174 Responses to Twelve Reasons Why Globalization is a Huge Problem

  1. David O'Rear says:

    Mr Arnold,

    Further to some of your points above . . . Forget GDP; focus on what really matters.

    Globalization raises living standards and lowers prices. It raises literacy and lowers infant mortality. In increases wages while reducing pollution. It increases contacts among people and reduces the likelihood of war.

    • No country with an open trading regime has a less stable society and political system than any country with a closed trading regime. Not a one.
    • No market that bars imports is populated by people with a higher life expectancy than one that welcomes trade. None.
    • All open trading regimes have higher literacy rates for women and lower infant (and childhood, and natal) mortality than do economies that refuse to be part of the global system of commerce. Every one.

    As for China, DON’T forget it ! The last 30+ years has seen global poverty decline, in both absolute numbers and in percentage of global population, precisely because of China. If other countries can’t – actually, won’t – take the steps necessary to improve the lives of their people, then it is absurd to simply dismiss the one, or the few, that do take those steps.

    China not a good example of “globalization, free trade, open borders?” That is perhaps the most absurd analysis of China’s recent history I’ve ever heard. Total and complete nonsense. If you speak Chinese and understand the business environment and culture, there is no need for a local partner (the same is true in Japan, by the way. And Korea, Poland and Slovakia.) If you know what you’re doing, and you choose to have a partner, the partner doesn’t necessarily get the better deal. But, if he doesn’t get a fair shake, you won’t succeed. Reminds me of Kansas.

    China is the world’s second largest importer. Selling into the country is quite feasible, provided that you have products people want at prices they can afford. What’s the best selling shampoo in China (see below)?

    China “exploits openness and lack of trade restrictions” ? Gee, I wonder who they learned that from. Oh, now I remember! We insisted that they open their economy and trade. And, they did.

    Back to GDP. “Growth in GDP does not necessarily translate into a better quality of live for the average citizens.”


    Aside from the very few oddities – mainly oil exporters – show me examples where strong, sustained economic expansion hasn’t lowered infant mortality, raised literacy, improved access to clean water, reduced disease and expanded opportunities for women.

    = = = = =

    The best selling shampoo in China is called Head and Shoulders . . .

  2. probably the most fundamental (and least discussed) problem with land and food production from it, is that we break the recycling loop that nature has developed.
    We grow food, but we eat it away from the land it grew on, therefore our body wastes (produced from that food) are not returned to the land that grew the food.
    We are the only species that does this.
    Our bodies produce enough waste to grow sufficient food for our needs, ultimately our bodies are intended to supply sufficient food for other creatures needs. gruesome I agree, but nature is just that–gruesome.
    our own bodies are intended to be returned to the land from which they derived sustenance, but we either burn them or bury them too deeply for recycling to take place.,
    This is why, over time, human habitation depletes the land, whereas animal habitation does not. It also explains why we have to artificially fertilise our farmland, if we did not, it would rapidly become a desert

    • Mel Tisdale says:

      @End of More (End of More)

      or bury them too deeply for recycling to take place.

      If I remember correctly, we bury bodies six feet under in order to ensure that any disease present in the cadaver does not escape and spread to uninfected people in the land of the living. Perhaps with population growth being such a problem, we should reduce the regulation depth from six feet to only one foot. The law of unintended consequences might produce some interesting results!

    • That is a good point. Living in small communities, and returning all waste to the soil nearby, would largely solve that problem.

      The other big problem is soil erosion coming from cultivation. With soil erosion, we lose soil (and scarce minerals) faster than they are replenished (1″ per 1,000 years on average). This creates a huge problem. Without fossil fuels, we can’t import amendments from around the world. These supplies also deplete, and still don’t fix the soil loss problem completely. (Fertilization with animal waste helps some aspects of this, though.) We really need to use a mix that is mostly perennials, that we do not replant.

  3. David O'Rear says:

    I’m sure people with such firm opinions have looked at the hard data, but for those who might have missed it, the IMF has useful data on emerging economies regarding their financing — bonds, equities and / or loans.
    (Source: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/gfsr/2012/02/index.htm)

    Observations: the share of financing, from 2008 to latest data (Q-2 2012) from loans fell from 66.3% to 42.5%; equities were largely unchanged (from 13.6% to 13.8% whereas bond financing rose from 20.1% to 43.8%.

    = = = = =

    I live in Asia; we didn’t have a financial crisis. What we had was a trade crisis — sharpest drop in global trade volumes since the end of WWII.
    Why? Because we got stung in 1997-98, and since then have largely shunned foreign borrowing.

  4. bob says:

    hello Gail,

    Thank you for posting all of this great information, I am new to this topic but I think reasons 1(Globalization uses up finite resources more quickly) , 4 (Globalization acts to increase world oil prices.) and 5 (Globalization transfers consumption of limited oil supply from developed countries to developing countries.) are actually very positive because they force the long term planners in every society to do more larege scale engery research (thorium (also known associated with Integral Fast Reactor or liquid metal fast breeder reactor) and geo-thermal).

    I also think reason 12 (Globalization ties countries together, so that if one country collapses, the collapse is likely to ripple through the system, pulling many other countries with it.) keeps everyone focused on advancing science and technology across all countires, and less likely to start major conflicts about cultural differences.

    I know we are talking with many generalizations but thank you for adding so much data to general trends.


    • Maybe they are positive, but if there really are no solutions, we are pretty much, “up a creek, without a paddle.” I am afraid we end up with a great big crash.

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