Arnold Kling

Understanding Globalization

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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How can American policy better serve the needs of the developing countries of Africa? This New York Times article has an interesting perspective.

African leaders, along with some of the poverty-fighting advocacy groups that for years have viewed globalization with suspicion if not downright hostility, are increasingly embracing international trade as the most powerful tool available for creating jobs, steady incomes, hope and political stability. After concentrating for years on winning relief from crippling debt burdens and lobbying for increases in foreign aid payments, African governments are instead starting to demand reduced tariffs and other changes in trade policies from the United States and the other rich nations to increase sales of local products.

The recently-passed farm bill, criticized in the United States for its pork-barrel politics and subsidies to rich farmers, is also bad when viewed from a trade perspective. African countries and other potential exporters are kept from expanding their market share because American producers use government subsidies to compete unfairly.

Discussion Question. Will the more sophisticated view of trade and globalization have any political impact?

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