The Instigator
Fisherking
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
clsmooth
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points

Globalization will be the best solution to the uneven distribution of internationla wealth.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,814 times Debate No: 2017
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (13)

 

Fisherking

Con

Some may ask, what is "Globalization"? Globalization is defined, according the Cambridge Dictionary, as the increase of trade around the world, especially by large companies producing and trading goods in many different countries; or when available goods and services, or social and cultural influences, gradually become similar in all parts of the world. But as we approach to the subject a little bit closer, we may have different interpretations. Ask yourself again, will or how does globalization affects your world, your country, your community, or simply just you?
Globalization is just a process of making the different varieties of aspects in our life, such as cultures, economies, governments, religions, into one big "pot," and you stir all the ingredients, and you will get a combination of different varieties. The dish may taste good, or it may taste bad, depends on how do you like the way it is made. Now, as I said the product of globalization depends on the taste of that person or group of people, there is no such right or wrong opinion or answers.
In the article of A World on the Edge by Amy Chua, a professor at Yale Law School, her point of view upon globalization is that conflicts occur when the ethnic-dominant minorities, the rich group, is getting stronger and stronger under the circumstance of economies is being globalized. Free-market and democracy are the products of capitalism, but they are going against each other as free-market favors the ethnic-dominant minorities while the democracy favors the other. Amy stated, "There is in the world today a phenomenon that turns free-market democracy into an engine of ethnic conflagration." (Chua, 66) Globalization is the way to spread capitalism; it brings two different perspectives, which are against each other. Therefore, two ethnic groups, which are favored differently, will have a cultural tension based on economy and politics.
In the article, she also stated, "For globalization's enthusiasts, the cure for group hatred and ethnic violence around the world is straightforward: more markets and more democracy." (Chua, 68) Amy made another point after this," I believe, rather, that the global spread of markets and democracy is a principal aggravating cause of group hatred and ethnic violence throughout the non-Western world." (Ibid) As I have mentioned before, the markets favor the ethnic-dominant minorities, or in other words, Markets concentrate the wealth in the minorities from other countries. Amy believed that these would lead to the fomenting ethnic envy and hatred among often chronically poor majorities. (Chua, 69)
Because of all these hatred within ethnic groups, there are three backlash, which are backlash against markets that favor ethnic-dominant minorities, backlash against democracy which are forced to favor market-dominant minorities, and violence against market-dominant minorities personally. (Ibid) In the article, Amy brought up the Zimbabwe illustration. The government itself encouraged the citizen to take over the land owned by the foreigners, or their citizens, whom their grandparents are not locally born, from other races. This is the first backlash of hatred within ethnic groups. But I also found that since the government encouraged them to do such confiscation of private properties, the minority group would very likely have a second kind of backlash, generally under this circumstance, against the government or democracy that favors one ethnic group than the other. Amy believes that the globalization will lead to the situation of majority having a backlash on the minority only, but I think differently. Majority also has an opportunity to take revenge on the political-dominant majority if the government favors on them; markets somehow "control" the government and the democracy as well since the market-dominant minority will either provide campaign money to the politicians or economically forcing the government to do in their ways. Therefore, the backlash of two groups against the government is continuously repeating. Like in the United States, the Democrats and the Replubicans are favoring their voters in different ways, the poor and the rich.
" They tend to see wealth and poverty in terms of class conflict, not ethnic conflict…the anti-globalization movement asks for one thing: more democracy." (Chua, 72) I agree with the point about ethnic conflict, which is a factor of the wealth and poverty problem, but it is not the only one. Class conflict is also a factor that led to this problem. In a real capitalism, there are different classes because of the belief of free-market. Class conflict is the original factor of wealth and poverty problem; with the contribution of ethnic conflict, it makes backlashes and hatred within ethnic groups. Also, I disagree with the great solution: more democracy. First of all, more democracy would very likely lead to two scenarios; market-dominant minority control the government or the democracy which makes the life of the ethnic majority more difficult, or local ethnic government, like in Zimbabwe, favors their local ethnic majority in a extreme totalitarian way, such as violence. This is not a great solution, and not even a solution that helps the situation. Amy understands this reality also, " But unless democratization means something more than unrestrained majority rule, calling for democracy in the developing world can be shortsighted and even dangerous." (Chua, 73)
clsmooth

Pro

First, I must clearly define the point that I'm arguing.

You use the following definition of globalization: "The increase of trade around the world, especially by large companies producing and trading goods in many different countries; or when available goods and services, or social and cultural influences, gradually become similar in all parts of the world."

I am all for this, and I do think it is "the best solution to the uneven distribution of international wealth."

What I am NOT for:

* One-world government under the auspices of the UN, the WTO, etc.

* An international monetary standard imposed by blackmail by the IMF and World Bank

* Forced redistribution of wealth from rich nations to poor via direct foreign aid and/or fiat-money central banking schemes

The three elements above are generally considered parts of "globalization," but not the kind of globalization I'm talking about. I'm talking about legitimate, free-market, global trade -- voluntary on the part of all parties involved. I believe strongly in national and state sovereignty, and I'm fully opposed to the U.S.'s membership in or support of the UN, the WTO, the IMF, or the World Bank; and I'm more generally opposed to the continued existence of those institutions.

Adam Smith wrote of the benefits of "division of labor" and "absolute advantage" (later expounded on by David Ricardo, more accurately, as "comparative advantage") in his groundbreaking book, THE WEALTH OF NATIONS. Smith's book -- considered by many to be the "Bible of capitalism" -- is an all-out defense of free markets AND free international trade. It warns against the folly of reciprocal tariffs and countervailing duties, etc., which inevitably lead to trade wars and a decrease in the division of labor and comparative advantages to be gained by free trade.

First, let's take a brief look at division of labor: Imagine if you had to produce everything you consumed. Would you consume more or less than you do now? Would your quality of life be higher or lower than it is now? Could you prepare all of your own meals -- including growing the vegetables, raising and slaughtering the meat, cooking, etc. -- in addition to making your own clothes (raising sheep), building your own furniture, and providing your own entertainment? Perhaps you could, but your life would be miserable and your standard of living would be low.

So instead, people find things they're good at and focus on those things. Maybe you're a good dairy farmer. So you produce milk. But man can't live on milk alone. So you trade your milk for beef, vegetables, clothes, furniture, and comic books. One person or family focusing on making milk for a whole village, while the rest of the village focuses strictly on other things, produces more milk than if every member of the village was responsible for their own milk.

But let's take the issue of entertainment. In your village, the primary entertainment is provided by a comic book artist. He's great, but you don't like comic books. You would prefer novels. So you write your own, and they're not that good, but still better than anyone else in your village. You cut down on your milk production to write novels, but it would be much better if you could make more milk and trade them for good novels. If trade were open to more than just your village -- say, your whole state -- you would probably be able to. Now imagine if trade were open to everyone in the country. That's what we call mercantilism, and it's the economic system that Smith railed against. He advocated for CAPITALISM, which is the economic system in which there is free and unrestricted trade all over the globe. Thus, you would have access to the best, most efficiently priced products, and you would also have a global market for your goods. Comparative advantage teaches us the individuals and nations can specialize in what they have a comparative advantage in producing, and trading their surpluses for other goods. World capitalism produces the most goods and services, and thus, raises living standards.

You talk a lot about racial and ethnic prejudice. Well, capitalism is the solution to these ills. Under capitalism, the racist employer loses when he hires an inefficient employee on the basis of race, while his competitor hires the best man or woman for the job. The racist consumer may pay a racial premium, but that lowers his standard of living.

True laissez-faire capitalism is the bane of the aristocracy. The original conservatives (aristocrats loyal to the Crown) were the enemies of capitalism and defenders of mercantilism. Many later turned to socialism. The original liberals (the original Left) were for laissez-faire capitalism because they knew it destroyed the unearned wealth of the aristocracy.

True capitalism and "democracy" (as you define it) are incompatible. "Democracy" is not a worthy goal, if you consider democracy to be "majority rule." That form of "democracy" is consistent only with socialism, which keeps people enslaved in poverty. True capitalism requires a minimalist government that limits itself soley to the role of defending life, liberty, and property -- not redistributing wealth or protecting individuals from themselves.

If Third World nations want to achieve prosperity, they need to establish representative republics, based on the original intent of the U.S. Constitution. They should also reject the fiat-money overtures and blackmail of the IMF and World Bank and go with a hard currency. They should not restrict foreign ownership or trade to any degree. And they should have a strong rule of law that protects the life, liberty, and property of their citizens and foreigners, in order to foster legitimate free markets. Unfortunately, these are not things the UN, WTO, World Bank, or IMF allow nations to do.
Debate Round No. 1
Fisherking

Con

In your first round, you have not been successfully built up your point. There were too many imaginations: comics, novels... Those are vague and unsupportive evidence. In the real world, no one can guarantee the living standads are going to be raised; no single government is going to be responsible for the actions you have mentioned before if the actions are not in effect and the people will not be benefited. The possiblity of failing the task is way too high than success. How can you call that "the best?"First of all, you mentioned,

"* One-world government under the auspices of the UN, the WTO, etc.

* An international monetary standard imposed by blackmail by the IMF and World Bank

* Forced redistribution of wealth from rich nations to poor via direct foreign aid and/or fiat-money central banking schemes"

Those are the elements essential to globalization in which you are not for. I do not really see your point there. First of all, one-world government is not
possible to exist. Look at the UN, and all other world "governing" bodies, they do not have real power to regulate any countries. For instance, UN did use the power to put embargo different countries, but the results were embarassingly poor. There might be a one-world "club" out there, but there is no such government. Since there is no such one-world government, how could you even ask or push the people or cooperations to be supportive or "willing" to redistribute the wealth?" Therefore, this also proved that your "voluntary" actions are useless and ineffective. You even said you are not for the forced redistribution of wealth, then, how can we get thewealth "evenly" distributed. No matter how voluntary your imagination is, there is no way to be the
"best," or to be "even."

And you talked about legitimacy, free-market, and global trade, then you opposed the US participation in UN or other world "governing" committees. Once again, you proved yourself wrong by taking out the participation of US. Remember the world "governing" body before the UN, the history is telling the fact: US refused to join the League of Nations, the organization failed to do its job by allowing the Axis power to start the World War II, and finally, it
leads to the League's downfall. With no aid from the states, I do not see any reasonable evidence that can support your arguements.

Also, the legitimacy of redistribution of wealth is based on the government and the businesses. I have proved to you that voluntary work is not the "best" way to do it. Moreover, the free-market is another arugement. Your theory according to Adam Smith, THE WEALTH OF NATIONS, is well known. His follower Milton Fredman, an important American economist of this century, has said there is no such absolute free-market. There may be one in theory but not in practice. Therefore, your arguement will not be accpetable because there is no absolute free-market, then there is no "evenly" distributed wealth, and globalization cannot take credit for that.You talked about the division of labor, which means the society is based on a highly intergrated structure, without any supportive base. If you meant the division of labor can solve the problem, then you may want to reconsider your unstable position. There are many solutions involving the division of labor. You are suggesting that many solutions can help redistribute the wealth, but I do not see evidence that GLOBALIZATION will be the "best." If anything can solve the problem, why do we need, particularly, globalization? In addition, division of labor is not the "best" or even helpful to the situation because the world we are living in is practicing many methods of social reform, including redistribution of the wealth. The only significant outcome we observed is the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer. If you think our governments are not thinking about and using the different methods that you have been suggested, you are incorrect in your assumption because once the structure of our highly intergrated society is reshaped, the economy will suffer due to the interdepedency of different social and economic classes. Therefore, globalization, once again, has been proved not the "best" solution to the uneven distribution of international wealth."If Third World nations want to achieve prosperity, they need to establish representative republics, based on the original intent of the U.S. Constitution." Then, the world needs the "US Consititution" instead of globalization, according to you. Representative republics do have commons with globalization, but they are still, afterall, two different ideas. You cannot provide any evidence to show that globalization is the "best" solution to the
uneven distribution of international wealth, in which, afterall, is your goal in this debate.
clsmooth

Pro

The examples I used were illustrative of the obvious point: Trade increases wealth. When two parties consent to a trade, they are both better off for the trade, or else they wouldn't do it. Furthermore, with division of labor, a greater number (and higher quality) of goods and services can be produced. The further trade is expanded (i.e. the fewer barriers to free trade there are), the higher living standards for all people will be.

The solution is not for one government, or any governments at all to "be responsible for the actions [I] have mentioned before if the actions are not in effect and the people will not be benefited." (That sentence doesn't even make sense, by the way). The solution is for governments to get out of the way and let people engage in voluntary, mutually beneficial transactions. That's all free trade is. It does not require government, other than to enforce contracts and protect property rights.

I do not agree that the "New World Order" elements are "essential to globalization" as we have defined it. Expanded global trade, lowering of trade barriers, and free exchange of ideas does not require international bureaucracy which is designed to do the exact opposite.

Your arguments make no sense. They're just a bunch of words with no coherence.

I'm not interested in "forcing" anyone to engage in anything. Free trade is voluntary exchange. The government doesn't need to be involved in a baseball-card trade between you and me, regardless of whether we live in the same city, state, or country, or not.

Globalization, as we have defined it, leads to increased living standards and more freedom. It would do the most to alleviate disparities in wealth, which are caused by government anti-capitalist policies.
Debate Round No. 2
Fisherking

Con

If you do not understand what I have said before, let me say this one more time. Trading does not necessarily increase the wealth of ALL people: it most likely increases the wealth of the rich, not the public. And that hits the point I have mentioned: the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer; it does not help even distribution of the wealth, which is, after all, globalization is failed to achieve.

The goal of this debate is not the concern of people's living standard, but the uneven distribution of wealth. Division of labor and free trade are not effective because these practices have been used for years and one thing we observed, again, the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer.

You accused me that my arguments were not cohesive. But I think you are actually off the topic. "I'm not interested in "forcing" anyone to engage in anything. Free trade is voluntary exchange. The government doesn't need to be involved in a baseball-card trade between you and me, regardless of whether we live in the same city, state, or country, or not." Who cares about baseball-card trading or any other local businesses under the spectrum of "international wealth?" Do you think "baseball" is everywhere? Do you think baseball-card can help the economy reform? We are talking about Macroeconomics, not your pathetic whining about baseball-card. We are talking about issues around the world; we need to debate on issues that mean something to the leaders around the world.

Overall, your arguments are weak, pointless, and you have failed to provide evidence to support your side. If you think my arguments make no sense, maybe the problem comes from you.

I am from Hong Kong, where many great economists described it as the place almost has free-market, which in your term, laissez-faire. I have experienced the realty of capitalism, free trade, or division of labor, and I need to conclude that these practices are not able to solve the uneven distribution of wealth. How can you claim that these practices can be useful in a macro-economic spectrum, the world?

No one is interested in "New World Order" or any kind, one-world government is not possible. But we also need to look at the realty, which voluntary "charity" from business or trading is not going to work. How can you persuade me that globalization can solve the problem of uneven distribution of "international" wealth? Even if I believe in what you said about division of labor and free trade that can solve the problem, how can you guarantee that globalization is about division of labor and free trade? Globalization is a lot more than just division of labor and free trade; the side effects are unimaginable and that is why globalization will not be the best solution to the uneven distribution of international wealth.
clsmooth

Pro

Trade benefits all those who are participants in the trade -- otherwise the participants wouldn't take part in it. Global trade increases the number (and quality) of goods and services produced, thereby reducing their cost, and thereby benefiting those who earn/have less. Expanding markets for labor provide more opportunities for third-world workers.

You are entirely wrong as to the causes of income inequality. Central banking and fiat-money credit expansion, NOT free trade, are the causes of increasing disparity. When central banks create more money, they dilute the purchasing power of existing monetary units (dollars, euros, whatever). The new money created is doled out to political elites and the rich, at the expense of the poor and working class. This has literally zero to do with free trade and it is THE cause for growing income disparity. Free trade is a counterbalance to fiat-money central banking, and in its absence, the disparities would be even worse.

You fail to see that I'm using baseball cards, comic books, etc., as examples. The same principles apply. They are both commodities and the rules of trade apply to them just as they do durable goods, consumables, raw materials, etc. Individuals only engage in trade when it is mutually beneficial for them to do so, and thus, every individual is better off as the result of every trade. Every trade we make makes us all richer. This raises living standards, but also reduces income inequality, since the bulk of that inequality was/is achieved by non-market, non-competitive means. In a regime of global free trade, one must produce something in order to trade it for something else, whereas in the current regime, the rich create money out of thin air to enslave the poor.

So what is your goal? Perfect equality? If so, then global Marxism (Trotskyism) is your solution. But if you want rising living standards and a meritocracy (vs. the current financial aristocracy), then global free trade is the way to go. You say my arguments are weak, but that's because you lack the intellect to follow my purposely dumbed-down examples. Your arguments aren't even remotely coherent and are full of mere platitudes. I am confident that anyone who has actually read the debate (which you challenged me to, mind you) will agree and give me their vote.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Fisherking 9 years ago
Fisherking
clsmooth made a very extreme statement by saying "I don't think it's possible for a monopoly to emerge in the free market." or "Monopolies and price fixing can only occur with the aid of the government. They are an impossibility under true laissez-faire capitalism." Maybe he hasn't realizaed that we are living in a normal world, reality, nit the Utopia. Things he described do not happen in the real world. I have been trying my best to tell him the facts:

1) If those theories he got are so "perfect," why don't the politicians use them to fix the declining society?

2)The reality of de facto monopolies is out there and his theories are not going to work because cooporations are not giving in to whatever the government ask them to do.

3) He argued that "let the market adjust itself." He has not realized the fact that big cooporations are controlling the market. They ARE the market. This also backs up my second point that cooporations are not going to give the superintendency of the market back to the government.

Afterall, he needs to focus on the resolved which is about globalization and the uneven distribution of international wealth. I would like to hear more opinion from him how globalization is going to fulfill the goals you have mentioned before such as rasing living standard, workers can be better off, etc instead of hearing true laissez-faire capitalism or free trade.
Posted by Vikuta 9 years ago
Vikuta
clsmooth, I understand that "maximizing share-holder value" is the same as maximizing profits in the long run. It would be very easy to monopolize an industry in the scenario you describe. Mergers and acquisitions, agreed to in the mutual interest of the corporations involved (every business wants to limit the amount of competitors they have), would occur without any kind of government scrutiny. The larger a company is, the easier it is for it to buy out and merge with other companies in mutual self interest. There would be nothing preventing them from merging with complementary industries. There would be nothing preventing them from acquiring/merging with non-complementary industries. There would be nothing preventing a company from owning anything. In fact, one company could own just about everything. They could legally hold the nation hostage. How could that possibly be good for consumers? It would only be beneficial to the major shareholders and the politicians who support them. This would be much worse than a communist state. I hate the present system, but what you are suggesting sounds like the ultimate nightmare scenario.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
I don't think it's possible for a monopoly to emerge in the free market. It would not be possible for one entity to establish sole ownership of a vital resource, for example. But if they did, then they would still need to keep prices low to ward off the development of substitutes.

As soon as liberals understand that corporations work for the maximization of shareholder value (and NOT short-term profits), they will understand that "slash-and-burn" economics are not in corporations' best interests. Slash and burn is only a wise strategy when there is government interference. And when I say "slash and burn," I don't only mean from an environmental standpoint, but also a consumer pricing standpoint. In other words, bankrupting customers via high prices doesn't make economic sense, since the customers will not be able to buy future products.
Posted by Vikuta 9 years ago
Vikuta
clsmooth, i understand that without government intervention there would be no de jure monopolies, but how do you stop de facto monopolies from popping up? Powerful companies can and probably will fix prices if the government doesn't do anything about it. What mechanism(s) does "true" laissez-faire (with real money) have to prevent these things?
Posted by Fisherking 9 years ago
Fisherking
Dear clsmooth,
First of all, I realize there might be some extreme feelings in our debate, and for that I appologize to you.

Back on the debate, I understand your points perfectly and I have to agree most of them. But there are couple things I disagree with. First, the realty is that the rich and the poor are already rich and poor respectively. Even we take out the aid of government, monopolies and price-fixing are still going to be there because the big companies will the dictator of the market.

Afterall, we need to focus on the resolved which is about globalization and the uneven distribution of international wealth. I would like to hear more opinion from you how globalization is going to fulfill the goals you have mentioned before such as rasing living standard, workers can be better off, etc instead of hearing true laissez-faire capitalism or free trade.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
I didn't do that well explaining the point: When one sells his labor, he is engaging in a trade. Labor for wages and work conditions. One does not consent to labor for less than one is willing to work for, and one does not consent to pay more than one is willing to pay. Where supply and demand meet, trade is commenced. Thus, workers are better off just as employers are better off -- as are all participants in every kind of trade.

Where the above is untrue is a result of government interference, not the lack of government interference.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
vituka - Monopolies and price fixing can only occur with the aid of the government. They are an impossibility under true laissez-faire capitalism.

The "socio-political realities" that exist today exist because we do not have laissez-faire. I am an advocate of capitalism, which requires real money. All of the problems that you and Sen. SBraun raise are the outgrowth of monetary manipulations that steal from the working poor and middle class.

What is "real money"? Money that arises naturally in the marketplace. Money that you do not have to be forced, by law, to accept. Gold and silver arised naturally as "money" without the aid of government. In a "barter" system, they became the most commonly accepted means of exchange -- i.e. "money."

Now as for Sen. SBraun's assertions... Under true capitalism, competition between employers forces wages up. Those who produce wealth are duely rewarded. Thus, wealth discrepancies are abated. It is only through inflationary manipulations of the units of wealth (money) that the rich maintain their unearned position of dominance. Liberals need to abandon their bogus "tax the rich" strategies and deal with monetary policy.
Posted by Cobjob 9 years ago
Cobjob
Awesome! Real debators. Sorry I didn't vote... I didn't have time to flow.
Posted by Sen.SBraun 9 years ago
Sen.SBraun
Free trade is only good when two competiting groups( in this case the rich and the poor) are equilvalent. But they are not! The rich gets richer because they have money; on the other hand, the poor gets poorer because they do not have that money. Under your assumption, free trade will make the quantity and quality of a product increase, but since the poor has no money , how can the poor compete with the rich? Your free trade theory does not apply on this case and in realty.

You go around the topic too much. I tried to lead you back into the debate resolved: Globalization will be the best solution to the uneven distribution of international wealth.

If the resolved is about living standard of people instead of uneven distribution of international wealth, or free trade or capitalism instead of globalization, then I will agree with you.
Posted by Vikuta 9 years ago
Vikuta
cls, you claim that "central banking and fiat-money credit expansion, NOT free trade, are the causes of increasing disparity." This seems like an oversimplification and is perhaps a symptom of the large disparity between the rich and the poor. The fact is, with money comes power. With power, comes more money. The rich are able to make "mutually beneficial exchanges" with politicians, which are not beneficial to the masses, like instituting "central banking and fiat-money credit expansion." It's like you wish to divorce the economic philosophy you endorse from the socio-political realities .
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