Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 11, 2006 / 13 Nissan, 5766

Globalization's second death?

By Niall Ferguson


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Are we witnessing the beginning of the end of globalization? And should we be cheering or chafing at the prospect of its demise?


It's one thing for the French to block cross-border takeovers and riot at the prospect of increased labor market flexibility. From the arch-charlatan Jacques Chirac down to the silliest Sorbonne student reenacting the demonstrations of 1968, globalization to the French will always be "Anglobalization." But when Americans start to question the wisdom of international economic integration, something serious is afoot.


For years, Lou Dobbs of CNN has used his prime-time show to lambaste the Bush administration for its failure to stem the flow of illegal immigrants — most of them Mexicans — into the United States. But only in the last few weeks has the bee in his bonnet turned into a full-scale political swarm.


U.S. senators are at loggerheads over a bill to create a new system of guest workers that would also amount to an amnesty for current illegal immigrants. Meanwhile, legislators in the House are calling for the construction of an impenetrable fence along the U.S.-Mexican border — a kind of cortina de acero (iron curtain).


This backlash against porous borders is not confined to the issue of immigration, however. Simultaneously, Congress has been busy trying to tighten the rules governing foreign investment in the United States, ever since the story broke that a company based in the United Arab Emirates might gain ownership of facilities in American ports. Then there are the protectionists, who generally represent states with big manufacturing centers. They'd like nothing better than to slap a whopping tariff on Chinese imports.


So global flows of labor, capital and goods are all under attack — and this in a country that has been enjoying robust growth for the better part of five years. I shudder to think what would be coming out of Congress if the country was in recession. Presumably a bill for total autarky, mandating the construction of a vast, impermeable dome from sea to shining sea.


The last time globalization died, some historians say, it was an American backlash that killed it. A century ago, the world economy was in many ways just as integrated as it is today. Migration rates were comparably high, as was trade in relation to output. Capital flows today are bigger in relative terms, but a century ago they were more evenly distributed between rich and poor countries. After 1914, however, globalization fell apart, and by the 1930s the world economy had fragmented — with disastrous consequences for growth and employment.


The great disruption caused by World War I certainly did a large part of the damage, sinking thousands of tons of merchant shipping and severing international telegraph cables. Even before war came, however, globalization was already dying the death of a thousand legislative cuts. As early as 1882, the United States had introduced the Chinese Exclusion Act, the first of a series of measures designed to restrict immigration to white Europeans. Quotas for other ethnic groups were introduced between the wars so that by the mid1930s, the flow of new immigrants to the U.S. had all but dried up.


The same was true of trade. Never wholly committed to free trade in the 19th century, the United States sharply raised tariffs between the wars. The protectionist Smoot-Hawley trade bill that was enacted in June 1930 dealt a lethal blow to business confidence, compounding the damage done by the Wall Street crash.


Proponents of a new generation of anti-global measures claim to want to protect vulnerable native groups from the ravages of competition. They point to studies that show the biggest losers from immigration to be high school dropouts. Other evidence shows that it's unskilled blue-collar workers who are most likely to lose out from free trade with China.


Yet it would be an error to blame the widening inequalities of American societies on globalization and to seek to rectify matters with the old, failed policies of nativism and protectionism. American inequality has much more to do with not-very-progressive taxation and patchy welfare provisions than with immigration and free trade, much less free capital movement (without which, let's not forget, American consumption would have to be quite drastically reduced, given the vast size of the U.S. current account deficit).


The aggregate economic benefits of attracting the economically ambitious from around the world are real. In a flexible labor market like that of the United States, immigrants play a key role. In aging societies like those of Western Europe, immigrants are especially needed. True, it's not clear if Europe's over-regulated labor markets can successfully absorb and exploit their youthful energies. But that doesn't change the basic economic logic. An even more liberalized global labor market would boost economic growth all round. Restrictions on migration would cut it.


It makes no sense to jeopardize the benefits of globalization to protect the employment prospects of high school dropouts. So here's a modest counter-proposal for the House of Representatives.


Instead of building an expensive, hideous and probably ineffective new Iron Curtain, why not use the money to get this simple message across to the kids in American high schools: If you flunk, you're sunk. Yes, boys and girls, academic achievement is the only route to decent employment in an economy at the top of the technological food chain. Drop out of education without qualifications, and you'll be lucky to get a job alongside the Mexicans picking fruit or stacking shelves.


Sounds kind of harsh, I know. But a second Great Depression sounds a lot harsher.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


BUY THE BOOKS

Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).

Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).

Niall Ferguson is a professor of history at Harvard University. He is the author of "Empire" (Basic Books, 2003) and "Colossus" (Penguin, 2004). Comment by clicking here.

04/04/06: So many ‘special’ friends
03/28/06: Let's get it right about what has gone wrong
03/21/06: Congress is trying to give the world a globotomy
03/14/06: Lame ducks can still bite back
03/07/06: A 19th Century critique of a 21st Century president
02/28/06: The crash of civilizations
02/21/06: Not the president, but close
02/14/06: Want historic trouble? Look south
02/07/06: Greenspan advising Britain? It's housing bubbles, deficits and potential meltdowns all over again
01/31/06: Missing the Cold War
01/24/06: It's a sick, Thick World
01/17/06: Tomorrow's world war today
01/03/06: Scotland, it's over, but keep the accents
12/20/05: History, democracy and Iraq
12/20/05: History, democracy and Iraq
11/22/05: Ghost of Napoleon haunts Tony Blair
11/22/05: Can it happen in Britain too?
11/15/05: Red plus blue equals purple
11/10/05: The fires of disintegration
11/01/05: Triumph of an über-wonk

© 2006, Los Angeles Times Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles