December 15, 2011
Ethical Issues in Economic Globalization
This paper applies a comparative approach to the ethical issues surrounding economic globalization. An analysis of the commonly debated issues and claims is represented by two arguments. Proponents of economic globalization believe that it advances the economic, technical, cultural, and intellectual interests of the global community. Anti-economic globalization proponents believe that it is harmful to global economic welfare across the same dimensions and that it tends to inequitably victimize the global community. I. Introduction
Globalization is not a new concept. It is a historical phenomenon that has been going on since ancient civilizations began to expand their territories. Globalization can be defined as the growing integration of national boundaries in favor of a shared economy, culture, and worldwide political and economic integration. Economic globalization is a specific type of globalization that focuses on the process of increasing economic integration, which leads to a global, or single, world market. While this appears to be unstoppable, the debate about the positive and negative consequences of economic globalization is not. There are, and there will continue to be, plusses and minuses and costs and benefits related to economic globalization. However, the impact and consequences on human beings lives, and on their nations, is extremely important to them. Economic globalization has shown signs of increased and more intense interconnections, that affect more people than ever before, in the last two decades. The underlying assumption of economic globalization is that the, “primacy of economic growth...is thought to be benefiting the whole planet” (Passas 4). Country after country, through choice or force, has promoted free-trade and consumerism, and has de-regulated governmental control of business. Countries have adopted similar economic models, even in the face of significant differences between developed and developing economies, and this has led to both positive and negative consequences. This paper focuses on the ethical aspects of two arguments in the debate: 1) That the benefits of economic globalization outweigh the negatives of it, and 2) that the benefits of economic globalization do not outweigh the negatives of it. II. Argument for Economic Globalization
According to International Monetary Fund, global conditions have improved significantly and economic globalization has been an indispensable part of the solution (Gardner 1). Some economists believe that the circumstantial evidence in support of economic globalization is overwhelming. There is a reciprocal relationship between a country’s economic expansion and its level of international trade. This is evidenced by the important role that international trade and investment played in the economic successes of Japan, East Asia, and now China. The World Bank conducted a study where developing economies were examined according to their participation in global economy (Griffith 3). The ratio of exports to total gross domestic product (GDP) had doubled in the last two decades in some countries (China, Mexico, and India).Economic theory explains that trade should benefit all parties and it allows for countries to specialize in products that they have the greatest advantage in producing. When countries specialize and trade, the argument goes, the whole world’s productive resources of labor, physical resources, and time are used more efficiently. This, in turn, increases global competition for goods and allows consumers and businesses to seek out the best deal in the global market. Producers gain the advantage of having increased incentive to compete. Financial capital will then flow toward the most productive investment opportunities, no matter where in the world they are. National economies can then draw funds on international capital markets when they need it,...