Is globalization benefiting or hurting the poor?

I did a Google search for something that would say that globalization was hurting the poor, but all I was able to find were cites that it was hurting the economy. And of course it’s possible to hurt the economy without hurting the poor, so I will have to cede your point.

Having a lot of oil certainly helps.

Actually the question was why was it that with all that oil the past governments did not do a thing to reduce that poverty level.

Mind you, I can see a lot of mismanagement, but one has to remember that the opposition got close to beating the current government at the polls by claiming that many of the reforms implemented by the leftist government dealing with poverty **would continue. **

I’d be seriously wary about Venezuela’s official figures especially in a country where there isn’t enough toilet paper. Venezuela has misspent billions of dollars’ worth of oil money, hasn’t invested in infratucture, massive shortages. They’ve been selling grandma’s jewellery.

But yes, having tons of oil makes many problems go away.

NM. It isn’t worth it.

Do you have a cite then that it hurts the US economy? You said you saw one, could you link to it?

This is rich. I did a search for “globalization hurts United States economy” and immediately found quite a few articles about how the globalization hurts the middle class in the US, such as this article in the New York Timesand this article from the globe and mail.

So, apparently, if you want to know how globalization is harming the US middle class, you do a search for how it’s harming the economy. if you want to know how globalization is harming the US economy, you do a search for how globalization is harming the poor. Google be funky!

From your first cite:

Yeah, Google can by funky, but only if you don’t read the articles it spits out when you do a search. That article is full of typical economic analysis: on the one hand it hurts some people and on the other hand it helps some people. At any rate, that is not a cite that proves your assertion.

Maybe next time try googling “globalization helps the economy” and see what you get.

Well John, as it turns out, I DID read the whole article. In fact, the first section of the article consisted of people saying they really didn’t think globalization hurts, overall. But the part of the article I found convincing and the reason I put it there as a cite was this:

(bolding in above quote is mine)

Hmm. Good point. Should be full of articles about how globalization hurts the economy.

Good counterpoints. However Venezuela had tons of oil before socialism and their poverty rates were much higher. Some other oil rich nations (Iraq under Saddam) had tons of oil wealth, it didn’t benefit their poverty rate.

Economic growth is good, but unless people at the bottom and middle rungs of the economic ladder see benefit from it it isn’t going to work alone. To do that you need government policy and an activist population willing to fight for a better life.

I didn’t know poverty was declining so much in Peru, that is good to hear.

Eh. I can’t quote it because you really have to read the whole article to see that there is no definitive conclusion. I can quote any small part to make whatever case I wan to.

As noted in the part I quoted, there is no way to determine if people would have been better off without globalization.

There are winners and losers, but the fact is that globalization is gonna happen. It’s a wave crashing in on the shore. You can sit there and tell the wave not to crash, but that isn’t a very effective strategy.

I don’t think it makes sense to frame the question as whether ‘globalization helps/hurts the poor/middle class’. As **John Mace **said, increasing globalization is an economic reality. It’s like asking ‘does technology help the poor?’ or ‘does the automobile hurt the buggy whip industry?’

Maybe a better why to ask the question is what should be done to help the people who are not benefiting from globalization?

I think you might be assuming you would be the rural country lifestyle of a wealthy landowner. I suspect eaking out a living as a 1750 english peasent might have been extremely difficult.

Oil shooting from 30 to 100 dollars a barrel has a way of solving many problems.
As I said, they’ve had reductions in poverty but they are not susteinable because they are not based of economic growth acrosss the board, simply the government giving handouts.

In my country I’d say bottom an middle rungs have been benefited the most.

Yeah, definitely. A lot of people have this rose colored view of history and living clean in the countryside. There was a reason why, when industrialization came to England (and everywhere else, including the US) that the folks on the farm fled the countryside and went to work in the factories. It’s the same reason why the good workers and peasants of China, India and other such places have done exactly the same thing today…left the farm and gone into the big city. Contrary to the dark assertions of some about ‘slave labor’, it’s because as bad as it seems to us (in the Western world, where even the poorest laborer makes more than most of the ‘middle class’ does in places like China and India) it’s a hell of a lot better than being a dirt farmer in those countries. It’s a step up.

And that’s really the answer. Globalization DOES help The Poor™, depending on which ‘poor’ we are talking about…or, even without the caveat. It helps the poor in the US and the western world by giving them access to goods and services throughout the world at cheap prices. It helps bring jobs to the US and Europe in that while we import lots of stuff from overseas, they buy OUR stuff as well. And it helps the poor in those other countries by giving them access to jobs that are better than what they would otherwise have…i.e. being dirt farmers living at a barely subsistence level.

Still, the money helps build the local economy. The poor people will spend it. Other people will sell them goods and services. As we’ve seen the world over, whenever a Third World plutocracy (or “kleptocracy” as Galbreath memorably named them) captures all the wealth, the money goes into Swiss bank accounts and villas in France, etc. So … not buying it, Aji.

Not denying that globalization has helped the poor in the Third World, but I STILL think it’s hurting the poor (immigrant labor) and the middle class (wages flattened, cost of living continues to rise) in the US.

I suppose it’s hurting the American middle class if you think that Americans are naturally entitled to enjoy a standard of living significantly higher than most of the world.

Why is immigrant labor hurting the poor? You’d have to posit that ‘the poor’ in the US and other countries would be doing those jobs at the pay the if the immigrants weren’t, which I’ve seen no evidence of. The middle class isn’t, by definition, the poor, and I disagree that overall they have been hurt by globalization. They also benefit from lower prices on goods and services available from overseas trade and globalization. As to wage flattening, I think that has more to do with the fact that benefit costs have gone up so much than globalization, per se. Wages have been flat because of a series of recessions and the fact that part of peoples ‘wages’ is in their benefits, which have gone up. So, your take home pay might have stayed flat, but that’s because most peoples raises have gone into increasingly expensive health care and other benefits costs. I know that’s the case in my own situation…where I work no one has gotten a raise in take home pay in over 4 years. The reason, however, is that our retirement costs have gone up over 10% and our health care over 8% during that time, and the entity I work for has absorbed those costs, so the reality is that we have all gotten an 18% increase, even though our take home is exactly what it was 4 years ago. This makes a lot of people upset (I’m not to thrilled myself with zero increase in my take home, though I understand a lot better since I’ve been involved at the management level in the decisions that lead to it), but if the business hadn’t absorbed the costs we would have been paying 18% more than we were 4 years ago, which would have been a fairly substantial cut in pay instead of a flat line.

I see. So you think the American middle class SHOULD be destroyed. Good to know!

This is a good analogy. Globalization hurts some and benefits the rest. Like the rise of the automobile - buggy whip manufacturers were out of luck, but Ford workers got jobs at $5 a day. Overall, the auto industry helped more than it hurt.