Toolkit Essential: Human Capital Investments

In the second part of this series on the New World Economic Toolkit, we will now look at one of the most critical areas of economic and geopolitical dominance: People. Currently, the United Nations estimates that the world population reached 7 billion souls in 2019. That is a lot of people roaming the planet, and those people need food, shelter, healthcare and income. They also need intangible things too, like a sense of belonging, community and opportunity to pursue their religion or goals.

Unfortunately, one of the many issues we’ve seen with populations today has been the inadequacy of governments and society to secure a healthy lifestyle for local peoples. The neglect of populations across the globe is palpable; with nearly 10 percent living on less than $2 a day, according to the world Bank. And while global poverty has decreased by over 20 percent since 1990, the World Bank stresses that global inequality is still a major issue in many quadrants of the world. In fact, according to the report, Africa represents over half of the people worldwide living in extreme poverty. However it is worth noting that these figures are based on the arbitrary inequity built into world currencies that keep “developing economies” always developing.

The neglect of populations across the globe is palpable; with nearly 10 percent living on less than $2 a day, according to the world Bank. And while global poverty has decreased by over 20 percent since 1990, the World Bank stresses that global inequality is still a major issue in many quadrants of the world.

It is still a plain fact that nearly half of the worlds population lives on less than $6/day. However, the gains in poverty reduction since 1990, come with a curious caveat. Most economic growth has sprang from southeast Asia and East Asia. It is fair to say that China’s dynamic prominence and trade ambitions in the region has helped to lift all ships.

But beyond poverty, there is still the issue of societal investment in education, healthcare, social services and housing. Data from UNICEF indicates that world literacy rates are falling; But the ways in which people need to be educated is changing. In many countries, the educational neglect of the local populations now prove to leave nations open to outside tempering, insurgency movements and coups. When populations do not know what or who is in their interest, they act on their basic needs which are not being met by local economy, business or their federal governments.

It is now clear that, benign neglect eventually becomes malignant–threatening the stability of the nation. Benign neglect empowers foreign governments, special interest groups and outside forces with the leverage necessary to wrest control or resources using local populations to do it. The strategy of keeping a hungry-belly voter, has actually succeeded in doing quite the opposite of what local leaders hoped. The consistent neglect of local populations leads to desperation and eases the burden of proof outside insurgent groups must bare to convince local populations to act–and that often violently.

When populations do not know what or who is in their interest, they act on their basic needs which are not being met by local economy, business or their federal governments.

Even in arenas where education and wealth seem measurably good, like Hong Kong, we see how years of foreign-based education and media has conditioned thousands to act in alliance with those that formerly colonized their people.  Unaware of the cost to their own economy and livelihood, they forge on armed with the cultural ideology and norms of a bygone time. Nations then, must engage their populace not only to fully understand and embrace their cultural, societal and growth values,  by providing them with the educational, social, medical and technological resources to become an asset to the state and not a liability–or a  even a detriment.

It seems that some economies have lost their way, forgetting that a thriving nation creates stability and strength, not a wealthy few who can easily be deposed.  Fringe groups, ostracized tribes /ethnic groups and ignored local populations are fomenting around the world where governments and civil society have neglected them for decades. It is perhaps understandable for the blind-spot of decadent societies on the verge of collapse, but it is an even greater tragedy on the part of budding economies hoping to gain real footing on the international stage. Such states collude to hamstring themselves and abort their own leadership power having no population to truly stand behind them in solidarity in the face of international threat or local crises.

The new world order is changing, and deficiencies in human resource strategies are emerging.  Stifling dictatorial leaders, arrogant of the needs of their people are being revealed for folly as gains continue to dwindle.  Economies and businesses of the future will need to be much more nimble and sensitive to the needs ot their people. While the African Development Bank estimates that nearly a third of all youth ages 15-35 in Africa are unemployed, it would wrong to assume the outlook is very much better in eastern and southern Europe or Latin America.

Such states collude to hamstring themselves and abort their own leadership power having no population to truly stand behind them in solidarity in the face of international threat or local crises.

Brexit has become a living testament to the UK’s attempt to extricate itself from desperation-immigration and the post-economic crisis debt albatross threatening to implode its economy. Poland and India are among its highest immigrant-sending countries according to the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford in the UK. In truth, it is only a matter of time before such insurgencies and J-SOC like operations will be levied at decadent Western states. It is then incredulous to believe that hundreds of jobless, hungry men and women will sit for long on their hands without action. It is a mistake to believe the old way of doing things will work.  The ineptitude of leaders who refuse to invest in their people will be ably revealed. The powder keg is set, and where some nations already have a fire burning in their backyards, others may learn from their mistakes and quickly pivot.

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