Daily Archives: December 1, 2004

Does Venture Capital Create Jobs?

Here is a link to an interesting analysis of venture capital funding and jobs. It appears that although there has been a recovery of venture capital financing in Silicon Valley that that has not meant a significant increase in local hiring. Either employers are now doing more with less or the jobs are being created offshore. URL:

The new Race to the Bottom – China and the International Labor Movement

My article on China and the international labor movement recently appeared in the U.C. Davis Journal of International Law and Policy. An earlier version of the article was published in the Cornell Law School working paper series. Here is the link: http://lsr.nellco.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1010&context=cornell/clsops

Here is my abstract of the article:

China is now, and increasingly, an integral player in the global economy and in international relations. Economic and political restructuring in China today is affecting the lives of millions, yet only a small number of top bureaucrats and wealthy regime-backed entrepreneurs are making the basic decisions about the outcome of this process. This bureaucratic and entrepreneurial class resists fiercely any serious attempt to build independent and democratic institutions such as trade unions.

This article will consider four areas of concern. First, the structural changes underway in the Chinese economy are creating both domestic and international imbalances that are exacerbating inequalities among Chinese workers and creating new inequities in the global labor market. Second, the Chinese regime’s approach to labor rights remains rigidly authoritarian and so is triggering ever more dramatic confrontations between workers and the Chinese state, despite the regime’s nominal commitment to “socialism.” Third, these developments are being reinforced by a pathological evolution in the principles that govern key international institutions such as the WTO and the ILO. A conflict has emerged within the international legal arena between the founding principles of these institutions and their current approach to labor and human rights issues. Fourth, within the international labor movement itself a small current is emerging which views an accommodation with the Chinese regime a feasible alternative to the long-standing goal of the international labor movement of independent and free trade unionism in China. This approach threatens the credibility of the labor movement’s opposition to the most damaging aspects of the globalization process, a major commitment of the international labor movement since the “battle of Seattle” that took place at the failed ministerial conference of the WTO in November 1999. An alternative view must be articulated if Chinese and western workers are to join together to reverse the “race to the bottom.”

The PetroChina Syndrome

In the spring of 2000, China’s huge state-owned oil company PetroChina attempted to sell nearly 10 billion dollars worth of stock on the New York Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Because of widespread violations of labor rights and human rights in China, and concerns about enviornmental damage by the Chinese oil industry and investments by PetroChina’s parent company in war torn Sudan, the IPO ran into a wall of protest. I wrote an article that assessed the impact of this unusal political conflict inside the global capital markets that recently appeared in the Journal of Corporation Law (Vol. 29 at 39 (2003)). Here is a link to an earlier version of this article published in the Cornell Law School working paper series: http://lsr.nellco.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1012&context=cornell/clsops.

The Chinese Economy

Dramatic changes in the Chinese economy are having a major impact on workers and the international labor movement. Here is a link to a book review I wrote for Dissent magazine on two excellent new books on the nature of economic change underway in China today. The review is entitled: The Chinese Market: An Enigma Unraveled. The URL is: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/menutest/archives/2002/su02/diamond2.shtml


This website aims to provide a source of news, analysis and debate on developments in the global economy with particular emphasis on the impact of the economy on global labor. With the end of the Cold War some fifteeen years ago the terrain upon which the labor movement defends its interests has changed radically. New terrain requires new understanding. I will try to make available to visitors to this site news, research and debates that I encounter in the course of my own work that I think might be helpful to those who are trying to make sense of these same developments. I will welcome constructive contributions from others as well.