Does free trade — really — make us richer?11 March, 2016 at 07:50 | Posted in Economics | 3 Comments
Another obstruction comes from the mainstream economics profession that strongly influences public understanding of and discourse about globalization. The economics profession has been a gung-ho supporter of neoliberal globalization, using the rhetoric of free trade. It advocated the policies of the Washington Consensus that were implemented by the IMF and World Bank in the 1980s and 1990s, and it remains one-hundred percent intellectually committed to neoliberal globalization. However, because globalization inevitably creates global imbalances which are potentially politically challenging, it is necessary to sanitize them by arguing they do no harm and do not undermine the benefits of neoliberal globalization … The profession promotes hypotheses that sanitize the imbalances, while ignoring those that paint the imbalances as the product of a toxic form of globalization.
Moving a globalization reform agenda requires getting the narrative and understanding right. That is the practical political economy significance of the arguments presented in this paper.