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Globalization and Its Effects on America
The world is changing and evolving and, as President Bill Clinton said in 2000, “Its defining feature is globalization, the tearing down of boundaries between people, nations and cultures, so that what happens anywhere can have an impact everywhere” (William). Globalization, the process of all aspects of societies across the world unifying and becoming one with each other, and, more specifically, of leveling the field of power for all nations so that no one country is the leader of the world, has been in play across the globe for many centuries now. As mentioned, it is the idea that one day everything will be available to everybody across the world and every country will have the same chance to impact the world. This concept is one that is concept of change towards more affluent lives for citizens of eastern countries but, on the contrary, is a concept of change towards less glamorous lives and a state of equality with other nations of the world for people of countries of the west, which are characteristics that have never defined the lifestyle of these western citizens.
Globalization, as stated earlier, is a process that changes the world, its countries, and its people, removes the boundaries between them, and equalizes their influence on each other. This process had its beginnings as early as 200 BC when the Greeks, in the process of expanding their empire, created the foundations of the Silk Road (Strabo). The Silk Road became a trade route of paramount importance that established the first amiable and peaceful relations between Asia and Europe. This route, and the trading that took place along it, allowed these archaic eastern and western countries to be beneficial to each other by sharing their products and their ideas. In modern times, Globalization has been developed and broadened to be able to perform at a higher level, due to technological progress. Technology has made it possible to travel to any area of the earth in a reasonable amount of time and to be able to trade capital with anybody else, in any other location on the planet, in real time. This ability has given countries with once underdeveloped economies, such as China and India, the chance to grow their economy quickly, begin to compete on a global level, attain the chance of one day transforming into a superpower in the world and, possibly, take over the reins of control from a current superpower - the USA for example.
The United States now faces a severe threat towards its place of power in the world. Due to globalization, it is now incredibly easy to outsource jobs, or employ workers for a job who reside in foreign, underdeveloped countries and who will work for less money than an American worker would, and American businesses have voraciously latched onto this opportunity. However, while this phenomenon might be great for the profit margins of individual companies, it is extremely detrimental to our economy. First off, due to the outsourcing, there are significantly fewer jobs in America and, therefore, fewer people with money that can be pumped into the economy to make it thrive. Also, since most American products are produced overseas, we, as Americans, are importing the majority of our products, without exporting them as well. In other words, we are only buying, not selling. Spiegel Online International, Germany’s top news agency, reports:
“Every important national economy in the world now exports products to the United States without purchasing an equivalent amount of US goods in return. The US trade deficit with China was about $200 billion dollars in 2005; it was a solid $80 billion with Japan; and more than $120 billion with Europe…Every day, container-laden ships arrive in the United States – and after they unload their wares at American ports, many return home empty.”
Also, due to less exportation of products, the USA’s income has suffered and, according to Spiegel, “US industry has shrunken…to make up only 17 percent of the country’s GDP,” also known as the total value of goods produced by a country in a year, when it used to make up 34 percent of the GDP (Superpower). When America used to export monumentally, it was the world’s largest creditor, or an entity that other entities were in debt to; now, due to not exporting as much, it has become the world’s largest debtor, or an entity that has money due to others. With less and less money, the USA will not be able to continue funding research and development for further, more advanced technology, it will not be able to continue funding social services, it will not be able to continue funding a military presence in the world and, therefore, will not be able to maintain its place as a superpower on our planet.
Our American lifestyle, one which we have been accustomed to living, is on an adverse course due to globalization, and, if we want to keep the privilege of living comfortably and safely, we must act. Even though globalization can be extremely beneficial to people by opening trade and communication capabilities between people and countries, allowing information to flow easily between all countries no matter their location, and allowing people to easily and quickly get anywhere on the planet, the process is hurting the USA economically. The majority of products these days are being produced overseas and not in the USA, and the USA is losing income as a result of not selling products on a global scale. In order to counteract this we must, as a people, support American companies that reside solely on American soil and produce their products here. We must buy American products and we must promote selling these products to foreign countries. We must have a strong focus on these actions; we must not focus on trying to stop globalization, like some people are. Globalization, as stated earlier, has been changing the world for over 2,000 years, since it started on the Silk Road, and there is an extremely miniscule chance that we can do anything to halt its course.
“A Superpower in Decline: America’s Middle Class Has Become Globalization’s Loser.”
Spiegel Online. 24 October 2006. 16 June 2008.
“Strabo, Geography.” Perseus Digital Library. 16 June 2008.
“William Jefferson Clinton – Address to Russian Duma.” American Rhetoric: The Power of
Oratory in the United States. 2001-2008. 16 June 2008.