In a letter to the FT, Richard Urwin extols ‘the vibrancy of the debate already under way’, as ‘coherent critiques of the orthodox view’ are being articulated by Nobel laureates such as Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman and economist Martin Wolf. He adds, “Even the establishment has demonstrated some capacity to adapt: Mark Carney’s recent ruminations on globalisation would have been unlikely a decade ago”.
Colin Hines, convenor of the Green New Deal group (finance, tax, energy and environmental experts), is advocating “controls on the free movement of capital, goods and services to allow the rebuilding of national economies, and to bring an end to the damaging deification of open markets, which has bought us Trump and Brexit and maybe next year a President Le Pen”.
Colin was the co-ordinator of Greenpeace International’s Economics Unit having worked for the organisation for 10 years. Earlier he worked in the environmental movement on the issues of population, food, new technology and unemployment, nuclear proliferation. More recently he has focused on the adverse environmental and social effects of international trade and the need to solve these problems by replacing globalisation with localization.
His widely cited book Localization- A Global Manifesto, is unique in setting out the international political agreement, trade treaties and regulations needed to foster and protect local self-sufficiency.
Localization, he believes, would ensure that all goods, finance and services that can reasonably be provided locally should be. Depending on the context, the ‘local’ is predominantly defined as part of the nation state, although it could refer to the nation state itself or a regional grouping of nation states.
In his forthcoming ‘Progressive Protectionism’ Hines details why ever more open borders are increasing inequality, reducing economic activity and threatening the environment. It explains how countries could rebuild and rediversify their economies by limiting what finance, goods and people they allow to enter their borders, and in the process wean themselves off export dependence. Domestic businesses and funding sources would then meet the needs of the majority in society in all countries. The prospect of such increasing economic security for the majority could gain widespread political support ranging from those on the left, the centre, the greens through to small ‘c’ conservatives.
Next post: Shaun Chamberlin, of the Fleming Policy Centre, Chelsea Green’s UK/Europe commissioning editor, responds to Hines by emailing: ‘Amen . . .’