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Kelly T


The advent of globalization has brought with it a wave of changes that countries and
their citizens are either adapting or surrendering to. Technology, consumerism, diet/nutrition,
education and politics have all been touched by the integration of markets. In this sense, its
difficult to argue that globalization has benefitted the world as a whole. Opening up borders for
trade has brought goods and services to countries that were underdeveloped and is lifting many
people out of impoverished lives, gaining access to jobs, healthcare and the ability to participate
in any sort of local economy. For humankind, this has certainly been a life improvement. For
the developed areas of the world however, there has been some level of attrition. Now with
opportunities to move manufacturing to other countries, there is an inevitable loss where those
tradable jobs once were. This affects local economies of developed countries where people
were once participating in the free market as both consumers and taxpayers, and are now either
retraining for work in other sectors or working for lower wages as a means to try and continue
as self-sustaining citizens. This is a prominent concern for anti-globalists who worry that
companies are taking advantage of opportunities to expand across borders at the expense of
the welfare of its home countrymen and women. I think this would be a shorter-term issue
however, if companies are innovative and find ways to overcome the natural attrition that comes
with international trade. Individuals must also be willing to adapt to a new way of thinking and
living. We need to adapt to a global world with a global mindset.
When thinking of the stages of globalization in an historical perspective the way Thomas
Friedman described, we are thought to be living in the globalization of individuals, or
Globalization 3.1 As individuals in developed nations, part of our adaptation to the new world
market needs to include self-development. Another concern for developed nations in the global
economy is that the local economies are stressed; suffering deficits due to loss of tax revenues
with higher unemployment rates, thus hurting social welfare programs that were once the safety
nets individuals could count on. The ability for companies to outsource positions has led to a
feeling of insecurity among workers. Even more so when workers enter the market with a
limited skill set. This is where individuals must learn to be marketable in a

global economy. Unless you are entering into a non-tradable profession such as medicine, law
enforcement or other human services, its essential to remain competitive by obtaining skills that
are mobile. Knowledge workers are well suited for the global job market. Thanks to technology,
they can often succeed in this type of economy across borders without physically crossing
borders. A willingness to remain competitive, for both companies and individuals, is what
survival and success in this new world economy comes down to.
Yet another concern for opponents of globalization is that companies with operations in
foreign lands have room to act with less accountability in the treatment of their workers and the
environment. One of the common examples of this exploitative behavior occurs in China,
hosting manufacturing sites of several foreign companies. Labor Minister Yin Weimin will not
name specific companies, but has acknowledged both the good and bad that has come of the
globalized factories.
"Foreign-invested companies have made great contributions to China's economic
development and have played a positive role...
Of course, we have also noticed that problems exist at some companies, for example
excessive overtime, too low pay for some workers and a lack of concern for people."2

This is a legitimate concern, since not all nations are culturally similar and may not have
identical work-environment standards. There are reasons to be
hopeful that such issues can be level-set among nations engaging in commerce with each other.
Globalization encourages cultural intermingling and information exchange. This is a step
forward socially, moving away from intolerances of foreign presence in their respective cultures.
Since countries in the global market share financial interests, it encourages companies and
governments to work cooperatively on precedents for regulation as well as ecological issues.
Some of my own concerns with globalization are not so much that it can or should be
avoided, but rather what the U.S. and other developed nations will do to adapt and remain
competitive. In a country whose roots were so deeply seated in manufacturing, from which the
promise of the American Dream was reachable for everyone, its shrinking middle-class is
struggling to find its way through. Technology has propelled some of that promise forward,
allowing people to interact internationally with teleconferencing and internet applications. If
companies are innovative and offer products that take advantage of these technologies, jobs

can not only be created, but also become global themselves. Working for a multinational
company myself, Ive seen many changes adopted that are a result of technologies allowing
much of our work to globalize within individual business units; a microcosmic example of world
globalization. I work in the insurance industry where our claims unit has become a global
within the organization. Insurance laws vary by state, requiring knowledge of those laws and
regulations. Many states require licensure of claims adjusters to ensure that they understand
those laws and follow business ethics appropriately. For this reason, many insurance company
adjusters specialize in handling specific states. VoIP technology has allowed the adjusters in
my company to be able to handle all states across the country so that, with additional training,
an adjuster in Pennsylvania can handle a claim from a policy in Colorado. Likewise, our policy
services department has done the same. This company globalization has allowed us to better
service customers who may need to speak to someone
about their claim where a local adjuster isnt readily available. It has also allowed a more even
distribution of workload, especially since weather catastrophes tend to be concentrated
geographically. I think in other industries, the ability to apply this same principle across
multinational organizations have similar benefits, which is good for customers and ultimately
good for business.
Globalization, in the true sense that this paper focuses on, has also affected the
steelworkers in my family. The aluminum extrusion industry has been in competition with
companies in Mexico for accounts with builders and large construction firms. Not only has this
slowed down the amount of work available for them here in the U.S. plants causing downsizing
and layoffs, but it has forced the industry to become competitive in pricing which many times
means wage freezes for those who are still employed. As an individual consumer, Id say
globalized markets have been nothing but a good thing. This combined with the mainstreaming
of internet access has enabled individuals to take advantage of a wider selection of goods at
lower prices through online venues like Amazon and eBay. Millennials and younger generations
will grow up never knowing a time when they didnt have access to the global market.
In summary, I think the effects of a forming global world have been beneficial to the
world population in general. I cant in clear consciousness say that raising people up out of
poverty and affording them opportunities to do better isnt a good thing, even if some
populations suffer in the growing pains of the process. I would feel better about it if those
concerns talked about in this essay could be dealt with constructively. I look forward to seeing

how trade policies develop over time and whether they will include a new set of global standards
for all companies wishing to do business in foreign countries to adhere to.