globalization http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7793/all en-US The sinking dollar, as viewed from overseas http://www.wisebread.com/the-sinking-dollar-as-viewed-from-overseas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-sinking-dollar-as-viewed-from-overseas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/foreign-currency-and-coins_0.jpg" alt="Foreign currency and coins" title="Foreign curency and coins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>To someone in the US, the decline in the value of the dollar has mainly made itself felt up to now in the form of increases in the prices of globalized commodities--everything from <a href="/plan-for-expensive-fuel">oil</a> to <a href="/nonfat-dry-milk-no-longer-a-frugal-alternative">nonfat dry milk</a>. Consumer goods, even though many are imported, have only just very recently begun to show price increases. When you look at the picture as viewed from overseas, though, it&#39;s not as simple as just seeing the reverse.</p> <p>The most straightforward effect of of a lower dollar is that stuff manufactured in the US would be cheaper overseas.</p> <p>What, you may ask, is manufactured in the US anymore? Actually, quite a bit. The <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/current_press_release/">US still exports</a> hundreds of billions of dollars worth of jet airliners, computers, telecommunications gear, and industrial machinery (together with parts for all those things). There are also thriving US industries selling things like chemicals and plastics. There&#39;s even good sales of consumer goods--especially medicines, but also toys, games, sporting goods, musical instruments, etc.</p> <p>All that stuff, together with agricultural goods, has added up to some $850 billion so far this year. Which means, since those dollars are down from €1.00 for a dollar to just €0.67 over the past 5 years, all that stuff is on sale. (The dollar is down similarly against the Canadian dollar over the same period from close to $1.60 Canadian to about $1.00 now.)</p> <p>So, on the one hand, with all that stuff on sale, you&#39;d expect to sell more. And we <strong>are</strong> selling more, but only to a modest extent, due to the many delays and complications inherent in trade. (How many jet airliners that US companies sell depends more than anything else on how many were ordered over the past couple of years. Drug sales are mainly a function of the latest medical research on the best treatments for various conditions and how many people have those conditions.) Being able to get them with cheap dollars will change things around the margins, but even for things where price changes make an immediate difference in how much people want to buy, there are still manufacturing constraints, shipping constraints, and so on. </p> <p>Even so, to the extent that US companies still make stuff--and that&#39;s a considerable extent, despite globalization and outsourcing--those companies can now sell stuff cheap enough that they can really compete.</p> <p>What that means is that, where there&#39;s a direct foreign competitor, that competitor is now comprehensively screwed. Just like US companies, those companies have already outsourced as much as they can. Any work that hasn&#39;t been outsourced has only been kept because the skill set just doesn&#39;t exist overseas or national policy requires that it be kept. So, with US companies being able to pay their workers with dollars that are only worth €0.67, European, Canadian, and other manufacturers are facing some serious competition.</p> <p>Of course, this requires that the US company actually be a competitor. This means, for example, that Airbus is in more trouble than, say, Toyota. (The yen is actually not up nearly as much against the dollar.) </p> <p>To the small company that&#39;s providing goods and services for the local market, this isn&#39;t so bad. They were already competing with all the usual globalized suspects; giving the US an extra 30% edge doesn&#39;t help, but any market where it would make the difference has probably already been grabbed by some much cheaper global player.</p> <p>For the major European and Canadian companies doing business in global markets, though, this is very bad news. </p> <p>Of course, major companies have large tax bills and large workforces. A drop in business would lead to lower tax revenues for the countries. It would also lead to layoffs--layoffs of voters. Those realities are going to put serious pressure on governments to &quot;do something&quot; about the value of the dollar. </p> <p>What can be done? Well, any central bank can hold the value of its currency down as low as it wants, if it&#39;s willing to buy an arbitrarily large amount of the other currency. That&#39;s what China has been doing for years now. The result, though, is inflation. The other central banks can join the game, if they want. They probably don&#39;t. In fact, even China is getting out, having decided that it&#39;s really got all the dollars it wants.</p> <p>Beyond that, there will be political pressure brought to bear, but it&#39;s hard to bring that sort of pressure to bear on the US. A falling dollar makes Americans poorer in some sense, but not in ways that prompt ordinary people to demand better from their government. In the old days of the gold standard, the pressure would appear in the form of foreign sellers demanding actual gold instead of mere paper, the excess paper money that leads to a collapsing currency would be automatically curtailed. Nowadays, though, the pain of a falling currency is very much spread around--foreigners suffer about as much as Americans, and neither suffers so very much as to make the value of the dollar a major political issue.</p> <p>Things will likely go on as they have, with people who have dollars trying to find something of value to spend them on. Once you&#39;ve bought all the jet airliners, network switches, and soy beans that you want, you&#39;re pretty much down to buying stuff for investment. <a href="/treasury-bills-for-ordinary-folks">US treasury securities</a> have been a popular choice, but US interest rates are now low enough that they wouldn&#39;t seem particularly attractive, even if they didn&#39;t face the obvious problem that your investment would still be in US dollars. US companies, with the credit problems stemming from the housing bubble and subprime loan debacle, should only be bought with a keen understanding of the underlying business. Still, there&#39;s plenty of other stuff worth buying in the US--land, for example. There&#39;s lots of that going on.</p> <p>There&#39;s a lot of anxiety about this issue. The US dollar is important enough in world trade, that if it keeps going down, trade will become disordered. There are enough dollars in the hands of people all over the world--foreign governments and their central banks, major corporations, wealthy individuals--that there&#39;s a serious incentive for them to get their governments to do something. And there are plenty of theories about just how bad that something could turn out to be. Personally, though, I don&#39;t find any of the doom scenarios very compelling.</p> <p>A complete collapse in the dollar is unlikely, because there&#39;s so much stuff you can buy with dollars that the currency will continue to have some value--it won&#39;t go straight to zero. Further, its slide in value is self-limiting because eventually both voters and the wealthy elite in the US will insist that it not fall further.</p> <p>The individual outside the US is really a bit player in this. You&#39;re mostly not in a position to buy farmland in the US or hedge your future purchases against currency fluctuations. If you work for a multinational corporation that pays its workers in some currency other than the dollar, but which competes with companies that do pay their workers in dollars, you might want to be a bit worried about your job; even if jobs aren&#39;t lost, raises and promotions are going to be harder to come by. Beyond that, enjoy the occasional cheap thing you can get that&#39;s made in the US.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-sinking-dollar-as-viewed-from-overseas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-sinking-dollar">The sinking dollar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nonfat-dry-milk-no-longer-a-frugal-alternative">Nonfat dry milk--no longer a frugal alternative</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-budgeting-pocketsmith-helps-you-forecast">Beyond Budgeting: Pocketsmith Helps You Forecast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-good-manners-make-you-wealthier">5 Ways Good Manners Make You Wealthier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance canadian dollar dollar euro exchange rates globalization Sun, 25 Nov 2007 13:39:39 +0000 Philip Brewer 1425 at http://www.wisebread.com Why is bread so expensive? http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-bread-so-expensive <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-is-bread-so-expensive" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wheat-price-graph.png" alt="Graph of rising price of wheat" title="Price of wheat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="178" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having given us some good tips on dealing with the <a href="/what-to-do-about-the-rising-cost-of-bread">rising cost of bread</a>, Myscha asked me to provide a bit of analysis on <strong>why</strong> bread has become so expensive. Oddly, the reasons behind the rise in the price of bread are almost the opposite of the reasons behind the rise in the price of nonfat dry milk that we talked about a couple of days ago.</p> <p>The spike in the <a href="/nonfat-dry-milk-no-longer-a-frugal-alternative">price of nonfat dry milk</a> is due mainly to it being a globalized commodity. A <a href="/the-sinking-dollar">falling dollar</a>, combined with production shortfalls anywhere in the world, cause nonfat dry milk to flow out of the US to meet rising world-wide demand, resulting in rising prices in the US.</p> <p>The price of bread, on the other hand, has risen in large measure because it&#39;s market is <strong>not</strong> a global one. The reasons for that are:</p> <ul> <li>It&#39;s not durable--even if you could keep the loaves from being crushed, it goes stale too quickly.</li> <li>It&#39;s not compact--a container full of bread isn&#39;t worth enough to make it profitable to ship. It certainly isn&#39;t worth enough to pay for the sort of fast shipping that would get it to market while it was still fresh.</li> <li>It&#39;s not uniform--ask someone what bread is and you&#39;ll get a different answer from someone in the United States than you would in France, and a very different answer from someone in India. Even within the US there are regional differences. Nonfat dry milk, on the other hand, is the same everywhere.</li> </ul> <p>The result of that is that there hasn&#39;t been much in the way of cheap imports to hold down the price of bread.</p> <p>To that is added a general increase in the price of the inputs to bread, especially the price of wheat, but more fundamentally, the price of energy.</p> <p>An increase in the price of oil makes everything cost more. Everything takes energy to make, and everything takes energy to ship to your local store. Beyond that, there are second-order effects--the strong price of ethanol made corn so profitable that huge amounts of <a href="http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=45566">land that might have grown other crops</a> have been used for corn. The result has been a reduction in acres planted in wheat (and many other crops--barley, sorghum, soybeans, etc.), leading to higher wheat prices.</p> <p>After briefly spiking very high in 2006 (and still being at levels that were high historically when 2007 planting decisions were being made), the price of ethanol has moderated just a bit, and that has led corn prices to back off just a bit. They&#39;re still high enough, though (and oil prices are most definitely still high enough), that we&#39;re likely to see the same forces stay in place next year, keeping wheat prices--and bread prices--high.</p> <p>As for what to do about it, I refer you back to <a href="/what-to-do-about-the-rising-cost-of-bread">Myscha&#39;s article</a>. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-bread-so-expensive">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-creative-uses-for-stale-cereal">5 Creative Uses for Stale Cereal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nonfat-dry-milk-no-longer-a-frugal-alternative">Nonfat dry milk--no longer a frugal alternative</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-uses-for-stale-bread">17 Uses for Stale Bread</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink bread fuel globalization rising cost of wheat Wed, 07 Nov 2007 20:40:41 +0000 Philip Brewer 1372 at http://www.wisebread.com Nonfat dry milk--no longer a frugal alternative http://www.wisebread.com/nonfat-dry-milk-no-longer-a-frugal-alternative <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nonfat-dry-milk-no-longer-a-frugal-alternative" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/nonfat-milk-price-graph.png" alt="Graph of nonfat dry milk prices with 100% jump in past year" title="Nonfat Dry Milk Prices 1976-2007" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For more than thirty years, nonfat dry milk was a frugal staple. For things like baking and making yogurt, it was as good as fresh milk. Not many people wanted to drink the stuff, but a whole generation of frugal folks knew you could use it as an extender--make up a quart of nonfat dry milk and mix it with a gallon of fresh milk. (See Myscha&#39;s <a href="/powdered-milk-solutions-for-dairy-lovers">Powdered Milk Solutions for Dairy Lovers</a> for other good ways to use nonfat dry milk.)</p> <p>Since late summer last year, though, nonfat dry milk has been priced more like a gourmet specialty item than as the frugal alternative it used to be.</p> <p>To put it in context, food prices overall are up 4.5%, dairy and &quot;related products&quot; are up 13.1%, but nonfat dry milk is up 104%! At that price, it&#39;s literally as cheap to use fresh milk as it is to use dry. (Data from the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/cpi/">Bureau of Labor Statistics</a> and <a href="http://future.aae.wisc.edu/tab/prices.html">Brian Gould, UW Madison</a>.)</p> <p>What happened? The market for nonfat dry milk is a global one. Just lately we&#39;ve had one of those perfect storms of supply and demand changes that commodities markets see from time to time.</p> <p>The major exporters of nonfat dry milk are the United States, the European Union, and Australia. Here are some of the recent shifts that have impacted the price of nonfat dry milk:</p> <ul> <li>For the past five years, Australia has suffered a severe drought. It has <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2007/s1943065.htm">cut Australian milk production</a> by 20%; this year&#39;s production is down by a billion liters.</li> <li>Over the past two years, the EU has been <a href="http://useu.usmission.gov/agri/dairy2.html">cutting farm subsidies</a> in a way that encourages the production of cheese over nonfat dry milk, and has also ended all dairy export subsidies.</li> <li>A July heat wave in California <a href="http://dairyoutlook.aers.psu.edu/reports/Pub2006/DairyOutlookNov2006.pdf">killed large amounts of dairy cattle</a>--and California produces over half of the US&#39;s nonfat dry milk. Milk production in the US has only in the past couple of months climbed back to year-ago levels.</li> <li>The <a href="/the-sinking-dollar">weak US dollar</a> has made US nonfat dry milk cheaper overseas, leading to higher US exports.</li> <li>There&#39;s been strong US demand for milk proteins and strong world-wide demand for cheese. Meeting this demand has consumed milk that might otherwise have gone to making nonfat dry milk powder.</li> </ul> <p>All that has added up to the recent spike in price for nonfat dry milk.</p> <p>Having given all that attention to the market, I ought to also mention an important non-market force: government dairy subsidies. The change in the EU subsidy for nonfat dry milk is just one example. All these programs have complex effects on prices for dairy products. For example, in the US there&#39;s a support price of $0.80 per pound for nonfat dry milk. At current prices, that&#39;s not going to affect supplies, but in any market that has the kind of pervasive price support structures that the dairy market has, one has to be careful when analyzing sources of price shifts. </p> <p>With US production returning to normal, I think we&#39;ll see nonfat dry milk prices begin to moderate, but as long as the US dollar remains weak and the drought in Australia continues, export demand will keep the price higher than its historical average.</p> <p>(Thanks to Professor Bob Cropp at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the lowdown on recent nonfat dry milk price shifts.)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nonfat-dry-milk-no-longer-a-frugal-alternative">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-meaning-of-milk-label-colors">The Meaning of Milk Label Colors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/horizon-organic-milk-is-it-all-just-lies">Horizon Organic Milk: Is it All Just Lies?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-versus-localization">Trade versus localization</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-bread-so-expensive">Why is bread so expensive?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/menu-planning-backwards-and-forwards">Menu Planning Backwards and Forwards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink exchange rates global trade globalization milk milk savings thrifty cooking Mon, 05 Nov 2007 21:07:56 +0000 Philip Brewer 1355 at http://www.wisebread.com Trade versus localization http://www.wisebread.com/trade-versus-localization <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/trade-versus-localization" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/farmers-market-narrow.jpg" alt="Scene at a farmers market" title="Scene at a farmers market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="397" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Localization--eating locally grown foods and buying locally produced goods--has become trendy just lately. For the past twenty years, though, globalization has been the dominate force. The tension between trade and localization is not a new one.</p> <p>The advantages of trade are obvious. Let&#39;s say you can design a website in four hours, but it would take you six hours to make a wooden box. Meanwhile, your neighbor is a cabinet maker, for whom the amount of labor involved would be reversed. Clearly, you both come out ahead if you make two websites, your neighbor to makes two boxes, and then you work out some sort of exchange.</p> <p>In this case--if you can do one thing better and your counterpart can do some other thing better (if each of you has an &quot;absolute advantage&quot; in some task)--the advantages of trade are intuitive. It turns out though, that even if one of you is better at <strong>everything</strong>, you still both come out ahead if you engage in trade.</p> <p>Let&#39;s say your neighbor is a polymath, who is not only a master cabinet maker, but can also design a web site as good as your best in half the time. If his fine wooden boxes sell for hundreds of dollars though, then it would still make sense for him to buy his website from you, because even if he could make a website in two hours to your four, he could spend those hours making his boxes and then sell them for more than it would cost to buy a website from you.</p> <p>(This idea, called the theory of &quot;comparative advantage,&quot; is credited to David Ricardo who described it in an important economics book in 1817.)</p> <p>Economists, though, have always had trouble advancing the case for trade in the face the natural preference for people to prefer to trade with their neighbors rather than with strangers.</p> <p>At times the tendency to buy local has been very strong. For example, small towns and rural communities in 19th century United States usually had only a single cash crop. The result was that the community received the whole year&#39;s cash income all at once at harvest time. That money could support any number of local purchases--going to the cobbler for shoes, then to the tanner for shoe leather, then to the rancher for hides to tan, then to the farmer for cattle feed, and so on. But eventually, someone would buy something from out of town--the cobbler would buy new needles, or the farmer would buy seed--and the money would leave the local economy. Since the community had nothing to sell beyond their one cash crop, every economic transaction with someone outside the economy drained cash out of the community.</p> <p>The tension between trade on the one hand and localization on the other, then, is fundamental--there&#39;s no wrong side.</p> <p>The economists point out that <em>trade makes everyone better off</em>--but what they mean is that <em>trade raises the average standard of living.</em> An individual who used to make things needed in the local market, but can&#39;t compete with lower-cost producers, will suffer--and all economists can suggest is that this calls for a &quot;period of adjustment,&quot; during which the uncompetitive producers adapt.</p> <p>The localizers, for their part, point out that being &quot;better off&quot; is a notion that goes beyond simply having the highest possible standard of living, and includes things like doing work that you find satisfying and having fulfilling relationships with your neighbors. </p> <p>Because the tension is fundamental, there&#39;s no solution. Lower-cost products will continue to draw buyers, putting higher-cost producers out of business. Activists of many different sorts will continue to push for localization.</p> <p>The main tool of the localizers is moral suasion--urging people to &quot;buy american&quot; or &quot;buy union&quot; or to &quot;eat a 100-mile diet,&quot; often expressed as slogans (The American diet is too important to be outsourced!). Their secondary tool is government regulation, but that&#39;s been hard to come by these past twenty years.</p> <p>After years of being inclined toward the free trade side of things, I&#39;ve found myself shifting to more of a middle position. This is partly because I see fuel becoming more expensive. More expensive transportation will take away some of the advantage of low-cost but distant producers, and it would be nice if we could preserve some of our local production so as to have something to build on when it is no longer cost-effective to ship lettuce from California or broccoli from Argentina.</p> <p>The advantage of trade is simple: higher standards of living, by buying everything from the lowest-cost producer. The advantages of localization are more complex: local production makes the local economy more diverse and more stable; it lets people (both buyers and sellers) be more in tune with nature, growing and eating seasonal foods; it lets people do more of what they love, and less of what global markets will pay the most for.</p> <p>Neither side will win; the pendulum always swings back.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-versus-localization">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-restaurant-where-you-pay-what-you-can-afford-for-the-meal">A Restaurant Where You Pay What You Can Afford For The Meal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-refillable-things-that-will-save-you-cash">10 Refillable Things That Will Save You Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unbearably-stupid-packaging">Dumbest packaging ever?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Financial News Food and Drink Green Living Lifestyle eat local economics globalization local Sat, 20 Oct 2007 22:50:23 +0000 Philip Brewer 1305 at http://www.wisebread.com It's A Small (And Changing) World After All http://www.wisebread.com/its-a-small-and-changing-world-after-all <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/its-a-small-and-changing-world-after-all" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/world.JPG" alt="world" title="Jon and Michele" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&#39;s easy to stick our heads in the sand and say that the answer to &quot;Life, The Universe, and Everything&quot; is <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hitchhiker's_Guide_to_the_Galaxy" target="_blank">42</a> . But we all very well know that the world we live in is a constantly changing one, thanks to evolution, industrialization, and the more recent trend and buzzword: <a href="http://www.globalization101.org/What_is_Globalization.html" target="_blank">Globalization</a>. </p> <p>After reading <a href="&lt;a mce_thref=&quot;http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&amp;location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FWorld-Flat-Updated-Expanded-Twenty-first%2Fdp%2F0374292795%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1191117096%26sr%3D8-1&amp;tag=wisbre09-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&quot;&gt;The World Is Flat&lt;/a&gt;&lt;img mce_tsrc=&quot;http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wisbre09-20&amp;amp;l=ur2&amp;amp;o=1&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; alt=&quot;&quot; style=&quot;border:none !important; margin:0px !important;&quot; /&gt;" target="_blank">The World Is Flat</a> by Thomas Friedman, my interest in this topic was piqued. At one point or another, and in many cases unbeknownst to us, we have placed a call to customer service and actually spoken to somebody in India. In fact, as I learned from the book (or <a href="/how-to-read-five-to-ten-books-each-month-and-a-special-deal-for-wise-bread-readers" target="_blank">audiobook</a> as it so happens), working in a customer call centre in India is a coveted position, and training includes adopting the english accents specific to each region of the US and North America. So although the person on the other side of the line may say their name is Andy and sound like he is from Georgia, he could very well be Ajeet and only have a vague knowledge of where Georgia is. </p> <p>The big question that the book attempts to answer, but which is truly guesswork at this time is: What does this mean for us and the generations to come? Many careers will become obsolete as that work is farmed out to other parts of the world. Many brand new careers will be born as a result of this. Economies will change. Possibly even lifestyles and age-old customs will need to evolve with the times. </p> <p>A beautiful video that encapsulates the flavour of globalization and that is being used in the education system (with both educators and students) is the <em>Did You Know</em> series. With special permission from creators <a href="http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com/" target="_blank">Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod</a>, here is the latest and greatest: </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/pMcfrLYDm2U" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/pMcfrLYDm2U" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350"></embed></object></p> <p>Enjoy, and feel free to discuss!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-a-small-and-changing-world-after-all">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-secrets-about-life-and-career-from-office-space">7 Secrets About Life and Career From &quot;Office Space&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-entry-level-jobs-with-surprisingly-high-salaries">12 Entry Level Jobs With Surprisingly High Salaries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads">6 Best Jobs for Working Moms and Dads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-a-financial-5-year-plan">How to Create a Financial 5 Year Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-can-you-really-live-on-unemployment">How Long Can You Really Live on Unemployment?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income career changes globalization industry Thu, 13 Sep 2007 23:04:00 +0000 Nora Dunn 1155 at http://www.wisebread.com