Nekdanji Clintonov finančni minister Larry Summers (sicer nečak slavnega nobelovca Samuelsona in nekdanji dekan Harvarda) ima sicer na vesti nekaj temnih madežev, od podpore sporazumu NAFTA, servilnosti finančnemu sektorju do deregulacije ameriškega bančnega sistema, kar je bila osnova za veliko finančno krizo 2008. Vendar mu je šteti v plus, da zna analizirati situacijo in revidirati stališča. Tokrat je v intervjuju za The American Interest govoril tudi o regulaciji globalizacije in “odgovornem nacionalizmu”.
Pri tem moram dodati, da se mi njegova analiza stanja zdi odlična, njegovi predlogi za reševanje problema pa niso ravno prepričljivi oziroma so dokaj mlahavi. Sploh v primerjavi s predlogi Danija Rodrika, ki govori o tem, da je globalizacijo potrebno uravnavati prek različnih zahtevanih standardov. Denimo, prek spoštovanja prepovedi glede dela otrok, spoštovanja standardov glede varstva pri delu, spoštovanja zahodnih okoljskih standardov itd. Vzpostavitev teh standardov v mednarodni trgovini bi v precejšnji meri odpravila ali omilila socialni in okoljski dumping podjetij iz Azije.
To bi bil odgovorni ekonomski nacionalizem.
TAI: You’ve written about the need for “responsible nationalism.” What does that actually mean in terms of economic policies? How do we reform capitalism but preserve it, while making it more popular and sustainable in a democracy?
LHS: Let’s take the global dimension first. We have done too much management of globalization for the benefit of those in Davos, and too little for the benefit of those in Detroit or Dusseldorf. Over the last two decades, better intellectual property protection for Mickey Mouse and Hollywood movies has been an A level economic issue. Better global tax cooperation, so that tech companies’ profits do not locate themselves in cyberspace and entirely escape taxation, has been a B-level issue. Achieving better market access for derivatives dealers has been an A-level global economic issue, while assuring that bank secrecy does not permit large-scale money laundering has been a B-level economic cooperation issue. The protection of foreign investors’ property rights has been an A-level issue, and the maintenance of worker standards, or the avoidance of unfair competition through exchange rate depreciation, has been a B-level issue. And ultimately, that has all estranged the elite from those they aspire to lead.
Someone put it to me this way: First, we said that you are going to lose your job, but it was okay because when you got your new one, you were going to have higher wages thanks to lower prices because of international trade. Then we said that your company was going to move your job overseas, but it was really necessary because if we didn’t do that, then your company was going to be less competitive. Now we’re saying that we have to cut the taxes on those companies and cut the calculus class from your kid’s high school, because otherwise we won’t be able to attract companies to the United States, and you have to pay higher taxes and live with fewer services. At a certain point, people say, “This whole global thing doesn’t work for me,” and they have a point.
So we need a global agenda that is about broad popular interests rather than about corporate freedom—that is, cooperation to assure that government purposes can be served and that global threats can be met. If we have an agenda like that, we can rebuild a constituency for global dialogue.
Vir: Larry Summers, The American Interest