Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Larry linked to this story in linkinator. It is by Larry Summers who is former chief economist for the world bank and treasury secretary for the last year and a half of the Clinton administration. He is a free trade and globalization supporter. His current take on globalization,

John Kenneth Galbraith was right when he observed: "All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership." Meeting the needs of the anxious global middle is the economic challenge of our time.
In the US, the political pendulum is swinging left. The best parts of the progressive tradition do not oppose the market system; they improve on the outcomes it naturally produces. That is what we need today.
There are no easy answers. The economic logic of free, globalized, technologically sophisticated capitalism may well be to shift more wealth to the very richest and some of the very poorest in the world, while squeezing people in the middle.

I have a lot of problems with globalization myself. I realize that it is a global situation today. Trade is a necessary part of it. It certainly can make the whole world better off. One of my greatest fears of a more globalized situation is the fact that our country is becoming more and more dependent on other countries. We need industrial capacity. We need people skilled in industry. We need people skilled in the universe of skills. That is the secret of what made America great. We were truly the people who could do it all. It is a big part of what the melting pot was all about. We must maintain the ability to take care of ourselves, and beyond that innovate above others.
With companies becoming more global in their structure who is to say they are American companies or global entities. We need to pull ourselves back a little and put America back in its borders. I want to see some stuff made in America when I go in a store. We don't even make our own socks anymore. That is disturbing to me from a purely structural and economically defensive position. I'm not quite sure what the answer is but I think the direction is wrong today. There has to be incentives to do it in America. Certainly profitability is going to be the number one consideration in a company. But is there anything more than that? Could they remain profitable and make decisions based on the interests of their country? Could our so called leaders make decisions that would encourage maintaining our robustness and nimbleness or do we become a country with less diversity and fewer options? Do we have to give companies every tax break and incentive possible to make it happen? We need some serious patriots. People that will find a way to do things that are best for the whole of America. In my opinion it is the people in the middle that have the incentive to strive to do better. Lets put some pride back into American made, American worker and American innovation.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have noticed comments at different blogs and news sources that pastor Ted Haggard
actually supported some evangelical environmental concerns and opposed the administration's torture policies in the MidEast. Can anyone confirm on this? If so, could this have been a dirty tricks payback even if he did what he was accused of? Keep info on people and then use it when they don't get in line. J Edgar Hoover used this technique for decades. Also, in the world of Greed Worship the resources of Haggard's ministry could be more effectively used by a better team player. That's what happened to the Bakkers.

Larry in New Mexico

2:47 PM, November 04, 2006  

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