Joseph Stiglitz is a Nobel Prize-winning economist who has written extensively on the process of globalization. The process has unquestionably generated extraordinary economic growth, but much of that economic growth has been distributed unequally. In particular, globalization has facilitated the move toward production in the lowest wage areas, a move that has helped workers in poor countries. But workers in high-wage areas have been negatively affected. Stiglitz believes that this outcome was deliberate:
“Indeed, it often seems that workers, who have seen their wages fall and jobs disappear, are just collateral damage – innocent but unavoidable victims in the inexorable march of economic progress. But there is another interpretation of what has happened: one of the objectives of globalization was to weaken workers’ bargaining power. What corporations wanted was cheaper labor, however they could get it.”
The political consequence of this unbalanced economic activity is widespread disaffection and the delegitimization of the democratic process as workers believe that their governments have sold them out to the highest bidders.
Turkey has announced that it would sever its ties with Israel if the US recognizes Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. The Turkish declaration is the most extreme of all American allies, but it is difficult to find any US ally that supports the move: European states are unanimously opposed to the move as are all American allies in the Middle East with the exception of Israel. What is most nettling about the proposed change is that it is very difficult to determine an underlying logic or strategy behind the change. If the US does recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel then there is little chance of a peace process being revived, the Iranian position in the region will be bolstered, and the Palestinian leadership will be humiliated. Many Israelis (but not all) will be delighted, but it will make the Israeli occupation more difficult and expensive.