George W. Bush — Talking Economics
What are the U.S. president’s opinions on jobs, trade and markets?
October 25, 2001
In the post-9/11 world, smart thinkers have commented that to root out terrorism for good, we must also be concerned about the economic conditions which help sponsor it. What better reason to examine the views of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, on the challenge that has become even more pressing — the integration of the global economy.
How do you define your responsibilities?
“My administration is determined to make America safer, to make our economy stronger. And we are making progress on both fronts.”
When do you think you will have succeeded?
“I’m not going to be satisfied until every American who’s looking for a job can find a job.”
Was the global economy impacted by the terrorist attacks?
“The terrorists hoped world markets would collapse — but markets have proven their resiliency and fundamental strength.”
In your view, what is ‘globalization?’
“What some call globalization is the triumph of human liberty stretching across national borders.”
Do you have any thoughts on Wall Street?
“My attitude on Wall Street is, they’ll buy you or sell you, depending upon if it’s in their interest.”
What role do the markets play?
“The market-based economic system has brought more prosperity more quickly to more people than at any time in human history.”
But why are protesters so vehemently against ‘globalization’?
“Make no mistake. Those who protest free trade are no friends of the poor. Those who protest free trade deny them their best hope for escaping poverty.”
Where do you see the power of the markets?
“When we negotiate for open markets, we are providing hope for the world’s poor.”
Would that be of any help for the poor?
“Vast regions and nations from Chile to Thailand are escaping the bonds of poverty and oppression by embracing markets and trade — and new technologies.”
What about Africa?
“Growth and prosperity in Africa will contribute to the growth and prosperity of the world.”
And what is the reason for France’s economic problems?
“The French trouble is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur.”
Why is the United States involved in international politics?
“The vacuum left by America’s retreat would invite challenges to our power. And the result, in the long run, would be a stagnant America — and a savage world.”
What about complaints of a U.S. go-it-alone policy?
“Unilaterists do not come around the table to listen to others and share opinions.”
Why would a U.S. retreat be disastrous?
“In a world that depends on America to reconcile old rivals and balance ancient ambitions, the temptation of withdrawal to build a proud tower of protectionism and isolationism is the shortcut to chaos.”