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Thesis & Antithesis

A critical perspective on energy, international politics & current affairs

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Location: Washington, D.C.

greekdefaultwatch@gmail.com Natural gas consultant by day, blogger on the Greek economy by night. Trained as an economist and political scientist. I believe in common sense and in data, and my aim is to offer insight written in language that is clear and convincing.

04 November 2005

Tired of globalization

The Economist has devoted this week’s chief leader to globalization; its cover reads “Tired of globalisation: but in need of much more of it” (I append a photo because I think it says a lot). There is no doubt that The Economist is most eloquent when it comes to defending free trade and this issue is no exception. I just wanted to put here another quote from The Economist’s 160th anniversary edition, because I find it to be the most potent and succinct defense of free trade:

“Economic liberalism, much like political liberalism, puts great weight on checks and balances, on limits to power and hence to abuses of power. In economics, the most potent checking force bar none is competition. Bosses, shareholders and pro-business politicians all loathe it. They stand to gain, in one way or another, from conspiring to gull the public into regarding competition as a threat to the greater good, rather than to themselves. This is the context in which to think of free trade, an obsession of ours since we started. Liberal trade is nothing but enhanced competition. Anti-globalists have the logic exactly backwards. Far from empowering global fat cats, free trade holds corporate power in check and assaults the excess profits that protectionism, courtesy of pro-business politicians, gouges from the public.”

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