SPEAKER

 
Ed Shockley introduced today's speaker Warren Salinger.  Warren came to the U.S in 1939 when his family fled Nazi Germany.  He spent 1952-1958 in USAF intelligence interviewing German POWs and refugees returning to Germany from Eastern Europe.  For the past 14 years following retirement, he has taught a "World Affairs Seminar" on Holland-America cruise ships, attracting as many as 500 attendees.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to get the resort's projector to work off Warren's laptop so Brian Kabat held Warren's laptop over the podium for the duration of the talk.
 
The West (USA and Western Europe) have dominated the world economy since the Industrial Revolution.  The West laid down the rules by which international trade is conducted, the organizations and agreements that make it work as well as the protection of international trade routes. However, we are now at a time in history when the West's total economic domination is eroding.  The economies of Asian countries like China, India, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea have been growing rapidly; the new era has been called "The Rise of the Rest".  It will be a period when no single country or group of countries will be dominant - rather the economy will be global in scope.
 
Globalization means the free movement of 1. Goods 2. Money 3. Technology 4. People.  We have succeeded at 1-3, less so for 4. The growth of the global economy has brought one billion people around the world out of poverty and into a better life.  Two major drivers of globalization were 1. the invention and application of the Charge-Coupled Device to convert optical images to electrical charges that can be transmitted across long distances (think cameras, satellite photos, TV pictures, internet photos, cell phones, etc.) and 2. containerization that made the movement of goods so much more rapid and efficient and the development of huge container ships (90% of world trade goes by sea).  There are several choke points for ship-borne trade - the Straits of Malacca, the Straits of Hormuz, the Bosporus, and the Suez Canal.  The Panama Canal has recently been widened to allow larger container ships so one choke point has been removed.
 
Warren thinks it was a bad move for the US to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  It will just open the door for more Chinese influence among  Asian nations.  Trade protectionist policies are also a dangerous way to go.  The Smoot-Hawley Bill of 1930 raised tariffs on 900+ products coming into the US to "protect our country".  Economists think the effects of this one bill lengthened the Great Depression by at least two years.
 
Thank you Warren for a very interesting presentation!