Still working on A Foreigner's View of the River. The last few days have been a blur. I think I slept. I know I slept somewhat, because I remember people coming in and out of my room at intervals, most likely trying to wake me up. Between that, there was lots of tea. When I have too many cups of tea, I stay up at night thinking topically* -- like about the merits of cheap Asian labour and how protectionist economic policies against their stealing work from other countries in the region go against the principles of a truly globalized environment. In spite of the niceties of having a WTO, globalization is cutthroat capitalism. The countries that most often talk about opening up someone else's markets often also have the most protectionist labour policies, the most heavily unionized workforces and the most profound subsidies. This appears to be in conflict with the sort of capitalism practised in East Asia, for example, where market demand is king and where the lack of regulation means there is a high turnover in the workforce. That turnover rate seems directly connected to the working attitude in East Asia. Every kind of work available is necessary. Even jobs Westerners might snub. Losing a job or stopping work for some petty wage protest is unheard of, in many places, even rude. This is how people make careers out of being telephone operators. The drive, after all, is to make lots of spending money, not how comfortable the work is.
The way I saw it, cutthroat capitalism is necessary. It's a force of evolution. Weeding out people who will not survive by adaptation to the environment is tragic, but a necessary part of the cycle. Dynamism brings entrepreneurship. Flux brings creativity. And such.
And then I ran out of tea.
* When I'm merely an insomniac, I just think lewd thoughts.