Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Globalization 2.0 Is Coming To An End
"Recent trends in global trade are also flashing warning signs. According to the International Monetary Fund, annual growth in the volume of world trade has averaged just 3% over the 2009–2016 period—half the 6% rate from 1980 to 2008. This trend reflects not only the Great Recession, but also an unusually anemic recovery. With world trade shifting to a decidedly lower trajectory, political resistance to globalization has only intensified. Of course, this isn’t the first time that globalization has run into trouble. Globalization 1.0—the surge in global trade and international capital flows that occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—met its demise between World War I and the Great Depression. Global trade fell by some 60% from 1929 to 1932, as major economies turned inward and embraced protectionist trade policies, such as America’s infamous Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. But the stakes may be greater if today’s more powerful globalization were to meet a similar fate. In contrast to Globalization 1.0, which was largely confined to the cross-border exchange of tangible (manufactured) goods, the scope of Globalization 2.0 is far broader, including growing trade in many so-called intangibles—once nontradable services. Similarly, the means of Globalization 2.0 are far more sophisticated than those of its antecedent. The connectivity of Globalization 1.0 occurred via ships and eventually railroads and motor vehicles. Today, these transportation systems are far more advanced—augmented by the Internet and its enhancement of global supply chains. The Internet has also enabled instantaneous cross-border dissemination of knowledge-based services such as software programming, engineering and design, medical screening, and accounting, legal, and consulting work Sadly, the economics profession has failed to grasp the inherent problems with globalization. In fixating on an antiquated theory, they have all but ignored the here and now of a mounting worker backlash. Yet the breadth and speed of Globalization 2.0 demand new approaches to cushion the blows of this disruption."
- Stephen Roach*
LINK HERE to the essay

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