Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday Quick Hits

I know I've been a tad delinquent this week, but it's summer, and, well, the heat makes me lazy:
  • America's Bad Trade Parenting Continues.  I've noted several times now about how the United States loves to practice "do as I do, not as I say" trade policy, particularly when it comes to enforcement.  Now, it appears that the US government, fresh off its near-constant (and often justified) criticism of foreign intellectual property protections, is receiving loud complaints from the Japanese government and US/Japanese companies for its failure to policy "manga" piracy.  What is "manga," you ask?  Well, I'm not exactly sure, but I do know that it's a kind of Japanese anime', and that American "fans" are apparently stealing the heck out of it.
  • Democrats Don't Heart KORUS.   For American free traders, November 2010 can't come fast enough: "'At a time when our economy is struggling to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression, it is unthinkable to consider moving forward with another job-killing FTA,' the 110 members of the U.S. House of Representatives said in a letter to Obama....  'We oppose specific provisions of the agreement in the financial services, investment and labor chapters because they benefit multi-national corporations at the expense of small businesses and workers,' they said."  Oh, yeah, those horrible Korean labor standards, I almost forgot! 
  • Three Guesses Why Democrats Don't Heart KORUS.   As relayed to us by one of their own (liberal blogger Mickey Kaus), here's in a nutshell the reason why 110 House Democrats wrote that angry anti-KORUS letter: "I think the Democratic Party has been captured by its interest groups. The unions are the main one."  Kaus was speaking about the California Democratic Party, but the theme certainly applies nationally too.
  • Race to the Top, part 789.  More strikes, and more pay raises in China: "Workers at two suppliers for foreign automakers in Southern China returned to work on Thursday after obtaining hefty pay rises, ending strikes that again highlighted the carmakers' vulnerability to their Chinese suppliers."  I don't know what's more tongue-firmly-in-cheek surprising: the strikes themselves or the lack of armed suppression by the evil multinational corporations. 

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