One World. Cheaper telecommunications means more exporting and importing of services, writes James Burnham in a recent study published by Washington University's Center for the Study of American Business. Jobs that involve standardized skills--like software writing and routine document processing--may be done more cheaply in Ireland or India than in Ravenswood. And xenophobia may even speed up the process: "Competition between countries is likely to be even more intense if barriers to the physical movement of workers from lower income to higher income countries continues to increase, as has been the case in recent years. Staying at home and providing the services via the telecommunications 'highway' becomes a substitute for migration to the higher income country....
Mastech, a Pittsburgh company, recently raised over $50 million in the U.S. financial markets. A sizable portion...will be used to build and staff several large facilities in India for their programming workers. The decision was motivated in part by pressure from American professional associations against bringing foreign pro-grammers into the United States."
One World II. "If capitalism is now more global than ever, so too is the working class it begets," writes Kim Moody in his new book, Workers in a Lean World. "It is not simply that the makers of a single automobile are found in many countries, but that the making of this car requires the increased input of workers in telecommunications, trans-portation, and countless 'services' in many countries....If all these trends have thrown old working-class organizations and modes of thought off balance, with the rise of racism in so many countries, it also lays the basis for far-reaching lines of communication....The material substance of working-class internationalism is at hand. Like the idea of socialism to which it is linked, however, it needs to be consciously organized."
Somebody's been proofreading with the spell checker again. From a release touting Disk Tracy, a computer product that enables parents to track their kids' use of the Internet: "When the parents notice their kids are going to the 'wrong' sites, they can...take a proactive roll in their child's surfing habits."
"The westward invasion of the gypsy moth is now threatening Indiana and Illinois," according to the "Illinois Natural History Survey Reports" (November/December). But "the potential defoliation by gypsy moths in the Chicago area is relatively modest, ranging from 14% in Chicago and suburban Cook County to 26% in DuPage County....Less than one-tenth of one percent of the total number of trees in the entire Chicago area are predicted to die because of gypsy moth defoliation during a two-year outbreak." Most threatened are rural and natural areas, where "local controls may be necessary."
Would it really cost more to fix up CHA developments than to relocate their residents with Section 8 housing vouchers? According to a CHA consultant's report, described by Robert O'Neill in the Chicago Reporter (October), the answer is "yes" for 13 of 14 public-housing developments studied: Cabrini Extension, Green Homes, Henry Horner, Rockwell Gardens, ABLA A and B, Dearborn Homes, Wells Homes, Wells Extension, Stateway Gardens, Robert Taylor A and B, and Washington Park. But according to the Metropolitan Planning Council, the study was biased because it didn't count the cost of phasing out and demolishing the developments. "The test also did not include the cost of expanding housing opportunities in areas beyond where Section 8 tenants are now concentrated--in predominantly minority neighborhoods" in Chicago and the south suburbs. If these costs had been included, says MPC, only Cabrini Extension, Horner, and Rockwell Gardens would be in line for demolition.
"Dorothy [Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement] was sometimes criticized for being too devout a Catholic," writes Jim Forest in the Chicago-based U.S. Catholic (November). "How could she be so radical about social matters and so conservative about her church? While she occasionally deplored statements or actions by members of the hierarchy, she was by no means an opponent of the bishops or someone campaigning for structural changes in the church. What was needed, she said, wasn't new doctrine but our living the existing doctrine. True, some pastors seemed barely Christian, but one had to aim for their conversion."