Ethical Globalization: Imbalance vs. Innovation

It is more profitable for the individual entrepreneur to seek advantage from imbalances in the economy than from genuine improvements in quality or efficiency of production.  Ultimately, if these imbalances are to be corrected without lowering our standard of living, we must focus on innovation.


 

For instance, textile manufacturing has almost entirely moved overseas to cheaper labor markets because it is more profitable to take advantage of the low cost of labor than to improve the manufacturing process.  The lower cost of textiles is not due to a genuine improvement in manufacturing, it is directly a result of imbalances in the labor market and will disappear when these imbalances disappear; we will have cheap textiles only as long as the imbalances in the labor markets exist.  If the labor market balances out, not only would the cost of production rise to what it would cost us to make the products here, but also provide the laborers in other countries consumer power allowing them to afford these products as well.  This increase in demand would not be offset by the increase in production since the improved wages would not necessarily equate to increased production.  The disturbing reality is that it is in our best interest to 'preserve' and even 'perpetuate' the imbalances in the labor market because, unless we offset the correction of the imbalances with genuine improvements in production, our standard of living will decline as those in other countries rise.  Even if we do improve our manufacturing that gain can, if we 'preserve' the labor imbalances, be used to improve our standard of living further, rather than being used to offset the labor correction.  I am not saying this to suggest that we should 'preserve' or 'perpetuate' the labor imbalances, but to point out the very real conflict of interest that exists within our system.  We must understand, as a people, that our standard of living cannot be justly sustained without innovation.  We must choose either to live comfortably off the backs of others, decline for the sake of others, or work hard towards, and invest in, genuine improvements in production that are significant enough to bring labor markets into balance while improving our own standard of living.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)
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In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.


Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
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