Reflecting the viewpoints of politicians, workers, and others, the author assesses the global economy, points to problems of unregulated capital and labor, and proposes solutions the U.S. must take to lead the world economy onwards
The global economy is the leitmotif of the end of the twentieth century. Driven by the logic of modern capitalism, the global economy, a product of the Third Industrial Revolution, is a wondrous free-running system that is reordering the world as it transforms the lives and economic prospects of workers, corporations and nations. Having traveled the globe and talked to factory workers, corporate CEOs, economists and government officials, Greider contends that the global economy is sowing "creative destruction" everywhere: while making possible great accumulations of wealth, it is also reviving forms of human exploitation that characterized industry one hundred years ago and raising profound questions about the relevance of the nation-state in the face of impersonal market forces.Greider explains the dynamics of the global economy in terms of human struggle of diverse peoples and nations, rich and poor alike, facing a multiplicity of opportunities and dangers. As manufacturers in search of greater returns on investment move their assembly lines to low-wage countries, the globalization of industrial production is resulting in excess supplies of goods and labor, which, in turn, exert downward pressures on prices and wages. The deregulation of cross-border capital flows has opened new opportunities for currency traders while allowing unfettered speculation on a scale that can overwhelm the resources of even major governments. Meanwhile, the high interest rates that global investors charge to finance the growing debt of rich nations threaten the modern welfare state, with the attendant risks of class conflict and social chaos.