Thursday, January 26, 2017

Globalization and protectionist trade ideology

It is very rare that a brand new system or thought enters the world. It is like those who say that wifi is a brand new technology when in fact, wireless communication was invented in 1901. Again that date is not really the first time wireless communication was tried. There had been years of tests and failures. What does this have to do with trade relations? First off, the relation is to understand the reality of the world we live in. Understand the history of how we got to where we are. Understand why we have globalization of trade, understand that trade is part of economic growth as far back as we can recall. The Silk Road was globalization trade. The explorers that reached the shores of the Americas had expansion of economics on their minds. On the downside we must understand that global trade is somewhat a house of cards as well. Globalization is a factor in many economic problems. These are front and center in the pushes for Brexit and the recall of the Trans Pacific Partnership, North American Free Trade Agreement and others. No one really knows how these trade agreements will turn out until they are in place and allowed to work. The reason for that is called life. Things on paper will not always work when put into action. Everyone person on this planet should know and understand this primary factor of life. Thought and action are two different realities. That is why every agreement has a negotiation/dispute settlement clause in them. As life evolves, so will the wants, desires and views of the public change. Again this is life and that will create conflicts. Throughout history there has been the understanding of the connection between economics and social good – quality of life. One of the greatest concepts about this subject is known as the Tragedy of the Commons. In another great reference of the connection between economics and social good is the story written by Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” (1843). In this story, the lines “Mankind was my business. Their common welfare was my business” was screamed by the ghost of business man Jacob Marley as he tried to change the mind of his partner Ebeneezer Scrooge. Going back further we have stories such as the Stone Soup or Button Borscht. These are very much rooted in the ideology of communal good. These stories can also help us understand why protectionist ideology is harmful and why globalization trade is needed. Although there is a simplicity in this article, the reality is not. Trade agreements take decades to negotiate and then years to implement and of course the evolution takes place. Also we have to understand the complexity of merging economics and social welfare. At some point there will be harm done to generate economics such as pollution, human injury and other harms. Again this is life, there are costs/balances to everything. Trade/economics and social welfare have been separated in arguments because social welfare is not on the minds of those who wish to exploit. Some leaders grab on to this sentiment and run with them. They do so at their peril because we have lived in a world that has been deeply connected through global trade for centuries if not thousands of years. As always we must be on guard due to the elements within the tragedy of the commons – greed. We know that there will be those that sell out the entire world for money. As we get set for many debates about globalization and protectionist ideology, complex factors will surface about what is the goal. Many will say it is the pursuit of a good life. Well the definition of that is again different for each of us. As the debate rages on we will hear the theories about rising tides, domino effects, nash equilibrium, tit for tat game theory and many others. At the end of it all it will come down to trusting the everyone negotiates in good faith. Let the games begin and pray for those that will get stepped on by the Machiavelists.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Paper tigers are doing great harm to the world

We have lived in a world where courts and negotiation rooms have been used to the point where such environments are feared. In reality these environments were built to bring peace and fairness to the world. Over time these systems have been usurped by paper tigers. These people have completely forgotten about the reality of why these systems were built. At this very point we need the axiom of “forget the lessons and you will make past mistakes”. Over thousands of years we had grown tired of fighting, killing and destroying each other when a disagreement took place. There was an enlightening period where we had seen a larger end game at play. We needed more peaceful methods. We progressed to a point where physical wars were seen as a reality to avoid because it was just stupid. However we have to respect natural instincts and sometimes insanity takes hold, then a brawl (war) takes place. So here we are. We have many people who take peace for granted as they push others around using courts and negotiation rooms. These people have forgotten the insanity rule. The insanity rule is this: 50% of all the world is insane because that is the true balance of nature – equality – for every action there is an equal reaction. The most important part of the insanity rule is that an insane person can be dealt with rationally as long as you are willing to work peacefully with others. However you best be ready for the occasional burst of energy. We all have this component within us. Sadly there are some who have forgotten this and use the systems of our courts and negotiation rooms as if they are battle fields. We built these systems to be arenas for mutual discussion, team work, to allow facts, truth and reason to be expressed. Over time these systems have become something else and feared. The court rooms have been used as weapons of oppression. The negotiation room has become a place to drop notice of impending doom. For more clear examples of how the paper tiger attitude has eroded global peace, this is exactly what the Arab Spring was about. This is what sprung the Occupy movement. This is what brought Al-Qaida to the world. This is what small print contracts have become. Each of these indicate that the mind is the first weapon used. Next is the mouth, then the hands. With many paper tigers the intention is to bully others. Such people will bring great harm as we have already witnessed. It is the intention of the actor which is to be questioned. We built systems of peace yet those systems are now being used by certain actors to oppress many. We are told that the systems are there to protect us yet, how many of us feel that is true? This is an indication we need to be very aware of. As is always the case, it is not the system being used – it is the people using the system that is of greater importance.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Play nice with the bully

For many years we have poured great effort into the issue of bullying. Well this very morning I have just read four newspaper articles that speak to the bullying style leadership of Donald Trump. Add the disturbing fact about how the tactic relies on misinformation and threats. The more disturbing part is the reality that people are bowing under the pressure. Seriously, what does that say about all the resources, attention, effort and advice we have spent to end such behaviour? What is says is that we can be bought, we are sell outs. Personally, it is not a shock to see the image of a very tough, thick skinned, fast paced, financial industry be exposed as a group that can be easily pushed around. Same as the auto industry. These corporate giants have crawled on hands and knees to governments before and use similar bully tactics on a daily basis. This is how the tough image was born. You will be sold out at any moment. There is no integrity, there is no good will, there is no character but the image of who has the most money no matteer how you get it. The character of all the charity work to stand up to bullying, to stand up for truth, for just society and to be leaders of good faith have all been crippled. All of this work has been undone by and we have allowed the bully to rage on. This is a very disappointing situation. Furthermore, the media has been telling us to play nice with Donald Trump because he will take our lunch money if we do not. In the face of that I have to ask – what the hell did we fight World War Two for if not to end such idiocy? Where is our character, what do we stand for? Are we really going to sell out and bow down to a bully? Are we that short sighted, that weak, are we going to shame those that we have told to stand up against bullying? For years we stood up against such tactics. Yet at the pinnacle of opportunities to be an example of integrity, character, trust and strength we are failing. As this is being pointed out the only argument that is brought to counter the stance against Donald Trump is that it will cost us money. Well to that I say, if you ever wanted to know what it is like to be a prostitute you have just crossed that line. You are willing to sell the very essence of what we are for money. So play nice with the bully so you can keep your money while your integrity and character is flushed into the sewer. While you are at it, you best stop all the advertising about corporations being community friends, strong supporters of building communities that care, building communities that look after each other or building a sense of strength for those who speak truth in the face of lies, attacks, slander, threats, accusations and outright childish temper tantrums. Building a peaceful world is not easy and it cost a great deal more that all the money that will ever exist. At this time we have tough choices to make and how we act. Who you are and what you stand for is being put to the test. Having seen what has already taken place I have to say that most will sell out. Once this battle is all over it will take a massive cleanse to wash the slime off ourselves. How do we get through this with our character in tact? We stay with the facts and truth. When we are threatened with misinformation we stand firm and say – take your best shot. We might get hit hard. However the hit will never be hard enough to do any real harm. We continue on with our work as we expose weaknesses of the bully. In time we will gain greater rewards than if we had capitulated to the bully. This is the path of peace.