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The World Economic Forum this year feels like an exercise in ritual self-flagellation, which – as with the old Christian practice of fasting and whipping one's own body – is supposed to purify the sinful nature of man. The sin, of course, is globalization, which everyone now seems to agree has been lopsided, inequitable, and dangerous. That money could easily have been invested in America, building infrastructure and creating jobs.Globalization created huge opportunities for growth, many of which were taken by U.S. companies. The global economy today is still pervasively dominated by large American firms; 134 of Fortune's Global 500 are American. Since 95 percent of the world's potential consumers live outside the United States, finding ways to sell to them will have to be a core strategy for growth, even for a country with a large domestic economy like America.Obviously globalization has large effects on national economies and societies, and it produces some significant problems. For example, between 1990 and 2014, U.S. automotive production increased by 19 percent, but with 240,000 fewer workers.That requires smart, effective – and very expensive – national policies, not some grand reversal of globalization.
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