Corsi fairly summarizes other influential thinkers' views, such as Joseph Stiglitz, who believes globalization has failed because it has operated without sufficient protection for developing countries; however, Corsi's own ideas have several issues:
1. When America was exporting its own values and products all over the world and imposing its influence worldwide, Americans did not complain about globalization. Quite the contrary--American writers proudly proclaimed the 21st century the era of "soft power." Now that other countries are gaining sufficient power and influence to export their images and perspectives to other countries, suddenly Americans are unsure of globalization. America seems hypocritical and small for taking such a view rather than seeking to compete on its merits.
2. Corsi assumes that international governance necessarily requires a loss of sovereignty. Yet, he never considers that it's worth giving up a small or measured loss of sovereignty to gain a substantial benefit, especially when so much of American innovation and prosperity come from its multinational corporations, which make most of their money overseas.
3. Corsi assumes that all international governance mechanisms will harm American values; however, if American values are superior, why wouldn't they prevail in negotiations and other economic "battles"? Corsi writes that in "a world economy, the United States was valued as a consumer country, not as a producer, manufacturer, or exporter." (pp. 162) There is no reason such a scenario must always be true. With the appropriate level of tax credits and proper negotiations, the U.S. could produce (and export) whatever it likes. Thus far, however, its tax incentives have failed to be on par with China's, creating predictable consequences.
When America's major source of innovation comes from military R&D, it's no wonder countries like Japan have been more innovative than America with respect to quality-of-life matters and domestic infrastructure. Of course spending to kill will result in entertainment-oriented and consumer applications rather than constructive ones. Ships and aircraft carriers don't have too many transferable uses in a landlocked domestic economy other than supply chain advantages (logistics), which benefit transporting consumer goods worldwide, not making everyday life easier for residents. Innovation is different when it seeks to control and monitor populations in unknown or rural areas compared to when it seeks to make life more efficient in densely populated cities. America once again looks small when it complains about trade deficits while creating budgeting incentives that guarantee them.
4. Corsi correctly identifies America's relatively high wages as an impediment to eliminating trade deficits. However, he once again fails to address them in a concrete or constructive way, assuming always that negotiations cannot resolve such issues. Even if we assume that wages in America will stagnate over x number of years, there are ways to negotiate against artificial financial manipulation, such as devaluation in other countries' currencies. One way would be to increase tariffs only one way by x percent relative to any devaluation. (That one I got off the top of my head, so you can see that an almost infinite number of ways exist to balance trade in ways that force countries to compete based on quality or merits rather than price or labor costs.)
Another example would be the granting of x dollars to the country or corporation whose products are being copied due to lax copyright or IP enforcement. The real problem is how to calculate such penalties and how to encourage domestic IP enforcement without resorting to lengthy or expensive litigation, and Corsi offers no solutions here. Corsi and other protectionists lament the idea of international tribunals, but their whole point is to protect companies from having to litigate in other countries' "home courts," where they would be at a disadvantage due to language and cultural barriers, even if using local counsel. The fact that international tribunals are slow or clunky is no reason to stop globalization. A hardy people would seek to reform court systems or to implement better oversight, not to give up substantive economic activity due to slow lawyers and ill-prepared judges. No one argues we shouldn't have the Olympics because some referees make terrible decisions.
5. Corsi is fantastic when it comes to evaluating and explaining other economists' positions, but his own haven't stood the test of time. Chapter 7 is titled, "The Plan to Destroy the Dollar." From pp. 186: "Regional currencies like the euro are merely stepping-stones on the path to the Holy Grail of a one-world currency."
About a decade later, the US dollar and the Japanese yen are the world's strongest currencies, and the euro has been in steady decline. This is one example of Corsi's narrow academic focus.
Here's another, from pp. 211: "Ironically, the United States may be approaching an era where it will be impossible to buy a U.S.-manufactured auto, or an era marked by a global economy in which the only manufacturers that survive will be the multi-national corporations with car-manufacturing capacity in China, aimed at taking China's low-cost labor markets." Last time I checked, not only do Ford and GM make cars in the southern U.S., but even Volkswagen and other foreign car companies make cars in the U.S.
One more, from pp. 228: "Avoid Investing in Stocks and Bonds." Since the publication of Corsi's book, both stocks and bonds have increased substantially.
6. I did not see any substantive opinions on the state of American K-12 education, which is an interesting omission to the extent the quality of one's education matters as workers compete not just domestically but worldwide.
Corsi would benefit from adding a review of actual terms and conditions of the trade agreements he complains about, but the first half of his book is fantastic because it so clearly lays out many of the issues we face today.