....A fish served in a California restaurant was caught illegally on a Thai fishing vessel manned by slaves. A t-shirt bought in Germany was sewn in a Bangladeshi sweatshop, where workers labor in unsafe conditions for starvation wages. The rising consumption levels of India’s middle class are contributing to climate chaos thousands of miles away, while the hunger of Americans for consumer goods from China is exacerbating the Chinese air-pollution crisis
...These are just a few of the many faces of the global economy.Corporate-friendly think tanks and media outlets promote the idea that economic deregulation has made the world into one global village, defined by the free flow of ideas and technology, international collaboration, interdependence, and a worldwide sense of community.But the reality falls far short of this ideal. Our global economic system is so large and complex – with producers and consumers, CEOs and workers, and cause and effect all far removed from each other – that ethical choices become almost impossible, and environmental and human rights disasters all but inevitable.
It can be challenging to make sense of the workings of a system that is so vast, out-of-control, and deeply ingrained into the fabric of our daily lives. But the global economy can be understood, by starting with its origins in European colonialism, moving through its key drivers and structural elements, and tracing its consequences for people and the planet.