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Race to the bottom

A race to the bottom is a vicious cycle[?] where jurisdictions compete to ensure that they impose fewer restrictions or regulations on business activities than another jurisdiction, in an attempt to attract that business to its locale. It usually results in drastic cuts to environmental regulation[?], labor codes[?], standards of professional ethics[?], and even quality control.

It is thought by many economists to generally attract the worst kind of business, that which has been driven out of other jurisdictions for persistent pollution, a poor work safety[?] record, bribery or other behavior contrary to the public interest.

The World Trade Organization has been accused of facilitating such 'races' between member states, by doing little to enforce prior environment or labor rulers, and even in many cases making it impossible to enforce prior treaties. Most who identify with the anti-globalization movement consider the WTO and related institutions (IMF, B4IS[?], GATT) to be themselves part of a global strategy by an elite to race all jurisdictions "to the bottom", and win for themselves an absolutely lawless laissez-faire world in which businesses may simply move to wherever their practices are legal, and export[?] products without limit to places where they would not be. The nascent human cloning industry proves that this is feasible at present, even for a process that is constantly condemned by almost everyone (for religious, secular ethics or plain safety reasons).

Global money laundering, terror finance, tax evasion[?] and drug dealing exploit similar lacks of globally enforceable rules.

A common suggestion for how to end such economic races to the bottom is moral purchasing, which would forbid or apply heavy tax, tariff and trade sanctions to nations that permit the export of offensive goods, re-directing revenues raised from such tax or tariff to combating abuses.

Positive Aspects

There are positive aspects to the need for countries to compete internationally in this manner. It often results in major cuts to red tape[?] and unnecessary regulation. Laissez-faire economists and anarcho-capitalists believe that by reducing market regulation, the world's economy is given a major boost, leading to an increase in quality of life.

See also



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