Opinion: Mississippi is hindering globalization

Posted on Feb 6 2018 - 7:54am by Woody Dobson

Imagine having the convenience of ordering your favorite food or beverage online and having it shipped to your home, only to later find out you broke the law. Because it is illegal to ship alcohol from online companies to Mississippi, this is a potential problem.

Private investigators from the state attorney general’s office and ABC officials recognized this within our state borders last Thursday, when they illegally ordered wine online. After 22 of the 63 companies from which they ordered shipped to Mississippi, with some of the alcohol being delivered to dry counties and underage customers, a complaint was filed against many wine importers.

Globalization has taken off in recent years, and the U.S. is no stranger to the increasing economic knowledge and cultural interaction within the country and with the world that accompany this.

California’s Silicon Valley is the U.S. poster-child for neoliberal economic markets, and it just wouldn’t be Silicon Valley as we know it today if globalization wasn’t a logical part of the process toward progress.

In contrast, Mississippi and a select number of Southern states still adhere to many protectionist policies while simultaneously distancing themselves from a globalized economic reality. Personally, I believe these protectionist actions are political suicide for Mississippi.

For example, I can order food, CDs, movies and other commodities straight to my doorstep at a much cheaper price and higher quality than a local store. In a non-globalized world, I would’ve driven to the local Walmart and purchased a less reputable good that’s more expensive and lacking in quality.

Nevertheless, many Mississippians continue to support older, protectionist policies while ignoring the progress in liberalized regions like Silicon Valley. The Mississippi imported-wine case exemplifies the plight of citizens who support a more globalized world but are trapped inside a semi-controlled state.

Currently, most of the South is supportive of protectionist policies, as proven by its support of President Trump, who is a strong advocate of both isolationism and the strengthening of domestic markets. The president’s ideas and actions regarding policy could also impact globalization in Mississippi.

However, our current president’s anti-globalization stance is being opposed by various world leaders. In their eyes, the United States is backtracking from a more connected, convenient and stable world economy.

Mississippi has a considerable impact on the global economy at every level from the individual, state and national level. However, policymakers must make careful decisions when their choices can affect global spheres of influence.

Most globalization occurs within the G20 countries, and the United States could potentially regress if we resist these economic policies. Common sense dictates what route Mississippi and the U.S. should take together regarding globalization when the outcome of pushing against it looks economically negative.

After all, I sure don’t want to get arrested for ordering a product I have the ability to buy online. I just want to be able to save money like every other American.

Woody Dobson is a senior political science major from Tupelo.