The Instigator
sqharawa
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
C-Mach
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points

Neoliberalism is the answer for international development.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/17/2007 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,669 times Debate No: 572
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (6)

 

sqharawa

Con

Neoliberalism is the wrong answer for international development. It simply does not take small, undeveloped markets into account, for one. And for another, it completely ignores the situation of the poor who themselves are routinely overlooked by the ensuing forms of development.

To clarify my position, I am what sociology calls a Political Economist. I see the current forms of neoliberal development as fostering a sort of class conflict, as well as perpetuating elitism.

Given that global capitalism cares only about capital accumulation, it is naive to think its forms will implement policies in poorer countries which actually concern the poor themselves. As we've seen almost exclusively throughout free market globalized development strategies, living wages and just working conditions are denied, for example.

I'm not sure where my opponent would like to take us in this debate, but here is at least my preliminary view on the matter.
C-Mach

Pro

First of all, it shouldn't be called neoliberalism. It should be called classical liberalism, known currently as libertarianism. As to how it would effect the economy and the livelihood of workers, it would make BOTH SOAR. It would greatly improve the lives of many people. Yes, I know, big bad business is exploiting workers. Well, actually, it isn't, because the people there get paid MORE than without the companies outsourcing. Yes, it does perpetuate elitism. But, then again, SO ARE ALL FORMS OF GOVERNMENT AND ECONOMICS. That's just something that you can't get away from, no matter how hard you try. It's just that with the libertarian system, only people actually work hard to get to that position (okay, some people have inheritance, but still), so it's justified. And plus, capitalism is the only successful system out there. Hmmm... Socialism has failed every time it has been tried. Hmmm... Gee, I wonder if every other system other than capitalism will turn out like that. Well, one short and blunt answer: YES IT WILL!!!
Debate Round No. 1
sqharawa

Con

It is called neoliberalism as it places an emphasis on global development economics. To denote it as liberalism would be to miss this key point.

Secondly, to address your satisfaction in the increased pay of third-world workers, I'm not sure simply saying they make "MORE than without the companies outsourcing" is an acceptable view. Should we in the developed world, with access to most of the global power and finances, accept this? Can we morally accept the sweatshop as a tolerable form of employment? I would suggest a step backwards from this viewpoint to examine the logic behind the "othering" of the underdeveloped. In follows then, should we feel uneasy about inhumane wage labor, that viewing capitalism as OK because it is "the only successful system out there" is unacceptable. Once again, can we be content with a system which in order for some to succeed, requires the failure of many more?

To state that neoliberalism positively effects both the market and the livelihood of workers is to express, in sociological theory, the view of a modernization theorist. Modernization theory sees the opening of markets as the best strategy for development because it leads to a "larger pie" from which societies can take. It sees any economic activity as good for everyone because this would, according to its theorists, stimulate growth as a whole. The idea is that through the presence of global business, the competitive spirit is created, and the underdeveloped can pull themselves out of their conditions.

On the other hand, the Political Economist sees this as a fundamentally elite model. When markets are "opened up," by institutions such as the World Trade Organization, the already-developed corporation has the best access to the resources. Furthermore, the counties permitting this globalization of their markets, who are informed by modernization theorists, find themselves surrendering both their power and sovereignty as nations. This is a logical view. For example, look at the Mexican Government's rewriting of its Constitution just after its signing of NAFTA to repossess indigenous lands, allowing corporations to bid on them. The Political Economy approach, then, sees the "competitive spirit" as a failed idea; global market strategies enable the transnational corporation to transcend borders, exploiting local peoples with underpaid labor, in order to maximize its profit, and maximize its profit only.

This sort of obsession with capital accumulation, as encouraged under modernization theory and neoliberalism, is not the answer to global development. The priority this strategy places on economics clearly undermines the well-being of the individual. Neoliberalism is an idea with which we cannot accept.
C-Mach

Pro

First of all, if the businesses outsourcing that own the sweatshops, and the workers determine that this is the best choice for them, then it's justified.

Second of all, EVERY SYSTEM has some people succeeding and many more people failing, that's just how the world works. Life's not fair. It's a fact. Only this makes it FAIRER. If everything were fair, we literally could not do anything.

Third of all, it's not modernization "theory:" It's modernization FACT. You described it's every aspect, and that's why it works. The underdeveloped CAN pull themselves out of those conditions. It's happened before under the same system. Why can't it happen again?

Fourth of all, underdeveloped countries do not surrender their power and sovereignty. As a matter of fact, they usually encourage this. Case and point: India. India has become a world economic power, and part of the reason is that they offer incentives for manufacturers that are outsourcing there. They have "Free Enterprise Zones" that give manufacturers 10 year tax holidays.
What do you think?

And last but not least, the obsession with capital accumulation drives people to compete, producing better goods and services, and makes everyone wealthier as a whole. Your rebuttal?
Debate Round No. 2
sqharawa

Con

Sweatshops are not justifiable. Even if workers determine they are the best for them, we cannot be satisfied with the lesser of two evils--especially in terms of living wages.

The belief that the underdeveloped can pull themselves out of their condition if they work hard enough is one of the great fallacies about capitalism. Look at the current welfare system in the US. Under TANF, after one's 5-year access period to welfare has expired, 60% of working individuals (that is people exhibiting the "personal responsibility" the free market-based program calls for) are still living below the poverty line. There are clearly structural elements to underdevelopment. To deny this is to avoid the facts. THIS is why modernization theory doesn't work!!

The case of India is a perfect example of this. It is clearly informed by modernization theory. By giving transnational corporations free reign, we see the same situation here as in Latin America. India has a poverty rate of around 35-40%, with 50% illiteracy. As we see in the cases of countries succumbing to global capitalism, its people feel the burden of this "development." You can say the economy has grown. And sure, perhaps it has. But what does this indicate? It indicates only an increase in GNP. It fails to inform us of the distribution of this capital, however. And if we are agreeing that it is in fact the transnational corporation who takes advantage of "open markets," then they are the ones reaping the profits, not the people. The people, then, are neglected in favor of capital accumulation, which brings me to my final point. You said capital accumulation drives people to compete. However, obviously if the transnationals are making the money, and the people are not benefitting (hence the ~37% poverty rate). When you say this makes "everyone wealthier as a whole," this once again ignores the distribution of profit. A transnational keeps the profits, for this is how its success is measured.

A larger pie does NOT mean a larger piece for everyone. In the end the forces of global capitalism care only about capital accumulation. They do not redistribute the wealth amongst the workers in a way which benefits them. Poverty and literacy rates remain dismal in countries where neoliberalism has been implemented. The "better goods and services" are not obtained by the foreign workers, but only by the already-developed individuals.

Neoliberal economic development is NOT a strategy with which we can be satisfied. It fosters the growth of transnational corporations, while ignoring the well-being of the individual. This is simply unacceptable.
C-Mach

Pro

Yes, we can be satisfied with the lesser of two evils. In the end, not everybody would get wealthy off of the system, but MORE people WOULD get wealthy off the system. And if it weren't for the multinational corporations in India, poverty would probably hover about 75% or more and 90% of the population couldn't read. And as you said before, there are not large pieces of pie for everyone. But with this system, MORE people get a LARGER piece of pie, instead of highly regulated economies where ONLY THE GOVERNMENT gets the large pieces of pie and the people suffer for it. Is THAT how you want it to be?
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by sqharawa 9 years ago
sqharawa
I do not think welfare fosters laziness. In some cases, sure, but after studying this matter it seems very clear that there are structural factors influencing poverty, not just one's desire to get free checks. The ethnographic data shows that people WANT to work. For example, a single mother working a service job does not have access to child care, and given that women define themselves as mothers first, staying home with the child is a more logical decision. I could go on, but in spirit of providing a quick rebuttal to the first comment, I will stop here. Perhaps welfare needs its own debate...
Posted by dullurd 9 years ago
dullurd
To mr con: you definitely argued more thoroughly, but I wish mr pro had responded accordingly. Your point that after being on welfare, people continue to do poorly is an indictment of welfarism, not capitalism. Welfare encourages complacency and laziness because for 5 years, people can depend on a steady flow of sustenance without lifting a finger.

Also, regarding setting a high minimum wage, of course this idea has inherent appeal to any compassionate person, but the huge problem is that this will cause higher unemployment. So while the goal of such measures is to reduce inequality, it also forces a significant portion of the populace into joblessness.

my heart is with pro, but gotta vote con.
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Vote Placed by Mharman 7 months ago
Mharman
sqharawaC-MachTied
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Vote Placed by kenito001 9 years ago
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sqharawaC-MachTied
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Vote Placed by C-Mach 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by dullurd 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Chickenman 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Doclotus 9 years ago
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