Years ago, when I packed up my small Boston apartment to move to Pittsburgh for FreeMarkets, I believed that I was not only joining a start-up that would forever change the sourcing process for companies, but one that would bring about a better world by reallocating spend to those who most deserved it based on market economics. Not only would this increase the pace of globalization I rationalized, but by extension, it would also bring the economic benefits of free markets to those who needed it most.
Now, not that FreeMarkets was responsible for accelerating the global sourcing trend, but we certainly played a small role in it (or at least introducing the concept to our clients at the time). And yes, I admit to being an idealist -- I was then, and I still am now. But I do believe that the pursuit of efficiency and free markets by global sourcing is in the best interest of society. Call it Green Peace for capitalists, if you will.
On this same subject, I came across a rather well argued piece in World Trade Magazine this weekend. The piece discusses the link between free trade, free markets and free societies. Consider, according to the article, that "participation in global markets increases incentives to implement difficult measures that pave the way for countries to grow rich, the Federal Reserve says. For example, East Asia and the Pacific -- a region that has welcomed global integration -- has generated growth rates that are the envy of the world. Plus, in the short span of 1990 through 1998, the number of people living in extreme poverty there decreased 41 percent -- one of the largest and most rapid reductions in history." Now that's food for thought, especially as we continue to see such great disparities of wealth in countries that choose to isolate themselves the free trade of goods and ideas.