— Chris Cool blog

Globalization:
Midterm Reflection

Chris
Garcia

                To
be completely honest, I did not think I would enjoy this course when I signed
up for it. Mainly due to the fact that I had no idea what globalization was,
let alone its impact on semi-skilled workers in China. Upon further
investigation though, my interest sparked a little bit. I think it started with
our class discussion as we attempted to unravel the definition of
globalization. What we came up with was “Globalization
is the increase in interactions between people around the world that involves
the sharing of ideas, goods, cultures, and businesses.” Seems simple enough,
but as ideas were shot back in forth during the initial drafting of the
definition, I realized its true complexity. Globalization encompasses so much,
and I think that’s what really intrigued me. Economic, political, and even
environmental impacts are due in part to globalization. These impacts also have
their fair share of pros and cons and beg the question, is globalization good
or bad? This is an extremely heavy question with endless possibilities and
radically different perspectives, all from professionals. That is when it finally
sunk in. We really don’t know what globalization is. That’s what makes it so
interesting to study, to use past information and try to make some sense of the
mysterious future.

The first real philosophy I dove
into was that of Fareed Zakaria in his book, The Post American World:
Release 2.0.
To summarize, he talks about the rise of the rest of the
countries in the world. Many countries, especially the likes of China and
India, are catching up to the United States in all sectors; economically,
politically, and even in aspects of nationalism. Upon reading this, the idea of
globalization hit even closer to home. Literally. In a sense that the idea of
globalization could easily affect me and the rest of my life. My entire life
has been spent in the United States and all the while we have been the world’s
leading superpower. I have never known anything else but being the big dog, and
for Zakaria to say that the rest of the countries in the world are catching up
and could potentially pass us, is a somewhat startling thought. It was this
concept, “the rise of the rest,” that was really the inspiration, and
underlying argument in my blog posts.

The fact that I can equate my book to what I’m learning in class,
reading in articles, or even just thinking about, shows some intellectual
growth in my opinion. For example, in our globalization picture assignment, I
used I picture of uncle same juggling three globes, and dropping one on his
head. This suggests that the U.S is trying to do too much around the world and
not worrying about themselves enough. If this continues it could “come crashing
down” on them. I feel like I might have understood this concept without the
class and reading the book, but the background that the two provided me with
definitely gave me a deeper understanding. I was able to draw a connection
between the picture and a quote from my book, “in a world that is moving
fast, what will happen when America is too busy globalizing everyone else to
globalize itself.”

I
have even started to translate my globalization thoughts into real life. One
day during philosophy class we were discussing whether the actions of different
cultures could be seen as right or wrong, or if was just simply based on the
custom of that culture. The teacher used an example of Eskimo’s who would
sometimes leave the elderly out in the cold to die if they were too old to
contribute to the family anymore. The teacher continued to ask what would
happen if these Eskimos were placed into our society, would their culture be
viewed as wrong? Or just as their own custom? For some reason I could help but
think of some global implications. Globalization has allowed for the diffusion
of cultures all over, especially in the United States. So it really could be a
possibility for people to adopt customs like these, especially with such easy
transfers of ideas, goods, and cultures. In a globalized world, with all kinds
of different beliefs, we really do have to consider that question that my
philosophy teacher posed to us. This idea may be a little far-fetched, but I
definitely think this class is getting to me, especially when I relate it to a
completely unrelated subject like philosophy.

It
took me a while to really get into this class, but I’d say the end result was
worth it. I went from having no knowledge of globalization to learning about
China’s low tech industries that are facing as much as a 50% turnover. These
factors eventually will force the Chinese to upgrade their entire industrial
base to make higher-margin goods. This is a global impact with a direct effect
on the semi-skilled workers of China.

Read More

http://economyincrisis.org/content/whirlpool-slash-thousands-jobs

 

The company Whirlpool plans to cut thousands of U.S jobs and close at least one factory in the U.S. I found this interesting and quite relevant as we talked alot about outsourcing and such earlier in the semester. But the kicker is that Whirlpool claims it isnt outsourcing. They blame the loss of jobs on the recent recession and a lack in demand from the higher end consumers. These seem like perfectly plausible reasons, except for the fact that this isnt Whirlpool’s first job “slashing” incident. Last year they cut over 1,000 American jobs by “mov[ing] the factory to Mexico where, due to the North American Free Trade Agreement and almost nonexistent labor and environmental laws, it was able to produce for a fraction of the cost.” If that isnt outsourcing jobs, then I dont know what is. Clearly this factor alone relates to globalization, but I also think its the beggining of a scary trend for big corporations. “Whirlpool is today’s typical multinational corporation. When times are tough, it seeks all the government help it can possibly get in the name of economic patriotism. When times are good, however, it shows no such loyalty.”

 

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While researching this topic of semi skilled workers in China, i came across this very interesting article. http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_13/b3977049.htm. “A labor shortage has pay soaring. That is sure to send ripples around the globe.” I was clearly going to blog about this as it dealt well with my topic, and had a nice global impact. Firstly what I found intriguing was the fact that China was suffering from a labor shortage. It seemed to everyone that China was unlimited supply of labor, but that is quite the contrary. It was first discovered in 2004 that labor supply was diminishing, but many saw this as temporary. Well this “temporary” situation turned dire fast, especially for the semi skilled industries of China. Some of the low tech industries are facing as much as a 50% turnover. These factors eventually will force the Chinese to upgrade their entire industrial base to make higher-margin goods. This is bad news for the semi and unskilled workers of China. Also, Emerson General Manager David Warth says, “[its hard] to keep his 800 employees from jumping ship to Samsung, Nokia and other multinationals that are now operating in the tech manufacturing
hub. ” Sure this has poor implications for the Chineese industrial workers, but where are those great global impacts? Why should we care? Well, as Citigroup noted in a February report: “The continuous growth of labor costs in China, even at a moderate pace…is likely to have implications for inflation
worldwide.” This is to say that China is facing a huge problem, and that is the neccessary increase of wages just to get enough workers to survive. One way considered of making up for this loss is too pass price increases on the consumers in U.S and other markets. This will definitely have an impact on us as we could see prices on goods imported from China(which is a ALOT of stuff)soar.

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Uncle Sam juggling with the possibilities... by Hildonen, WilfredI choose this picture because i think it compliments nicely the arguement that my author makes, and that i have adopted, in that America is a superpower, but the rise of the rest in inevitable. The picture perfectly symbolizes a great quote from my book, “in a world that is moving fast, what will happen when America is too busy globalizing every one else to globalize it self?” This is just one of many questions globalization poses to the fate of America and i think the picture portrays it nicely.

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In class i’ve noticed we are mostly exploring globalization as the sharing of ideas, goods, businesses and such but we havent exactly pondered what this means? its great that we can define globalization but what good does that do us if we dont understand the outcomes. this is why i really am enjoying the book, The Post-American World by fareed zakaria. in it he marvels about the “rise of the rest” here is a great exerpt from a cnn blog from his book:

“The tallest building in the world is now in Dubai. The world’s richest man is Mexican, and its largest publicly traded corporation is Chinese. The world’s biggest plane is built in Russia and Ukraine, its leading refinery is in India, and its largest factories are all in China….The biggest movie industry, in terms of both movies made and tickets sold, is Bollywood, not Hollywood. Even shopping, America’s greatest sporting activity, has gone global. Of the top ten malls in the world, only one is in the United States; the world’s biggest is in Dongguan, China.”

the rest of the blog can be found here:

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/31/the-post-american-world-release-2-0-2/

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  1. What exactly is globalization? this is an important question as it not only tells us what globalization is, but how it will affect us. by being able to define it, i think we can better understand it and maybe even harness its powers for good.
  2. Is globalization good or bad? we need to understand what the outcomes of globalization are and how it will affect us. if its going to have positive outcomes, then great. but if for whatever reason it had negative consequences, maybe we should stop it? understanding the ways in which globalization will affect us, whether it be positive or negative, is most definitely vital
  3. Who does globalization affect? people deserve to know if globalization is going to affect them. if its not going to affect us then we have nothing to worry about. but on the other hand it could affect us greatly. in my opinion globalization will affect everyone and everything.

 

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The generic definition of globalization is “growth to a global or world wide scale.” Clearly with definition so broad, there is much that can be emcompassed just in that one term. but to me, globalization means alot. in the book im reading, Fareed Zakaria describes a post american world, and the “rise of the rest.” he obviously goes into more detail but the short story is that growth is everywhere, not just here in america. if anything, we will be surpassed in the next couple of decades. so what does globalization mean to me? it means alot in the sense that everyone and everything could be affected. the world as we know it is changing, and it doesnt seem like theres much we can do about it.

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