By Roman Johnson
Resilience.org is a publication that focuses on creating platforms to stimulate conscious conversations about community building strategies. The Sustainable Solano Communications Committee recently stumbled across an article regarding trade policies that we feel is an eye-opening conversation starter. The article, titled “Why are my Highly Educated Friends so Ignorant About Trade?”, was written by Isabel Marlens and presents a straightforward, stimulating concept that makes the case quite well for local economy. In an interesting way though, Martens does this not by exploring the benefits of localizing, but instead by pointing out the practical drawbacks of international trade partnerships and how they holistically affect resource allocation around the globe.
The title is jarring, though the thought process left me identifying as one of the “ignorant friends” that she refers. She explains reasons for why so many reasonable people fall into this category and even adds ways to lift the veil and shape the ways in which we do business, business that aims to fulfill the primary intention of what trade seeks to offer: mutually beneficial exchanges between well-intentioned parties.
Overall, there might not be anything inherently wrong about large scale trade. It does, however, in its application, open the door to leaving out the little guy. This piece is a wonderful jumping off point for beginning the discussion about why that is and what can be done about it. Upon reading this article, I was left with 2 questions: 1) In what ways can we support the local economy? and 2) In what ways might a local economy improve the way we conduct large scale trade partnerships abroad? Have a look at this short article and let us begin to discuss your answers to these questions and see if we as a community can come up with some uplifting solutions.