The Fight Over the Global Economy’s Future
A globalized economy was supposed to bring people together—or so went the dominant strain of thinking in the foreign policy world for most of the last few decades. In a few short years, the near consensus has collapsed. Gone are the prophecies of ever-accelerating integration and the paeans to trade and investment promoting prosperity and comity for all.
Now, the discussion centers on just how much the world’s two largest economies should “decouple,” on pandemic-addled governments taking control of supply chains and vaccine doses, and on techno-democracies vying with techno-authoritarians to shape the digital commons. Far from tempering geopolitical competition, trade has offered another means of waging it.
Out of the Pandemic, Chances for Another Future
About a year ago, just as the pandemic was hitting New York City, St. John Frizell and his two partners were readying for the grand reopening of Gage & Tollner, a newly renovated, 140-year-old restaurant in Downtown Brooklyn. One day before the March 15 opening — for which the three partners had spent almost a year and a half preparing — they made the difficult decision not to open.
Mr. Frizell retreated to his home in Brooklyn. “The only sounds in the street were ice cream trucks and ambulances,” he recalled. Anxious about going to the supermarket but needing groceries for himself and his son, he reached out to one of his vendors, Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op, to see about having some food delivered. Lancaster was delivering boxes of seasonal produce, but needed an order large enough to be worth the trip. So Mr. Frizell, who suddenly had downtime, did something he hadn’t done in a while: He reached out to his neighbors.