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An Overview of the Overall Impact of Globalization

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Countries are classified today depending on the division of labor due to globalization. Core industrial countries are responsible for high value-adding production and peripheral societies from developing countries do labor-intensive yet low value-adding production. Malcolm Waters said that the global division of labor widens the gap between rich and poor countries.

There is much debate whether globalization promotes economic growth for all or it increases the gap between the rich and the poor. Those who fall in the latter believe that it is due to neoliberalism, which is a set of ideas supporting that the market is superior to the state. Critics of neoliberalism differentiate globalization as “a universal process of shrinking the globe into a small village” and globalism as “an ideological version of neoliberal globalization”. Critics of globalism, on the other hand, emphasize the societal inequalities happening in both the national and global scale. There are even some who believe that inequality due to globalization is good, like the economist Friedrich von Hayek, or some who believe that globalization does not bring any sort of prosperity, like Joseph Stiglitz.

It is clear, though, that because of inequality, the rich have become inseparable from the total global wealth. For example, in the Philippines, the 50 richest Filipinos have a combined net worth equivalent to about one-fourths of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Growth is increase in quantity while development is increase in quality. They are not inclusive of each other, as development does not necessarily happen if growth does. There are several advocacies and beliefs about growth; one is the productivist paradigm, which advocates continuous, endless growth, rejecting that there are any limits in resources. Ecological economics, on the other hand, acknowledges that resources are finite and redistribution of wealth is an ethical obligation because of this. Consumerism and increasing demand especially in developed countries are said to be responsible for worldwide environmental degradation. Consumerism is also felt in third-world countries in the form of used products from developed countries like second-hand clothing that are bought by people in developing countries.

Man-made problems caused by globalization are called by Anthony Giddens as manufactured risks. People are aware of these problems, Giddens describes, but this does not necessarily mean that people will actively come together and solve this. Global warming caused by the advance of technology is an example of a manufactured risk. People are aware of the phenomena, but since the effects of global warming are not immediately visible, not many will do anything to reduce the problem or solve it.

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