Political Science 2231E Lecture Notes - International Political Economy, Bretton Woods System, Indium
Course CodePolitical Science 2231E
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Wednesday, 27 February, 2013
International Political Economy
The Political Cost of the iPhone
- Depletion of indium - the mineral used for LCD and touchscreen displays
- “Modern day Gold Rush” re: discovery of indium in the UK
- Labour unrest in China
- May 2010 - “9th worker death at the iPhone firm Foxconn”
- July 2010 - “Foxconn shuts Indian plant as 250 staff fall ill”
- Feb 2011 - “1 Million Workers. 90 Million iPhones. 17 Suicides. Who’s to Blame?” by
- Sept 2012 - “Foxconn halts production at plant after mass brawl.”
-Mercantilism: Belief that power and wealth were closely connected in the 17th and 18th
- Trading become more valuable then agricultural production.
-Economic Liberalism: Fathered by Adam Smith; Free hand guiding economic trade.
-Laissez-Faire: The idea that government intervention was bad.
-Reciprocity: All trading agreements must be reciprocal; treating each country equally.
-Interdependence: Need countries to rely on each other and trade.
-David Recardo: Absolute Vs. Comparative Advantage. Recardo believed specialization would
allow nations to make things for less money and therefore eventually make it much more
efficient then its competitors.
-Trade Barrier: Any government limitation on international exchange of goods.
- Imposed to protect domestic businesses deemed essential/necessary for the state.
-Protectionism: Restriction or barriers on imports. Ex. Tariffs (additional taxes), Non-Tariff
barriers (quota limits), Subsidies (Tax breaks or tax incentives for a domestic producer to
produce something cheaper then an international producer)
-Bretton Woods System: Encourage multilateral removal of trade barriers.
- Members of agreement must extend to any party these agreements (non-discrimination
against members). 489 regional trade agreements today.
- Believed that Capitalism as an economic system is based on ownership on the means of
production by the proletariat but the proletariat make up the working class.
Contradictions of capitalism:
1. Inherent tendency of monopolization
2. Associated with falling raid of profit
3. Imbalance of ability to produce and ability to purchase goods
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