¿Hacia una Nueva Gobernanza Mundial?: La Globalización Cuestionada por el Capitalismo

Hoy día 2 de Junio de 2006, el boletín de noticias Terradaily ha publicado la siguiente columna: Walker’s World: The new era of state rules. Su autor un tal Walker. ¿Pero quien es Martin Walker?. Pinchando sobre su nombre lo sabréis. No “es moco de pavo” precisamente. Los lectores habituales conocéis sobradamente mi opinión sobre la globalización económica. No voy a aburriros con más de lo mismo. Economistas muy afamados comienzan a replantearse las “bondades de la bobalización”. Y este es el caso. Desde luego, personalmente no firmaría muchas de sus apreciaciones. Sin embargo, su análisis no tiene desperdicio y os lo dejo tal cual. Una propuesta frente al estrepitoso fracaso de la globalización y un retorno a secuestrar el poder de las empresas para devolvérselas a los gobiernos (que al menos, querámoslo o no, son nuestros legítimos representantes en los países democráticos). El que comiencen a cuestionarse las reglas del juego desde la cúpula se me antoja un buen síntoma. Quizás las cosas puedan volver a cambiar hacia un mundo “un poquito mejor” (que no el que la mayoría de nosotros queremos). Algo es mejor que nada. No pretenden ir hacia adelante, sino dar un paso atrás. Sin embargo tal como está el Planeta…….

 

 

Martin Walker

 

Que hable de Thatcher and Reagan me pone los pelos de punta. Sin embargo, Walter toca un punto crucial que también lo es para mí (como para Santiago Grisolía). Se trata del crecimiento demográfico, así como del envejecimiento de la población (incluso en China, aunque no en la India y otros países asiáticos), al margen de la crisis alimentaria y el calentamiento climático. Ya defendí tal tesis en otros post.  Lo peor de sus augurios es que acierte de pleno y existan ciclos de 30 años. En otras palabras, que para 2040 retornaríamos a las andadas con el libre comercio. ¡Toquemos madera!  Reitero que lo que más me ha interesado es que no es el punto de vista de un economista antisistema, precisamente. Y de ahí la importancia de su análisis para los que sí lo somos. ¿Vientos de cambio? Esperemos que sí, aunque sea para retroceder y no para avanzar hacia el “holocausto caníbal” de la globalización económica actual.

 

Juan José Ibáñez

 

Terra Daily

Walker’s World: The new era of state rules

by Martin Walker
Oxford, England (UPI) Jun 30, 2008

 

The next stage is upon us. There will be more powers to the states, and probably more international regulation and governance, more managed trade and more government intrusion. If we are lucky, this coming era may even resolve the challenges of climate change and the looming pension and healthcare crises. But sometime around the year 2040, the conventional wisdom will change and the cycle will turn again.

 

The headlines around next week’s Group of Eight summit meeting in Japan will focus on North Korea and Iran, on poverty and climate change. But the background music, which began swelling at last month’s meeting of G8 finance ministers, is signalling the coming of something far more profound: the end of the 30-year era of free trade and free markets.

 

Charlie McCreevy, the European Union’s commissioner for financial services, let the cat out of the bag this month when he confirmed the EU was “strengthening its existing regulatory contacts on financial services” with the United States, Japan, China, Russia and India. His officials are already drafting a new set of international rules on credit rating agencies with their U.S. counterparts. Moreover, the EU is pushing for what McCreevy calls “well targeted and robust internal governance reforms” on the whole credit rating system. This would include statistical modeling, monitoring their quality and redrafting the way they are paid and financed to avoid conflicts of interest, and the imposition of “an appropriate corporate culture.

 

This sounds as dry as dishwater. It isn’t. In the wake of the subprime mortgage disaster and Wall Street’s financial crisis, a new era of regulation is upon us. And this time, it will be global rather than national in scope. It has been a pretty good 30 years since Margaret Thatcher in Britain and Ronald Reagan in the United States began campaigning for an end to the previous era of social democratic and moderately left-wing governance that had prevailed since the end of World War II. This was the era that brought about Europe‘s welfare states and America‘s “great society,” with high taxation, powerful labor unions and a highly intrusive government role in strategic planning for the economy.

 

That era ended with Thatcher and Reagan. Taxes fell. Free trade pacts were agreed and tariffs slashed. Government-owned enterprises were privatized. Union membership declined sharply. Inflation was tamed. Innovation and entrepreneurs were encouraged, and successful risk-takers were not just allowed to keep most of their rewards but were hailed and praised as role models.

 

Globalization was promoted and accelerated, and currency controls were slashed. The Soviet Union collapsed. China thrived under its own form of statist capitalism. More people emerged from poverty into the new global middle class than ever before in history.

 

Thatcher’s Britain stopped declining and steadily overtook the economies of Italy and France and found last year that it had a higher GDP per head than either Japan or Germany. And the U.S. economy is now about one and a half times larger, allowing for inflation, than it was when Reagan was elected. The 30-year era of free trade and free markets is now ending. The immediate cause of its demise has been the financial crisis and the demand for more regulation of the financial markets. The underlying causes are even more potent. The first is demographics. Led by Europe and Japan, the world’s population is aging fast. In 1998 for the first time, the number of people over 60 in the developed world exceeded those below the age of 15. In about 30 years from now (on current trends), that majority of the elderly will apply to the whole human population.

 

That means that pensions and health costs for the elderly are going to grow very sharply, and that will mean more taxes and an ever greater role for the state in collecting and redistributing income. The second underlying cause is that the losers from the globalization process are winning the political battle over the far greater number of beneficiaries. Well-organized and vocal opponents of free trade in the G8 countries have managed to delay and weaken and virtually sabotage the Doha Round of the world trade talks. Even the most obviously benign and useful bilateral free trade agreements, like the one with Colombia, are blocked in the U.S. Congress. In the EU, the world food crisis has provided the French and their allies with the perfect cover to block any further attempts to reform the dreadful Common Agricultural Policy.

 

The third underlying cause is climate change. Globalization has produced so many more consumers of oil and food and water that the biosphere is straining to cope. The fact that both U.S. presidential candidates support a cap-and-trade system to tackle climate change means that a Kyoto 2 is now very nearly inevitable. This again will mean more regulation, more taxation and not just greater power for government but a much more prominent role in setting industrial strategy.

 

Shortages of food and water and other resource constraints are likely to have a similar effect. The era of big government is back. Maybe this is no bad thing. The excesses of the Reagan-Thatcher era, from the ridiculous pay of financial manipulators and hedge fund hustlers to the erosion of the manufacturing industry in the United States and Europe, have exacted a toll in public opinion. The Anglo-Saxon economic model looks rather less impressive today than it did in the Clinton-Blair years. A free market does not yet seem to be much use in tackling the demographic challenge or climate change.

 

Maybe it was inevitable. There does seem to be a 30-year cycle in operation. We have had 30 years of free market monetarism led by economist Milton Friedman and central banker Alan Greenspan. That was preceded by 30 years of welfare statism led by economist Lord Keynes and accommodating central bankers. And that was preceded by 30 years of orthodox economics led by the Bank of England’s Montagu Norman and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act that brought us protectionism and the Great Depression. The next stage is upon us. There will be more powers to the states, and probably more international regulation and governance, more managed trade and more government intrusion. If we are lucky, this coming era may even resolve the challenges of climate change and the looming pension and healthcare crises. But sometime around the year 2040, the conventional wisdom will change and the cycle will turn again.

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Hola Juanjo,

Una entrada para tener presente y volver a leer (antes de treinta años, espero). Puede relacionarse con esto:

http://decrecimiento.blogspot.com/

Buen fin de semana

[...] en los postulados que presenté en, por ejemplo estos post: Ciencia y Neoliberalismo Económico, ¿Hacia una Nueva Gobernanza Mundial?: La Globalización Cuestionada por el Capitalismo, Las Miserias del Capitalismo: La Obsolescencia [...]

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