We seem to be hitting road-blocks everywhere. Most believe we are entitled to a much better life, with our leaders unable to meet our expectations. The reality on the ground is a dampener with good news far outnumbered by those that make us lose sleep! Or, did we over-achieve earlier and with too many in our plate now that cry for our attention and money? Sadly, we seem to have less of resources to buy; even to produce them, to satiate our increasing appetites. Our finite resources are getting exhausted, so the reality is staring at us to our discomfiture.
We do have the infrastructure to produce products in huge numbers, but can we afford them? And what about newer models, with cosmetic changes, that make us dump the earlier ones, en masse? It is a mad rush to get the latest of everything, from every nook and corner of the world. The marketing push, and resultant consumer-driven economy, makes our lifestyles unsustainable by the day. Some countries are living beyond their means, while others keep their factories running, shipping products on credit, as evident by the huge reserves accumulated by China of over two and a half trillion dollars, and still counting! America is running trillion dollar deficits and it makes the whole world economy unreal! There is no clear-cut approach to set-right these lop-sided figures and they are getting worse by the day!
So, are we all living in a dream world? Globalization has resulted in none being spared, with capital & investment going wherever. Intel has made a huge investment in Vietnam, bypassing other countries which had better traditional relations with America. It is no more driven by political considerations; the whole world is just an oyster, attracting everyone & everything! These look surreal when compared to few decades ago, with trade blocks separating countries mostly according to ideologies. Now markets & profits lead the way.
In a way, it works better, but are not few having a field-day at the expense of others who get beholden to them for the basics? A classic issue that showed-up recently, and made the world wake-up, was that of rare earth elements, with China playing this trump-card to bring Japan virtually to its knees! Over dependence on vital supplies can enslave a country to the supplier. It is not easy to come out of the clutches as evidenced by oil dependency on few; difficult to overcome, despite repeated price spikes due to political & other issues.
Gone are the days when countries lived by the creed of self-sufficiency that comprised mostly, food & shelter. Now, those that were considered luxuries have become necessities with newer inventions that find their way into every nook and corner of the world. All these are on the basic premise that the players will abide by rules of fair-play; otherwise, some can find themselves virtually left out of the loop. But realities can change overnight with rude awakenings like in rare earths issue, where powerful countries can hold others to ransom to toe their line.
Dreams get shattered once too often in personal lives, especially for the gullible. With globalization, even countries have to scamper for sanity when the supplies are cut-off all of a sudden. In a larger sense, our present life looks just a dream, with reality beyond our consciousness. We are tested of our mettle and driven by emotions; to see how we react to situations, maybe, for a higher calling! Be that as it may, it is little solace to the people of less endowed countries left high and dry, after having tasted whatever the world had to offer, and then having to wake-up to the harsh realities. As in personal lives, it boils down to our adaptation; how practical & nimble we are to convert adversities into opportunities. Our challenges will not cease despite material progress and better access to technology.