Global supply chains are now so interlocked across national boundaries that widespread negative social events in Tier 1 and Tier 2 source good manufacturing countries have dramatic impact across the globe.
Decades of short-term cost reduction / profit maximization in manufacturing nation was all too often achieved by exporting Tier 1 and Tier 2 manufacturing jobs to ‘lower cost of level’ societies (China largely, but also so some extent South America, Asia in general, and much less to Africa). As a result, there are particularly no isolated or local manufacturing supply chains of national importance left anywhere in North America and Europe. This has huge national security implications, not just disease pandemic implications. COVID 19 is making the health implications clear, not just through the spread of the virus, but also as the dependency of health care response on these transnational supply chains.
You may be able to keep some kinds of people from coming into your nation, but you cannot keep goods, and the people who move them, from moving in.
This is an unintended broader consequence of local short-term profit and loss decision making. No executive who every made a decision to relocate a Tier 1 or Tier 2 manufacturing job to one of the ‘lower cost of living’ society in the last 50 years, ever thought about the health and national security consequences that happened decades later.
Large scale conventional or nuclear war will devastate both ends, and the middles, of these global supply chains. The politicians who still think of this type of war as a possibility are essentially insane individuals.
Modern democratic 4 to 5 year election cycles and a ‘few large party’ electoral systems in societies with large social media / Internet based news media select for and empower political leaders who are skilled at using social funds to buy current votes, at reacting to polls and other short term trends, and at creating political hubris rather than reasoned political debate.
They do not favor or select for political leaders who are skilled at long term social trend anticipation and planning to deal with them. They do not select for politicians who are skilled at encourage / inspiring consensus / compromise seeking social dialogue on issue. They do not select for politicians who consistently think beyond what it takes to get re-elected beyond the next cycle. Social dynamics, and the unintended long term, society wide consequences of local, short term, independent, rational decision-making take generations and decades to become clear. For example, climate change is the unintended consequence of such local, short term rational decision making around fossil fuel use and the short term reasonable shift to the automobile as preferred means of personal transportation during the 20th century.
Politicians are the guardians of our social order. Politics is a moral profession in that the behavior of politicians provides the models which define what behavior is right and wrong in a society. Reactive politicians are very poor at doing both these roles well. We need to find a way to return the electoral process to one that selects for with strong strengths as proactive, look ahead leaders who can think beyond the next election.