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Globalisation - Essay Example

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Although globalization has many benefits it also has many negative effects as reflected in the poor standard of living in some nations. Explain what globalization is and discuss the latter with support from adequate empirical examples. Globalization has been given different meanings in different contexts…
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Download file to see previous pages Globalization is the process of moving towards a single-world society which has led to an increase in the economic activity in the world. For the purpose of this paper globalization would mean economic globalization which has been defined as the integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment (FDI), through the flow of workers and flows of technology Bhagwati, 2004). Debates ensue but the benefits of globalization are established; however while globalization has many benefits it also has many negative effects as reflected in the poor standard of living in some nations. Globalization has also been viewed as the dominance of western economic and cultural interests over the rest of the world, as the perpetuation of inequality between the rich and the poor countries and region (Brinkman and Brinkman, 2002). This is because corporate power by the MNCs has been utilized for maximizing profits without social responsibility. Frankel (2006) agrees that globalization has intensified competition thereby reducing costs and enhancing quality; it has led to liberalization, deregulation and privatization and opened up capital markets. Frankel emphasizes that at the same time, globalization has undermined the economic prospects for millions around the world. The gap between the poor and the rich has increased as the benefits and costs of globalization are unevenly distributed across the world. Bhagwati believes that charges of hypocrisy, unfair trade practices and double standards against the rich nations are baseless and instigated by NGOs such as OXFAM. Such charges instigate protectionism by the developing countries which can only hurt their own prosperity. Bhagwati fails to recognize that nations that have opened up their economy and have not been protectionists may have registered high growth rates but this does not necessarily translate into poverty reduction, as stated by Akoum(2008). Growth and poverty reduction are the ultimate goals of efforts geared towards development but policies that concentrate on growth may only be looking at a part of the development problem. For instance, Latin America can be cited as a model of trade openness but in terms of standards of living, the results are abysmal. This conforms to the standard economic model, as pointed out by Singer (2004, p92) which suggests that no one’s economic welfare can be improved without reducing the welfare of at least one another person. Unconstrained globalization can no doubt lead to economic efficiencies but the ruling elite have to ensure overall welfare. At the same time due to cost efficiencies, when world production shifts to countries that do the poorest jobs, efficiency is adversely affected. This occurred when the US shifted jobs to Mexico as a result of free trade; this resulted in increase in salaries in Mexico but adversely affected incomes in the United States (Singer, 2004, p78). The drivers of globalization include efforts to reduce transportation and communication costs by the private sector and efforts towards reduction of trade and policy barriers by the public sector (Frankel, 2006). Finding a strong connection between poverty and globalization, Singer (2004) asserts that technological upgradation has taken place in developing nations but ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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