The Western World is suffering from its worst recession since the depression of the 1930s. While many nations have been successful in reducing inflation, the level of unemployment continues to rise appreciably. Western governments have shielded domestic industries from foreign competition in an effort to preserve jobs. Political pressures have prompted those governments to fix the blame for their countries’ economic ills on foreign culprits. They have turned away from international free trade and sought political salvation in protectionist policies. The international economic system has undergone severe strain.