August 6, 2005
News & Opinion: What's the right word?
In yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Jagdish Bhagwati (In Defense of Globalization) wrote an op-ed entitled A New Vocabulary for Trade [sub. needed]. In the piece, he questions Thomas Friedman's use of the word "flat" to describe to disappearance of competitive advantage among countries. Bhagwati doesn't really agree with Friedman's assessment, and prefers to use the word "kaleidoscopic. Here is a description of what he means:
Today, you have it; but in our state of knife equilibirum, you may lose it tomorrow and regain it the day after. Boeing might win today, Airbus tomorrow, and then Boeing may win it back again. It is as if the design of trade patterns that you see now gives way to another, as if a kaleidoscope has turned.