Episode Information

Politics of Globalization
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
02/25/2008
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In this episode:

Where We Live discusses globalization at home and abroad.

 

Episode Audio

52:30 minutes (25.21 MB)
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Nayan Chanda, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization: Photo: Yale Nayan Chanda, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization: Photo: Yale

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama traded barbs this weekend over a topic that's fairly new to the debate, but important in upcoming primary states - Globalization.

The senators have been walking a tightrope with upcoming primaries in Texas and Ohio. As they try to appeal to voters in both states, they're encountering the tricky landscape of global politics. In Ohio and other midwestern states with high unemployment rates, free trade policies are shorthand for overseas outsourcing. But in Texas, trade pacts like NAFTA have promoted robust cross-border trading, spurring economic growth. Some analysts say that it might even keep a looming recession at bay in Texas, as the rest of the economy struggles.

Today, we discuss the politics of globalization. Our panel of experts, Giulio Gallarotti of Wesleyan, Nayan Chanda of Yale and Vijay Prashad of Trinity will talk about the impact of the global trade debate on the 2008 Election and what the rest of the world is looking for from the next American President.Wesleyan Professor Giulio Gallarotti: Photo: Chion Wolf Wesleyan Professor Giulio Gallarotti: Photo: Chion Wolf

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email to [email protected]

Dear John Dankosky,

I couldn't believe my ears when your guest gave as an example worker
retraining the family moving cross-country to produce Chardonnay in the
Sonoma Valley!! Thank you so much for keeping your eye on the ball and
mentioning that a more typical example would be retraining to work at a
phone bank.

This is one of the things that I appreciate greatly about your
facilitation of "Where We Live." I feel that you think and interject very
actively on behalf of the listener, who can't speak up and say, "Wait!
the caller made another really important point!" or "There's a new angle
there---please ask a question!" You ask the astute question, catch the
dangling thread, and keep the small but telling point from getting away.

Thank you, and thanks also to everyone who contributes to create your
valuable program.

Yours sincerely,
Meg 

Thanks Meg for your comment

Dear Meg,

Thank you so much for your comment. It demonstrated to me that I failed to make my point sufficiently clear when I talked about this Detroit-California scenario, which I use in my classes. You are absolutely on the mark about how ridiculous it is (displaced auto workers contemplating opening up wineries in Sonoma, California), but that is the problem with the implications of free-trade economic theories when they are taken to the extreme. That is precisely the point I try to make when I use it in class (but failed to underscore in the radio show). From a basic human standpoint, the purely economic theories lead so some implausible solutions to the problem of people adjusting to free trade. While moving to a job in a phone bank may seem a more plausible job for an unemployed auto worker, it will not likely deliver a better situation for the worker and her/his family as these jobs are major targets for outsourcing (so he/she is back in the same old mess). The high-skill white collar jobs (where America does have a strong comparative advantage) will not be a likely option because of the skill and education requirements. So what to do? One option that fits perfectly well with America's comparative advantage is retool, learn how to make wine, and move to wine country. But this is a stretch: how many families would ever dream of doing such a thing? There are of course other industries whose job requirements interface a bit better with the auto worker's skill set, but then these jobs will be more difficult to get as they will be a magnet for many such displaced workers. Perhaps it might take a drastic step (such as opening a winery) to deliver a secure and prosperous job to workers displaced by foreign competition. But then this acknowledgment embodies the very dilemma of the displaced American worker: he/she seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place.

Giulio Gallarotti