Free trade in the global economy is affected by politics, and the extraordinary cheapening of transport and communication costs. The transport and communication technology’s dramatic reduction in cost and increase in speed allows for business models that were inconceivable earlier in my own lifetime, except to prescient sci fi authors. There are significant concerns by many that globalization is leading to environmental degradation, and cultural destruction globally. The idea of sustainable use is taking hold among a segment of the population. But it remains to be seen how or whether this will be adopted by business. Business will jump on cost savings tied to environmental remediation, whether that concept is valid and can be demonstrated is an open concern.
The nations of the world are not all well integrated into the global system. Those countries that are somewhat integrated represent a crazy-quilt of regulations, laws, tariffs, and customs. There are no international standards or laws. Though some reference is made to both, that is simply an equivocation. There is a real concern that growth is not sustainable, or that if it is, the kind of growth ensuing will lead to a widening gap between rich and poor, and possibly revolution. Answers to these concerns are both elusive and desirable. Human tendency to put off current pain, though more costly to fix later, endures still. Human tendency towards immediate gratification, demonstrated inconstancy, and a miniscule ability to see things from other viewpoints militates against solution. However, mankind has surely proved adaptable. While we cannot seem to plan ahead our adaptability will allow some to succeed quite well. I wonder whether it will be me, my friends & family, and my country that succeeds, or fails.