America is considered to be a country where there is freedom, equality for everyone, immigrants and natives alike, anyone is accommodated and the immigrants have a hope of becoming part and parcel of the American society. In fact, America it is deemed to be a place that anyone will want to be after the war on globalization ends. Globalization does not only affect America but also other nations of the world but its fruits are meant to be realized first in America for the other nations to see. America has felt its brunt for very many years and the results are eminent today. But first understanding what globalization is, is paramount. It is the process by which companies from all over the world function as a global market. Even with its good impact on our society, it happens to pose major problems to the working class and the economy deteriorates which has resulted to inequality in America.
Some people see globalization differently depending on their perceptions and the effects it has on them. In the article, Prologue: The Super-Story, by Thomas L. Friedman, he talks of it as as “the inexorable integration of markets, transportation systems, and communication systems to a degree never witnessed before individuals to reach around the world farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper than ever before.” (Friedman 1). He goes on to say that everyone has felt the impact of globalization, through very many ways the web included. This has then led to inequalities in the global market, which accommodates very many investors from across the world and the United States has been the one that has been affected much. Cheap labor specifically has led to much of the problems that are seen today due to globalization.
Those countries that have embraced globalization operate under legal frameworks and this has led to an increased company revenues. A good example is seen through companies such as Walmart, which has opened up branches in countries such as China where they use cheap labor and make the best out of it in terms of increased profits. In fact, it is less expensive to make their products from China and sell them to America and the rest of the world. It is for this reason that Walmart has moved its company to China (Young). It turns out that the cost of production in America is much higher in America. For instance, in China, minimum wage per hour is 50 cents while in America it is $8. This means that Chinese laborers go home with less than $100 a month something that canon happen in the USA. According to Powell & Udayakumar, “The United States has purposefully moved toward weaker labor unions, as well as an anemic social welfare system. It has used the globalism to advocates as justification for keeping workers' jobs insecure, pay and benefits relatively low. Workers are told that pushing hard for benefits will cause capital to leave to another location in the country or the world where workers are willing to work for less with fewer benefits” (434). The employees in these globalized companies such as Walmart in China earn far more less than what they deserve.
Globalization led to many companies being shut down because they could not sustain their products in the market in the wake of cheap labor. They could not stand up to the competition they were getting as well as spending so much in paying their employees. In the documentary, “Is Walmart Good for American,” directed and produced by Hedrick Smith and Rick Young talks about the company, it is clear that their failure can be attributed to refusing to remain open. Walmart's slogan has always been “low prices every day,” and they remain attentive to their thoughts, but the CEO of Ruubbermaid retained higher prices for their commodities and what happened is that they could not contain the completion that the were getting from the globalized Walmart and the end result was that it was shut down. The Thomson Company too faced this problem and they suffered huge losses as well. There was a foreign company that was giving them a very serious competition by selling their products at a lower price as their cost of production was not very high because the products were made in a country that offered cheap labor.
The impact of globalization was felt at a family level. The family providers were laid off and this led to a cut in their family income. This forced the rest of the family members to work extra hard and this led to even children in these households go out and seek employment in order to sustain their livelihoods. In cases where the wages were still low these families were to cut down on their expenditure and this affected then greatly. According to Pettman, ““On overall effects in the feminization of poverty or the global impoverishing of women and their children, though it affected many poorer men too. Facing state cuts, falling wages, increasing unemployment and growing poverty, household strategies included more informal economic activity, taking in lodgers, selling homemade goods or food and providing services on the side which included prostitution.” School dropout rates increased greatly because many of these children could not make it to school and work at the same time in order to provide for their households. Women started working as escorts and the moral fabric of society went down the road to destruction. It is therefore of importance to not that every aspect of life was greatly affected including the vulnerable school going children (Pettman 3).
It is true to note that globalization has done more harm than good. It has led to inequity not only in the United States but also other countries of the world even though some are benefiting like in the case of Walmart providing the Chinese with job opportunities. Companies moved their factories to countries where they could get cheap labor and therefore produced cheap products and this also has its share of negative impact on the whole wide world. Families were greatly affected and innocent children were forced to go into the job market to seek employment and missing out on going to school. This in essence is wrong as it negatively affects normal operations in the American society. It is therefore of importance to note that the reason there is a lot of inequality is because of such issues as globalization. Everyone has been affected and the family union is the most affected.
Is Wal-Mart Good for America? Dir. Rick Young. By Hedrick Smith and Rick Young. PBS, 28 Nov.2004. Web. 08 Dec. 2013.<http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/>.
Jan J. Pettman. “On the Backs of Women and Children” Lib 133 American Culture, Identity, and Public Life Course Reader.Ed. Paula S. Rothenberg. New York: Worth Publishers, 2013. 437- 440. Print.
Johan A. Powell and S.P. Udayakmar .“Race, Poverty, and Globalization” Lib 133 American