The End of the World is Just the Beginning by Peter Zeihan

The Big Idea: Deglobalization and unavoidable demographic changes will produce winners and losers. Winners: United States, Mexico, Canada, France, New Zealand, Argentina. Losers: Russia, China, Middle East.

Since Bretton Woods in 1944, the United States promised to provide security for the world, in exchange for support against the Soviet Union.

Geography is critical in a deglobalized world. The United States has the greatest geography of success, with two oceans for security, two friendly neighboring countries, good river transportation, abundant natural resources, oil reserves, and fertile land to feed itself.

Only the United States has the necessary demographics, military might, and food security potential to enter deglobalization smoothly.

A key assumption is that a deglobalized world cannot guarantee the safe passage of container ships at sea, so global trade will become risky, expensive, and less available.

China has benefited the most by a globalized world, since it is the largest importer of almost all industrial and agricultural inputs. In a deglobalized world, China’s lack of access to inputs, combined with the fastest aging population in world history, financial insolvency, and geographic insecurity, means China should cease to exist in 10 years.

In a deglobalized world, capitalism might be replaced by something else.

Oil is a finite resource. As oil becomes more scarce, the world will deindustrialize.

Because of inherent limitations and complex supply chains, green energy is not going to be enough to meet global energy needs. When oil becomes scarce, the world will burn more coal, exacerbating climate change.

Manufacturing will move closer to consumer markets. Industrial production will explode in North America, with Mexico providing middle-end labor, United States providing natural resources and high-end labor, and Canada providing natural resources.

Famine will be the biggest problem in a deglobalized and deindustrialized world. The United States is among the few nations that can be food self-sufficient.

In a deglobalized world, the United States should become even more dominant, when compared to other nations and the challenges they will face.

Comments are closed.