Over the last two years, commentators have expressed much angst about the supply chain’s tenuousness and the potential demise of global trade. It is easy to say why.
We have all had to deal with a snarled supply chain, Covid shutdowns, traveler quarantines, a war in Europe, a collapse in Russian trade, a ship blocking the Suez Canal, containers falling overboard, inflation, labor strife, elevated interest rates, excess inventory, overloaded warehouses, civil unrest, and fears of a recession. And now, we are in a stand-off with our biggest trading partner, China, over Taiwan.
What strikes me, however, is that the supply chain has bent but not broken. Container ships continue to sail the world’s oceans, and supplies, at times late, make it to their destinations. Global trade continues apace, and production seems to be staying put.
Perhaps that is the true secret of capitalism, the shared belief in global trade as the best means of raising the global citizenry’s economic health, no matter what country. That belief system underpins a financial structure in which we all have an economic stake.
The drama of the last few years is not over. Economic relationships can collapse under the weight of war, political strife, and nature unchained. Yet, so far, I think we would do well to take a moment and acknowledge that the global economy churns on, and we are all the better for it.