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• 2004

Archive: Global Economy

September 2004
Can Globalization ‘Go Social’?
cover image “Going global” typically means corporations expanding their business activities across national borders. Consequently, globalization has for a long time been regarded primarily in economic terms. But are serious concerns about the social dimensions of globalization becoming more and more critical? The slow pace of economic growth in Latin America and Africa, the poverty in the Middle East and former Soviet Union, and the neoconservative economic failure in Iraq suggest that free-market transformations—and macroeconomic solutions—are by no means guaranteed, either overnight or over the long term. In a world continuing to harden socially because of rapid and unsettling modernizations, could prevailing thinking about globalization shift toward the social?
May 2004
World Trade and Western Supremacy
cover image A landmark World Trade Organization ruling at the end of April that US cotton subsidies cause artificially low international prices is leading to predictions that cotton producers from Brazil to Western Africa may now have an incentive to increase production and get what they call a fair price for their crops. While wealthy-country farmers won't give in to the WTO without a fight, persistent developing-country and nongovernmental- organization activism may have sparked the beginning of an end to Western supremacy over world trade negotiations
April 2004
The Changing Geography of Cheap Labor
cover image Westerners long enjoying global economic superiority rationally accept the advantages of outsourcing jobs to India, Brazil and elsewhere to boost corporate profit margins. But now that the trend appears to have made life more worrisome for white-collar workers at home, resentments have grown toward their lower-wage counterparts abroad. As a global trend, however, white-collar outsourcing may be closely studied but it is still somewhat misperceived, for it is neither an overnight surprise nor an obviously easy labor solution, and it remains a distant reality in countries like China
March 2004
World Debt Threat
cover image Because debt is a prerequisite to growth, and so many countries, including the wealthiest, owe staggering amounts of it, the real lessons from borrowing only seem to come to light when crises happen and commentators weigh in. For at least one prominent international economist, the lesson learning is ongoing and a time for warning has come again. Today, especially in the emerging economies, debt crises are inevitable, but poor management of their onset and outcome is not