Economies and Life Transformed by Globalization Essay

Pages: 5 (1523 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Sociology

Economies and Life Transformed by Globalization

There are inherent negative ramifications of globalization for those of the working class in both developed and developing nations. Globalization is essentially a system that exclusively benefits the elite -- those in upper level management and those who own the major corporations that are engaged in globalization practices, such as Starbucks or McDonalds. As such, there are a host of negative repercussions of this ultimate expression of capitalism for those who are part of the working class and labor to support these international systems of what is best considered class exploitation. Within developing nations, workers are regularly exploited for their labor to earn salaries that woefully insufficient to provide a healthy, happy life. Oftentimes, these workers labor in conditions that are undesirably if not outright deplorable. Within developed nations, there is a loss of certain industries (such as manufacturing) that has very real impact on the lives and livelihoods of workers that used to have jobs before those jobs disappeared overseas. These reasons and others support the viewpoint that there are inherent negative effects of globalization for working class workers in both developed and developing nations.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on Economies and Life Transformed by Globalization There Assignment

It is perhaps easiest to gauge the negative impact of globalization by examining the lives and livelihoods of workers in developing nations. To properly deconstruct the plight of these workers, it is necessary to consider the overarching goal of globalization -- which is essentially an extension of capitalism and the time honored concept of buying low and selling high. A number of jobs and critical processes to the operation of various business (including supply chain management and the obtaining of any number of resources to stay in business) are fulfilled by organizations overseas because the cost of labor and materials is cheaper in those areas. Quite simply, globalization is occurring at a rapid rate because it is financially beneficial to corporations to pay workers lower amounts in developing countries than they would have to do in developed countries. Corporations can get away with paying substantially less wages for workers in developing countries and also save costs in other ways. Workers in remote parts of the world are willing to work longer hours, with fewer breaks, and virtually no thought of benefits, job security, or fair treatment from their employers. In this manner, corporations can greatly reduce their costs and increase their profits by underpaying (and undervaluing and mistreating) workers -- which is why globalization is problematic for the working class in developing nations.

Globalization is quite possibly even more disadvantageous to working class workers in developed nations, because it creates a situation in which there is an entire category of people that was used to equitable treatment, fair wages, and some of the other boons of having steady employment that are now suddenly without those things because their jobs, companies and entire way of life is gone overseas. Globalization truly began in earnest (in terms of the participation of the U.S.) during the mid to latter part of the 1960's. It full began to affect the country as a whole in the 1970's and in the 1980's, in particular. There were whole regions of the country where people had attained good, well paying jobs in industries such as manufacturing that were either laid off or watched as their plant closed and relocated overseas. Such people were previously used to the good things in life such a spaying their mortgage (on time), taking vacations, and being able to support healthy, thriving families. Globalization effectively reduced their means to do all of these things, and to worsen the domestic economy as well. In the decades immediately following World War II the U.S. exported more than it imported -- today that situation is reversed. Working class laborers in this country, as in others that are developed, lost a lot of jobs, industries, and opportunities due to globalization.

The level of exploitation of the working class in developing nations is considerable, and is one of the reasons that globalization produces a noxious affect upon them. Subsequently, it may be a reasonable option for those in developed nations to boycott the products that are made using these cheap sources of labor. An excellent example of this fact is offered by the globalization advances in Mexico, largely due to the piece of legislation known as NAFTA. NAFTA created the conditions so that the government of Mexico would allow U.S. To outsource their labor and build factories within the borders of the former company. In turn, Mexico facilitated tax breaks and took a laissez faire approach to the enforcement of legislation regarding what actually took place in those factories. There was a huge scandal about how in this particular country, there were a number of female workers who were destitute and for whom the opportunity to work for a few pennies each day was a major improvement over the rural poverty of their lives. However, the U.S. companies ruthlessly exploited these workers and put them in working conditions that virtually no one in America (within the last 100 years) would suffer through. Furthermore, in one particular manufacturing city there were a number of women who were brutally murdered (and not infrequently raped before they were killed), while they were simply coming back and forth to their jobs. Their lives and living conditions were so bad that they willingly risked a brutal death to get exploited by these companies. This fact just emphasizes the reality that many of these workers literally have nothing before globalization jobs are provided, which is why they are treated so poorly because of this practice in developing countries.

Within developed nations, there is another pivotal reason that proves that globalization is inherently negative to those of the working class. Globalization is one of the ways of effectively getting rid of competition -- which is one of the general principles upon which capitalism is based. There are endless examples of how globalization helps to eliminate competition -- a look at all of the different business that have merged or gone out of business in the past decade can suitably prove this point. Still, the principle point is this: if Wal-Mart is manufacturing its own brand products somewhere in the Third World and paying reduced costs for labor and materials, it can afford to sell its products at a lower price than a local supermarket that does not have the capital to set up a global operation and, subsequently, is paying more for its labor and materials. The consumer, then, will naturally gravitate to Wal-Mart not only for its huge selection, but for its lower prices. This aspect of globalization eventually affects the working class in the developed countries because it provides little means for those of the working class to ever ascend from this class. During the early part of the 20th century and the 19th century, it might have been possible for someone to work hard and eventually open their own business. However, small and mid-sized businesses simply cannot compete with multi-national corporations -- for very long. Thus, socio-economic mobility is severely limited for the working class in developed countries, because globalization prevents them from forming their own businesses and successfully competing with international conglomerates like Starbucks.

Additionally, the examples provided by Leslie Chang in the video she is featured in discussing her time spent in China watching the livelihoods of factory workers alludes to the difficulties of working class workers in various aspects of globalization. What is remarkable about Chang's story is that she is able to tell some of the good aspects of globalization. Sadly, however, much of the reality she speaks about is not actualized by the vast majority of individuals in developing countries laboring for multi-national companies. China is vast, and there are certainly modern cities, metropolitan… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Economies and Life Transformed by Globalization" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Economies and Life Transformed by Globalization.  (2014, May 9).  Retrieved June 4, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Economies and Life Transformed by Globalization."  9 May 2014.  Web.  4 June 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Economies and Life Transformed by Globalization."  May 9, 2014.  Accessed June 4, 2020.