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January 20, 2023


Reading newspapers that only fit one’s political and economic interests can be rather shallow and potentially hazardous to one’s economic health. Granted, it is always more comfortable to live in a world that ignores views which differ from yours but that is not unlike “drinking your own whiskey.” Recently, Nikkei staff writers published an article entitled Fairness, Not Just Democracy, To Be Key for Sailing Divided World. Whereas globalization has come to a screeching halt thanks to the old commie ugly ducklings of China and Russia, trade and business seems to find its way due to resourcefulness and move forward.  From the grandeur of the United Nations offices in Geneva, shown below, to the active trade across the U.S.—Mexico border, Nikkei has put forward the concept that “fairness” will become the key compass to navigate through otherwise treacherous political waters.

At the U.S.—Mexico border crossing in the city of Colombia, in the northern state of Nuevo León, lanes are provided for “Empty Trucks” and “Cold Perishables,” along with a sign reading “Tesla.” This particular border crossing is a gateway to the electric vehicle giant’s plant in Austin, Texas. The special Tesla lane was launched last spring to facilitate trade in a border crossing that former U.S. President Donald Trump tried to close. Furthermore, a new rail bridge is scheduled to be built in 2024. The bilateral trade between Mexico and the U.S. reached $660 billion in 2021.

While businesses in North America are mending their political stupidity, European allies are suffering from a new division created by the war in Ukraine. A shopping mall in Finland was forced into bankruptcy as its dependence on Russian shoppers was its downfall following the severe restrictions placed on Russians entering Finland. Russians cut off European access to cheap Russian gas and Russian visitors are no longer welcome. The fundamental message is a simple cause and effect result that any economic activity will suffer if it is not fair.  Therefore, Nikkei devised the “Fairness Index” highlighted below. The three components are (1) three points for political and legal stability, (2) three points for human rights and environment, and (3) four points for economic freedom.

Although there may be room for discussion with some differences from top to bottom, the general framework seems to conform to what we would all believe to be a fair representation. What a simple principle to follow—"Trade has to be fair to all parties to function.” Such a premise would eliminate most governing bodies and reduce trade to the historical bazaar market concept when different tribes would gather to trade their respective products.

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