Urpelainan maintains that citizens in a democracy can hold their government accountable for the consequences of international cooperation. Based on the examples raised in the other articles, and on examples you can come up with, do you agree or disagree with him? Has that influence changed over time? Why?
I do not agree that citizens in a democracy can hold their governments accountable for the consequences of international cooperation. The unpredictable nature of the macroeconomic environment most nations operate in today, is simply too uncertain. All possible benefits or consequences from a particular action are very difficult to ascertain in the future. Even if citizens did hold government accountable, to what extent should they do so? Should the government of 2000 be held accountable for the global economic collapse of 2008 (Lall, 2008)? The financial crisis was an example of international cooperation going awry. International government believed that mortgage backed securities were AAA rating and therefore spent billions of dollars of pension fund, and retirement money into the securities. Subsequently, the financial crisis has resulted in the loss of trillions of dollars around the world, a global recession, unrest in Europe, and slowing China. Should government be held accountable for this? If so, which congress should be held accountable? Should those in power in 2000 be held accountable or those in 2004? The answer depends mainly on the subjective nature of the evaluation process. Nobody will be able to pinpoint with any accuracy, which was ultimately responsible for the calamity of 2008. The government did have its hand, but so too did consumers, international firms, banks, and other parties. To therefore hold the government solely accountable is in my view, neither prudent nor viable.
Ignoring, the economic aspects of international cooperation mentioned above, it believe it is very difficult to judge the other parties motives in regards to international cooperation. Ultimately, our international partners are going to do what is in the best interest of their respective countries. Even if this action is a detriment to the United States, our partners will take action to protect their own interests. China is a prime example of this. Their currency is artificially high in relation to the dollar in an effort to boost export activity. With a devalued currency, China is better able to export cheaper goods to more developed nations such as America and Europe (Robb, 2013). This devaluation however, causes American manufacturers to go out of business or settle for relatively small margins. Due to these small margins, an economic downturn such as that occurring in 2008 will ultimately put some firms out of business. As such, American manufacturers of televisions, electronic devices, clothing, textiles, and more have all gone out of business. In this instance, China and the United States have a relationship. However, China is acting in its own interests to the detriment of United States business.
Should the government be held accountable for this? Some say that the government should respond with imposing tougher sanctions and tariffs on China. This however, is ill advised as China could then respond with sanctions and tariffs of its own. Therefore, the government has to think of the long-term viability of the U.S.- China relationship when thinking of taking aggressive action. In this case, the United States needs China, and China needs the United States. However, within the context of this relationship, China will obviously do what is in its best interests. To expect the government to be able to control China in regards to international relations is very difficult. Therefore, I don't think the citizens should hold the government accountable for aspects of international relations that are beyond its control. America can not ultimately control China, it therefore should not be held accountable.
The article indicates that the rationale for delegating public authority to the government is the influence of special interests. The article also argues that to mitigate the factions created that occur through society, the government should have more control. This argument is rationale. The world in which we live is irrational however. Special interests and factions will always arise as society has a natural self serving bias. Citizens within a capitalistic society often pursue their own self-interest. As a result factions and…