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November 12, 2006

Globalization: The Most Important Domestic Issue

I’ve been listening to KCRW’s Left, Right, and Center for awhile because it offers a balanced but impassioned (yet rationale and intelligent) discussion of national and world politics and news. The podcast hasn’t been updating in iTunes and given the election results last week, I wanted to hear LRC’s analysis and commentary. Matt Miller, the host of the show had a great comment from the 11/10 episode and although related to the election results, it’s about globalization, an idea much closer to my heart than politics (emphasis added).

Dems should be setting the tone for the future, for the 2008 election, to make it possible for progress on the chief domestic issue, how to cope with globalization (minute 8:15), mollify its anxiety and protect/help the middle class of those who are at risk in this global economy; nothing will get done seriously on this front in the next two years because there’s no consensus on the issues BUT if they frame these issues for 2008 then the center of gravity could be tipped so that these issues can be publicly discussed.

I’m paraphrasing here but you get the idea. Economics, the study of making decisions about the proper allocation of scarce resources, really does drive politics and most other public policies. Globalization was the major thrust of my major during college and I truly believe that it is a major force for good in the world, bringing more people out of poverty than any other governmental or non-governmental force in the world. But the Doha round of trade talks has stalled and globalization seems to have been temporarily grounded.

Living in D.C. and being surrounded by so many federal government, NGOs, and public policy institutions, I remain faithful that promoting globalization is the way to improve economic equality. Will Matt's comment above resonate with the Democrats, Republicans, and others who run this town and can we get globalization back on the docket for 2008? And I mean getting the topic back into the public sphere where a serious debate around the issues of globalization can occur, rather than he-said/she-said crap surrounding the the topic of outsourcing  from a few years ago. Remember Lou Dobbs and the "Exporting America" rhetoric?

Globalization is a weighty and intellectual topic that needs proper discussion and it would be nice, as Matt suggests, if we're able to discuss a topic that economically and politically affects us so much more significantly than most of the domestic and foreign policies that we typically argue over.

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