The Concerning Effects of Globalization on our World

As the modern world advances, so do business practices.  These modern day “retail giants” have shown the world just how much a profit means to them, even if it’s against their own people.  This is due to globalization, or the increasing of interconnectedness of the world through common processes of change. Large businesses have taken advantage of this process, leading to the division and damage of economies, environments, governments, and cultures.  While change can benefit certain parties, it also severely damage others. Society has progressed through technological advances, but as globalization develops by increasing international relations, it pulls society apart through economic division.

Over the past decades, the world has become increasingly connected due to new technology and other advances.  This increases interconnectedness, or globalization, has had multiple effects on our world. The recently most apparent being the economic division in both producer and distributor nations.  This is due to the ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor, as seen on the graph below below:

As shown on the graph, only 2.7% of the world’s wealth comes from 70% of the world population whereas almost 46% of the world’s wealth comes from the top 0.7% of the world population.  This drastic inequality of wealth can be attributed to the increasing globalization in our world. As a business closes its plants in its mother country, unemployment increases as these jobs are brought to foreign nations with less labor laws creating cheaper labor.  As a result the few executives of the business reel in massive profits, as prices commonly don’t drop due to lower costs of production; their previous employees must find new jobs, which tend to pay less as job demand increases. This profit-maximizing scheme awards executives with wealth while taking from the workers, the larger party.  The same result can be seen in the foreign nation as the workers are paid as little as possible, while the factory owners and shippers reel in big profits from wealthy overseas businesses. The week 6 reading from class even goes as far as saying, “low-technology manufacturing and assembly functions were being located amongst the world’s poor”.  This unhealthy system has been rapidly deteriorating economies as the gap between the rich and poor increases.   

The idea that globalization has pulling society apart is not a new one.  People have been fighting big businesses that move overseas for years, but to no avail.  The top few elite business owners and politicians rule the international market. As stated in one article, “Globalization is a house of cards built on a hill of sand on the shore of a stormy ocean, but the global ruling elite of political and economic leaders continue to sing the praises of their rickety construct while ignoring both its painful side effects and its risk of collapse”.  The elite gaining political power creates a social/cultural inequality that separates the elite from the majority of the population. The wealthy elite are able to gain this power and control as detailed here, “wealth can be seen as a “resource” that is very useful in exercising power. That’s obvious when we think of donations to political parties, payments to lobbyists, and grants to experts who are employed to think up new policies beneficial to the wealthy. Wealth also can be useful in shaping the general social environment to the benefit of the wealthy, whether through hiring public relations firms or donating money for universities, museums, music halls, and art galleries”.  Due to this fact, that the wealthy elite have power in their nation, economic progression with a more even wealth distribution is very difficult to create. The elite have no reason to share their wealth, and therefore use it to create power at a political level to maintain their wealth. As a result, a great cultural inequality is formed as specific groups are underrepresented or unheard.

While globalization has divided society, it also has its benefits that bring certain parts of society together.  The major benefit being the fact that globalization lowers prices and makes some goods more attainable. I only say some because there’s always a possibility that these goods would be more attainable if more people had higher paying jobs of production in their nation.  Low prices attract everyday consumers, which makes them purchase from big businesses outsourcing in foreign nations. This leads to the common misconception that these businesses benefit the people. After the benefit of lower prices comes the benefit to the nations. Both the mother country and the producing country rely greatly on import/export taxes.  These taxes account for a great deal of income to these national governments, and help decide leading nations in the world. Among these benefits sits a few more as stated in this week 7 reading, “Surpluses of capital and shortages of labor (or rigidity in labor markets because of political and institutional barriers) can be “fixed” either by the movement of capital to areas of labor surpluses and/or weak labor organization (hence North American capital moving into the maquillas along the Mexican border) or importation of cheap labor (as with guest worker programs in Europe) into centers of capitalist development”.  As described, globalization can help a nation together in a few different ways. While these are benefits to the nation and the nation’s elite, in the long run they still don’t benefit the majority of citizens. This eventually causes division in a nation, bringing the people and the nation apart.

 

The Ever Growing Population

The world’s population has grown trifold in the last 100 years.  From 1.5 billion in 1900 to 6.1 billion in 2000, it seems as though we won’t ever stop growing.  It’s no secret that our population has been growing these past decades, but it has reached a point of danger.  With the world’s population growing at such an alarming rate, natural lands and habitats are being knocked down to make the extra space.  While the destruction of natural lands is horrible, people are suffering from starvation, overcrowding, unemployment, and much more. We need to fix our overpopulation problem if we wish to survive on a finite planet.

Overpopulation is a large problem looked at by many scientists around the world.  Of these scientists, geographers are among the most abundant group. Geographers have many jobs beyond map making, especially human geographers.  Human geographers study the spatial organization of human activities on earth, ranging anywhere from economies to demographics. Geographer’s are well rounded scholars, especially concerning population.  Geographers use data they find to creates maps, such as the one shown below:

This cartogram shows the entire population of the world in 2015, labelling each country and stating their individual populations.  Maps like this one are crucial to solving our overpopulation problem, as they show where overpopulation may occur.

While conventional maps have their obvious benefits, more detailed cartograms have added perks in more problematic cases.  These could range anywhere from disaster relief to overpopulation. In our case of overpopulation, cartograms with population data are extremely helpful like the one above.  This map directly shows how overpopulated the earth truly is. As you can see, nations of similar size have drastically differently sized populations. For example, the US has almost 3/2 the population of Brazil, yet it is only ⅛ greater in size.  This is a direct example of how overpopulated nations have become. This causes a chain reaction of overpopulated cities that turn into crowded poor slums. These overcrowded slums then suffer greatly from disease and sickness in addition to hunger and starvation.  As a result, these innocent people are suffering from a problem that we can’t seem to solve.

Maps aren’t just created with one point in mind.  Maps are created for various purposes under numerous disciplines, and work in many ways.  The age of simple navigational maps is over. Nowadays maps come in all forms, from digital to nautical to cartograms.  In particular one new style of map making has separated itself from the rest. GIS, or geographic information system, is a new modern form of map making.  GIS involves using a computer to create a database of information gathered through tests, and then applying that information towards an online interactive and purposeful map.  GIS maps are created for an audience with a purpose. As one article states, “GIS technology also allows to “dig deep” in a specific area with many kinds of information. Maps of a single city or neighborhood can relate such information as average income, book sales, or voting patterns. Any GIS data layer can be added or subtracted to the same map”.  What makes GIS mapping so revolutionary is that it allows you to add or take away mental information from a physical map. This is extremely helpful when researching a particular situation among different locations and finding their similarities.

With new advances in modern technology many people rely on the internet as their source of maps.  The most commonly used digital mapping system is now Google maps. These new digital maps allow you to easily find precise locations the fastest ways possible.  The only problem with this mapping system is that, as all modern technology is, it is susceptible to human error and hacking. This has lead to many problems, and even in some cases, international disputes.  As stated, “In 2010, Nicaragua blamed an accidental invasion of Costa Rica on incorrect Google Maps information” (Turner 2).  These simple map mistakes have lead to big problems for many people. In addition to the Nicaragua-Costa Rica dispute, Google Maps has repeatedly had the wrong address for Mount Rushmore, sending tourists some 13 miles away from the actual location.  These problems are ones that must be fixed if we continue to rely on these digital mapping systems, such as Google Maps. As society becomes more and more modern, so do our everyday tools. Maps are just one example of this social modernization, and the apparent problems with them aren’t a good sign.  Society needs to make sure that everyday tools are reliable and ready for continuous use.

Maps are one of the most used tools in history.  As humans evolve, so do their tools, leading to the creation of new age maps.  These range anywhere from simple digital maps to revolutionary GIS maps that allow the creator to engage multiple variables into one map.  On the other hand, there are also cartograms that show generally problematic events in the world. Overpopulation is just one of the many world problems cartograms show, as they label exactly where the population may be in excess around the world.  The various types of mapping systems all work for a specific instance. Maps are used in many ways, but modern technology has allowed us to create purposeful maps to help the world.

 

The Power of Shopping Locally

Since the dawn of capitalism, the earth has been suffering. Pollution and climate change are an omnipresent challenge that the world is facing right now. As a community we need to start consuming less and smarter. Capitalists have convinced consumers that there is only one way to shop, that only benefits them. While capitalists have a monopoly over consumer consumption, there are still some other types of markets that are not major contributors to climate change; the D system, and local farmers markets. System D is an economic system that is considered “off the books”, it isn’t illegal but is considered to be an illicit economy. System D economies can be found all over the world, mainly in underdeveloped or developing countries. While it is difficult to find a system D economy in the United States there are other ways to consume products that are not produced by capitalism- farmers markets. Local farms contribute less than 1% to pollution each year. Furthermore shopping at a local farmers market will help turn the linear commodity chain into more of a closed loop commodity chain. In order to cut down on consumption we need to start shopping locally.   

It is no secret that climate change is a very large issue that our world is facing right now. With the omnipresent fear of global temperatures rising above two degrees Celsius, we must do something in order to create change. At the local scale, the change does not need to be something drastic, instead it can be small simple changes. These changes could be as simple as starting to buy your groceries at your local farmers market. 

There are endless benefits to shopping at a local farmers market, you will save money, eat healthier foods, generate less waste, and ultimately consume less. When you shop at a local farmers market, you are surrounded by organic and non-GMO foods. Most small farmers pride themselves on the fact that their produce is pesticide free. Because these farmers don’t use chemicals on their crops, no chemicals are accidentally polluted into the earth. On top of the fact that the food at the farmers market is healthier, shopping at the local farmers market is also much better for the environment in general. On average “fresh produce” consumed in the United States, first travels over 1,500 miles. If more people began to get their food from local farms, it would ultimately save hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil. Shopping locally also helps consumers cut down on plastic use. Most farmers markets use paper bags or encourage shoppers to bring their own bags. This results in the use of plastic decreasing significantly, causing a positive impact on our environment.

Capitalism does not want small local farmers markets to succeed, because this would mean that the small business farmers are surviving without the government imposed subsides  large corporate farmers benefit from. But when consumers spend their money at a local farmers market they are truly paying for the quality of the food. Large corporate farms are all subjects in a linear commodity chain, the food is grown, then shipped to where it is packaged, then shipped to ware houses where it is stored until it is finally shipped and distributed to different store all over the world. After the food is consumed, the packaging is then thrown out and the waste travels to a landfill. By shopping locally consumers support a closed loop commodity chain which creates little to no waste. Local farmers grow the fresh produce, travel a very short distance to the farmers market where their product is sold in very little to no packaging. After the consumer consumes the product there is virtually no waste. By shopping at your local farmers market, you will by fault start to consume less due to the fact that there is significantly less waste than at a corporate grocery store.  

Experts have predicted that if we continue to consume as we do today, with the same levels of CO2 emissions, by the end of the century global temperatures will rise above 7 degrees Celsius since the industrial revolution. This would be catastrophic for the earth. Something needs to be done. Capitalism and industrialized countries are considered the undisputed largest contributors to climate change. International governments seem to acknowledge the fact that there is a very large environmental issue at hand; however, the largest contributors to the problem do not seem to be doing anything at all to stop it. This puts a heavy burden on individuals to combat climate change. By cutting down on consumption it will ultimately result in the reduction of pollution by capitalism and the industrialized countries that promote the unhealthy habits created by capitalists.  

Shopping at local farmers markets have a ton of pros and very little cons. You will save money, help the environment, you would be supporting local farmers, and you would not be supporting capitalism. The only real downside is that your food might not look as pretty as it would in a grocery store. This is because local farmers markets do not use chemicals to make their food appear to be fresh. So while you food doesn’t look as good, it is much healthier for you and free of any chemicals.  

By shopping at local farmers markets, consumers are producing less waste, promoting a closed loop commodity chain, and supporting local farmers rather than large corporate companies. At the same time consumers are reaping the benefits of a better quality of food and saving money. With global temperatures still rising and no plan in place to keep temperatures down, it does not look like the UN is going to meet their goal of keeping global temperatures from rising above two degrees Celsius. The environment needs help, and before it is too late consumers need to do their part in saving the environment. In the end, the easiest way to help the environment is to cut down on consumption, and the easiest way to cut consumption is to shop locally.

What are the true costs of Capitalism?

Since the start of capitalism, capitalists have been trying to find ways to save money- cutting costs every chance they get. Capitalists have been increasing profits by externalizing costs elsewhere. Large companies use underdeveloped countries to extort resources and using other countries to manufacture their products. Companies do this because it is much cheaper to manufacture their products outside the United States. One of the United States biggest culprits of outsourcing is Apple. If Apple was forced to make all of their products in the United States, the price of the iPhone alone would sky rocket. According to an article in Forbes  if Apple decided to move manufacturing to the United States the new cost of the iPhone would be somewhere between $30,000 and $100,000 dollars. This is because the shift to domestic manufacturing would drastically affect the supply chain, and it would affect the company’s ability to mass produce the iPhone. Outsourcing has a negative impact on the environment and the economy, however, it also forces large companies to keep their manufacturing overseas.  

Apple and other large companies have been outsourcing for decades. By doing this these companies are able to mass produce their products much cheaper than they would be able to do domestically. Outsourcing is negatively affecting the environment, causing 2.2 trillion dollars in environmental damage every year. Outsourcing is also negatively affecting the United States economy by bringing millions of jobs overseas, away from American workers. While outsourcing is hurting the economy and environment, without it, the world of commerce would be drastically different than it is today. This is prime example of externalization, how business increase profits by off-loading its indirect costs.  

If Apple moved their manufacturing to the United States, this would affect the supply chain. The United States does not have the resources to have an effective supply chain. Meaning that because America lacks very specific types of jobs like tooling engineers, China is full of them. Tooling is extremely important, a tooling engineer designs machines that are essential for manufacturing . Because the United States does not focus on growing the tooling industry companies are forced to look to countries like China who have been growing the tooling industry for the past thirty years. If Apple were to move their manufacturing to the United States, it would essentially stop the supply chain. It would take the U.S. years to create the machines needed to produce Apple products and even longer to train new tooling engineers. If Apple had started by manufacturing their products domestically instead of outsourcing this wouldn’t be a problem. Apple would already have the tooling engineers and machines needed. Instead Apple chose to outsource to China, which contributes to economic and environmental problems domestically and globally.  

Cheap labor and efficient in China allows Apple to meet the supply demand of their products. Moving manufacturing to the United States would limit the annual numbers of iPhones manufactured from 100s of millions a year to 1 million every year. This would drive the price of the iPhone over 30,000 dollars. The United States can not compete with the efficiency of manufacturing in countries like China. Forcing Apple to keep their business overseas. If Apple were to move back to the United States it would take decades for the company to be able to mass produce iPhones at the scale it can in China. Because of how scarce the iPhone would become, Apple would essentially go out of business. Which could be considered a good thing. It would mean one less company outsourcing and one less company contributing to economic and environmental issues. However, in reality if Apple goes out of business, another company will simply replace it. Outsourcing puts large companies in a trap. Once companies have started outsourcing bringing their companies back to the United States is debatably impossible, the company would either go out of business or be set back years. This forces companies to keep their manufacturing overseas.  

The only real way to combat capitalism and what it is doing to the environment is through the government. If governments were to enforce the idea of manufacturing domestically, it would clearly have a negative impact on large companies like Apple. While it would put most out of business, the companies that survive would help boost the American economy. Companies would also have to follow United States environment policies, which are at a higher standard than developing countries. This would help the world combat climate change.   

Capitalism has driven large companies out of America and overseas in search of a higher profit at the cost of cheaper manufacturing. This results in the loss of jobs in the United States creating a negative impact on the American economy and has a negative impact on the environment. Outsourcing has trapped countries overseas because bringing their business back to the United States would mean risking going out of business.  

While it is clear that it would be better for United States economy and the environment if Apple and other large companies produced their products in the states, it is not as simple as just moving the companies back to the U.S. It would cause the majority of these companies to go out of business and cause the rest to rebuild their empire. Because of this companies will not willingly bring their businesses back to the United States on their own. Instead the government needs to force the companies to come back to the United States. Even though it would drastically change the consumer market in the long run, it will eventually return to how it is today. Eventually the United States would catch up to the efficiency of manufacturing that China has. However, the United States will never have a chance to grow unless its companies come back. The only way to reverse the negative effects of outsourcing is to bring manufacturing back to the United States despite the possible negative effects on large companies. Moving manufacturing back to the United States, will be much better for the environment and economy in the long run.

The Negative Effects of Globalization on the Global Economy

Globalization, what is it and how does it affect the global economy? Basically, globalization is the impact people have on the world through culture, politics, and economics. Globalization can be impacted by new technologies which help connect all parts of the world. Through globalization, the world seems like it is becoming smaller. It now only takes 8 hours to fly across the Atlantic Ocean where decades ago it took weeks by boat. It can be difficult to decide whether the concept of globalization is pulling society together or pushing it farther apart. This is because of the different components that make up globalization. Now, to fully understand what globalization is, you must understand that globalization connects people from core countries like the United States and Europe to the periphery countries in Latin America and Africa. One of the driving forces of globalization is capitalism which is having a negative impact on the world. Globalization is bad for the world economically because of uneven development, the exploitation of resources from underdeveloped countries to core countries, and how overseas manufacturing is affecting America domestically.  

Globalization is bad for the global economy because of how it creates uneven development. The concept of globalization debatably started with the European colonization of Latin America, Africa, and India. In the 15th century when colonization began. Major world powers such as England and Spain took advantage of the abundance of recourses found in these new territories. In 1948 when England became the biggest power in India; violence, starvation, and corruption overtook the country. As a result, England continued to tax India heavily and export its recourses.  

The East India Company smothered the Indian economy and stopped it from developing. By 1840, the English parliament decided to convert India from a manufacturing country into a country that specialized in exporting. As a result, India would have to export their recourses to England in the form of raw materials only to buy them back at a higher price, after they had been manufactured into goods. Which created an economic gap between England and India. While England excelled economically, India was plagued with high taxes and an even larger trade deficit. Despite the fact that England colonized India almost a hundred years ago, the effects of uneven development can still be seen today. Because of English colonization, India was unable to advance economically, which creates setbacks in today’s economy. However, today India seems to be pushing toward a shift to a manufacturing economy  in an attempt to close the negative economic gap created through globalization. While this is considered a positive, that India is finally beginning to grow economically, in reality the country would already be fully developed if it wasn’t for globalization.  

Globalization also results in the exploitation of underdeveloped countries to benefit core countries which results in a poor path dependency. Andre Gunder Frank wrote in  The Development of the Underdeveloped that current underdeveloped state of Latin America is a direct result of capitalist development. As capitalism spread in Latin Americas, it only benefited the core countries. Meaning that during colonization countries like Brazil benefited from having a trade relationship with its colonizers. Core countries rely on underdeveloped countries for cheap labor and raw materials.  For example, the coffee trade was a major factor in boosting Brazil’s economy during colonization. However, shortly after its small economic success Brazil faced a server economic decline. This is because during colonization Brazil had a stable trade with European countries; however, when Brazil was on its own it could not sustain the small economy it had built. As a result of this, Brazil’s path dependency has prevented the economy from growing. Brazil was exploited to benefit European countries, and when the core countries brought their trade elsewhere, it had a negative and long-lasting impact on Brazil’s economy. Globalization is bad for the global economy because it puts developing countries on a poor economic path from which they cannot easily change; leaving the underdeveloped countries unable to develop.

Another aspect of modern globalization that negatively impacts the economy is how overseas manufacturing is effecting domestic jobs in America. Due to cheap labor and materials overseas, it is cheaper for products to be manufactured in countries like China than exported to the United States. Because of this shift in manufacturing millions of American jobs have been lost. The graph  shows the extent of job loss in America; over 6 million jobs lost due to manufacturing moving to China. In an attempt to combat this shift in the economy President Trump’s administration is looking to put protective tariffs on goods being imported into the United States from China. Resulting in a trade war between the United States and China. Globalization and capitalism directly resulted in suppliers in the United States looking overseas for cheaper manufacturing. This caused the loss of millions of jobs in America and a trade war with China. Globalization is bad for the global economy because it pins countries against each other in an effort to preserve their economy.   

Globalization is bad for the world economy. For decades, it has been prohibiting developing and underdeveloped countries from developing. It promotes overseas manufacturing which steals domestic jobs. Globalization also encourages core countries to exploit the resources in underdeveloped countries. 

Globalization has had a negative impact on the world economy. Since colonization countries have been experiencing uneven development, exploitation that prohibits the expansion of their economy, and trade wars as a result of capitalism and cheap labor overseas. While globalization can be seen as a good thing, in reality globalization has economically put core countries over developing countries and is not allowing these countries to develop. Even though globalization and colonization occurred almost a hundred years ago, the negative economic effects can still be felt in underdeveloped countries. While India and Brazil are working to fix their economies after colonization they still have a long way to go before they will be considered economically developed. In a more modern sense the negative impact globalization had on China and the United States is a on going issues that is effecting the worlds global market. Overall globalization had a negative impact on the worlds economy.