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117 Foreword Sparked by the WTO riots in Seattle in 1999 and underscored by the populism of Hugo Chavez and the massive demonstrations in Argentina this November, the debate over “globalization” is the contemporary variation of the enduring battle between capitalism and its enemies. The resilience of anti–free market politics may seem ironic in view of both the massive collapse of the great socialist experiments of the twentieth century, and, as Martin Wolf puts it, the fact that there is not a single economic experiment the anti-globalization forces can claim as a victory. Nonetheless, the critics persist, arguing that globalization is leading to declining wages in the United States and worsening working conditions in the developing world. Many U.S. politicians subscribe to this argument, or at least the claim that the U.S. workforce is suffering because companies are “off-shoring” jobs. The more radical critics associate the success of corporations with the exploitation of labor and the environment. And a wide range of critics point to hypocritical policies in developed countries, in particular agricultural subsidies. While acknowledging this last point, supporters argue that globalization is accelerating the creation of wealth, providing new jobs in both the developed and developing countries, and helping to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. Indeed, the supporters argue, the problem is not too much globalization, but too little of it! Who is right? The question is largely an empirical one, the answer to which lies in the historical record and contemporary affairs and requires understanding the role of non-economic factors in assessing the effectiveness of markets—namely the roles of independent judiciaries, property rights, equal protection, safety nets, and other features of modern political systems. The outcome of the globalization debate could very well change the direction of U.S. policies toward Asia and beyond. Traditional U.S. support for free trade and open markets has been central to U.S. policies in Asia, and in particular toward China. Championing free trade and open markets, in fact, has constituted the cornerstone of U.S. policies designed to promote economic development and democracy both in Asia and throughout the developing world. The stakes are huge. In this new NBR Analysis, George F. Russell, Jr. addresses the empirical question and related arguments that make the case for the benefits of globalization. He argues that globalization benefits the economies and living standards of all countries willing to open their markets and protect their citizens and property. George Russell has many decades of business experience in building one of the world’s leading investment management and advisory firms, the Frank Russell Company (now called Russell Investment Group). In 1990 he founded the Russell 20-20, a non-profit investment group that has 118 sought to encourage meaningful dialogue between its members and senior government and private sector leaders in developing countries in the former Soviet Union, China, India, and beyond. He is also Chairman of The National Bureau of Asian Research. Richard J. Ellings President The National Bureau of Asian Research [This page intentionally left blank.] ...


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