Sunday, August 12, 2007

Barnett Column

One of his best (imo). Read it here.

Amen to this:

How can America grow so disconnected from the world at a point in history when everything — and everyone — grows more interconnected? In a global economy increasingly modeled on our own pioneering political and economic union, why have we isolated ourselves from the very same global trends that we spent so much blood and treasure to enable? Why have we Americans grown so uncomfortable in this world of our creation?

As proof, how 'bout this?:

Despite America’s intransigence on its trade-distorting agricultural
subsidies in the World Trade Organization’s Doha “development round,” the rest of the world is forming free-trade agreements (FTAs) like there’s more than enough tomorrows to go around. Over a hundred FTAs have been negotiated in the Asia-Pacific Rim alone since 9/11, and roughly half the world’s trade now flows through them. But America participates in only half as many FTAs as the European Union and barely one-third as many as China currently negotiates or proposes. A recently concluded U.S.-South Korean FTA now languishes in the Democrat-controlled Congress, while China, Korea’s biggest trade partner, promises one with its neighbor as soon as possible.

Damn those protectionist Europeans, er us? Still think it was smart Condi Rice has three times now skipped the ASEAN summit to go sell a bunch of weapons that will rot in a Saudi depot?

The key point is that the sourcecode of this phase of Globalization (3.0/4.0 depending on who is counting) is the US code. Not the European one (a la the colonialism of late 19th century and WWI/II). Bush's twinning of isolationism and unilateralism is the marriage of the two outside (and most destructive arguably) minor & counter-trends to the mainline American policy. Wonder why then we are where we are.

Question is does that code needs its source--will it go off the rails without its "mother" or will it leave her long gone?


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