Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Road To Global Prosperity by Michael Mandelbaum Book Review

Michael Mandelbaum has yet again written an important book.  A professor at John Hopkins School of 
Advanced International Studies, he knows a lot about the world today and the complex and ongoing shifts in 
power.  This book focuses on the complex challenges our world faces in the context of globalization.  Professor
Mandelbaum is an optimist, more so than I am, but I forgive him that because he supports his discussions 
so well.

The book focuses on the four major "fault lines" today.  

The first are the global public goods that an economy needs to function smoothly.  The US military might has provided
the necessary security needed for cross border trade and inter-investment.  Our stepping increasingly out of that
role does create world security (and prosperity) issues.

The second fault line relates to the comparative advantage of trade flows. I'm not sure I agree with all of Mandelbaum's
points here but he does support them.

The third fault line deals with politics in the "developed" world, those countries in the west, Japan and the like.  The
challenges they face include slower growth and an aging population.

The last fault line is the developing or less western world and the challenges they face, many of which come
from their political systems.  The BRICS are definitely outgrowing more "established" countries yet each has their
challenges.  Russia is corrupt and energy dependent, China pushes unstable growth and doesn't protect property
rights, Brazil struggles with populism and (currently) increase dissatisfaction and India is a poorly organized

So, while I don't always agree with Professor Mandelbaum, his book is a good read and made me view issues
from a different angle.  And his optimism is inspiring.  I hope he's right.

No comments: