The World Trade Organization’s ministerial conference in Bali in December produced a modest package of encouragements to global trade. More broadly, the WTO’s multilateral approach has shown its worth by preventing a massive increase in trade barriers, unlike in 1929-1930, when protectionism helped deepen and broaden the Great Depression. But the main question – whether globalization is […]
Social Europe articles on the economy
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Pope Francis warned in November that “ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace” are driving rapid growth in inequality. Is he right? In one sense, Francis was clearly wrong: in many cases, inequality between countries is decreasing. The average Chinese household, for example, is now catching up with the average American household (though still with a […]
Inequality Nightmare – “The poor cannot sleep, because they are hungry,” the Nigerian economist Sam Aluko famously said in 1999, “and the rich cannot sleep, because the poor are awake and hungry.” We are all affected by deep disparities of income and wealth, because the political and economic system on which our prosperity depends cannot continue enriching some […]
Germany is now producing more coal than for twenty years. This has occurred in a society that prides itself on its concern about climate change and has the largest Green party in Europe. Underlying this evident disconnection between concern and behaviour is an international failure to link the challenge of tackling climate change to big, […]
New inequality – From the start, policy responses to the 2008 financial crisis were colored by memories and interpretations of the Great Depression. The conventional wisdom now holds that the world avoided a repeat of the interwar catastrophe, largely because policymakers made better decisions this time around. But, while there is plenty of room for […]
Some ideas are intuitive. Others sound so obvious after they are expressed that it is hard to deny their truth. They are powerful, because they have many nonobvious implications. They put one in a different frame of mind when looking at the world and deciding how to act on it. One such idea is the […]