From one of the most respected and vigorous economic thinkers in Washington, a wake-up call about the perils of unfettered globalization. In this impassioned, prescient book, Pat Choate shows us that while increased worldwide economic integration has some benefits for our fiscal efficiency, it also creates dependencies, vulnerabilities, national security risks, and social costs that now outweigh its advantages. He takes the long view of developments such as technology-driven progress, the offshoring of jobs, and open trade, arguing that current U.S. policies are leading to worldwide economic and political instability, in much the same way as before the Great Depression.
Choate writes convincingly about the Defense Department’s growing dependence on foreign sources for its technologies, the leasing of parts of our interstate highway system to overseas investors, China’s economic mercantilism, and international currency manipulation that damages the dollar. We have been borrowing heavily from foreign lenders, who by 2009 will own more than half of the Treasury debt, a third of U.S. corporate bonds, and a sixth of U.S. corporate assets—all of which, if handled improperly, could trigger a global economic collapse.
But our economic forecast need not be dire. Choate sees a way out of these dilemmas and presents politically viable steps the United States can take to remain sovereign, prosperous, and secure. He presents bold new research that identifies the special interests and structural corruption that have overtaken our democracy—and shows how they can be corrected. He illustrates how our policy-making and legislative process, currently beholden to the highest bidder, can be transformed from one of corporatism and elitism into one of greater transparency. Clear-eyed and persuasive, this is sure to be one of the most widely discussed books of the year.
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|Title of History eBook: Dangerous Business|
|Release Date: 08-12-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Dangerous Business|
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In 1989, Alan M. Webber, then the managing editor of the Harvard Business Review, returned from a trip to Japan and wrote to his readers:
The world is changing, and Japan is different. On both sides of the Pacific, the old, entrenched interests are hard at work denying these conclusions, pretending that business as usual will do, and silencing the observers and analysts who call attention to the new situation. Japan’s motives are not hard to fathom; after all, every day the country gains in wealth, economic power, and global momentum. The longer Japan successfully confounds U.S. leaders into thinking that all the old rules still apply, the longer the transfer of wealth and power can continue unimpeded. It is not Japan’s job to inform us of our blind stupidity.
What Webber found in Japan was a nation actively pursuing a mercantile trade policy, the approach to global commerce where the government and industry work together to build national wealth through increased exports while maintaining an economic moat around their country to stop direct foreign investment, sharply limit imports, and build up huge financial reserves. Adam Smith would have immediately recognized this Japanese policy as mercantilism; however, even after more than a quarter century of engagement, U.S. leaders still do not.
If we fast-forward in time about twenty years, what Webber found in Japan in 1989 is happening all over Asia and in parts of South America today. And, as then, U.S. leaders and opinion elites do not recognize that they are witnessing a new rise of mercantilism, particularly in China. Rather, they view China