There is no doubt about it. Our world is becoming an interconnected place. We can communicate with people anywhere in the world in the blink of an eye. This networking allows people and organizations to work in ways that were never thought to be possible in the past. Assuming that you own a computer, tablet, or another mobile device, it is possible to take advantage of what globalization provides from the comfort of your own home.
Every person has the power to create an international business from the convenience of a home-based office. That is the power of globalization.
Although this high level of connectivity appears advantageous, there are certain side effects we are discovering when our world always seems to be demanding our attention. We are still divided by our national borders, our political preferences, and even our spiritual attitudes. It is impossible to travel legally across many of the imposed borders that are in our world today, despite the higher levels of information access which we have on a daily basis.
Is globalization a good idea? Should this be a process that the nations of our world pursue? Here is a look at the vital key points of the subject matter.
List of the Pros of Globalization
1. Globalization helps us to pool our resources to build bigger and better things.
One of the best examples of this advantage is the historic nature of the world’s space programs. In the 1950s, the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union helped to create innovative technologies that eventually took humanity to the moon. Imagine what could’ve happened if these two superpowers combined their resources within the confines of one program?
We can see some of the outcomes that would have been possible thanks to the structures of the International Space Station today. When we can work together, we can do much more than when we work alone.
2. Globalization limits the potential for population abuse.
As of January 2019, there are currently 195 countries in the world. Two of these are considered observer states, which are Palestine and the holy see. There are additional nations out there which are not self-governing that push this total above 200. Every recognized country creates a governmental organization which could potentially abuse its population if circumstances offer of the possibility. Reducing the number of borders would create more theoretical stability.
3. Globalization would limit the opportunities for labor exploitation.
Goods and services are offered cheaply in today’s world because of varying levels of living standards. Even in the economies where the middle class is growing, there is still a substantial difference between what an acceptable wage is there compared to what it is in the developed world. IT workers based in India earn an average wage that is four times smaller than what employees in the United States make in a similar position. By exploiting situations like this, it becomes possible to look at other forms of labor, including prisoners, children, and trafficking. Emphasizing a globalization approach would reduce these issues because it would create more conditions for equality.
4. Globalization allows for better communication.
If the world had fewer borders, then it would be easier to communicate with one another without requiring the Internet to do so. Diversity makes us stronger as humans because it gives us access to more information. We get to see different perspectives, ideas, and insights because of what makes us different. Instead of grouping up in politically-based tribal cultures, globalization would encourage open lines of communication that would help to make better decisions on every level of society.
5. Globalization could increase service revenues.
When the Republican Party passed their tax plans in late 2017, the goal was to reduce the temptation of taking advantage of tax havens that exist in the world today. Several companies over the years have placed their money in countries where the tax laws there are more advantageous than they are in their home nation. This process, even though it is legal in some ways, reduces the access of the average person to what they require for daily life. Less money in government coffers means fewer infrastructure projects, less access to safety net programs, and fewer global benefits.
6. Globalization would eliminate currency manipulation.
Ever since most countries took their currencies off of the gold standard, the goal of the government has been to use the value of their monetary units as a domestic advantage on a global stage. When the value of currency is strong domestically, then it limits opportunities for exporters to build a more robust profit margin while encouraging imports. Keeping values down encourages international growth while protecting home-based industries. The Trump Administration in 2017 even complained that the US dollar was too strong for this very reason.
7. Globalization encourages more employment opportunities.
Fiverr is in a solid example of this advantage for globalization. Anyone in the world with a marketable skill can place the sales page on this platform to start earning money. Although the stories of freelancers who earn millions make headlines, having a writer in Nigeria earning the equivalent of five dollars per hour can change an entire community because of currency exchanges. If we were to create more borderless opportunities like this outside of our online communities, then it is reasonable to assume that a similar result could occur.
8. Globalization also encourages free trade.
When there are fewer obstacles in place for consumers, then there are more opportunities to purchase goods or services. This structure creates an environment where competition encourages innovation while keeping prices down for everyone. Fewer borders would mean there would be a decrease in the opportunities to place tariffs, other taxes, or even subsidies on products that would change market forces for local economies. Did you know that there are over 1,200 different tariffs in place right now? It isn’t the government or the companies offering goods and services that pay these taxes. It is regular people like us who shell out more of our hard-earned income to fund the policies like this.
List of the Cons of Globalization
1. Globalization would cause people to lose their unique identity.
Exposing people to different cultures does create an element of diversity that all of us can celebrate. The reason why we have that diversity in the first place is because we set boundaries for ourselves, and then we choose to stick to them. When there are no borders in place, then a person’s identity mixes with their culture and ethnicity to create something that is rather generic. If we pursue globalization, then what we are really doing is eliminating the differences which make us stronger in the first place.
2. Globalization could create a negative impact on our planet.
In a world without borders, we would have the developing world rapidly catch up with industrialized nations. Although this could change the standard of living in these countries, it would also create a significant change in the number of greenhouse gases that are produced each year. About 30 countries are responsible for a significant majority of the omissions which are responsible for global warming in the past century. Imagine what would happen if 100 more countries started following the same path?
3. Globalization would still prevent a fair playing field.
If we begin to pursue an attitude of globalization, then the biggest voices in the room are going to advocate for themselves before anyone else. That means a borderless world would have economy structures dictated by today’s richest countries. We as a global society would then be bound by the decisions made in such a situation. There are approximately 10 voices that would have this conversation: the United States, China, Russia, the EU-28, the African Continent, Oceania-APAC, Canada, the Middle East, South America, and Latin America. What works best for one region may not work well for others.
4. Globalization could increase the opportunities from worker exploitation.
Businesses are always going to look for new ways to move goods around the world for the cheapest price possible. Removing borders in a pursuit of globalization will not change this fact. It could create a scenario where businesses can hire workers who are willing to be employed at the cheapest possible wage. That scenario would create a situation where we would all experience lesser quality in our goods and services while companies pursue automation and other cost-savings measures that would reduce employment.
5. Globalization would make it a lot easier to cheat.
Our distribution networks in the world today are so inefficient that we waste millions of tons of food each year. The arguments against hunger are meaningless because farmers and commercial growers already produce more food than is necessary for our entire population. It is our distribution networks that fail this process. Reducing borders, or eliminating regulations, would not change the fact that some humans are greedy. Fewer restrictions would potentially create more opportunities to skin a little off the top, and then use the power of distribution to make specific population group suffer.
6. Globalization would consolidate power in a handful of people.
In a world that is borderless, the largest companies and governments would have the final say on what happens in each person’s daily life. It would create a culture based on fear because no one would have any leverage on this process except those who already had power or had it given to them. The only professions which could stay competitive would be the ones where creative talents were more essential to an outcome than physical labor. This world would be a place where automation was a top priority, followed by finding the best value proposition that balances labor cost and skill.
7. Globalization is a place where the wealthy would have the most influence.
We don’t need to have a borderless world to see the impact of lobbying on our governments. The companies, unions, and groups which have the most money are the ones that can perform the most lobbying of their representatives. What we see on a national level today with this process would go global, and that could negative impact the lives of many people in unpredictable ways.
8. Globalization could make us sicker.
When there are fewer restrictions on travel, then there are more opportunities to spread diseases around the world. Illnesses that are constrained to the tropical regions of the planet today could spread quickly to the rest of the planet. We have already seen this disadvantage take place with Zika and West Nile. Which one should we start spreading next?
These globalization pros and cons show us a future where we would get to grow together if we could set aside our preconceived notions about each other. It would be a world where everyone would be equal because there would be a fair chance at success for each person. The only problem with this scenario is the fact that today’s leaders would set the initial rules for this process, so the rich would still be favored at the expense of the poor. Until we have a solution for that issue, the concept of a borderless world may never come into existence.
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer and banker. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.