Globalization and Its Discontents Essay examples

1966 WordsNov 24, 20128 Pages
Joseph E. Stiglitz. Globalization and Its Discontents. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2003. Globalization and Its Discontents is an incredibly easy read that provides remarkable insight to some of the world largest public institutions. Joseph E. Stiglitz takes the reader on a journey into this world via his own personal experiences as the chief economist at the World Bank in the 1990s. He draws on examples from the East Asia crisis, the transition from command to market economy in Russia, as well as Latin America to support his argument for change in global public institutions. At first glance, it would be expected that the piece would focus entirely on globalization and the potential problems that are experienced from…show more content…
Throughout, there is a keen sense that the IMF is completely guided by ideology which is focused on the free market and the markets’ ability to guide the economy properly at all times. It would seem that all those who work at the IMF are misguided and/or towing the party line in the form of the Washington Consensus. Moreover, of greater concern is perhaps that throughout this piece, it would seem that the World Bank could do no wrong. Stiglitz portrays himself and the World Bank as the white knight(s) who were championing the rights of those who could not fight for themselves against the US government, the US Treasury and even the Federal Reserve. He does so with little regard to any policies or actions that these organizations have done for positive reasons or with positive results. He displays unwavering support for governments to stimulate aggregate demand via social spending, so it is surprising that he is so punitive towards Western governments. With that said, it is clear throughout the book is that Stiglitz is a Keynesian at heart. He makes very clear that governments have a responsibility to provide large sums of financial capital in order to avoid recessions and financial crises, which in turn helps to avoid high rates of unemployment among a nation’s population. He argues that stable political institutions have the ability to develop a strong civil society. Stiglitz is a
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