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Above: Development forums such as the above in Bangkok earlier this year can be the targets of protesters with only ‘half the right idea’ (Photo: World Bank press release)

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  • The moral globalist: making globalization work (May 2)
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    Governments and globalization

    How real is globalization? Governments only pay it lip service, says John Robertson as they try to introduce bureaucracy to trap those who would contribute to their nation's standing

    IT WOULD SEEM that the topic of globalization is on everyone’s mind these days.
       Governments love to tell us what a wonderful job they’re doing to free up borders, unleash money flows, and boost the transfer of goods and services.
       But are they really? A government praising itself for "globalization" policies is a bit like a mugger giving himself a pat on the back for not killing you during the robbery, merely beating you and sending you to the emergency room instead.
       After all, governments have been major thieves of transnational liberty as well, not just the liberty of citizens within their own borders. A major part of government bureaucracy is devoted to border controls, immigration, customs, import and export regulations, excise taxes and duties, and various other controls designed to stop you from doing what you wish when moving yourself or your assets across borders.
       Liberty is the ability to control your own mind, body and overall life without outside interference. History has demonstrated that when liberty is denied the economy stagnates, the national culture withers, science and innovation shrink, personal living standards plummet, and the overall quality of human life regresses.
       Liberty is therefore of vital importance. But when one cannot move oneself or one’s property easily, then an intolerable situation in a given country becomes exponentially worse. A country becomes an economic, financial, and physical prison once the government decides to maximize its control over its people. Is it any coincidence that the world’s most totalitarian regimes have the most repressive policies against citizens leaving the country or allowing businesses free access to capital and international markets?
       The current buzzword process of "globalization" is nothing more than an indirect recognition that governments are causing more problems than they solve with senseless protectionist laws and policies. So they are releasing their chokehold a little while they search for a better grip that increases their revenues without letting the beast of international capitalism rise up and render them as extinct as the dinosaur.
       In other words, "globalization" as praised by politicians is a way for governments to retain (and grow) their control over citizens and the economy by inserting themselves as a necessary force needed to make international trade and trafficking possible.
       We need government assistance to conduct international trade the way a moose needs a hat-rack, but try telling that to a high-ranking bureaucrat who has decided that it’s in the national interest for government to tell its own citizens what they may or may not do elsewhere in the world. (Or, for that matter, tell foreign citizens what’s best for them when they try to make the most of an opportunity within the national borders.)
       True globalization doesn’t need any government regulation at all, other than the maintenance of general law and order. So the sooner the floodgates are opened, the better. But "free trade" has a way of acquiring veritable encyclopædias of footnotes once bureaucrats start meddling with this tariff and that excise tax and similar misadventures. Free trade becomes nothing more than a lie, with "freer trade" substituted as a worthy goal in its place.
       The protestors who keep showing themselves at the various international trade conferences hosted by the World Bank and the IMF and similar organizations have only half of the right idea. Abolishing these multi-national bureaucratic monstrosities is a worthy goal, but then the protestors shoot themselves in the foot by demanding closed borders, supposedly to protect poor Third World workers from exploitation from evil capitalists.
       The only way for Third World workers to rise out of poverty is through the accumulation of wealth. What better way to do that than to work for a large international company that provides jobs where none existed earlier? The worker gets a job, an income, and valuable experience, the company gets relatively cheap labour, and both parties benefit. Is this such a crime? We’re sure that a rice farmer whose annual income is only a few hundred dollars a year is hardly feeling exploited when he works a few hours less per week to earn substantially more at the local outlet of a First World factory, warehouse, or office.
       Are the local Third World governments supposed to pull these people out of poverty? Hardly. After all, they’re the main reasons that Third World conditions exist in the first place. First World governments have realized that a smaller share of a much bigger pie is worth much more to them than the whole of a small pie. Third World governments have yet to reach this level of enlightenment.
       But Third World countries aren’t the only ones which would benefit from free flows of goods, capital, and workers. First World nations would grow too, both from increased access to new markets and from plentiful quantities of needed goods and services at low prices. And there’s always the chance that the next Einstein, Bill Gates, or Jonas Salk is waiting to be discovered when the appropriate education and opportunity reaches someone presently in a disadvantaged jurisdiction. The whole world benefits from geniuses like these.
       And so ultimately, no one’s a loser once true globalization happens. Except governments themselves, of course, which is why "globalization" government-style will be the way the game is played until people finally wake up and realize the bureaucrats and their politicians do more harm than good.
       Prosperity is the best way to true happiness in life, and the government’s regulation of it (however well-meaning) doesn’t help anyone in the long run. John Robertson

    Dr John Robertson of OPC International provides powerful freedom solutions to current and future sovereign individuals. Visit www.assetprotection.nu for more information.

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