I know that what occurs in other places can affect us all in many aspects. For example, the economy, productivity, and decisions being made. Can anyone help me with some examples please?
There are dozens of examples, so let me highlight a few to get you started on this idea.
The European Union recently had to come up with large financial bailouts of Greece and Ireland, numbering in the hundreds of billions of Euros. This, in turn, will cause inflation in Europe and a decrease in the value of the Euro vs. the dollar. So things that are manufactured in Europe but for sale in the US, such as jet aircraft and cars, automatically become cheaper here. At the same time, the stock market in the US dropped the day the bailouts were announced, so your parents retirement accounts lost value because two European countries were irresponsible with their spending. Pretty wild, huh?
Another example is the relationship between us and China. China has a huge pool of migrant factory workers numbering over 130 million people. They work in factories making everything from jeans to iPads, paperclips to Christmas lights. Because China has no minimum wage, and labor and environmental laws are not very well enforced, they can charge much less for their products because their costs are lower. This means 1) you pay less for things you buy in the store that used to be made in the US but are now made in China, and 2) jobs are lost in the United States as factories relocate into the cheaper labor market of China. At the same time, Chinese factories run mostly on coal-fired power plants, which emit huge amounts of carbon, increase the rate of Global Warming, which affects everyone in the world.
Here are a few examples from my life:
In the past year or so, economic crises in places like Greece and Portugal have affected my confidence. This is because their financial problems have affected the US stock market. I have a fair amount of my retirement savings in the stock market and so when it goes down, I get nervous. When these European governments have problems, investors get nervous around the world and stock markets fall. This impacts me.
As another example, the actions of people in countries in the Middle East and Europe affect anyone who flies commercially in the US. You have a person in Europe who decides to make a bomb in his shoe and all of a sudden everyone in the United States has to take off their shoes and not carry any kind of liquid on an airplane.