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jerryking : small_states   6

Opinion | The United Kingdom Has Gone Mad - The New York Times
By Thomas L. Friedman
Opinion Columnist

April 2, 2019

What do the most effective leaders today have in common? They wake up every morning and ask themselves the same questions: “What world am I living in? What are the biggest trends in this world? And how do I educate my citizens about this world and align my policies so more of my people can get the best out of these trends and cushion the worst?”

So what world are we living in?

(1) We’re living in a world that is becoming so interconnected — thanks to digitization, the internet, broadband, mobile devices, the cloud and soon-to-be 5G wireless transmissions — that we are becoming interdependent to an unprecedented degree. In this world, growth increasingly depends on the ability of yourself, your community, your town, your factory, your school and your country to be connected to more and more of the flows of knowledge and investment — and not just rely on stocks of stuff........The key to creating economic value has been to acquire some proprietary knowledge stocks, aggressively protect those knowledge stocks and then efficiently extract the economic value from those knowledge stocks and deliver them to the market. The challenge in a more rapidly changing world is that knowledge stocks depreciate at an accelerating rate. In this kind of world, the key source of economic value shifts from stocks to flows......yet Britain is ruled today by a party that wants to disconnect from a connected world....
(2) Understand that in a world of simultaneous accelerations in technology and globalization, keeping your country as open as possible to as many flows as possible is advantageous for two reasons: You get all the change signals first and have to respond to them and you attract the most high-I.Q. risk-takers, who tend to be the people who start or advance new companies.....The best talent wants to go to the most open systems — open both to immigrants and trade — because that is where the most opportunities are. Britain is about to put up a big sign: GO AWAY.
(3) wise leaders also understand that all the big problems today are global problems, and they have only global solutions: climate change, trade rules, technology standards and preventing excesses and contagion in financial markets......small states/middle powers need to be part of a wider coalition like the European Union.
(4) the best leaders know a little history. Trump is fine with a world of competitive European nationalisms, not a strong European Union. So is Vladimir Putin. So, it seems, are the Brexiteers. How quickly they’ve all forgotten that the E.U. and NATO were built to prevent the very competitive nationalism that ran riot in Europe in the 20th century and brought us two world wars.
21st._century  accelerated_lifecycles  Brexit  EU  historical_amnesia  history  information_flows  interdependence  interconnections  middle-powers  open_borders  proprietary  questions  small_states  talent_flows  technical_standards  Tom_Friedman  United_Kingdom  value_extraction 
april 2019 by jerryking
The belle époque of the small nation is over
September 28, 2018 | Financial Times | by JANAN GANESH.

Globalisation has been the era of small countries but that time may now be passing. Ganesh raises an interesting point, what happens to small countries that, since the end of WW2, have enjoyed the protection of the rules-based system (UN, WTO, NATO, Pax Americana).

Singapore leaders were determined in their quest to that small nation be less small.....The paradox is that smallness has been an edge, not a curse, in the liberal age. For all the grandiloquence about a Washington Consensus and a Pax Americana, the US was never the principal profiteer from globalisation.....The real beneficiaries were the rapid enrichment of Ireland, the ethnic diversification of Sweden, the technological fecundity of Israel and the rise of Dubai from the sands as a shimmering entrepôt......1990-2010 was the golden age--the belle époque--of the small nation....Rules-based globalism was a precious equaliser for these places.... it also made advantages of their liabilities....Their shortage of domestic consumers was the ultimate incentive to cast around for other markets. Their lack of capital made them welcome foreign investors. Even the nicheness of their native languages (in some cases) obliged them to master English.

There is, without leaning too much on “national character”, a small-country hardiness ....an acceptance of the outside world as a non-negotiable fact: a blend of fatalism and resourcefulness that makes for formidable migrants....If small countries have mastered the global age, it is a feat that goes beyond the economic. They also have a cultural reach that was hard to picture not long ago, when nations needed the brawn of a BBC or a Canal Plus to foist their creative wares on distant audiences....all attest to what we are now obliged to call the “soft power” of small countries....The mistake is to see this moment as eternal. For those who live in or care about these places, the dread is that the coming decades will be as harsh as the last few have been kind. Almost all the conditions that allowed small nations to bloom look precarious....growing protectionism...big states throwing their weight around....Peter Thiel, in his bid for NZ citizenship, said he found “no other country that aligns more with my view of the future than New Zealand”. It was telling that such a prolific maker of sound bets backed a small, open, adaptable nation.
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I am more optimistic and believe many small states will adjust just fine. Why? Think of Taleb's flexibility idea - small states are less fragile than bigger ones, more nimble, more homogenous, faster to change I like also to add that there are more smaller successful counties than the ones mentioned (e.g., Switzerland, Costa Rica).
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The flip side is that small countries may have greater ability to act thoughtfully and coherently than larger peers. But I agree - it is likely to be tough ahead.

Here in Singapore, a senior politician summed it up very well: we are just a block of granite in the south china sea, and have no God-given right to exist as a country. The only way we can survive is by being paranoid and continuously reinventing ourselves.
city-states  globalization  Iceland  Janan_Ganesh  nimbleness  Peter_Thiel  post_globalization  rules-based  Singapore  small_states  soft_power  antifragility  Dubai  Ireland  punch-above-its-weight  paranoia  reinvention 
october 2018 by jerryking
Political leadership in the Caribbean –
Feb 05, 2017 Features | Kaieteur News | By Sir Ronald Sanders.

The aspirations of today’s Caribbean leaders are no different to Castro’s; their circumstances are different. Caribbean economies are small and, when there is an economic downturn or some major calamity in the countries with which we trade or from which our foreign investment comes, our economies become constrained. It’s not that the leaders would not like to do better, they are operating in restricted circumstances, and they do the best they can. They have no champion as Castro had with the Soviet Union.
But, they miss opportunities by not doing more together. .....CARICOM is a valuable tool for the advancement of the Caribbean people and for Caribbean countries individually and collectively. Unfortunately, since independence, a kind of false nationalism has crept into our psyche; one which, in some cases, cannot admit to being as much a citizen of the Caribbean region as a national of a country within it. Part of the reason is that leaders don’t give effective leadership on this issue.....In almost every Caribbean country, there exists an anathema to migrants from other Caribbean countries, displayed particularly at Airports where Caribbean people face discrimination.......There has not been sufficient advocacy of Caribbean integration by the leadership of the region to help people to understand that, whether or not we came in the same ship, we are now in the same boat and that boat is in turbulent waters. All of us in that boat have to row it together, if not we will sink together....The point is that our circumstances are such that we need each other; no single country in the Caribbean – none, not Trinidad and Tobago, with its oil and gas resources, not Guyana with its vast land and natural resources, not Jamaica with its large population can survive on its own.
The world is tough, and it is only by the marrying and integrating of our resources at all levels that we can hope to do better. If we continue to let integration languish, I am afraid we are writing our own suicide drama and we are acting it out. We have to overcome it. And, political leadership matters – from governing and opposition parties alike.............
Caribbean  Caricom  coalitions  collective_action  competitiveness_of_nations  constraints  disunity  human_psyche  integration  leadership  loyal_opposition  missed_opportunities  nationalism  parochialism  politicians  small_states  strategic_alliances 
february 2017 by jerryking
Paradise lost - FT.com
December 19, 2013 5:03 pm
Paradise lost

By Robin Wiggleswort

The Caribbean is suffering from crippling government debt, endemic crime and a middle-class brain drain that have contributed to an economic meltdown of alarming proportions...

Persaud blames an “anti-growth coalition” for the Caribbean’s plight, a tight-knit nexus of politicians, business interests and unions that benefit from the status quo – one of the invisible flaws of small states where everyone knows one another. “The Caribbean is at a crossroads, it desperately needs political leadership,” he argues. “It can overcome these challenges, as other small states have, but it requires courage.”

Some fear that the erosion of the local middle classes – both the backbone of civil society as well as the most demanding voters – eases the pressure on politicians to shape up. “The depletion of our brightest graduates, our middle class and some of our most enterprising workers has drained the foundations of our society,” laments Trevor Munroe, a Jamaican academic, former union leader and founder of National Integrity Action, an anti-corruption watchdog. “Remittances are a big plus, but the big minus is the weakening of society’s internal drivers for reform.”
Caribbean  criminality  brain_drain  emigration  small_states  anti-growth  anti-development  tourism  cultural_detachment  middle_class  leadership  courage  civil_society  crony_capitalism  business_interests  cronyism  demanding_voters  debt 
december 2013 by jerryking

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