Globalization- Good or Bad?
Debate Rounds (4)
Definition of globalization- the development of an increasingly integrated global economy marked especially by free trade, free flow of capital, and the tapping of cheaper foreign labor markets
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening argument
Round 3: Rebuttal
Round 4: Conclusion
I look forward towards this debate.
Thank you for accepting this debate, Mr. Ubriaco. I will now outline my main arguments as to why globalization is overall negative.
Domination of branded corporations
It is safe to say that brands are prevalent in almost every aspect of society, from designer clothing to "luxury" automobiles. Simply having a brand makes a product much more valuable than its generic counterpart. So why do people choose the expensive, branded product over the cheaper, generic product when the two are often similar in quality? The answer is that people want to be part of the brand's identity; to experience the "Starbucks experience". Now brands are certainly nothing new in manufacturing or society. But during the 1980's, brands experienced a radical transformation in which they became more than the product. Companies such as Nike don't actually produce their products but instead contract manufacturers to produce their designs. Naomi Klein articulates this well in her book, No Logo. You may ask why brands are such a bad thing. Money spent on advertising in the U.S. has risen from 50 billion in 1979 to 200 billion in 1998. At face value, these advertisements are simply intruding our lives and are an eyesore to see on billboards, buses, benches, etc. However, they have begun to enter an institution that was previously untouched: schools. A notorious example of this is Channel One. In exchange for audiovisual equipment, students were required to watch advertisements everyday during school. Turning off the advertisements or changing the volume was not allowed. How can we allow the youth to be brainwashed by these corporations? Outside of advertising, the acts of branded corporations become more atrocious. Corporations have moved their factories to third-world countries with few, if any, labor regulations. In China, the Liang Shi Handbag Factory, which produces Kathie Lee handbags for Wal-Mart, gives wages from 0.13 to 0.23 cents per hour. The workers work 6 days a week, over 10 hours a day, have no legal contract, and live in filthy dorms that house 10 per room. Similar conditions are felt across factories in China, India, and Southeast Asia. These branded corporations have also used their size to monopolize and put small stores out of business. When Walmart is introduced to an area, it slashes its prices so low that small stores cannot compete with it. Similarly, Starbucks dominates other coffeehouses by aggressively building chains in one community to cut off other coffeehouses from making money. Huge companies have mergered to monopolize their sectors, which would have been illegal had it not been for Reagan's refroms against anti-trust laws.
Outsourcing to export processing zones
We've already seen the negative effects on developing countries that comes with globalization. However, outsourcing remains a major issue in developed countries such as the U.S., which has lost six million jobs since 1980. Most of these jobs are relatively high-paying, stable jobs in manufacturing. Today, most people in the U.S. work in the service sector, and many of them have to take minimum-wage jobs with no benefits. More than 140 countries use a value-added tax, which is similar to a tariff by penalizing imports and subsidizing exports. The U.S. is the only developed economy without one. The signing of NAFTA in 1994 further increased outsourcing by shifting factories from the U.S. to Mexico. At the same time, this led to little growth in U.S. wages as more companies began to move to Mexico. In addition, Mexican farmers have been put out of business due to imports of subsidized agriculture from the U.S. Subsidized agriculture has made many developing nations who can't afford to give the subsidy to rely on the cheap food that comes from developed nations like the U.S., which has refused to lower its subsidies even when asked by the WTO. Jobless Mexicans that have illegally immigrated to the U.S. steal jobs from Americans and further contribute to rising unemployment. Inequality has increased due to these huge corporations and the poor population forced to live on these minimum wage jobs. The Gini coefficient, a measure of inequality in wealth distribution, has been steadily increasing in the U.S. To put it simply, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. With the effects of the 2008 financial crisis still being felt, we cannot stand to lose jobs to foreign markets and have our middle class continue to disappear.
Not only have Western nations sought to imperialize other countries economically, but they have attempted to implement their own culture and society onto the "imperialized" region. To start off with branded corporations, for obvious reasons they have sought to enter foregin markets and sell their products to the local populations. These brands look to oust existing cultural and traditional beliefs with new, Western ones. Indeed, companies such as Coca-Cola seem to embody the American ideal and are popular with countries in Asia who want to become Americanized. However, this loss of cultural diversity is certainly not beneficial, and while some embrace these new cultures, others resent the American attitude and its impacts on their society. Many are appalled by the greedinees and consumerism that is present in American society. Probably the largest anti-American sentiment exists in the Middle East, where Islamic governments reject Western practices in favor for their Islamic traditions. Terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda have emerged that have directly attacked the U.S. such as the bombings on 9/11.
Risk of global pandemic
Given that with globalization comes increased interactions with populations across the globe, it follows that these increased interactions will lead to an increased risk of the spread of disease. The possibility of a global pandemic wiping out a large portion of the human population is a very real threat and HIV has already emerged as a possible candidate for this description. HIV has killed over 36 million people and there is an equal amount of people living with the disease today. Today, the Phillippines asked the Department of Health to call HIV a national emergency, showing that the disease is still very dangerous even with today's awareness and ART therapy.
I will outline my arguments in certain points:
Revolutionizing Health Care in the developing world-
Globalization has caused improvements in health care in Africa and Asia that would have taken decades to materialize without the help of the Western world. Consider outbreaks of deadly diseases such as the current Ebola hemorrhagic fever epidemic in Western Africa. Non-profit NGOs such as Doctors Without Borders have helped considerably in alleviating the horrific effects of the pathogen on destitute rural areas and overpopulated urban centers. Without globalization, these NGOs might not exist and at least wouldn't be properly informed about epidemics around the world, with these regions being forced to fend for themselves against some of the deadliest diseases known to man.
Spreading Technology and augmenting the rate of technologicL advancement-
Globalization has definitely assisted in the growth of technology and information services in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries. This can be seen with the expansion of the techhnology industry in east Asia. Advance in the west, most notably in the US are transferred to china, japan and the Asian Tigers through trade and communication. This allows the products resulting from these interactions to be manufactured cheaply and available to consumers around the world. Now is a perfect time to recall the medical example as well. Consider, a university laboratory in the US that invents a cheaper machine to sterilize medical equipment. A transnational corporation may buy this technology to have it manufactured in Taiwan and later shipped to Ghana to better medical care in a large hospital in Accra. This entire process therefore benefits all parties, and all due to globalization. Also consider the CERN laboratory on the border of France and Switzerland. Some of the best physicists from all around the world convene there to work in advanced physics projects that could not be completed in their own country's facilities. Thus encourages global cooperation and may increase the rate of technological advancement trough conglomeration.
Encouraging the development of third world industry-
Global companies greatly help with the development of third world countries by propagating technology in the developing world. For example, an oil company like Exxon Mobil May have built oil wells fifty years ago in newly independent Nigeria. Later on, Nigeria nationalized these oil wells and fields and gained technology and wealth in the process. The accumulation I these transnational corporations in foreign countries helps to build industry in these areas and leads to employment, to be discussed in the next section.
Better Employment Opportunities in the Developing World-
How many times have you called an American company and got a foreign telemarketer? Maybe you asked where you were calling and the person responded the Philippines. Perhaps you proceeded to get angry there was no American you could speak to, but I will explain why that is the wrong way of thinking. Think about the life of the Filipino you are on the phone with. They may work upwards of 12 hours a day and only earn a dollar or two every hour. Think about the children they have to feed, care for and provide safe shelter. Think about how hard they work to learn English and how remarkable it is for them to conceptualize complicated questions in a foreign language. Now do you feel the same way. By calling the company you are giving people in a poor nation livelihood, and helping I better the world in the process. So the next time you get a foreign call center on the phone, don't get frustrated but instead think of how great it is and how remarkable the effects of globalization truly are.
Increasing the availability of information around the world-
It is my humble opinion that this concept is the most important in considering the positive effects of globalization. Globalization, through the World Wide Web and supranational bodies such as the UN has increased the knowledge of people in unfortunate situations and under repressive regimes. In the past tyranny and genocide was largely possible due to a lack of education and understanding of what was truly going on in their country. Globalization has helped to prevent his by informing people around the world. I will now proceed to establish causation between Globalization and the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring is a movement that began in Tunisia due to a protester setting himself on fire when we became aware of the atrocities committed by his government and it's tyranny over the Tunisian people. The spring grew out of that one seed and blossomed into a movement that encompasses much of the Middle East, from Egypt to Turkey to The Arabian Peninsula. Globalization has played such a vital role in this movement because it has sparked Arab protests due to Western or international bodies that gathered information on these corrupt middle eastern governments. Without globalization to inform these revolutionaries or international foundations or national governments such as Qatar to find it, this movement would have been reminiscent of past failed revolutions around the Middle East. Now I'd like you to consider how globalization would change your life if you lived in a repressive system. For years you might have believed your government worked hard to help you out, but later you find out top officials wee embezzling funds while you tried to feed your family. This info from globalization transforms you into a revolutionary and your life as well as that of many others is transformed forever due to your willingness to take action.
Globalization has helped spread progressive ideas and information around the world to better the lives of people in the Developed and Developing worlds. Whether it be the spread of technology, wealth or Info, globalization has positively impacted the life of nearly every human being and will continue to do so. For now I will leave off with one statement: daring to be globalized is daring to be wise.
I must apologize because I wrote this whole argument on a bus trip so I am unable to post source links, so I will post the following round. Please also forgive the abundance of typos that I made due to my phone which I typed this whole argent on. I will clean up these errors and my argument in future rounds.
Some interesting points you made, Pro. I will now begin my rebuttals.
Revolutionizing health care in the developing world
I agree that organizations such as Doctors Without Borders have done some great work in the field of humanitarian support for developing countries. In no way am I criticizing these organizations, but they simply don't have and will never have enough resources to provide health care to all of those who are suffering. Aid is only a temporary fix and can't be used as a permanent solution to the health problems around the world. And despite the progress places like Africa have made in the twentieth century, they still suffer from several problems that continue to devastate the region. Africa has the majority of people infected with HIV/AIDS, have almost all of the malaria cases worldwide, have the highest rates of infant and maternal mortality, and many don't have access to basic necessities such as clean water.
Spreading technology and augmenting the rate of technological advancement
The Asian Tigers are not as prosperous as they might seem. Their growth in economy has been primarily based off an increase in capital investment. While this leads to short-term growth, the law of diminishing returns state as they continually invest more and more capital, they will experience less growth per unit of capital. It is only through an increase in total factor productivity that they can sustain such high levels of growth. Indeed, the 1997 Asian financial crisis occurred as the Thai baht currency collapse. This leads into another problem of globalization: foreign dependence on the global economy. The Asian financial crisis is a good example of this, but we must turn to an even greater financial crisis of the 1973 oil crisis. By imposing an embargo on oil on the U.S. and other European countries, OPEC caused huge oil prices that are still felt today and a massive rise inflation. The CERN laboratory is certainly the epitome of global cooperation towards a common goal. However, this has little place in a debate on the effects of a free trade global economy, as I defined it in the first round.
Encouraging the development of third world industry
You bring up a case where a corporation has brought industry to a third world country. But who had to build these wells, railroads, etc.? This is yet another case of corporations exploiting other regions for their own gain. These workers have low wages, long hours, and work in a dangerous environment without compensation.
Better employment opportunities in the developing world
This is another classic example of outsourcing to developing countries. Why should foreigners be doing a job when they are not native speakers of the language? I think telemarketing is a job that would be done better in America rather than India. Also, as more people are entering the global workforce, this increases the supply of labor and wages decrease. Before in America, if you had a college degree, you were secure in landing a job. Now, even skilled graduates with a master's degree have to compete with graduates in other countries who are willing to work for half the price. And if we look at the regions of the world where jobs in manufacturing are going to, we see that the conditions of workers are getting worse and worse. In order to attract foreign investment, export processing zones are established that have no customs authorities. These zones compete with each other by trying to offer the lowest taxes and the least labor regulations to the point where there are none at all.
Increasing the availability of information around the world
Unless you can provide a direct correlation between the global economy and Arab spring, I can't see how this factors into our debate. Even if we went along with your argument, this increase in information availability is not always a good thing. Consider Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, who reveal governmental practices of the U.S. that are secret. The U.S. government must keep certain things unknown to the general public for the sake of the common good. Could our assassination of Osama bin Laden have been effective if al-Qaeda had been aware of the details of the operation? I think not.
Domination of branded corporations-
I completely disagree with your notion that globalization supports the growth of branded products, in fact it often fosters the exact opposite. For example in Switzerland and France people tend to oppose globalization and encourage the growth of strong national character in the political, social and economic centers of society. In those countries, people greatly value domestically produced products versus foreign imports. This not only drives up the cost of average items which makes it extremely expensive to live in these countries and their cities (take Paris and Zurich for example). This displays how refusing to globalize is the actual cause of branded name growth and price inflation as you described in your arguments. Consider this question as well: When is the last time you heard an American or European demanding a Vietnamese or Chinese brand name due to its superior quality? In fact globalization has even encouraged the rise of new companies oversea
My opponent has stated in the comments that his rebuttals were somehow cut off when he submitted them. I look forward to seeing them in his conclusion. Until then, I extend my previous arguments and rebuttals. I suppose I will now respond to his rebuttal that he partially wrote out.
Domination of branded corporations
My opponent cites an example where France and Switzerland have opposed foreign goods. When examining globalization, it is usually one country or brand attempting to exapand into other. While Europe may not be the best case of this, many companies are now estbalishing chains in Asian countries. In some cases, the peope want these products because they symbolize wealth and the American way of life that they desire. In other cases, people protest about foreign companies coming into their countries or communities because they wipe out local producers. For example, many people are angry when a Wal-mart enters their town because they know that they cannot compete with their everyday low prices. One way or another, these brands will make their way into any markets they deem to be profitable. It is usually richer countries' brands expanding into poorer countries, and this may help answer your question. However, even richer countries such as India or China (I say rich in reference to their high GDP's and extraordinary high growth rates) are eager to own American brands and products. Your question also brings up an interesting point: the low quality goods of China and Vietnam. This supports my argument that the emergence of export processing zones has led to not only poor working conditions, but also very little quality control.
Since I have no other arguments to rebut, I will provide some other examples that help support my arguments and refute some possible rebuttals my opponent may attempt to make next round.
Nestle baby formula scandal
During the 1970's, it was discovered that Nestle, a company that also makes baby formula, was exploiting mothers in Africa for their own economic gain. Although the superior nourishment of breast milk was already known at the time, Nestle launched a campaign to get these African mothers to use baby formula. They gave out pamphlets and free samples of their formulas to hospitals and asked them to distribute them in exchange for giving them some funding. As mothers used this baby formula, they lost their ability to lactate and became dependent of the formula. At the same time, mothers were diluting the formula in order to feed multiple children. The result was that millions of babies died from this malnutrition. This is a clear example of how globalization has allowed some companies to take advantage and exploit poorer regions of the world.
Child labor and human trafficking
I've already addressed the terrible working conditions in developing countries, but I'd like to focus on child labor as a violation of human rights that globalization has caused and supports. While you bring up the example of the noble factory worker trying to support his family, the other side is much darker than that. Children are working in dangerous factories that have no safety regulations. In the Ivory Coast, children have to pick cacao beans to help pay their debts and support their families. In the Middle East, human trafficking remains a dangerous issue as migrant workers, who are looking for better opportunities, are tricked into taking jobs that turn out to be sexual services. Threats of violence, debt, and deportation prevent them from escaping this sytem.
Domination of branded corporations-
I completely disagree with your notion that globalization supports the growth of branded products, in fact it often fosters the exact opposite. For example in Switzerland and France people tend to oppose globalization and encourage the growth of strong national character in the political, social and economic centers of society. In those countries, people greatly value domestically produced products versus foreign imports. This not only drives up the cost of average items which makes it extremely expensive to live in these countries and their cities (take Paris and Zurich for example). This displays how refusing to globalize is the actual cause of branded name growth and price inflation as you described in your arguments. Consider this question as well: When is the last time you heard an American or European demanding a Vietnamese or Chinese brand name due to its superior quality? In fact globalization has even encouraged the rise of new companies overseas. For example, analyze the development of HTC. HTC is a Taiwanese company that was founded in Taipei in 1997. The only reason it came into existence is that American technologic advances, which Taiwan was manufacturing were exposed to Taiwanese investors, who subsequently started their own company and employed thousands of Taiwanese, from low-skilled workers to top-level engineers and financial analysts. I"d also like to call into question your statistics regarding the factory wages. First off that is an extreme case, and second off, that statistic must by appropriated for by PPP (Purchasing Parity Power) instead of the GDP numbers it is based on. China"s PPP of $ 11,000 is nearly double its GDP per capita of $6,000, which explains the low salary, by showing how it is actually worth double its value when compared to the US dollar. Therefore workers can make a respectable salary of $30 dollars a week, which is far from utter destitution. In addition, I completely disagree with your notion that the process of chains driving other stores out of business is negative. When a Walmart moves in to a new town, it hires many new employees who earn respectable wages and are able to ascend up a hierarchical management pyramid. In addition, consumers are able to purchase goods at a much lower price. Consider the Recession of 2008- consumers were able to maintain their lifestyles for the most part, even if they lost their jobs because of saved money and very affordable prices at stores like Walmart. Lastly, I"d just like to add how Walmart genuinely supports the disabled community and really improves the lives of some disabled people by giving them employment that no small business would offer.
Outsourcing to export processing zones-
I must first respond to outsourcing again. My full answer is in my opening but for time considerations I will just pose a few points: Welfare in the Philippines? Forget about it! Food stamps? Not in this world! Medicaid? No Way! That small wage is everything to an adult who needs every penny to provide food, shelter and medical care to his or her family. So outsourcing can transform the lives of those in the developing world. Next I"d like to refute your point about VAT as I believe it is actually the exact opposite of what you said it was. VAT actually discourages exports because it requires domestic companies and shipping companies to pay the taxes instead of consumers, which is how sales tax works. This tax on exports encourages companies to keep their products in the domestic market, so it is easier to collect taxes from consumers. In addition, imports from one VAT country to another are taxed by the exporter and not the importer, which just causes the same net price difference. Regarding Mexico I believe your argument to be contradictory. If so many jobs were moving to Mexico, how come Mexicans come looking for work here? Also, illegal immigrants are never included in unemployment statistics because they are not legal permanent residents of the USA. In addition, I"d like to show how the financial crisis of 2008 was marginally helped by globalization. Cheaper prices due to the outsourcing mentioned before allowed Americans to keep consuming and ameliorated many of the effect of the recession which would have had major repercussions if America was reliant on a completely domestic market.
First, I"d like to refer to what you do as "cultural imperialism" as cultural diffusion which is what the spread of a dominant culture has been called for millennia. Now, cultural diffusion is an inherently beneficial process, as it replaces weak societal customs with stronger ones. It has had the effect of removing many customs deemed backwards around the world that are gross violations of the intrinsic rights of women and men around the world. Look at the prime example of the effect of British culture on India. Before British culture was disseminated in India, the practice of Sati was widespread, with widows being forced to commit suicide on their deceased husband"s funeral pyre due to pressure from disgruntled family members. In addition, the caste system restricted social mobility in India for thousands of years. When the British arrived, they sought to phase out these inhumane practices and ultimately were successful through their cultural diffusion to the elite classes of Indian society. Social mobility is one major benefit of Western globalized culture, as it was the Western Enlightenment thinkers who derived the notion that equal opportunity should be present in society. Would there be as much mobility in China, India and Africa if these ideas had not been disseminated? I think not. Now, I can"t deny that globalized Western culture causes enemy militant groups, but what I do assert is that "for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction" " Newton"s Third Law. How is this relevant? Much if the Muslim world has been stereotyped into myopic anti-American body, but in reality it is quite the opposite. Look at the Muslim country of Albania in the Balkans. Albania is often considered the most pro-American country in the world, with many people having higher views if the US than Americans themselves. When former US President George Bush visited he got a much warmer reception that he ever did in the Blue states of the US.
If a Pandemic is going to occur, globalization does not necessarily exacerbate it, as in due time it is bound to spread everywhere in the world, as per the definition of a pandemic. Also, just consider the spread of immunity around the world due to globalization and the eradication of smallpox.
I"m running out of characters, so I will only briefly respond to your rebuttal-
Revolutionizing health care-
Globalization is far from perfect, but it helps and that"s what matters. It has improved global health care and will only continue to do so.
Better employment opportunities in the developing world-
I believe your problem not to be with globalization, but instead with the capitalist world economy. The issues you described are a few of the negative consequences with capitalism, but they are just governed by natural laws. Laissez-Faire capitalism happens to be my economic system of choice, so I don"t have a problem with the competition you describe, as I believe all will find their roles and the best will win out.
Increasing the availability of information around the world-
Clearly you have missed my point that I made in the opening. The Arab Spring movement is a revolution driven by knowledge and communication, two concepts only made possible in the Middle East by globalization. The Internet and Social Networking, two cornerstones of globalization have indubitably acted as the driving forces in such a strong movement.
Let"s review globalization for one final time. It is not a perfect system, but it is extremely relevant to today"s world. We as humans must face, that globalization is inevitable. It was and will help to revolutionize health care, spread technology, encourage the development of the third world, improve world employment, and increase the availability of information around the world. I think the words of Herbie Hancock sum it up best, "Globalization means we have to re-examine some of our ideas, and look at ideas from other countries, from other cultures, and open ourselves to them. And that's not comfortable for the average person." I ask you to be the optimist and open yourself to the abundant benefits of globalization.
Thank you for reading.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Tore_Mihror 2 years ago
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||3|
Reasons for voting decision: Although this was a very tough decision, I am going to go with PRO. While CON was able to bring up a couple of valid points, notebly the "Domination of branded corporations" they where thouroghly rebutted by PRO. Then PRO brings up the spreading of technology/information piece, a very innovative argument on the contrary to the more used and "generic" arguments, but CON says "Unless you can provide a direct correlation between the global economy and Arab spring, I can't see how this factors into our debate." which he thourougly did do, and then CON goes on about whistleblowers which is a completly differnt topic. While CON focused on extreme examples and twisted statistics, PRO brought in a wordly view, a progressive stance and thourough explanations, while CON yet again relies on generalizations. Sources where on both sides accurate and unbias, and spelling/grammer was even too. This was a very interesting debate to read and now I am running out of characters.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.