Stephen Karlson (shkarlson) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Stephen Karlson
shkarlson
50bookchallenge

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BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

Pat Choate's Dangerous Business: The Risks of Globalization for America spells out what the author believes those risks are. This Book Review No. 51 will be relatively short. If you are prepared to grant that trade agreements give corporate interests the opportunity to trump national sovereignty, and that latter-day mercantilists and cosmopolitans act in their own interests, in ways that are not consistent with national interests, you'll enjoy this book. It's not as gloomy as a Patrick Buchanan work. Its perspective on previous eras of globalization is not cheerful. Mr Choate proposes a number of reforms, most of them inward-looking, and requiring strengthening of the national government. The class of polemic that pins its hopes on the right people taking power in Washington tends not to impress me. What amuses about Mr Choate's effort is that he names names: all manner of current and former government officials who have worked as or now work as lobbyists for corporate interests. It does not occur to him that a government entrusted with broad powers to permit or to prohibit activities will be a government in which access to those powers, or influence over those powers, will be valuable.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)

Tags: economics, politics
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