Lim: US elections

Melanie T. Lim
·2 min read

AS I sit here gripped by the US presidential elections, there are people out there who probably wonder why we should care about who the next president of the United States will be.

Every movement in the world affects us — whether it’s climate change, disease outbreak or national elections. Elections, in particular, can create shifts in geopolitics, international trade, currency markets.

Changes in leadership can signal a possible change in foreign policies which may affect employment and immigration — areas that are of huge interest to Filipinos, many of whom seek work and residence abroad or have family members abroad.

The global village is more interconnected than we think.

The loss of employment and return of millions of overseas Filipino workers this year due to the pandemic translates to reduced incomes, diminished domestic purchasing power and economic hardship for all.

When global policies promote xenophobia and protectionism, when political unrests take place, when terrorism strikes, when calamities occur, when economies collapse even in countries other than our own, we are still adversely affected because so many Filipinos depend on incomes coming from abroad.

We no longer live in isolation. Whatever happens elsewhere affects us here, at home. Those in business with global supply chains have learned to watch world events closely.

When a civil war broke out more than a decade ago in Africa where the world’s supply of a particular cocoa was sourced, a global shortage occurred. When a hurricane decimated the farms of a very popular brand of apple cider vinegar in California, the shortage was felt all the way to our country.

When China went on a building frenzy in preparation for the Olympics, the price of steel skyrocketed. And because colossal amounts of gold are purchased on the occasion of Indian weddings, these weddings dictate the global prices of gold.

When you order a product online that ships from abroad, do you notice how the delivery date is significantly affected by inclement weather in that part of the world? Until the day you can go completely local, you have to think global.

World events impact the flow of goods and services. They affect job markets, stock markets as well as currency markets. So yes, we should care about what happens around the world because almost always, they affect us in ways we never thought of.

But there are more profound reasons why we should closely watch the US elections. Global leadership reflects global values that shape popular culture and shared norms. We don’t call it a global village for nothing.

If we want to protect and preserve our humanity, we should care who the next president of the United States will be.