Effects of Globalization

  • Poorer countries suffering disadvantages: While it is true that globalization encourages free trade among countries, there are also negative consequences because some countries try to save their national markets. The main export of poorer countries is usually agricultural goods. Larger countries often subsidise their farmers (like the EU Common Agricultural Policy, which lowers the market price for the poor farmer’s crops compared to what it would be under free trade.
  • Exploitation of foreign impoverished workers: The deterioration of protections for weaker nations by stronger industrialized powers has resulted in the exploitation of the people in those nations to become cheap labor. Due to the lack of protections, companies from powerful industrialized nations are able to offer workers enough salary to entice them to endure extremely long hours and unsafe working conditions, though economists question if consenting workers in a competitive employers’ market can be decried as “exploited”. It is true that the workers are free to leave their jobs, but in many poorer countries, this would mean starvation for the worker, and possible even his/her family if their previous jobs were unavailable.
  • The shift to outsourcing: The low cost of offshore workers have enticed corporations to buy goods and services from foreign countries. The laid off manufacturing sector workers are forced into the service sector where wages and benefits are low, but turnover is high . This has contributed to the deterioration of the middle class which is a major factor in the increasing economic inequality in the United States . Families that were once part of the middle class are forced into lower positions by massive layoffs and outsourcing to another country. This also means that people in the lower class have a much harder time climbing out of poverty because of the absence of the middle class as a stepping stone.
  • Weak labor unions: The surplus in cheap labor coupled with an ever growing number of companies in transition has caused a weakening of labor unions in the United States. Unions lose their effectiveness when their membership begins to decline. As a result unions hold less power over corporations that are able to easily replace workers, often for lower wages, and have the option to not offer unionized jobs anymore.
  • Increase exploitation of child labor: for example, a country that experiencing increases in labor demand because of globalization and an increase the demand for goods produced by children, will experience greater a demand for child labor. This can be “hazardous” or “exploitive”, e.g. quarrying, salvage, cash croping but also includes the trafficking of children, children in bondage or forced labor, prostitution, pornography and other illicit activities.

~ by globaldan on May 26, 2009.

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