Thursday, June 24, 2010

FLG Never Knows Quite What To Make Of Pascal Lamy

He's the head of the WTO. Anyway, this interview in Le Monde is a good example.

The headline contains this quotation:
Les pays les plus pro-mondialisation sont les plus pauvres

Which translates to "the countries most in favor globalization are the poorest." But he's not saying what I first thought he was saying, which is that globalization friendly policies make you poorer. No, he's saying that poor countries see globalization as a way out of poverty, which makes perfect sense to FLG. (There's also the issue that it just doesn't make any sense almost ever for small countries, ones that cannot affect world prices, to inhibit free trade.)

Later he says this:
Je n'ai jamais parlé de mondialisation heureuse. J'ai toujours parlé de la nécessité de la maîtriser. Avec la révolution des technologies de l'information, nous vivons une révolution comparable à l'invention de la machine à vapeur ou de l'électricité : une croissance inédite, poussée par la technologie et l'expansion territoriale des économies. Le résultat est là : des centaines de millions de personnes sont sorties de la pauvreté.

Roughly translated:
I never spoke of happy globalization. I always spoke of the need to master it. With the technology and information revolution, we are living through a revolution comparable to the invention of steam power and electricity: a new growth, pushed by technology and the territorial expansion of economies. The result: tens of millions of people have left poverty.

So far, so good, but then the various next paragraph:
En contrepartie, il faut lutter contre les inégalités. Si l'on veut que la politique rattrape l'économie, il faut davantage de régulation et de redistribution nationale et, si possible, supranationale.

Translate to:
On the other hand, we must fight inequality. If one wants politics to catch up with economics, then there must be more regulation and redistribution, even supranational if possible.

These two stances aren't mutually exclusive by any means, it's just most Anglo-Saxons aren't generally for free trade and pro-supranational redistribution.

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