Thanks to Chris Bertram for pointing out this interesting piece by pro-globalisation writer Johan Norberg.

As Chris says it is a shame the article is published for the right-wing audience of the Spectator and not for left-leaning readers who need to do a bit more thinking about exactly what is happening with globalisation.

Certainly Norberg’s enthusiasm for globalisation expressed through his look at Vietnam is very persuasive and those who call for a boycott of Nike might want to consider that the multinational is offering three times the minimum wage in Vietnam.

Likewise those who regret the ‘opening up’ of socialist countries to the global market might want to consider these facts: Since 1990, when the Vietnamese communists began to liberalise the economy, exports of coffee, rice, clothes and footwear have surged, the economy has doubled, and poverty has been halved.

AS Norberg says: The European Left used to listen to the Vietnamese communists when they brought only misery and starvation to their population. Shouldn’t they listen to the Vietnamese now, when they have found a way to improve people’s lives? The party officials have been convinced by Nike that ruthless multinational capitalists are better than the state at providing workers with high wages and a good and healthy workplace. How long will it take for our own anticapitalists to learn that lesson?