What are we trading for?

I’ve had this on my mind for a very long time, and I am recording it here. For several years, I have had this impression that a nation is only really viable as a nation in the long term if it has water, food and basic energy resources. If any nation lacks any of these, it is not likely to last for very long, and will constantly struggle just to exist. I have not conducted any research on this, not having the bandwidth to do so, but I maintain that a nation should be trading in luxuries, not essentials. If any nation relies on others for its essentials, it is in a very precarious position, one which I for one would not like to be in.

Hundred dollar billsMost people do not have this mindset. Nations which are already blessed with these resources do not give it a second thought. Starving nations are too busy trying to survive to bother with the concept. Nations in between strive to “secure” their sources of food, water and energy whilst striving to add “value” through their “services”. And all this just to secure a “comfortable” life, coupled with “not having to work so hard” and being able to “enjoy life” during the “golden years” of retirement.

Trading has been a normal part of human interaction for as long as anyone can unearth. Give me sandalwood and I will give you bolts of silk. Give me beaver pelts and I will give you hunting rifles and bullets. Initially it was trade in luxuries or in food from different portions of the globe. Nations, communities and peoples were more self-sufficient in terms of water and food than they are now. Then people began to be more urbanized and industrialized and soon whole nations became dependent on other nations for food. Some became greatly dependent on the ability of other nations to buy the things that they produced. The driving force behind all this? Wealth. Not actual wealth, but the perception of actual wealth. And it gets more and more complicated. Trading now also includes things once thought to be figments of one’s imagination as well.

Perhaps it is time to give this a little thought? Your views?

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