On today’s show we are looking at the question of whether globalization is dead. The conflict in the Ukraine has made it clear that some global supply relationships may be severed for years to come. The rise of China’s power and influence globally has given some reason to pause and question whether western countries should be manufacturing in China.
There is no question in my mind that globalization is changing, but the question is how?
If we look at the forces that affect globalization, they are best encapsulated in the concepts of the ground-breaking book “The World is Flat” by Tom Friedman. This book was originally published in 2005 before the advent of Facebook, or AirBnb, or Twitter or a host of things that we now take for granted. The trends he identified in that book have played out in a way that you would have think he scripted the outcome.
When we speak about globalization, we need to define it a bit better. Are we talking about finance, manufacturing, travel, real estate, agriculture, transportation, construction.
Historically, to act globally, you needed to be a country. Then as the industrial revolution progressed, you needed to be a company. Today, for the first time in history, it is possible for individuals to operate globally.
This a world where an entrepreneur like Elon Musk can subvert attempts by the Russian military to knock out the Internet in the Ukraine. Shortly after a tweet, there are hundreds of Starlink terminals in the Ukraine. Now there are more than 10,000 Starlink terminals and another 5,000 are on the way. More than 150,000 users from Ukraine are on Starlink on a daily basis.
Host: Victor Menasce