International Trade and the Future of the West
By John M. Culbertson
21st Century Press, 1984, 242 pp.
There is nothing new about the idea that the United States and Europe cannot sustain their high living standards if they are exposed to the competition of the cheap labor of overpopulated Asia, but one rarely finds the point systematically argued by economists. Professor Culbertson of the University of Wisconsin undertakes to do this. But there are many difficulties with his own proposal that governments should direct and balance trade except when countries belong to a "harmonious-trade area" where there is no "degenerative competitive process." Although Culbertson claims insistently to be using a realistic approach to economics, he does not examine the results of the policies Europe and North America actually apply to the exports of the developing countries or the efforts to improve the adjustment process for all countries.