The protectionists never sleep | Bleader

The protectionists never sleep

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Good news you may not have heard:

"In the last quarter-century far more people have been pulled out of poverty than ever before in the history of the world. Largely that's because of the economic success of Asia, and it should give pause to critics of globalization," writes Nicholas Kristof in the New York Review of Books. "In fact, it's precisely because of globalization that hundreds of millions of Chinese, Indians, Indonesians, and Malaysians are moving into the middle class. ... the part of the world that has most withstood the forces of globalization (or simply been ignored) is Africa, where the number of poor people doubled."

Meanwhile, William Greider in the Nation has dug up another critique of globalization. This one admits that trade is win-win as long as it's between poor nations (with cheap labor) and rich ones, but it's not so great for the rich ones once the poor nations succeed in upgrading their situation. (The original arguer's easy-to-Google name is Ralph Gomory; the book is Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests.) Solution: cap imports and tax outsourcing heavily. This sounded dubious to me, and Julian Sanchez at Notes from the Lounge saved me the trouble of identifying the fishy smell on my own:

"It's the old Marxist-Leninist horror story about how capitalism and international trade supposedly worked already, giving workers just enough to subsist upon and continue producing, but never enough to permit them to get in the game themselves as competitors. So, to recap, now that we know capitalism doesn't actually function in the way described in Marx's dire predictions, The Nation demands a national industrial policy to make it work that way."

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