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Making Globalization Work Hardcover – September 17, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
He facetiously points out that a cow in Europe earns more than half of the people on the planet. The $2 a day subsidy of the European cow is equal to the the cut-off line defining poverty, and half of the earth's inhabitants live below this level. This example illustrates the ostensible unfairness of the current system. European, American, and Japanese multinationals, and the trade negotiators who represent them, argue for freer trade yet they refuse to relinquish agricultural subsidies. This is very unfortunate for the developing world since about 80 percent of their economies are agricultural. Nothing would help them more than if the rich countries stopped subsidizing their agriculture and opened their markets to imports. Economically this is a good idea, politically the it is a non-starter. The French will not be importing Brie and the Japanese will not be importing rice.
This seems to be the case with many of Stiglitz's ideas: they sound reasonable and fair, but unfortunately fairness is not a priority for many trade negotiators.
Stiglitz's proposal for a global reserve system is another example of a good idea whose time has not yet come. Today, when countries set aside money for a rainy day, the currency of choice is the US dollar, which for the time being is relatively stable and strong.Read more ›
The problem is that the "Washington Consensus" as instituted by the IMF and World Bank has had disastrous results in many countries around the world most notably Russia. As the chief economist of the World Bank from 1997 to 2000, Joseph E. Stiglitz is probably a pretty decent source to go to for on why so many countries AREN'T booming after instituting IMF imposed "structural adjustments". The author offers Argentina as an example of a country which received an A+ rating from the IMF for following the Washington Consensus only to face financial calamity a few short years later.
As the author puts it, one of the main problems is that, "the Washington Consensus prescription is based on a theory of the market economy that assumes perfect information, perfect competition, and perfect risk markets". Mr. Stiglitz writes, "policies have to be designed to be implemented by ordinary mortals". Economists seem to have become so enamored by the blackboard theories behind pure free market economics that they ignore the reality of its results.Read more ›
The content of the book is well organized, its opinions well informed, and its ideas thought-provoking.
This book is really written from a high moral ground - putting the interests of the world's vast poor ahead of the special interests of wealthy Western corporations. Some may feel uncomfortable of this view point, and some may even attack the book. But having met with Stiglitz in person, I have enormous respect for his integrity and his sincerity in genuinely wanting to help make globalization work to benefit most people in this world. Highly recommended!
Stiglitz tells us that the world is in a race between economic and population growth, and so far population growth is winning - at least in absolute numbers of people, and especially when China is excluded.
The IMF is not democratic - the U.S. has effective veto. Further, it has focused on inflation, rather than wages, environment, unemployment, or poverty (recently it did make poverty reduction a priority). Advanced industrial countries (AIC) have been allowed to levy tariffs on goods produced by developing countries that were, on average, four times those on goods from other AICs. Developing countries were also forced to abandon subsidies for their nascent industries while AIC were allowed to continue their enormous agricultural subsidies. The top 1% of U.S. farms get 25% of the subsidies (averaging over $1 million/), while the bottom 80% get less than $7,000/. Thus, the program is NOT key to saving the family farm, and in fact hurts them more by increasing land prices that in turn require greater use of fertilizer and capital to utilize profitably. Further, the U.S. has used trade agreements to force patent protection for drugs (increasing AIDs deaths) and for eg. Microsoft.
Finally, Stiglitz recognizes that globalization does produce losers within the U.S., especially those with less education. He proposes more progressive taxation to support an improved safety net for those affected.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting but a bit dated. More about the debate over the Doha round add it stood in 2006 than a general treatment of the issues surrounding free trade and globalisation.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book we used as a text book for class; the product itself was good and looked as pictured; However, reading this is another story. He is very conservativePublished 7 months ago by Carolyn Cupp
Great book, definitely a lot of insight about how the world works and why it's so messed up.Published 13 months ago by Max E
Made more for not so serious reading but packed enough to raise your curiousity.Published 14 months ago by Safiya Mohammed Adamu
needed for my course, I actually like a lot of things he said. The book is well-written and very enlightening.Published 19 months ago by Corey
Great author, great topic, amazing approach, a new set of rules to follow for a better world, that the richest countries should implementPublished on November 4, 2013 by Alvaro
Five stars for the book from me as it's compulsory to understand well of the globalization and to make it work in every corner of the world. Read morePublished on August 17, 2013 by Mung Awng
In the past decade or more economists and international observers have gone ga-ga over the perceived benefits of globalization. Mr. Read morePublished on July 16, 2013 by C.P.M.