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Why Globalization Works

Arguing that globalization is better than government at improving the lives of citizens.

The author, an associate editor and chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, believes globalization is a good thing and there needs to be more of it. This volume admittedly is an effort to persuade critics of globalization to reconsider their efforts to undermine the development of a global free-market society.

Although he charges government as the biggest obstacle to achieving the benefits of economic integration across borders, Wolf devotes much of the book to challenging commonly accepted ideas about globalization put forth by opponents. For example, he illustrates how developing countries that have shifted towards increased private property ownership, free enterprise, and competition have benefited from globalization. On an individual level, he takes on the argument that globalization makes the poor poorer by questioning the relative importance of income alone. If other indicators such as health, life expectancy, and education of a people are improved, then what has been lost?

Should we recoil from the fact that the profits generated by some corporations are larger than the economy of an entire country? Wolf sees this as an apples to oranges comparison and besides, he says, the success of corporations exists only because consumers have freely chosen to support them.

Wolf urges us to increase economic integration. He proposes "ten commandments of globalization" with the first being to realize that the market economy is the only arrangement that will increase prosperity and thereby improve the human condition.—Cynthia D. Churchwell