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Globalism

Millennium Mobilization (2/00)

Over the past 10 years, popular and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have markedly increased their influence in global decision-making. Now these groups are coming together to forge a common agenda, put recommendations on the table, and take united action to solve our common problems.

From April 2-8, for example, the inaugural session for a permanent Global People’s Assembly (GPA) will be held in Apia, Samoa. The momentum has been building for many years. The Millennium People’s Assembly Network (MPAN) held five sessions during the Hague Appeal for Peace Conference, with some 30 delegations attending. A Provisional Delegates Council was formed to move ahead with planning between meetings of the GPA. read more

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Globalism

Tobin Tax to Temper Speculation (5/00)

The destructive turbulence of global markets has aroused interest in a measure that would not only calm the financial waters but also perhaps eliminate abject poverty. In 1978, Professor James Tobin proposed a 0.5 percent tax on foreign exchange transactions. The effect of what has since become known as the Tobin Tax would be to reduce exchange-rate volatility caused by short-term, speculative transactions, which enrich the few and impoverish the many.

The value of international exchange transactions is generally estimated at more than $1.5 trillion each day, of which a mere 5 percent is directly related to settlements for traded goods and services. The short-term transactions can mostly be classified as unproductive speculation. read more

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Globalism

Revolutionalizing Globalism (3/00)

During the 1980s and early 90s, many cities saw their social and economic woes grow worse as the federal government stepped back from economic planning, human services, and affordable housing. Increasingly, suburban sprawl and the globalization of our economy threatened the sustainability of communities everywhere. Forced to take up the slack, to do more with less, and to confront challenges from far beyond their borders, many local governments found that they could do little to arrest community decline or promote economic development. read more

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Globalism

Weapons in Space (9/99)

The Persian Gulf War convinced the US military that "space dominance and space control" were necessary. Using its satellite supremacy, the Pentagon pre-targeted Iraq’s vital military installations, and hit over 90 percent of its targets within the first few hours. This gave the US the ability to control the entire battlefield. The rest of the war was essentially an opportunity to test new weapons systems.

Afterward, Pentagon spokespersons predicted that if other enemies could be prevented from gaining access to military space assets, the US could dominate any battlefield situation. An urgent call went out for anti-satellite weapons that could knock out competitors’ eyes and ears. Less than a decade later, the war in Kosovo was used to show the world that the goal has been achieved. read more

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Globalism

Dystopia or Hope? ( 2/00)

Almost a century ago, novelist and muckraker Upton Sinclair weighed in on the millennial debate with a play that predicted worldwide devastation when a radioactive element causes a deadly explosion on New Year’s Eve. Called The Millennium, his script follows the attempts of a handful of survivors to create a new society. Oddly enough, the long-lost play, written in 1908 yet never performed publicly, is a comedy in which utopia prevails and all the characters live happily ever after. read more

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Globalism

Beyond Fear of Government (12/99)

Looking at the behavior of many political leaders, it’s easy to conclude that government itself isn’t to be trusted. Whether the men (and occasionally women) in charge head regimes dominated by military cliques or ethically-challenged bureaucrats, they rarely inspire much faith that the State will consistently promote fairness and protect individual rights in exchange for the power it assumes and penalties it imposes.

In the US, this suspicion dates back to the colonial secession from England – a primal rejection of illegitimate central authority. Since then, distrust and fear of government has fueled many forms of resistance – from Daniel Shays’ 1786 tax revolt to Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building. But as Gary Wills argues in his study of government distrust, A Necessary Evil, the real victims of this attitude "are the millions of poor or shelterless or medically indigent who have been told, over the years, that they must lack care or life support in the name of their very own freedom. Better for them to starve than to be enslaved by Ă”big government.’ That is the real cost of our anti-government values." read more