooled by the bright lights, the zingy K-pop music, the ubiquitous technology. South Korea is, in the minds of many young people here, a living hell — and they’re not going to take it anymore.
It’s a place where, according to a growing number of 20- and 30-somethings, those born with a “golden spoon” in their mouths get into the best universities and secure the plum jobs, while those born with a “dirt spoon” work long hours in low-paying jobs without benefits.
This Korea even has a special name: “Hell Joseon,” a phrase that harks back to the five-century-long Joseon dynasty in which Confucian hierarchies became entrenched in Korea and when a feudal system determined who got ahead and who didn’t.
“It’s hard to imagine myself getting married and having kids. There is no answer or future for us,” says Hwang Min-joo, a 26-year-old writer for television shows.
Hwang often goes to work on a Monday morning with her suitcase, not leaving again until Thursday night. She eats at her office, takes a shower at her office, sleeps in bunk beds at her office. “If I finish work at 9 p.m., that’s a short day,” she said.
Paychecks come irregularly — or not at all, if the show gets axed — and because she doesn’t have a contract, Hwang wonders when she goes to sleep each night whether she’ll still have a job in the morning. She can make this life work only by living at home with her parents — when she goes home, that is.
“If you have enough money, South Korea is a great place to live. But if you don’t . . .” she trails off.
Kim Hyeon-min, 22, works for a lawyer as a contract worker. He worked as an intern at the National Assembly after graduating from college. “If your congressperson doesn’t like you, he or she can easily lay you off. Job security is volatile at best. Still, I’m hopeful. I would like to gain more experience at the National Assembly and run for it someday.” (Jun Michael Park/For The Washington Post)
Hwang Min-joo, 26, is a TV writer. “When I go to sleep, I don’t even know whether I will have my job tomorrow. I can be laid off with a single text message from my producer. If my program doesn’t air, I don’t get paid. I live with my parents, and that’s how I am able to survive.” (Jun Michael Park/For The Washington Post)Such complaints are common among Hwang’s generation. Their parents lived through South Korea’s astonishing economic rise during the 1960s and ’70s and then saw democracy arrive in the ’80s. But those born after that period of rapid improvement see only the downside: megalithic businesses that provide status and good pay for their employees, with everyone else just muddling through.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, many people around the world have lost jobs, homes and hopes. But in South Korea, such losses are felt especially acutely because of the sharp contrast with the heady days of industrialization.
The economy is sputtering — growth slowed to 2.6 percent last year — and its slide has been accompanied by an increase in “irregular” jobs that offer no security and no benefits, a trend felt keenly by those trying to get on the job ladder. Almost two-thirds of the young people who got jobs last year became irregular workers, according to Korea Labor Institute figures.
Even people at the conglomerates are feeling the pinch, with big names such as Samsung, Hyundai and Doosan laying off workers or calling for early retirement.
Workers occupy brightly lit offices and do overtime shifts in downtown Seoul on a Thursday night. (Jun Michael Park/For The Washington Post)Amid the gloom, more and more young Koreans are taking to social networks to complain about their plight.
There’s a Hell Joseon group on Facebook that boasts more than 5,000 members and a dedicated “Hell Korea” website that posts graphic after graphic to illustrate the awful state of life in South Korea: the long working hours, the high suicide rate and even the high price of snacks.
Numerous online forums offer advice on ways to escape. Some help South Koreans apply to the U.S. military, a move that can offer a fast track to U.S. citizenship. Others offer advice on training programs for aspiring welders, a skill that is reportedly in demand in the United States and Canada.
And it’s not just an Internet phenomenon. Novelist Jang Kang-myung’s “Because I Hate South Korea” — a fictional work about a young woman who emigrated to Australia — shot to the top of bestseller lists last year.
When writer Son A-ram published a piece titled “The Declaration of a Ruined State” in the Kyunghyang Shinmun newspaper, it quickly went viral.
“If my life continues this way, I don’t really see much of a future,” says Lee Ga-hyeon, a 22-year-old who has taken time off her law studies to work at a union for part-time workers. “In South Korea, ‘part time’ means working full-time hours at the minimum wage.”
While she was studying, Lee worked at McDonald’s and then at a bakery chain, often working six hours a day, five days a week, in addition to studying full time. The rent on her “shoe-box-size” room cost almost half her monthly earnings of $450.
“I want to become a certified labor lawyer so that I can help others in similar circumstances,” she said.
Not that those with more stable jobs are much happier. In this working culture, 14-hour days are the norm. In 2012, a left-leaning presidential candidate ran on the slogan: “A life with evenings.”
Song, 34, works at a small company and has a 13-month old daughter. “It is difficult to dream about the future and raise children here. Workers can’t get off work on time because of peer pressure and companies almost take overtime work for granted. I used to work for a big company. My boss always said, ‘The company comes first; your family comes second.’ ” (Jun Michael Park/For The Washington Post)
Chang Han-sol, 21, is a journalism student. “I used to live in Germany when I was very young. My parents were studying in Germany, and after South Korea’s democratization, they decided to come back. I think I grew up in a middle-class family, but I don’t know whether I can ever afford to live like my parents.” (Jun Michael Park/For The Washington Post)Song, a 34-year-old whose wife had to quit her job when they had their daughter last year, switched to a less-prestigious job because he was regularly working from 8 a.m. one day until 1 a.m. the next. “My boss always said, ‘The company comes first; your family comes second.’ ” said Song, who asked to withhold his full name for fear of getting into trouble at work.
Most frustrating of all, many young people say, is that their parents, who worked long hours to build the “Korean dream,” think the answer is just to put in more effort.
“My parents think I don’t try hard enough,” said Yeo Jung-hoon, 31, who used to work for an environmental nongovernmental organization but now runs a Facebook group called the “Union of Unskilled Workers.” “One time after a meeting, my boss said in front of everyone, ‘I don’t think you’re suitable for this job.’ I felt humiliated, but I couldn’t quit because I needed the money. It is a hell without an exit.”
Where a small percentage of Asian citizens were allowed to climb to a middle class these several decades of Foreign Economic Zone activity they did not see much of global labor pool in South Korea as in Japan so they may not have known global citizens from South Pacific, other Asian nations, Latin Americans, Middle East citizens were trapped in Clinton global Wall Street human capital distribution systems sending global citizens to nations around the world to work in Foreign Economic Zones as sweat shop factory or sweat shop white collar workers. That is now happening to these formerly middle-class South Koreans as is now happening to our US citizens pushed into the global labor pool.
What appears to be opportunity because global Wall Street CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA are pretending to protect our new immigrant citizens----will be BUILDING DENSITY FOR US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE global corporate campuses and factories bringing the same enslaved labor conditions to US----or to Sweden and Australia.
'While she was studying, Lee worked at McDonald’s and then at a bakery chain, often working six hours a day, five days a week, in addition to studying full time. The rent on her “shoe-box-size” room cost almost half her monthly earnings of $450'.
For a Brighter Future, Young Koreans Eager to Move Abroad
by Hyeji Yang on Friday, May 1, 2015 Article from Maeil Business:
“I will leave Korea.”: Young South Koreans Join Emigration ‘Gye’.
Translation note: The Korean term, gye [계(契)], is a type of club where each member pitches in a small amount of money in order to accumulate enough for a large financial goal. Either the members use the club funds for a group purpose (such as a trip), or the club funds are used to fund each individual member on a rotating basis.
Kim Hyo-won(26) graduated from a prestigious women’s university in Seoul and is working at a financial company in Yeouido. Last year she organized an emigration ‘gye’ with four of her friends to financially prepare for moving to Finland. Every month they must transfer five hundred thousand won as dues, in accordance with a rule they set themselves. So far they have saved about ten million won. All the members are “S” University, “Y” University, and other prestigious university graduates and now working at companies that pay them well. Kim emphasized, “After I enter a graduate school in Finland, I will settle down there. It’s different from Korea. I would expect to be able to enjoy my free time after work in Finland.”
“Emigration Fever” has been spreading like wildfire among young people in their 20s who have just started working. They organize ‘gye’ for preparing their finances, and also share key information about emigration including foreign language study resources.
To become suitable immigrants, some of them are learning new skills needed in their country of choice.
Lee Sang-ho(29) has been working in the human resource department at a major company after graduating with a liberal arts major at “S” University. Every weekend he goes to an automobile mechanical engineering institute. He is planning on completing an automobile mechanics and maintenance certificate in order to move to Northern Europe as a skilled migrant. Skilled migrants have an easier time obtaining permanent residency than regular applicants.
A spokesperson for a welding institute for people who want to move to Canada let said, “We have everyone from England’s elite ‘Oxbridge’ (a word combining Oxford and Cambridge) Economics Ph.D.’s, to Seoul National University graduates. Can’t help but be surprised that such highly educated people like this are studying welding to be able to emigrate.”
Denmark, Sweden and other Northern European countries, which are known for their good welfare systems, are the most preferred immigration destinations among recent graduates in Korea. According to the report about the current status of overseas Koreans by the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the number of Korean people living in Denmark grew from 239 in 2011 to 538 in 2013, showing a 83.6 percent increase.
The reasons for emigrating to developed countries is simple. They find that living in Korea is getting tougher every day, especially for the younger generation thanks to the rising cost of education, reduced pension benefits, and the high cost of housing. Beyond these, the Korean social focus on competition – working late-night overtime at the office, [competition] in a recession, and severe stress are influencing the desire to emigrate. As every nation becomes more globalized, the walls that were built between countries are breaking down. Younger people worry less about going to a new environment and learning a new language than those from older generations.
Last year Lee Chang-min(29), a graduate from Seoul National University, left a company he had worked at for two years to move abroad. He had worked in the strategy and marketing department and made a decent salary. The starting salary at the company was about 40 million won. However, he and his wife decided to move to a new country after considering the cost of child-rearing and education.
Experts say younger people choosing to move abroad in the global era should be welcomed. However, they need to be aware of leaving Korea without a definite plan. Oh Jeong-eun, a manager of research and training at the International Organization for Migration and Migration Research and Training Center, said, “It is still quiet an outlier for a skilled migrant to find a better life abroad. There is no particular reason for developed countries to employ Koreans. The younger generation should make a careful and considered judgement on whether or not they will emigrate.”
Some people see the emigration fever among Koreans in their 20s as an expression of their disappointment in the realities of living in Korea. Jeong Dong-il, professor of business administration at Yonsei University emphasized, “Young people want to leave because of the perceived inability to reach their potential within Korea. The government should set up some countermeasures, with Korea 20 years from now in mind. Also, companies should give opportunities to young people who are open-minded about new experiences, and have excellent foreign language skills.”
It was far-right neo-liberal economics that took US to being completely global market killing our free market domestic economy ---now the same far-right are shouting against TRADE DEFICITS----know what? If our US economy was steeped in domestic free market there would be no reason to have GLOBAL TRADE DEFICITS----nations have for thousands of years traded what they had as natural resources and cultural products-----
THE SAME CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA CREATING THIS US ECONOMIC STAGNATION WITH GLOBAL EMPIRE-BUILDING ARE NOW SHOUTING EVERYONE ELSE IS THE CHEATER.
The Asian and Latin American economies like South Korea, China, and Brazil are preparing their economies for global corporations moving from Foreign Economic Zones in their nations to building Foreign Economic Zones in Africa and US. The right wing is calling this BUILT IN AMERICA when these US Foreign Economic Zones will be filled with foreign global factories bringing global labor pool as workers.
TRUMP'S GOAL IN SHOUTING AGAINST TRADE DEFICITS IS MOVING FORWARD BUILDING US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES BRINGING FOREIGN CORPORATIONS AND WORKERS TO FILL THOSE JOBS.
US Foreign Economic Zones have laws stating only manufacturing to be EXPORTED CAN OCCUR inside these zones because global Wall Street 1% refuse to allow local economies -----same happening in South Korea.
Trump posing right wing conservative when he is MOVING FORWARD the same ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE global 1% policies as CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA. Meanwhile CLINTON/OBAMA are posing left social progressive a pretending to protect new immigrants when they are only staging them as global labor pool to exploit.
Trump orders review of U.S. trade deficits with all nations, including Japan
- Apr 1, 2017
The action, put in motion by one of a pair of executive orders signed by the president, is part of his administration’s efforts to reduce America’s deficits and address what it says are unfair trading practices.
China, Japan and other countries with which the United States incurs hefty deficits will be subject to the review, ordered just ahead of the first summit between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping this week and the first round of a high-level economic dialogue between the United States and Japan later this month.
The second order directs officials to step up collection of anti-dumping and countervailing duties levied against illegally subsidized foreign products.
Speaking to reporters before signing the orders, Trump said the actions will “set the stage for a great revival of American manufacturing.”
Trump, who has pledged to promote “fair” trade under his “America First” mantra, said he will defend American industry and create a level playing field for American workers.
HMMMM, LEVEL PLAYING FIELD FOR AMERICAN WORKERS---MEANS PAYING AMERICAN WORKERS THE SAME AS THIRD WORLD NATIONS? YOU BETCHA!
The Commerce Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) will undertake the study on U.S. trade deficits and report its findings to Trump in 90 days. The findings may see Trump pressure China, Japan and other U.S. trading partners to further open their markets to U.S. goods and services.
In its 2017 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, released earlier Friday, the USTR criticized the two countries over trade practices and market access barriers.
Japan was rebuked over “the existence of substantial market access barriers” against U.S. agricultural products and “a variety of nontariff barriers” against American automobiles.
As examples, the report pointed to Japan’s “highly regulated and nontransparent” importation and distribution system for imported rice, saying it “limits the ability of U.S. exporters to meaningfully access Japan’s consumers.”
It also quoted industry research as saying that Japanese consumers would buy high-quality U.S. rice if it were more readily available.
Although Japan is the fourth-largest market for U.S. agricultural products, the United States is unhappy with market access to the country, the report said, citing “high tariffs” on grains, sugar, citrus, wine, dairy and a variety of processed foods.
Aside from farm products, the report said Washington has expressed “strong concerns” about the lack of access to Tokyo’s automobile market.
“A variety of nontariff barriers impede access to Japan’s automotive market,” it said, citing issues relating to certification, “unique” standards and testing protocols, as well as “hindrances” to the development of distribution and service networks.
The USTR meanwhile criticized China for its “massive excess capacity” in the steel and aluminum sectors, a situation it said was driven by state industrial polices and financial support.
The resulting overproduction and increase in exports distorts global markets and hurts U.S. producers and workers in both the U.S. and third country markets where U.S. exports compete with Chinese exports, it said.
Referring to the review of U.S. deficits, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday that officials will study to what extent they have been caused by “cheating” trade practices and currency misalignment by other countries, as well as asymmetrical treatment of tax systems by the World Trade Organization.
The officials will also review the effects on the deficits of free trade agreements that have failed to produce the benefits that were forecast, Ross said in a briefing previewing the order.
As of last year, China incurred a $347 billion trade surplus with the United States, followed by Japan with $69 billion, Germany with $65 billion and Mexico with $63 billion. Other Asian economies also generated surpluses with the United States, with Vietnam logging $32 billion and South Korea $28 billion.
Several economists said it is unlikely the report will address the broader economic forces behind the trade imbalance, since it will track trade deficits country by country and product by product. And the order on trade duties appears to duplicate the standards of a trade enforcement act signed into law by then-President Barack Obama in 2016, according to congressional staffers.
“It seems like there is less here than meets the eye,” said Robert Scott, director of trade and manufacturing policy research at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.
In remarks at the Oval Office, Trump said he had seen the situation first-hand as he traveled the country and found how bad trade deals had hurt American workers.
“The jobs and wealth have been stripped from our country,” he said, vowing to bring that to an end. “We’re bringing manufacturing and jobs back to our country.” The president had been expected to sign the orders after giving his remarks, but left before he had. A White House official said he signed the orders later.
Here is CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA in 2001 talking about that ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE as the global 'village'. It was all about raising the standards of life for developing nations ---flash forward to today as globally there is extreme wealth extreme poverty, far-right authoritarianism dictatorship with global markets for the global 1%.
What these few decades of global economic collapse and crisis will bring in MOVING FORWARD will be retooling Foreign Economic Zones like South Korea and Singapore having been that global sweat shop factory economy supplying a thriving Western nation middle-class now being killed----to one that is designer manufacturing just for the global 1% and their 2%. So, Singapore and South Korea are downsizing their factories and building the same global marketing and product patenting as here in US -----killing their middle-class with the 1% acting like royalty----those pesky OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE!
Please take time to educate our new immigrant citizens as to the capture of our American politics REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS by global CLINTON/OBAMA Wall Street neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons so they can help save our strong Western democratic republic for WE THE PEOPLE.
'INCOMES ARE DIVERGING
MAINSTREAM economic thought promises that globalization will lead to a widespread improvement in average incomes.
Firms will reap increased economies of scale in a larger market, and incomes will converge as poor countries grow more
rapidly than rich ones. In this "win
win" perspective, the importance of nation
states fades as the "global village" grows and
market integration and prosperity take hold'.
Do we see income improving? Well, those global 1% are moving from millionaire to billionaire while global citizens are third world poor. Those global 1% and their 2% REALLY like the Clintons! These are the folks leading that United Nations protest for women and immigrants against Trump knowing Trump is simply MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE.
The great divide in the global village
; New York; Jan/Feb 2001; Bruce R Scott;
Since rich countries are unlikely to lower their agricultural and immigration barriers significantly, they must
recognize that politics is a key cause of economic inequality. The creation of effective states in the developing
world will not be driven by familiar market forces, even if pressures from capital markets can force fiscal and
monetary discipline. Democracy is not enough to ensure that the governed are allowed to reap the gains of
their own efforts. An effective state requires good laws as well as law enforcement that is timely, evenhanded,
and accessible to the poor. Globalization offers opportunities for all nations, but most developing countries are
very poorly positioned to capitalize on them. For its part, free trade remains the right model for right
countries because it provides decentralized initiatives to search for tomorrow's market opportunities. Poor
nations must improve the effectiveness of their institutions and bureaucracies in spite of entrenched
opposition and poorly paid civil servants.
'Europe may fail on both counts, driving the refugees from its doorstep while succumbing to right-wing nationalism. Americans have no reason to be complacent. It is all too possible that we will do the exact same thing'.
This article is long but please glance through to see similarities with Sweden and US. Global Wall Street 1% simply imploded what was a well-intended left social progressive stance on immigration. As in US, left social Democratic must weigh the rights of people to work and live with dignity during a time of deliberate economic stagnation and high unemployment. Who is creating all the instability in Middle-East? The global 1%. The solution is getting those global Wall Street pols creating these global instabilities OUT OF OFFICE so our global citizens can live peacefully in their own nations!
What is called left social progressive and generous is simply that mass movement of global labor pool into our Western nations creating the same civil instability as existed several decades ago in Asia and Latin American when these Foreign Economic Zones with their global labor pool workers were installed. Yes, Sweden is being used as a swing board ----as is UK----to spread global labor pool across Europe not because anyone is generous----but that is global 1% and global banking taking our Western developed nations down to third world status.
Sweden was very left social progressive before the installment of REAGAN/CLINTON----THATCHER/BLAIR-----started the breakdown of all left social democracies bringing far-right wing authoritarian extreme wealth.
We describe what is happening in Europe and US as the same as the RUSSIAN PERESTROIKA -----where all of USSR's communal land and wealth supposedly for the 99% of citizens was handed to a 1% of Russian OLIGARCHS. That is what CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA and in UK and Europe have been doing with our wealth and assets these few decades---THE AMERICAN PERESTROIKA----THE EUROPEAN PERESTROIKA----
So, if we read about Sweden since the 2008 economic crash we see Swedish citizens thrown into the global labor pool just as South Korean.......we will find many Swedish migrating to South Korea as South Koreans leave.
THIS IS WHAT MOVING FORWARD IN US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES UNDER CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA IS DOING TO US CITIZENS---TRUMP IS SIMPLY MOVING ALL THIS FORWARD.
Western media is calling Swedish citizens' anger at being pushed out or being left unemployed MOVING TO RIGHT WING NATIONALISM-----well, the South Koreans are of course doing the same thing in their nation because WE THE PEOPLE ARE SOVEREIGN CITIZENS no matter the nation. This is to where we have our rights and our wealth and family====
The Death of the Most Generous Nation on Earth
Little Sweden has taken in far more refugees per capita than any country in Europe. But in doing so, it’s tearing itself apart.
By James Traub
February 10, 2016
The Swedish Migration Agency in Malmo, the southern port city on the border with Denmark, occupies a square brick building at the far edge of town. On the day that I was there, Nov. 19, 2015, hundreds of refugees, who had been bused in from the train station, queued up outside in the chill to be registered, or sat inside waiting to be assigned a place for the night. Two rows of white tents had been set up in the parking lot to house those for whom no other shelter could be found. Hundreds of refugees had been put in hotels a short walk down the highway, and still more in an auditorium near the station.
When the refugee crisis began last summer, about 1,500 people were coming to Sweden every week seeking asylum. By August, the number had doubled. In September, it doubled again. In October, it hit 10,000 a week, and stayed there even as the weather grew colder. A nation of 9.5 million, Sweden expected to take as many as 190,000 refugees, or 2 percent of the population — double the per capita figure projected by Germany, which has taken the lead in absorbing the vast tide of people fleeing the wars in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere.
That afternoon, in the cafeteria in the back of the Migration Agency building, I met with Karima Abou-Gabal, an agency official responsible for the orderly flow of people into and out of Malmo. I asked where the new refugees would go. “As of now,” she said wearily, “we have no accommodation. We have nothing.” The private placement agencies with whom the migration agency contracts all over the country could not offer so much as a bed. In Malmo itself, the tents were full. So, too, the auditorium and hotels. Sweden had, at that very moment, reached the limits of its absorptive capacity. That evening, Mikael Ribbenvik, a senior migration official, said to me, “Today we had to regretfully inform 40 people that we could [not] find space for them in Sweden.” They could stay, but only if they found space on their own.
Nothing about this grim denouement was unforeseeable — or, for that matter, unforeseen. Vast numbers of asylum-seekers had been pouring into Sweden both because officials put no obstacles in their way and because the Swedes were far more generous to newcomers than were other European countries. A few weeks earlier, Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, had declared that if the rest of Europe continued to turn its back on the migrants, “in the long run our system will collapse.” The collapse came faster than she had imagined.
The vast migration of desperate souls from Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere has posed a moral test the likes of which Europe has not faced since the Nazis forced millions from their homes in search of refuge. Europe has failed that test. Germany, acutely aware that it was the author of that last great refugee crisis, has taken in the overwhelming fraction of the 1 million asylum-seekers who have reached Europe over the past 18 months. Yet the New Year’s Eve 2016 orgy of rape and theft in Cologne, in which migrants have been heavily implicated, may force Chancellor Angela Merkel to reconsider the open door. Her policy of generosity is now being openly attacked by her own ministers.
Most of Europe, and much of the world, has, as Wallstrom feared, turned its back. The ethnically homogeneous nations of Eastern Europe have refused to take any refugees at all; Hungary, their standard-bearer on this issue, has built fences along its borders to keep refugees from even passing through. Balkan countries, by contrast, helped migrants pass through their territories to the West — until mid-November, when they collectively began blocking asylum-seekers who did not hail from Iraq, Syria, or Afghanistan. England has agreed to take only those refugees arriving directly on its shores from the Middle East. Denmark has taken out ads in Arabic-language newspapers warning refugees that they will not be welcome, and has passed legislation authorizing officials to seize migrants’ assets to pay for their care. In the United States, where politicians eager to exploit fear of terrorism have found a receptive audience, Congress has sought to block President Barack Obama’s offer to accept a meager 10,000 Syrians.
During World War II, Sweden took in the Jews of Denmark, saving much of the population.And then there is Sweden, a country that prides itself on generosity to strangers. During World War II, Sweden took in the Jews of Denmark, saving much of the population. In recent years the Swedes have taken in Iranians fleeing from the Shah, Chileans fleeing from Gen. Augusto Pinochet, and Eritreans fleeing forced conscription. Accepting refugees is part of what it means to be Swedish. Yet what Margot Wallstrom meant, and what turned out to be true, was that Germany, Sweden, Austria, and a few others could not absorb the massive flow on their own. The refugee crisis could, with immense effort and courage, have been a collective triumph for Europe. Instead, it has become a collective failure. This is the story of the exorbitant, and ultimately intolerable, cost that Sweden has paid for its unshared idealism.
World War II created 40 million refugees. Many who made the treacherous journeys from the shattered cities and villages of Central and Eastern Europe were treated humanely; others, including many Jews, were sent back to their homelands, often to their death. When Europe reconstituted itself in the aftermath of the war, the obligation to accept refugees was embedded in such core documents as the Convention on Human Rights, the Refugee Convention, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Signatories pledged not to turn back refugees with a “well-founded fear of being persecuted.” Organizations like the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees were founded to ensure that states honored those commitments. The right to refuge was understood as a universal principle that all civilized states would honor; Europeans made good on this pledge when they welcomed hundreds of thousands who fled from Communist oppression in Eastern Europe. The United States, for its part, accepted nearly half a million people who fled Vietnam after the South fell in 1975.
Sweden did not need to sign treaties — though it did, of course — to demonstrate its commitment to refugees. Par Frohnert, coeditor of a book on Swedish refugee policy whose English translation is titled Reaching a State of Hope, says that while Sweden jealously guarded its ethnic homogeneity through the 1930s, in 1942 the country began admitting Norwegians fleeing the Nazis. Then came Estonians and other Balts, and then Danish Jews. As Sweden began to build its social democratic state after the war, the ready acceptance of refugees became a symbol of the national commitment to moral principle. Sweden built a system designed to deliver to refugees the same extensive social benefits that Swedes gave themselves — housing, health care, high-quality education, maternal leave, and unemployment insurance. In the 1980s, Sweden accepted not just Iranians and Eritreans, but Somalis and Kurds. More than 100,000 former Yugoslavs, mainly Bosnians, came in the 1990s. By that time, Sweden was taking about 40,000 refugees a year. In recent years, the figure has been closer to 80,000 — slightly greater than the inflow to the United States, which of course also sees itself as the world’s shelter from tyranny, but has a population almost 35 times greater.
The system worked — or at least that was the Swedish consensus. In Stockholm I went to see Lisa Pelling, who studies refugee issues at the Arena Group, a think tank associated with Sweden’s largest trade union. Pelling had once served as international secretary of the Social Democrats’ youth wing, and is very much a part of the consensus-oriented progressive establishment that runs Sweden today. “When the Bosnians came,” she pointed out, “people thought they would bring their war to the Swedish suburbs. There were neo-Nazis marching in the streets. The economy was at the lowest point since the 1930s.” Nowadays, she says, the Bosnians “are ministers in our government, they’re our doctors, our neighbors.” Swedes feel especially proud that they have so successfully integrated a Muslim population. Pelling was confident that the new wave of Syrians, Iraqis, and the like would do just as well. It seemed almost impolite to point out that, on average, the Bosnians were better educated than the newcomers are, and practice a more moderate version of Islam.
Sweden is the only country I have spent time in where the average person seems to be more idealistic than I am. Solicitous volunteers waited to help asylum-seekers at the central train station in Stockholm even though virtually all refugees were being processed in Malmo — where the Red Cross operated a far larger set-up behind the train station. Everyone seemed calm, cheerful, organized. When I worried out loud that the country was racing off a cliff, I would be reassured that Sweden has done this before and that somehow or other it would do it again. It was a given that Sweden had benefited from its commitment to providing shelter to those in need. Aron Etzler, secretary general for the Left Party — formerly the Communist Party — told me that refugees “helped us build the Sweden we wanted.” He meant both that refugees had become good Swedes and that the social democratic model was unthinkable without the commitment to accepting them. But wouldn’t the job of integrating the new wave of asylum-seekers be vastly harder, more disruptive, and more expensive? “A strong state can take care of many things,” Etzler reassured me.
Yet the past may be a poor guide to the present. The 160,000 asylum-seekers who came to Sweden last year is double the number it has ever accepted before. I met many critics who were prepared to raise impolite questions about whether Sweden could afford to lavish generous benefits on so large a population, whether it could integrate so many new arrivals with low levels of skills, whether a progressive and extremely secular country could socialize a generation of conservative Muslim newcomers. And that was before Cologne.
WHAT WE SEE IS A LEFT SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM FOR IMMIGRATION THAT WORKED UNTIL THE 1990S STARTED TO FLOOD SWEDEN WITH IMMIGRANTS AS ECONOMY WAS SLOWING----NOW THEY ARE CALLING SOCIAL DEMOCRATS RIGHT WING NATIONALISTS.
Merely to ask whether Sweden could integrate Afghans today as it had Bosnians two decades before was to risk accusations of racism.Diana Janse, a former diplomat and now the senior foreign policy advisor to the Moderate Party (which Swedes view as “conservative”), pointed out to me that some recent generations of Swedish refugees, including Somalis, had been notably unsuccessful joining the job market. How, she wondered, will the 10,000-20,000 young Afghan men who had entered Sweden as “unaccompanied minors” fare? How would they behave in the virtual absence of young Afghan women? But she could barely raise these questions in political debate. “We have this expression in Swedish, asiktskorridor,” she said. “It means ‘opinion corridor’ — the views you can’t move outside of.” Merely to ask whether Sweden could integrate Afghans today as it had Bosnians two decades before was to risk accusations of racism.
In the weeks before I arrived in Sweden, the government had begun making modest adjustments to its refugee policy. Despite the European Union’s Schengen legal regime permitting free travel between 26 countries, Sweden instituted a temporary (and thus Schengen-compliant) program to check the documents of everyone reaching its border by train, and a fraction of those arriving by car. This had no effect on refugee numbers, though it did have the bureaucratic virtue of channeling virtually everyone through Malmo, the first city in Sweden that anyone arriving by car or train from Denmark would reach.
The refugees were greeted in Hyllie, the first station across the Danish border, by several dozen border police officials, unarmed, male and female, flawlessly proficient in English, and exceptionally polite. There, the refugees were escorted upstairs to a line of waiting buses, which took them to the Migration Agency office in Malmo. The office is staffed by squads of helpful young people, as well as translators who speak Arabic, Dari, Pashto, Somali, and Tigre — the chief language of Eritrea. Nervous refugees brandished crumpled papers at anyone who looked official. I spoke to an Iraqi, Walid Ali Edo; or rather, I spoke to Edo’s uncle, Fares Krit, who had emigrated to Sweden years earlier, and translated for him. Edo was a Yazidi from Mosul. The Yazidis practice a syncretic faith that the Islamic State regards as a heresy far worse than Judaism or Christianity. When the Islamic State extremists reached the area in June 2014, they began systematically killing Yazidi men and raping and enslaving women. Edo, his wife, and his three small children raced out of town, and then trudged 50 miles north to Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan. Over the course of a year, they had made their way to Diyarbakir, in southeastern Turkey, paid $3,000 to be smuggled by boat to Greece, and then crossed Europe by foot, car, and train. Krit persuaded them to come to Sweden.
The Swedish Migration Agency is responsible for deciding who does and does not receive asylum. The agency assumes that anyone fleeing Syria has a well-founded fear of persecution or death, and thus automatically accepts such applications. Large majorities of Iraqis and Afghans are also accepted. Sweden does not take economic migrants; for this reason, authorities deny almost all migrants from Albania or Kosovo. At the same time, Sweden has made only the most modest efforts to ensure that rejected applicants actually leave. Many — no one seems to know how many — remain, living in the shadows. That may now change. In late January, the country’s interior minister instructed the Migration Agency to deport approximately one-half of applicants who are now expected to be turned down. People like Diana Janse believe that Sweden must find the hardness of heart to carry out such orders, if it is to care well for those who remain.
Sweden has traditionally interpreted the standards for asylum far more liberally than most of its neighbors have. Since 2005, Sweden has accepted those fleeing persecution by nonstate actors as well as governments, and has permitted all asylees to bring in a wide range of family members. (This rule, too, has recently been tightened.) The Migration Agency accepts applications from thousands of people from Eritrea, a nation that is autocratic but currently peaceful. When I asked Pierre Karatzian, a spokesman for the Migration Agency, why Eritreans qualified, he said that many Eritreans flee the country rather than face the draft; if Sweden returns them, they will face arrest. This, however, permits the authoritarian Eritrean government to play a cynical game in which they let citizens flee and then demand that they pay a tax on their relatively lavish earnings abroad — a kind of involuntary remittance. (I was told that Eritrean embassies track down citizens abroad and demand payment.) The system guarantees a perpetual flow of Eritreans.
Afghanistan poses a particularly thorny problem. Afghans have lately swelled the great river of refuge-seekers. The country is so profoundly insecure that many of its 32 million citizens might have a colorable claim to asylum. Germany, terrified at the prospect of new millions on the march, has said that it will not grant asylum to those from relatively safe parts of Afghanistan; it now accepts slightly less than half of Afghan applicants. By the end of 2015, far more Afghans than Iraqis were applying for asylum in Sweden; many were unaccompanied minors, placing them in a specially protected category. Sweden has extraordinary laws protecting minors: Refugees who arrive without parents are taken into the country’s social services bureaucracy, operated by each municipality though financed by the federal government.
While I was in Malmo I paid several visits to a huddle of trailers just behind the central train station, where the Red Cross had set up a welcome center for minors. One of the volunteers was a Farsi-speaking Iranian who served as a translator for the Afghans. Most of them, he said, had grown up in northeastern Iran, to which their families had fled in recent years in order to escape the violence in Afghanistan. There they lived as stateless people, generally unable to find jobs or go to school. Lisa Pelling, the refugee advocate, had told me that Iran forced the Afghans to serve in the war in Syria. Others repeated this story. This seemed unlikely, since few of the refugees seemed to be Shiites, and Iran’s Shiite rulers would hardly hand weapons to Afghan Sunnis — especially to fight Syrian Sunnis. (Nevertheless, a recent report from Human Rights Watch concludes that Iran has paid some migrants to fight in Syria, and has threatened others with deportation if they did not agree to do so.)
Denmark, among others, mandates age-testing, a somewhat rough-and-ready system using measurements of bone density.
Whether from Afghanistan or Iran, these were still children who had experienced a world of suffering. Valdana Andersson, an official at Malmo’s Social Services Agency, told me that many said they had been sexually abused by older men as part of Afghanistan’s tradition of bacha bazi, or “boy play.” Did that qualify them for asylum status? Legally, it didn’t matter, since Sweden provides asylum to virtually anyone who arrives as an unaccompanied minor. Some of them, however, were certainly not minors. Since they arrived without documents, officials simply accepted their word for their age. Denmark, among others, mandates age-testing, a somewhat rough-and-ready system using measurements of bone density. In Sweden, however, doctors have largely refused to apply the test, arguing that it is inexact and that, in any case, such tests constitute an invasion of privacy. Andersson said to me that a “minor” who looks to be 30 or so will be told, “You cannot share a room with the boys. You have to go to the Migration Agency and find a [new] room with them.”
Back at the Red Cross station, opinion was surprisingly anti-refugee, including among volunteers. The translator said that he did not believe many of the new arrivals would ever be able to integrate into Sweden’s liberal, individualistic society. A border policeman told me, “Last summer, my grandmother almost starved to death in the hospital, but the migrants get free food and medical care. I think a government’s job is to take care of its own people first, and then, if there’s anything left over, you help other people.” I had heard the same view a few months earlier in Hungary, the country in Europe most outspokenly hostile to refugees — the anti-Sweden. Europe has not experienced economic growth in almost a decade. One could hardly think of a worse moment to ask citizens to make sacrifices on behalf of outsiders. In the United States, where growth has been more robust, the fountain of charity has run dry as well.
I had, it turned out, arrived in Sweden at the very moment when the supply of goodwill was petering out. A poll in early November found that 41 percent of Swedes thought the country was taking too many refugees, up from 29 percent in September. Other surveys have found that older, less educated people had more negative views of refugees than younger, better educated ones. A few extremists have taken matters into their own hands: In October, arsonists attacked five structures set aside for refugee housing. Swedish authorities have become so jittery that I was not allowed to see any of the facilities for minors in Malmo, lest I give inadvertent clues to the address. When I said to Paula Bieler, a member of Parliament from the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrat party, that most Swedes seemed to welcome refugees, she rejoined, “Mostly the Swedes who haven’t met them. It’s the top politicians and journalists who live in the center of Stockholm.” That’s hyperbolic; Swedes have proved remarkably willing to accept a burden most other Europeans wish to shuck.
THESE POLS ARE OF COURSE GLOBAL BANKING NEO-LIBERALS----NOT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVES AND INDEED THEY DO NOT EXPERIENCE THE INSTABILITY CREATED BY ECONOMIC DISTRESS OF HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT.
The reaction against the refugees has put wind in the sails of the Sweden Democrats, as it has all over Europe. Far-right parties now rank first in polls in France, Switzerland, Austria, and elsewhere. A poll last August found that slightly more Swedes identified with the Sweden Democrats than any other. This has terrified both the ruling Social Democrats and the Moderates, who have forged a tight alliance in order to keep the Sweden Democrats from power.
Like other right-wing parties in Europe, the Sweden Democrats have tried in recent years to move away from their thuggish and quasi-fascist origins. Bieler, the daughter of Polish Jews, recoiled when I compared the party to France’s National Front, a party drenched in anti-Semitism. But the Sweden Democrats have taken a hard line on the refugees. Last November, a group of party members traveled to Lesbos — the Greek island which serves as the main transit point for refugees coming from Turkey — to distribute leaflets contradicting Sweden’s welcoming embrace. The leaflet warned that Swedish society would never accept forced marriages and polygamy — transparent code for “Islam” — and that refugees would be housed in tents and then deported. This last prediction may well prove accurate.
Unlike Americans, Swedes do not raise the subject of terrorism when they question the virtues of accepting asylum-seekers. I arrived in the country days after the Paris attacks, and I expected to hear a pitched battle over the dangers to national security posed by the newcomers. Scarcely anyone raised the issue. Sweden has not suffered a serious attack on its soil; the national mood could change very quickly if it did. But the issue that is raised — in Sweden as in Germany, Hungary, and all over Europe — is national integration. How will adding 150,000 refugees from very different cultures change Sweden?
Paula Bieler of the Sweden Democrats describes herself as a “nationalist” who fears that an increasingly multicultural Sweden is in danger of losing its identity — “the feeling that you live in a society that is also your home.” Bieler objects, not to immigrants themselves, but to the official state ideology of integration, which asks Swedes as well as newcomers to integrate into a world that celebrates diversity, and thus casts Sweden as a gorgeous mosaic. Are native Swedes to think of their own extraordinarily stable thousand-year-old culture as simply one among many national identities? Thomas Gur, a widely published critic of Sweden’s open-door policy, says that it is precisely this reaction that accounts for the popularity of the Sweden Democrats.
“You cannot talk about concepts like marriage, shame, honor,” says Gur. “You cannot talk about social trust.”There are more visceral fears, which cannot be raised inside the opinion corridor. “You cannot talk about concepts like marriage, shame, honor,” says Gur. “You cannot talk about social trust.” The fear is that the recent generations of refugees have become isolated from Swedish life, as has happened with North Africans in the French banlieues, the slums that have become incubators of alienation for many North African immigrants. Gur says that 20 years ago, Sweden had just three residential areas where significant numbers of citizens did not work and did not have access to good schools — the indispensable instrument of social mobility in Sweden’s high-tech economy. That number, he says, has now reached 186. I visited several of these areas in Malmo, and they looked vastly cleaner, smaller, and safer than any American inner city. But for Sweden, it’s something new, and troubling.
What is certainly true is that refugees take far too long to join the workforce and remain unemployed in far larger numbers than native Swedes. Tino Sanandaji, an economist and critic of refugee policy whose work has become so controversial in the Swedish media that he asked me not to name his university, says while 82 percent of adult Swedes are in the workforce, only 52 percent of immigrants from non-Western countries are — a gap that has grown rapidly in recent years. (Since virtually all Swedish immigrants arrived as refugees, the two words are often used interchangeably.) While only one-fifth of Swedes fail to graduate from high school, the figure for immigrants is one-third. Sanandaji points out that the consequence for Sweden’s generous state is a sharp increase in welfare payments, 60 percent of which go to immigrants. Sanandaji predicts that the new refugees will have an even harder time adjusting than their immediate predecessors have. Despite widespread reports that Syrian refugees are drawn largely from the educated middle class, statistics compiled by the Swedish Migration Agency show that half the new arrivals do not have a high-school degree, and one-third have not progressed beyond ninth grade. The figures are yet higher for the Afghan unaccompanied minors.
An observation that is now taken for granted in the United States — that values matter, that they are transmitted culturally, that they can be only partly changed by social institutions — is treated in Sweden as a form of racism, as well as an implicit admission of failure. Low levels of achievement aren’t “in people’s DNA,” said Aron Etzler of the Left Party. “People change, cultures change. Society is there to give people the tools.” Swedes have good reason to have faith in their social democratic model, and they seem confident that it can do again what it has done before. Virtually everyone I spoke to on the pro-refugee side insisted that Sweden was not paying a price for its open-ended commitment to refugees, but rather gaining a benefit, albeit a long-term one. I often asked what this new generation of newcomers was going to do for work. Sweden has virtually no space for unskilled workers; I’ve never seen a more automated, do-it-yourself economy. (You don’t just check yourself in at the airport; you scan your own suitcase.) The answer was always the same: Sweden’s “aging population” would provide vast job opportunities in personal health care. Maybe that’s true, though old people in Sweden seem awfully self-sufficient. You can’t push someone’s wheelchair if they’re going to cross the street on their own.
Even before Sweden slammed on the brakes, it seemed that the country had posed for itself a test that it could not pass, and could not acknowledge that it could not pass. The financial costs, even for one of Europe’s richest countries, were daunting. Sweden expects to spend about 7 percent of its $100 billion budget next year on refugees. The real number is somewhat higher, since the costs of educating and training those who have already received asylum are not included in that figure. It is, in any case, double the 2015 budget. Where will the additional funds come from? It’s not clear yet, but since the cost of caring for refugees is considered a form of development assistance, Sweden has already cut 30 percent of its very generous foreign aid budget, which largely goes to fortify the very countries from which people are now fleeing, to help make up the difference. Other European donors, including Norway, have done so as well.
The refugee issue has split Sweden’s genteel consensus as no other question has in recent memory. As Ivar Arpi, a columnist at the daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet and an inveterate critic of the country’s refugee policy, said to me, “People have lost friends over this; families are divided against one another. I’ve had agonizing discussions with my mother and my little sister.” It is very hard to find a middle ground between “we must” and “we can’t.” One of the few people I spoke to who was seeking one was Diana Janse of the Moderates. I asked her if she feared that Sweden was in the process of committing suicide. “It’s an open question,” Janse replied. She worried that the costs of Sweden’s generosity were only beginning to come due, and no one cared to tally them. She had just learned that since the right to 450 days of parental leave per child enshrined in Swedish laws also applies to women who arrive in the country with children under seven, refugees could qualify for several years’ worth of paid leave — even without working, since unemployed women also receive maternal benefits. She was convinced that Sweden needed to end the practice of giving Swedish social payments to refugees, not only because it was unaffordable, but because Sweden had no interest in out-bidding its neighbors to woo refugees.
At first the Swedish government made several very modest concessions to this ugly reality. In November, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven disclosed that migrants would no longer be granted permanent asylum, and thus no longer become eligible for the massive package of social benefits that comes with it. Applicants, if approved, would receive a three-year temporary residency permit with the possibility of renewal. Refugees could still bring in spouses and children under “family reunification” policy, but those relatives would not qualify for social benefits. In late December, Sweden finally threw in the towel. Henceforth, no one would be permitted to enter Sweden without proper identity documents. The new regulations, no longer described as temporary, violated the Schengen regimen; soon after, Austria imposed similar rules. The refugee crisis has, at least temporarily, ended free movement across borders, one of the signal achievements of the European Union.
Since many refugees arrive without passports or other valid forms of identification, the new rules sharply curtailed the number of asylum-seekers arriving overland who would be permitted to enter the country. Cross-border immigration has, in fact, come to an almost complete stop. Sweden now accepts only those refugees arriving directly from Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, and cleared by the U.N. refugee agency. After taking 160,000 refugees — 30,000 less than the maximum it had projected -- Sweden had finally run out of room, money, and patience. Even that wasn’t the final sign of Sweden’s reluctant regression to the European mean, for in January came the announcement that 80,000 refuges would face deportation.
At this moment, it is literally impossible to imagine a solution to the crisis. Unless the negotiations now underway between the Assad regime and the Syrian rebels miraculously succeed, the flow of refugees from Syria will not diminish. The Russian bombing of civilian centers in Syria is bound to further swell the ranks, as will the Iraqi campaign to retake Sunni regions — eventually, and above all, Mosul — from the Islamic State. The refugee tide may not even have crested. Despite freezing weather and high seas, 67,193 migrants crossed the Mediterranean to reach Europe in January — 13 times as many as the year before. Deaths at sea around Greece and Italy totaled 368. In all likelihood, more people will cross into Europe, and more will die trying, than was the case in 2015. The International Monetary Fund now estimates that an average of 1.3 million migrants will arrive in Europe in both 2016 and 2017.
A kind of hydraulic catastrophe is now building up over Europe and North Africa. The valves of refugee admission in Europe and the United States are closing while the taps in the Middle East remain wide open. The flow is now backing up in Greece, where tens of thousands of refugees have been trapped. Greece and other Balkan states are, at least intermittently, permitting refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan to continue moving westwards. But they won’t find a welcome there. An EU plan to distribute 160,000 refugees equitably among member states has failed so miserably that only 272 were relocated in the last four months of 2015. Only Germany is still accepting large numbers; and Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has personally championed the open-door policy, is increasingly isolated inside her own country and even her own party. The swift rightward movement of European politics has convinced many centrist and left-wing political leaders that a generous policy towards refugees will cost them their office.
Either the taps must close, or the valves must open. By far the likeliest outcome is that Europe will close off its borders to refugees arriving overland, accepting only those vetted by U.N. officials and arriving directly by airplane from Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon — as Canada agreed to do in November.
Turkey already shelters more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees, and cannot be expected to simply continue absorbing millions more.And the rest? They will back up at various European borders. New arrivals may be blocked in Turkey. This is precisely what most of the critics in Sweden advocate for. It is also what the European Union itself now foresees as the best solution to the problem. Late last year, the EU agreed to pay Turkey $3.2 billion to expand care for refugees and stem their onward flow. Turkey already shelters more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees, and cannot be expected to simply continue absorbing millions more. Many are bound to be turned back at the border. There is simply no getting around the fact that if other nations declare that they are full, tens or hundreds of thousands of people will be trapped in the maelstrom of Syria and Iraq, while countless others will continue risking their lives in desperate Mediterranean crossings.
The Swedes responded because they could not accept that outcome. They had no special obligation to act; they did so because they believed it was right. They had behaved admirably; even the hypocrisy of political correctness — their opinion corridor — may have been an indispensable adjunct to national self-sacrifice. Then, as a consequence, they were inundated, forcing a step back from the moral precipice. Can we blame them? No more than an individual can be blamed for declining to act heroically.
Yet it need not have ended this way. If their neighbors had pitched in, Sweden could have afforded the price of its remarkable generosity. At the Davos forum in January, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, said bluntly, “We are a continent of 500 million people; we could easily handle this task if we cooperated, if we met this as a union and not as individual member states.” But Europe did not cooperate. Already the Schengen rules lie in tatters. The refugee crisis threatens European foundations as even the recent euro crisis did not. “If we cannot handle this as a European union,” Lofven went on to predict, “the European Union in itself is at risk.”
Something even greater is at risk. The Europe that rose from the cataclysm of World War II understood itself not simply as a collection of peoples, white and Christian, but as a community of shared values. The refugee crisis has forced Europeans to choose between the moral universalism they profess and the ancient identities they have inherited. Eastern Europe has already reasserted its status as a white, Christian homeland — just as many people in the Middle East have reclaimed the sectarian identities they had seemed prepared to discard.
Now the Europe where the Enlightenment was born may well be making the same choice. The Muslim influx threatens Europe’s liberal, secular consensus; but rejecting the refugees also shakes one of the great pillars of that consensus. Europe may fail on both counts, driving the refugees from its doorstep while succumbing to right-wing nationalism. Americans have no reason to be complacent. It is all too possible that we will do the exact same thing.
Here is the US-Sweden-Korea triangle----yes, global corporations tied to Sweden do see US citizens as global labor pool workers just as in Mexico -----Taiwan----Malaysia BECAUSE global Wall Street pols CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA are MOVING FORWARD to making US citizens those third world workers. So, Sweden goes global banking neo-liberal pushing its citizens to EX-PAT----while South Korea sends its citizens EX-PAT and both these global EX-PATs will end up in US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones as third world sweat shop workers.
IKEA has gotten much of the press as global factories coming to US have just started -----many in the southern Republican states filled with
NO REPUBLICANS---ONLY GLOBAL BUSH NEO-CONS AND NEO-LIBERALS.
We are just starting to see MADE IN USA MOVING FORWARD to being only that global Foreign Economic Zone and its global human capital distribution system being installed in US. These policies will EXPLODE if WE THE PEOPLE keep allowing MOVING FORWARD as the solution to unemployment----
REBUILDING OUR LOCAL US ECONOMIES WITH SMALL AND REGIONAL BUSINESSES IS THE REAL LEFT SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC AND CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN ECONOMIC POLICY.
United States Becomes Sweden’s Third-World Outsourcing Destination
Posted By: JacobSloan Apr 11, 2011
“It’s ironic that IKEA looks on the U.S. and Danville the way that most people in the U.S. look at Mexico,” Street said.
When a large multinational corporation is looking to cut costs, what does it do? Send jobs overseas to a less modernized country — one where salaries are a fraction of those at home and the law provides few rights or protections for workers -- and watch the profits roll in. We are speaking, of course, of Sweden’s IKEA, and Virginia, USA. Is this our economic future? Current reports:
Here we are, folks. Sweden’s third-world sweatshop. IKEA takes advantage of the destruction to our economy caused by outsourcing jobs by outsourcing their own jobs to the U.S. — and paying less than the workers in Sweden get ($8 in the U.S., $19 + better benefits in Sweden, for making the same products), about 50% of what the median income is in Danville (the town where IKEA’s sweatshop is located), with much stricter and abusive practices in the Danville facility, and with many less rights.
They even use the same reason for the poor pay that American corporations use for their poor pay of their own third-world sweatshops in India:
(quoting from the article): ” …She acknowledged the pay gap between factories in Europe and the U.S. ‘That is related to the standard of living and general conditions in the different countries,’ Steen said.”
Here is for what a Swedish Embassy in North Korea is working -----global sweat shop factories in the Koreas taking South Koreans down to North Korean wage standards----enslavement.
I must admit I love IKEA furniture although it takes forever to put together. South Korea, Sweden, and US are seen by global 1% as the new sweat shop labor force.
This is because IKEA is marketing to surrounding global 1% and not South Korean citizens.....
'Last week, the retailer unveiled its Korean website as a teaser for the 635,000-square-foot store that’s on its way, but some consumers in the country were not impressed. The website showed items priced well above the going prices on its U.S. website, sparking comments from unhappy consumers on the retailer’s Facebook page, the paper said. The Memnes bed frame noted in the story was priced at about $330 for South Korea, more than 80% above the $179 price in the United States'.
The Biggest IKEA Store In The World Just Opened In South Korea
- Joyce Lee and Kahyun Yang, Reuters
- Dec. 18, 2014, 3:10 AM
SEOUL (Reuters) - Iconic Swedish furniture retailer IKEA built its biggest store in the world to serve South Korea's shrinking households, targeting millions of people living alone with Korea-only items like super-sized single beds and in-store kimchi rice.
The store opened on Thursday in Gwangmyeong, less than an hour's drive or 14 minutes by train from central Seoul, with a sales space nearly as big as the Louvre museum at 59,000 square meters. The previous record-holder at IKEA, known for its inexpensive, self-assembly products, was in Stockholm spanning 55,200 square meters.
Stiff domestic competition and sluggish spending have made South Korea an unhappy hunting ground for global retail giants like Wal-Mart and Carrefour, who exited years ago. But IKEA's design appeal to South Korea's urban crowds, and few big local rivals, leave it well placed, retail experts say.
"Korea has a population structure that fits IKEA's basic growth DNA — demand from design-conscious one-person and two-people households," said Suh Yong-gu, professor of marketing at Sookmyung Women's University.
With the world's fastest-aging population, South Korea's attraction has faded for general retailers. Private spending growth fell from 4.4 percent on-year in 2010 to 1.9 percent in 2013.
But IKEA, now present in 43 countries with 365 stores, could fill a niche as it plans to grow to five outlets by 2020. As younger people marry later or not at all, the number of one-person households in the nation of 51 million people will climb to 34.3 percent of the total by 2035 from 25.3 percent in 2012, according to Statistics Korea - and each home needs furniture.
IKEA will offer a new challenge to the country's legion of furniture makers, many of which are small. About 61 percent of a total of 1,247 firms in 2012 employed less than 20 people, private think tank Hana Institute of Finance said.
"I came because it's inexpensive and useful, and I wanted to buy after seeing for myself," said Woo Jin-sook, a 46-year old from Seoul. Woo said she took a day off work to be at the store's opening.
Among the 8,600 items on sale, some were modified for local tastes. The "super-single" bed, brought specifically for Korea, offers sleepers up to 40 centimeters more snooze width than a standard single bed.
Alongside its Swedish meatballs, the store's restaurant offers kimchi bibimbap, a rice bowl mixed with the spicy South Korean staple side dish, and Korean barbecue.
"We never planned the biggest store, we just planned a big store, because we believe we need one for a 23-million city (the Seoul metropolitan area)," said Patrick Schuerpf, IKEA Korea's Country Project Manager.