American Conservative

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What Can We Learn from a Big Boat Stuck in a Canal?

Matt Stoller | BIG | March 28, 2021

...The answer to addressing the problem of thinned out supply chains is to recognize that hyper-efficient globalization inherently carries the downside of unpredictable shortages, geopolitical tension, and supply disruptions. And then redesign our global trading order to make it less efficient and more resilient. There are three basic changes we'll need. First, we need to restore anti-monopoly rules, such as antitrust, to prevent the consolidation of production and distribution in the first place. Second, we should re-impose friction, like tariffs, in global trading so that we relocalize production. Trade is generally a good thing, but every country or geographic bloc should be able to provide itself with the essentials, in case there are disruptions. Third, we should rapidly restructure the way that firms finance themselves, so that they have less debt. Debt is a cruel taskmaster, and it leads CEOs to cut deeply not just into fat but into muscle and bone.

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