This is a complex topic for us, but I couldn't find a more suitable group for this post. In How America Could Collapse, Matt Stoller points out that our infrastructure isn't just bridges and roads, we also have an invisible supply infrastructure - essentially the networks corporations use to funnel goods to us. Globalization has proceeded so far that,  closing of a single factory in another country can eliminate the global supply of a critical material. In short, the global supply chain has become not only interconnected but highly fragile. *sigh*

 

It comes down to corporate profit shifting from production to profits by "extractive monopolistic power over an economic system." Walmart,..."Boeing, Cisco, Apple—all of them rely on their power over an ecosystem of production facilities halfway around the world. They have become rent extractive profit-machines, which is a relatively new phenomenon."  An international corporation functions "as a giant autocratic marketplace and trading operation." These companies' risk of production has been outsourced to foreign suppliers, and - bottom line - to the global economy as a whole.

 

If you're aware of chaos theory, this is like our global economy being one giant avalanche-prone snowbank. Such an infrastructure collapse won't just be one bridge collapsing in one city. A supply chain shock will hit everyone, everywhere.

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I read the article and agree with Stoller's conclusions on what we can do to rectify the situation.

"This means that our government and our society needs to reorient our economy toward manufacturing and rededicate our corporations to productive uses.
All of this can insure a more robust culture and economy, one which can withstand national security or environmental challenges.
The sooner our leaders, both in public and private institutions, recognize how highly vulnerable we are to a societal collapse, the better chance we have of avoiding collapse."

Ah, but our leaders need to stop suckling from the teats of the corporations who have us in this mess in the first place.  Lobbying would have to be illegal.  Any corporate ties would have to disqualify a candidate from any political office due to conflict of interests.  Agriculture would need to be put back into the hands of family-owned farmers.

 

None of that will happen though.  Probably the closest I've seen to protecting the people from this disastrous collapse when it happens is at a state, or even smaller, local level.  There are many progressive movements to get people to turn to local, family-operated businesses within their communities for their needs.  Granted, I'm sure there would still be some repercussions should the great big network chain fail due to a missing chink, but it would not affect these communities so desperately.

Here's an entertaining video on outsourcing by Mark Fiore.

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