Friday, April 06, 2007

Quotes of Note (In Defense of Globalization)

Quotes of Note:
Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations
It may sometimes be a matter of deliberation, how far, or in what manner it is proper to restore the free importation of foreign goods...when particular manufacturers, by means of high duties or prohibitions upon all foreign goods which come into competition with them, have been so far extended as to employ a great multitude of hands. Humanity may in this case require that freedom of trade should be restored only by slow graduations, and with a good deal of reserve and circumspection.

John Maynard Keynes
Paul Valery's aphorism is worth quoting-"Political conflicts distort and disturb the people's sense of distinction between matters of importance and matters of urgency." The economic transition of a society is a thing to be accomplished slowly...We have a fearful example in Russia today of the evils of insane and unnecessary haste. The sacrifices and losses of transition will be vastly greater if the pace is forces...For it is of the nature of economic processes to be rooted in time. A rapid transition will involve so much pure destruction of wealth that the new state of affairs will be, at fist, worse than the old, and the grand experiment will be discredited.

Note this was in 1933 and Bhwagwati notes: "of the danger of haste, citing ironically enough, the example of Russia moving toward socialism.

Xavier Sala-i-Martin
[T]he last three decades saw a reversal of roles between Africa and Asia: in the 1970s, 11% of the world's poor were in Africa and 76% in Asia. By 1998, Africa hosted 66% of the poor and Asia's share had declined to 15%. Clearly, this reversal was caused by the very different aggregate growth performances. Poverty reduced remarkably in Asia because Asian Countries grew. Poverty increased dramatically in Africa because African countries did not grow. As a result, perhaps the most important lesson to be that a central question economists interested in human welfare should ask, therefore, is how to make Africa grow.

President Bill Clinton: "as China's people become more mobile, prosperous and aware of alternative ways of life, they will seek greater say in the decisions that affect their lives."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it would be nice if Economists asked themselves that question.

Even nicer if they asked themselves "How did Asia grow?"

Until they do, they'll continue to be less than useful.

3:29 AM, April 14, 2007  

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