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Making Globalization Work Hardcover – September 17, 2006
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Stiglitz's seminal Globalization and Its Discontents (2002) argued that globalization has not benefited as many people as it could, a failure attributable to structural flaws in international financial institutions as well as limited information and imperfect competition. With this selection, the Nobel Prize-winning economist suggests a host of solutions by which globalization can be "saved from its advocates" and made safe and worthwhile for the poor and rich alike. Each chapter examines, in some depth, an obstacle to equitable globalization (the burden of massive national debt, for example) and provides a set of possible solutions (a return to countercyclical lending and development of international bankruptcy laws, for example). Many of Stiglitz's proposals echo the familiar litanies of developing nations in the Doha round of international trade talks, but several, such as those drawing upon East Asia's experiments in contained progress, are innovative enough to warrant books of their own. Fairly accessible for a work of macroeconomics, this is a worthy counterpoint to Thomas Friedman's popular The World Is Flat (2005). Brendan Driscoll
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“A well-written and informative primer on the major global economic problems. ... [Stiglitz] helps his readers understand exactly what is at stake.”
- Jeffry Frieden, New York Times Book Review
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Natural resources are, by and large, simply the raw material basis from which products are manufactured using capital and intellect in order to create things of value and subsequently wealth through trade. Crude oil and metal ores which are the significant natural resources are of scant direct value to most purchasers. Even crops such as wheat and bananas require much capital and labour inputted into their production and distribution, etc., to be of any significant value to the overall economy of a country.
There is no such thing as a private monopoly. Only a government has the ability to create and maintain a monopoly since government is the sole legitimate power which can use force and the law to prevent others from trading in the market. Microsoft is a favourite to cite, but this is totally wrong since Microsoft can not use force or the law to make computer users use their software or prevent the use of alternatives such as Linux or FreeBSD, for example.
The only fairness that is meaningful in a global economy is the freedom of opportunity which the abolition of trade barriers, government subsidies and regulation, the free movement of people across the globe and the implementation and recognition of private property rights enables. This would also have to include no government printing or minting of money, and central banking would have to be done away with, too, with private banks taking on this role. The private banks would be limited by a return to the gold standard with no fractional reserve banking permitted Simply citing example after example of how the current norm must be further regulated by tribunals and of-the-moment political expediencies such as environmentalism is of no value whatever.
For a proper understanding about what will work in a globalized economy, I would recommend: 'Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics by George Reisman'
The first three chapters of Making Globalization Work are spent lambasting capitalism, liberalization and free trade for their handiwork in keeping the Third World from developing into the First World. He actually does little in outlying his own solutions, and instead uses the first part of the book to shape the reader's opinion on existing economic policies and then organizing these policies under the common title of "capitalism". From the very beginning, Joseph Stiglitz proves to be intellectually dishonest, or at least he himself misguided on what capitalism really is and what pro-market economists truly support. He, of course, is correct when putting much of the blame of current world poverty on such institutions as the IMF and WTO, but these are not capitalist institutions. Let us not forget that they came into existence through the legislation of international government, and they operate with the authority of the State. There is nothing remotely capitalistic in any world trade organization or association, for the simple fact that without governmental support they probably would simply cease to exist. In any case, it seems astonishing that Joseph Stiglitz is surprised that these institutions are ripe with corruption--any institution run by politicians and government bureaucrats is bound to be corrupted, as it is within the nature of bureaucracy.
To give a full critique of Making Globalization Work within the confines of a short article is unrealistic. The errors made by Stiglitz deserve a book. Many of the mistakes made are elementary and careless, which is astounding given that it was a Nobel laureate which authored the book. This review will focus on two major inaccuracies. The two erroneous arguments covered are Stiglitz' views on wages in a "globalized economy" and his extremely erred opinions on liberalizations and the effects of. To be fair to Stiglitz, one should also cover his arguments on patents, which at first seems like the most legitimate of all the cases he makes within the covers of Making Globalization Work. Unfortunately, even after analyzing these three positions, this review falls extraordinarily short on offering a complete critique of the book; at least, in the sense that it does not begin to scratch the surface of all of the mistakes committed.
The Nobel laureate attempts to engage the issue of global warming and damage on the environment. Even if the reasons for global warming are still in dispute, it remains unclear whether government-led or regulatory policies will lead to more efficient production (because, only more efficient production can reduce the amount of pollutants emitted over the long-run) and Stiglitz does not make a good case otherwise. Not all environmental problems are relevant to carbon dioxide, the ozone layer or global warming. He also touches upon the problems of deforestation, arguing in support of regulatory political policies which in the past have already proved disastrous. Despite not having the time to objectively analyze Stiglitz' opinions on these matters, they are very relevant and important topics to consider. The short response to pro-government positions is that only through privatization can deforestation be put to a halt. Apart from the environment, Stiglitz also covers the role of the multinational corporation in promoting, and simultaneously harming, world development, as well as the causes and effects of international debt (in regards to international debt, the subject will be treated to an extent in the exposition provided against the notion of the benefits provided by a global currency). These are all important issues which will have to be left for another day, as we have our plate full already.