Thursday, June 17, 2004

The World Market and Sovereignty

Just a quick additional thought to add to yesterday's post on sovereignty. Just as the rise of global telecommunications, new and faster shipping methods, harmonized trade law regimes and the like threaten nations' cultural identities requiring stronger moral leadership to keep a country unified, it also makes the welfare state less and less defensible. As blockages to global markets erode and international trade increases, the principle of comparative economic advantage becomes all the more important as the world comes to more approximate the ideal of economics. No longer can nations afford to concentrate their economic policies on maintaining or encouraging economic equality and ensuring the welfare of all, but rather they must concentrate on allowing individuals the greatest opportunities to participate in the global economy. Protectionist or welfare-oriented economic plans and policies will be washed over by the greater international economic forces, but the currents and eddies those blockages, or inefficiencies, stir up, the greater the harm to the well-being of that nation as a whole. To now in the face of a global economy insist on bottling up labor and capital in less relatively productive economic sectors for the sake of the few unfortunate workers who face hardships is to do two things: 1) To ignore the fact that we cannot create a perfect utopia here on earth, and 2) to condemn the national economy to relative decline as the inefficient industries consume resources on the dole of the government while preventing new areas of economic advantage from developing. Other nations will pass us up as we fall behind, and as our desire to maintain certain industries keeps us from developing, so too will we become more dependent on those industries as the price of retooling the economy becomes ever greater. The vicious cycle would indeed be difficult to break. As an additional note, we would also be denying poorer countries the jobs that their economies need to begin down the path of development, hoarding them for ourselves to our own detriment. We would do this in spite of the fact that sometimes a very poor country's poverty is its only true economic advantage and its only step stool to climb from that poverty. And yet this is what the 'compassionate' Kerry and his liberal colleagues would have us do.

So putting yesterday's thoughts together with today's, we see that global changes require that a state and a leader be more vocal and strong in his advocacy of values and the nation's cultural identity, but should also step back from economic regulation and insist all the more on allowing the global markets to work. Liberals would do just the opposite on both counts.

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