Is Globalization Good?

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, people around the world generally approve of increased international trade. They also “think positively” of international and multinational organizations, such as the World Trade Organization. (Respondents were not too fond of WTO protestors.)

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The study also notes that “majorities, in most cases strong majorities, in 34 of 44 nations thought the availability of good paying jobs had gotten worse in the last five years. And substantial majorities–82% in France, 67% in the United States, 63% in Mexico–thought the gap between the rich and the poor had worsened.”

What does this all mean? Like all studies, it should be held at arm’s length. After all, a person’s experiences with globalization can vary widely. For intance, it’s not such a bad thing if you save 50% of your stereo equipment, because of increased trade with China, but it’s not such a good thing if you just lost you job to a call center in India.

Globalization is not all good and not all bad, like a lot of forces that have shaped this planet – languages, political movements, technologies. It is a double-edged sword that some countries are more skilled at swinging than others. The U.S., for example, has known how to swing that sword to its advantage for some time, but now other countries are honing their skills — China, India, Russia. It will be most interesting to see how America reacts in the years ahead, as more and more countries start swinging their figurative swords at it.

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