3/31/2005

Free Trade Spreads Democracy

Free trade helps to spread democractic ideals. This is the idea presented in a small article from the CATO Institute called Trade, Democracy, and the War on Terror. The article explains that as trade and globalization have spread throughout the last 30 years so have democracy and policitcal freedoms. Nations that have submited to trade reforms in recent years are more likely to expand their citizens' political and social freedoms.

If the United States government wants to spread democracy it should increase trade. It might be more effective to increase trade than to increase military pressure on most countries. Maybe the saying should be "the dollar is mightier than the sword."

4 comments:

kenny said...

Free trade may help spread freedom and democracy, however military pressure must be used when dictators such as Hitler or Saddam are taking other countries over by force. When free trade doesn’t work so a dictator takes by force more people offering free trade may not stop them from taking by force.

BOB said...

A possible reason for the spreading of free trade may be the military actions the United States has undertaken. These efforts have allowed countries to regain political and trade freedom. While war is never desired, the effects are sometimes wanted.

Philipe Berman said...

There is a very interting article on Becker's and Posner's blog. Becker says is easier to reach political freedom trough economic freedom then by doing the opposite way...

http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/archives/2005/03/economic_and_po.html

Dr. Tufte said...

I think the last comment linking to the Becker-Posner blog is the one to pay attention to. They, and the Cato Institute are merely pointing out the regularity in the data: countries that trade openly often evolve towards more democracy, while democratic countries do not always evolve towards greater economic freedom.