There is no denying that online retail has crossed the Rubicon and is now a primary choice for consumers to use in purchasing nearly any good or service they desire. And just like the automobile helped in the elimination of the horse and buggy industry back at the turn of the 20th century, online retail is doing its part in destroying the paradigm of brick and mortar businesses.
Technology is something that is impossible to curtail, as the world is too big a place for governments or elites to engender control over everyone and everything on a global scale. However, control over technology and industry can work rather well in smaller regions, but the consequence is the stifling of natural growth for millions of people.
The invention and distribution of the internet will go down in history as perhaps the greatest tool ever created to date. It has allowed individuals who do not even have a home, car, or job to connect with nearly single person on the planet and any given time. And it is fundamentally changing not only how all business is done, but also in how finance is conducted where a single programmer has now been able to create a recognized currency that is not under the authority or control of a sovereign entity.
But even with all of this, what does remain in the hands of these sovereigns is the ability to control how business is conducted between themselves and other nations. And at stake between the different TTP, TTIP, EEU, SCO, and other recently forged trade partnership projects is the future for private businesses to chart their own course, and use the burgeoning technology for their benefit.
Last weekend one of the world’s richest men, and CEO of the world’s largest online marketplace spoke several times at the Davos World Economic Forum. And in a nearly unprecedented act, Alibaba’s Jack Ma not only laid out the reasons behind America’s economic demise on the world stage, but also offered a path where U.S. businesses could use his company as a portal towards expanding their growth to new and much greater heights.
One of the key facts that is lost amongst the rhetoric of Western media is that China, not the United States, is the primary controller over global trade. This is because the Far Eastern power produces more than any other nation outside the combined productivity of the European Union, and exports much more than it imports since they are now relatively self-sufficient outside of energy and some foodstuffs.
This of course means that the United States relies heavily upon Chinese products, while China has little need for what is produced there or elsewhere. But China also realizes that when it comes to discretionary items, there are certain things made and produced outside the mainland that their people are not only now desiring, but can afford to purchase.
When U.S. businesses like Google (Alphabet) and Facebook have tried to break into China in recent years, the government has demanded strict protocols on them that in ways limit their ability to fully promote their services. But if a Chinese company were to act as the middleman for U.S. and other businesses to enter into the Chinese marketplace, then it could very well satisfy the demands of Beijing, while also enlarging their coffers by being able to tax these incoming products.
Ever since 1946 the dollar currency has been the gatekeeper for nearly all global trade, and helped make America the greatest nation on earth. But 70 years later, and through too many egregious policy failures forged out of Washington to count, the U.S. has lost this advantage to someone else, and it is likely that to become Great Again, they will need businesses like Alibaba to turn the tables for a return to economic growth.