Globalization with closed borders? Courtesy Politics or Robotics

Since ages, ‘Globalisation’ has been used as a magic word for making world a better place to live. Globalisation began since the era of Genghis Khan when he secured travel along the Silk Road and the flow of goods, money and people across borders advanced and it continues till now in age of Silicon Valley. ‘Silk to Silicon’ era has allowed the ability to move goods/services, then ideas, and finally people. It had been regarded and hailed by every politician as ‘win-win’ for everyone. For west and east, it was about Multi-national companies and Multi-cultural adaptation. Everybody had seen benefit for themselves, even though the idea increased economic disparity over time.

As the world rotates all around year, with 2017 it decided to take a dramatic shift which is bound to dictate the future. It is not this particular year in general as a landmark, but certainly this checkpoint holds its own virtue of warning us. The era of De-globalization or re-defining globalisation has begun. In January, USA sworn in Trump as the 45th President. He came to power with the simple agenda of first world country, ‘Protect the borders from people stealing our jobs, products and wealth.’ There was a growing need in USA to address the loss of jobs of low-skilled workers, who lost their jobs to cheap labour within and overseas. He redefined sharing of wealth as stealing and it was comprehensively bought by public. This resulted in ‘America First’, locking down immigration, stopping free trade agreements and trying to stir economy on its own. ‘Brexit’ and other first world countries started having same idea and resorted to closing borders. This was Politics. The rage is rational but the reaction is not.

Politicians are using 20th century tool to fight the problems of 21st century. Closing border is a 20th century tool in age of 21st century which is all about robotics (Artificial Intelligence or technology). The simple justification to this remark is, the idea of closing down the border is to prevent the low skilled jobs from going either to Asia or to an unskilled immigrant. But what if it happens? and those jobs aren’t going anywhere. Will it still be available to you in future? The reason a first world country needs that job to be outsourced (within home or away) is that it is cost beneficial and their new generation is not preferring to do that hard labour. They have been born and raised in most advanced economy and hard labour doesn’t fit in that idea and when you can make someone do that job for a price of your penny, then why not? If jobs stops going away and stays within first world countries, the cost, labour satisfaction, commodity pricing etc. won’t be pleasing to public at large. However, being the most advanced economies in world, solutions are ample but are they viable to the problem?

The low skill jobs are the easiest to replace. The jobs are routine, laborious, and easiest to replace with robotics. Hence, eventually the solution which will be worked out is that those jobs will be replaced with robotics and will be much more cost and quality effective as well. The first thing to do is accept the 21st–century reality that no matter what you do, these jobs aren’t coming back. This is the fate of the west in 21st century irrespective of politics. A simple example will be low skilled manufacturing jobs which was shifted to China or low skilled call centre jobs as it is unskilled, laborious, demands work-life challenge, low paid and routine. If closing border led to these jobs available to locals of first world country, eventually it will be replaced with robotics or teller machines. Or cab drivers across first world countries are mostly migrants as that job carry same characteristics and hence if borders are closed that will shift to driverless cars much rapidly. Or Amazon Go store where there will be no (local or immigrant) at checkout terminal. Or whether it is Adidas ‘3d printing automation’ or ‘Tesla gigafactory’ jobs are neither going to china nor staying at home, they are going to robots. This will in the end, create loss of jobs for the entire world not just for a first world nation.

Hence, globalisation needs to be redefined in light of technology or AI or robotics — where world is anyways not defined by closing or opening borders. The telepresence is globalisation. The political solution of first world to isolate themselves, the economy and close the borders is neither helping the world at large nor itself. Globalisation with closed borders still will ensure loss of jobs, as technology will either replace them or enable those to be catered without need for travel. Imagine, Telerobotic enabling Asian surgeon to perform the surgery in first world country using robotic hands seating back in home country with fraction of a cost — closing border helps? Building a wall or closing border is too cliché for 21st century.

As they say, ‘there is always a bullish market somewhere in world’ and right now it is in ‘Politics’. Politics is bullish, as if played right can change the course of world for much good. Also, previously few people use to govern the world, today only few people can harm it completely. World leaders need to step out of traditional politics which is harming the world considerably and lay out a feasible plan for future, where robotics (like old industrial revolution) will aid humans in avoiding hard labour instead of all together avoiding humans.