I haven’t really been writing all that much original stuff for myself lately.
Truth be told I have been so pissed off about the way things are going in the world, that anything I would have written without taking a deep breath and counting to ten, would have come out as overly venomous ranting.
So I Have Taken That Deep Breath…
It feels to me that the order of things in the world is changing. That the older countries like China and Japan seem to be rising and the rest of the world seems to be falling behind.
Democracy, which used to be the standard by which progress was judged, appears to have been supplanted by various types autocracy around the world.
The divide between the rich and the poor almost everywhere in the world has widened to the point where it could actually be threatening the rich, either through some kind of peoples’ revolt or simply through consumer goods markets shrinking because nobody can afford to buy most of the stuff rich people sell to poor people.
I think a lot about how this all came to be and except for blaming it all on greed, I end up scratching my head.
I sit here in a beautiful little town in one of the lushest areas of Canada. I own my own house. I don’t owe anybody anything and even though I’m 70, I still think like a much younger person.
So very little of this concerns me directly. And because it doesn’t, I can see that, over the past decade or so, things in my part of the world have started to skid off the tracks a bit.
In Canada, we traded a draconian autocrat for a liberal human being, and all we do is beat up on him.
In the US, they traded a liberal human being for a draconian autocrat and the better part of that country has been blinded by bullshit, since he has done nothing but widen the gap between the rich and the poor.
In Canada, we have an incredible example, right next door, of how not to run a country, yet we don’t seem don’t appreciate it. Or have the patience to realize how much time and effort it takes to affect change on a country wide level.
A Valid Analogy
Take the Toronto Raptors NBA team.
After they lost their star, Chris Bosh, about 5 or 6 years ago, they had to go into a rebuilding mode. And the result of that rebuilding has only become really visible this year when they captured first place in their conference and secured home court advantage for the playoffs for the first time, maybe ever.
Nobody but basketball illiterates complained about how long this rebuilding process took. Because real basketball fans know that it takes four or five or six years to rebuild a team.
But we do not cut our governments anywhere near the same slack, and I would venture to say that that re-build is much more complex.
What The World Really Needs
The simple reality is that, all politics aside, the world has actually become a wide open market. Already a great many goods and services are created and sold with very little regard for borders, for the most part. It’s all pay as you go.
The problem is that politics gets in the way of commerce these days, under the guise of protectionism. But this protectionism is not good for business because it stifles competition and that has a direct impact on innovation. And innovation is what changes the world.
I thought, in my lifetime, I would see a complete world-wide free trade agreement. One that stimulated competition, created high standards and fostered business growth and a more equitable distribution of wealth up and down the food chain.
That was the dream. But the reality is that many countries are now run by unenlightened people, who really don’t get just how communications and technology have shrunk the world and made it possible to anyone to do business anywhere.
I keep going back to the US because they are the classic example of this extreme protectionism in action in the world today. What this government fails to understand is that they need the rest of the world more than ever.
What they are finding out is that the rest of the world can and will figure out ways to live without them if it has to.
None of this will end up benefiting the US over the long haul. Because if the world has proven one thing it’s that those who don’t want to play fairly, eventually end up getting excluded from the game altogether.
The US’ Problem Is Deceptively Simple.
Their leader, like many despotic leaders around the world, has no vision. He has a lot of other things, none of which are desirable, but he has proven that he does not understand the way his own government, let alone the world, works.
And the trouble is that this shortsightedness leads to very bad things like autocratic trade policies and uncivilized diplomatic relationships.
Slowly but surely, this shortsightedness and unwillingness to participate fairly in the world community will eventually get them excluded from a great deal of the new opportunity that the world is creating.
I personally feel bad for those Americans who will suffer the most over the long term.
But what I really hope for that the government of Canada can use the learning that is freely available from the US and figure out ways to keep the same thing from happening here.
And I believe our best chance at that is with an enlightened human being in charge of things. Because from what I have seen, unenlightened behavior is growing in popularity, thanks in great part to the example being set in the US.
Jim Murray is an experienced advertising and marketing professional. He is a communication strategist, writer, art director, broadcast producer, mildly opinionated op/ed blogger & beBee Brand Ambassador.
He is also a partner at Bullet Proof Consulting. www.bulletproofconsulting.ca
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