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Following page Michel Gendrot
Ingénieur civil du Génie Maritime
Opinion expressed in April 2000 to fifty french personalities of the Government and of the  political, financial, industrial, trade-union, press and television world
  "   Globalization, which globalization ?  

    We will not escape this debate which is for us of vital importance.

   Those who are in favour of globalization say : look at the vitality of our economy, the growth is well engaged, unemployment decreases, 5 million people in France work for export, that brings back money to us and our foreign trade balance was never so flourishing, etc… All this is exact.    

    Some others say : globalization destroys whole parts of our economy, it generates an entirely distorted competition since our companies cannot compete with countries whose wages are 10 times lower than ours; only the industries of very high technological level draw, for the moment, their pin of the game ; if money returns, it primarily benefits to financial people but not to our workmen who are put on the pavement by the inevitable delocalizations or liquidations, etc... This is also exact.   

    All are right and these two aspects, apparently contradictory, are not  : the first describe certain positive aspects of the current economic trend. The second stress that, if one persists in the way of globalization, the negative and destroying aspects already very perceptible will be able to only worsen in the future.      This duality complicates singularly the analysis of the problem.   It is undoubtedly why the majority of the economists in France - except Maurice Allais, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 1988 - prudently prefer to keep silent, for fear of beeing mistaken …

To those in favour of globalization, one can answer that the situation is not as idyllic as they claim it. It is exact that 5 million people work in France for export, but one forgets to say to the Frenchmen that 70 to 80 % of the French foreign trade is carried out with Europe. If one makes a rule of three synopsis, that gives a little more than 1 million people working for world export, whereas there is on the paving stone nearly 3 million unemployed, of which much was put on the paving stone precisely because of globalization. The least which one can say it is that the demonstration is hardly convincing. If it is added that our world exports are less than half of those of …Hong-Kong, there is really nothing to boast about. One can also add that nothing proves that our growth would not have been equal or even higher if one had practised the European preference and put  one reasonable protection around the 300 million Europeans. It is what Maurice Allais thinks who studied closely the question.


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