Acclaimed author, journalist, and social critic Barbara Ehrenreich admits to being out of touch with the corporate world. In books and articles, she routinely covers the plight of the underclass, profiling low-income workers in the U.S. and abroad. In her latest work, Bait & Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream, Ehrenreich once again goes undercover. But instead of investigating the poor and working class, she delves into the struggles of downsized white-collar professionals. Is Katrina’s Punch a Wake-up Call?
As relief agencies, faith-based groups, and individuals scramble to assist residents of the Gulf Coast region displaced by Hurricane Katrina, the economic and political impact of the disaster can only be estimated. Faculty members at Emory University and its Goizueta Business School say the storm exposed shortcomings in the U.S. economic structure, its supply chain, business leadership and government—not only to Americans but to an international audience. They also warn that recovery from the disaster will take longer than many people expect. Is American Policy Curbing Innovation?
Richard Florida’s current book, The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent, builds upon his previous titles exploring the same territory—the status of a select group of workers he deems as the lifeblood of American society. This time, however, Florida takes aim at U.S. policy and how the current administration’s post-9/11 moves are discouraging thought-leaders from other countries from coming to the U.S. Left unchecked, he contends, this will result in a brain drain that will hurt the economy. Don't Expect Any Price Relief at the Pump
As the cost of oil continues to hover around $50 a barrel, Americans shouldn’t expect the price to decline anytime soon, says Ujjayant Chakravorty, a professor of economics at Emory University. Tighter supply and growing demand here and worldwide means there may be few alternatives for automobile lovers. In an interview with Knowledge@Emory, Chakravorty offers his thoughts on the industry and details why a looming crisis may help jumpstart American automakers. Do Multinational Corporations Have an Ethical Obligation to Assist Those in Need?
At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, one particular topic drew unusually strong support -- the need for organizations across the board to contribute more to the war on global poverty and illness. Part of this push towards greater social advocacy is directed squarely at corporations, whose resources are seen as necessary to address such specific problems as the AIDS crisis in Africa and the lack of vaccines for children in the developing world. At the same time, critics of the corporate social responsibility movement respond that a company's main duty is to its shareholders, not society at large. Last month, Wharton legal studies professor Nien-hê Hsieh tackled this topic during a seminar on "Multinational Corporations (MNCs) and the Ethics of Assistance," in which he noted that two principles may justify corporate social responsibility: Rescue and fairness. An End to Global Textile Quotas: Watch China Sew Up the Market
On Jan. 1, the Multifiber Agreement -- which for 30 years let nations place quotas on the amount of textile and clothing imports allowed into their countries -- expired for members of the World Trade Organization, the multilateral global trade body. The elimination of global textile quotas is expected to drive garment production to China, benefiting consumers in North America and Europe at the expense of developing nations where apparel manufacturing has become a bridge to an industrial economy, according to Wharton faculty and other analysts. Preparing the U.S. Workforce for the Global Workplace
Trade liberalization and the offshoring of jobs have become inextricably linked in discussions on free trade, and U.S. companies that benefit from the global market place are often in the hot seat. Just what is the responsibility of Corporate America in retraining and educating employees displaced by offshoring? Public policy and business experts, along with faculty from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, discuss the issues surrounding U.S. worker education and training. Can Bush Reform Social Security?
In his State of the Union speech last month, U.S. President George W. Bush vowed to reform Social Security through partial privatization. Although they are sympathetic to the idea of privatization, some financial experts at Emory University and its Goizueta Business School question how well the Bush plan would actually work in practice. But Americans may never find out: political science professor Randall Strahan says, the bill is likely to face strong opposition in the Senate. In the Tsunami's Wake: How Best to Respond
In December Wharton professor Jean LeMaire went to Thailand to lead a seminar on insurance in Bangkok. Before the seminar even began, he would witness, from the uncomfortably close vantage point of a beach in Phuket, the kind of disaster that haunts insurers and humanitarian relief agencies for months to come -- the devastating Asian tsunami that is estimated to have killed more than 170,000 in 11 countries. The scale of the tragedy and the outpouring of concern from around the world have raised the tsunami to a new level of natural disaster, and calls for a new level of response. Bush vs. Kerry: The Economy, Taxes, Health Care and Social Security
There are two Americas, one well off and one left behind, and tax cuts for the rich must be repealed, says the campaign of John Kerry and John Edwards. America ’s economy is on the rebound, jobs are being created, and across-the-board tax cuts have been a key reason for that growth, according to the George Bush and Dick Cheney ticket. Yes, it’s that time again – a presidential election year full of attacks and counter attacks, of claims and counter claims, of half truths and less-than-half truths, and sometimes no truth at all. Wharton faculty members share their views on the candidates’ stands on the economy and taxes, health care and Social Security.