Over the last 20 years, the world has grown a lot smaller, and countries have begun to work with other countries to accelerate their economic growth. The vast majority of the world has been affected by it in some way. An example of this is that in the middle of the Amazon, you can find an Indian tribe. There are Indians using Nike shoes, Lacoste shirts and driving imported cars, as could be observed by a recent television documentary.
A question frequently raised by people due to this is if globalization is good or bad. There are two main points that people look at when analyzing this question. View A defends that globalization contributes to building an unequal society, in which the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. However, view B affirms that if countries work together to improve their economy and life conditions, they will achieve much more than if they were to act alone.
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These two opposing views are, in my opinion, both correct. This is because globalization isn’t completely good or completely bad. It can be compared to fire, which is neither good nor bad. Used properly, it can cook food, sterilize equipment, form iron, and heat our homes. Used carelessly, fire can destroy lives, towns and forests in an instant. Globalization acts in the same way.
The good outcomes of globalization are that it triggers economies, increases trade, spreads jobs around the world, improves communication, and spreads technology, among others. This economic growth can be illustrated by the fact that the world’s real GDP grew from US$2 trillion to US$28 trillion, which means an increase of 1400%. On a per-capita basis, this means an increase of US$614 to US$4908, an increase of about 800%. The quality of life in developed countries has increased.
However, anti-globalization supporters affirm that although there was economic growth, this wasn’t well distributed throughout society. Over the past 150 years, the rich countries are developing at a faster rate than the developing countries, increasing the difference between them. This happens because dealing with globalization in a capitalist society; there will always be winners and losers. The winners will be the nations with more skill, technology, information, power and money. At the same time, the losers will be the developing countries, which export goods primarily and rely on the rich countries to obtain technology and manufactured goods.
Another observed factor is that the number of poor people (people living with less than US$1 per day) has increased and reached almost 1.2 billion people, which is almost one-third of the world’s total population. This is partly caused by the increase in the global population and the distribution of money. As a result, the ratio between the world’s 20% richer and 20% poorer income has increased from 30:1 to 78:1.
Many people also question globalization creating more jobs when multinationals establish new factories in foreign countries. They argue that although more jobs are created and reduce unemployment, these jobs don’t require any skill, and workers have terrible working conditions, working long hours and receiving little money. And as the workers have no other working options, and working in these factories is their only source of income, they can’t do anything else but work to survive.
Besides this, the unemployment levels are very high, which means that there is always someone available to substitute workers that aren’t happy with what they are being offered. These facts make us think about making globalization fairer and giving developing countries the chance to benefit more. So that this can happen, many things need to be changed. First of all the development needs to be more focused on the people, not only on financial reasons. Fairer rules and deeper partnerships should be made between rich and developing countries to help each other. Also, one of the most important things to ensure that nations can benefit the most from globalization is that a powerful, democratic, and more effective UN helps control the spread and paths of globalization.
From this we can conclude that globalization is one of the most important factors of the new century and that it will continue spreading and growing all around the world, reaching the most exotic places. The question of whether it is good or bad can never be answered completely, and there isn’t a right answer, because there will always be good and bad sides to it. Now if there will be more good or bad factors, this will depend on how globalization is treated and controlled. It would be a pity if this phenomenon isn’t treated on the right way, because there could be many benefits from it.