On Sunday, the Financial Times published a poll showing sentiment in Britain, France, the U.S., and Spain running about 3-to-1 for the view that globalization is having a negative, as opposed to positive, effect on their countries, though "not sure" was the most popular choice in all of them.[1]  --  In an analysis of the results, Chris Giles commented that "Even though defining globalization defies many experts, the people in rich countries think dark thoughts when they hear the term.  In no country polled did more people believe globalization was having a positive effect on their countries than thought it was having a negative effect.  Britain, the U.S., and Spain stand out with less than a fifth of respondents thinking globalization was beneficial."[2] ...

1.

World

International economy

BACKLASH IN RICH NATIONS AGAINST GLOBALIZATION
By Chris Giles

Financial Times
July 22, 2007

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2a735dd0-3873-11dc-bca9-0000779fd2ac.html

LONDON -- A popular backlash against globalization and the leaders of the world’s largest companies is sweeping all rich countries, an FT/Harris poll shows.

Large majorities of people in the U.S. and in Europe want higher taxation for the rich and even pay caps for corporate executives to counter what they believe are unjustified rewards and the negative effects of globalization.

Viewing globalization as an overwhelmingly negative force, citizens of rich countries are looking to governments to cushion the blows they perceive have come from the liberalization of their economies to trade with emerging countries.

[GRAPHIC  --  "Do you think globalization is having a positive or negative effect in your country?"  Percentage positive/negative/not sure, by country (approx.):   U.K. 16/31/53; France 18/29/53; Italy 25/20/55; Spain 17/29/54; Germany 36/21/43; U.S. 17/37/46.  --  "Regardless of their social background, do you believe all people in your countries have the same opportunities to fulfill their potential?"  Percentage yes/not sure/no, by country (approx.): U.K. 34/12/54; France 15/7/78; Italy 14/7/79; Spain 11/8/81; Germany 26/3/71; U.S. 44/4/52.  --  "Do you think that your country's government should set pay caps for heads of companies?"  Percentage yes/not sure/no, by country (approx.):  U.K. 59/19/22; France 63/11/26; Italy 64/7/29; Spain 62/10/28; Germany 47/10/43; U.S. 31/22/47.  --  "Should free competition be one of the European Union's objectives?"  Percentage yes/not sure/no, by country (approx.):  U.K. 46/38/16; France 44/18/38; Italy 81/9/10; Spain 62/20/18; Germany 69/14/17.]

Those polled in Britain, France, the U.S., and Spain were about three times more likely to say globalization was having a negative rather than a positive effect on their countries. The majority was smaller in Germany, with its large export base.

Corporate leaders fared little better, with 5 per cent or fewer of those polled in the U.S. and all large European economies (except Italy) saying they had a great deal of admiration for those who run large companies. In these countries, between a third and a half said they had no admiration at all for corporate bosses.

In response to fears of globalization and rising inequality, the public in all the rich countries surveyed -- the U.S., Germany, U.K., France, Italy, and Spain -- want their governments to increase taxation on those with the highest incomes. In European countries, a large majority want governments to go further and to impose pay caps on the heads of companies.

Europeans still overwhelmingly support the principle of free competition within the European Union, contrary to Nicolas Sarkozy’s wishes at the recent European summit, but in France, Germany, and Spain, the populations want their political leaders to play a larger role in managing their economies.

The depth of anti-globalization feeling in the FT/Harris poll, which surveyed more than 1,000 people online in each of the six countries, will dismay policy-makers and corporate executives. Their view that opening economies to freer trade is beneficial to poor and rich countries alike is not shared by the citizens of rich countries, regardless of how liberal their economic traditions.

The issue of rising inequality is now high on the political agenda of every country and will feature prominently in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

2.

World

GLOBALIZATION GENERATES DARK THOUGHTS
By Chris Giles

Financial Times
July 22, 2007

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/e87b3dc0-386e-11dc-bca9-0000779fd2ac.html

LONDON -- Citizens of rich countries feel insecure. They see globalization as damaging to their interests, they worry about rising inequalities, they are unimpressed by those running their largest companies, and want politicians to make the world more equal.

Those are the stark results of the FT/Harris opinion poll, which apply in every country surveyed, whether in the U.S. or U.K. with their more liberal economic cultures or in the more *dirigiste* continental European economies.

The results open the way for populist politicians to win support by anti-globalization rhetoric and promising greater regulatory control of economies.

Even though defining globalization defies many experts, the people in rich countries think dark thoughts when they hear the term. In no country polled did more people believe globalization was having a positive effect on their countries than thought it was having a negative effect. Britain, the U.S., and Spain stand out with less than a fifth of respondents thinking globalization was beneficial.

Since most economists believe globalization has been a boost to the economic performance of rich countries as well as poor, these results are worrying.

Part of the concern about globalization is almost certainly the public’s feeling that the gap between rich and the poor in their countries was getting larger. More than three-quarters of respondents in every country except Spain thought that inequality was rising.

The greater rewards earned by corporate executives go down badly with the rest of the population in rich countries. Only in Italy is there a majority who say they admire the people running their largest companies a fair amount or more. Britain and the U.S. are least likely to respect corporate bosses, with 38 per cent of those polled in the U.K. saying they do not admire at all the people in charge of the largest companies.

And everywhere, in Europe and in the U.S., a large majority supports more taxation for the highest earners. Contrary to many preconceptions, the lowest support for higher taxes on the rich came in France, where a still-sizeable 52 per cent were in favor.

So much for the consensus. National differences also arose in many of the questions in the FT/Harris poll. A marked divergence arose between evidence and public impression in response to a question on whether people have the same opportunities to fulfil their potential.

Many studies of inter-generational inequality show that the children of the poor are much more likely also to be poor in the U.S. and in the U.K. than in continental European economies. But it is precisely the Anglo-Saxon countries where a much higher proportion of people have the impression that social background does not matter so much for economic opportunity.

A strong transatlantic divide is also evident when people debate what should be done about high executive pay. In most of Europe, almost two-thirds of people think governments should set pay caps for heads of companies, compared with only a third in the U.S.

In France, Spain, and Germany, people want governments to go further. Many more people think that politicians play too small a role in the economy than believe their role is too large. In Italy, however, most think they play too big a role.

But the results do not show that all competition between countries is bad. Across Europe, a large majority thinks free competition should be one of the EU’s objectives. The message is clear: the public want competition among rich countries but feel threatened by emerging countries.