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Globalization, What is it Anyway?

Would our economics gurus[plural], please elucidate(sp?) as to what this globalization animal this?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14093-2002Jun19.html

Enrique Tito
Thursday, June 20, 2002

Opps, it should read--

Would our economics gurus[plural], please elucidate(sp?) as to what this globalization animal is?

Enrique Tito
Thursday, June 20, 2002

Tito,
it's a path forward into history[enslavement]. The end game is to pay nothing while maximizing profits.

Yeah, sounds like feudalism ;-).

Oliver C.
Thursday, June 20, 2002

Read "The Lexus and the Olive Tree".

http://www.lexusandtheolivetree.com/

Michael H. Pryor
Thursday, June 20, 2002

Michael showed us Thomas L. Friedman's:

"The Lexus and the Olive Tree"

which informed us:

"The driving idea behind globalization is free-market capitalism--the more you let market forces rule and the more you open your economy to free trade and competition, the more efficient and flourishing your economy will be. Globalization means the spread of free-market capitalism to virtually every country in the world."

That's good to know, I was afraid globalization was a bad thing that meant slave conditions, loss of freedom, a cabal of global bankers accountable to no one with absolute authority, international armies and tribunals, environmental devastation like in East Germany, and poverty for everyone except the new unaccountable master ruling class.

Now that I've been corrected, globalization for everyone!

X. J. Scott
Thursday, June 20, 2002

The Lexus & The Olive Tree is silly.
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/books/1999/9906.krugman.lexus.html

'That's good to know, I was afraid globalization was a bad thing that meant slave conditions, loss of freedom, a cabal of global bankers accountable to no one with absolute authority, international armies and tribunals, environmental devastation like in East Germany, and poverty for everyone except the new unaccountable master ruling class.'

Quite, because free trade makes everyone poorer through....well, some ill-defined method that apparently everyone but me knows.

Jason McCullough
Thursday, June 20, 2002

Thomas Friedman writes in the book that he is neither pro-globalization or anti-globalization.  He's just a journalist documenting and commenting on the juggernaut as it occurs.

It's a good book written by one of the best journalists out there.  As the head of the foreign affairs desk for the NY Times, he's on a first name basis with most of the leaders in the world.  The books worth reading for the anecdotes alone.

If you are "anti-globalization" it will open your eyes to the upsides and vice-versa if you are in the "pro" camp.

Nick Hebb
Friday, June 21, 2002

From a great 'economics' guru....

“In history up to the present it is certainly an empirical fact that separate individuals have, with the broadening of their activity into world-historical activity, become more and more enslaved under a power alien to them ... a power which has become more and more enormous and, in the last instance, turns out to be the world market.”

... writing in (wait for it) ... 1845.

Charles Monk
Friday, June 21, 2002

The answer to this question depends on your political beliefs and values -- of which there are a wide range of views held by intelligent and informed persons.  My [admittedly cynical] view is that exploitation is a necessary and transient state for the development of a first-world economy.  An equal distribution of poverty benefits no one.  When wealth is first created, some individuals lay ahold of it first; it is this initial economic disparity which later inspires movements towards worker's rights and social equality.  Although it's desirous to minimize this state of affairs, it cannot be avoided entirely.  I think the history of the United States bears this, in which the slavery and worker exploitation of the 19th century gave way to emanicpation, the 40-hour workweek, unions, and so on of the 20th century.

Many are afraid of globalization for protectionist reasons: it will undercut wages and steal jobs at home.  Although I'm sympathetic to my fellow Americans who will suffer, I am also sympathetic to those living abroad, who are no less human, and who stand to gain from industrialization. 

We are used to a certain standard of living that we consider it robbery to discover we are not, in fact, entitled to an artificially maintained economy of inflated wages and (correspondingly) prices.  In this way we are prove we are not much more enlightened than the ignorant weavers who destroyed Jacquard's looms; we fear progress because it destablizes the status quo.  But change is unavoidable and adaptation is necessary, and this is why it is fruitless to prevent globalization.

We now return you to this technology-oriented discussion board, already in progress.  =-)

Alyosha`
Friday, June 21, 2002

As a final thought, if you are American and in favour of globalization and free trade,
maybe you should consider writing to your government and ask them to repeal import duties on steel (which are pure protectionism) and also subsidies to farmers.

David Clayworth
Friday, June 21, 2002

Especially subsidies to farmers when they don't grow anything.

Isn't the steel industry in the states almost defunct?  I remember the rather depressing look of downtown Gary, Indiana on several of the trips I had to make there.

Joe AA.
Friday, June 21, 2002

A good book on this topic is "The Commanding Heights" by Stanislaw and Yergin.  It studies economic policies since WW2 in a number of countries, charting the progress and impact of Keynesianism, Thatcherism, Reaganism, the Tigers of Asia, OPEC, the September 11th Attacks, and all sorts of other factors of the times.

The book ends with a chapter devoted to globalization, centering on the WTO.  It's quite entertainingly written, too.

Brent P. Newhall
Friday, June 21, 2002

My father works in the agriculture industry. Many of the farmers get paid with federal money to "pull trees." That is, when the farmers grew too much of a popular item, the price falls because of the supply glut. The federal government now pays these farmers to destroy their trees and their produce, in order to reduce supply and help maintain retail prices.  The US is far from a "free market" state.

In case that didn't sink it: the US government is paying farmers to destroy food, while other people in the same country are starving and homeless!! The lessons are:

* Socialistic programs to help the starving and homeless == BAD
* Free market with fair competition == BAD
* Market manipulation and pay-offs for fat-cat cronies == THE GOOD OL' AMERICAN WAY

Banana Fred
Friday, June 21, 2002

Look through the fog of those that seek to confuse.  The very existance of the society you call home is under very serious threat. [more evidence that US foreign policies of the last 10yrs, have been an unqualified failure]

News from the front:
http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99992445

Oliver C.
Friday, June 21, 2002

I looked at The Lexus and the Olive Tree. Friedman made some comoparisons between national economies and operating systems that were, frankly, silly. Writing about the Asian tigers being unable to "reboot" their economy doesn't strike me as particularly enlightening. If you want to explain the asian crisis to me, then tell me about the relevant issues, don't confuse me with fatuous analogy.

Krugman's analysis has it right on. If you're going to read Friedman, try to read some Krugman as well.

Adrian

Adrian Gilby
Sunday, June 23, 2002

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