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Globalization brings about increased trade and lower prices, and intensifies competition within domestic product, labor markets, and capital. Since the birth of this era, globalization has had great influence across the world. It has guided many countries to adopt different trade and investment strategies. In the perspective of an economist, globalization has been nothing but a force for good to to make for a healthy economy and a bright future for a nation. It also provides underdeveloped countries, with the help of foreign capital and technology, the opportunity to develop economically and by spreading prosperity. This would then create quality conditions in which democracy and respect for human rights to thrive. Globalization represents free trade, which encourages global economic growth, creates jobs, makes companies more competitive, and lowers prices for consumers. This is a never ending cycle, in which the consumers buy the cheapest quality product supplied by the manufacturer, and then the producer just keeps on creating its products without any regard of the surrounding consequences. Businesses and economists seem to have a one track mind in furthering their agenda to make the most money possible to help their current situation. Sooner or later the resources of these many manufacturing companies will deplete until there nothing left. Negative influences that follow globalization would be the exploitation of resources, slave labor, creating a large divide between the elite and the working class, and large corporations getting away with committing fraud. This basic concept of Supply and Demand is what pushes the economy forward. For instance, a company, Nike, understands that consumers demand a new product. This company wants to make sure that consumers don’t go running to their competitors, so Nike expands their manufacturing sites in underdeveloped countries to make their new products quicker and cheaper so consumers keep spending their money at Nike. Then these money hungry manufacturers go and abuse their resources in order to keep making money. For example, forcing these sweatshop laborers to work faster or face unemployment, and dumping chemicals into the environment in order to speed up the process of manufacturing. The film Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax is the epitome of these current situations. More money means more power, and with these many corporations wanting to monopolize the markets are striving for the most power and influence of their competitors. With people buying more and more of big brand products and disregarding struggling businesses, the big brand companies essentially put them out of business, gaining more control over the consumer.
There are both positive and negative aspects of a globalized economic system. A globalized economic system will allow for goods to easily travel from one part of the world to another. If everyone used the same form of currency there would be less confusion because everyone would know what one dollar was worth. Globalization would lead to increased competition, which can drive prices down for consumers. On the other side, a negative about globalization is that it can lead to an increased fluctuation in prices. A globalized economic system could solve some problems that many countries have such as unemployment and poverty. Poor countries can benefit because they will have the ability to receive more capital and technology. Others argue that globalization only benefits those who are already wealthy such as business owners and investors. Those at the bottom of the economy’s food chain would only benefit if they didn’t already have a job and a globalized economic system created new jobs that they could take. In this system the power would be had by the decision makers and those at the top. In this regard things would not change much from the systems that we already have in place.
One of the positive connections between globalization and the environment is that in today’s day, we can communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world thanks to the technological advances that we have made. Also, globalization has made it is easy to buy items from any place, such as those that are made in Korea, and have it sent directly to our doorsteps. Although these outcomes of globalization have been positive, they do not come without any negative effects to the environment. One of those negative connections is that pollution increases as the need for more transportation (of those items that we buy from foreign countries) increases. On page 367 of the class textbook, we read that globalization has generated “greater income for poorer countries exporting basic goods to developed-country markets”. On one side, this is a great thing for underdeveloped countries, but on the other hand, there are consequences because it is “disrupting local ecologies” (367). Globalization is contributing to the increasing temperatures and climate changes that we are experiencing; there is a picture of the total CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel burning on page 368 and a pattern that I got from it is that the countries that are most industrialized (United States) and where most goods are made in (China) have the highest emissions. These emissions trap heat in the atmosphere, therefore increasing the warming of our planet which then results on the melting of the polar ice caps.
From reading this chapter, it has become obvious to me that states are more likely to cooperate when it comes to taking charge and trying to reduce the ecological footprints that we are living on our planet. This is more likely to occur as opposed to cooperating together when it comes to human rights issues. I believe this is, mainly, due to the global commons that every state shares (for example the ocean, space, and Antarctica). There is no “sovereign jurisdiction” of these areas and resources, therefore making policies and coming to agreements is easier since states are not violating the sovereignty of other states. Furthermore, states have a higher incentive to work with each other because the impacts on our planet is felt by every state. Lastly, it is also easier for states to cooperate together because of the trading system; they can control taxes and impose trade restrictions to force states to reduce their emissions and control pollution like in the case of the protocols of the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution.
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