It is interesting to see the consequences of globalization taking place all around the world today. People so often in the 90’s talked about how globalization would improve people’s lives across the globe. To be fair to some degree that has happened in places like China where several hundred million people have been lifted out of poverty by moving from the countryside to the urban manufacturing centers of China. Other nations like Germany have also benefited greatly from globalization in the form of the EU. With the barriers to trade removed from the internal European market German companies have proceeded to destroy their fellow European competition and reap the rewards. Unfortunately these two examples of countries benefiting from globalization have also cast a dark shadow across many other countries who have suffered while China and Germany have benefited. In China’s case many of the jobs in manufacturing that now power the Chinese economy were once based in America. The fallout from this in America has been significant because many of the jobs lost to China were some of the best paying jobs a non skilled worker could find in America. Recently in the last several years there has been a small glimmer of hope in the American manufacturing sector where instead of losing jobs they have actually begun adding some. It remains to be seen if this is just part of the economy coming back from the lows of the economic meltdown in 2008 or if this is part of a new trend of increased American industrial production over the long term.
The situation in Europe seems more straight forward where there is little doubt that the Euro has made life much more difficult for countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain to compete with Germany since they can no longer devalue their own currency to become more competitive. The result has been that much of southern Europe chose to use debt to fuel economic growth (much like America has done) instead of trying to make their economies more competitive. The consequences of this have been tragic for those countries with some like Greece in what can only be described as a economci depression. One thing is for certain, you don’t seem to hear nearly as many world leaders talking up the benefits of globalization because the real long term consequences have now manifested themselves and it is not a very pretty picture.