The Unglobals: Groundbreakers in the Age of Economic Nationalism

The Unglobals: Groundbreakers in the Age of Economic Nationalism

by J. Mark Munoz

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781785270550
Publisher: Anthem Press
Publication date: 05/10/2018
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 1,214,952
Product dimensions: 127.00(w) x 203.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

J. Mark Munoz is a tenured full professor of international business at Millikin University, USA. A former visiting fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA, Munoz is the author of several books and recipient of numerous awards including a literary award, the AGBA International Book Award and the ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award among others.


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CHAPTER 1

THE WORLD IS NOT THAT FLAT

The world is truly integrated. Countries, companies and individuals worldwide are all happy. Everyone is winning, right?

Unfortunately, as many of us already know, this is not the current reality. There are winners and losers in our globalized society. While some have reaped the rewards, billions of people have been left behind and continue to live in desperation and poverty. In fact, a World Bank report indicated that about 10 percent of the world population, or 767 million people, lived on less than $1.90 per day (World Bank, 2016).

Millions are leaving their countries to find better lives elsewhere. A United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2017) report indicated that there are about 22.5 million refugees, and that approximately 28,300 people each day are forced to leave their homes as a result of conflict and persecution.

In a 2017 Pew Global Report, it was noted that 72 percent of people in Venezuela, 68 percent in Mexico and 57 percent in Jordan felt that life was worse for them now than what it was 50 years ago (Poushter, 2017).

Disparities in trade exist among nations. For instance, about half of globally traded goods (e.g., office equipment) come from emerging countries, while in other sectors (e.g., pharmaceutical industries) developed nations continue to lead (Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2016).

Many companies have not really optimized global participation. In fact, in the United States, the majority of small and medium enterprises do not export, and less than 1 percent of about 30 million firms in the country sell abroad (Pinkus, Manyika and Ramaswany, 2017).

Executives worldwide are aware of the unevenness brought about by globalization. In a PWC (2017) survey of CEOs, 44 percent indicated that globalization has not helped seal the gap between rich and poor.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, news stories with the word "globalization" have taken a negative tone due to pressures against globalization in these countries (Ghemawat, 2017). Populist leanings have been evident with the emergence of the "America First" phenomenon and Britain's exit from the European Union, or "Brexit."

Negative viewpoints are evident in other countries as well. Reports show that discontentment with globalization has been prevalent. In a YouGov (2016) survey approximately 78 percent of Indonesians, 57 percent of Indians, 53 percent of Filipinos and 52 percent of the French people felt that their country could meet its needs without relying on importations from other nations. In various media around the world, stories of countries taking on populist, protectionist and even isolationist standpoints have become common.

There has been a rise in consumer ethnocentrism and economic nationalism. Trade and globalization have been identified as the cause for job losses (Pinkus, Manyika and Ramaswamy, 2017). There are populist politicians who allude to free trade and job outsourcing to other nations as the primary cause for problems in their countries (Tomita, 2017).

New ideologies are emerging. For instance, support for alter-globalization has been on the rise. The movement aims to address negative globalization consequences relating to economic, political, cultural, social and environmental issues.

The reality is, globalization is uneven and oftentimes unfair. The world is "flat," linked and highly progressive in certain spots. However, in other locations geography, culture, politics and economics continue to stall growth and development. Antiglobalization movements have grown as a result of income disparities between the rich and the poor, immigration and job competition (Tomita, 2017).

In many parts of the world "barriers" and "walls" and "impregnable terrain" continue to hinder economic socialization. There are still several poorly developed cities all over the world with lack of access to basic utilities and infrastructure. In Eritrea, there are only six cell phone subscriptions per 100 people (World Atlas, 2017). This is the lowest cell phone subscription base in the world. This situation limits the country's ability to connect with the rest of the world. In fact, in West Africa, only about 18 percent of roads are paved (Dahir, 2017), thereby limiting mobility of people and trade.

Many countries such as Greece, North Korea, Venezuela, Yemen, Burundi, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo face tough economic and political challenges. The Economist (2017) listed South Sudan as the most miserable country in 2018 with inflation above 150 percent, conflict between army and tribal militia and about 1.7 million people facing famine.

International macroeconomic volatility has led to fear and uncertainty in the global community. The past financial crisis is a reminder that economic conditions and events in one country can spread globally like wildfire. A World Economic Forum (2017a) report cited financial crises and the failure of financial mechanisms or institutions as notable global risk factors. The 2008 financial crisis cost the US economy over $22 trillion (Melendez, 2013).

Within our global society, however, the notion of "global citizenship" applies to many, but not everyone. Global exclusion has been rampant. The children working in mines in Africa, young farmers in remote villages in Vietnam and the street vendors in India are detached from many opportunities brought about by globalization. Their chance to be "global citizens" is not impossible, but highly limited.

Everyday, the rest of the world goes through the daily grind, struggling to cope with and survive the mounting pressure brought by globalization. With intensifying competition, executives are trying to outthink and outwork others. Executives in some countries hardly take vacations. In Japan, executives took only five vacation days, in South Korea they took seven and in the United States they took ten (Polland, 2012). The number was significantly lower than the total vacation days they were entitled to. In Japan, a young journalist was reported to have died of heart failure due to overwork. She did 159 hours of overtime work in one month (The Guardian, 2017).

In all corners of the world, technological enhancements have meant convenient access to work 24/ 7. In an HR Certification Institute (2017) survey it was found that 17 percent of executives always work while on vacation, and that 59 percent occasionally work when on vacation.

Many executives are constantly online and are constantly chasing work or pleasure. In fact, an average person spends more amount of time on their computer and phone than sleeping. Typical sleeping time for an average person is 8 hours and 21 minutes, while the average time spent on media devices is 8 hours and 41 minutes (Davies, 2015).

For many, life balance has been skewed. In order to win in the ultracompetitive global game, executives have blurred the lines separating work and life. As a consequence, relationships, health and happiness have been compromised.

While many are caught up in a global game of survival, there are people who do not even know what globalization is and simply do not care. Regardless of whether it was a result of personal choice or life situation, some have become detached from the global rat race.

This book does not engage in the globalization blame game. There are too many underlying factors and flawed systems to consider. Instead of spending time griping and trying to understand the reasons behind the failures of globalization and society, this very short book takes a different approach. It focuses on what one should do about it.

The intent is to reach the busy global populace who have started to wonder, "Is this hectic and stressful work pace the way I want to live the rest of my life?" The book was intentionally designed to be brief. With easy Web connectivity, and mobile and social media platforms available, who has time to read a long book?

The author's intent is to encourage a pause from life and some introspection. After reading this book, I would urge readers to contemplate these important questions: How should you live your life in this complex and challenging global environment? How can you find personal peace and happiness? How can you manage the changes brought about by growing economic nationalism?

This book consists of three concise chapters. The present chapter, 1, highlights five fictional stories of people who managed to detach themselves from globalization. For the purpose of convenience, they are called the unglobals. Chapter 2 analyzes and discusses the mindset of the unglobals. Chapter 3 outlines considerations relating to alternative pathways for organizational and personal success in an era of economic nationalism.

The following pages feature fictional but plausible stories of five unglobals. The stories are designed to entertain, but more importantly to showcase key lessons that can change one's life and to identify transformational pathways in a complex, global world.

Alex, Former Export– Import Executive

"Did you see the latest bill on the table?" Anna yelled, half-mockingly, half-annoyed.

"Yes," Alex responded softly as he gazed at the bills piling up on the table. Tears welled up in his eyes. Sadness and desperation. When will this ever end? he asked himself.

His mind briefly drifted to the glory days not too long ago. He had successfully built his vitamin company, importing vitamins from Australia and Brazil and marketing them in the United States and Canada. Business was brisk, and he was on track to becoming a multimillionaire.

"Globalization stinks," he thought. Just as his business had started to pick up, foreign competitors from China and South Korea entered the market, first eroding his margins, then pushing him to the brink of bankruptcy.

"Things happen so fast," he mumbled. Was it just a few months ago when business was booming? "How could my business shift from hero to zero in a few months?" he wondered.

And, oh his marriage. How can women be so fickle-minded? Anna, his fiancée, showered him with love and affection when things were great. Now all he got were glaring, disappointed looks and countless insults. And, the yelling. How he hated it! A woman yelling at you day and night can drive you crazy. This has got to stop, he thought. This relationship was toxic and detrimental to his mental and physical health.

He picked up the phone and dialed Bill Harris's number from memory. Bill was his high school buddy and best friend. Bill was a successful lawyer and always seemed to make the right choices in life. Alex made it a point to call Bill and get his opinion when important decisions had to be made. Plus, his legal insight could prevent potential lawsuits.

"Bill, I need your advice."

"I'm all ears, buddy. What's going on?"

"What are the legal consequences if I just disappeared?

Dead silence.

"You're not planning to kill yourself are you?" Bill was aware of Alex's personal and professional troubles and knew he was constantly depressed.

"No ... no ... nothing like that. I mean selling the house, the business and all my possessions, and just live off the grid. Like in a cave."

Bill laughed. "C'mon, you can't be serious?"

"I am. I really am! I'm sick and tired of this, Bill. Can't take this anymore. I just want to simplify my life. Get rid of this mental baggage and just live simply in a cave. You know, like homesteaders. We've seen some of those shows on television. Those people live simply. They have less complex lives and are a lot happier. Just simple happiness."

"You don't know squat about that kind of life. Look at you, you're as cosmopolitan as it gets," Bill argued.

"Trade-offs, Bill. I'll have to do trade-offs. It's a choice — take on a stressful urban life that's a rat race or live through self-sustenance in the hills somewhere." Alex paused and gave the matter some added thought, "You know I'm a fast learner. I'll read up on the topic and develop a plan."

"I'm not totally against it. We all need to find what makes us happy. Those homesteaders in Alaska we saw on television did seem happy. Just want to make you think through this carefully. Plan well. Not much legal complication here. Just make sure you cover all your debts. Start a new life completely debt free."

"Thanks, bud."

"Sure thing. Let me know how things progress. What's your timeline for this?"

"About three months."

"That soon, huh?"

"Yep. Things tend to happen quickly around here."

"And Anna?"

"Who? I'm done with her. Besides, I'm sure she wouldn't want to go where I'm going. I may just hook up with a local or keep a bear for a companion."

They both laughed. Alex smiled. For the first time in recent months, he felt a semblance of joy and hope.

Five months later, Alex had completed his humble cave home on a secluded property in Montana. After having sold all of his possessions, he had about $35,000 left. He used the money to buy a small property with a cave on the premises. He did some of the construction on the cave himself, but sought the help of a local contractor for the solar panel and compost bathroom. He bought a shotgun for hunting and protection.

He was not too far from a lake. He bought fishing supplies to catch and store fish.

His "cave house" was modest but comfortable. He was proud that it was completely environment-friendly.

He got himself a dog to keep him company. Bud was a two-year-old Lab mix that he picked up from a local shelter. He figured Bud could join him during hunting and keep an ear out for wandering predators at night.

He never felt happier and freer. He no longer had to live for money. He was off the pressure of an urban lifestyle. In fact, he was mostly cut off from the world. He didn't even have a phone or television.

He picked up hundreds of junked and very old books. He read them for entertainment and to keep his mind sharp.

Food had never been an issue. He hunted and gathered food. He did odd jobs here and there to buy canned food for the winter.

After six months as a homesteader, he decided to celebrate. He set a campfire outside the cave and enjoyed the view of the mountains as sunset approached. He had bought a six-pack of beer earlier in the week. He took a sip from the first bottle. It wasn't cold. But, hey, he thought, it was all about trade-offs. He thought about his past life and his past frustrations. Did he make the right call to live as a homesteader?

He looked at Bud, who was beside him watching the fire. "Did we make the right call, Bud? I think we did."

The adjustment process was rough. He missed many of the conveniences of his past life — the television, the microwave, the washing machine, the Internet. Hunting and fishing could be frustrating at times. It took a lot of time and effort to catch anything. But he learned to adjust. In recent months, he had become a much better hunter. He became a farmer too and planted simple crops like beets, carrots, lettuce, pumpkins and tomatoes. He also started to raise chickens and sheep. He had started to read books on fishing and food preservation.

He was a changed man, and a happier one.

He took a long sip from his second bottle of beer. He thought to himself, "Why didn't I think of this earlier in life?"

John, Tech Consultant

It was 7:00 p.m. at the Brown household.

As a tech consultant, John Brown was a very busy man. On this day, he arrived home at around 6:00 p.m. He turned on his home computer and started answering e-mails and responding to voice messages.

It was now 7:00 p.m., and there was no dinner on the table. His wife, Agnes, an advertising executive, was on the phone texting clients.

John's 13-year-old daughter, Sally, was also on her mobile phone playing a game in the corner of the family room. Sam, his 11-year-old son was watching a YouTube video on his phone.

This had been a routine almost every night. The family hardly had time to talk. Within the next 30 minutes, everyone would fix themselves a ham and cheese sandwich while on their phones. Then, they would go to their respective rooms.

John looked at his family. This didn't seem right. While he was a lover of the power of technology and how it brought the world together in a faster, cheaper and oftentimes meaningful way, he detested the decline in human interaction. He was seeing this happen in his family. In fact, he had seen it everywhere — workplaces, malls, social gatherings, hospitals, funerals and even in church. He jokingly called it "hyperphonism" — overindulgence on mobile phones. Some people John knew had been afflicted with "nomophobia" — fear of being separated from a mobile device or "no-mobile-phobia."

John loved his mobile phone. This morning he was raving at the fact that his mobile device allowed him to speak with colleagues in four continents at the same time — one in Europe, one in Asia, one in South America and one in Africa. He led the call via Skype on his mobile phone in Michigan, United States, while walking to his office from the parking area.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Unglobals"
by .
Copyright © 2018 J. Mark Munoz.
Excerpted by permission of Wimbledon Publishing Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

1. The World Is Not That Flat;

2. Unlinked, Unwired, Uninterested;

3. Unglobal Pathways;

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Mark Munoz’s new book helps the new generation to look at reality in a new way and provides worksheets to develop a personal life plan. It is an easy read that the new generation should consider.”

—Dianne H. B. Welsh, Hayes Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and Founding Director of the Entrepreneurship Program, University of North Carolina Greensboro, USA; 2015 Fulbright-Hayes Distinguished Chair of Entrepreneurship for Central Europe, WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business), Austria



“The Unglobals faces key globalization issues head on and offers a pathway for personal and organizational success in a memorable and engaging way!”

—Marios I. Katsioloudes, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, College of Business and Economics, Qatar University



“Life simplification and minimization is a growing trend worldwide. Through unforgettable and insightful stories, The Unglobals conveys valuable lessons for finding personal happiness in a global world.”

—Zafar U. Ahmed, Founder, President and CEO, Academy for Global Business Advancement


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