... the zone of free trade continues to expand as the United States, during this administration, negotiates one free-trade agreement after another -- Oman and Jordan, Central America and Australia, Peru and Colombia. All are increasing connectivity and shrinking the gap.Barone quickly covers US immigration, the spread of Hugo Chavez's Communism, and the growth of China and India:
Third, immigration. The bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Pence and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, with border security and free-market guest-worker provisions, has some small chance of passing the Senate and House. A law that regularizes illegal immigrants would close the internal gap we have with 12 million illegals. Fourth, Latin America. Venezuela's oil-rich demagogue Hugo Chavez continues to pal around with dictators and tries to stir up trouble. But Latin American voters have been rejecting Chavezism. The victories of anti-Chavez candidates in Peru, Colombia and Mexico in the past few months show that irresponsible demagogy is not popular in the region. Connectivity is increasing, not decreasing, to our south. Fifth, China and India, with one third of the world's population, continue to have scorching economic growth -- 11 percent in China, 8 percent in India. And they're growing increasingly interconnected with the thriving economies of the core. Hundreds of millions of people are rising out of poverty, and despite high oil prices, we have solid economic growth in North America and Latin America and even some growth in sclerotic Europe. The world economy has never been in better shape.Thomas Barnett has develped the view of the "old core" of developed countries and the "new core" countries and "the Gap" between them. Good news. We could use more, but let's celebrate what we have. Update: Barone's piece is expected in Newsweek on 8/7.