Another Response to Comparing Globalization to Terrorism

by Don Boudreaux on November 12, 2006

in Myths and Fallacies, Terrorism, Trade

I found Cynthia Tucker’s description of globalization as "more insidious" than the world’s most notorious terrorist outfit to be so over-the-top out-of-touch that I wrote also to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where her comparison of consenting capitalist acts with murder and destruction first appeared.  The Journal-Constitution printed my letter today:

How ironic that Cynthia
Tucker mentions "enlightenment ideals" in the same column in which she
asserts that globalization is "a more insidious force" than al-Qaida.
Forget her unenlightened disregard of facts, such as her suggestion
that home ownership is increasingly out of reach for Americans. (In
fact, the percent of Americans owning their own home now is at an
all-time high.) She embraces two antedeluvian attitudes that are
rejected by enlightened thinkers: tribalism and superstition.

Globalization is opposed chiefly by tribalists and by those who
cling to the absurd superstition that commerce with people living in
different parts of the world is dangerous.


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Jacko November 12, 2006 at 5:25 pm

Your last paragraph is priceless. I hope you don't mind if I steal it in all situations of little significance.

It would appear that in today's level of discourse in most colleges, top business milieus, especially the press and of course politics, shouting folks down and otherwise belittling indefensible positions remains the only way to get through the clutter.

I admire a beautifully turned insult, even when they are aimed at me. I especially love them when I can cheer along.

Kudos to you and your blog and your department at George Mason. As I get to know the folks at your institution, they inspire me more and more. You give me reason to continue to hope there are universities that still strive to bring excellence to the world.

If we are to avoid the impending attraction by the multitude for the recurrence of the dark ages, we need more voices like your own.

Europe is lost. And trade remains our last best hope for every reason; economic, philosophic and political.

me November 13, 2006 at 11:30 am

Sure is easy to tell your job hasn't offshore yet. You are another misreading the election.

Does you definition of consenting capitalists include IBM stealing pensions? Dropping healthcare for retirees? Sending 10s of thousands of US jobs to offshore locations to evade taxes and use cheap, unqualified labor that graduates from diploma mills?

Didn't think so.

Mr. Econotarian November 13, 2006 at 12:00 pm

Status of USA…

Homeownership: all-time high 69%
Unemployment: very low @ 4.4%(currently lower than the 8-year Clinton administration average)
Inflation: Very low (thanks in part to globalization)

The National Association of Colleges and Employers, the trade group for college career centers, said a survey of employers this autumn showed they expect to hire 17.4 % more new college graduates in 2006-07 than in the previous academic years.

SAN ANTONIO, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said on Monday that U.S. employers were witnessing a clear shortage of certain types of workers, including welders, plumbers and truck drivers.

Inflation-adjusted wages up 1.1% over a year.

Total employee compensation up 3.3% in the past year.

Would someone like to provide an actually bad economic statistic?

me November 13, 2006 at 3:47 pm

Employment? 92,000 jobs??? That's good?? Bus drivers for school starting?

Are you aware that Clinton averaged 242,000 jobs per month his first term and 235,000 jobs per month his second term?

So I guess the real challenge is for you to come up with how many months Bush employment has actually exceeded the Clinton average.

High paying jobs lost, low paying jobs created, it doesn't get any worse than that.

Noah Yetter November 13, 2006 at 5:44 pm

Please enlighten us as to your theory of how the identity or actions of the man occupying the Oval Office determines the economy's rate of job creation.

me November 13, 2006 at 8:01 pm

This person in the WH sets the tone, or in this case a fish rots from the head.

It is easy for a president to say we need protections for those losing their jobs overseas. He can say tax policy needs changed to stimulate job creation in the US instead of India. He can ask for laws, particularly when he had a majority of the government, to say that companies cannot steal pensions and then pay themselves bonuses with that money. He can ask for a law that allows people over 55 that are, of course, not age discriminated against buy into Medicare. Or he can do as Bush, tax cuts for the the rich and lose the other 90% of the country. You do the math.

rick November 13, 2006 at 8:06 pm

I heard Arun Gandhi (grandson of Mohandas) on NPR the other day actually claim that global capitalism is the CAUSE of terrorism today.

The big bad capitalists in their zeal for money are oppressing the down-trodden of the world.

I almost choked on the cigar I was lighting with a hundred dollar bill.

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