Alibaba CEO Jack Ma Perspective on How America Went Wrong Over the Past 30 Years

Image Credit: World Economic Forum

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND – At the 2017 World Economic Forum Alibaba founder Jack Ma thinks America made a mistake by focusing on war and Wall Street over the past 30 years. At the conference, Ma was asked about globalization and the reaction to it represented by the president-elect Donald Trump as the next U.S president.

Ma responded that when Thomas Friedman published “The World is Flat” in 2005, and globalization illustrated “a perfect strategy” for the U.S – “We just want the technology, and the IP, and the brand, and we’ll leave the lower end jobs” to other countries like Mexico, China, and India.

“American international companies made millions and millions of dollars from globalization,” Ma added. As an example of how much was available, Ma said, “When I graduated from university, I tried to buy a beeper, and it cost me $250. My pay at the time was $10 a month, as a teacher.”

“For the past 30 years, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft,” he added, “the profit they made was larger than the top four banks in China put together.” The essential question begins to arises, Ma said, “But where did the money go?”

“In the past 30 years, America had 13 wars spending $14.2 trillion…what if they spent part of that money on building up the infrastructure…no matter how good the strategy is, you’re supposed to spend money on your own people,” Ma said.

Instead, the money goes to Wall Street, then what happened in the year 2008? Ma said, “The year 2008 the financial crisis wiped out $19.2 trillion in the U.S alone…destroyed 34 million jobs globally.” He added, “What if the money was spent on the Midwest of the United States?”

“The other countries steal jobs from you guys – that is your strategy. You did not distribute the money in the proper way.”

Towards the end of his talk, Ma said that his favorite film was “Forrest Gump” because he saw something of Alibaba’s business model. Ma quoted one of Forest Gump as saying, “Nobody makes money catching whales, people make money by catching shrimps – we serve small businesses.”

His last advice was to pay attention to the next 30 years because it’s going to be crucial for the world. Ma explains, “Every technology evolution takes about 50 years – the first 20 years is the technology companies and the next 30 years is the implications of the technology.”

“Pay attention to those who are 30-years-old. They are the next internet generation – they will change the world and they are the builder of the world,” Ma said.

For more information check the video from World Economic Forum.

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Sam / Illinois