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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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An argument in defense of globalization

The world, as massive as it had seemed just a few decades ago, has shrunk before our eyes. New inventions, such as information and networking technologies, have caused the people of the world to become closer. Not only that, but these innovations coincided with a massive political transition. The fall of the Soviet Union and subsequent changes to its sphere of influence caused the opening of enormous new markets, specifically in Asia and eastern Europe. By gaining access to these new economies, the American people have enjoyed increased prosperity while simultaneously lifting millions out of crushing poverty. This process hasn’t just brought about economic benefits, but has also socially impacted the world’s population. Boundaries of nations have become transparent, allowing citizens of foreign nations to see each other more clearly, which gave rise to the realization that the diverse people of the world really aren’t so different.

For all of the ways that globalization positively affected our society, there are naysayers claiming the negative aspects of this process far outweigh the assets we have gained. This argument is usually taken by supporters of the manufacturing unions, many of which were devastated by the transfer of jobs to other countries. This most notably includes the steel unions. Many of the jobs which the unions supported, especially in terms of manufacturing, were sent to China. As awful as the loss of these American jobs has been, America and China have both benefited greatly in the wake of these transfers.

Corporations are primarily concerned with profits. Therefore, when they are presented the opportunity to cut costs by moving jobs to countries with a lower average wage, they have little incentive not to. Aside from the employees cut, many others gain from this change. Continuing with the example of the steel industry, by moving a plant to China, the steel is manufactured at a much lower price, which the corporation can sell at a lower price. This allows other businesses that buy the corporation’s steel to sell the products made from the steel at a lower price .Cheaper prices cause a higher demand, meaning more sales. When a business experiences higher demand, it has incentive to hire more workers. Americans end up producing more final goods and hiring more workers. Not only does this increase the employment of our nation, but because more goods are produced, it also increases our Gross Domestic Product. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a method used to measure the value of a nation’s economy. It is defined as the value of all goods and services produced within a country. This includes the goods produced which are exported, but also far more than just that component. Globalization is increasing the productivity of our workers while simultaneously creating additional jobs.

However, it isn’t just Americans who benefit from this deal. Globalization is causing the Chinese to go through a dramatic transition, changing the very identity of their nation. It wasn’t too long ago that the majority of the nation’s population were subsistence farmers, living below the poverty line. The increase of job opportunities foreign corporations are creating in these Chinese cities cause a huge migration for them, subsequently elevating the quality of life.

Not only socially, but due to economic interdependence, the potential for serious violent conflict is largely decreased. Conflicts most often arose between groups of people who either misunderstood or were ignorant of each other’s culture. Globalization has changed this, causing the nations of the world to get to know each more intimately and concretely. Despite the loss of various manufacturing jobs, America and the American people have become more productive and obtained a higher standard of living. So despite the small setbacks that have occurred, we are clearly better off than we would have been had we not accepted this phenomenon. The brilliant political philosopher Machiavelli once proclaimed that “the ends justify the means,” and in terms of globalization, he was completely correct.

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