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You can interpret globalization in any way you want because it is not a word but a way of living, be it bad or good. Where did the term globalization come from and what does it mean for consumers, corporate factories, and workers? How did it affect their lives? Despite all of its different sides, globalization is a good thing but to a certain extent. Globalization is in our world now and we should focus on what we should do to regulate globalization to where we are progressing as a whole and not returning to the dark ages. In order to answer these questions we must ask ourselves what does globalization mean? The dictionary definition of globalization is the act of globalizing, or extending to other or all parts of the world. According to Charles Tilly, ‘globalization means an increase in the geographic range of locally consequential social interactions, especially when that increase stretches a significant proportion of all interactions across international or intercontinental limits’ (qtd. in Kesselman 2). It also means it is a worldwide integration and development of countries for the benefit of the world.
Economic globalization is a little different. According to the dictionary, economic globalization refers to increasing interdependence of and national economies across the world through a rapid increase in inter-border movement of goods, service, technology, and capital. Even though we hear about globalization a lot recently, the term is not new. People have been selling and trading with different nations for thousands of years before the Great War (World War I) broke out; putting it on hold. In fact, globalization has been around for many centuries now. It has just been a pattern ever since man first traded. A new era of globalization started and has continued since the 1980s (Kesselman 4). Many believe globalization to be spread by westerners. Since the new era of trade, the west did have a large part in influencing globalization, many of which were manufactured automobiles or textiles. “Globalization is often seen as global westernization” (Sen 28).
Even though globalization is most commonly viewed as such, it is not entirely an invention of westerners. There has also been a large influence from the easterners too. Globalization can be a good thing. One good reason why globalization is good is because of international trade. Trade has increase and production has increased. Goods and products have been traded internationally around the world. We get bananas, sneakers, and clothes from other countries. When we trade internationally, it helps both sides of the trade. One country gets the profit to help its’ country out and the other gets its product. “The bottom line then is that…trade is beneficial” (Wolf 76). An example of trade that is beneficial:
Of the countries of the world, those in East Asia have grown the fastest and done most to reduce poverty. And they have done so, emphatically, via “globalization.” Their growth has been based on exports—by taking advantage of the global market for exports and by closing the technology gap. It was not just gaps in capital and other resources that separated the developed from the less-developed countries, but difference in knowledge. East Asian countries took advantage of the “globalization of knowledge” to reduce these disparities. (Stiglitz 87)
Another reason why globalization can be a good thing is knowledge and communications. Without the invention of telephone, it was hard to communicate with one another in the United States. Before phones or telegrams, there were carrier pigeons, letters by mail, or person-to-person conversations. Now almost everywhere around the world has some sort of communication; cell phones, internet, video chats, blogs, etc. The internet is also a means to free information.
Of course, there are plenty of negative impacts of globalization. The spreading of information and the spreading of factories causing severe side effects that could cause destruction throughout the world and already has. “As your country puts on the Golden Straitjacket, two things tend to happened: your economy grows and your politics shrinks” (Friedman 61). In other words, once a country plays into the global economy they have to make huge sacrifices. Globalization is driven by investments, trades, and information. With this rapid form of sharing, it has major effects on the environment and cultures along with the people.
Some of them are even harsh. “Flames and smoke swept the cramped textile factory in Baldia Town, a northwestern industrial suburb, creating panic among the hundreds of poorly paid workers who had been making undergarments and plastic tools…almost killing 300 workers” (ur-Rehman, Walsh, and Masood 2012). This is one of the many reasons of the negative impacts of globalization. With globalization many corporations only care about production and how fast they can produce it. Many of the factories, like the one in Baldia, had no safety regulations because the factory wanted more production and more money. Instead of using that money to get better safety for the factory, almost 300 people died that day.
I believe that globalization is a good with regulations in place. There will need to be a lot of rules and regulations of globalizations like safety and health. I believe in free information and knowledge. It should be free in order for us to go and become a better people. Without these rules, things like Baldia happen. Globalization plays a big part in our lives today. Even if we tried, we would not be able to stop globalization. We can only regulate it. With globalization we can move towards a more peaceful future where we can understand each other. To improve safety and have regulations is a way to improve globalization. This will make it a whole lot better. If the factory in Baldia had better safety regulations and pay, then the outcome of the burning would have been different. There would be 300 people alive today.
Despite all of its different sides, globalization is a good thing only when it is kept regulated. Globalization is in our world now and we should focus on what we should do to regulate globalization to where we are progressing as a whole and not going backwards. With all of the bad and the good, only we can make the difference however small that change may be it is still a difference for the better. Actions that will help others are the only way to go and understand one another more. With all of our technology and knowledge, we can solve many of the worlds’ problems if we just were not so greedy. With globalization, we can change the world; hopefully for the better.
Friedman, Thomas L. “The Lexus and the Olive Tree.” The politics of globalization: a reader. Mark Kesselman. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2007.
59-69. Print. Kesselman, Mark. “Globalization as Contested Terrain.” The politics of globalization: a reader. Mark Kesselman. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2007. 1-13. Print. Sen, Amartya. “How to Judge Globalism.” The politics of globalization: a reader. Mark Kesselman. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2007. 28-36. Print. Stiglitz, Joseph E. “Globalism’s Discontents.” The politics of globalization: a reader. Mark Kesselman. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2007. 86-96. Print. ur-Rehman, Zia, Declan Walsh, and Salman Masood. “Pakistan Factory Fires Kill More Than 300.” The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. 12 Sept. 2012. Web. 2 Oct. 2012. Webster, Inc. Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. 11th ed. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003. Print. Wolf, Martin. “Why Globalization Works.” The politics of globalization: a reader. Mark Kesselman. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2007. 74-85. Print.