Globalization Fuels Exploitation of Developing Countries by Developed Countries

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  • Published : March 12, 2013
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As we advance further into the twenty-first century, the phenomenon globalization has been the subject of much debate. Globalization can be defined as the ability to easily transfer goods and services, money, people, and ideas between different countries around the world (Dickerson & Flanagan, 2006). In their article, “The Globalization Backlash,” Micklethwait and Wooldridge (2001) addresses many of the concerns with globalization.

They present their approval for this phenomenon by rejecting various arguments against it, stating that, in general, globalization is beneficial for everyone. This paper, on the other hand, will argue that as we become globally interconnected, developed countries, with the help of international institutions, can take advantage of this growing phenomenon by exploiting the cheap labor forces and natural resources of developing countries.

With competition greater than ever before, all states and non-state actors are doing all in their power to grab resources, interests, and benefits from the global market. This results in a mass increase of outsourcing of production to developing countries as labor and environmental costs are much lower, and the prospect of profit for multinational corporations is much higher.

Partially due to the creation of international institutions, the poorer states have minute, or almost no say at all, in the entire process. These institutions, such as the World Trade Organization, considerably favor the developed states when it comes to the world’s economic agenda and policy-making. So, as we step into a new era with a borderless world, developing states are unable to prevent the exploitation of their supply of labor and resources due to pressures from foreign countries with the help of international organizations.

Globalization can be seen as to creating a global community that is interconnected in a tightly weaved net of easy accessible information, ideas, and transportation. As this phenomenon accelerates to an unstoppable rate, the number of multinational corporations grows with it. These corporations outsource their production where the costs are much lower and there are fewer regulations on working conditions. Thus, the creation of this borderless world can facilitate the exploitation of developing countries’ cheap labor and services by developed countries.

To counter argue this, Micklethwait and Wooldridge (2001) state that although multinational corporations do outsource production, the amount outsourced to developing countries “is a mere fragment of,” in their example, the “U.S. investment at home” (p. 22). Despite the truth in this argument, this “mere fragment of U.S. investment at home” may be a small trivial part of the large United States economy; however, it can be a significant portion of the developing country’s economy, which can have a huge impact on the nation and its way of life (Micklethwait & Wooldridge, 2001, p. 22). You can get expert help with your essays right now. Find out more... Another key argument presented by Micklethwait and Wooldridge (2001) is that “multinationals” actually pay higher wages and provide “better working conditions for their employees than their local competitors” (p. 22). However, the word “better” is relative. If the multinational corporations pay the workers one cent higher than the local employers, it may be a “better” wage, but it could still be under the minimum wage requirement of that nation. Micklethwait and Wooldridge (2001) also argue that employers don’t just want “cheap workers,” they want “productive ones” (p. 22).

However, even if this statement is partially true, we cannot deny the existence of sweatshops in developing countries. Wal-Mart, for example, has been criticized for its continuous demands for factories to reduce their prices or else they will purchase goods from elsewhere (Johnson, 2007). Faced with the increased intense competition in the global market, employers must reduce the...
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