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10.4.06

Globalization can be good 

In today’s Los Angeles Times, Niall Ferguson defends , fearing that there are certain moves in and that threaten its end. He observes the furore over illegal in the and steps to recognize them, and less recently, the acquisition that was colloquially known as the Dubai Ports’ Deal.
   He continues:

The last time globalization died, some historians say, it was an backlash that killed it. A century ago, the was in many ways just as integrated as it is today. rates were comparably high, as was in relation to output. flows today are bigger in relative terms, but a century ago they were more evenly distributed between countries. After 1914, however, globalization fell apart, and by the 1930s the economy had fragmented—with disastrous consequences for growth and .
   The great disruption caused by certainly did a large part of the damage, sinking thousands of tons of merchant shipping and severing telegraph cables. Even before war came, however, globalization was already dying the death of a thousand legislative cuts. As early as 1882, the United States had introduced the Chinese Exclusion Act, the first of a series of measures designed to restrict immigration to white Europeans. Quotas for other ethnic groups were introduced so that by the mid1930s, the flow of new immigrants to the U.S. had all but dried up.


   Through my readings, I have seen that there is a connection between the of capital and the of people, and economic . In the 1930s, the had seen to a dangerous course. By the end of , like Keynes had looked at ways that the state could create progress, to prevent some of the errors of the past.
   By the 1960s through to the 1980s, the who held more sway in western began to abandon in favour of —a movement which gave rise to the of late-1960s (such as ) and in .
   Some of the monetarists had a point: there were inefficient that needed reform, but in proclaiming their new edict they threw the baby out with the bath water. The state was to be rolled back, with subsequent effect on . began taking on the trappings of state, with their strategies affecting the welfare of everyday people (to wit, ); while the state began looking more commercial, the few state enterprises needing to compete in a .
   I am not sure if we have achieved a sense of balance. Those who advocate restrictions on large corporations like Wal-mart, which has been mistreating some of its workers, could also be throwing the baby out with the bath water. The spectre of , the severing of global ties, the closing of borders, are perilous at best as they restrict the freedom of movement of people, and of their capital. sending money back to the old country creating some sense of global , or even plain old learning found through , will suffer. How do we cast out the bad, and retain the good, in globalization?
   The great sin is not so much the behind , but the removal of human emotion from them. Humanity wishes to be free, , productive, helpful: they are not units of production.
   We are at a stage where is real—in that global networks such as the internet, and these blogs, link people of all creeds and together. This is still largely slanted toward richer nations, as my maps of the 9th inst. and February 1 show, but the positive forces are there.
   Working against these, as some of the moves that Mr Ferguson covers and worries about, is working against the basic desire of people: to have a world, free from conflict. The fact spend millions of taxpayers’ money to talk to other politicians suggests that dialogue is the way forward. This also underpins the job of all . This is an age where that level of in is available to more people than ever.
   So rather than fight policy against policy, or even nation against nation, we all should ask ourselves honestly, especially those of us in positions of influence: do our actions benefit that desire of ?
   It is a simple question, but obviously not one that is asked often enough, when Wal-mart refuses to sign a pledge to pay maternity leave to Bangladeshi workers—even though it’s the law. Or when politicians talk about restricting access to , although in Europe, as Mr Ferguson points out, they are needed to help fund an ageing population.
   There is nothing wrong with creating global and global dialogue, nor is there anything wrong with allowing the state to participate in the market. There is only something wrong when the considerations of are divorced from them.

Del.icio.us tags: globalization | economics | humanity | emotion | global | society | world | internationalism | global economy | humankind | corporations | CSR | social responsibility | globalism | freedom
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.


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