Drucker on the course of (some) things to come

Many a time, when analyzing the future, we see the various macro-trends that would place an industry, economy, nation or bloc of nations, on a competitive map zig-zagging beyond our ability for classification and sense-making.

Peter Drucker, this thinker whose output resists classifications, shows us his version for the near-term future in an interesting piece, 'Trading Places,' published with The National Interest. His attempt is made interesting by its multi-dimensional scope of analysis. On one hand, Drucker looks at several key sectors of our economies, and on the other, by leveraging an acute sense of time, traces his points deep into history.

Here is the gist of his analysis:
"The New world economy is fundamentally different from that of the fifty years following World War II. The United States may well remain the political and military leader for decades to come. It is likely also to remain the world's richest and most productive national economy for a long time (though the European Union as a whole is both larger and more productive). But the U.S. economy is no longer the single dominant economy.

The emerging world economy is a pluralist one, with a substantial number of economic "blocs." Eventually there may be six or seven blocs, of which the U.S.-dominated NAFTA is likely to be only one, coexisting and competing with the European Union (EU), MERCOSUR in Latin America, ASEAN in the Far East, and nation-states that are blocs by themselves, China and India. These blocs are neither "free trade" nor "protectionist", but both at the same time.

Even more novel is that what is emerging is not one but four world economies: a world economy of information; of money; of multinationals (one no longer dominated by American enterprises); and a mercantilist world economy of goods, services and trade. These world economies overlap and interact with one another. But each is distinct with different members, a different scope, different values and different institutions."

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