Monday, July 25, 2005

Argentina: Communist Paradise?

From the Washington Post today, on A15 of the Virginia edition appears an article on American 'globalization activists' who are traveling to Argentina to participate in "neighborhood cooperatives". My reaction was to think "neighborhood cooperative" = "Soviet", "anti-globalization activists" = "Hippie", and "Argentina" = "South American nation with prolonged economic instability in the wake of the political movement away from Peronist/junta governance". I take issue with activists like this traveling to other parts of the world to add fuel to their anti-globalization fire on at least two levels. 1--The developing international economy based on free trade and interdependent markets will, in the long run, provide high quality, low cost goods and services to an increasingly specialized worldwide workforce that values education and human rights as means to achieving economic goals as opposed to violence and zealotry. Why? Because it intrinsically values the stability and specialization that human rights and education provide. The short term difficulties posed by globalization are obvious on the streets of La Matanza, Argentina while the long run benefits are not yet as evident. This perception of cost without benefit fuels the (wrong) impression of the anti-globalization activists. 2--Why do American students travel to Argentina to work in "neighborhood cooperatives" while not working in them when they return home? The United Way, the Red Cross, etc. all are American "neighborhood cooperatives", but because they are American they are somehow tainted? Why sweep the neighbor's kitchen floor when yours isn't much cleaner?


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