As Shakespeare predicted a long time ago, the world is shrinking into a small global scene where everyone has a role to play. The massive technological improvements in information and mass communication have made space boundaries increasingly permeable. The best word to describe these occurrences is globalization. Writers have defined globalization as the uniformity, synchronization, and standardization of the technological and commercial world (Diminitrova 9).
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Globalization is a subject that is multidimensional and of various domains. This makes it complicated to define the term provoking debates among scholars in the different fields. This paper intends to look into the main arguments to explain contemporary globalization. Furthermore, it will explain how globalization has impacted the American workers.
Arguments regarding contemporary globalization
Globalization has been equated with westernization. However, other individuals view globalization as a process of hybridization that results in global mélange. The interpretation of globalization has been heavily debated. They are defining globalization as tricky as different fields differ in their performance. For instance, in economics, globalization is the process of economic interaction and internationalization accompanied by the spread of capitalist market relations.
In the political world, globalization is the increased density of interstate businesses and the expansion of global politics, whilst in sociology, globalization is the global social change and the emergence of “world society” and the emphasis on global communications and how they influence culture and identity. Evidently, globalization is a subject that is multidimensional and of various domains. This makes it a challenge to define the term provoking debates among scholars in the different fields (Vallas and Wharton 19).
Globalization contemporary debates occur because the term has been used in so many different contexts and by various individuals for other purposes, making it difficult to ascertain what is actually at stake in its problem and the functionality of the term and to what extent it impacts the contemporary theory and politics. Globalization has become a controversial phenomenon. It is not a static state but rather a historical process or set of functions with its own logic and dynamics consisting of divergent waves.
Globalization also has its periodization, driving forces, and actors. Contemporary globalization is the product of the interaction of social, political, economic, and cultural transformations. It results from paradoxical simultaneous multiple changes. Furthermore, the significant globalization impetuses are the close interaction between market capitalism and industrialization. It is the process where a myriad of actors participate, with each of them having a particular function guided by proper interests and strategy to attain them (Vallas and Wharton 9).
Globalization impact on the American worker
According to economic theory, globalization provides large-scale economic benefits. It does so through the provision of specialization in production in the various nations, enhancing trade and the economic output both in the region and abroad and, in so doing, boosts the living standards of the individuals of the country. Additionally, competition from economic integration is seen to make nations, including the US economy, more efficient and more productive.
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Also, global markets present a variety of products to the consumers and help in the reduction of prices of goods or services, thereby keeping inflation in check. A study conducted by Waldinger and Michael estimated that since the integration of the global economy, it had generated an economic gain of between $500 billion and $1 trillion to the US economy annually. Similar gains of globalization have also been reported in other developing countries, lifting hundreds of millions of impoverished people.
Globalization has significantly impacted the American economy and the future of its companies, workers, and families. The increased integration with the world has made the nation and those of other nation’s economies to be more productive. To be precise, globalization has translated into an absolute increase in living standards (Waldinger and Michael 6).
However, despite the beneficial results obtained by the US government, it is not always a win-win situation for all Americans. For instance, the rising trade with low wages in the third world increases concerns of job losses and fears to the American employees that their employers will lower their paychecks to achieve a global competitive advantage. Globalization and the massive improvement in information technology and its revolution have expanded international trade in a wide range of services.
Additionally, it has resulted in an increased number of US white-collar jobs outsourcing to fit in the global completion. Furthermore, globalization has been accompanied by stress and anxieties as new competitors arise and compete for market share. Such shifts in the market structure impose costs on workers and businessmen, which could result in increased trades with low wages (Waldinger and Michael 14).
The wave of globalization is supported by three broad trends. These include:
- Technology which has sharply reduced the cost of communication and transportation, which had divided markets
- The dramatic increase in the world supply of labor which is engaged in international trade and
- Government policies that have continuously loosened the barriers to trade and investment.
Recent research is looking into whether the trends are creating new vulnerabilities for US works. Exposures for workers can be due to the underlined dynamic employment patterns originating from the increased need to be internationally competitive in the foreign markets. Other sources of vulnerabilities maybe those arising from a declining wage share of national income and in rising income inequalities, among other things. Such trends in the US can be the reservoirs of economic insecurity for many Americans and, consequently, result in weakening of public support for US engagement in the world economy (Waldinger and Michael 8).
To strengthen public support for globalization, it requires conventional wisdom, particularly legitimate concerns to those who are losing in the contemporary economic environment and how they will be addressed. More focus should be placed on what extent the losers will be compensated. This is because the relationship between globalization and worker insecurity is very complicated and uncertain. Therefore, a number of considerations and approaches should be put into place, such as a review of US trade policies and how they will be integrated into the open world market and globalization. The systems of the most significant importance are those involving education, tax, and trade (Diminitrova 9).
Globalization has a range of merits and demerits in the US economy. Therefore, policies should be designed and implemented in a way to ensure that the American worker is protected without undermining the benefits of globalization. According to many economists, such policies should inhibit the dynamism of labor and capital marketers or create any barrier to international markets, of importance, understanding that technology and trade are the primary sources to overall growth and elevation of US living standards.
Dimitrova, Anna. Challenging globalization- the contemporary sociological debate about globalization. London, UK: Centre International de Formation Europeenne, 2002. Print.
Vallas, Steven, and Wharton, Alex. The sociology of Work: Structures and inequalities. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.
Waldinger, Roger, and Michael, Lichter. How the other half works: Immigration and the social organization of labor. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. Print.