Jack Ma, one of China’s most successful and richest entrepreneurs, has responded to America’s growing globalization backlash, arguing that the superpower has benefited immensely from the process – but that it has largely squandered its wealth.
“American international companies made millions and millions of dollars from globalization,” Ma – the founder of Alibaba, the world’s largest online retailer – told participants on the second day of Davos. “The past 30 years, companies like IBM, Cisco and Microsoft made tons of money.”
The question is: where did that money go? It was wasted, Ma explained.
“In the past 30 years, America has had 13 wars at a cost of $14.2 trillion. That’s where the money went.” He also questioned America’s decision to bankroll Wall Street after the 2008 financial crash, arguing the money would have been better spent in other areas.
“What if they had spent part of that money on building up their infrastructure, helping white-collar and blue-collar workers? You’re supposed to spend money on your own people.”
It’s not globalization – and everything that comes along with it, like free trade and outsourcing – that’s to blame for America’s woes. It’s the way the country’s elite managed the process.
“It’s not that other countries steal American jobs; it is your strategy – that you did not distribute the money in a proper way.”
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom in the session. In fact, Ma remains hopeful that globalization can still be a great force for good – for both the US and China. It just needs to be reformed.
“I believe globalization is good, but it needs to be improved. It should be inclusive globalization.”
Ma thinks that should be achievable – and he says President-elect Donald Trump is on board with him. “He’s open-minded and he’s listening,” he told participants.
Full article: Jack Ma: America has wasted its wealth (World Economic Forum)