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In Defense of Global Capitalism Paperback – July 31, 2003
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Globalization has become capitalism without borders. Capitalism means the right to own and the right to trade -- freely. The problems have more to do with what can and can not cross borders in a world economy where geopolitics and terrorism limit the rights or possibilities of people to move freely. There is still a strong urge to maintain national integrity and the natural defense of one's borders and culture. And, given the choice, people head for countries with greater economic and political freedom, not just where the natural wealth and resources exist. People are now the world's greatest resource and they are more mobile than ever.
Norberg pulls together multiple, massive statistical studies of real progress in the world resulting from greater political and economic freedom. They go hand in hand. They serve the liberation not only of countries and cultures, but also women who, one hundred years ago left any country short on its claim of true democracy by prohibiting them the ballot and/or the right to economic freedom and ownership.
David Landes' "Wealth and poverty of nations" made this case from an historic perspective. Countries and their people and institutions need to be able to produce things of value, educate their young, innovate in their methods, emulate success, discriminate based on merit, and allow people the right to retain (some or much of) the fruit of their labor.Read more ›
He erects a barrage of facts and figures to make the case that trade is good. For example, real incomes among the top quintile of income earners have risen 75% over the past three decades and real incomes among the bottom quintile have increased 106%. Life expectancy in developing economies has increased, infant fatalities have fallen, and people living in developing economies are eating better and obtaining more education. Read the book to learn why the widening "gap" between rich and poor is a falsehood. Although most of the world is still poor compared to the West, their hardship is not because of the West. According to Norberg, "The uneven distribution of wealth in the world is due to the uneven distribution of capitalism."
Protectionists predict that capitalists will locate plants in countries where wages or environmental standards are lowest. Capitalists are not only intent on paying lower wages. "If they were," points out Norberg, "the world's aggregate production would be concentrated in Nigeria." Multinational corporations also seek "social and political stability, the rule of law, secure property rights, free markets, good infrastructure, and skilled manpower." There is evidence that the quality of the environment worsens in the early stages of development. However prosperous people can afford cleaner air and water. Norberg reports that "the turning point generally comes before a country's per capita GDP has reached $8,000." When people earn more than that, their governments adopt environmental regulations.Read more ›
Norberg looks at certain deceptive ideas, for example the one that claims the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer, giving us the good news of rapidly diminishing poverty and pointing out that the measure should be how well one is doing, not how well situated one is in relation to others. He explores the facts concerning issues like hunger, education, freedom and equality. Improvements have been particularly spectacular in China and India since these countries started reforming their economic systems.
He shows how the walls against ideas, people and goods are collapsing with dictatorships and how women benefit from the spread of capitalism. The best cure for poverty is growth; prices and profits serve as a signalling system in the market economy whereby the worker, the entrepreneur and the investor all benefit. The importance of property rights are pointed out, with reference to the work of De Soto, and the author compares the success of the Asian Tigers with the sorry state of Africa, although even here the open societies like South Africa, Mauritius and Botswana are doing well.
Norberg dismisses the hoary old argument that western countries are rich because they stole the resources of Third World countries in colonial times.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It tells truths that the majority of people ignores. Capitalism is the way to prosperity and Johan Norberg proves that with facts and data.Published 22 months ago by libertarian
This is a great little book, just brimming with facts and figures, statistics and upbeat anecdotes that make it clear that the world is (as John Lennon foresaw), "Every day, in... Read morePublished 23 months ago by applewood
very good review of the success of free markets world wide. Capitalism may not be perfect but there is no remote second if history is any guide and of course it always is.Published on December 28, 2013 by Loren P Ameen
If you're tired of using philosophical arguments to justify liberalized markets, this book is for you. Read morePublished on October 17, 2013 by Suckramento
Johan Norberg has written a book destined to become a classic. He provides major solutions to what are the major discussions in economics and politics today. Read morePublished on July 12, 2010 by James R. Walborn
I really enjoyed reading this book. It shows an uncommon perspective of capitalism and its virtues, and proves its statements with accurate data both from the past and the present. Read morePublished on June 20, 2010 by P. Astorga Iglesias
This book should be required reading for all socialist , commies or any other idiot who think individual liberty is a sin. Read morePublished on March 27, 2010 by Keith Wilson