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Globalization is undoubtedly not a single phenomenon.

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Introduction

Globalization is undoubtedly not a single phenomenon. The concept of globalization has become a catch-all concept to describe an array of developments and forces changing the social and economic structures of the world. Thomas L. Friedman, author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree, describes globalization as "a movement that enables individuals, corporations, and countries to reach around the globe farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper than ever before" (Oneworld.org.) Globalization is based on the concept that the globe is a single unit for decision-making. It is the expansion of free market capitalism, or simply put, is the means of free movement of goods, services and capital throughout the world. In addition, with current technological advancements, globalization has become more accessible. Now, businesses can manage overseas operations with more control through the use of the Internet and improved telecommunications. Advances in communication and transportation technology, combined with free-market ideology, have given goods, services, and capital extraordinary mobility. Northern countries want to open world markets to their goods and take advantage of abundant, cheap labor in the South, policies often supported by Southern elites. They use international financial institutions and regional trade agreements to compel poor countries to integrate by reducing tariffs, privatizing state enterprises, and relaxing environmental and labor standards. The results have enlarged profits for investors but offered small amounts to laborers, provoking a strong backlash from civil society. Thomas Friedman's book The Lexus and the Olive Tree is a profound book presenting many issues surrounding globalization. One discussion in this book echoes the discussion that has been a hot topic for years. Is globalization fattening the pockets of the rich at the expense of the poor? (Oneworld.org)While there have been clear advantages and benefits of globalization, many people feel that the richer countries collect the benefits while the poor countries receive little benefits. Some even go as far as to argue that poor countries are harmed by the constant quest of rich countries to globalize. ...read more.

Middle

The new global economy laws should concentrate to preserve human rights, protect the environment, promote fair trade agreements, and enforce fair labor laws around the world. Multinational corporations should be penalized if they violate these laws. They also should be indebted to promote fair business practices around the globe or the consumers can boycott them for failing to do so. Another constructive approach is to enhance the competitiveness of the richer nation's business and labor through education and training to continuously lead in the global marketplace. The competitiveness would lead to higher standards of living and a more diverse line of products. Training and education play a very important role in securing one's place in the global economy. The concerns of the opponents of globalization are valid. They are very important issues that we need to address through high standards of education, stronger legislation, and policing in order for globalization to succeed. Technology has now created the possibility and even the likelihood of a global culture. The Internet, fax machines, satellites, and cable TV are sweeping away cultural boundaries. Global entertainment companies shape the perceptions and dreams of ordinary citizens, wherever they live. This spread of values, norms, and culture tends to promote Western ideals of capitalism. Will local cultures inevitably fall victim to this global consumer culture? Will English eradicate all other languages? Will consumer values overwhelm peoples' sense of community and social solidarity? Or, on the contrary, will a common culture lead the way to greater shared values and political unity? Globalization is arguably both a cause and a consequence of the information revolution. It is driven by dramatic improvements in telecommunications, exponential increases in computing power coupled with lower costs, and the development of electronic communications and information networks such as the Internet. These communications technologies are helping to overcome the barriers of physical distance. Globalization empowers individuals to create their own destiny through on-line investment. ...read more.

Conclusion

He considers there to be three macro-regions in the making: Europe based on the European Union; an Eastern Asian sphere centered on Japan; and a North American sphere centered on the USA and looking to embrace Latin America (OECD.org). Perhaps the emergence of these macro-regions is part of a natural evolution towards a truly global state? Executive Summary Human societies across the globe have established progressively closer contacts over many centuries, but recently the pace has dramatically increased. Jet airplanes, cheap telephone service, email, computers, instant capital flow, all these have made the world more interdependent than ever. Multinational corporations manufacture products in many countries and sell to consumers around the world. Money, technology and raw materials move ever more swiftly across national borders. Along with products and finances, ideas and cultures circulate more freely. As a result, laws, economies, and social movements are forming at the international level. Many politicians, academics, and journalists treat these trends as both inevitable and, on the whole, welcome. But for billions of the world's people, business-driven globalization means uprooting old ways of life and threatening livelihoods and cultures. The global social justice movement, itself a product of globalization, proposes an alternative path, more responsive to public needs. Intense political disputes will continue over globalization's meaning and its future direction. Globalization expands and accelerates the movement and exchange of ideas and commodities over vast distances. It is common to discuss the phenomenon from an abstract, global perspective, but in fact globalization's most important impacts are often highly localized. It is impossible to measure an imprecise concept like globalization precisely, but increasing interconnectedness is readily apparent in a host of economic, demographic, technological, and cultural changes. Globalization is a complex, abstract phenomenon, but civil society has shown that it is neither unalterable nor inevitable. Citizens all over the world--human rights advocates and religious leaders, environmentalists and trade unionists, ordinary people from the global North and South, work together to make concrete improvements in people's lives. ...read more.

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