We all know Dr. Carl J. Strikwerda as President of Elizabethtown College, but as of Aug. 2012, he’s known nationwide as one of the Huffington Post’s writers of world economy and corporate and economic globalization.
Instead of taking the summer off like many of Etown’s students, Strikwerda, a specialist in modern European history and the history of globalization, used his knowledge and time by writing an article for the Huffington Post entitle, “Globalization and the Lessons of History.”
“The opportunity to contribute to the Huffington Post Education page is invaluable for Elizabethtown College,” Strikwerda said. In his article, he discussed the importance of understanding the world’s history in order to successfully globalize our economy, as well as maintaining peaceful relations with other countries and within our own. “Prosperity in the long run depends on peace,” he wrote.
Throughout his piece, he explains why Economic globalization is important and the heavy presence it already has in our lives. “Economic globalization means that more countries are exporting their goods, generating first-rate research, and attracting investments: besides China, we compete with Brazil, India, South Korea, and Turkey,” Strikwerda wrote. ”Although terrorism, elections, and natural disasters dominate headlines, globalization has been the most powerful trend over the last thirty years.”
Strikwerda then goes on to discuss that past Economic globalization has failed because of the world’s inability to maintain peaceful relations and refers to World War I and II, Communism, fascism, the Great Depression and the Cold War. “Dealing with globalization may tempt us to see other countries as simply our competitors — or worse, as our enemies. If we are to deal with globalization more wisely, the lessons of history are crucial to understand.”
He also explains why he believes that social order is the key to accomplishing Economic globalization. ”Old industries declining, migration, social problems in rapidly expanding cities — all of these occur almost inevitably with economic growth,” he wrote. “If social policies do not cushion the costs and help people adjust to the changes set off by economic growth, the entire system supporting economic growth can be undermined.” Strikwerda believes that without evenly distributing the gains from economic expansion, chaos will quickly occur and cause the economy to dive back into depression.
In his article, he also writes that while it may seem easier to avoid working with outside allies, it could be detrimental to our economy’s survival. “In tough times, it may be tempting to turn our backs on the rest of the world or to think that economic growth, once begun, runs on its own. But we depend on our global economic ties for future growth … our competitors are also our customers and our potential partners in a better world.”