By Dr. Denise R. Ames
This is a momentous time that we are experiencing. Who can be trusted for wise council? Where are the elders? Elders have something to add to the conversation about what is going on today. I am one elder who feels I have something to say. The following are 12 Insights that I have learned and want to share with you.
#11 Diminishing a Globalized Worldview
I have found that diminishing a globalized worldview would benefit the lower 80% of Americans. This policy would include a repatriation of many (probably not all) manufacturing jobs to the US from overseas. This, of course, would benefit workers from high skilled to low skilled who are not seeking a college degree but who have updated their skills. Second, an end to illegal immigration, since most studies have found that it adversely affects the wages of the lower skilled workers. Legal immigration would continue, determined by policy.
Third, perhaps the strategic and limited use of tariffs on certain goods to shield workers from competition from abroad. Fourth, instead of unions, a cooperative model of management and labor, in which labor has an active seat on the corporate board. Wages could be tied to the profitability of the company, instead of standardized wage scales that can often lead to inflation. Also, some type of profit-sharing compensation, which can also incentivize efficiency and productivity of workers.
Another important counter to a globalized worldview is the spread of small businesses. I was a small business owner in the 1980s and can attest to the importance of it as a mainstay of a local economy, community cohesion, and fostering a desired work and moral ethic. I was critical of Bernie Sanders in his run for office because he did not enthusiastically endorse policies promoting small businesses.
Sander’s and his supporters pushed for a $15/hour minimum wage, which was soundly rejected by small businesses. Large corporations are more able to comply with this dictate than small business. However, a push to wrestle health care away from a business benefit would help small business even more than large business.
A globalized worldview also had a detrimental impact on American society. It contributed to a breakdown in community, neighborhoods, and family. It has promoted globalized products to be unmindfully consumed, such as pro-sports, unhealthy foods, expensive leisure activities, and name consumer brands. Neighborhood businesses, local products, and less expensive forms of entertainment have been undermined by the corporate colonizing of our tastes and preferences.
This overview brings us to 2020, an undeniably tumultuous year by all accounts (and it is not over). The coronavirus and the protest/riots have further added to strange developments since the election of Trump. The globalizers have been put on their heels (somewhat) as Trump attacked China’s mercantilist trade policies and businesses that have taken manufacturing jobs overseas.
The bizarre turn of events after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer have diverted attention to what I have found to be key issues in reformulating the economy from a globalized worldview to a different worldview (I call it a transformative worldview) and a more viable and sustainable future. The new emphasis on identity politics and race as a way to upend the prevailing social structure does not seem to have the redeeming value that is intended. I will concede that it is good that we are talking about racism in our society, and ways to counter it but the way we are going about the conversation (or should I say shouting match) appears to be more harmful than helpful.
With a diminishing of a globalized worldview, perhaps the knitting together of our frayed social fabric will be able to take place. However, it has been so badly frayed for so long that it should prove to be a difficult task.
About the Author: Dr. Denise R. Ames
Dr. Ames’ varied life experiences— teaching, scholarly research, personal reflections, and extensive travels—have contributed to her balanced and thoughtful perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded the educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness that develops globally-focused books and educational resources for grade 9-university. She has written eight books, plus numerous blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, teaching units, and conducted professional development workshops for the non-profit and its clients.
Dr. Ames is now developing her new program: Turn, Transformation, Understanding, and Reflection Nexus. Turn encourages life-long learners to see things with new eyes, learn from the past, and understand the relationship of all things. She teaches workshops/classes and writes about Turn’s five topics: learning from the past, cross-cultural awareness, five colliding worldviews, elder wisdom, and transformative travel.
Divided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them has just been released!
Divided addresses the question on the lips of every American: why can’t we get along? The cultural divide is threatening our democracy and destabilizing our country. Divided looks at the deep cultural divide through the lens of five colliding worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. This approach helps us make sense of our deep divisions and suggests ways of bridging them.
It is urgent that we understand and bridge the cultural divide. Bridging the divide is dependent upon first understanding it. Gaining an understanding of the five worldviews enhances our success of arriving at sensible solutions and increasing civil conversations. If not, rancor and intractability ensue.
Divided is one of nine books written by Dr. Ames and the Center for Global Awareness, check out their offerings! Global Awareness Books