E-Commerce and Democracy

  • William Laraque, Managing Director at US-International Trade Services

  • 03.03.2016 01:15 pm
  • e-commerce
There is no more urgent issue than that of creating jobs and providing prosperity to everyone in the world. As I have passionately advocated, this is an exercise the results of which can be empirically measured. The report card of corporations are their quarterly and annual financial statements. The report cards of countries are the psychological valuation of their currencies. Such cases as Sports Authority, in the U.S., point to the importance of not loading up on debt as either a corporate or national growth solution. 
How are you doin in the new economy?
In the U.S., an abysmal lack of concern for history and a grotesque ignorance of global trade and foreign affairs have informed a politic which is hell-bent on nominating the most crass and base of champions. The lessons of the Great Depression, written of so passionately by Hemingway, Steinbeck and Studs Terkel, by Sandberg and a generation which lived through it and is now gone, are just barely remembered.
The vaunted encouragement of SMEs and entrepreneurs in global trade is heralded by government, international media and the World Economic Forum. It is all lip-service and as effective as the lip-sync of milli vanilli. 
Much has been written and spoken about the Internet ushering in a new era of political and economic democracy. Jeremy Rifkin's Hydrogen Economy exhorts the diffusion of political equality as well as the availability of energy to everyone thanks to the Internet. It is all a pipe dream.
That which Endures 
The remains of the day for democracy, justice and equality reside with E-Commerce.  Entrepreneurs and enterprises of all sizes are engaging in global trade through e-commerce. 
Amazon, Alibaba and to a lesser extent Flipkart have  created a new blueprint for engagement in global trade by redefining trade, logistics and financing. The fact that this trend has not been embraced by large banks, most large corporations, a calcified economic development bureaucracy and equally brain-dead politicians, should not dissuade either our thinking nor our ability to think. 
Nearly every retailer and mass merchandiser is rethinking its "omni-channel" strategy. Alibaba has shown that small businesses, located in the most remote areas of China can sell globally thanks to e-commerce. Firms like Infor have used export credit insurance to change the dynamic of export receivables financing via new ways of using the cloud. 
The dream of straight-through-processing, of generating orders automatically from an ERP system, identifying the sources of supply, matching P.O.s to invoices, paying for invoices in settlement of trade transactions is no longer the utopian concept of such visionaries as Guy Tozzoli. The dream of a full participation in global trade for those perceived as small and insignificant is now a reality. E-commerce has redefined the logistics, financing and participation in global trade. The application of skills in law, logistics, trade finance and technology will guarantee future jobs for the informed and educated. It is those locked in a world in which they create their own artificial reality (AR) who are in danger of extinction. 
I'm writing the book on logistics and financing in e-commerce. 

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