Archive for the ‘Globalization’ Category

When reading Jeremy Clarkson’s latest book Round the Bend, the last thing you might expect is to learn something about economics. But you do. Because instead of reviewing the Audi A4, Clarkson talks about how capitalism benefits the consumers.

Because McDonald’s and Burger King offer tasty snacks in every town in the world, anyone selling inferior burgers made from stale bread and dead horses will go out of business extremely quickly.

That’s the core of capitalism. ‘Better’ will always win the day. And it doesn’t matter what form ‘better’ takes. Better can mean cheaper, more convenient, nicer, prettier, more tasty, more healthy. […] Because the bosses of the giant corporations know this, they strive constantly to make what they sell better, and that’s brilliant for you and me.

When was the last time you had a faulty cigarette? When was the last time your plane crashed? When did you last take a strawberry back to the supermarket because it was all covered in slime? It’s not governments or best-before dates or health and safety that is doing this; it’s capitalism.

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I already wrote about Leonard E. Read’s essay “I, Pencil” last year: economics in two minutes. But now the Competitive Enterprise Institute has produced a beautiful video that also tells the story:

Each part of the pencil is the result of the collaboration and cooperation of millions of people.

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Every once in a while newspapers write about something that happened five, ten, twenty, or fifty years ago. It is a common practice and it helps to understand history and development if you think in those long-term periods.

The other day I read about something that happened exactly five years ago: the launch of the first Apple iPhone.

So I went on the internet and found this video of the presentation of the first iPhone in January of 2007. Former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs presents it and talks about a revolutionary product. And you notice the amazing development private enterprises have achieved when you consider that those things that were outstanding in 2007 are now either common standard or completely outdated. Just compare the audience’s reactions and what you can do with an ordinary cell phone everyday in 2012:

It’s funny how everyone was so amazed when he scrolled down! (16:10 min)

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In November 2010, economist Martin Jacques, author of “When China Rules the World”, gave an interesting 20-minute speech at the TED Salon in London. He discusses how China differs from the Western world and how its rise will affect people in Europe and the United States.

Martin Jacques: Understanding the rise of China 

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outsourcing

In a recent article for Project Syndicate, Jagdish Bhagwati, Professor of Economics and Law at Columbia University, criticizes common beliefs about outsourcing:

The Outsourcing Bogeyman

In short, everyone wins from outsourcing of services. Alas, few understand this.

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