International -- Readers Report
WE ARE THE WORLD, WE ARE THE MARKETPLACE (int'l edition)
I enjoyed reading Karen Pennar's commentary about the nation-state and the global marketplace ("Is the nation-state obsolete in a global economy?" International Economics, July 24). She describes well the challenges that the nation-state economies now must face. But I disagree with her happy ending. I cannot see any strong indication--except nostalgia--that today's nation-states will also be the states of tomorrow.
I do agree that the global marketplace is a disciplinarian. Since the early '70s, Swedish governments of all political colors have chosen to pay for welfare and jobless programs with inflation, huge devaluations, and currency controls. But that era has come to an end.
During the past two decades, the marketplace has become more and more globalized. Successful companies are totally independent from the nation-state. This shift in economic connections between global companies and the Swedish government is of crucial importance for the policies within the state. Today, the Swedish currency is "devalued" by the marketplace--it's down 25% since November, 1992--inflation is low, and there aren't any currency controls.
We have in many aspects joined the rest of the world. We must now share the responsibility of creating new institutions for the new society.
Member of Parliament