Why Globalization WorksMartin Wolf is a British journalist and author of the book Why Globalization Works. He's known as being very liberal when it comes to economics and makes his ideals known in his book. Being a realist Wolf likes to approach more possible means of economics instead of ideals that can be considered wishful thinking. Constantly stating "The problem today is not that there is too much globalization, but that there is far too little." Wolf consistently defends globalization throughout the book. Almost every anti globalization argument is dissected and torn apart by Wolf.
Key issues addressed in the book are that of technology and the market revolution, the role of states in economy, developmental records of the "second" age of globalization, and threats to globalization. Everyone of these issues play to his argument that globalization works. But just in the case of any other argument there will be those who disagree, with even the most logical arguments.
Even with statistical evidence and data there are always two sides to percentages and numbers.
Why Globalization Works is a perfect title for the book because it is a simple statement that is proven true over and over again throughout the book. But simply stating that Wolf is true in his defense of Globalization without offering any sort of argument would be redundant. Really the problem is deciding which argument for globalization to begin with.
As in many situations, working with others or in this case globalization will be beneficial for those willing to adhere to its many dynamic opportunities. To say that globalization will not benefit a country is absurd. At the same time to say that the way things are run in globalized economies right now do not leave some countries left out and abused is ridiculous.
One of the main problems with human ideologies is that people always find ways to corrupt and ruin them. For example communism looks great on paper, but due to the behavior of humans it will never work. Globalization has the potential to change the world more than it already has. Once the wrinkles are ironed out, the boundaries are endless as to where it could go. But how long it will take for the problems to dissipate is completely unknown.
That being said, globalization has in recent years received a second wind so to speak. Whereas countries were completely abandoning the prospect of it, everyone now seems to be conforming to it one way or another. Sadly enough one of the problems right now is getting globalization to be mutually beneficial for all participants. Countries with weaker governments and little resources to offer don't have very much power on the global stage. Especially when larger countries like the United States for example, use what could be considered imperialistic methods to keep out the small amounts of competition from these smaller statesWhy is it that states who preach the ideals of so called "free" trade have policies that toss the word free completely out the window. It's because they want the most benefits out of globalization no matter the cost it has to the rest of Earth as a whole. Why can't Americans enjoy beef from Europe? Tell us why is it that Coca Cola with real sugar in it is kept off American shelves. Because there are those who can't seem to handle the competition offered from competitors around the world. Sure some American businesses will suffer at the hands of foreign ones, but shouldn't that be how it is?Doesn't Capitalism preach the ideal of freedom in the marketplace? Sure there should be rules to keep things like monopolies out of the market. But at the same time aren't you allowing American farmers to hold a monopoly on their products? While outsourcing is being viewed as more and more of a problem for the United States. How is it being viewed from the countries being outsourced too? Countries such as China and India are benefiting from the ability to produce products and provide services at much cheaper prices than the United States. There is always someone willing to work in a job that you hold for a much cheaper price, hell they might even do the job better than you!Is that fair though? Is it fair for a non American to do the job of an American for half the price? Well why not, if a company wants to hire someone else to do your job at a cheaper price that should be their decision. Most if not all companies are looking to please their stock holders, making money and a net profit is the obvious objective of any real business.
Businesses are created to make money in the first place of course feelings are going to be hurt in that process. States play a huge role in this process, tariffs and restrictions are placed to control certain markets. Every state as mentioned before even those who advocate free trade have some form of control on their economies. It's that control over the market that can at times limit innovation. Without competition from all aspects of a society, technology can only expect a small steady increase. But when you allow others to get involved in the process of invention, innovation is soon to follow.
Now to readdress the issue of everyone being allowed a fair chance to compete in the market. Restrictions like that on American food markets need to be removed. At the same time countries flooding markets with goods at prices cheaper than production cost needs to be resolved. Basically unfair market tactics need to be removed. Once issues of abuse are taken out of the globalization equation then all should eventually prosper. But obviously that is no easy task, let's go back and take a look at the example created by the Soviet Union.
The U.S.S.R was a modern day superpower viewed by some to have limitless potential under a communist doctrine that would provide equality to all of its inhabitants. Of course that was never meant to be, and although the countries original concept was pure. It eventually was doomed to collapse and did just that in 1991 due to several issues which included massive amounts of corruption, greed and failure in its economic policies.
It should be obvious by now that humans cannot be trusted to be fair, and play nice with others especially when money is involved. Why should the United States have to allow others to join in on its food markets? Does China need to be kept in check when it comes to creating monopolies in markets? Should Nigeria focus on fixing its problems with corruption in the upper class? Well the obvious answer is yes, and once issues like this can be addressed vulnerable nations should have a much better chance at success. Current conditions in the world market allow for smaller countries to be taken advantage of and used to increase the gains of a much larger one.
It cannot be stressed enough that fairness on all levels of globalization is necessary and should benefit the world as a whole. Certain products and services will no longer be only available to those locally. Several multi national businesses have already had the chance to experience global commerce. But not all businesses have been blessed with the same opportunities that some big businesses have had to spread their assets around.
A big issue is that with organizations like that of the WTO, which have as Wolf stated strayed from their original mandates. No longer does it seem that they are being used to help mankind as a whole. But instead they are being used as a tool to benefit a select few at the expense of the common man. Smaller states suffer at the hands of organizations like the WTO. They do not have the same representation and ability to voice their ideals on matters of trade.
Right now people living in countries with markets like the United States, live off the backs of those who are currently being abused in the global market. We as a whole depend on the global market for us to live outside of our means. Globalization should not allow for businesses to take advantage of developing countries to give Americans reduced prices on products are stores like Walmart. Instead those developing countries should be treated with much more respect, so Americans might have to spend a few more bucks and products they are use to getting so cheap. But if people can learn to live inside their means then really it shouldn't be a big problem.
An article in the Seattle Times about a local Seattle Police Officer really gave a good insight to some of the so called problems Americans are facing. Officer Scott Hatzenbuehler is worried that with the recent economic crisis handed to us by greedy business policies. He will have to conserve his money to afford pricey condo remodels; no longer will he be able to travel to Mexico and Turkey in the same year. Even comparing his situation to those who have truly been hit by the economic crisis is horrible. "Recently, an introductory ride on a motorcycle got him thinking it'd be fun if he could ditch his 9-year-old Jeep Cherokee and get a bike." (Archer) Really how horrible he will probably not be able to afford a new motorcycle as a play toy. Seattle Police Officers are the highest paid in the state of Washington, the funny thing about that is there is probably someone who would do his job better then he could ever do for half the price. If people had a mentality that maybe cutting back on a few things was better for the world as a whole this wouldn't even be an issue.
It's just sick to hear people's selfish complaints about the economy, when its apparent they don't even look at how their greedy habits affect the world as a whole. If everyone in America decided to cut back and live with higher prices on some products and services. We as a country would prosper as a whole without taking advantage of developing countries. It's those smaller states that have potential on the global market to produce products and services that they have a comparative advantage in. But because they are forced to specialize in other products and aren't allowed to trade freely on the market without tariffs and taxes they suffer on the global stage.
Developing nations have plenty to offer to the global market, but they are bullied out of it by larger countries. But that does not mean that it's all Americas fault there are issues with developing nations. Human behavior in Nigeria, an oil rich African country has lead to corruption on such a scale it hurts the entire population of the country. "Even the mad people on the street recognize the havoc caused by corruption - the funds allocated for their welfare disappear into the thin air." (Dike) Why is it that the large majority of humankind cannot forget about themselves even if for a moment to focus on those who truly need help?China is another good example of a country where it seems to be economically striving in the current global economy. Napoleon once said "Let China sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world." (Nottingham) At what cost to China's population have these economic bounds been made, not only China but its neighboring countries.
Really it can't be stressed enough that why some countries seem to be prospering so well on the global market. That it is all just a fallacy and they will soon suffer as the U.S. has with its economy. The year is 2008 no longer can we depend on a great world war to bring our economy out of the shitter. China's economy has slowly been halting and because of its business tactics it will probably get worse. While at moments it seems the economy is getting better, it truly is not going to get any better until the world society looks out for everyone equally.
Africa is a perfect example of a continent where they have little to no valuable resources, issues with disease, and prime examples of untouched corruption. It's become obvious now that these problems will not fix themselves without more help and pressure from the outside world. While the United States does offer a good amount of foreign aid to Africa. It is usually not used in a method that actually reaps long term benefits to Africa as a whole.
Globalization needs to be tuned towards working for all of mankind, not just those who are looking to live outside their means. Everyone must give up something in their life to give others a chance to prosper. It is better to give than to receive, and until people realize that things will not change anytime soon. Really the question is, who or what is going to change the mentality of the world's populace to worry about others before worrying about themselves.
BibliographyArcher, Michelle. Seattle Times. 7 December 2008. 7 December 2008 .
Dike, Victor E. Corruption in Nigeria: A New Paradigm for Effective Control. 1 January 2008. 7 December 2008 .
University, Nottingham. "The Globalization and Economic Policy Center." http://www.gep.org.uk/. December 2008 .
Wolf, Martin. Martin Wolf's Column. 2008. December 2008 .