Things are Getting Better III: Global Good News
This morning's LA Times has a story of the astounding rates of economic growth being produced in the developing world and attributes this growth to the expansion of free trade. Shocking, I know, from the LA Times, but perhaps the facts are finally the facts. A brief excerpt:
The global economy is on a growth streak that is shaping up to be the broadest and strongest expansion in more than three decades. Rising spending and investment by consumers and businesses worldwide are boosting national economies on every continent, pushing down unemployment rates in many countries and lifting business earnings and confidence. Of 60 nations tracked by investment firm Bridgewater Associates, not one is in recession — the first time that has been true since 1969.... The trend is being driven by free trade, which has created millions of jobs in emerging nations in recent years, fueling stunning new wealth in those countries.
Unfortunately, a subtext of the story is that this growth worldwide is accompanied by stagnation for US workers. This earlier post of mine suggests the reality is otherwise and that traditional aggreate measures of economic well-being miss the real gains for average Americans. The LA Times piece also (wrongly) places blame on the trade deficit for supposed"stagnation," and refuses to see how state intervention is responsible for high unemployment rates in Western Europe.
Still, any time a major media outlet argues that free trade is making billions of lives better off across the world, I'll forgive a few mistakes.
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Sheldon Richman - 5/15/2006
It's good to see people climbing out of poverty. A little liberalization goes a long way, considering how far down many populations are. But before we think that the world is awash in liberalism, I recommend this post from Kevin Carson at The Mutualist Blog: http://mutualist.blogspot.com/2006/05/vulgar-libertarianism-watch-part-xvii.html. What is advancing, liberalism or state capitalism? Food for thought there.