Saturday Readings

Globalization Lessons From Asia
Critics of globalization often assert that the benefits of expanded trade has borne economic fruits for some while leaving others starving, particularly for those individuals in the middle class. In many nations in the West, the domestic political support for globalization has plummeted giving rise to anti-trade movements and populism.

But Ijaz Nabi of the Brookings Institution says the experience is not a universal. In Asia, the blowback has been limited, which Nabi says is a consequence of a greater focus on investing in human capital.

“The answer may lie in the heavy investment made by Asian governments in human capital (education and health) to prepare the workforce to take advantage of the high wage manufacturing jobs created by globalized investment. This was complemented by public investment in infrastructure to continue to attract foreign investment. The fiscal deficits associated with large public investment in human capital and physical infrastructure were tolerated because the political and economic benefits of preparing the workforce for new jobs were considered worthwhile objectives,” he writes.

A Chaotic World Has Us Clamoring For Innovative Leadership Terrorism. Global economic downturns. A collapse of the normal order. Chaos has enveloped the world, leaving a vacuum of leadership and genius.

Throughout history, writes Peggy Noonan, there have been so-called genius clusters that have emerged in times of conflict and unrest.

In World War II, the cluster included President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, British Prime Minister and French President Charles de Gaulle. In the midst of the Cold War the leaders included Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, Polish President Vaclav Havel and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Noonan points to the aftermath of the Brexit vote as a moment in time that exposed the absence of political courage, innovative thinking and wise and steady hands able to lead the world forward.

“To limit criticism to the political players, the European Union did not distinguish itself, the British government didn’t even create a contingency plan in case Leave won, and the victors actually scrammed while markets convulsed and the pound fell,” she notes.

Around The World In 40 Books

Foreign Policy magazine has just published its best summer reading list that features non-fiction and fiction books that will transport you from the beach to the other side of the globe.

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