Such moral outrage is common among the opponents of globalization
— of the transfer of technology and capital from high-wage to
low-wage countries and the resulting growth of labor-intensive
Third World exports. These critics take it as a given that anyone
with a good word for this process is naive or corrupt and, in
either case, a de facto agent of global capital in its oppression
of workers here and abroad.
But matters are not that simple, and the moral lines are not that
clear. In fact, let me make a counter-accusation: The lofty moral
tone of the opponents of globalization is possible only because
they have chosen not to think their position through. While
fat-cat capitalists might benefit from globalization, the biggest
beneficiaries are, yes, Third World workers.
Keep in mind that Krugman is, by anyone’s standards, a true liberal.