Friday, December 11, 2009

Last blog -- Neoliberalism

This week’s reading was on the subject of neoliberalism which is an economic ideology involving the reduction of restraints on economic institutions to make it easier for everyone to profit. The perfect example of this is free trade, opening up all borders for trade and eliminating all restrictions and tariffs. A recent attempt example of free trade that the authors go into detail about is the Mercosur in South America. Neoliberalists believe that globalization is a process that is only possible with the principle of free trade in practice. More conservative economists believe that free trade would just lead to further exploitation of the lesser-developed countries. With free trade, the developed nations are no longer so accounted for for what they do overseas (as they are now with countless restrictions) and they’d be free to outsource all they want. This would lose countless jobs for many citizens of the powerful nations since thousands of jobs would be moved overseas where the minimum wage is significantly lower, thus it is much cheaper. Production would boom though and huge companies would thrive. But in this situation, there is no room for improvement for the lesser developed nations even though the principle is to give everyone a free chance to progress economically. Free trade just gives developed nations an opportunity to take advantage of those less fortunate for their personal benefits.
Is it possible in today’s capitalistic society of complete self-determination to open up all borders but avoid this situation?



  1. I completely agree with you, and I feel like there there would have to be more regulation on trade in order to ensure that no one screws over the little guy. Which is exactly against the self determination thing. So to answer your question- I really have no idea, probably not. People get exploited if we let people do whatever they want.

  2. Bethany, trade on regulations seems like a very good idea. But no matter how you slice the pie, someone's going to get small end of the deal. So instead of creating all these rules that end up causing too much restriction and doing more harm than good, would it make more sense to maybe just put up very minimal, loose rules and enforce the idea of free trade?

  3. I'm not exactly so sure about loose rules to govern the principle of free trade because the example of modern day even with rule the little guy is being stamped out in small towns with companies such as Walmart. It is possible to do this but not likely probable. I feel we would have to reform the rule and regulation and adapt more of a universal rules applying straight across the board to all countries and nation states.

  4. I agree with you, Eric. People are being taken advantage of right now. If we lessened the extent of the law even further I would imagine it would get worse. If you have ever seen the documentary The Corporation, you know for a fact that business cannot be trusted to uphold social justice. If governments have any responsibility to protect their people and their land, then they will regulate trade.