chapter  31
Sense and Nonsense in the Globalization Debate
Pages 14

Globalization, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times has observed, is “the next great foreign policy debate.” Yet as the debate expands, it gets more confusing. Is globalization a source of economic growth and prosperity, as most economists and many in the policy community believe? Or is it a threat to social stability and the natural environment, as a curious mix of interests ranging from labor advocates to environmentalists-and including the unlikely trio of Ross Perot, George Soros, and Sir James Goldsmith-argue? Has globalization advanced so far that national governments are virtually powerless to regulate their economies and use their policy tools to further social ends? Is the shift of manufacturing activities to lowwage countries undermining global purchasing power, thus creating a glut in goods ranging from autos to aircraft? Or is globalization no more than a buzzword and its impact greatly exaggerated?