Thursday, April 26, 2007

Globalization: Americans Love to Hate It

According to a recent global survey, people around the world believe economic globalization and international trade benefit national economies, companies, and consumers (see chart above). conducted a survey on globalization in countries representing 56% of the world’s population: China, India, U.S., Indonesia, France, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, Poland, Iran, Mexico, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Argentina, Peru, Israel, Armenia—and the Palestinian territories. People in those countries were asked if “Globalization, especially increasing connections of our economy with others around the world, is mostly good or mostly bad” for their country.

The highest levels of support are found in countries with export-oriented economies: China (87%), South Korea (86%) and Israel (82%). Positive answers fall below 50% in only three countries, though such responses outweigh negative replies by wide margins. The greatest skepticism about globalization is found in Mexico (41% good, 22% bad), Russia (41% good, 24% bad) and the Philippines (49% good, 32% bad). In the United States, 60% think globalization is mostly good and 35% call it mostly bad.

However, support for globalization in the U.S. decreases when it comes to more specific questions like "Is trade good or bad for the U.S. economy?" - only 42% of Americans said good. For the question "Is trade good or bad for U.S. companies?" only 45% answered good. For both questions, Americans were among the most negative countries. But when asked about the effect of globalization on consumers and their own standard of living, a strong majority of Americans believes trade is good for consumers (70%) and their own standard of living (64%).

Americans are second only to the French in their belief that trade hurts employment. A majority believes that international trade is bad for “creating jobs” in the United States (60%) and bad for the “job security” of American workers (67%). An overwhelming majority (96%) of Americans sees “protecting the jobs of American workers” as a very (76%) or somewhat (20%) important foreign policy goal.

Bottom Line: It appears that there is still a high degree of confusion in the general public about the economic effects of trade and globalization. Americans are conflicted (they "feel strongly both ways?") - as consumers Americans love globalization (everyday low prices), but as workers they are skeptical, feel threatened and hate globalization.

But if Americans took a more "world view," and paid greater attention to the factual evidence on the labor market, they would understand that globalization expands job opportunities: a) more than 10.5 million U.S. jobs have been created in the last 5 years, b) the unemployment rate is at a 6-year low of 4.4%, and c) 18 states have set record-low jobless rates in the last 8 months, all during a time when globalization has expanded.


At 4/27/2007 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Globalization is great. Look at how the rich countries used the WTO to force all the poorer countries to open up their economies so that their corporations can gobble up all the natural resources and then fucked them over when it came to getting rid of their own farm subsidies.

Globalization is great because it allows the rich countries to fuck the poor countries and take all their natural resources.


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