To compete in the global economy, Latin America has to have a labor force that has caught up with its competitors in Asia – in skills and therefore in productivity. Education matters.
Developing countries face special risks that globalization and market reforms will exacerbate inequality, at least in the short run, and raise the political costs of inequality. During that transition, more emphasis on minimizing and managing inequality would minimize the real risks of a protectionist and populist backlash.
Social policies probably cannot reduce income disparities in Latin America. However, their objective should not be to reduce income inequality, but to ensure opportunities for all and to make societies ever more meritocratic.
Congress and the Administration are in a rush to deploy a national missile defense system. Brushing aside the stubborn facts of failed tests and declining global missile arsenals, each is outbidding the other with budgets and timetables. Both the Senate and the House will vote this month on bills to mandate deployment.
A major intraparty battle is now shaping up over the issue of Kosovo. The outcome of this intra-GOP battle may shape the course of Republican foreign policy for years to come, and it will certainly shape the contest in 2000. If the Republicans want to run against Al Gore as the party of responsible leadership in foreign policy, the time to start is now.
President Clinton announced new funding for an expanded threat reduction initiative in Russia. Unfortunately this new funding commitment still does not match the threat. The degradation in security of Russia’s nuclear weapon complex and the economic collapse in August 1998 has put the safety of nuclear materials and nuclear intelligence in jeopardy.
For lasting peace, the colonial powers must leave the warring nations of Africa to find their own solutions: most conflicts are about internal failure, not simple border quarrels.
The Chinese, assumed to be ignorant of American politics and culture, have proved over the years to be skilled manipulators. Americans, in turn, have been acquiescing to Chinese stipulations about the subject, manner, timing, and location of negotiations. In About Face, Mann has brilliantly catalogued how American policy-makers have made the least of a strong hand in dealing with Beijing.
Across Asia leaders differ in their assessments and prescriptions for macroeconomic and structural policy management. There are debates about the optimal mix of macroeconomic policies during shock-induced downturns, the mix of public works spending versus spending on the social safety net and the effectiveness of these programs, given corruption. The CERN meeting will address these topics.