When it comes to wealth and income, people tend to compare themselves to the people they see around them rather than to those who live on the other side of the world. The average Frenchman, for example, probably does not care how manyChinese exceed his own standard of living, but that Frenchman surely would pay attention if he started lagging behind his fellow citizens.
Globalization is widening the gap between what voters demand and what their governments can deliver. Unless the leading democracies can restore their political and economic solvency, the very model they represent may lose its allure.
Globalization has brought huge overall benefits, but earnings for most U.S. workers -- even those with college degrees -- have been falling recently; inequality is greater now than at any other time in the last 70 years. Whatever the cause, the result has been a surge in protectionism. To save globalization, policymakers must spread its gains more widely. The best way to do that is by redistributing income.
Not long ago, the expansion of free trade worldwide seemed inevitable. Over the last few years, however, economic barriers have started to rise once more. The forecast for the future looks mixed: some integration will probably continue even as a new economic nationalism takes hold. Managing this new, muddled world will take deft handling, in Washington, Brussels, and Beijing.
The French government's backdown on plans to reform youth labor laws has raised concerns about the country's ability to adapt to globalization, as well as how failure to pass the law will impact the continent.
Contrary to those who see a future of "globalization on steroids," Joshua Kurlantzick says the reality of today's economic slowdown is that it will leave as its legacy the worst degloblization in modern history.
In the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of The Cato Journal, Benn Steil writes on "Federal Reserve Policy in the Face of Crisis." He argues that the global monetary order of national fiat currencies represents the greatest threat to globalization.
In the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of The Cato Journal, Peter Kenen claims that the United States has become the largest single beneficiary of financial globalization, and we may have to pay a high price for that privilege.
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