The chip stack leader in a poker game can afford to throw their weight around. They can play average hands and force others with average hands to retreat and they can challenge good hands and force others with good hands to fold as they play to the fear that their hand is better. In other words, just being large and powerful offers an advantage in and of itself. In the globalization economic world, the United States, and to some extent all large developed countries, have an ace on the table and everyone else has to be aware that they may have an ace in their hand too. Most of us can understand this from our real world experience where wealth tends to foster more wealth.
Globalization should be an economic force that lifts all of us up but this is an ideal that has given way to each country having to fight for their own piece of the pie while the big developed countries seem to hold all the cards.
Economics takes our connections and turns them into a force that takes potential into kinetic energy. Markets thrive on confidence and money breaks down barriers into trade. The problem comes in when countries’ governments, political agendas, and values break that force of energy apart into instability. The markets also need stability to give them the confidence that they are putting their energy to good use and it won’t be wasted by the parties with the most power, corruption, and self-interest.
All the principle tenets of Boodleworld would help to make globalization work better and live up to its uplifting potential. The narrative or story of globalization implies that all parties will grow and benefit but , in practice, every country is forced to make sure to having to protect its own interests. Yet, the problems occurring with trade, currency, the environment, debt, and employment are becoming more and more related to global interactions each day and not just one country in isolation. The narrative of globalization should include the original promise on how to enrich the most lives and not just raise the GDP of a country to benefit the few. That is how it was originally “sold” to get each country to sign on. It is time to have the real mesh with the ideal before it is too late for an economic world that depends on it. Collective actions for social benefits can uplift all our global lifestyles but not just one country against another.
Fairness is not ingrained in our globalization picture. In the last election in United States political world, there was an argument, which is ongoing and not just limited to the last contest, that puts the theory forward that growth will trickle down to all. Therefore, if tax rates and benefits go to the wealthy job creators than that money will flow through to the middle class so that all will have a place at the great poker table; as income gaps keep widening and the middle class remains stagnant though, this is just “wishery” and it is the same globally. While economics can happen more organically, the political side of the equation needs to be managed so that fairness is considered from the widest perspective. Fairness is not a politically correct term. In fact, it is politics that keeps fairness at bay in our global world when fairness is really the fuel of the economic engine. Fairness drives motivation and incentives which then feed confidence which produce growth and development. Money just fuels politics in the form of influence. On the other hand, if hard work and labor do not pay off then you breed cynicism and powerlessness. Economically, if the profits are only going to the few than consumers have no money to increase demand which ultimately punishes everyone in the economic food chain.
Currently, the dysfunction and unfairness of our global world do more for the big chip leaders and force too many out of the tournament. The way the global economic situation is working, if you are looking out from space back at earth, you would be checking for a large sign declaring a “going out of business” sale. The list of where globalization is not working is long and not limited to: “free” trade is not really free nor fair as trade agreements often go more one way; tariffs that should be removed are gotten around with technicalities; multinational corporations have undue influence; banks are out for their own good only, the International Monetary Fund is slanted if not completely biased towards the U.S.; and developing countries are pressured into having to borrow money in U.S. T-bills to maintain currency stability. This takes money away from these countries being able to grow their economy while the U.S. keeps feeding on the debt teat.
What is ultimately needed is an independent body to oversee globalization from a broader perspective with an eye on global growth, development, jobs, and looking to all interests including developing and developed countries. This organizational body should be a dam that, if used correctly, takes the great energy of money and supplies it and uses it wisely while avoiding the great flood. With a revised global narrative could also allow for a global currency that could reduce the games that each country must play when making currency decisions from only their own perspective. In addition, we must come from an understanding that we are all in this together. That means motivation and reward to help the environment and reduce global warming before that going out of business sale turns to “everything must go.” The more knowledge is shared then the more everyone benefits by new innovation and growth which should be able to make a place for intellectual property rights but still favor collective interests. There could also be global lending practices that encourage innovation and spread the risk if a new project fails rather than all the risk going to just the borrower. Independence would also mean less bribery and corruption that take money away from the people and give it to those who would take advantage by looking the other way. In the U.S., bribery’s name is the political contribution. At any rate, whether this body could be part of the United Nations or not depends on the pragmatism of power and legitimacy. With global warming and other potential environmental calamities, an independent body can eliminate short sightedness which can then be replaced by long term survival approaches even using economic incentives.
In an interconnected world, some body must be watching out for the effects of each country’s decisions. If the U.S. subsidizes an agricultural product, that may help reduce the price but it also affects another countries ability to export. This in turn not only may cost jobs in that country but there are suppliers and distributors and other stimulative effects on the world economy that may be stunted. One protectionist move to help a few large multinational corporations needs to be weighed out against many smaller businesses and jobs that may be affected.
Global growth, jobs, and development of large and small economic players need to be the method for working in the globalization system with fairness, built-in incentives, and true democratic principles as the spirit of the economic world. Just as in the United States political arguments of a widening income gap, world money just doesn’t magically trickle down when everyone is working on their own interests only. Also, just like in the United States, the world shouldn’t just be prosperous to the scant few. Economies work more efficiently when their energy is allowed to flow and not be blocked by political games, corruption, and power grabs. That is no excuse though to have a free-for-all of no rules and management. Economics does not have to be a zero sum game. Boodleization connects us together while the global poker game is a winner takes all mentality where we all lose in the long run. The story of globalization as an incentive needs to be that wealth can be shared. Without that hope, your only way into the game is by cheating. The only way to return the game to improving our lives is the get equal opportunity back into the system. The only way to gain the fairness is by a global activism that demands a place at the table for all. That means economic activism of controlling where your money is being spent and saved along with political activism of contacting representatives, joining groups, and voting. The power of the chip leader can break this table apart until there is no game to play. Without change, there won’t be anyone left to rob from. Each of us needs to act now. The stakes are too high.