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Making globalization work : the next steps…

Making globalization work : the next steps to global justice

by Joseph E. Stiglitz

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499920,441 (3.96)10



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Nobel winner Stiglitz's first book , Globalization and Its Discontents made a huge impact on me when I worked overseas, it definitely motivated the direction I took with my studies. I'll always remember sitting in Azerbaijan one night reading it and looking up at the TV to see Stiglitz being interviewed by a Baku station about his book-- he was visiting the country. That was one of those really weird coincidences that you feel have to be from God.

This is his follow-up book that, sadly, is not as good (maybe because I now know better). Stiglitz picks up where he left off in his previous book-- continuing to criticize the IMF and rehashing their ineptitude in East Asia, Argentina, etc. But Stiglitz also rails against the Bush administration and just about everyone else (sometimes without naming who he is railing against exactly). So much so that it seems the only entity he likes is the United Nations-- that wonderfully effective body. As such, there are a lot of inconsistencies and rambling.

The chapter on trade is pretty good, though. "We don't know what the benefits of free trade would be because we've never tried it." He points out all of the problems with trade agreements, particularly how the U.S. and other Western countries tip the playing field in their favor. Here is a favorite example:

U.S. industries will often file a petition alleging "dumping" by foreign countries. Rather than comparing the true cost of production in the offending country, trade officials will use costs in some place like Canada as a proxy. So, if one country is selling a product cheaper than what Canada can make it they can have anti-dumping duties (tariffs) imposed on their products. That hurts the developing world that happens to have cheap inputs due to abundant labor.

As the U.S. opened its markets to Vietnam, Vietnamese catfish quickly took 20% of the U.S. market. Congress passed a law stating that only U.S. catfish could be called "catfish," so Vietnamese exporters re-entered the market with a new name, "basa," which they could market as something high-end and sell it for a higher price. U.S. catfish farmers then charged Vietnam with dumping. Stiglitz witnessed all of this "kangaroo court" action while working in the Clinton administration.

He blasts the U.S. for engaging in bilateral trade agreements and rails that it hurts multilateral efforts. This is highly controversial theoretically (mathematically) but Stiglitz pronounces bilateral agreements as harmful as fact. Stiglitz criticizes the U.S. on one page for not doing as the EU did and unilaterally removing its tariff barriers to the developing world. Then a couple pages later he rants on how ridiculous it was that the EU unilaterally removed its tariff barriers because they kept their agricultural subsidy programs intact so as to render the removal ineffective. This type of inconsistency runs throughout the book.

My favorite quote from the book:

"China knows there would be high costs to it--and little benefit to the United States-- were it to allow its exchange rate to appreciate. And presumably, America understands this too."

America must not include Paul Krugman who is always ranting about China's currency (along with the media in the last year). A yuan appreciation would simply mean the U.S. would import the same amount of goods from other countries. We're a net importer because I > S while China's S > I. Economics 101.

In all, I give this book 2 stars out of 5. The problems he outlines are vast and complicated. His final solutions are to strengthen the U.N. and I.M.F. while making the I.M.F. more transparent and democratic. He proposes a single world reserve currency and to let U.N. representatives vote on who gets the shares. Just imagine how that would turn out... ( )
  justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
Thorough and incisive look at the effects of modern globalization, including sections on debt, multinational corporations, intellectual property, free trade, and the environment. Offers an interesting view of the current situation, but also some solutions to counteract the problems. A good view into Stiglitz's economics. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 29, 2013 |
Making Globalization Work is his book about how globalization as it is currently managed is failing to improve the lives of many people in many countries, especially developing countries. The start of the book annoyed me, but once he got past the slogans and into some grittier policy it well and truly exceeded my expectations. There is a lot of very thought-provoking and disturbing material here, especially in his criticisms of the WTO (although he does say that the Uruguay Round's start at an international rule of law for trade is a big step forwards), climate change, too much developing country debt, and the US dollar's (now dwindling) status as a de facto reserve currency. The book was written in 2006, and he really picked what was coming in 2008 and described the problems with great prescience.

If you haven't taken an economics course but are interested, this is still a worthwhile read, but some of it may be hard to follow - especially the bits on debt servicing and the global reserve system. If you *have* done an economics course or 2, these are the best bits. If I were still lecturing, I would be recommending this book to all students taking econ at sophomore level or above, or to bright first years who are curious. I did not agree with all of it, but I did agree with much more than I expected, and have come away with a long reading list. ( )
  cushlareads | Nov 15, 2010 |
An excellent introduction to the major economic topics of globalization for general readers. What Stiglitz elaborates, makes so much sense that it is infuriating that the global community (and the United States in particular) have made so few steps towards a better, fairer and more civilized world. Where the book fails is in the political economy department. Stiglitz ends the book in a typically American sunny optimism without considering that there are powerful forces and interests at work which keep and maintain this unequal world. More transparency, better rules and increased democratic participation are nice goals but the way to achieve them is not mapped out by Stiglitz, making all his prior elaborations mostly a futile exercise in constructing utopia. ( )
  jcbrunner | Sep 12, 2010 |
This was a really great book. I am not too familiar with world politics and economics but this book shed some light on the way it is currently being mismanaged. The author goes further to give his advice on how the system can be improved. This book is a must-read and should be added to all high school reading lists IMO. ( )
  MrStevens | Aug 22, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
It will undoubtedly infuriate many, but cannot be accused of one of the complaints most commonly raised against Globalization and Its Discontents: This book is thorough and practical, and only rails against economic establishments such as the IMF when this expands and expounds his arguments.

The focus on development and spending to draw economies out of downturns will see comparisons drawn with both Amartya Sen and Keynes. His argument for a global reserve currency to avoid the US dollar's present problems is truly innovative, and will no doubt meet staunch opposition from the same economists and politicians who reject his support for the gradual opening of a country's markets to volatile capital flows.
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This book is dedicated to all those who have died in Iraq and

Afghanistan as well as to those still placing their lives at risk.

It is also dedicated to the returning veterans,

especially those who have become disabled.

We are thankful for their sacrifices;

they deserve all the care we can give.
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By now it is clear that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was a terrible mistake. (Preface)
Untangling the costs of the war has not been easy, and it would not have been possible without the help of many. (Acknowledgments)
On March 19, 2003, the United States and its "coalition of the willing" invaded Iraq.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393330281, Paperback)

"A damning denunciation of things as they are, and a platform for how we can do better."--Andrew Leonard, Salon

Four years after he outlined the challenges our increasingly interdependent world was facing in Globalization and Its Discontents, Joseph E. Stiglitz offered his agenda for reform. Now in paperback, Making Globalization Work offers inventive solutions to a host of problems, including the indebtedness of developing countries, international fiscal instability, and worldwide pollution. Stiglitz also argues for the reform of global financial institutions, trade agreements, and intellectual property laws, to make them better able to respond to the growing disparity between the richest and poorest countries. Now more than ever before, globalization has gathered the peoples of the world into one community, bringing with it a need to think and act globally. This trenchant, intellectually powerful book is an invaluable step in that process. This paperback edition contains a brand-new preface.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:07 -0400)

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A leading critic of globalization explains how to restructure an unstable global financial system, how nations can grow economically without damaging the environment, and how to devise a framework for free and fair global trade.

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W.W. Norton

3 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393061221, 0393330281, 0393061000

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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