January 1st, 1998
This past spring, the journalist William Greider published One World: Ready or Not(Simon &Schuster), a bracing critique of global capitalism. The international economy is hurtling toward crisis, Greider warns, and a major reason is the astonishing spread of free trade, which has lowered wages, eroded national sovereignty, and led to a resurgence of sweatshops and other nineteenth-cenrury ills. To Americans who pay close attention to debates about the international economy, this argument may sound familiar. It’s the reason much of the country opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and it has made free trade among the most talked-about, polarizing issues in U.S. politics. It is also, as Greider
notcs several times in his narrative, a view that virtually no acade:mic economists share.
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