Borderless Economics | Robert Guest

Summary of: Borderless Economics: Chinese Sea Turtles, Indian Fridges and the New Fruits of Global Capitalism
By: Robert Guest


Delve into the dynamic world of borderless economics as ‘Borderless Economics: Chinese Sea Turtles, Indian Fridges and the New Fruits of Global Capitalism’ by Robert Guest provides an insightful analysis of immigration’s effects on global economy. This book reveals how immigrants contribute to both their new and native countries, while shaping the global economic landscape. Through circulation, immigrants create networks that enable the exchange of ideas and facilitate economic growth. Walk with us through the captivating and diverse stories, from 15th-century Spain to modern North Korean struggles, and discover how migration has been a driving force in human history.

The Benefits of Immigration

The process of immigration vastly improves the lives of immigrants and their new homelands, despite the negative attention it receives. Immigration today focuses more on circulation and networks of family, alumni, and religious affiliations between host and native countries. These networks facilitate brainstorming, financing, and logistics for businesses and families in both countries. Immigration networks are particularly important because they allow for more minds to create better products and make better decisions, which enhances technological growth. Without migration networks, nations isolate themselves and face stagnation. The benefits of letting people move freely, thereby building networks, are evident in dynamic nations like South Korea. In conclusion, migration deserves to be honored as humanity’s most potent tool for taking millions out of poverty while strengthening the financial foundation of wealthy countries.

Modern American Dream

The American Dream has evolved into a new version for immigrants. Today, technology has made it easier for them to stay connected with their families and do business back home while living in a foreign land. Although some immigrants still pursue the traditional arc of escape poverty, work hard, send their kids to school, and succeed as Americans, many opt for virtual commuting. They create new networks, expanding the global economic network, but these networks often remain monocultural. The nations from which immigrants emigrate are no longer as illiterate and impoverished. Many immigrants have access to better educational and economic opportunities at home, like in China and India. Overall, the new American Dream is influenced by the advancements in technology, allowing immigrants to stay connected to their roots while pursuing success in a new land.

The Double-Edged Sword of Tribal Networks

Solidarity among group members can be a powerful force, offering commercial links, charity, compassion, and emotional support. However, migrant networks can also give rise to tribalism, which can encourage fraud, hatred, and violence against outsiders. This dark side of tribal networks is exemplified by events such as the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, Islamic extremist attacks, and Nigerian drug trade dominance in the West. Despite not being linked to immigration, tribalism remains a dangerous problem. Banking technology facilitates money laundering while international shipping networks encourage smuggling. Islamic terror networks, though a tiny fraction of the Muslim population, have far-reaching aims. Although barriers to entry for non-citizens to work abroad serve no useful purpose, the growth of tribal networks highlights the need for stronger regulations and more targeted intervention to prevent criminal and extremist activities.

The Power of Remittances

Migrant workers send vast amounts of money back to their native lands, known as “remittances,” an essential income source for impoverished nations. Between 1990 and 2009, tracked remittances ballooned from $31 billion to $316 billion, surpassing foreign aid and direct foreign investment. Remittances support up to 46% of some countries’ economies, where corrupt rulers often divert or plunder development funds. The stability of remittances makes them a valuable investment, counteracting and propping up failing economies. For example, in Mexico, remittances make up 20% of the working capital for 6,000 businesses.

Desirable America

The United States of America is the most desired destination in the world, with an extraordinary high standard of living and remarkable tolerance in acceptance of different beliefs and lifestyles. Immigrants play a significant role in its economy and population growth. The US also offers a huge market for products and services. However, despite its desirability, working in the US has its downsides, such as longer working hours, less vacation time, and expensive medical care. Other countries may rank higher in income and quality of life based on different definitions.

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