Many experts assert that globalization has essentially made us less independent and more closely connected to other people than ever before. This enhanced connectivity has important implications for individuals, small businesses, corporations, and governments. Thomas Friedman has been a strong supporter of globalization and emphasizes the benefits of globalization’s technologies and outcomes. Do you agree with his view? Why or why not? What are some of the challenges experienced by governments that are associated with globalization? What are some of the challenges experienced by individuals?
Globalization is a complex technology that is dominated by the principle of reducing trade barriers between countries and stabilizing currency exchange and developing consistent business laws between countries. The US government was the primary supporter of this concept. What do the results show? American’s like to think of themselves as free and independent individualities, free to make our own decisions. Yet how can that be when a war in one part of the world can double the price of gasoline or when wealthy foreign countries stop buying our bonds, jobs are outsourced or ….
I tend to be on the fence on this subject where there are intended outcomes and unexpected outcomes where initially globalization I believe is a good thing and has created the economy that we have seen, not so much as of late and those are the consequences of globalization war, outsourcing, and too much control by some entities. But in some cases or many cases it can be a burden on say the common people when you talk about oil or prices for just about anything there can be some backlash or at least that is what we are told say the oil again, the price can double go up at any little excuse that they can think of while making record profits. Next communication say wireless mobile phones, internet is so expensive here in this country but say in Asia can be at least twice as less than we pay here, why is that??? Again I agree and I just have to express some thoughts that I have, but globalization allows those countries in Asia to develop and create better lives for those that have been behind in quality of life that we have had for a while.
Globalization is the real deal when it comes to the process of the accelerating the exchange of ideas and commodities over a long distances, it’s very common to talk about the phenomenon in high context speaking generalized terms. But you have to think about the impacts of globalization which I think from my back ground must be at a local level.
The global economic system has helped to create a world system that is no longer independent but interdependent. Freedom is a theoretical illusion at best. None of us are fee individually nor are we free as independent nations. Technology has helped our world emerge into a global community where events in one part of the world can quickly trigger reactions in another. Technology is made us one community where we all are sowers and reapers of each others decisions.
I think the United States is definitly a part of a Global Economy. During the recession of 2009 all of the world’s economies took major hits. This was because we are all interconnected through our exports and imports. As a country we could not survive without the imports from other countries. There are large amounts of products that we as Americans no longer manufacture. During the recession there were many Americans who felt we should severe our imports from other Countries. This would cause the price of goods to skyrocket because we cannot these goods as cheaply.
Actually there is a debate going on about the benefits of manufacturing in America, the main advantages of manufacturing in America are the reduction in transportation costs (as petrol costs increase, so does the transportation costs, reducing overall profits), reducing supply chain disruptions, increased control over intellectual property, currency fluctuations (the depreciation of the dollar and rise of China’s currency), and probably more. It is also claimed that American labor while more expensive, is more efficient and productive and therefore offsets the cost. All in all it appears as though manufacturing, at least in some industries, might be making a comeback in America.
I am not an expert but here is where I got most of the information from:
There would be many schools of thought on this topic, especially when it comes to global economics. By comparison/ranking the European Union ($17 trillion) leads the U.S. ($14 trillion) followed by China ($7 trillion) in GDP (CIA Factbook, 2013).
I think what makes each country/region more successful/less successful than the other depends on how their political system (and political leaders) drives the economy. Various blends of capitalism (Euro and U.S.) is more prevalent and accepted versus hybrid socialism-communism (China) approaches in the global market. Obviously, there is MUCH to learn from Euro politics and economy.
Then you have a myriad of ethical, moral and legal standards behind ALL of it….I believe the bottomline in good v.s. bad globalization is the integrity of political systems and bureaucracy protocols: at the end of the day blame the poor economy on crooked and inept political leaders, period. Bad politics = bad economy.
Certainly Americans are free and independent in the pursuit of happiness (whatever that is these days). I’m not so sure I would call it a “dream” anymore. As my “man” George Carlin best coined the term of the American Dream….”you have to be asleep to believe it”. That appropriate quote might not be on the Dept of Labor’s website, but the unemployment rate in the U.S. definitely reflects it.
Here is where some of our earlier discussions fit in – particularly those involving instant communication and visual technologies. It’s one thing to feel bad about those little villages, melting ice caps, people with lost retirement savings, etc. when they’re a two paragraph article in the Sunday paper. It’s another thing altogether to see vivid pictures in real time on a 24/7 basis. It’s harder to feel disconnected from the rest of the world.
Capitalist efficiency also seems to be taking a pretty heavy toll on the people who’ve made it work for the past 60 or so years – the middle class worker. I appreciated Bhagwati’s “In Defense of Globalization,” but I think he’d have a harder time refuting anti-corporation and anti-capitalist attitudes if he’d written his essay after the Great Recession rather than he did writing it in 2004. I’m sure it could be done, but it would be much more difficult. Some pretty ugly truths were exposed.
Competition in the global market is unforgiving, and it is a merciless entity. I don’t think the little villages around the world suffer from globalization alone—they definitely get a collateral effect from it. Globalization can be to blame for civil wars, disease, genocide and famine—but not all the time. And “policies” do preserve, especially those with a payback theme: “Global War on Terrorism” and “War on Drugs”—getting rid of the evil people to save the innocent and protect the economy.
Being romantic to the global market misfortunes of a little village in Africa or the Middle East is empathetic. Empathy makes us moral, naturally. Where I am concerned beyond that is when I look at the manufacturer’s tag of my clothing or household item and “truly” question where it came from in regards to forced labor. Most of our products in the U.S. derive from Asia, and the Asian region leads the world in forced labor. Most consumers are probably unaware that their purchase was potentially in the hands of forced labor somewhere along its path from a factory in Asia to a shelf at Walmart. What happens to the moral & ethical compass at that point? Not much…the lowest price or best value of capitalist efficiency takes over.
“18.7 million (90 %) are exploited in the private economy, by individuals or enterprises. Of these, 4.5 million (22 per cent) are victims of forced sexual exploitation and 14.2 million (68 per cent) are victims of forced labour exploitation in economic activities, such as agriculture, construction, domestic work or manufacturing.”
Stiff competition, monopolization and unfair trade practices can result in a national/domestic economy also without globalization. You will always have the comparative advantage principle of economy being applied with regard to where the goods are manufactured and which goods get imported by our country. Free market economy, market competitiveness, good/bad of capitalistic society also applies to domestic economy. The point I am trying to raise is that I am not sure if all the evils cited in your post, Eric, is the direct causation of Globalization. I would see the impacts of globalization more in events like current economic recession, rise in the oil prices and how it impacts all the nations, availability/distribution of goods and services across the globe, information revolution, mass air transportation etc. Things like civil wars, disease, environmental issues, genocide and famine are the result of lack of political/national leadership, corporate/white collar crime/greed and other such factors.
I don’t mean to make light of forced labor, but out of a total work force of 3.2 billion that 18.7 million does not seem to be all that large. There is forced labor in the world to be sure but I suspect that very few of the products sold on the world market result from truly forced labor except in the sense that people are “forced” to work to live.
At times, I do think of work in terms of an obligation forced upon me so that I can maintain status as a surplus spending unit. Which, given the social dynamics of our country more or less mandates that I live this way. In that regard – I am performing forced labor by meeting these obligations. I wake up much earlier than I want to so that I can commute farther than I’d like and arrive at my desk that I’d prefer not to sit at for eight hours. By performing these tasks, I can afford my house, cars, and lifestyle for the remainder of my week.
The reality is, this isn’t my only option. In 2007 there was a book and subsequent movie about a man named Christopher McCandelless called, “Into the Wild”. This guy graduates from Emory University with a promising future only to get rid of every possession and all of his money. He suggested that it was at that point that he truely felt free. It’s actually a pretty interesting story.
I think, the globalization is the natural outcome and it would happen anyway given the integration of the economy, Information revolution and faster transportation/travel. Problem is not with the globalization but the problem lies with our thinking and ethics/practices and need for us to think like global citizens. Some of the preventive measures that I can think of is to build in these social costs into the financial statements of the company which gets reported to the market/pubic. Corporate profit should not just be number game around the revenues and profts generated from the operations of the business but it should also capture the social benefits/costs of environmental damages & other externalities caused by the company. There should be a way by which market/investors/shareholders of the company should start measuring the impact of the environmental externalities caused by companies/corporate and it should reflect in the share prices of the companies. To me, globalization is a boon for us as the benefits of the same can be seen in all walks of our life but how we shape it and make it work for us is entirely in our hands.
I think an interesting fact to consider in globalization and the impact it has on the US is that in this new age we have over a billion more people that we can connect with from these once developing countries. We have Russia, India and China that began to emerge after the 1990’s along with the internet. New and open source programs and applications are basically being built between people cooperating with each other for no money. An example is Linux. The inventor of Linux sold his invention to the world for free and it has about 15% of the operating system market (Winston, Edalbach, 2011). Linux continues to grow as the user community makes updates and improvements without payment for their work and services. It seems like this is the new direction globalization is taking with the advances in technology. Billions more people adding to this pool of knowledge and innovation will continue to transform our world and technology at a pace that we’ve never experienced before.
Winston, Edelbach. (01/2011). Society, Ethics, and Technology, Update Edition, 4th Edition. Wadsworth Publishing. Retrieved from <vbk:9781133614456#outline(4.1)>.
I didn’t mean to imply that Friedman was saying globalization was going to run its own course. I think he was updating the definition of globalization to reflect current reality (his Globalization 3.0) when he says this era is not built around countries or companies, but around individuals – and this happened because of a confluence of somewhat unrelated events. To me, one of his most useful discussions was how we’re moving from a command and control/top down model, with vertical value creation to a horizontal value creation one. I am a huge fan of Joseph Stiglitz, but when he says the world is getting less flat, I’m not sure he’s really contradicting Friedman. “Flat” and “Fair” are two different things. Stiglitz has much to contribute to the fairness discussion – particularly his point that “Things fundamental to Life and Human Survival Should Not Be Privatized or Monopolized.” Both seem to suggest that the collaboration which Globalization 3.0 supports will have positive effects, but Friedman cautions a lot of habits (and I think some well-ingrained paradigms) will have to be changed, which will take a long time.
I agree with Thomas Friedman that globalization brings about many benefits to many different countries. Globalization is something that is supposed to ‘merge’ the world (people, companies, governments of different nations), in that, countries become somewhat dependent upon each other to obtain certain products and services… one country cannot function and/or stand alone – trade being a major part of globalization. The economy seems to have broadened domestically and internationally. Globalization is moving at such a rapid pace that some argue it is making poorer countries raise their standard of living, thereby ‘leveling the playing field’ so-to-speak which could make trading seem less beneficial because everyone would have the things they already need.
What are some of the challenges experienced by governments that are associated with globalization?
- Making sure that the benefits of globalization is available to all countries
- Reducing the fear of instability more so in the developing world
- Global competition may lead to the reduction in value of wages
- Globalization being used as an excuse to not search for better solutions in the interest of all countries