Monday, December 1, 2003

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On the road again

I'm giving a talk tomorrow at the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Political Science. Blogging may or may not occur between now and when I return on Wednesday evening.

posted by Dan on 12.01.03 at 12:43 PM


evidently too busy and important to teach the last week of your class "professor" drezner

posted by: Hmm on 12.01.03 at 12:43 PM [permalink]

It's part of the profession Hmm, if prof's don't get out and advocate both their ideas and themselves they get sidelined in the academic community.

Looks like with the recent peak in manufacturing reported by Andrews and Norris in the NYT, that the recession is starting to look like it's come to an end. The recession in the first place was the result of a business cycle, and shouldn't be blamed on Bush (or Clinton). The recovery likewise has damned little to do with Bush's policies. His fiscal irresponsibility unfortunately won't really start kicking in until past 2004 and counting, but will wreak a large amount of long term damage.

The peak in manufacturing activity shouldn't be misconstrued. Since 2000 there has been a 16% or so contraction of the domestic manufacturing base. One data point of jump-started activity shouldn't be misinterpreted as a vindication of free-trade and globalization.

Underscoring that concept is a great article in the about trade tensions between the US and China. The domestic political viability of free trade liberalism, market deregulation, and globalization is about to hit a speed bump if not a brick wall. Glenn Reynolds has a series of great (conservative-styled) commentaries about this, though he misses an essential point.

The social safety net and "redistribution" wasn't just a idealistic give-away, it was a necessary compromise that allowed the very creation of the modern capitalistic system. Without a robust Social Security for instance, people would be less free to act as commoditized labor units and go freely to new job types and locations because they'd be more burdened with elder care. The future will call for new solutions to old problems, but they will definitely require a rethinking of the social infrastructure and way of life beyond mere reactionism against "redistribution" which is essentially the only thing that can save globalization, until it's eventual plateau and then return to the inflationary regime of the past.

posted by: Oldman on 12.01.03 at 12:43 PM [permalink]

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