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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Stiglitz Sets the Record Straight on "Globalization"

Stiglitz Sets the Record Straight on "Globalization"

Sunday, 16 March 2014 08:00

Joe Stiglitz had a nice piece on globalization pointing out that recent "trade" agreements have been largely about shaping rules and regulations to benefit the one percent rather than reducing trade barriers. The strategy of the Obama administration and other proponents of deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership is to make nonsense claims about the economic benefits of these deals and use ad hominem arguments against the opponents (i.e. call them Neanderthal "protectionists").

In reality, it is the proponents of these deals who are the protectionists, supporting the barriers that limit competition from foreign doctors and others in highly paid professions. And, one of the main goals of these deals is to increase the strength of patent and copyright protection, often raising the price of the affected items by several thousand percent about the free market price.

Comments (4)Add Comment
written by JSeydl, March 16, 2014 8:29
It's nice to see a Nobel laureate finally making this argument, which Dean has been making for about a decade and a half. It would also be nice if that other Nobel laureate who writes for the Times would do the same.
Protectionism isn't all bad
written by Dave, March 16, 2014 9:40
I like the way this argument has been turned against the 'free traders', but I don't like the fact that it relies upon a degradation of protectionism to do it. Protectionism isn't an evil monster if it is used wisely to maintain political and economic stability. It is bad when it used as the TPP would use it, as a tool for the global rentiers to further oppress the working class of all nations.

If people want to know the fate of the US, just watch the fiasco in Ukraine. The US believed that western economic prowess was invincible. They failed to recognize that even most US citizens don't like it. It is caving in from within and Putin knows it.

Look at Russian's economic prosperity and it should be obvious that he's led Russia much better than any previous figurehead that listened to US advice about markets. Russia wasn't ready for US capitalism because its brutality was so obvious when it invaded Russia and upset their existing culture.

The US and European leaders are talking about isolating Russia economically. They are in denial. Russia and China are going to isolate the US. We're in trouble. Our leaders are arrogant, out of touch, and really just dumb.

China and Russia know something the US doesn't
written by Dave, March 16, 2014 9:56
Both China and Russia know something about the US economic model that US leaders don't know. That is that our gradual shift and brainwashing towards 'free market' ideas has undermined the coherence of the US government and the body citizen. Many citizens are so confused and have been programmed to believe in low, low prices and a consumer-driven society. China has essentially been allowed to undermine the US government in the mind of citizens with full help from US corporate leaders.

You cannot turn around this kind of popular mindset quickly. China and Russia have coherence the US can only dream of. We did it to ourselves. Our acceptance of consumer greed (against our better judgment) ensured our demise.

written by urban legend, March 16, 2014 3:21
Great articles at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and GNU sites on the questionable history of the term "intellectual property" and how, by implying ownership rights similar to those in real property, it is intended to skew the actions of courts and policy makers towards excessive protection of corporate profit-making. Of course, in most cases those judges and policy-makers have interests in businesses that benefit from such interpretations, and it is time we recognized that.



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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.