The Peace of Globalization

Neither free trade enthusiasts nor progressive liberals should fret much as we enter the Trump era. This is only a bump or potentially a twelve-inch pothole that just bottomed out your Porsche. Like it or not globalization will remain the engine that drives the markets.  The US, China, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom cannot survive without each other, vice versa, up or down, inject here the other three dimensions pertaining to macroeconomic stewardship blah blah blah.  Even though America will experience another momentary lapse of sanity; we will right ourselves once again before we are driven off a cliff or at the very least survive the fall.

We need to be cognizant as to how the governing bodies that ensure the stability of the global markets and our broad treaties with and among our allies have kept relative peace for over seventy years are still relevant today as they were at their genesis. It is imperative that these institutions continue to thrive and we must recognize that the rise of nationalism is counterproductive to any true capitalist model.  Does anyone care to understand the impact of the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 ? We definitely need Social Sciences as much as STEM emphasized in our schools as this past election has demonstrated.

This past summer the BREXIT vote was a bellwether event which theoretically ignited an American electoral upset.  Leading up to the US elections Brits, in the eyes of most Americans, were perceived as a people of fine distinction, and moral authority who possess this amusing yet disarming accent. How bad could this be?

In contrast the rest of Europe looks at the British BREXIT voters as a mob of drunk soccer obsessed hooligans. The European perception may be validated by the voter block that is about to jettison the United Kingdom from the only institution that had ensured the longest period of peace and economic prosperity since the time of Charlemagne on the European Continent. Cross border trade and economic interdependencies ensures peace.  That is a fact that makes our Wealth Managers and Generals sleep easy at night.

The devastation of wars in the twentieth century are quickly forgotten when we experience long periods of peace.  As much as one wants to complain about NATO and the bureaucracy of the Administrative State, the ROI we have received by supporting this institution and its cousin the IMF have kept multitudes fed and ensured capitalism would become the dominant ideology over central planning.  Hello! Bretton Woods anybody? Even small wars are expensive and so is deregulation (e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan, the Banks too Big to Fail ?).  The repercussions of a major war are unfathomable; not just counting the economic loss but the mortality rate associated therein.  Do we as a people even remember the magnitude of these atrocities?

If only we could have attempted to institute the same type of treaty organizations in the Middle East post WWII.  Economic inter-dependencies would go a long way. Perhaps the idea is just a fleeting fantasy. However we live in an age of augment realities and alternative facts.

There is no such thing as “clean coal” or the tooth fairy nor will the repeal of all regulations create a “HUGE” influx of jobs within the industry.  Wasn’t Maggie Thatcher lauded by the conservatives when she almost single-handedly decimated the UK coal industry and lead the United Kingdom to prosperity by building a new economy ?  Now such theories on inefficient industries are reviled and condemned by the same political establishment who once embraced Hayek fundamentals.

Even Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy the largest Private Coal mining operation in the US concedes that US coal production peeked at the turn of the 21st century and leading up to that time most of the jobs lost were due to US technological advances in extraction which eliminated the need for human labor.  Additionally, it is a hell of a lot cheaper to mine coal in Indonesia than in West Virginia.

Best case scenario we would add an additional 70,000 coal jobs by stripping away all US regulations on coal.  In contrast the renewable energy market  is currently in need of over 600,000 highly skilled workers.  It begs to question “…shouldn’t we just stay the course?”  In the words of the great Hunter S. Thompson “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” BTW – I’m a Pro.  Let’s get back into those mines so we can develop black lung, extend medicaid to treat coal legacy hazards, and create a real future for our children! Or maybe we should support more secondary education and innovation programs in the 2nd tier cities to build knowledge based economies so someone doesn’t have to enter a mine?

Ah History.  What a silly subject.




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