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EP PODCASTSXML

February 29, 2008

A Vulture's Bonanza

Bad Samaritans coverProtectionism can be a good thing. Protectionism, in fact, is the only way that a developing country can become developed. And, I daresay, it's the only way an industrial country like the U.S. can retain its industrial base and high standard of living in the face of wage arbitrage by large corporations that offshore their operations. Moreover, if, as Dr. Ha-Joon Chang argues, a rational high culture results from industrialization (and not the opposite, as is often wrongly — and racially — assumed) then logically the kind of de-industrialization we're experiencing in the U.S. should corrupt our culture. And that is exactly what I think is happening. Even by design nothing could better suit the vulture capitalist class and their lackeys. For the ammunition you'll need to defeat neo-liberal "free trade" arguments please read Ha-Joon's splendid book, Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism. Total runtime here an hour and eleven minutes. Listen and think critically for yourself.

Listen

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Comments


Very good interview. I don't have time to comment fully right now, but one item I'd like to relay is with regard to the last question about growth vs the environment.

Dr. Chang commented that a transfer of the technologies which help reduce environmental impacts of growth would be a good thing to do but that no one is looking at that.

Happily, that is not the case. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is very actively promoting that tack as chair of the G8 summit as you can read in this speech he gave at the World Economic Forum in January, posted on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website:

Fukuda Special Address

In the speech, PM Fukuda laid out his 3 point "Cool Earth Programme".

If I may quote a few paragraphs regarding the 2nd point of his program:

"What Japan can take action is to transfer high quality environmental technology to a greater number of countries. For example, if the level of efficiency in Japan's power plant is achieved in the three countries of the United States, India, and China, the resulting CO2 emission reductions would amount to some 1.3 billion tons – the equivalent of Japan's annual total emissions. I propose to set a global target of 30% improvement of energy efficiency by 2020.

"The other pillar of International Environment Cooperation is assistance to developing countries that are aiming to achieve both emissions reductions and economic growth and working to contribute to climate stability.

"As one measure, Japan will establish a new financial mechanism, Cool Earth Partnership, on the scale of US$10 billion. Through this, Japan will cooperate actively with developing countries' efforts to reduce emissions, such as efforts to enhance energy efficiency. At the same time, we will extend the hand of assistance to developing countries suffering severe adverse impacts as a result of climate change. In addition, Japan aims to create a new multilateral fund together with the United States and the United Kingdom, and we call for participation from other donors as well. We will use such instruments to strengthen our solidarity with developing countries and work towards the reduction of greenhouse gases globally."

Thanks for another informative podcast. Be well, George.


Fantastic interview!

I've recently been listening to EconTalk which is hosted by Russ Roberts who (from the podcasts I've heard so far anyway) seems to be a Chicago-stamped hardcore free-trade othodox follower.

Not being an economist myself, I intuitively sense something isn't right in Russ' arguments. Chang's book seems like it'll give me ammunition to better form my own counter arguments.

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