President Obama’s pending jobs legislation is a step in the right direction despite thirty years of bad policy aimed at downsizing government, says Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs. While globalization has promoted rapid technological development and raised the standard of living across many countries, it has also created problems. Low-skilled workers in rich countries have become the primary losers as their jobs go elsewhere. Globalization has also spread contagion such as corrosive banking practices, terrorism and global warming.
What’s the Big Idea?
The call to downsize government is ill-suited to solve the problems that face our era, defined primarily by globalization. “Governments should promote high-quality education, to ensure that young people are prepared to face global competition. They should raise productivity by building modern infrastructure and promoting science and technology. And governments should cooperate globally to regulate those parts of the economy—notably finance and the environment—in which problems in one country can spill over to other parts of the world.”