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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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Mr. Datt,

I assume you are making a case for less freedom in the market (whether
international or domestic). If you aren't, then I apologise.

I fail to see how the corporate pressure that you point out is an
argument against the free market or free trade. This kind of pressure
always leads to the government interfering in the market. If you put
pressure on the government not to interfere, no corporate pressure will
lead to anything.

It isn't just big corporations who put this kind of pressure. There are
well-funded lobbies for everything.

In fact what you are talking about, is one of the main reasons why
people are asking for less government interference (based on pressure
from special interests, whether corporate or otherwise) in the market.

We are talking of a market solution here... not giving more power or
'free-play' to private capital or big corporations or any other special

Free traders believe that even retaliation is bad. They favour
unilateral free trade when there exist trade barriers in other
countries. So if a democratic consensus (amongst the lay people) is
developed in favour of free trade and against retaliation, we could
pressure governments not to give on to corporate pressure and interfere
in free international trade.

For that, first we have to develop popular support for the market, so
that harmful government interference will be questioned, and also for
free trade and against protectionism and retaliation.

German economist Wilhelm Roepke might have been right when he said that
internationlism, like charity, should begin at home.

Jagdish Bhagwati has also pointed out that:

"a large portion of the world's trade liberalization in the past quarter
century has been unilateral" and has benefitted those who have practiced
it, e.g. Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand.

As far as the big bad US goes, free trade doesn't discriminate. Bhagwati
"The most potent force for the worldwide freeing of trade . . . is
unilateral U.S. action. If the United States continues to do away with
tariffs and trade barriers, other countries will follow suit--fast track
or no fast track."

Chirag Kasbekar
Mumbai (Bombay), India.

"What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that
they don't like something to saying that the government should forbid
it.  When you go down that road, don't expect freedom to survive very
                             -- Thomas Sowell

On Fri, 21 May 1999 12:02:33   Charu datt wrote:

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