Is Globalization Over?
Probably not, as it’s difficult for long-term trends to disappear and what we have only recently come to understand as globalization began a couple of hundred years ago with the industrial revolution. Steamers replaced sails and railroads made mockery of ox-carts. But it’s a hot-button word today and bandied about rather recklessly.
A bit of a refresher on what it is
Globalization is world-trade on steroids, due to advances in transportation and communication technology. Sailing vessels to jet aircraft—lengthy letters-of-agreement by email—face-time on Zoom instead of personal visits, you get my drift. Another major force is the almost vertical acceleration of technology. The inconceivable two years ago is ordinary today and society holds its breath, thirsting for what’s next.
So then, where’s the rub?
The rub is actually threefold: first, there’s the ever-present aspects of politics, as nations bicker over the spoils of commerce and who gets how much. China and America, the world’s top economies are now distancing themselves—perhaps just a bit and possibly quite widely, it remains to be seen. Second, transport and manufacture is breaking down significantly and the reason is the third rub, a worldwide pandemic. Airlines totter on the brink of meltdown, manufacture is slowed by worker sickness as well as end-user insecurity. What am I going to do with this stuff if other suppliers fail me? Having gotten used to specific parts arriving at the specific time of assembly-line need, what now? If the fuel-injection pump doesn’t arrive, the entire assembly-line screeches to a halt.
That’s never happened before, at least not often
And when it did, quick fixes were available. Planes flew, production caught up to need and everyone had skin in the game. Now, there’s not really even a game any longer, much less skin. Worldwide economic meltdown holds its breath, whistling past the graveyard and it’s hard to both hold your breath and whistle. Will Hong Kong sort itself out? Will Taiwan decide to simply call itself Taiwan and give up the China claim? Will America and China admit they need counseling and find a competent therapist? Can their marriage be saved?
We pause now for a brief message from our sponsor
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Stay tuned to see who blinks first.”
Have a lovely day, as you play your part in the drama
And be sure to call a friend—they need to hear from you.