If globalization is good for the world economy, then you can expect that the current wave of nationalism will be bad for the world economy. Is there evidence to support that claim?

Consider the two biggest factors that are currently slowing global growth:

1. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
2. China’s zero covid policy

The role of nationalism in Putin’s stated goal of rebuilding the Russian Empire is clear. But what about China?

China’s population is facing a dilemma due to a relatively weak vaccine. As a result, it adopted a zero-covid policy, which was fairly successful in retaining covid until a highly contagious omikron variant appeared on the scene. Now China is shutting down entire cities in an almost hopeless attempt to stem the spread of Kovid.

Why don’t Chinese citizens use a highly effective mRNA vaccine as a booster? Because the Chinese government will not allow them. And why wouldn’t they allow it? Because it is equivalent to acknowledging that their native synoform vaccine was substandard. In other words, nationalism.

Xi Jinping is far more nationalistic than many previous Chinese leaders. People like Hu Jintao and Deng Xiaoping want to open up China to the outside world, to learn from others. I suspect they made this mistake. (Of course Mao was very nationalist.)

PS In a comment after my previous post on Paxlovid, commenter Garrett instructed me TheZvi’s blog:

Many have observed that if you had told people two years ago that we have a cure (not a vaccine, but a cure!) For Covid-19 that was free, safe and effective, but no one wanted to take it. , And Congress was not willing to fund more purchases, people would not trust you. And yet we are here.

Incredible (e.g. lack of news coverage.)

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