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Unfettered globalization is very risky business & ultimately unsustainable.

  • Nov 26, 2008
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The American people need a wake-up call!  That seems to be the message that Pat Choate is urgently attempting to convey in his important new book "Dangerous Business: The Risks of Globalization for America".  For more than seven decades now both Republican and Democratic administrations have been pursuing economic policies that favor so called "free trade".  And with the establishment of the World Trade Organization and the passage of NAFTA back in 1993 the Congress in conjunction with Presidents Clinton and Bush have seemingly colluded with multi-national corporations in accelerating the outflow of capital and good paying jobs from our country. Yes, it seems that people like Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan and Senator Byron Dorgan were right. Globalization has been a disaster for the American worker.  But there is a lot more to this story than meets the eye. That is what "Dangerous Business" is all about.

Would it disturb you to learn that a number of state governments are in the process of leasing our freeways to foreign companies?  I had never heard of this one before but in 2005 the State of Indiana awarded a 75 year lease on an extremely busy highway known as the Indiana Toll Road to a Australian/Spanish consortium.  Under the terms of this agreement the State of Indiana would receive an up front payment of some $3.15 billion dollars.  In return this consortium agrees to operate, maintain and collect tolls on the turnpike. Tolls are expected to increase dramatically in the years ahead and estimates are that this deal will produce more than $121 billion of revenue during the life of this agreement.  This is definitely a short-sighted and ill-advised deal for the State of Indiana. Then there is another scheme known as the Trans-Texas Corridor. You might want to check one out at www.corridorwatch.org.  It is frightening to discover just how many questionable deals federal and state governments are entering into with virtually no involvement from the legislative branch and with an absolute minimum of publicity.  It is instructive to note that both President Clinton and President George W. Bush have attempted to circumvent the normal legislative process by utilizing Executive Orders to accomplish their highly questionable objectives. Such actions makes one wonder just whose side our leaders are really on.

Those of you who are old enough might recall the classic scene in the 1976 motion picture "Network" where Arthur Jenson, Chairman of the Board of the UBS network (played by Ned Beatty) confronts anchorman Howard Beal in the Board Room.  In that scene Mr. Jenson declares in no uncertain terms: "There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today."  He goes on to say: "We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime."   How apropos to the subject matter at hand!  Throughout the pages of "Dangerous Business" Pat Choate points to countless examples where the interests of our nation have been sold down the river by corporations, investors and the elite. One of the most disturbing things that I discovered was just how much of our nations defense work has been outsourced to other nations including China!  It seems to me that the very security of this nation has been put at risk by actions like this. Then there is the whole subject of the WTO. Did you know that all 153 member nations of the World Trade Organization have an equal vote in the decisions that are made?  Thus, as Choate points out, the vote of the tiny nation of Antigua (population 69,000) carries the same weight as that of the United States. There is clearly something wrong with this picture.

Time will simply not permit me to even scratch the surface of all of the substantive issues discussed in this book. Suffice to say that "Dangerous Business: The Risks of Globalization for America" is an extremely timely and important book that needs to be read and digested by as many Americans as possible. The American people need to understand what is happening around them and Pat Choate offers a number of thoughtful solutions to the problems he discusses. Extremely well written and exhaustively researched "Dangerous Business" is one book I simply could not put down     Very highly recommended!
Unfettered globalization is very risky business & ultimately unsustainable. Unfettered globalization is very risky business & ultimately unsustainable. Unfettered globalization is very risky business & ultimately unsustainable.

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September 13, 2009
Well, I think we've seen corporations like Lehman and the many American financial institutions bringing down an entire nation like Iceland last year. So, yes, the world no longer made up of nations. I read that if Walmart is a country, it's a bigger trading partner with China than Canada & Australia are to China!
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Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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About this book


From one of the most respected and vigorous economic thinkers in Washington, a wake-up call about the perils of unfettered globalization. In this impassioned, prescient book, Pat Choate shows us that while increased worldwide economic integration has some benefits for our fiscal efficiency, it also creates dependencies, vulnerabilities, national security risks, and social costs that now outweigh its advantages. He takes the long view of developments such as technology-driven progress, the offshoring of jobs, and open trade, arguing that current U.S. policies are leading to worldwide economic and political instability, in much the same way as before the Great Depression.

Choate writes convincingly about the Defense Department's growing dependence on foreign sources for its technologies, the leasing of parts of our interstate highway system to overseas investors, China's economic mercantilism, and international currency manipulation that damages the dollar. We have been borrowing heavily from foreign lenders, who by 2009 will own more than half of the Treasury debt, a third of U.S. corporate bonds, and a sixth of U.S. corporate assets—all of which, if handled improperly, could trigger a global economic collapse.

But our economic forecast need not be dire. Choate sees a way out of these dilemmas and presents politically viable steps the United States can take to remain sovereign, prosperous, and secure. He presents bold new research that identifies the special interests and ...
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ISBN-10: 0307266842
ISBN-13: 978-0307266842
Author: Pat Choate
Genre: Economic Policy & Development, International, Corporate Finance, Globalization
Publisher: Knopf
Date Published: August 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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