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Drawing on his unparalleled knowledge of international and development economics, Bhagwati explains why the "gotcha" examples of the critics are often not as compelling as they seem. With the wit and wisdom for which he is renowned, Bhagwati convincingly shows that globalization is part of the solution, not part of the problem .
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By anonymous on 05-20-11
thoughtful book marred by a sub-standard reading
I think the anarchists who go around smashing store fronts or patriots lobbying others to buy American even when better products are made abroad or protesters of WTO meetings with uninformed slogans, etc. should first read this insightful and thoughtful book. Bhagwati isn't a rigid and doctrinaire ideologue for neo-classical economics with its mindless and unrealistic assumptions which lead to formulaic answers to complicated and involved real-life problems. He concedes that econometric analysis comes with huge margins of error and should only serve as a rough guide and is little better than "flights of fancy." Nor is he some libertarian in support of corporate interests (he supports bypassing patents on life-saving and life-extending drugs for poor countries, foreign capital restraints, trade adjustment assistance payment, etc.). Thankfully, won't find rational agents nor maximizing output nor marginal utility nor supply and demand analysis, etc.. He does accept Ricardian comparative advantage but also accepts that this can easily disappear and gradually changes over time (Staples Theory). Don't worry the concepts are fairly easy to comprehend for the layperson and are explained. His writing style in some passages to the listener is a bit too convoluted and I would have preferred the occasional short pithy sentence to keep me on track of the main gist of his argument. So I had to rewind and re-listen to a few passages.
I was most impressed with his understanding of the politics at the WTO level and his perspective from poor nations. He does though blithely support GM foods and their unfettered proliferation and pooh-poohs the EU's opposition. Bhagwati also dismisses out of hand such concepts as "precautionary principle," "fair trade," and "sustainable development" for being irredeemably vague. You may or may not agree with his positions on a lot of issues but at the end of the a-book you'll have to admit that he offers reasoned position that demands to be consi...
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Ryan on 03-13-10
Challenging and Insightful
Instead of writing a glowing review, I will simply say that this book was worth my time if only for the exposure to the many sides of debate on globalization. Bhagwati is conscious of the target audience's lack of formal training in economics, but when faced with the dilemma of whether to leave out essential detail regarding international policy because it might prove taxing to the layperson, he chooses to keep it in. This refreshing trust in the reader makes for a challenging but valuable book.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful