When it comes to globalization, one of the top issues in our time is that there are two points for us to keep in mind. First, it is not a new process. The economic forces that have created globalization have been existing since at least the 19 th century. The process was disrupted by the Great Depression and by two world wars. After World War II; however, it continued, growing even stronger in the 1980s and 1990s. It was slowed by economic meltdowns in Korea, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Thailand, and other countries. Meanwhile, terrorism began to impact on these countries. Second, the process has not spread evenly throughout the world. Each year, A.T. Kearney, Inc., and Foreign Policy Magazine rate nations according to their degree of global integration. This year, Ireland edged out Singapore as the most globalized country.
Defenders of globalization believe that it is the key to international peace and prosperity. They want to create a borderless world and remove as many stumbling blocks to globalization as possible. However, opponents view it with hostility. They oppose organizations such as World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank, and the Great Eight (G8), and protest their meetings. The antiglobalization movement actually consists of many different kinds of organizations, including labor unions, human rights groups, and environmental organizations. Some radical antiglobalizationists, called “localists,” believe that international trade and activity should be greatly curtailed and that power should be returned to the national, regional and local levels. Most antiglobalizationists are more moderate; however, they consider the localists’ views provincial. They favor an approach called “anticorporation globalization” or “fair globalization,” in which international trade and cooperation still exist but benefit people in general rather than giant corporations.
One issue that antiglobalizationists often discuss concerns the gap between haves and havenots. As union leader Jay Mazur said, “globalization has dramatically increased inequality between and within nations.” However, those in favor of globalizaiton argue that income is distributed more evenly in developing countries that have made some effort to globalize, such as China, India and Poland, than it is in “nonglobalizers” such as Nigeria, Myanmar and Ukraine.
Another objection is that globalization has taken wellpaid jobs away from workers in developed countries’ and has moved them to developing countries. International companies take advantage of lax labor laws in developing countries, and pay low wages and force workers – including children – to work long hours under unsafe, miserable conditions. Globalizationists admit that there has been some loss of jobs in developed countries. However, they believe that retraining programs can help workers find new jobs in other fields, such as in serviceoriented and information technologybased industries. Globalizationists also point out that, in developing countries, wages and the
working environment in international factories are usually better than those in local factories.
Many environment organizations also oppose globalization. On the one hand, they say that environmental laws in developing countries are likely to be weaker than those in industrialized countries. They believe that international corporations use the air and water of developing nations to get rid of toxic materials. Globalizationists, on the other hand, argue that international corporations usually use the latest computerregulated technology in their factories, and produce less pollutions than local factories. Furthermore, there has been an increased awareness of environmental issues around the world, spread by global media. The people of many nations are reluctant to tolerate environmental destruction for the sake of development. Costa Rica, South Africa and other nations have learned that pristine natural areas attract tourism.