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Globalization and the World

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Globalization is an ever evolving entity that has and will continue to change the way we, as individuals, will interact with one another. “Globalization, as a concept, refers both to the "shrinking" of the world and the increased consciousness of the world as a whole. It is a term used to describe the changes in societies and the world economy that are the result of dramatically increased cross-border trade, investment and cultural exchange.” (NEW, 2010) Globalization integrates the world through economical, societal and cultural ideas. It displays the allocation of a country’s ideas, languages and popular culture to the rest of the world. Globalization is not a new idea. For thousands of years, people, and later corporations, have been buying and selling to each other from afar, such as through the famous Silk Road across Central Asia that appended China and Europe during the Middle Ages. Multiple features of the current craze of Globalization are similar to those prevailing before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. Driven by intercontinental policies, Globalization has opened economies domestically and internationally. Ever since the Second World War, and more importantly in the past two decades, many governments have adopted free market economic systems, increasing their productive potential and creating new opportunities for intercontinental trade and investment. Free market economic systems not only allow for economic growth, but the growth of political freedom as well. “The kind of economic organization that provides economic freedom directly, namely, competitive capitalism, also promotes political freedom because it separates economic power from political power and in this way enables the one to offset the other.” (Capitalism & Freedom, 1962)
Due to Globalization, governments have reduced their barriers to commerce and have established international agreements to promote the trade of goods, service, and monetary investments. “In our modern world of high technology and low costs for communication and transportation, freedom of exchange across national boundaries is a key ingredient of economic freedom. Many goods and services are now either produced abroad or contain resources supplied from abroad.” (Economic Freedom of the World, 2009) The freedom to trade internationally is also a key ingredient of economic freedom, brought about by Globalization. Both trading partners gain when they engage in international trade, providing motivation for exchange. Many principles have contributed to the entity know as Globalization, but technology has been the main benefactor. Advances in technology transformed economic life both here in the United States and in foreign countries. Technology has made exponential advances in the previous decades, connecting the world monetarily, socially and culturally. There are many milestones in the history of Globalization, from the emergence of newspapers, to the invention of the telegraph and the telephone. Globalization is responsible for the invention of the Internet and mass media relations as well. Computer Information Systems have provided for global networks. Electronic banking has been made possible due in part to the development of global networks. Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) and The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), an organization to assure a reliable global electronic financial system, are all products of technological innovation, leading to Globalization As Globalization is very beneficial, it is also very controversial. Many prospering countries flourish through the effects of Globalization, often taking advantage of those nations that are not so prosperous. The quest for a free international market benefits mainly those corporations in the Western world, at the expense of local enterprises, cultures, and individuals.
Benefits of Globalization
Globalization has its benefits and drawbacks in a constantly changing world. It is beneficial in the fact that Globalization expands tourism, corporations, and geographical entities, which in turn increase capital for prospering and floundering nations. “Productivity grows more quickly when countries produce goods and services in which they have a comparative advantage. Living standards can go up faster.” (Associated Content, 2006) Inflation is less likely to derail economic growth due to global competition while inexpensive imports have the ability to keep a ceiling on prices. The international free market ignites innovation and fresh ideas, while capital flows give the United States access to foreign investments and keep interest rates low. For example, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been made possible due to Globalization. The IMF has recently been in the media due to the Grecian bailouts. As many disagree with the bailouts, others believe that it was pertinent for these transactions to take place. Proponents of the bailouts argue that if the European Union had not rescued Greece, it would have ignited a domino effect that would have caused other European nations to collapse. The United States quite possibly would have fallen flat as well.
Globalization is also responsible for the propagation and the increasing flow of migrants, ethnic cultures, and differing opinions on an astounding amount of issues. Globalization has had a great impact on the societal build of every nation. “In sociology and communications, Globalization is understood as global mass culture dominated by the modern means of cultural production (movies, television, the Internet, mass advertising, and so on). Mass communication produces images that cross and re-cross linguistic frontiers more rapidly and easily than goods and services, and speaks across languages in an immediate way.” (NWE, 2010, 24) Numerous cultures, ethic ideas, arts, and languages have been introduced into the world through Globalization. We understand or at least try to understand another’s culture through what we have perceived through the Internet and mass media. If it were not for Globalization, the world would not be as diverse as it is today. Students would not study a foreign language, and we would not experience the taste of many cultures, for instance the Mexican, French, and Italian cuisine that diversify our American restaurants. It is important to understand other nation’s cultures and ideas to successfully communicate, interact, and trade with nations on an intercontinental level.
Negative Effects of Globalization
There are also many negative connotations pertaining to Globalization. Globalization is detrimental in the fact that while it may develop and strengthen a new international culture, it may also weaken the local cultures that are so valuable to their heritage. Some critics of Globalization claim that it is replacing local cultures and values with those customs in the Western world. Globalization strengthens both traditional and religious views, which may spark more ethnic and religious conflicts. For instance, the non-traditional generations Z and Y often clash with older, more traditional generations on moral, societal, and religious issues, due to the difference in opposing societal opinions. Globalization has propagated many anti-globalization groups, despite its beneficial attributes. “The anti-global movement is very broad, including church groups, national liberation factions, left-wing parties, environmentalists, peasant unionists, anti-racism groups, libertarian socialists, and others. Most are reformist (arguing for a more humane form of capitalism) and a strong minority are revolutionary.” (Globalization 101, 2010)
On the issue of negative monetary connotations, Globalization has caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, due to imports and production shifts abroad, most notably to China. Disadvantageous to America, is the outsourcing to other countries; many workers face pay-cuts from employers, who often threaten to export jobs. Service and white-collar jobs are also increasingly vulnerable to operations moving to other nations. It is more profitable for corporations to pay lower wages to those in other countries to produce the same product, but outsourcing affects the United States in a detrimental way. In today’s society, job security is not promised, especially under competitive pressure. “Capitalism is a system of economic organization, whereby private citizens, (firms) control the means of production. Men, who are sovereign, earn their status by serving others, not by conquest or ancestry. Under such a system as capitalism, envy arises among those individuals who are competing for the sale of goods and services.” (Ant-capitalistic Mentality, 1972) Those individuals, who fail in competing markets, become jealous of those who are successful. The disheartened individuals begin to seek a scapegoat for their unfortunate situations. They end by resenting the capitalistic system, which brought to others the prosperity they had wished for themselves. The stressors of possible job loss and the concerns of providing for one’s family have lead to a marked increase in depression and mental illnesses in the United States and other nations abroad. As time progresses, societies that are capable of Globalization will merge, whereas those societies that are poverty stricken or less technologically advanced may have a more burdensome time. Many impoverished third world countries in Africa do not have tangible goods and resources that other nations will pursue. Therefore, until these countries produce a product that consumers highly demand, they will continue to be impoverished. Globalization is comparable to natural selection, those who are powerful and prosperous will continue to merge with other powerful nations, and those who are not will continue to wither away.

References
"Globalization - New World Encyclopedia." Info:Main Page - New World Encyclopedia. 2
June 2005. Web. 22 Nov. 2010.
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Amanda. "The Pros and Cons of Globalization, Page 2 of 5." Associated Content from
Yahoo! - Associatedcontent.com. 28 Apr. 2006. Web. 22 Nov. 2010. .
"What Is Globalization." Globalization 101: a Student's Guide to Globalization. Web. 22 Nov. 2010. .
"Economic Freedom of the World, 2009." Free the World. Web. 13 Nov. 2012.
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"Economic Freedom of the World, 2009." Free the World. Web. 13 Nov. 2012.
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Friedman, Milton. Capitalism and Freedom. [Chicago]: University of Chicago, 1962. Print…...

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