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Commanding heights the new rules of the game essay

The attack on America raised so many questions, among them, questions about the dangers of the new world economy. Is terrorism the dark side of globalization?

Up until September 11, there was a sense that this movement toward globalization really was irreversible. And since then there's been this recognition that things can go in another direction. Can our deeply interconnected world deliver prosperity to everyone?

And that's basically the next big challenge, is making this interdependent world of ours, on balance, far more positive than negative. And the extent to which we do that will depend on whether the 21st century is marred by terrorism of all kinds or whether it becomes the most peaceful and prosperous time the world has ever known.

This is the story of how the new global economy was born, the story of a century-long battle of ideas to determine who would control the "commanding heights" of the economy -- central governments or free markets.

In the 1990s, a worldwide capitalist revolution fueled the new era of globalization, the greatest expansion of world trade in history. Millions of people a day are better off than they would have been without globalization, and very few people have been harmed by it. But with the promise came a debate about the impact of globalization. And should the world's wealthiest people really dictate how the world's economy is going to run? Tonight, the battle over who should write the new rules of the game for the global economy.

Out of the sorrow of September 11, I see opportunity, a chance for nations to strengthen and rethink and reinvigorate their relationships. When nations open their markets to the world, they find in America trading partners, an investor, and a friend. We are living through a revolution.


The 1990s saw the creation of a new kind of global economy, a single market in which everyone has a stake, but no one has control. Globalization has brought unprecedented prosperity, but it has also brought crises and risks we are only beginning to understand. It has unleashed a worldwide debate about wealth and poverty, about the "rules of the game" for this new era of globalization. Historians may well say that a new era began at the beginning of the 1990s with the end of the Cold War and the Gulf crises.

It was this new era of globalization, of a world being tied together by flows of investment, of trade, of ideas, of culture, of people travelling all the time. And it happened very fast.

And as so often happens, the change came more quickly than the ability of thinking to catch up and understand the change. But to understand where we are today and where we're going, we have to understand this recent past. The Global Idea [3: No economic idea has shaped the era of globalization more profoundly than a belief in free, open markets.

Commanding Heights: The New Rules of the Game - Essay Example

Free trade has been a fundamental tenet of capitalism for over 200 years. But in the 1990s, the global market created a new reality that no government, no politician could afford to ignore. Commanding heights the new rules of the game essay story begins in 1992.

The global economy was changing rapidly, but America seemed adrift. A recession had left 10 million workers unemployed. Industries struggled against intense foreign competition.

Europe had formed a single trading bloc. In the 1992 presidential campaign, Arkansas governor Bill Clinton claimed he could get America back on track. He drew crucial support from America's labor unions and seemed to promise workers' protection against global competition.

Look at what our competitors do. Look at what Japan does. Look at what Germany does. We have to keep investment at home so jobs don't go offshore. You'll stand up against the good old boys to do that? What's the good of having a country if you're going to let it go down the drain? Why have we been doing that? But at a meeting with Wall Street financiers, Clinton had discussed a different agenda, an agenda some of his core supporters adamantly opposed.

Financial markets wanted to rein in government spending, cut the deficit, and embrace free trade. Without these policies, they thought America's economy wouldn't recover. Over dinner in an exclusive restaurant, Clinton tried to persuade some of Wall Street's most seasoned executives that he saw the world as they did. Secretary of the Treasury, 1995-1999: My view was that the threshold economic issue for our country was to restore fiscal discipline after a long, long time during which fiscal discipline had eroded.

I could see that Rubin and the others that were there in this rather dark place where we had dinner at night were kind of looking and saying, "Well, you know, can this guy from Arkansas be president? Could he possibly know enough about the economy to do it? After that meeting I thought to myself that this was a man who cared about what I at least thought we needed to care a great deal about.

Now, on the issue of trade, he clearly believed in trade liberalization, and that clearly has been a dividing line in the Democratic Party. It was then, and it is now. The First Test [5: Trade became an issue in the 1992 presidential campaign. Republican president George Bush had negotiated a treaty that would allow unrestricted flows of trade and investment between the U.

NAFTA put that idea to a political test. In America, it was the first great debate of the globalization era. You have to admit that NAFTA, the Mexican trade agreement, where they pay people a dollar an hour, have no health care, no retirement, no pollution controls, etc. My problem with Governor Clinton is that one day he says he's for it, the other he wants to make some changes. When you're president of the United States, you cannot have this pattern of saying "I'm for it, but I'm on the other side.

Commanding heights new rule game

I am the one who's on the middle on this. Perot says it's a bad deal; Mr. Bush says it's a hunky-dory deal. I say it does more good than harm if we can get the Mexicans to live up to their own labor standards, their own environmental standards, and if we have genuine protection for workers displaced in America.

Once in office, Bill Clinton's economic policy was aimed squarely at restoring the confidence of financial markets. His first term was dominated by the battle to reduce the deficit. On trade, the president changed his position, and announced he would wholeheartedly support NAFTA as it stood.

It was really quite a remarkable speech. He talked about NAFTA in the context of the rapid changes taking place in the global economy, not only from trade, but from technological development, spread of market-based economics.

This debate about NAFTA is a debate about whether we will embrace these changes and create the jobs of tomorrow, or try to resist these changes hoping we can preserve the economic structures of yesterday. Nothing we do in this great Capitol can change the fact that people can move money around in the blink of an eye. I tell you, my fellow Americans, that if we learned anything from the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the fall of the governments of Eastern Europe, even a totally controlled society cannot resist the winds of change that economics and technology and information flow have imposed in this world of ours.

The AFL-CIO, the labor movement in the United States, opposed NAFTA as it stood because we saw that as a corporate-dominated trade and investment agreement, one that served the interests of multinational corporations, that improved their flexibility, their mobility, their clout.

And at commanding heights the new rules of the game essay same time NAFTA did nothing to protect the rights of workers to form unions, to bargain collectively, and to really raise their voices in the political system so that workers could be formidable countervailing power to multinational corporations. I think Clinton did sell out his traditional blue-collar supporters on the NAFTA issue, and a lot of people haven't forgiven him for that.

Our adversaries tried to make it look like the whole American establishment's on one side and the little guys are on the other. And they could, you know, stir that fear factor, and it was a tough sell.

Commanding heights the new rules of the game essay

It was a tough sell. House of Representatives, 1995-1999: I thought it was the most of courageous act of his presidency, and we worked with him very hard. The Republicans in the House provided a much bigger percentage of the votes than the Democrats did. It passed only with Republican support. Eighty percent of all televisions sold in the U.

Nearly a million workers found new jobs along the border in Northern Mexico. I have two children. In the South I didn't have a job and couldn't give my children what they need. I left them behind with relatives and came here to find work.

Commanding heights the new rules of the game essay

I found a job in a television factory. I earn enough to send some money home to my children. I couldn't do that before. This is a country of about over 100 million people. There is no question that those 10 to 12 million people who live in the North and the border area are not doing badly by Mexican standards.

And it has become more industrialized, with more jobs, higher wages, better social indicators, etc. The North has benefited undoubtedly.

  1. People as well were becoming increasingly mobile. Read this essay on commanding heights reaction paper i don't know anyone who's smart enough to sit down and write a brand-new set of rules that we should all.
  2. And that's why especially the United States needs to be prepared to take a lead in working to contain financial crises.
  3. So, I mean, the feeling was very bad, very frightening.
  4. The question, I think, the important thing is that they're illegal. Today my big dream is to be McDonald's of Thailand, because selling sandwiches on the streets, now I've developed a new Japanese sushi.
  5. The Western financial world, the banks or the financial companies, they came and begged us to borrow from them.

The people in the South are doing very badly by Mexican, or by anybody's, standards. Forty percent of Mexico's population lives in poverty. Mexico's embrace of NAFTA and free trade was part of a broader change in thinking within developing countries. Their governments increasingly saw open markets as the key to economic growth.