Resisting Protectionism

Author: Helen V. Milner
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691010748
Release Date: 1989-09-21
Genre: Business & Economics

Why didn't the protectionist spiral of the 1920s reappear in the 1970s in light of similar economic and political realities? In Resisting Protectionism, Helen Milner analyzes the growth of international economic interdependence and its effects on trade policy in the United States and France. She argues that the limited protectionist response of the 1970s stems from the growth of firms' international economic ties, which reduces their interest in protection by increasing its cost. Thus firms with greater international connections will be less protectionist than more domestically oriented firms. The book develops this thesis by examining the international ties of export dependence, multinationality, and global intra-firm trade. After studying selected U.S. industries, Milner also examines French firms to see if they respond to increased interdependence in the same way as American firms, despite their different historical, ideological, and political contexts.

The Wealth of a Nation

Author: C. Donald Johnson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190865924
Release Date: 2018-04-02
Genre: Political Science

The United States is entering a period of profound uncertainty in the world political economy--an uncertainty which is threatening the liberal economic order that its own statesmen created at the end of the Second World War. The storm surrounding this threat has been ignited by an issue that has divided Americans since the nation's founding: international trade. Is America better off under a liberal trade regime, or would protectionism be more beneficial? The issue divided Alexander Hamilton from Thomas Jefferson, the agrarian south from the industrializing north, and progressives from robber barons in the Gilded Age. In our own times, it has pitted anti-globalization activists and manufacturing workers against both multinational firms and the bulk of the economics profession. Ambassador C. Donald Johnson's The Wealth of a Nation is an authoritative history of the politics of trade in America from the Revolution to the Trump era. Johnson begins by charting the rise and fall of the U.S. protectionist system from the time of Alexander Hamilton to the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930. Challenges to protectionist dominance were frequent and often serious, but the protectionist regime only faded in the wake of the Great Depression. After World War II, America was the primary architect of the liberal rules-based economic order that has dominated the globe for over half a century. Recent years, however, have seen a swelling anti-free trade movement that casts the postwar liberal regime as anti-worker, pro-capital, and--in Donald Trump's view--even anti-American. In this riveting history, Johnson emphasizes the benefits of the postwar free trade regime, but focuses in particular on how it has attempted to advance workers' rights. This analysis of the evolution of American trade policy stresses the critical importance of the multilateral trading system's survival and defines the central political struggle between business and labor in measuring the wealth of a nation.

Opening America s Market

Author: Alfred E. Eckes
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807848115
Release Date: 1999-02-01
Genre: Business & Economics

Just four months after Richard Nixon's resignation, New York Times reporter Seymour Hersh unearthed a new case of government abuse of power: the CIA had launched a domestic spying program of Orwellian proportions against American dissidents during the Vietnam War. The country's best investigative journalists and members of Congress quickly mobilized to probe a scandal that seemed certain to rock the foundations of this secret government. Subsequent investigations disclosed that the CIA had plotted to kill foreign leaders and that the FBI had harassed civil rights and student groups. Some called the scandal 'son of Watergate.' Many observers predicted that the investigations would lead to far-reaching changes in the intelligence agencies. Yet, as Kathryn Olmsted shows, neither the media nor Congress pressed for reforms. For all of its post-Watergate zeal, the press hesitated to break its long tradition of deference in national security coverage. Congress, too, was unwilling to challenge the executive branch in national security matters. Reports of the demise of the executive branch were greatly exaggerated, and the result of the 'year of intelligence' was a return to the status quo. American History/Journalism

Citizen Coke The Making of Coca Cola Capitalism

Author: Bartow J. Elmore
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393245936
Release Date: 2014-11-03
Genre: Business & Economics

"Citizen Coke demostrate[s] a complete lack of understanding about . . . the Coca-Cola system—past and present." —Ted Ryan, the Coca-Cola Company How did Coca-Cola build a global empire by selling a low-price concoction of mostly sugar, water, and caffeine? The easy answer is advertising, but the real formula to Coke’s success was its strategy, from the start, to offload costs and risks onto suppliers, franchisees, and the government. For most of its history the company owned no bottling plants, water sources, cane- or cornfields. A lean operation, it benefited from public goods like cheap municipal water and curbside recycling programs. Its huge appetite for ingredients gave it outsized influence on suppliers and congressional committees. This was Coca-Cola capitalism. In this new history Bartow J. Elmore explores Coke through its ingredients, showing how the company secured massive quantities of coca leaf, caffeine, sugar, and other inputs. Its growth was driven by shrewd leaders such as Asa Candler, who scaled an Atlanta soda-fountain operation into a national empire, and “boss” Robert Woodruff, who nurtured partnerships with companies like Hershey and Monsanto. These men, and the company they helped build, were seen as responsible citizens, bringing jobs and development to every corner of the globe. But as Elmore shows, Coke was usually getting the sweet end of the deal. It continues to do so. Alongside Coke’s recent public investments in water purification infrastructure, especially in Africa, it has also built—less publicly—a rash of bottling plants in dangerously arid regions. Looking past its message of corporate citizenship, Elmore finds a strategy of relentless growth. The costs shed by Coke have fallen on the public at large. Its annual use of many billions of gallons of water has strained an increasingly scarce global resource. Its copious servings of high-fructose corn syrup have threatened public health. Citizen Coke became a giant in a world of abundance. In a world of scarcity it is a strain on resources and all who depend on them.

Concrete Economics

Author: Stephen S. Cohen
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
ISBN: 9781422189825
Release Date: 2016-02-09
Genre: Business & Economics

“an excellent new book” — Paul Krugman, The New York Times History, not ideology, holds the key to growth. Brilliantly written and argued, Concrete Economics shows how government has repeatedly reshaped the American economy ever since Alexander Hamilton’s first, foundational redesign. This book does not rehash the sturdy and long-accepted arguments that to thrive, entrepreneurial economies need a broad range of freedoms. Instead, Steve Cohen and Brad DeLong remedy our national amnesia about how our economy has actually grown and the role government has played in redesigning and reinvigorating it throughout our history. The government not only sets the ground rules for entrepreneurial activity but directs the surges of energy that mark a vibrant economy. This is as true for present-day Silicon Valley as it was for New England manufacturing at the dawn of the nineteenth century. The authors’ argument is not one based on abstract ideas, arcane discoveries, or complex correlations. Instead it is based on the facts—facts that were once well known but that have been obscured in a fog of ideology—of how the US economy benefited from a pragmatic government approach to succeed so brilliantly. Understanding how our economy has grown in the past provides a blueprint for how we might again redesign and reinvigorate it today, for such a redesign is sorely needed.

A History of Interest Rates

Author: Sidney Homer
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118046226
Release Date: 2011-03-23
Genre: Business & Economics

A History of Interest Rates presents a very readable account of interest rate trends and lending practices over four millennia of economic history. Despite the paucity of data prior to the Industrial Revolution, authors Homer and Sylla provide a highly detailed analysis of money markets and borrowing practices in major economies. Underlying the analysis is their assertion that "the free market long-term rates of interest for any industrial nation, properly charted, provide a sort of fever chart of the economic and political health of that nation." Given the enormous volatility of rates in the 20th century, this implies we're living in age of political and economic excesses that are reflected in massive interest rate swings. Gain more insight into this assertion by ordering a copy of this book today.

America s Great Depression

Author: Murray Newton Rothbard
Publisher: Ludwig von Mises Institute
ISBN: 9781610164801
Release Date: 1972
Genre: Business cycles

Applied Austrian economics doesn't get better than this. Murray N. Rothbard's America's Great Depression is a staple of modern economic literature and crucial for understanding a pivotal event in American and world history. The book remains canonical today because the debate is still very alive. This book applies Austrian business cycle theory to understanding the onset of the 1929 Great Depression. Rothbard first summarizes the Austrian theory and offers a criticism of competing theories, including the views of Keynes. Rothbard then considers Federal Reserve policy in the 1920s, showing its inflationary character. The influence of Benjamin Strong, the Governor of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, was especially important. In part, his expansionary policy was motivated by his desire to help Britain sustain the pound. Strong was close friends with Montagu Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England. After the 1929 crash, Herbert Hoover followed an interventionist policy that prefigured the New Deal. He favored keeping wage rates high and thus contributed to rising unemployment. Against the popular stereotype, Rothbard shows that Hoover was not a partisan of laissez-faire.

Clashing over Commerce

Author: Douglas A. Irwin
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226399010
Release Date: 2017-11-29
Genre: Business & Economics

Should the United States be open to commerce with other countries, or should it protect domestic industries from foreign competition? This question has been the source of bitter political conflict throughout American history. Such conflict was inevitable, James Madison argued in The Federalist Papers, because trade policy involves clashing economic interests. The struggle between the winners and losers from trade has always been fierce because dollars and jobs are at stake: depending on what policy is chosen, some industries, farmers, and workers will prosper, while others will suffer. Douglas A. Irwin’s Clashing over Commerce is the most authoritative and comprehensive history of US trade policy to date, offering a clear picture of the various economic and political forces that have shaped it. From the start, trade policy divided the nation—first when Thomas Jefferson declared an embargo on all foreign trade and then when South Carolina threatened to secede from the Union over excessive taxes on imports. The Civil War saw a shift toward protectionism, which then came under constant political attack. Then, controversy over the Smoot-Hawley tariff during the Great Depression led to a policy shift toward freer trade, involving trade agreements that eventually produced the World Trade Organization. Irwin makes sense of this turbulent history by showing how different economic interests tend to be grouped geographically, meaning that every proposed policy change found ready champions and opponents in Congress. As the Trump administration considers making major changes to US trade policy, Irwin’s sweeping historical perspective helps illuminate the current debate. Deeply researched and rich with insight and detail, Clashing over Commerce provides valuable and enduring insights into US trade policy past and present.