People around the globe are more connected to each other then ever before. Information and money flow more quickly than ever. Goods and services produced in one part of the world are increasingly available in all parts of the world. International travel is more frequent and international communication is commonplace. Globalization is an economic tidal wave that is sweeping over the world. It can’t be stopped, and there will be winners and losers.
Let’s consider some of the general pros and cons of globalization.
The disadvantages of globalization
1. “The general complaint about globalization is that it has made the rich richer while making the non-rich poorer. It is wonderful for managers and investors, but hell on workers and nature.”1
2. Multinational corporations are accused of social injustice, unfair working conditions (including slave labor wages and poor living and working conditions), as well as a lack of concern for the environment, mismanagement of natural resources, and ecological damage.
3. Multinational corporations which were previously restricted to commercial activities are increasingly influencing political decisions. Many think there is a threat of corporations ruling the world because they are gaining power due to globalization.
4. Opponents say globalization makes it easier for rich companies to act with less accountability. They also claim that countries’ individual cultures are becoming overpowered by Americanization.
5. Anti-globalists also claim that globalization is not working for the majority of the world. During the most recent period of rapid growth in global trade and investment, 1960 to 1998, inequality worsened both internationally and within countries. The UN Development Program reports that the richest 20 percent of the world’s population consume 86 percent of the world’s resources, while the poorest 80 percent consume just 14 percent.
6. Social welfare schemes or “safety nets” are under great pressure in developed countries because of deficits and other economic ramifications of globalization.
The positive side of globalization
Globalization has a positive side as well. Supporters of globalization argue that it has the potential to make this world a better place to live in and solve some deep-seated problems like unemployment and poverty. The marginal are getting a chance to exhibit in the world market.
Here are some other arguments for globalization:
1. The proponents of global free trade say that it promotes global economic growth, creates jobs, makes companies more competitive, and lowers prices for consumers. It also provides poor countries, through infusions of foreign capital and technology, with the chance to develop economically and by spreading prosperity creates the conditions in which democracy and respect for human rights may flourish.
2. According to libertarians, globalization will help us to raise the global economy only when the involved power blocks have mutual trust and respect for each other’s opinion. Globalization and democracy should go hand-in-hand. It should be pure business with no colonialist designs.
3. Now there is a worldwide market for companies and consumers to access products from different countries.
4. There is a world power that is being created gradually, instead of compartmentalized power sectors. Politics are merging and decisions that are being made are actually beneficial for people all over the world.
5 There is more influx of information between two countries.
6. There is cultural intermingling. Each country is learning more about other cultures.
7. Since we share financial interests, corporations and governments are trying to sort out ecological problems for each other.
8. Socially we have become more open and tolerant towards each other, and people who live in the other part of the world are not considered aliens.
9. Most people see speedy travel, mass communications and quick dissemination of information through the Internet as benefits of globalization.