Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Affairs’

Is a “No Deal” Brexit Still Avoidable?

Posted by hkarner - 22. November 2018

Date: 21-11-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Henry Farrell

Why the Irish Border Remains a Stumbling Block for Negotiations

W. C. Sellar and R. J. Yeatman’s comic history of England, 1066 and All That, talks about nineteenth-century British Prime Minister W. E. Gladstone’s efforts to solve the Irish Question—the puzzle of what to do with rebellious Ireland, which was then part of the United Kingdom. According to Sellar and Yeatman, every time that Gladstone got close to an answer the Irish changed the question. Over the last couple of days, a new Irish question has stymied Brexit negotiations between the United Kingdom and the EU: how to deal with the border between the Republic of Ireland, which will remain part of the EU, and Northern Ireland, which will not. This time it’s EU negotiators who keep on trying to come up with answers, while British politicians keep on changing the question.

At one point last week, it looked as though the EU and the United Kingdom had reached a provisional deal. British Prime Minister Theresa May brought the deal to her cabinet, which accepted it. But then, a few hours later, British ministers started to resign over the deal—including Dominic Raab, the secretary of state for exiting the European Union, who had helped negotiate it, only to later apparently decide that it wasn’t nearly good enough. British politics is now in chaos. Most dread the prospect of a “no deal” Brexit, where the United Kingdom crashes out of the EU without any cushion, leading to massive economic and political instability. Yet no one has any good proposal for how to avoid it. There is no obvious deal that is both acceptable to the EU and likely to pass in the House of Commons. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Advertisements

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , | Leave a Comment »

Brexit and Broken Promises

Posted by hkarner - 18. November 2018

Date: 16-11-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Peter Hall

Leaving the EU Without Consequences Was Always a Fantasy

The United Kingdom embraced a political fantasy in June 2016, when a slight majority of Brexit referendum participants voted for the country to leave the European Union. This was already apparent to some at the time. Not long after the vote, for example, pro-Brexit campaigners were forced to walk back claims that leaving the EU would free up 350 million pounds a week for spending on the National Health Service—which is now facing huge staff shortages, partly as a result of the limits on immigration that Brexit was designed to reinforce. But now that the terms of the Brexit agreement have been released, the scale of that fantasy is readily apparent to all.

WHEN FANTASY MEETS REALITY
Brexiteers campaigned on the prospect that the United Kingdom could retain most of the advantages of remaining in the European single market, which allows for free trade in goods and services across the continent, without paying into the EU coffers or abiding by its regulations. At the same time, they claimed, it could be negotiating free trade deals with other countries designed to advance British exports and lower the cost of its imports. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Bogus Backlash to Globalization

Posted by hkarner - 11. November 2018

Date: 10-11-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Charles Kenny

Resentful Nativists Oppose Free Trade and Immigration—Don’t Appease Them

The last two years have seen an outbreak of self-abnegation among former advocates of globalization, who wonder if their cosmopolitan views on migration and free trade might have helped deliver the White House to U.S. President Donald Trump. In turn, longtime critics of globalization on the left have crowed at this apparent admission of defeat. Both camps have suggested that the backlash Trump represents is understandable and that internationalists should do more to accommodate an electorate that has turned against global engagement.

Yet both camps misunderstand Trump’s electoral success. The voters who were won over by his antiglobalist message were not legitimate victims of globalization. Many, if not most, were and are older white supporters of patriarchy who resent people with dark skin, especially those from other countries. Although it might be inexpedient to call this group deplorable, a program of appeasement toward their views is wrong—economically, politically, and morally. Globalization has been an overwhelmingly positive force for the United States and the rest of the world. Instead of apologizing for themselves, it is time for internationalists to take the fight to an aging minority of nativists and wall builders.

THE BLESSINGS OF GLOBALIZATION

Backlash appeasers have a number of thoughtful and influential voices on their side. Many are former champions of globalization who worry that it has moved too fast. The Financial Times commentator Edward Luce, for instance, suggested in his 2017 book, The Retreat of Western Liberalism, that by promoting globalization, “the world’s elites have helped provoke what they feared: a populist uprising against the world economy.” To save the liberal project, he argued, we must abandon “the drive to deep globalization.” Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has similarly warned of “a growing suspicion on the part of electorates that globalization is an elite project that primarily benefits elites.”

Other members of this chorus are liberals and left-wingers who have long been critical of free trade and who see Trump’s election as a vindication. In a March article for The American Prospect, the liberal journalist Robert Kuttner claimed that “elites of both parties won the policy debates on trade, but lost the people.” According to Kuttner, “the more that bien pensants double down on globalization, the more defections they invite and the more leaders like Trump we get.” The author John Judis took to The New York Times to criticize the left for ignoring the emotional appeal of nationalism, arguing that low-skilled immigration and China’s unfair trading practices had hurt American workers, helping to “create a new class of angry ‘left-behinds’” who were susceptible to Trump’s message.

These arguments are misguided. They severely overstate both the number of Americans hurt by globalization and the depth of the popular backlash to it. Regarding immigration, it is very hard to find evidence of a single demographic or regional grouping of U.S. citizens that has been harmed. In a 2015 paper, the economists Gaetano Basso and Giovanni Peri looked at 30 years of data on labor market outcomes in the United States and concluded that increases in immigrant labor, both in aggregate and by skill group, either increase native wages and employment or are simply uncorrelated with them. Conversely, Trump’s plan to end work permits for the spouses of H1-B visa holders could cost the U.S. economy $2.1 billion per year, according to the economists Ayoung Kim, Brigitte S. Waldorf, and Natasha T. Duncan.

On trade, there is reasonable analysis suggesting that increased competition arising from imports, for all of its overall benefits, can hurt employment in particular communities and sectors. In an influential series of papers, the economists David H. Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon H. Hanson argued that China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 had a negative impact on local U.S. labor markets exposed to Chinese competition. For at least a full decade after the “China trade shock,” they claimed, these labor markets—many of which had depended on manufacturing—saw higher unemployment, lower wages, and depressed labor force participation rates.

But critics of the studies point out that their conclusions fail to account for a few important facts. First, increased trade with China allowed U.S. firms to import cheaper materials, lowering their own costs and enabling them to expand production; and second, China’s accession to the WTO increased U.S. exports to China, as well as other countries. Looking beyond just China, research by the economists Robert C. Feenstra and Akira Sasahara suggests that between 1995 and 2011, growth in U.S. exports worldwide led to 6.6 million new U.S. jobs, including 1.9 million jobs in manufacturing—more than the jobs lost owing to global import competition. And although an estimated two million U.S. jobs were lost because of competition from Chinese imports over those 15 years, the U.S. economy saw about 1.9 million layoffs and discharges each month during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Manufacturing job losses to China are in the headlines not because they are a major source of terminations but because they make a good story for those who oppose global engagement.

Furthermore, looking only at the production side of the economy ignores the considerable benefits that consumers—particularly poor consumers—derive from cheaper goods. According to a study by Pablo D. Fajgelbaum and Amit K. Khandelwal of the National Bureau of Economic Research, poor people spend more of their income on goods, while the rich spend more on services, which are less tradable; for this reason, if the United States moved to end imports, the poorest ten percent of American consumers would see their buying power decline by 82 percent, compared with a decline of only 50 percent for the median consumer.

Most Americans recognize the economic benefits of trade and migration to the country. Contrary to the backlash thesis, globalization is more popular now than ever before. Since 1992, Gallup has asked if trade is primarily an opportunity for economic growth or a threat to the economy. For 23 years, the proportion suggesting it was primarily an opportunity never rose above 56 percent; in 2017 and 2018, it exceeded 70 percent. And since 1965, Gallup has asked Americans if immigration should be increased, decreased, or kept at the present level. The proportion favoring an increase or sustained rate, at 68 percent, has never been higher, nor has the proportion calling for a decrease (29 percent) ever been lower.

WHITE FRIGHT
But if the economic benefits of globalization are widely understood, a minority sees it as a cultural threat. This is what explains the supposed backlash. Public opinion surveys from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) suggest that 34 percent of all Americans feel that the growing number of immigrants threatens traditional American values and customs. But only 19 percent of those aged 18 to 29 feel that way, compared with 44 percent of those over the age of 65 and 53 percent of white evangelical Protestants of all ages. Similarly, the political scientists  Diana C. Mutz, Edward D. Mansfield, and Eunji Kim found that whites are consistently less supportive of trade deals than are members of other racial groups. They attribute this imbalance to whites’ “heightened sense of national superiority” and ethnocentrism. If markers of economic hardship—such as low education, skills, or wages—determined opinions on trade (or migration), minorities would be the ones opposed. In fact, the reverse is true.

Some evidence does suggest that migration and trade flows may influence communities to vote Republican. Autor, Dorn, and Hanson argue that between 2000 and 2016, areas in which employment was concentrated in the industries that faced the most competition from Chinese imports tended to shift toward the Republicans. And the economists Anna Maria Mayda, Giovanni Peri, and Walter Steingress analyzed county-level data, finding that between 1990 and 2010, high-skilled immigration to a county decreased the overall share of the Republican vote while low-skilled immigration increased it.

What is considerably harder to see is how such factors could explain Trump’s increased vote share relative to the Republicans’ 2012 presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. Survey evidence suggests the American electorate recognized that the 2016 presidential candidates, Trump and Hillary Clinton, presented them with a clearer choice on trade and migration policy than had Barack Obama and Romney four years earlier. But voters’ exposure to globalization was not related to the size of their swing toward the Republican candidate between 2012 and 2016. Cultural factors were.

The Gallup economists Jonathan T. Rothwell and Pablo Diego-Rosell, for instance, found “no link whatsoever” between greater exposure to trade competition or immigrant workers and greater support for Trump. They did find a particularly large swing to Trump in counties with a high share of old white residents with only a high school education. And Diana Mutz found that people who felt that “the American way of life is threatened,” or who believed whites and men were more oppressed than women or minorities, were significantly more likely to switch to Trump than those who did not. In short, the voters who bought Trump’s rhetoric on trade and migration were those who were culturally attuned to his message.

Indeed, a significant proportion of Republican partisans have decided that white Christian men are the new oppressed. A PRRI survey in February 2017 found that 43 percent of Republicans felt there was a lot of discrimination against whites, and 48 percent thought there was a lot of discrimination against Christians, compared with only 27 percent who thought there was a lot of discrimination against blacks. Given the gap between black and white families in terms of both median income and median wealth, such thinking is delusional. But many whites, Mutz notes, fear that they will soon become a minority within the United States and feel that the country as a whole is losing its global dominance. This sense of lost national status and persecution fueled support for Trump.

NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER
When regretful internationalists talk about pausing globalization to save it, the group they cater to is not the “left-behind” but older, bigoted whites who are unreconciled to the cultural changes of recent decades. It would be both ethically repugnant and politically and economically unwise to pander to them.

Politically unwise because theirs is a minority view that is dying; economically suicidal because for all that old white men are delusional about facing discrimination at home, they are absolutely correct regarding the United States’ slipping status as a superpower. That is why it is particularly urgent for the country to lock in fair global regimes while it still has the leverage to do so. This means playing by the rules of the WTO and taking those immigrants who still want to come to the United States. Ironically, immigration is particularly important for aging whites themselves: although non-Hispanic whites will become a minority of the overall population within the next three decades, they will still make up 60 percent of people over the age of 65 in 2050. They will need young immigrant workers to keep Social Security and Medicare solvent. Add to these political and economic motives an ethical one: globalization has been the most powerful force ever for lifting humanity out of destitution.

Globalization has been imperfectly managed, and a new push for fairer global engagement should involve reforms, including better regulation of capital markets, limits on intellectual monopolies such as patents and copyrights, and cooperation on tax havens to ensure that corporations and rich individuals pay their share for public services. Strong international agreements are urgently needed on issues such as climate change and data privacy. And a raft of domestic measures could increase both equality and productivity in the United States: tightening lax controls on market concentration, slashing limits to affordable housing in job-rich areas, reducing the barrier to entry that unnecessary licensing imposes on small businesses, reforming a banking system that bails out irresponsible institutional investors, and doing more to help Americans who lose their jobs, for whatever reason.

But one thing that won’t help is for liberals to legitimize the backlash to globalization. Those who do so are useful patsies for Trump, allowing him to channel racial resentment into tax cuts for the rich. Responding to a group of people who think that white male Christians are discriminated against, or that the rest of the world getting richer is something for Americans to fear rather than celebrate, is admittedly hard. But whatever the reaction to the nativist rage of old white men, it cannot be appeasement.

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , | Leave a Comment »

Italy’s Dangerous Budget Showdown With Europe

Posted by hkarner - 5. November 2018

Date: 04-11-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Erik Jones

Brussels and Rome Are Playing a Game of Chicken

In late October, Italy’s populist government finally got its showdown with Brussels. In September, Italy’s powerful deputy prime ministers, Lega leader Matteo Salvini and Five Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio, agreed on a draft budget calling for tax cuts and a minimum income for the unemployed, both of which would increase Italy’s deficits at a time when Brussels is pressuring Rome to reduce its debt load. Now Salvini and Di Maio expect European institutions to make concessions instead. It is hard not to imagine that this was their plan all along.

Salvini and Di Maio know that the European institutions will have to push back on any attempt to break the rules for macroeconomic policy coordination across countries—and specifically those rules that force Italy to rein in its debts and deficits. In turn, Salvini and Di Maio plan to argue that Brussels is preventing them from fulfilling their democratic mandate.

This kind of rallying cry will play well in the run-up to the May 2019 elections to the European Parliament. The danger is that it will play badly in financial markets. If market participants start to worry that Italian public debts will begin growing again, they will become less willing to lend to the Italian government, and every Italian will find it more expensive to borrow. This could create a self-fulfilling dynamic leading Italy back into crisis, particularly if the government’s policies undermine confidence in the country’s banks. Hence the European Commission (EC) must seek to enforce the rules—not just for their own sake but to safeguard the European economy as a whole.

ITALIAN STANDOFF
The showdown between Brussels and Rome began in earnest on October 18, when European Commissioners Valdis Dombrovskis and Pierre Moscovici sent a strongly worded note to the Italian government making clear their “serious concern” about the budget’s “significant deviation” from Italy’s prior commitments to lower its debt and deficits. Usually, such a letter would prompt the start of negotiations between the EC and the national government in question. Instead of offering to make concessions, however, Italian Economics and Finance Minister Giovanni Tria responded on October 22 that although Italy’s budget is “outside the norms” for European policy coordination, the Italian government does not believe that its proposal constitutes a financial risk. In fairness, Tria initially wanted to go the usual route of negotiating concessions. But Salvini and Di Maio would have none of it. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Angela Merkel’s Vision Problem

Posted by hkarner - 4. November 2018

Date: 03-11-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Yascha Mounk

With the Right Rising, Germany Needs to Do More Than Stay the Course

As the head of the country’s biggest political party for eighteen years, and its chancellor for twelve, Angela Merkel has done more to shape contemporary Germany than any postwar leader other than Konrad Adenauer, Willy Brandt, and Helmut Kohl. So her recent announcement that she will hand over the leadership of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) this December, and refrain from seeking another term in federal elections expected to be held in 2021, marks the beginning of the end of an era.

Since Merkel has been a deeply stabilizing force, and political extremists are lying in wait to exploit her departure, it is only natural to wonder how the country will change in the coming years. Will the CDU lurch to the right after its proudly moderate leader leaves the stage? Can the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has already established itself as a major force in German politics, use the power vacuum she leaves behind to its advantage? Or might a change of political personnel actually help to calm the anger that Merkel has increasingly inspired in the past years?

These are all important questions that concern the country’s likely future. But in order to understand the political predicament in which Germany now finds itself, and make an educated guess as to how Merkel’s departure might change the country, it is first necessary to understand the legacy she leaves behind. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Doomsday Delusions: The Case for Optimism in a Pessimistic Age

Posted by hkarner - 28. Oktober 2018

Date: 27-10-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Steven Radelet

Anyone glancing at a newspaper these days finds a litany of woes: war, crime, disease, terrorism, and environmental disasters, all sandwiched between predictions of the coming collapse of market capitalism and liberal democracy. U.S. politicians on both the right, such as President Donald Trump, and the left, such as Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, warn that the United States and the world are sliding toward calamity. Pessimism rules the day.

The world does indeed face challenges. Yet by almost any measure, life for most people has been getting better in almost every way. Levels of war and conflict are near historic lows. People are living longer and healthier lives and are better educated than ever before. Incomes for most families are higher than at any time in history. One billion people around the world have been lifted out of extreme poverty in the last two decades, and although income inequality has worsened within many Western countries, across the globe, income is more equal than it has been in centuries. Far fewer people than ever go hungry, and the world now grows more food than it needs. Women have more opportunities, democracy has expanded, and basic human rights are more widely respected than ever before. Electricity, automobiles, the Internet, modern medicines, and simple conveniences have made most people’s lives far easier than their great-grandparents could have imagined. And after centuries of being largely confined to the West, since the 1980s, such benefits have spread across the world—not just to China and India but also to Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Peru, South Africa, South Korea, and dozens of other countries. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel, Books | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How Europe Can Reform Its Migration Policy

Posted by hkarner - 7. Oktober 2018

An essential article! (hfk)

Date: 06-10-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Alexander Betts and Paul Collier

The Importance of Being Sustainable

Three years since the start of the European refugee crisis, the continent’s politics are still convulsed by disagreements over migration. This is despite the sharp decline in the number of people crossing the Mediterranean into Europe—60,000 between January and August 2018, compared with over one million in 2015 and 350,000 in 2016. The crisis, in short, is not one of numbers but one of trust: European publics believe that migration is out of control and that their leaders have no real plan for handling it.

Among the new arrivals, some are refugees with no choice but to flee to Europe, while others are refugees who might have found protection closer to home. But many are aspirational migrants, leaving poor but not necessarily dangerous countries, such as Morocco and Tunisia, for better jobs and opportunities in the EU. Europe’s problem is that it currently has no effective way of distinguishing between these groups or of forcing EU member states to share responsibility for legitimate refugees. And with some countries, such as France and the United Kingdom, which return less than half of rejected asylum seekers, migrants without a real claim to asylum have an incentive to apply for it anyway, knowing they will probably be able to stay regardless of the bureaucratic outcome. The absence of rule of law in the admission of migrants, coupled with haphazard integration policies, undermines public confidence, in turn fueling a populist backlash with devastating consequences for both migrant welfare and European democracy. From Brexit to the rise of the populist Alternative for Germany party, divisions relating to migration have poisoned politics. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Committee to Save the World Order

Posted by hkarner - 3. Oktober 2018

Date: 02-10-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay

America’s Allies Must Step Up as America Steps Down

The order that has structured international politics since the end of World War II is fracturing. Many of the culprits are obvious. Revisionist powers, such as China and Russia, want to reshape global rules to their own advantage. Emerging powers, such as Brazil and India, embrace the perks of great-power status but shun the responsibilities that come with it. Rejectionist powers, such as Iran and North Korea, defy rules set by others. Meanwhile, international institutions, such as the UN, struggle to address problems that multiply faster than they can be resolved.

The newest culprit, however, is a surprise: the United States, the very country that championed the order’s creation. Seventy years after U.S. President Harry Truman sketched the blueprint for a rules-based international order to prevent the dog-eat-dog geopolitical competition that triggered World War II, U.S. President Donald Trump has upended it. He has raised doubts about Washington’s security commitments to its allies, challenged the fundamentals of the global trading regime, abandoned the promotion of freedom and democracy as defining features of U.S. foreign policy, and abdicated global leadership. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Trump’s Nineteenth-Century Grand Strategy

Posted by hkarner - 28. September 2018

Date: 27-09-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Charles A. Kupchan

The Themes of His UN General Assembly Speech Have Deep Roots in U.S. History

When U.S. President Donald Trump spoke to the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, he deliberately signaled a definitive break with the internationalist consensus that has guided U.S. grand strategy since World War II. “We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable global bureaucracy,” he proclaimed. “Sovereign and independent nations are the only vehicle where freedom has ever survived, democracy has ever endured, or peace has ever prospered. And so we must protect our sovereignty and our cherished independence above all.” He was dumping cold war water on multilateralism and global governance—and the commentary that followed duly noted just how sharply his message diverged from those of his predecessors.

But Trump’s brand of statecraft is not in fact out of step with much of U.S. history. Rather, he is discarding the key tenets of U.S. foreign policy since World War II in favor of an older strain of thinking about the United States’ role in the world. As I argued in the March/April 2018 issue of this magazine (“The Clash of Exceptionalisms”), “America first” has deep roots in the United States’ past. It’s a callback to a time before World War II—to an earlier iteration of American exceptionalism and an older brand of statecraft. The hostility to U.S. participation in international pacts, the economic protectionism, the aversion to democracy promotion, the racially tinged nationalism, the isolationist temptation—these aspects of Trump’s “America first” approach are right out of the playbook that anchored foreign policy for most of U.S. history prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stop Obsessing About China

Posted by hkarner - 23. September 2018

With such a president and such a democracy? (hfk)

Date: 22-09-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Michael Beckley

Why Beijing Will Not Imperil U.S. Hegemony

The United States is a deeply polarized nation, yet one view increasingly spans the partisan divide: the country is at imminent risk of being overtaken by China. Unless Washington does much more to counter the rise of its biggest rival, many argue, it may soon lose its status as the world’s leading power. According to this emerging consensus, decades of U.S. investment and diplomatic concessions have helped create a geopolitical monster. China now boasts the world’s largest economy and military, and it is using its growing might to set its own rules in East Asia, hollow out the U.S. economy, and undermine democracy around the globe. In response, many Democrats and Republicans agree, the United States must ramp up its military presence in Asia, slap tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods, and challenge China’s influence worldwide.

But this emerging consensus is wrong and the policy response misguided. China is not about to overtake the United States economically or militarily—quite to the contrary. By the most important measures of national wealth and power, China is struggling to keep up and will probably fall further behind in the coming decades. The United States is and will remain the world’s sole superpower for the foreseeable future, provided that it avoids overextending itself abroad or underinvesting at home. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , | Leave a Comment »