The author brings to light how Free Trade is effecting the culture of China: some well paid workers still choose a simple life and others are gung-ho on consumption. The low wages and government concessions given to foreign investment in the country create the movement of both white and blue collar jobs from other countries -- developed and developing countries in particular -- into China. I am glad to have read that the standards that the Chinese government and businesses expect from foreign companies, which are established in China, is higher than what is expected from local Chinese companies. This is unfair in a business sense but it shows respect from the non-Chinese companies. I have been given the impression that foreign companies are better to work for. For the foreseeable future the decisions that the Chinese government makes, along with international trade agreements, will effect every other developed, developing and undeveloped country on the planet.
An appalling example is of how a U.S. company that set up shop in Taiwan terminated the employment of a large number of employees that had been with the company for almost 25 years. The termination was to release the company of its obligation to provide the employees with a retirement pension, which was legally required by Taiwanese law if a worker was employed with the company for 25 or more years. The point here is the treachery of such companies. In comparison, when employees leave a company because they are aware that they are about to be fired for such a reason, the companies that were about to fire them will legally prosecute the employees that are looking for a new or better employer. The legal persecution arises from the past employees taking knowledge with them to a competitor. It isn't a fair, two way street! There is a growing lack of loyalty on the parts of the employee and employer. It is hard for me to take a side rationally in an informed way, but I am biased for the wage earner over the corporation when I hear of such sociopathic behaviour from a company.
It has been a number of months since I read the book from the library so I can not review it to provide a summary. But what has stayed with me is my opinion that the jobs flow will not stop. Nationalism and "Buy Local" is not a solution. I think wage earners around the world need to form "grass roots" organizations with which to pressure governments and multinational corporations to provide civilized behaviour out of those corporations and a chance for the The Bottom Billion to catch up via *fair* trade agreements. Not until we all do our part to help get labour conditions and wages improved in developing and undeveloped countries will we see economic conditions stop deteriorating in many other developed countries.
Please, no comments on my opinions. I only hope you have an impression on what an individual may take from reading this engrossing, and enlightening book.