Globalization

Globalization

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Globalisation is one of the most debated issues of the day. It is everywhere on TV, on websites, learning journals, labour meeting rooms and in organization's boardrooms. Remarkably, for so widely a used term, there does not appear to have a precisely agreed definition. One of the frequently used definitions is that globalisation refers to the growing integration of societies across the world, it has taken many forms and it is difficult to discuss it in a general way. However most of the times the term is used is to refer to the economic integration of the world markets. Therefore our main discussion will be on the economic integration of the world and what negative effects of globalisation are, especially the negative effects Palast (2002) argues that globalisation impoverishes the world's poor, enriching the rich and devastating the environment, while few supporters see it as a fast way to universal peace and prosperity.
Many developed countries started to liberalise in the 1980's following the imposition of World Bank and IMF structural adjustment policies. Advocates would argue that this liberalisation would help economic growth, which will reduce poverty and that countries with more open markets will have experienced higher growth rates that those with protectionist policies [Ades &Glaeser 1999]. However Manenji (1998) argues that unregulated free trade, driven solely by market forces, in that while it has raised standards of living for many people, especially in developed countries, it has not done so for the poorest. After 20 years of trade liberalisation, poverty in many countries has not fallen. For example in agriculture where the poorest make most of their living, food imports are partly responsible for destruction of small farmers, for example Malawi which produces rice which it sold in most South African countries now has to contend with rice which is sold at much cheaper rates, which is imported from Asia.
International trade in foodstuffs is increasing much faster than food production; it took off as a result of trade liberalisation under the IMF, WTO and World Bank. As a consequence more land in developing countries is being used by large multinational companies to grow food for the export market, which has implications for food production for local people. The price of many agricultural commodities, such as coffee and tea are at near all-time lows. This has a large detrimental impact on poor farmers, for the reason that buying imported food prices are so low that there is no point to grow them.

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Therefore some of the farmers are now abandoning coffee and tea growing in favour of drug cultivation and these drugs are being illegally transported to the West and ruining the lives of thousands of people, which causes the western governments to spend vast amount of money to combat this problem and accusing developing countries of immoral behaviour by not doing enough to prevent drug cultivation. Within the developed world we can say that the cultivation of drug producing plants such as the opium poppy is not an acceptable thing to do, yet criticising those countries of immoral behaviour and punishing them financially and politically will not solve the existing problem. Therefore the Governments must think through differences in social circumstances, strategy and why it has happened and get to the root of the problem, when this will be done it will be clear to see that there is nothing to do with morals but with circumstances those countries are being pushed into. For organisations and countries not tackling the problems in democratic ways is simply accessing their choice for one set of actions over another set of actions. The fact that different parts of the world have different moral practices shows neither that they are all equally good nor that any of them is necessarily immoral [De George, 1978]. There is nothing wrong with that, but there is nothing right with that either.

The best way to deal with globalisation is to be honest about it. Globalisation brings opportunities but it also brings risks, even when poverty falling overall there can be regional increases about which society needs to be concentred. Especially for the developing countries, with their potential lack of recourses for up to date legislation, it is important to remember that not everything that is legal is right. Legality is often only the ethical minimum. Therefore where national standards are inadequate, the company would need to enforce their own higher standards and not take advantage of them.Business is part of our society and ethics has place in business as in any other part of social life [De George, 1978].

Bibliography

Ades, A and Glaeser, E (1999) Evidence on Growth, Increasing Returns and the extent of the Market, Quarterly Journal of Economics: 114(3), pp.1025-1046

De George, R (1978) Ethics, free enterprise and Public policy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Palast, G (2002) The best democracy money can buy, London: Pluto Press.

Manenji, F (1998) the effects of globalization on culture in Africa in the eyes of an African woman, www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/jpc/effglob.html

Mohamad, M (2002) Globalization and Developing Countries, www.globalpolicy.org/globaliz/define/1009malaysiamp.htm
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