musings on travel, international living, development aid, politics, turkey (the country more than the meat) and anything else that comes to mind...

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Dangers of Fetishizing Globalization

So the students were not necessarily against redistribution. They were against certain kinds of redistribution. Like most of us, they care about procedural fairness.
To pass judgment on redistributive outcomes, we need to know about the circumstances that cause them. We do not begrudge Bill Gates or Warren Buffett their billions, even if some of their rivals have suffered along the way, presumably because they and their competitors operate according to the same ground rules and face pretty much the same opportunities and obstacles.
Dani Rodrik has an excellent, concise, easy-to-understand article on globalization and, more specifically, income redistribution due to globalization, written after a presentation to a class of Harvard students.

I've always considered myself a 'free-trader' of sorts but have also always been leery of it without the appropriate 'procedural fairness', lest we end up with (among countless other things) another financial crisis caused by unscrupulous traders, more exploitative labor practices in Indonesia, uncontrolled industrial pollution in China (or the US for that matter), etc.

Rodrik's article explains my fears of the system (and it's nuances) much better than I can. Well done sir ve teşekkürler.