My vision of globalization

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    The concept of globalization as I mean it, is not necessarily the homogenization of cultures, but more the homogenization of economic systems to facilitate the unencumbered exchange of products and ideas. Globalization is the economic equivalent of freedom of speech. Of course, we all know that freedom of speech is not, nor should it be absolute, just as free trade should not be absolute. However, the concept of freedom of speech as well as globalization is overall a good idea. Obviously, with trade and speech, there should be certain limits in order to not squash the rights of others. For example, US, EU farm subsidies are an example of where limits should be enacted. Those subsidies effectively limit the economic freedoms of developing countries (such as in Africa.) Those subsidies are not just unfair, they distort the market. Just as the media can distort elections via biased coverage.


    My globalization ideal would involve graduated elimination of all tariffs, but of course that would require the graduated elimination of domestic subsidies. Over time, the markets will create a more efficient and productive environment. This is the stated aim of the World Trade Organization, however domestic political agendas often preclude trade fairness. Much as Colorado can trade products and services with Illinois with minimal regulatory interference, I would hope that America and Zambia, or France and Uzbekistan could enjoy similar trade efficiency.


    Economic balkanization is a poison. It is one of the root causes of poverty. If Africa can’t sell tulips to Europe because the Dutch oppose tariff elimination, then Africa effectively will have a smaller or reduced market for their products, thus perpetuating poverty in that region. Bono is more of an expert in that area than me, go visit the One Campaign website for more about African trade and poverty.


    I am not in favor of cultural imperialism from any country. I am in favor of eliminating barriers to trade as it will benefit all economies, from developed countries like the US all the way down to small Bangladeshi basket weavers.


    Much as the civil rights movement in the United States reduced barriers between races, I want to reduce barriers between economies. Racial segregation seemed like a good idea to some people throughout history just as economic segregation seems like a good idea to some now. Realizing that segregation hurts a country took many years, but looking back it seems obvious (to most of us) that segregation was wrong, both morally and economically.


    A rising tide will raise all boats — we just need to ensure all boats are ready for the rising tide.


    Read a speech from the WTO Director General Mike Moore about Globalization. In the speech he explains that "globalization works."


    For an alternative view check out the Free Trade section of GlobalIssues.org. Much as I slant strongly in favor of globalization, this site provides links and commentary slanting against free trade policies.

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