When politicians treat fault lines as pesky details

Mr Trump in the US tried to entice US corporations to bring manufacturing back to the US with less than limited success. Cost structures and global competition did not cooperate. Mr Biden is now undoing the deregulatory efforts of Mr Trump in the environmental space thinking that this will create more jobs. Truth of the matter is that it will decrease job formation. The green economy needs competition to grow not regulation.
Beatrice E. Rangel.
Just as planet earth is formed by layers of mater politics is formed by layers of institutions. Unlike earth where the layers of matter were created billions of years ago institutions are constantly created by humans through social pacts. These pacts reflect the state of economic; technical; social and intellectual development of the community that creates them. Those conditions change over time thus the need to go over social pacts to review their content so as to integrate new interests; communities, social classes or production means. Failure to do so generates frictions. In planet earth frictions bring down fault lines among layers triggering earthquakes. In politics frictions cause institutional decay. At the root of frictions are negative impacts of development over a given cluster of society. The Industrial Revolution for instance displaced people from the agricultural fields creating overcrowding in the cities. A host of “clochards” as they were dubbed by the French elite began to populate European Cities. Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens depicted this wave of city dwellers masterfully in their works Les Misérables and Oliver Twist. When affected societal groups react there are frictions and as frictions escalate eruption takes place. Eruption can be channeled through institutional vectors ( read political parties, community associations; philanthropies). When none of these vectors meet the demands of the people seeking a change in a social pact. Institutional decay happens. Eventually institutional earthquakes also take place.
This is where the West is right now. Enveloped in a thick comforter of institutional decay. Indeed, while in the aftermath of WW II the Eastern Hemisphere created and deployed autochthonal social pacts that have been knitted with Eastern and Western threads, the West has been comfortably seating in front of either a TV, a Computer or phone screen enjoying the fruits of the digital revolution. Needless to indicate that they have failed to understand the profound implications of the digital revolution upon the daily lives of citizens let alone foresee the need to review social pacts with a view to remove or reduce negative impacts of change while exponentiating beneficial impacts. The West is thus populated by armies of discontent. These have been raised by the blow inflicted upon all those that lack digital skills by progress. Only in the US 91,000 manufacturing plants and about 6M manufacturing jobs have been lost since 1997. This trend did not stop under President Trump’s mandate as 1,8oo manufacturing plants disappeared from 2016 through 2018 according to the US Census Bureau. In the European Union about 1.7 M jobs have lost only to robotics since 2000.
Displaced people are human beings that have been raised in the belief that hard work and dedication to a job will allow people to raise a family with dignity, send children to college a; have a car and own a home. None of this is now possible without digital skills because you are either unemployed or clinging to a low pay job that makes it impossible for ends to meet. These people have expressed their discontent so far in the UK ( Brexit) Germany ( Anti-immigration) , France ( Gillet Jaunes) ; Italy ( the rise of the far right) and most recently in the US under the leadership of President Trump.
No head of state or government however has articulated a policy that creates the incentives to build a new social pact. In the UK Mr Johnson is beginning to realize that the glue that held together the UK was its membership in the EU. Now he will have to live under the constant siege of all kinds of national attempts to break away from the Kingdom. Mr Trump in the US tried to entice US corporations to bring manufacturing back to the US with less than limited success. Cost structures and global competition did not cooperate. Mr Biden is now undoing the deregulatory efforts of Mr Trump in the environmental space thinking that this will create more jobs. Truth of the matter is that it will decrease job formation. The green economy needs competition to grow not regulation.
In Latin America elections are about to test the leadership in several countries. Chile, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua will stage presidential contests while Argentina, el Salvador, Mexico and Paraguay legislative elections. None of the contestants have plans to either effectively deal with the COVID 19 taking it as an opportunity to make a digital swing or to capture part of the near shoring strategies by US corporation that are moving some of their manufacturing arms to the hemisphere. Because in the West all policies are dictated by Twitter and all commands are executed through selfies. Voters will thus chose what the consider to be least evil not the best choice.

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