Pub Date1999
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Visions and Revisions: The United States in the Global Economy

Elliot Zupnick
Basic Books

This book examines the impact of “globalization” on the American economy. Although temporarily muted by the “exceptional” state of the country’s financial markets in recent years—a high level of employment, a low inflation rate and extraordinary stock prices—the increased integration of the American economy with that of the rest of the world has been controversial and a source of concern.This integration process has been held responsible for the loss of “good” jobs, for the relocation of American industries in low-wage countries, for stagnant wages, for the increase in income and inequality and for the loss of sovereignty. The postwar trading system, the construction of which the United States contributed importantly, has been regarded by many Americans as a snare and a delusion enabling other countries to take advantage of our open markets while keeping theirs closed to American exports. Environmentalists and labor spokesmen are convinced that the process of integration has or soon will result in a “race to the bottom” as far as environment and labor standards are concerned. Human rights advocates have condemned the growth of the global economy on the grounds that it leads to oppression of the poor in the less developed countries.Visions and Revisions examines the available evidence to provide insight into these and related issues. The conclusion that emerges from this thought-provoking study is that much of the angst generated by the so-called globalization process is, at least at the present time, unjustified and that on balance the process has been beneficial.