Globalization carries the weight of several different definitions based on the subject matter under discussion. It can refer to the growing presence of multinational companies, the preference of some individuals to reduce border restrictions, or even the communication tools that people use to collaborate with one another.
How we access data is changing rapidly in today’s world. Sometimes these changes occur by the minute. As populations shift and weather patterns change, globalization can even be the emphasis that we have when working with one another to create a better world for everyone.
There are many ways that we can benefit from a society that is growing closer together. It can improve our standard of living, give us access to new technologies, and help us to learn about other cultures with greater ease.
Several disadvantages are possible because of globalization as well. Even though we can still identify as being human, we lose some of the personal definitions that are sometimes core components of our existence.
These globalization pros and cons show us that even though our world is closer than ever before, it could be said that we are also further away than ever in our history.
List of the Pros of Globalization
1. Globalization helps the world to focus on progress.
There are roughly 40 countries in the world today which have the “developed” status attached to them. That means there are 150+ nations that are still in various stages of development. Although there are many differences to consider when comparing these designations, it is poverty that stands out the most.
Over 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 per day, with at least 80% of the world living on less than $10 each day. The poorest 40% of the world’s population accounts for just 5% of global income. UNICEF estimates that over 22,000 children die every day because of the direct impact of poverty. Making an effort to create a smaller world could help to raise these living standards.
2. It would stabilize global currencies to create an equal playing field.
You might be surprised to know that the British pound isn’t the most valuable currency in the world. The Kuwait dinar actually trades at roughly $3.30, making it the top choice. The Bahraini dinar trades at $2.65. The top four countries are all located in the Middle East and have that value because of their natural resources. The British pound sterling ranks fifth.
Anyone living in a country that makes it into the top 10 (or the eurozone) can reasonably manage their costs without worrying about making ends meet. The value of the currency in developing countries is much less stable. Globalization would either phase these low-value options out of existence or bring up their value some to match with the rest of the world. That would help to create a better, more equal playing field for everyone.
3. We can use our resources as one planet instead of one nation with globalization.
The United Nations estimates that it would cost about $30 billion per year to solve the problem of world hunger. That’s about 5% of what the United States currently spends on defense. Although we would not completely eliminate war in a society that is global, we would be able to reduce our spending in some areas to create positive impacts in others. Many of the social issues that we face today could be stopped immediately if the trillions that are spend on border defense and resource protection were redirected into other areas.
4. Globalization could reduce human trafficking and labor exploitation.
When there are fewer restrictions on travel, imports, and exports, then there are more opportunities for people to find moments of success. Although the wealthy nations might see a decline through this process, those who live in poverty would see massive increases in their standard of living. This advantage could also raise employee wages, reduce concerns with human trafficking, and limit youth labor and slavery that are still problems in some areas of the world.
The uncomfortable fact about wealth is this: it is cheaper for companies in the developed world to outsource jobs to cheaper labor markets than to hire local workers. Globalization would work to equalize wages, which would create positive impacts for everyone over a long-term evaluation period.
5. It could prevent governments from creating repressive legislation.
As the world has moved closer toward a globalization environment, it has become a place that is more peaceful overall. Although there are still conflicts being waged around the world, the rate of battle deaths has been decreasing steadily for the past 50 years. It is currently lower today than at any time since the 15th century. The second half of the 20th century was extraordinarily peaceful for Europe, with fewer conflicts occurring than at any other time in the past 500 years.
Although there are risks to consider with a globalization environment where one government could crack down on everyone simultaneously, the trend for humanity has been a preference for peace when there are fewer restrictions in place.
6. We can communicate better because of globalization.
Because of the Internet, it is easier to communicate with other people all over the world today than ever before. We can speak with people immediately even if they are in a time zone that is 12 hours away. This structure has created new business opportunities that were only dreamed about in generations before. It is one of the reasons why some countries are experiencing self-employment rates that are topping 40%. People can find meaningful employment that pays better as long as they have access to online resources in some way.
7. Globalization would create more opportunities for trade.
If we create a world that offers fewer borders or obstacles to trade, then everyone will have more access to the unique goods and services that are available in various regions of the globe. There would be fewer taxes and tariffs involved in the movement of products. That could make it potentially cheaper to purchase some items. Although it may reduce some initial revenues for governments, it could also stimulate the economy because there are more opportunities to purchase items. There are currently over 1,500 different obstacles to importing or exporting goods in the world today. Imagine would might happen if they were to vanish one day?
List of the Cons of Globalization
1. Globalization can leave some cultures behind.
The process of globalization requires countries, cultures, and communities to set aside what their definition of “normal” happens to be for something that promises to be better. The fact is that there will be cultures and countries that must sacrifice something to create more equality for others. Although people who would benefit from this action would not see it as a disadvantage, those asked to make the most significant changes could find it to be a problematic issue.
It isn’t the wealthiest countries who are solely affected by this problem either. The developing world could get left behind if they decide to isolate instead of integrate as the world moves toward a closer culture.
2. It could create adverse impacts for the global environment.
The cultures that have already gone through the industrial revolution have created the issues with greenhouse gas emissions that 90+% of scientists around the world believe are a significant contributor to the processes of global warming. As our levels of trade increase globally, the amount of pollution we generate grows as well. With over 150 countries potentially needing an upgrade to their infrastructure, the environment would be set to take a significant hit to its health because of globalization.
The World Health Organization already estimates that 7 million people die prematurely each year because of pollution. That figure could triple if we continue to globalize in a way that promotes industrial equality.
3. Each culture could be asked to change how they define themselves.
National borders are not the only boundaries that humans set for themselves as they go about the business of daily life. We also set limits on our cultural identity, ethnicity, and family environment. When we move toward a society that focuses on globalization first, then these points of emphasis hold less importance. They would still be present because individuals always define themselves in some way because of their history, but it would also be an element that slowly disappears.
The examples of this disadvantage are numerous in the world today. Texans consider themselves Americans first despite the fact that they were once an independent nation. People who live in the city-states of Italy are called Italians instead of what their culture prefers by the outside world. San Marino has one of the oldest democracies in the world, the lowest unemployment rate in Europe, and no national debt – and arguably no global identity.
4. Globalization would temporarily reduce high-paying jobs.
There would be a surge of employment in the places of the world where the cost of living is lower. Even as this process works to raise wages around the globe, the workers who are already in high-salary positions could find their jobs threatened by a push to offshore jobs as a way to grow the world’s economy. Even if employment opportunities remained for domestic workers, the threat of outsourcing could be used as a negotiating tool to drive wages downward in the developed world. Some households would be forced to have their standard of living go down to help others see their own begin to rise. That outcome could end up creating more harm for the economy than good because there would be less spending power available.
5. There is also the chance that globalization would only help the wealthy.
The people who have the power today are the ones who will drive the emphasis for globalization to become a reality. They are the individuals who will create policies, legislation, and frameworks that will bring the world closer together. There is one trait that most people who are in power share with each other: they wish to maintain it at any cost.
The natural mechanisms of globalization are to rise the living standards of the poor by redistributing some of the wealth earned by the rich. That process could be manipulated by those in charge to benefit only their nations or communities instead. This issue could even make it more challenging to find meaningful employment.
6. It could create health issues for human populations.
Imagine a world anyone can travel at any time to whatever location they choose. The lack of borders would certainly promote a level of freedom in our world that we have arguably never seen before in history. It could also create problems with disease transfers that could impact an entire society. It only took one person visiting from overseas with an active measles infection to cause an outbreak in Washington State and Oregon in the unvaccinated population. History shows us that when people come to new environments, they can give and receive diseases rapidly. Globalization would make it a lot easier for regional illnesses to become global epidemics unless there are controls put in place.
7. Globalization could reduce the availability of social protection programs.
When we talk about a reduction in borders, then there is a natural reduction in the potential for social safety net programs that would exist as well. Many of these supportive services are available in the developed world as a way to subsidize families so that they can get back on their feet. They do not always exist in the developing world where income levels may be less than $100 per month for workers. If we move toward a place of equality, then there are two options: provide more benefits to the developing world or cut those that are in the developed countries. Which option do you think would win out?
These globalization pros and cons give us hope because it pictures a world where we can all live in peace, striving toward goals that are mutually beneficial to everyone. There will always be conflict and issues with resource management that we must consider as the world continues to grow closer together. Even if we never eliminate borders entirely, the freedom that we experience with this process will always be tempered with risk unless we are proactive about controlling the adverse potential outcomes.
Crystal Ayres has served as our editor-in-chief for the last five years. She is a proud veteran, wife and mother. The goal of ConnectUs is to publish compelling content that addresses some of the biggest issues the world faces. If you would like to reach out to contact Crystal, then go here to send her a message.