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Does Globalisation Benefit All

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Globalisation embraces an extensive range of elements and processes like the increasing interdependence, interaction and connectivity between the countries of the world. Due to globalisation, the economies of most countries are now invariably tied together and glimpses of each individual culture and beliefs can be seen put into practice all around the world. Countries can now rely on each other for almost anything and people are able to travel to any corner of the globe yet still feel at home. However, as much as globalisation has brought about commendable changes into our society and has pushed most of us well into progression, not everyone can testify to this. Indeed, globalisation is more of a curse than a blessing to several countries and more often than not, it is the developing and less industrialised nation states that constantly fall into this class and the countries in control that reap the benefits.

Nevertheless, the idea of "globalisation benefiting all" is not a completely unsubstantiated idea as there are many instances of this happening around the world. As much as we hate to admit it, globalisation has generated a hefty amount of jobs for workers in the developing countries such as China, Thailand and the Philippines and lifted many out of poverty. Through globalisation, developed countries such as the USA have been able to expand their businesses and set up factories in land abundant countries such as China. Similarly, Transnational Companies have also chosen to relocate in low-cost economies hence generating jobs for the people who live there. As a result, those who were once unemployed now have a chance to improve their livelihood and the few that already have working experience will be given platforms to escalate to higher corporate statuses and earn better pay. China for example, has had the largest poverty reduction in history, and its poverty rate continues to reduce rapidly and has been cut by a third since it joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001. Hence, China is a clear example of how globalisation can indeed benefit even developing countries in certain instances.

However, even though globalisation is liable for the creation of a large number of jobs in developing countries today, it must also bear the responsibility for the inhumane social problem of sweatshops. Most people are easily pleased and satisfied with the prospect that more jobs have been created and secured for the people in developing countries. What they tend to overlook however, is the conditions that these people have to work in and the measly pay they are given after hours of toiling in an uncomfortable environment. Nike for example was severely embarrassed on the child labour issue in 1996 when the story in Life magazine featured a photograph of a very young Pakistani boy sewing a Nike soccer ball. Although the issue was on child labour, it is needless to say that the young boy's salary was probably a fraction compared to what average Singaporeans spend on their mere lunches every day. One might argue however that no matter how unattractive the sweatshops pay is to those from developed countries; it might be that person's best known prospect. True as it may be, that does not give billion dollar companies such as Nike a reason to exploit. Nike can very well afford to pay its workers decently, it just chooses not to because of selfish reasons. In essence, while globalisation does affect everyone, it ultimately only benefits those at the top of the food chain because they are the ones in control.

Another perspective that shows globalisation's one-sided benefits is the



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