Q:You write in your book, “Global- ization is a high stakes game
creating winners and losers.” Who wins
and who loses and why?
A:Trade at its heart is about effi- ciency. We all trade in our lives. I
get help from the person who cleans my
house, tends the garden and keeps me
sane. I have a trade deficit with her, but
her work frees me up to do what I do best.
The pain from trade comes when jobs
disappear. With globalization, linked by
high technology, suddenly workers com-
pete not just with those in their state or
country, but globally. The global work-
force has quadrupled. We can have radi-
ologists reading X-rays over in India. In
making steel, you combine robots and
technology, and steel workers lose jobs.
Our real revolution right now is in
robotization. So the fundamental ques-
tion is, as a society how do we come
together to deal with these cataclysmic
changes? We are bad at it. What we really
want to think about is efficient, reciprocal
trade that gives us the gains to help those
who get left behind by globalization and
Q:Some folks point to Germany as an example of how to do trade
right — it has strong export industries, a
trade surplus and a strong social safety
net for workers who lose out.
A:I think the German example is an important one. Some of the solution is [aiding workers’] relocation, some
of it is a strong social safety net, some of
it is skills training. And that’s all going to
take a different kind of financing to pay
for it. I don’t see any magic bullet. But
elites are beginning to see it is in their
self-interest for us to work on recreating,
reimagining, the American dream.
Q:Some critics say we shouldn’t be pursuing free trade; we should be
pursuing fair trade — layering in environmental and labor concerns, and avoiding
a race to the bottom.
A:Absolutely. The best way of pro- moting fair trade is to negotiate it.
I believe the negotiation process can be
more open, more inclusive. Trade
involves complicated diplomacy. But is it
better just to build a wall because it’s
hard to do more open trade negotiations? I don’t think so.
Q:In my day, not too many econo- mists talked about sustainability
and “the carrying capacity of the earth.”
In doing so, are you an outlier in the field?
A:I don’t think so anymore. [At Bucknell] Steve Stamos was one
of the first teaching environmental eco-
nomics. Now, many economic courses
will bring up the environmental conse-
quences. And if they don’t, our students
get us on it. Because they care about the
race to the bottom, the environment and
Q:Care to share any thoughts about your Bucknell experience?
A:It’s very clearly at the center of my life. It’s why I do what I do. In my
classroom, I very much model the kind of
Bucknell education I got. In addition to
Steve, people like John Murphy from the
English department really, really pushed
us to think critically and creatively. So
that’s the kind of professor I try to be with
Q:Fill in the blank: “Maine winters are …”
A:No worse than Bucknell winters! (laughs) I find them glorious. We
live on Great Pond, where On Golden
Pond was written, and it freezes over. I
can cross-country ski into snowmobile
tracks on the lake. Hard to beat.
By Matt Zencey
Patrice Franko ’80 is Grossman Professor of Economics and Global Studies at Colby
College in Waterville, Maine, where she has taught since 1986. At Bucknell, she studied
with Professor Emeritus Stephen Stamos, international relations, with whom she has
co-authored the newly published textbook The Puzzle of 21st Century Globalization: An
Patrice Franko ’80