Globalization is typically referred to as the act of a company or group making a sustained impact on other countries in order to operate there in one capacity or another. American companies have made history with their ability to operate in numerous countries and make an impact on each. So powerful is their influence that branded American confectionery wrappers may be found on the top of Everest and in the Mponeng &TauTona gold mines. My argumentative essay exposes some of the positive and negative sides of globalization. (Goldenberg, 2011)
Positive – Globalization Creates Jobs
There is no arguing that the biggest impact that globalization has ever had is that it creates jobs. Even inhospitable and poor areas may be rejuvenated because a company needs something that the location has, even if that “Thing” is cold air to cool internet servers. Globalization enables jobs in areas where no other company could sustain itself without the money and power that a global company has.
Negative – Globalization Makes Human Exploitation Much Easier
An international company can invest in a local area and exploit their seafront for renewable tidal energy, or they use it as a quick and easy place to dump toxic waste. Companies can hire local people for a decent wage and train them to be highly productive and long-term workers, or they can pay very low wages and exploit the fact that the local government doesn’t enforce human rights laws.
Summary – There may not be a solution to the good-bad workforce problem. The fact that globalization creates jobs is great, but the fact that some companies exploit other people seems unfixable. After all, most people are aware of which major brands have sweatshops, and yet such brands are still worn by people with pride. Humans do not care on mass about human exploitation, therefore it will continue indefinitely. (Green America, 2018)
Positive – Companies Often Invest In Developing Countries
Even something as simple as building offices in a location means work for local builders, it means extra money paid to local councils, extra taxes being paid, and a general increase in the value of the land surrounding it. Plus, companies have been known to create reservoirs, build transport links, and in the case of Israel, companies entered and helped turn dessert into workable soil.
Negative – Some Developments Harm The Surrounding Areas
There are many cases where unethical behavior has destroyed an area. Africa is a common example of such behavior, but sometimes it is more insidious. For example, the bleach from clothing factories has been known to leech into the subsoil, infect local water sources, which affects the water’s heavy metal concentrations that not only kills off all the fish, but also makes the dead fish poisonous to anything that eats it.
Summary – Ethics and good morality seems to be needed when companies globalize, but even if one cannot win on the moral side, then a long-term approach may suffice. For example, the way that Somalia was devastated by globalizing businesses is the reason it is now one of the most toxic places to live on earth. If company decision makers had thought of the long term, they may have forsaken a quick profit for a sustainable business operation that would have meant they could have stayed in the country. (Bousquet, et al, 1999)
Positive – Transport, Communication, and Housing Often Improves
Many times a company has to invest in better transport, communications and housing in the area because it needs goods coming in and out, and it needs access to workers. A company is able to attract a better class of worker if they invest in local transport, housing and communication.
Negative – Corruption Becomes More Profitable
Bigger bait attracts bigger fish. If international companies are pouring money into an area, then small-time criminal organizations are replaced by larger unions who dominate and draw money towards themselves and way from the people.
Summary – If working laws are enforced, then unions have a harder time corrupting the local decision makers. That way, people may enjoy better transport, housing and communication without the fear of their workers union putting them out of work because the union officials want to loot a company. (Barker, 1999)
Conclusion – The Problem Is… People
It seems very “hip” and politically correct to say that globalization is bad and that the companies involved are bad, but as you can see from my argumentative essay, the responsibility always lies at the feet of people and not of companies. For example, people know that caged hens live in misery and that free range hens do not, and yet people buy caged-hen eggs all the time because they are slightly cheaper. The same is true of dolphin-safe tuna, unrecyclable plastic, sweatshop clothes, and so forth. One could look to the government to fix the problems defined in this essay, but if the market (the public) demands something, then companies will oblige no matter what the cost in human, animal, or environmental misery. The positive sides of globalization are good, but the sad part is that the negative sides will never get better unless being ethical becomes more profitable.
Barker, J. E. (1999, August). How Trade Unions Are Ruining British Industry. In Current History and Forum (Vol. 14, No. 5, P. 795). Ch Publishing Corporation, Etc
Bousquet, F., Barreteau, O., Le Page, C., Mullon, C., & Weber, J. (1999). An environmental modelling approach: the use of multi-agent simulations. Advances in environmental and ecological modelling, 113, 122.
Goldenberg, S. (2011, October 24). The mission to clean up Mount Everest. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/oct/24/mission-clean-mount-everest
Green America, (2018) What You Can Do About Sweatshops . Retrieved from https://www.greenamerica.org/green-purchasing-choose-fair-labor/tell-samsung/what-you-can-do-about-sweatshops