The world is in the midst of an industrial and economic revolution more far-reaching than the one that transformed Europe and North America in the 19th century. According to William Greider, this revolution is a juggernaut that neither multinational corporations nor governments can control. Greider looks at the impact of the global revolution in terms of human struggle. While huge amounts of wealth are being generated, there is a downside, too: social dislocation; economic uncertainty; and the oldest, rawest form of exploitation--that of the weak by the strong. Greider proposes a number of steps governments of the world can take to avert disaster: moderate the flow of goods by imposing tariffs to rectify trade deficits, change labor practices in developing countries, and allow labor to share in the ownership of capital.
From Publishers Weekly
Greider (Secrets of the Temple) here surveys the dynamics and contradictions of the corporate-driven global economy, which, he says, is heading toward "an economic or political cataclysm." His selective tour?he avoids Africa and much of South America, and focuses on U.S. corporations?nonetheless vividly introduces this changing economic world and suggests populist reforms well worth discussion. In developing Malaysia, Greider sees multinational corporations seeking not just cheaper workers but another power base. He observes that technological improvement has actually led to overcapacity in the global auto industry. He notes that the industrialization of China?substituting low-paid workers for higher-paid Westerners?will erode the world's purchasing power. He perceives the U.S. as ominously failing to decrease its trade deficit or to defend domestic producers and jobs. Then Greider looks at the metastasizing world of finance capital and proposes a transaction tax to slow down the "furious pace" of computer-driven traders impelled to seek higher returns. He suggests debt forgiveness for poor nations. To foster a more responsible capitalism, he proposes taxes on capital, not payrolls, reciprocity with mercantilist countries such as Japan and labor rights for workers in poor countries. Greider devotes a final section to emerging examples (e.g., employee ownership) of his proposed "global humanism." But he skirts the question of how religious and ethnic nationalism might affect global economic convergence.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.