Merger Mania

Enzo Michelangeli em at
Sun Dec 13 17:29:15 PST 1998

-----Original Message----- From: Rob Schaap <rws at> Date: Sunday, December 13, 1998 8:13 PM

>Yeah, but low tech industry makes for low value-added product in the
>context of this world political economy of ours. So the 'developing world'
>(as apposite a labbel as 'United Kingdom') is flogging loads of real labour
>and real natural resources, and paying real opportunity costs, for each
>high-tech, high-value-added, near-zero-cost disk of Windows '98.

Well, unfortunately for Bill Gates, most copies of Win98 circulating there are pirated, so they aren't really paying much (and rightly so, IMHO). That said, I'm not advocating tariffs on, say, software or pharmaceutical products developed and produced in the Thirld World: but you can't expect much in that area coming from places plagued by poor infrastructure and sub-critical technological mass. Cases like Bangalore are much welcome, though.

>This is what dependency theory was all about, no? All the profits in the
>first world and all the costs in the third. There's no biting into those
>huge interest bills down that road, is there?

That depends. In Asia, the largest share of crippling debt has presently little to do with repayment of interests or trade unbalances, and much with irresponsible and often corrupt lending practices; and each country actually represents a separate case. The best managed places, like Singapore, are net creditors even though their productive infrastructure has been largely created through foreign investment; the most troubled ones, like Indonesia or even Korea, have followed highly protectionist policies, often tailored to enrich local elites (take, as a shining example, the disgraceful case of the "Timor" national car in Indonesia).

Cheers --


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