Mallaby illustrates that globalization today is not the same as it was twenty years ago. Whereas, in the 80s, an entire industry might be at risk, in today’s age only specific tasks (or specific jobs) are at risk.
But the new competition in tasks rather than industries renders the tragedy of the company town increasingly rare. If a data-entry clerk loses her job in Omaha, she can probably find other work without having to move.
Cheap labor means cheaper goods, and while we may fear the short term, in the long run, free trade will make everyone better off.