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Deregulation and Greater Risk Are Requisites to Regional Participation

Investment in innovation is risky, which creates great anxiety and doubt. Certainly, the recession of 2000–2001, the meltdown of the dot-com industry, and the economic roller-coaster ride in core industries such as telecommunications and semiconductors are just a few of the major calamities that have shaken world confidence in the "New Economy" model. Deregulation by nations to open up their markets and industries to international competition is a necessary condition for participation in the global economy. But as evidenced by the recent default on its huge national debt by Argentina, and the bankruptcies of leading large multinational corporations such as Enron and Global Crossing, deregulation sometimes leads to much greater instability. When fraud, corruption, and mismanagement go unchecked, companies that expand too quickly are also more prone to spectacular failures. But the price of the quest for regional riches seems to be to accept the risks of a U.S.-style freewheeling economy with its huge uncertainty and gyrations of boom and bust built into the high-tech–driven economy.

This globalization, deregulation, and attendant risk is not always enthusiastically received. Many see this as Americanization and a new form of economic imperialism. Indeed, it is quite threatening to the established order. Fran is Mitterand, the late President of France, said, "France does not know it, but we are at war with America. Yes, a permanent war, a vital war, a war without death. Yes, they are very hard, the Americans — they are voracious, they want undivided power over the world."2

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