The Enron implosion briefly focused public attention on the vulnerability of ordinary Americans' pension coverage. But the remedial legislation passed by the Republican House actually makes workers even more vulnerable. The bigger scandal is not the occasional loss of entire retirement savings in cases such as Enron's but the inadequate coverage and systematic erosion of worker retirement benefits generally.
For better than two decades, the orthodox recipe for
global growth has been
embodied in the so-called Washington Consensus. This approach, advocated by the
United States and enforced by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
(IMF), holds that growth is maximized when barriers to the free flow of capital
and commerce are dismantled and when individual economies are exposed to the
discipline, consumer markets, and entrepreneurs of the world economic system.
Proponents of this view have contended that the free-market approach to
development will also alleviate poverty, both by raising overall growth rates and
by bringing modern capitalism to the world's poorest.