Its starting to look like the conservative ideologues starting in the 1980’s whose fervent pursuit of globalization under the soon to be realized and poorly developed construct of Competitive Advantage may have to duck for cover.
Under Michael Porter’s construct global leaders have created a system predicated on the systematic exploitation of cheap global labor. The construct carries with it a profound religion that compelled true believers that they might in fact be on a mission from God himself to raise the standard of living of the worlds poor by simply blogging from their iPhones.
The construct may have merits when it becomes re-indoctrinated by some future scholar more concerned with being right than famous. However, in it’s current form Dr. Porter’s religion is more akin to Dianetics than anything we ought to be following.
Among his many flaws, which follow the neoclassical fallacy, is that there exist externalities that have no true cost or price. What Competitive Advantage 1.0 failed to realize is that it’s actualization has real significant consequences. One of these consequences is that it costs a lot of money to make it work. And generally speaking the countries with labor you want to exploit don’t have the means to develop their industries. This leaves the developed economies stuck with the bill for it’s design and development. But, mind you, even the developed countries don’t have enough money to build a global framework. So what did they do?
Well as we now know they borrowed from one another leveraging everything to make what used to be the third world wealthier. As a result they were right, the third world developed, it thrived, and for many years it helped us feel like we were improving our own standard of living.
Now the developed countries have handed all their wealth over to the worlds poor in exchange for debt service that they are now trying to kick down the road to future generations.
In the end all we really did was use our credit cards to stretch our dollars into cheap manufactured goods over a three decade bender. One day we woke up, ashamed, naked, and flat broke, thanks S&P. We are now saddled with debt and homes full of shlock, most of which we continue to finance through a mortgage because the debt was artificially cheap and our old homes were too small for all the cool cheap stuff from China.
Of course the more people we exploited, the cheaper the schlock got and the more of it we all had to have. Our homes were growing in part because fools were willing to lend to us at unreasonably low rates to warehouse the shlock they were financing the construction for.
Clearly I could go on for a while. What we need however is a proper scholar, concerned more about the sustainability of civilization who is willing to tackle the old financial Dianetics and create something much more sacred, something sustainable, well planned, well architected and something if nothing else that will be self sustaining.