The world political view is shifting towards Utopia. Each year, various countries have added demands on governments for more freedom, protection, economic equality, and equity. The shift began with globalization in the early 1980s. The beginnings of individualism began with the power to reach across the ocean by tapping a few computer keys sent to an electronic address. Over the past 40 years, individualism has grown to the point that email has become too slow and inconvenient. Today the world relies on short text messages for business and personal matters. The demand continues to push for easy-to-navigate electronic devices, instigated by the brilliance of Apple products.
Globalization at its peak has fertilized the COVID-19 pandemic. If we did not realize how connected we were in 2019, we learned in 2020. When the freedom and comfort gained by many was taken away due to the curfews and lockdowns, it stirred a new reaction from countries with power, namely to “build back better.” The slogan began with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund leaders. A combination of astronomical amounts of lending and loan forgiveness has been granted to countries worldwide to save lives and livelihoods. The realization that lesser developed countries do not have robust health infrastructure was known but not acknowledged as vital to world safety. This fact shed light on the importance that all people must have access to good healthcare, even those living in poverty.
Equally important is the daily circulation of money in the economy. The world watched as countries that could offer cash payments to citizens did so. India and South America provided some cash relief, while some African governments were forced to provided cash assistance to citizens in some cases. Leaders who could freeze evictions in commercial and residential properties did so—leaders who could not will deal with the added problem of increased homelessness.
The build-back-better slogan was reinforced by President Biden when he took office in late January 2021. Build-back-better includes updating health infrastructure globally, a continuation of creating roads, bridges, ports, and airports financed by China, Russia, The U.S., and Europe, internet accessibility and 5G speed of transmission, a push towards green energy, green manufacturing, and green jobs, and equity across education, gender, and race. Wellbeing through redevelopment plans is forging ahead with planned outdoor community spaces, and employers are considering more paid time off for employees to take breaks and deal with family issues. Education improvement means better public schools, abundant supplies, and students with access to laptops. Economic resilience means increasing the availability of business loans and setting low-interest rates for mortgages so that people can buy homes and cars to spur the economy. What a utopian dream!
The horrors of the pandemic are giving birth to the complete opposite, a Utopian recovery. What does it mean for politics and the economy? It means that developing countries will skip industrial periods not previously attained and move straight into the 5th industrial revolution - the green industrial age. For example, Africa may not have enough desks for school children but will likely not need them because children will learn at home on laptops. As a political analyst, investments in developing countries and U.S. manufacturing should be fruitful in 2022 once the vaccine makes its way to people worldwide. Other than continued struggles for power in the Middle East, 2022 should be a utopian dream.