Robert B. Reich, a co-founder of The American Prospect, is a Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. His website can be found here and his blog can be found here.
T he righteousness of our cause shouldn't prevent us from asking why so many people around the world who aren't terrorists hate America and from seeking ways to reduce their hatred. Recognizing America's past failing in this regard isn't justifying terrorism. Finding means of ameliorating the hatred isn't appeasing terrorists. Rather, it's looking at terrorism's larger context--the soil in which it has taken root--and examining our role in helping to create those conditions or allowing them to endure. Here's where America's political and intellectual left and right seem incapable of reasoned debate. Much of the left is still bemoaning America's Cold War support of anticommunist dictators--the shah, Mobutu, Somoza, Greek colonels, Korean generals, Pinochet, Marcos, Armas, the mujahideen--and our nation's gruesome record advising them, training their death squads, schooling and equipping their torture specialists, and helping them squirrel away their vast wealth. Given this history, the...
The Boston Globe
With Congress's recent rejection of the nuclear test ban treaty and an
upcoming World Trade Organization meeting that's already causing a storm,
it's useful to remind ourselves that there are two faces of nationalism. The
negative face turns away from global responsiblities. The positive one
embraces domestic ones.
Both give priority to "us" inside the borders over "them" out there. Both
believe that America should come first. Both depend for their force on a
nation's sense of common purpose. But negative nationalism uses that
commonality to exclude those who don't share it. Positive nationalism uses it
to expand opportunities for those who do.
Negative nationalism assumes that the world is a zero-sum game where our
gains come at another nation's expense, and theirs come at our's. Positive
nationalism assumes that when our people are better off they're more
willing and better able to...
Broadcast November 2, 2001 Will the war on terrorism enhance globalization, further immersing America in the global economy? Or will it cause us to retreat or try to retreat from the rest of the globe? At first glance, the war seems to have generated a flowering of multilateralism. Western Europe and America haven't been closer since World War II. Suddenly, it seems we're also close allies of Russia, China, Pakistan, even places Americans hardly knew existed six weeks ago, like Uzbekistan. And with political alliance comes economic integration. There's even a move afoot to increase trade with Pakistan. The administration is pushing Congress harder than ever for authority to move trade treaties without amendment. Yet, most of this is symbolic. In fact, terrorism is already causing America and other advanced nations to step back from globalization. You can see this reflected in the steep drops in global equities, higher interest rates on bonds of emerging markets, and higher insurance...
Broadcast April 26, 2001 Attention all thrill-seekers. You can now be a launched into outer space -- if you re willing to pay the freight. Just call up the Russians. That s what Dennis Tito did. And this Sunday -- after paying the Russians a mere $20 million -- Dennis will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhastan on a ten-day round trip to the International Space Station hovering above the world. Even though Dennis is an American, and we Americans are jointly building that Space Station, Dennis made his deal with the Russians. That s because our own National Aeronautics and Space Administration turned Dennis down flat. NASA doesn t think outer space is safe enough yet for amateur tourists. NASA finally consented to the Russians taking Dennis up there in order to avoid an international incident. So here s Russia -- a dozen years after Soviet communism -- engaging in the most capitalist of practices -- selling exactly what somebody wants, at the price the market is willing...
The Los Angeles Times The White House is working with other nations to fight global terrorism. It also should be working with them to stave off a global economic meltdown. There's no longer any doubt that we're in a recession. More than 400,000 jobs were lost last month, the biggest job loss in two decades. Meanwhile, national output is shrinking. Consumer spending is dropping. And consumer confidence is plummeting. That's just the United States. The rest of the world is as bad or worse. Germany, the largest economy in Europe, is in a slump, dragging the rest of Europe down with it. The Japanese economy is nearly comatose. Argentina, until recently South America's powerhouse, is in deep recession and about to default on its international loans. The former "tigers" of Southeast Asia--Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan--are basket cases. The global economy is teetering. That's partly because American consumers--deep in debt, worried about keeping their jobs and now stressed out...