Harvey Lerner Third Draft 10/31/02 Fifth Class on Economic Globalization
Adult Programs Fall Semester Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church Bethesda MD

peClass 5: The Liberal Integrationists

The title of tonight’s presentation is “The Liberal Integrationists.” We will examine the upper left quadrant our circular paradigm, the one containing Globaphobia and Tom Friedman, author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree. They are shown in Exhibit 17 below. I have also put two Separatists, Greg Palast and Amartya Sen, on the Exhibit. I will contrast and compare their views later in my talk, as well as those of Princeton economist Paul Krugman.



Let’s start at the top of the upper left quadrant. Globaphobia, written by senior economists from the staffs of the Brookings Institution and the Progressive Policy Institute, is addressed to those who fear free trade policies in general and imports into the United States in particular, but are willing to listen to rational arguments concerning public policy.

The book makes the point that trade is not the major cause of job loss in the U.S. economy. Instead, imports have become a convenient scapegoat for fears of rapid changes in the economy and its patterns of growth - - changes neither readily apparent to the public nor easy for government to control, It is far easier for politicians and others to throw sand in the gears of globalization than it is to structure politically feasible solutions to the underlying causes of this growing sense of insecurity.

The authors well understand that while economists may poke holes in protectionist theories and evidence, the critics of globalization often can trump sound analysis with apparently persuasive stories of workers thrown out of jobs, plants relocated offshore, and management claims that painful restructuring measures are needed to meet competition from low-wage countries.

Raising barriers to trade is a much more popular strategy than raising taxes to fund safety net programs. Protectionism seems on the surface to be costless, and most voters are unwilling to take a short course in economic theory and statistics demonstrating that the public comes out far ahead with free trade. Globaphobia’s authors nevertheless do not believe that that the debate has been lost, and emphasize that the United States needs do a much better job of addressing the dislocations caused by trade as it continues to pursue free trade policies. They say [at pages 131-132]:

Economists have long recognized that while free trade confers net benefits on the economy as a whole, it also inflicts harm on certain workers and firms, who suffer economic losses as a result of the increased competition created by liberalized trade. A standard remedy for the economic fallout from free trade is to require that the winners share some of their gains with the losers through some form of compensation. We take this seriously as a political requirement and a moral obligation . . .

We think that the American safety net programs can be improved to reduce the insecurity that workers face in the new global economy. At the same time, some of our proposed changes can moderate the disparities in U.S. incomes.

Globaphobia’s authors propose a major restructuring of trade adjustment assistance. At present, workers qualifying for adjustment assistance simply get an extension of the period during which unemployment insurance is paid. There is a temptation simply to take a long vacation.

Under the new plan workers would no longer get this extension. However a scheme of income maintenance insurance, would compensate them for a portion of any salary cut they may have to take into order to find new employment. Older workers would receive more such compensation than younger workers. Under this scheme, displaced workers would have more incentive to find work immediately (1) because their unemployment insurance will run out sooner and (2) because they will have to get a job in order to qualify for this additional assistance.

This approach, they believe, would be more valuable to workers and result in speedier personal and economic adjustment than would otherwise be the case.

Given the fact trade is a relatively minor cause of job loss in our economy, why should not this approach be applied to unemployment caused by technological change and other forces beyond workers’ control? The answer [at page 149] is:

Because this book is devoted to global economic integration, we naturally emphasize compensating workers who are adversely affected when the nation adopts new trading or investment rules that lead to freer world markets. But we are sympathetic with the claims of other classes of workers who are hurt in the process of change. If earnings insurance turns out to be effective in helping displaced workers adjust to trade-related change, there is a sound case for expanding this insurance to cover a broader group of displaced workers.

Well, here we have the difference between the Liberal Integrationists and the Conservative Integrationists in a nutshell. Chairman Greenspan, as we saw last week, seems reluctant to emphasize the government role in adjustment assistance, though he acknowledges that some is needed. Here, by contrast, we have economists from Brookings and the Progressive Policy Institute proposing the leading edge of a wedge that could lead to a major new entitlement program. Not very Greenspan-like, I would say.

These authors of Globaphobia also separate themselves from the other two quadrants. Addressing themselves to Conservative Separatists such as Pat Buchanan, they assert that, “The claim that globalization has cost the United States its sovereignty is intellectually bankrupt.” [p. 126]1`` Turning in the direction of the Liberal Separatists, they say [page 124]:

. . . one must also honestly confront the reality that insisting that another country adopt tougher labor and environmental standards for its citizens will reduce the likelihood that any agreement is reached. In this light, it is legitimate to ask whether the real purpose of those who favor standards linkage to trade is help those overseas or protect certain workers at home.

Globaphobia’s authors believe it is appropriate for the ILO and governments to provide consumers with information that would permit them to determine which imported items have been produced under conditions to which customers object so they can leave these items on the shelf.

All the same, I come away from my reading of Globaphobia with the feeling that however much its authors are prepared to focus on the problems of vulnerable populations in the United States in terms of public policy, this concern pretty much stops at the water’s edge. The book has little to say or propose concerning the difficulties of the poor in the Third World.

This brings me to Tom Friedman and his book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree. You may recall that our four quadrant paradigm is based on the matrix that Friedman introduced in that book.

Let’s return for a few minutes to that original matrix (Exhibit 2 taken from page 438 of The Lexus and the Olive Tree). Friedman’s name for what we have been calling a Liberal Integrationist is “Integrationist Social-Safety-Netter.” Friedman leaves no doubt as to where he fits into his matrix. He says (at pp. 439-40 of the January 2000 Anchor Edition):

I am an Integrationist-Social-Safety-Netter. What does it mean to be an Integrationist Social Safety Netter? It means articulating a politics of sustainable globalization . . . a geo-economics of sustainable globalization and, finally, an ethics of sustainable globalization (a way of thinking about where values, parenting, and God fit into this system.

At pp. 444-449, he says :

A politics of globalization . . . demands a new social bargain between workers, financiers and governments that will make for sustainable globalization . . .

We Integrationist Social-Safety-Netters believe that you dare not be a globalizer in this world – an advocate of free markets – without also being a social democrat. Because if you are not willing to equip the have-nots and turtles in your society to survive in this new system, they will eventually produce a backlash that will choke off your country from the world. You will not be able to maintain the political consensus you need for openness. At the same time, we believe you dare not be a social democrat, or safety netter, today without being a globalizer, because without integration with the world you will never generate the incomes you need to keep standards of living rising and to take care of the left behinds . . .
To achieve this balanced outcome, Friedman lays down some requirements. He says:

First, we want as open, and growing, a free market-oriented economy as possible, in which people are encouraged to swing free and take crazy leaps. Without risk takers and venture capitalists, there is no entrepreneurship and without entrepreneurship there is no growth. Therefore at the heart of every healthy economy [is] the free-swinging trapeze of free markets . . .

Second, even with a growing economy every society also needs trampolines – programs that can catch workers who fall behind in this rapidly changing environment and retrain them so they can bounce back into the economy. A trampoline is strong enough to catch you before you hit the ground, but not so cushy that you can live on it forever, and it can be very useful for constantly shrinking the pool of left-behinds. Without question, the most important trampoline is life-long learning. . .

. . . I believe each White House should offer in this era of globalization an annual piece of legislation I would call “The Rapid Change Opportunity Act.” It would go alongside whatever integrationist policy the Administration was pursuing that year – whether NAFTA expansion to Chile or any other free-trade arrangements. Its goal would be to create both the reality and the perception that government understands that globalization is here, and it spreads its blessings most unevenly. Therefore, government is constantly going to be readjusting its trampolines to get as many people as possible up to speed for the fast world, by expanding their capabilities and life choices.

If I could have waved a magic wand, the Rapid Change Opportunity Act for 1999, for example would have included the following: pilot projects for public employment of temporarily displaced workers; tax breaks for severance pay for displaced workers; free government provided resume consultation for anyone who loses a job, and a further extension of the Kassebaum-Kennedy Act, so that laid-off workers could keep their health insurance longer. . . I would have included in my Rapid Change Opportunity Act some increased U.S. lending to Asian, African, and Latin American development banks to promote training of women, micro-lending to women and small businesses, and environmental cleanup in every developing country with which America has significant trade. I would have included an increase in funding for the International Labor Organization’s new initiative for building alternatives to child labor in countries where children are most abused . . .

The point here is that we Integrationist Social-Safety Netters believe that there are a lot of things government can still do in this era of globalization that is not all that expensive, does not involve radical redistribution – or lavish compensatory welfare spending programs that would violate the basic rules of the Golden Straighjacket, but can meaningfully expand the winners circle.

Let’s pause for a moment here and ask, what does Friedman mean by “the Golden Straightjacket” and its rules? They are as follows (p. 105):

To fit into the Golden Straitjacket a country must either adopt, or be seen to be moving toward the following rules:

When you stitch all of these together [Friedman says] you have the Golden Straitjacket. [bullets added and commas eliminated above]

Given, that this Golden Straightjacket is a close-fitting garment and that Friedman thinks it is clothing of choice for the 21st Century, how much real difference is there between Tom Friedman and Alan Greenspan, whose conservative integrationist specter is invisibly hovering there on the other side of the line to the right of Mr. Friedman?

Well, first of all, there certainly is a difference of philosophical political posture between Alan and Tom. Last week we saw Greenspan’s acceptance of the necessity of adjustment assistance – but he emphasized the private sector role in regard to retraining and certainly did not advocate a new entitlements. Friedman does not share Greenspan’s rather chary posture, and he appears ready to do a good deal more to make globalization more equitable. I think it fair to say that the Golden Straightjacket worn by Tom Friedman has a different cut than the one worn by Alan Greenspan.

Now, back to Friedman’s exposition on what it means to be an Integrationist Safety-netter [at page 449]:

Third, . . . [he says] we still need traditional safety nets – social security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and welfare – to catch those who simply will never be fast enough or educated enough to deal with the Fast World, but who you don’t want just falling onto the pavement.

Tom Friedman deals with the issue of financial instability under the heading “Geo-economics for the age of Globalization.” He sees the threats to the global economy as similar to those of the drug problem with its bad pushers and bad users. The trouble, in Friedman’s view, is lenders who should not have lent and borrowers who should not have borrowed.

The world has become a grazing ground for an Electronic Herd, which is composed of stock and bond and currency traders, moving their money around from mutual funds to pension funds to emerging market funds or trading on the Internet from their basements, It also includes relatively footloose industries in search of the most efficient low-cost producing countries.

This herd has grown exponentially as the fields of finance, information, and technology have been democratized. The Electronic Herd loves the countries that wear the Golden Straightjacket. Countries that put on the Golden Straightjacket and keep it on are rewarded with investment capital. Those that remove the Golden Straightjacket send out bad vibrations and spook the herd. So off goes the capital at a gallop, and that is okay. Here is Friedman’s reasoning [pp. 452-453]:

I believe that globalization did us all a favor by melting down the economies of Thailand, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, and Brazil in the 1990s, because it laid bare a lot of rotten practices and institutions in countries that prematurely globalized. Exposing the crony capitalism in Korea was no crisis in my book. Exposing the totally corrupt insider dealings in Thailand was no crisis in my book. Exposing the extreme lengths to which the Mexican government had gone to attract short-term dollar loans, without the ability to repay is no crisis in my book. All these systems would have crashed sooner or later.

But now that globalization had helped that to happen sooner, the question is, What do we do with this opportunity? Some want to restrain the Electronic Herd from stampeding such countries again. Others want to encourage these countries to impose capital controls that will fence the herd out. But these approaches are wrongheaded. The Electronic Herd is the energy source of the twenty-first century. Countries have to learn to manage it; restraining it is futile, and shutting it out for long will only deprive a country of resources, technology and professional advice, and prolong crony capitalism. . .

The right geo-economic approach, therefore, is to focus on strengthening these bad-borrowing countries so that they can plug into the herd again. Stampedes will happen, and some countries, no doubt will be unfairly hurt. But the herd is never irrational indefinitely.

Friedman thinks that the bad borrowers can get the herd to come back if they take the right medicine, some mixture of budget cutting, closing down inefficient bankrupt firms and finance houses, interest rate adjustments, currency adjustments, debt write-downs, and the breakup of crony capitalist practices. The objectives are to stabilize their currencies, eventually lower interest rates, and improve the prospect that contracts will be respected. Step Two is political reform, curbing corruption and tax cheating, improving democracy and the rule of law so that people have a sense of basic fairness when the time for belt tightening comes. Step Three is to assure that any balance of payments assistance, loans or other facilities provided by the IMF is conditioned on the first two steps being taken. Friedman thinks that: “The explicit goal of the IMF assistance should be restoring stability, growth, and confidence so that the Electronic Herd both within the affected country and from abroad will resume investment.” [p. 456]

And now to Step Four, which I will quote in full because I think that it distinguishes Friedman from the essentially America-centric view of the authors of Globaphobia: [pages 456-457]

Step Four has to be a commitment to use some of the IMF, or other assistance, to maintain minimum social safety nets in these [developing] countries and provide public works jobs to soak up some of the unemployed. These minimum safety nets are often the first things to get shredded in any rescue program. International bankers, who tend to focus only on preventing bank defaults in other countries and not worry about the depressions, tend to pooh-pooh the issue of safety nets when its comes to helping bad borrowers. This is insane. Because at the end of the day the real crisis in these bad-borrowing countries -- and the real threat they can pose to the global system -- is not economic, it’s political.

Here’s why. In exposing rotten practices in bad-borrowing countries, globalization not only flattened their crony capitalists but also steam-rolled a lot of little folks who were just working hard, playing by the rules of their systems and assuming everything was OK. They didn’t know their countries had false bottoms. But when the floor caved in, in Russia, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, and Brazil, it produced massive layoffs, unemployment, disinflation, fiscal contraction and collapsing real incomes. That’s why it is critical to maintain some basic safety nets and jobs program during the recovery process. No jobs and no safety nets is no way for a government to buy the patience needed for reform policies to take hold and put bad-borrowing countries back on the growth path.

If large numbers of people start to go hungry in big countries, then leaders will be sorely tempted to just opt out of the system, build walls of protection and engage in beggar-thy-neighbor policies of competitive devaluations – even if it makes no long-term sense. These sorts of policies helped to make the Great Depression “Great” and brought us to World War II.

As far as bad lenders are concerned, Friedman thinks that it would be ideal if a global central bank could be established that could keep them in line, but that isn’t going to happen any time soon. For the present, he argues for a combination of greater transparency and restraint: [at page 402]:

. . .we have to work with the institutions we’ve got to produce better financial governance without a global central bank telling everyone what to do. It is clear that when the market players impose some discipline on themselves and the regulators take their duties seriously, and the IMF takes surveillance seriously, they can have a restraining effect, and they can at least dial down some of the excessive leverage that can threaten the system as a whole.

You simply cannot hope for better than that. . .So dear reader, let me leave you with one piece of advice: Fasten your seat belts . . Because both the booms and the busts will be coming faster. . . . Anyone who tells you that they have a plan for eliminating all these crises is just pulling your leg.

Well, okay, that’s Tom Friedman. Let’s look at two very different critiques, one from an erudite and articulate economics professor at Princeton, Paul Krugman. The other, from an investigative reporter whose thrusts are rather less elegant. First, let’s hear from Professor Krugman [Washington Monthly, “Understanding Globalization,” June 1999,]:

Every few years a book comes along that perfectly expresses the moment’s conventional wisdom - - that says pretty much what everybody else in the chattering classes is saying, but does it in a way that manages to sound fresh and profound.

It’s possible to summarize what Friedman has to say fairly quickly, mainly because it’s what you read in just about every issue of Business Week. Information technology, he tells us, has made the world a small place, in which ideas and money can move almost instantly across borders. This smaller world richly rewards countries and societies that meet its needs – which is to say places that have strong property rights, open minds, and a flexible attitude; but it inflicts devastating punishment on those who fail to live up to global standards. Old-fashioned power politics is becoming increasingly obsolete because it conflicts with the imperatives of global capitalism. We are heading for a world that is basically democratic, because you can’t keep ‘em down on the farm once they have Internet access, and basically peaceful, because George Soros will pull out his money if you rattle your saber.

. . . Friedman . . . is . . . on shaky ground when it comes to . . . the financial crisis in emerging markets. It takes a while to figure out what he is really saying about the “electronic herd,” but I think his bottom line is that, in the end, countries get treated as they deserve: If capital flight devastates your economy, it must have been fundamentally flawed to begin with. Now this is a very debatable proposition: The sheer extent of global contagion has convinced many economists that nations can be subject to “self-fulfilling crises,” in which a loss of confidence creates an economic and political collapse that validates investors’ pessimism. Was Indonesia a disaster waiting to happen? Or was it an imperfect but reasonably well-managed economy, which might well have grown out of its problems if its creditors had not stampeded for the exit? We all know that in the days before FDIC, a run by the depositors could break down a fundamentally sound bank. Why can’t it happen to countries?

The point is that Friedman does not give the big question about globalization - - whether it is a force for instability on a scale that will swamp its gains - - a hearing. He therefore pre-judges the question of whether the globalizing trend of the next 20 years will continue or whether today’s wide-open economy will, like the global economy of the early 20th century – which seemed unstoppable to its contemporaries – eventually be reined in by financial crisis and political restrictions. I don’t know the answer to this question, but neither does he.

Okay. We left Tom Friedman saying, “More economic crises ahead and don’t you believe anyone who tells you how to fix them.” And Paul Krugman says “Don’t you believe Tom Friedman knows any more than I do when he tells you that the future lies with globalization! And I haven’t the foggiest.” So what does hard-bitten Investigative Reporter Greg Palast say about Tom Friedman and his book?

He says “Sell the Lexus, Burn the Olive Tree.” Those of you who read this material will recognize that Mr. Palast is a man of the Left who has opinions rather unlike those of Mr. Greenspan or the Cato Institute. Nevertheless, while Palast is very clear about what he thinks of the Golden Straightjacket and what he would do with the Lexus and the Olive Tree if he gets the chance, he really does not devote a great deal of his time or effort analyzing Tom Friedman’s thinking.

Palast seems far more interested in what Joseph Stiglitz can tell him concerning the faults of the IMF and the World Bank than he does in Tom Friedman’s conjectures.

In the course of his own blistering criticism of the IMF and World Bank, Palast certainly does NOT acknowledge Friedman’s Step Four call for IMF or other assistance to maintain minimum social safety nets in developing countries and provide public works jobs.

So here’s poor Tom, who has staked his identify on being a social safety-netter, and Palast has nary a word to say about that. Palast’s basic aim is to show how flawed, how inept, how demonic, the existing system is - - rather than exploring the content and nuances of Friedman’s position which is basically that the best thing to do is to stick with the present system, but to make it more humane.

In fact, Palast does not much care for middle positions at all. Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and Blair’s intellectual mentor, Anthony Giddens all elicit Palast’s sarcasm and contempt. Dr. Giddens, Director of the London School of Economics and advisor to Tony Blair, is painted in the garb of a clown on Greg Palast’s canvas: [pp. 46-7]

Inside the [New York] Hilton, Professor Anthony Giddens explained to an earnest crowd of London School of Economics alumni, that “Globalization is a fact, and is driven by the communications revolution.”

Wow. That was an eye opener. The screeching, green-haired freakers outside the hotel demonstrating against the IMF had it all wrong. Globalization, Giddens seems to say, is all about giving every villager in the Andes a Nokia Internet-enabled mobile phone. (The man had obviously memorized his Thomas Friedman.) What puzzled me is why anyone would protest against the happy march into the globalized future.

So I thumbed through my purloined IMF “Strategy for Ecuador” looking for a chapter on connecting Ecuador’s schools to the world wide web. Instead I found a secret schedule. Ecuador’s government was ordered to raise the price of cooking gas by 90 percent by November 1, 2000 it says. Also, government had to eliminate 26,000 jobs and cut real wages for the remaining workers by 50 per cent in four steps in a timetable specified by the IMF. By July 2000, Ecuador had to transfer ownership of its biggest water system to foreign operators, then Ecuador would grant British Petroleum’s ARCO rights to build and own an oil pipeline over the Andes.

That was for starters. In all, the IMF’s 167 detailed loan conditions looked less like an “Assistance Plan” and more like a blueprint for a financial coup d’etat . . .

The IMF and its sidekick, the World Bank, have lent a sticky helping hand to scores of nations. Take Tanzania. Today, in that African state, 1.3 million people are getting ready to die of AIDS. The IMF and the World Bank have come to the rescue with a brilliant neoliberal solution: require Tanzania to charge for hospital appointments, previously free. Since the Bank imposed this requirement, the number of patients treated in Dar Es Salaam’s three big public hospitals has dropped by 53 per cent. The Bank’s cure must be working.

The Bank also ordered Tanzania to charge fees for school attendance, then expressed surprise that school enrolment dropped from over 80 per cent to 60 per cent.

Two weeks ago, we discussed Joseph Stiglitz’ Globalization and Its Discontents in this class. In the closing pages of the homework I have given you, Greg Palast has given his own, inimitably salty enhanced version of much of the same material based on interviews with Stiglitz and other sources. At the end of this section, Palast notes that when he originally published this material in the press, the magazine Big Issue offered the IMF equal space to reply, and the IMF declined. In point of fact, there now is an “Open Letter to Joe Stiglitz” from Kenneth Rogoff, Director of Research on the IMF website. A copy of this letter is attached to your homework for next week. It does appear that brickbats fly in both directions inside the Beltway.

Well, putting aside the brickbats, what can we learn from Investigative Reporter Palast about Liberal Integrationists or “Integrationist Safety Netters” as Friedman likes to call them? It seems, first of all, that so fierce an advocate as Mr. Palast, is not willing or able to distinguish Tom Friedman’s relatively moderate/progressive position from Thatcher/Reaganism. Friedman wins no merit points from Palast for telling the IMF to shape up.

Palast looks at Tom Friedman and the image, I think, fades into Alan Greenspan and then dissolves into the façade of the Cato Institute, and finally settles into a composite of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Milton Friedman. And that in fact is how he feels about all the middle way people, Clinton and Tony Blair, and Anthony Giddens. Witting or unwitting, they are all tools of capitalism.

Tom Friedman may wax eloquent for pages on his commitment to safety nets and he may plead with the IMF to lighten up, but the minute he favorably mentions a Golden Straitjacket designed by Margaret Thatcher, the yellow flag is down for Palast.

I think that Palast’s passion and anger tells us something. Implicitly and explicitly, he has identified an evil force which he holds responsible for the terrible conditions prevailing in developing countries.

Tom Friedman says there are two problems: bad borrowers and bad lenders. Paul Krugman says there is a third problem, a communicable the loss of confidence in itself. Palast says there is only one problem, a set of powerful people and institutions with the capacity and responsibility to prevent human suffering, and that have deliberately or foolishly made things worse.

Palast is holding the World Bank and IMF and the WTO and Bill Clinton and Tony Blair and Anthony Giddens and Tom Friedman and all of their ilk responsible for the state of the world. He is saying you powerful establishment guys keep making pompous pronouncements about how to fix everything - - and everything keeps getting worse. And all of this is happening because you are beholden to capitalism.

- - - -

So, what do you think would happen if the Liberal Separatists in the UUA designated Greg Palast as their symbolic representative to negotiate the contents of a Statement of Conscience with the Liberal Integrationists in the UUA - - and the Liberal Integrationists in our midst chose Tom Friedman for this symbolic role?

Well, actually, those of us who have read Palast know he and Tom Friedman had a debate in Cleveland at a meeting of the World Council of Affairs. They appeared on separate days, because Friedman would not debate face-to-face, Palast says.

But does that suggest that there is no hope for bridging the gap between the liberal integrationists and the liberal separatists in our midst? I think that, unwittingly, Greg Palast, for all his scornful anger, may have given us a constructive clue. Almost at the end of his essay he says [page 74] (which was not in your Homework package):

The southern Indian state of Kerala is the laboratory for the humane development theories of Amartya Sen, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Economics. Committed to income redistribution and universal social services, Kerala built an economy on intensive public education. As the world’s most literate state, it earns its hard currency from the export of technical assistance to Gulf nations. If you’ve heard little or nothing of Sen and Kerala it is because they pose an annoying challenge to the free market consensus.

Well, actually, Mr. Palast we have heard something about Amartya Sen in this class, haven’t we? His views were introduced in our Sunday Forum on September 22.

The full text of his Los Angeles Times article, “A World of Extremes: Ten Theses on Globalization” was reproduced in our homework for our second class. In our third class, he appeared on Exhibit 14, and was identified as an exponent of “Liberal Separatism, Lite” because of his close association with Oxfam and advocacy of reducing industrialized countries’ barriers to imports from the Third World.

Sen certainly does appear to be a person who holds, as Greg Palast says, “humane development theories.” And he is the fellow who said in his Los Angeles Times article:

Globalization in itself is not folly. It has enriched the world scientifically and culturally and benefited many economically . . . The central issue is inequality, between as well as within nations . . By claiming the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, the critics of globalization have, often enough, chosen the wrong battleground . . . even if the patrons of the contemporary economic order are right in claiming that the poor, in general, have moved a little ahead (and this is in fact, by no means uniformly so), the compelling need to pay attention to the appalling poverty and staggering inequalities in the world would not disappear.
Now this thought has crossed my mind. If, instead of choosing Greg Palast as its symbolic advocate, UUA Liberal Separatists were to choose Armartya Sen to represent them, perhaps Sen and Friedman are close enough together in their basic attitudes, values, and standards of civility so that they could sit down in the same room and hammer out a Statement of Conscience acceptable to almost all Unitarians.

What do you think of that symbolic solution?


Draft Statement of Conscience (August 2002)


Open Letter from Kenneth Rogoff (IMF) to Joe Stiglitz

The Scorecard on Globalization 1980-2000 (Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2001), pp. 1-3, 14*
Globalization, Growth, and Poverty (World Bank, 2001), pp. 1-2*
Balancing the Other Budget: Proposals for Solving the Greater Debt Crisis (New Economics Foundation), pp. 1-11*
How Did Indebted Poor Countries Become So Highly Indebted? (William Easterly, World Bank, 2001), pp. 1-4 plus Figure 3*
Resolving the Debt Crisis of the Low-Income Countries (Jeffrey Sachs, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, January, 2002), pp. 1, 26-28*