In Straight Talk on Trade, Dani Rodrik, an early and outspoken critic of economic globalization taken too far, goes beyond the populist backlash and offers a more reasoned explanation for why our elites' and technocrats' obsession with hyper-globalization made it more difficult for nations to achieve legitimate economic and social objectives at home: economic prosperity, financial stability, and equity.
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In this sharp, masterfully argued book, Dani Rodrik, a leading critic from within, takes a close look at economics to examine when it falls short and when it works, to give a surprisingly upbeat account of the discipline. Drawing on the history of the field and his deep experience as a practitioner, Rodrik argues that economics can be a powerful tool that improves the world - but only when economists abandon universal theories and focus on getting the context right.
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In this eloquent challenge to the reigning wisdom on globalization, Dani Rodrik reminds us of the importance of the nation-state, arguing forcefully that when the social arrangements of democracies inevitably clash with the international demands of globalization, national priorities should take precedence. Combining history with insight, humor with good-natured critique, Rodrik’s case for a customizable globalization supported by a light frame of international rules shows the way to a balanced prosperity as we confront today’s global challenges in trade, finance, and labor markets.
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President Trump’s tough talk on trade and the tariffs he recently imposed on imported washing machines and solar panels, as well as the ones he threatened on foreign steel and aluminum, would seem straight out of the populist playbook. But in terms of targeting the real grievances of his popular base, they largely miss the mark.
"What Does a True Populism Look Like? It Looks Like the New Deal" is from the February 21, 2018 Opinion section of The New York Times. It was written by Dani Rodrik and narrated by Kristi Burns.
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