Why I'm Pro Globalization

First, the anti-Globalists have to admit there's not much we have to say in the matter.

Pretending that the USA and Europe can isolate themselves, and that Asia, Africa, and Latin America's 6 billion people are going to develop better or more slowly without us is an a priori joke.  There simply is no solution to "globalization" and kvetching about it is like complaining about getting old.  Hippy grandparents yearning for the good old days of starvation and smallpox in poor countries is not my scene.  Wealth is increasing (see chart below) in countries which trade most.

No thank you, Daisy Racism
So, if the cat is out of the bag, so to speak, are ideas like alter-globalization and fairtrade going to do better if the rich and well regulated consumers get on the sidelines and boycott the emerging markets?  Of course not. The poor benefit more when they have more choice of people to trade with.

Third, having lived in Africa and having opened a recycling factory in Latin America, and having traded millions of dollars of goods with Asia, I can tell you that the Tin-Tin comics image of the emerging world is about as accurate as Uncle Toms Cabin in describing Atlanta.   The image of "primitive wire burning" recyclers around the world is intensely over-played, to the point of racial profiling, and belongs with "Arab terrorist" and "American cowboy" and "Japanese kamikaze".  All those anecdotes exist, but if that's your primary image of Dubai, Houston or Tokyo, you are ignorant.  Ignorant means "stupid with hope for a cure", though I'm sometimes afraid the condition is chronic.

Boycott as a response to "globalization" is like burning libraries to prevent pornography.  It's that damn stupid.  As a lifelong environmentalist who had devoted my life to recycling, I am ashamed to the point of tears that the "green movement" has harbored racist images of fixers and tinkerers, technicians and geeks.  We hurt the American economy when we shred items of value which could have been exported, and we hurt the buyers who then buy used product from Hong Kong or Shanghai with fewer choices.  Worse, when we shred up rare earth magnets and turn circuit boards into "fluff" to avoid superior hand disassembly, we help mining.
Mining is what builds the roads that kill the gorillas.  Mining "non-toxic" tin from Indonesian coral islands is what kills the sharks.  White eco-witch-doctors need to stop prescribing death.

If you are a "green" environmentalist, and you have friends who are global isolationists, tell them to get on a fair trade bandwagon, because boycotts are the new segregation, giving sinister meaning to "the new black".

Give the developing world a choice of jobs besides warrior, miner, poacher, sex worker... let them refurbish and recycle, give them incentives and tools, implement contracts to reduce child labor by paying adult wages.  Give boy scout badges for recycling to the poster children, and say "shame on you" to "watchdogs" who exploit poster children for money and don't share a dime with the kids.

I'm a globalist because I have friends in Africa, Latin America, and Asia who I met through trade, and we treat each other as equals, and we have all benefited.  My children eat with their children, my wife meets with my partners and their sisters and brothers.  None of this would have happened if I had been afraid to cross the tracks and trade with brown people.  I see my friends profiled, and I'm called names for expressing my loyalty to them.  Very harsh names.   I was too young to join the Civil Rights marches in the American south. But I learned enough about those marches, from my home in Arkansas, that I can spot a person using "inference" to make recycling, repair, and trade look  like it's causing poverty.


JTouch: Long Live the Hardware Kings

Americans (and everyone else) loves the touchpad screens on HTC Evo, IPhone, Samsung Galaxy, etc. i-Everyone is aware of i-something and e-waste.  What does J Stand For?

No, Steve Jobs didn't e-invent the i-touchscreen.  Apple saw the beauty of the nice, tight little Asian displays, and quickly worked to design an operating system to implement them.  But now Google Android and Microsoft have caught up, and I don't know how long it will take for someone in Asia to start making software.

JTOUCH... Only 2,400 employees.  CEO Yeh Yu Chou, his phone number is still listed on the web.
J Touch Corporation is principally engaged in the manufacture and distribution of touch panels. The Company's major products include resistive touch panels, capacitive touch panels and traditional touch panels. The Company's products are applied in the manufacture of smart phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), portable navigation devices (PNDs), commercial point of sale (POS) tools and business applications, among others. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company obtained approximately 99.68% of its total revenue from touch panels. The Company distributes its products primarily in Asian markets. - Reuters
Find the Taiwanese Executive.  I see Japan, I see South Korea, I see China... Working together to produce films and cultural cooperatation.  Because these guys don't want a stupid war in Asia, not over Sino/Japanese islands or the Taiwan straight or Korean "unification".  They even avoid patent wars, at least better than Americans do.


They are not "outsourced".  They ARE the Source.   Let's hope they make enough money to buy beef and cars made in America, because the genie ain't going back in the 1955 Display Device catalogue.

Now you can find $40 pads in Shenzhen (see "Death of Hardware").   I researched this, because the "death of hardware" headline looked to me like another case where we think that because "Polaroid Died" and "Eastman Kodak Died", that the headline is that "Cameras Died".

Hardware isn't dead.   JTouch is a company you never heard of, and they are making a billion dollars a quarter.  And they can produce the hardware cheaply enough now to sell it to people earning $6,000 per year.  That's a lot of people, a big market, a market bigger than a USA patent lawsuit can leverage.

In fact, the entire story of screen display technology "outsourcing", by Apple, or by whomever, as told by Romney and Obama, is a completely hysterical fiction.  IBM stopped making CRT monitors in NY in the early 1990s.  And that, my friends, was because Asia already owned the CRT business by then.

"Hardware is Dead"?   The king is dead, long live the king.  Incredibly good, profoundly useful, and shockingly cheap gadgets are going to change our industry.  They won't stop.  The question is whether the idea to make them non-repairable is ingrained in the industry now, and whether they will become like light bulbs, produced too cheaply to fix first, then re-designed to fail faster... or whether, mercifully, buyers in the $6000 income bracket won't put up with that.  In the USA, display panels are already becoming the new ink cartridge, and we barely finished breakfast.  But in Guangzhou, you can buy printed reverse-engineering books which tell you how to repair (or remanufacture, or counterfeit) every electronic device on the market, and if one gets a reputation for being "all glue and no screw," they may find USA and Europe to be their only market.

JTouch to increase revenues in 4Q12 from tablet product orders
Siu Han, Taipei; Alex Wolfgram, DIGITIMES [Thursday 4 October 2012]
Taiwan-based touch panel maker JTouch is expected to see fourth-quarter 2012 revenues hit the highest quarterly level of the year due to increased orders for touch screen panels used in tablets, according to industry sources.
The company is seeing increased orders mainly from international companies such as Samsung Electronics for its 10.1-inch tablets and is increasing its overall proportion of production of touch screen products used in small- to medium-size devices, added the sources.
JTouch has also been improving its production capacity throughout 2012 and is increasing the number of customers from China, added the sources.
JTouch's revenues for the third quarter are estimated at NT$1.4 billion (US$47.7 million), up 40%...
See Digitimes for more

4 Key E-Waste Tactics: Inference, Allegation, Indictment, Guilt?

Why should exports of used electronics be outlawed?  Let's look at the case Basel Action Network makes in its campaign to stop the used electronics trade.

The "watchdog" campaign to end USA's used electronics exports relies on inferences, allegations, indictments, and even proven guilt.  Which is which, and how concerned should environmentalists be?

1) Inference:  Poor children are found amid piles of e-scrap, and pollution is found amid piles of e-scrap.  The inference is that the e-scrap was imported, and that the pollution, the poverty, and associated risk to children will be reduced through prohibition.

- First, the water pollution in Guiyu comes largely from the textile mills in the area.  But some of the burning of copper and boards is certainly going to add to the pollution in the short term.  Did the material come directly off of a boat laden with imports?

Or was it material imported years ago?  Or was it recently imported, but a percentage of residue (e.g. 15%) of otherwise clean scrap or reuse product?  Or.. just perhaps.. does the fact China generates more "e-waste" than the USA have something to do with it?

And are the children helped more by prohibition or by investing in safer processes?  Is the problem manual disassembly, or fire?  I say fire is the problem and e-scrap can be recycled without fire, just as cotton can be picked without slaves.

BAN is good, really good, at inference.


Subjugation vs. Exploitation: Fear and Guilt

A black slave in South Carolina stands up and talks to the other slaves about learning to read.

A woman in puritan New England demonstrates cunning.

A woman in Saudi Arabia wants to tuck back her veil and drive a car.

A labor contract manufacturer begins to make their own brand on a third shift from reused parts.

An Indian woman elopes to marry outside her caste, erasing the dowry negotiations of her parents.

sub·ju·ga·tion

  [suhb-juh-gey-shuhn] noun
the act, fact, or process of subjugating or bringing under controlenslavement: The subjugation of the American Indians happened across the country.
- - - -

This is about the cultural cognition of risk, leveraged by a combination of quasi-religious faith and societal leveraging of a zero-sum concept of "exploitation", to subjugate groups for financial reasons.