The Benefits of Globalization

A Grade 10 position paper against the following quote.

"Globalization, as defined by rich people like us, is a very nice thing...you are talking about the internet, you are talking about cell phones, you are talking about computers.  This doesn't affect two-thirds of the people in the world."  - Jimmy Carter

The Benefits of Globalization

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, globalization has made goods cheaper and more accessible to the general population than ever before.  However, one such critic in Jimmy Carter states that "rich people," in which he is referencing citizens of developed countries such as the United States, are the main benefactors from globalization, because they have access to resources such as "the Internet,...cell phones,...[and] computers."  He also states that globalization "doesn't affect two-thirds of the people of the world," referring to citizens of developing countries.  It is also worth noting that Carter was regarded as a failure of a president during his single term, with a resume full of economic and political crisis, and lost the next election 489-49 to Ronald Reagan.  Carter is correct in some cases that globalization does indeed lead to some exploitation as well as a growing digital divide between the developed world and developing world, but fails to acknowledge some of the benefits of globalization.  Globalization is inevitable, and will result in economic benefits such as new jobs and markets being created, and social benefits such as the understanding and tolerance of other cultures.

Firstly, globalization is inevitable.  Although Carter may be correct by stating that the benefits of globalization "[don't] affect two-thirds of the people in the world" when he said this quote in the early 2000s, this is obviously not the case today and the numbers will continue to decrease, until the entire world is interconnected.  For example, computers were originally invented by Alan Turing in WWII in order to crack German Enigma, and even though they were quite revolutionary at the time, nobody could have predicted the impact that they have on society today.  They can be seen everywhere, ranging from a normal kindergarten classroom to complex military defense systems.  This trend is visually apparent, as computers used to be only seen in workplaces, but have evolved to become the new pen and paper of domestic life.

At the time when Turing invented the first computer, it is safe to say that it affected small proportions of the population, but after 80 years, there are already over 2 billion computers around the world, and that doesn't even count computers embedded in cars, TV's, refrigerators, musical instruments, microwaves, and countless other appliances.

Moreover, Carter also fails to acknowledge that the Internet,...cell phones,...[and] computers" aren't the only products of globalization.  There are countless others, ranging from cheap everyday clothes to efficient industrial scale machines that are being produced and distributed around the world.  Globalization is a process that will continue to occur, with no signs of stopping.

With the progression of globalization, there are economic benefits that are impossible to ignore.  Although Carter does state that "two-thirds" of the world cannot gain these economic benefits, this could easily change in the future.  For example, the Ladakh of India had been isolated for years, due to their harsh environment, and created a self sufficient culture that had thrived for centuries.  In 1962, this all changed with the construction of a new highway into the region.  Along with it came new economic opportunities, new products, but most notably, tourism industry.  A plethora of new jobs were created to build the highway, as well as maintain the new industry.  A new market was formed for products from outside the region, and Ladakh products also had a new market to sell to.  There are countless undeveloped regions like the Ladakh region, and over time, we will be able to open up develop other regions as such.

Some people may argue that because globalization has opened up the world so much, some domestic industry will be destroyed because they can't outcompete other competitors.  However, an easy solution would be to collaborate, instead of compete.  For example, iron ore mined in Australia can be sent to India to become steel, and then shipped to China and Germany to become automobile parts.  These parts can then get shipped off to be assembled in the United States, and distributed all around the world to be driven on Saudi Arabian oil.  This would be very efficient, as each country would become experts at their domain, and could speed up production time and lower costs.

The social benefits of globalization are also impossible to ignore, which Carter does.  Throughout Carter's quote, he does not mention once the possible benefits of the understanding and tolerance of other cultures.  Considering that Carter was a former president, a demanding job that requires interaction with people all around the world, this seems a little strange.  These cultural differences don't have to be big things, such as the Indo-Arabic numeral system.  Introduced in the 12th century, they replaced the Roman numerals used by the Europeans, which were very inefficient to use, especially with multiplication and division.  With this simple change, countless time was saved trying to express mathematical thinking.  Of course, there are other minor things that aren't as black and white.  For example, people like to eat many types of meat, such as beef, pork, and lamb.  They all have their advantages and disadvantages, and no single option is better than the other.  However, multiple options are always better than one, and globalization can create options far beyond this scale.

Globalization is unstoppable, no matter what Jimmy Carter said, and over time, the economic and social benefits will begin to show.  It will develop new regions, and bring new demand, open new markets, and create new jobs and opportunities.  Regardless if one is a beef eater, pork eater, or lamb eater, none of them will refuse a refrigerator.  However, not only did Columbus introduce civilization to the New World, but he also introduced disease.  Individuals can appreciate the new technology and concepts but shouldn't be forced to become beef eaters.  Globalization will occur, and when it does, we must respect, understand, and tolerate each other.

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