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Questioning the New World Order

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"The Gear Biz" by Hal Clifford (HCN, 10/27/03: The Gear Biz) acknowledged the deleterious effects of NAFTA and the WTO on U.S. manufacturing jobs, but failed to provide the perspective of U.S. workers put out of work by such policies. What do the Navajos who used to work in the Osprey textile factory have to say about the decision to move operations to Vietnam?

Clifford did not suggest that the policies of economic globalization should be changed; rather, he suggested that the West’s only hope for any sort of "sustainable" economy is to accept the unstable and speculative trends of the corporate global economy.

Osprey founder Mike Pftotenhauer’s comment that "when the American consumer begins to understand all the hidden costs that underlay cheap goods, maybe they will find it truly more economical to buy their goods locally made" was the only hint of hope the article gave for stable manufacturing jobs in the West. But dropping responsibility on "consumer choice" instead of citizen action to create a sustainable economy is a sad diversion from the ideals of democracy that supposedly underlie our society.

"The Big Story Written Small" by Ray Ring (HCN, 10/14/03: The Big Story Written Small), described the loss of locally controlled mass media to concentrated ownership by large corporations and the accompanying loss of thoughtful journalism. To meet the need for bold and provocative analysis in journalism instead of acceptance of the status quo, HCN could provide a stronger critique of corporate global economic policies and inspire democratic citizen — not "consumer" — action for change.

Miguel Flynn
Arcata, California
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