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The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Globalization

1766 words - 7 pages

"Globalization can be defined as the ability to produce and good or service anywhere in the world using capital, technology and components from anywhere and to sell the output anywhere and place the profits anywhere" - - Peter Jay, BBC Economics Corrospondent, 1996

"Rather than lead to economic benefits for all people, economic globalization has brought the planet to the brink of environmental catastrophe, social unrest that is unprecedented, economies of most countries in shambles, an increase in poverty, hunger, landlessness, migration and social dislocation. The experiment may now be called a failure." The International Forum on Globalization (IFG) here outlines the economic and social problems of which they accuse increased globalization of being the primary cause. Peter Jay outlines in his definition the areas that globalization impacts and this essay will proceed to attempt to evaluate the affect of this impact on two main areas. Firstly the economic consequences of increased trade liberalization will be examined in terms of effects on domestic and international markets, and secondly the impact will be examines in terms of affect on social issues such as inequality, poverty eradication and economic growth. These areas are commonly accepted as the most pressing global problems, and it follows that it should be the objective of any internationally endorsed economic system, to resolve these problems.

The anti-globalization war is primarily being fought by international NGO's concerned by the alarming prevalence of poverty and inequality in the world of today, and the perceived failure of globalization to resolve these, as they appear to be worsening as a result of increased international trade liberalizations. In 1960, the per-capita GDP of the richest 20 countries of the world was 15 times that of the poorest 20. This income gap has today grown to more than 30 times Similarly, the number of people living on less than US$ 1 a day, defined as absolute poverty, fell only from 1.3 billion to 1.2 billion over the last decade, and the number of people living on less than US$ 2 a day actually rose from 2.7 billion to 2.8 billion. The critics alarmed by these figures, argue that they are an inevitable result of a reliance on the market force. This they argue gives the rich a free reign to exploit the poor and add to their wealth, as well as draining natural resources from poorer countries whilst destroying their environment. This is justified by the belief that as international trade restrictions are lifted, large multinational corporations will be able to produce their goods anywhere in the world. They will subsequently choose to produce where low-paid domestic workers are most easily exploited due to a lack of labor laws and trade unions, and where they can ignore costly environmental protection acts either because the local government does not recognize them, or chooses to ignore them. This will be the lowest possible production cost...

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