Although the term globalization has just been widely used within the last twenty years, the trend has been present centuries ago with the discoveries of explorers and the emergence of trade among nations. However, with the evolution of technology, it has gained popularity on a larger scale. Economists explain that globalization is a process that made it possible for nations to interconnect and generate world-wide links and activities with other countries.
This transformation, however, is said to have brought with it, advantages and disadvantages. And while it has brought benefits, critics are saying otherwise. Amid the contentions surrounding globalization, it is best to have a better knowledge of its effects on the aspects of economy, culture and politics:
List of Pros of Globalization
1. It promotes economic growth.
Proponents of globalization see this development as a way for countries from disparate parts of the world to come together and exchange goods and services, thus, opening doors to trade and commerce. Investors, particularly from developed countries, can now operate their businesses in developing countries and in return offer employment to hire employees from foreign countries. In establishing their businesses in other countries, they can take advantage of lower taxes and cheap services and labor. On the other hand, more jobs are generated in the countries they invest in, which mitigate the problem of unemployment. Moreover, with the continuing popularity of business process outsourcing, companies from different business sectors can now hire employees overseas without having to pay by the hour and at a much lower cost.
2. More countries can enjoy the benefits of free trade.
With globalization, there is also the emergence of free trade which allows member nations to purchase and offer their products without regulation from the government. Manufacturers can expand their market base and export their products to more countries. Consequently, increase in sales and profits. With a diversified market, producers can specialize in products they have plenty of resources for. Consumers, on the other hand, can access more goods at lower prices and at the same time have a plethora of choices when it comes to the products they need.
3. Skilled workers can now work overseas and earn more money and earn their countries revenues.
With more jobs available in other parts of the world for skilled workers, there is free movement of labor that allows migrant workers to get higher wages they will not usually earn in their own countries while their governments earn revenues. Host countries also benefit from this since foreign workers can fill the gaps in the local labor market such as health care and domestic services.
4. Countries merge to promote global politics.
Supporters of globalization see this as beneficial to countries which have the same goals in protecting their interests. For decades now, there is the convergence among different nations through international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to name a few. Nations which are members of these organizations work together and give each other support to solve global concerns and promote world peace. Also, smaller and poorer countries are assured help in times of calamities and conflicts with other countries.
5. It gives opportunities to countries to learn and experience other cultures.
Globalization and technology come hand in hand. With the evolution of the internet, language and cultural barriers are crossed. As countries become more open to other cultures, ideas and traditions, people are motivated to embrace biodiversity. And with nations ready to let in foreigners either for work or tourism, people can learn to respect and embrace other cultures more. Cultural globalization bridges the gap among nations and people.
List of Cons of Globalization
1. Globalization can lead to abuse of foreign employers to their workers and tax evasion.
Although this transformation allows businessmen to invest in other countries for lower operating costs, opponents of globalization sees this as a means for abusive foreign employers in order to take advantage of their employees. There are employers who are not offering healthy working environment but are demanding long hours of work. There is also the problem of child labor with many children from poor countries being forced to work in sweat shops. Another drawback raised is the practice of some investors opening companies offshore to avoid paying higher taxes which results to loss of revenue for the government.
2. It can result to labor drain and loss of job opportunities to local employees.
With opportunities to work overseas, skilled workers and professionals like doctors and nurses from developing nations are enticed to leave their own countries to seek for greener pastures. The end result, poor countries lose a large number of professionals who could have been of service to their own countries. Also, workers of the countries that employ foreign workers fear losing their jobs over foreign employees willing to accept lower wages. De-industrialization results since middle class employees are forced to accept a cut from their pay just so they can retain their jobs. At the end of the day, it appears that multinational companies and employers are the ones greatly benefiting from this.
3. Some countries are being used to empower rich countries.
Political globalization may have its pros but it also gives powerful countries to influence smaller countries to be allies and be used to increase their military powers and weaponry. If developed countries with military bases in other territories get into war with other nations, the smaller countries can be caught in between during conflicts and suffer death and destruction.
4. Globalization has adverse effects on the environment and leads to spread of diseases like HIV.
There are also discussions that with industrialization that comes with globalization, more wastes are produced and dumped in smaller countries with no regard for the environment. Toxic wastes are carried to some parts of the world and are harmful to the environment. Also, with more tourists coming from and going to countries where HIV and other communicable diseases are prevalent, health of more people are at risk.
Any development or change has its pros and cons. Globalization is not an exception. Indeed, it has opened doors to different countries and affected nations economically, culturally and politically. It is also something that cannot be stopped. The ideal action to take is to make use of its advantages and minimize its repercussions. Leaders should be on top of the situation and the people of the world could only hope it brings more good than bad.