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A World of Fears About Elitist Globalization

June 06, 2005

As a member of the working class, I found it instructive that the "neo-liberal" catechistic editorial "The French No" (June 1) and "Why Europeans Are Mad as Hell at the New Europe" (Commentary, June 2) by "neoconservative" Max Boot converged in lock step (or lock think) to look down an apparently shared patrician nose at the sarcastically portrayed job security concerns of the French working class, i.e., "Polish plumbers invading Paris."

The neo-(fill in the blank) elites, who smell a victory for the new world order just over the dunghill if only old Europe would convert to global capitalist theology and "dump the labor unions," outsource to seek absolute advantage, etc., obviously haven't a clue about what it is like to fear for the loss of a livelihood while leading a "life of quiet desperation" as the new religion and its sneering prophets in the media preach salvation but deliver squat.

Jack Devine

Torrance

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Europeans are not "mad as hell," as Boot suggests.

They are simply uneasy about the long-term consequences of government totally subservient to economics, on the one hand, and even further removed from the citizen, on the other. It is not economics in the abstract either, but rather economic "law" as laid down by the comfortable for those who are less so.

And if America still had an independent press, we would be concerned as well.

Siegfried Othmer

Woodland Hills

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Re "The Borders Are Closing," Commentary, June 1: Although I'm no economist, as a humanist it seems that the first step to popularizing globalization would be to enlist the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the International Labor Organization as well as governments worldwide to develop and implement a viable, global minimum wage.

This step seems logical and long overdue, for how is the argument in favor of globalization -- that from it we'll all eventually profit -- buttressed by profits funneled almost exclusively to the haves and not shared equitably with the have-nots?

How does an increasingly lopsided balance between executive pay and worker pay, here at home and abroad, encourage international consensus, and why should it?

Why not expand and empower both the labor force and the consumer base globally and locally? Maybe then, and only then, will opponents relent.

Plato told Aristotle that no member of a community ought to earn more than five times the pay of the lowest worker in the community.

Wise words, and until and unless the gap between per capita incomes is bridged, globalization will continue to be a subsidy for the already wealthy and a pernicious weapon for the already powerful.

Frederic E. Bloomquist

San Pedro

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