Monday, 17 October 2005

Exploding globalisation myths

Swedish defender of globalisation and capitalism Johann Norberg has some myth-busters about globalisation. Globalisation promotes increasing inequality of wealth? Nope. Globalisation threatens democracy. Not a bit. Globalisation makes you impotent. Turns out it doesn't. Julian has a brief summary of the (genuine) globalisation myths that Norberg has blown sky high. Globalisation is good; Norberg demonstrates why.

While we're on the subject of myths, there are few eras in history so full of myths and so crying out for those myths to be exploded as The Great Depression. President Hoover's inaction brought on the depression? Hoover's meddling was in fact one of the proximate causes of the great collapse. Government programmes helped lower unemployment. Wrong again. They made things worse. Roosevelt's New Deal saved America from the failure of free-market capitalism. The New Deal not only extended the depression for more than a decade, it even created a depression within a depresssion -- Roosevelt's policies were a disaster. For a myth-busting article on The Great Depression, read Lawrence Reed's 'Great Myths of the Great Depression,' (sixteen-pages in PDF).

Unfortunately, Reed's myth-buster itself still peddles a myth: he fails to tell the real reason the Great Depression was finally ended. For that we have to turn to Mark Skousen's (rather more technical) 'Saving the Depression: A New Look at World War II' -- Skousen shows that it wasn't war or any government action that saved the US economy, it was the savings built up by private individuals over years with barely anything available on which to spend their money. (Skousen's article is another sixteen-page PDF).

All highly recommended.


  1. Isn't it depressing you have to mention these things are myths?

  2. Johan Norberg writes:

    [W]orld poverty has fallen more during the past 50 years than during the preceding 500.

    That's right, capitalist globalisation seems to be marginally less impoverishing than the advance of the Empire was. What an achievement!

    "Only those who consider wealth a greater problem than poverty can find a problem in some [people] becoming millionaires while others grow wealthier from their own starting points."

    It's a bitch, that. You can go out and say, money is the root of all evil, that concentrating wealth in the hands of a few has led to as many great injustices as great achievements, and that you should exercise responsibility with money, but yet still "a few bad apples" will not listen, become money and power hungry and ruin it all for everyone. Then these cranky anti-capitalist trolls will just keep pointing to them and saying "see, that's what happens when you let one person have 10,000 times more than the rest".

    Wouldn't it be nice if human and environmental rights were a bottom line of all this reward-driven wealth accumulation? It sure would shut the critics up.

  3. It was interesting your commentator on globalization and the indifferent outcomes he noted.But with all experts a degree of predictability of outcomes is better measurement of the hypothesis.

    A better analysis of globalzation is found in the 1993 book of the GLOBAL PARADOX by John Naisbett.

    The predictions he forecast are the rapid creation of New Countries with new alliances.

    As nations proliferate ,electronics will become both a universal language and currency.

    Small and medium companies will be the driving force behind the huge world global economy.

    The world will shape itself into new trading andd political blocs.

    To compete with small more efficient companies ,large multinationals will decentralize into autonomous business units.

    The worlds largest industry(tourism) will continue to grow expodentially.

    Tv and communication bring events and contact closer creating a greater ethical sense.

    China will become the worlds biggest economy .

    Political parties will move from being lineal ( left ?right on a line) To circular ,They will cease to have, as will government an ability to enforce or enhance outcomes as the increased education of the consumers(voters) means access to information is available equally and without the rhectoric.

    Equalisation of information should enhance the length of the economic cycle by lessening the peaks and troughs of variability although the changes will still occur on the boundaries of the landscape.


Comments are moderated to encourage honest conversation, and remove persistent trolls.