My first semester of graduate work is coming to an end. I am pretty tired, but have enjoyed myself a lot. Probably because I am not working, but enjoyment prevailed none the less. Today I must finish statistics homework (four problems on simple linear regression), write two healthcare policy memos, and a 3 page essay for my course in globalization.
My last exam is on the 6th of August and then I am leaving for a train trip to Portland, OR a few days later. I am super excited, except that my camera is not working and I do not think I can get it repaired before I go.
I am really enjoying being back in Pittsburgh. It is sort of sad to think that the sort of work I want to do will probably not allow me to stay here after next May. Lots of my friends are here and I really enjoy the town. Just another adventure to be had I guess.
Listened to: Sun Will Set
from the album “One Cello x 16: Natoma
” by Zoë Keating
Yesterday I was sitting in class and this woman decided to eat her dinner while we were there. She had a huge roast beef hoagie, a bowl of grapes, cookies, and some sort of tea. She was as big as a house and the amount of food was incredible. The hoagie was so big that she would shake when she opened her mouth in order to eat it. The quivering was not from excitement, but she had to stretch her jaw more than was naturally allowed in order to get her lips around it. I think it took her about 3.5 minutes to eat the entire thing.
I am writing a paper for my class on Globalization. I am trying to write my first policy paper on Argentina and how organized labor helped rehabilitate it from the punch to the gut liberalization gave that country.
Here is my quick brain storm on the type of research I want to do. We live in a globalized liberal economy. An important feature of free-market liberal economies is to make profit. What tends to cost the most? Wages.
Organized labor has the responsibility to fight for good and high wages for the working class it represents.
Employers are looking for labor markets that reduce their wage expense, and unions, by their very definition keep wages high. This is a cat and mouse game of tantamount proportions. Wherever the jobs go, unions follow and organize the workforce, and then the employer leaves for a different labor market, and it starts over. Everyone is following their role.
How do we stop this cycle? The obvious is to organize everyone and maintain strength so employers have no place to run, but we all know that is impossible.
The other initiative is for the state to become the employer, we’ve seen this in action, but it was under attack from day one, thus we do not have much solid empirical data. What we do know is that a system like this, that is always defending itself from the capitalist juggernaut, tends toward extreme inefficiency.
I think an answer to the short-term lies somewhere in Argentina. Globalization is here to stay and it doesn’t seem to be disappearing in my lifetime. Argentina decided to go through its liberal transformation and when it did everything fell apart.
I think that liberalization is survivable if a country had a strong organized labor class beforehand that can basically work as intermediaries in the process. We know that when the capitalists were scurrying about what to do during the Argentine Economic crisis the actual factory workers kept industry afloat by taking ownership of these factories and continuing doing work.
Surviving globalization lies somewhere in here. If we must assume the free-market as the path we are on then maybe we can take a lesson from Argentina and make sure organized labor is strong and at the frontline.
I am going to begin writing a paper that will look at these three elements. If anyone can recommend sources that I should be pouring through, please do so in the comments.
I am looking to buy/borrow Financial Management for Public, Health, and Not-for-Profit by Steven Finkler, Guide to Presentations by Mary Munter, and Statistics for Business & Economics by James T McClave. If anyone has these let me know.