Globalization as defined by the Oxford Dictionaries, is “the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale. Globalization as a term, is a relatively new one, although the concepts that feed it are very old. Globalization is considered to be a product from over the course of the last 50 years. The first time it actually entered contemporary parlance, was in 1961 in the Oxford English Dictionary. The word as a term was seldom ever used in things such as book titles, and didn’t make its first appearance on a book until 1988 (right around the end of the cold war), and then we saw a huge increase in the appearance of the term in book titles in the 90’s and 2000’s. As we can see this term is a relatively new one that has become more and more relevant since it first came about 50 years ago, even thought the concept behind it has been occurring for a long time. Globalization has been more dense in the last 50-60 years because of technology and our advancements we’ve been making with it; it’s developed along with us and our societies/cultures. It has also been especially “dense” since the end of the cold war.
Globalization has been known to have helped a lot of situations and people, while also negatively effecting others. Nothing’s perfect, but some things can be changed or altered to better suit an entire demographic. Forbes website has an article by Mike Collins, that touches on some pro’s and con’s of Globalization while also giving a thorough background on it. He brings up a valid point when he says that “globalization is a complicated issue. It is necessary to evaluate the pros and cons before drawing any conclusions.” This is advise everyone should hear before making any judgements or assessments on it. One of the pro’s he mentioned is barriers like tariffs, subsidies, value added taxes, and others are supposed to be reduced as a result of free trade; although he goes on to say that this isn’t true and The Washington Post story says “the problem is that the big G20 countries added more than 1,200 restrictive export and import measures since 2008.” Obviously things like this take time to shift to but we should be able to see actual results and proof that this is what’s happening. Collins also mentions that globalization represents free trade which, ideally, should promote “global economic growth” and create competition between companies which should stimulate economic growth and create jobs and cause a decline in consumer prices. Another pro that I thought of while reading sorted materials on this was that by having an open market with all parts of the world, opens a chance for societies to learn about other cultures. It connects people from all around the world, and allows them to share a little part of their culture with the rest of the world.
On the other hand, people could see my last pro turn into a con. While it is true that globalization allows for people all over the world to spread knowledge and parts of their culture with the rest of the world, we have to be careful. One could see globalization as a way to conform the entire world to one culture; they see it as us losing cultural diversity if we start mixing and mashing cultural materials or concepts. Going back to Collins’ article, he talks about how the general complaint about globalization is that “it has made the rich richer while making the non-rich poorer.” He also puts in a quote: “It is wonderful for manager, owners and investors, but hell on workers and nature.” I know a lot of people like to forget, but our home is nature. Without it, we are nothing. Globalization won’t matter, and nothing else will if we keep destroying the earth (our home). One of the con’s of Collins’ article that really stuck out to me was the one that said, “The biggest problem for developed countries is that jobs are lost and transferred to lower cost countries. According to conservative estimates by Robert Scott of the Economic Policy Institute, granting China most favored nation status drained away 3.2 million jobs.” This comes down to the companies who are sending jobs overseas instead of employing people of their own country, this hurts the economy more than they realize but they only have their focus on cutting costs and wages so they can accumulate more capital. Personally, I believe the individual is the best unit of measurement for understanding humanity. Look to the human, if you want to understand humanity; Go down to the very unit. Every person is different, even if they define themselves as something other people do as well. For instance, just because someone is Jewish, doesn’t mean all people who are Jewish are the same. Going off of social groups, nations even, involves a lot of generalizations; and generalizations never end well.