Thesis: Globalization is a beneficial process that has occurred throughout human history because of the positive and
long-term benefits it provides, including prosperity, security, and enrichment.
Summary: The process of globalization is best understood as the development of a better life through international
cooperation. It transformed North America from an agrarian to an industrial society and is the primary reason why
Canadians enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. Past or present, globalization is widely
recognized as a force for good. It is not a zero-sum game, in which one country gains at the loss of another, but
rather globalization is a game in which everyone wins.
Simply defined, globalization is the increased cross-border flow of goods, services, people and capital. Economists
coined the term in 1962 to describe a process of worldwide integration and increased economic efficiency pioneered
by Scandinavian Vikings as early as 1000 CE. The explorer Christopher Columbus is perhaps the most infamous of
historical globalizers who, on a mission to discover new trading routes to India, miscalculated in his navigation and
landed in the Americas in the fifteenth century. Late twentieth-century expansion in Asian countries, such as China,
India, and "Asian Tiger" countries including Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, demonstrates how successful
globalization can transform impoverished nations into booming economic metropolises.
Globalization is a proven force for generating prosperity. At the 2000 World Economic Forum, US President Bill
Clinton commented on the importance of open markets in worldwide efforts to improve standards of living and build
shared prosperity. In fact, only those countries that have opened their economies to international trade, capital flows
and competition have experienced economic progress. Globalization has reduced the number of people living in
absolute poverty (defined as less than $1 per day by the World Bank) by hundreds of millions and brought about a
significant decline in rates of child labour.
Trade also promotes growth because it enables a country to develop its resources and its citizens' skills. This in turn
permits an increased level of global output at a minimal cost of production, providing access to basic needs such as
cheaper food, clothing and shelter. There are many examples of poor people grasping the opportunities provided by
trade and technology and bettering their lives, including Mexican farmhands who pick fruit in California, and
Bangladeshi seamstresses who make clothes for Europeans. Thirty years ago, South Korea was as poor as Ghana,
but trade has helped it grow to become as rich as Portugal as of 2008.
It is in Canada's best interest to increase economic participation and improve living conditions worldwide. It does not
make sense for Canada to isolate itself from the rest of the world. This would hinder trading and thus impact both the
Canadian and world economy in the long run. Trade that does not concern itself with developing economies promotes
inequality and hostility and reverses economic growth. As such, it is the Canadian government's duty to embrace and
A second benefit of globalization is that it promotes security. US President George W. Bush contended that societies
open to international commerce are the most open to democracy within their borders. The purpose of a liberal market
economy is to civilize the quest for profit and use it as an engine to fuel social progress. Trade creates the habits of
freedom that provide security and extend political power. US President Barack Obama has also supported the growth
of global trade.
A shift toward democratic ideals has transformed many governments by making them more accountable to their
citizens and fostering awareness of human rights. The best examples of this transformation are China and India.
Since opening their borders to trade, these countries have seen improved economic conditions and their citizens
have gained personal liberties and some leverage to demand more accountability from their governments. It is not
only communist and post-colonial countries that have benefited from globalization. During the two decades leading up
to 2008, the percentage of countries that moved from autocracies and dictatorships to multi-party elections grew by
The expanding circle of free trade increases security because economic growth establishes a successful middle class
with the money and power to exercise its right of choice in both consumer and political arenas. The improved social
and economic status of women is an example of how globalization promotes security. Educated women provide an
advantage in a competitive world, as they generally have fewer children than uneducated women and are able to
make productive and dramatic improvements to a country's economy and industries. Their spending habits tend to
center on investment in education, health, nutrition and family life. Thus, countries that introduce female education
experience social progress; while those that exclude women from full societal participation tend to fall behind.
While a country of unskilled labourers cannot expect to transform itself quickly from vulnerability to security overnight,
globalization is a certain path toward the goal of security. Working conditions may not be ideal at first, but the profits
from this labour can be invested in education and training for longer-term improvements. This will move the country
away from labour-intensive manufactures and toward a society of experienced workers able to command higher
wages and an enforceable constitution of human rights. The same initiative was necessary for Canada's transition
during the Industrial Revolution of the early twentieth century, and historians and citizens today will testify that the
difficult yet temporary conditions of the time proved worthwhile.
Globalization enriches the human experience through increased cultural and economic integration, which promotes
diversity by opening society to new technology, communication and ideas. Commercial communication between the
world's nations brings about a sharing of ideas and exposure to new ways of doing business. Transportation creates
opportunities for foreign study, allowing citizens to experience first-hand the civil liberties, living standards and
customs of other countries.
As economies become more efficient, the cost of communication decreases. For example, the cost of a three-minute
telephone call from New York City to London, England, has decreased from approximately $300 US in 1930 to less
than 10 cents in 2008. This drop in the price of telecommunications has increased opportunity for economic growth
and made the benefits of information available to almost everyone.
Moreover, globalization helps to break down discrimination against people on the basis of religious beliefs or race. In
fact, globalization has transformed diversity into a value, in-and-of itself. Globalization is not about imposing on or
eradicating cultural norms. Instead it is a process by which imported goods and services are adapted to reflect local
traditions and needs, sometimes referred to as "glocalization" to reflect the local aspect. A good example of this is
McDonald's restaurants. As the corporation expands into different countries, it changes its menu to reflect the
adopted culture. For example, there is no beef on the menu in India out of respect for religious practices there.
Mike Moore, then the Director General of the World Trade Organization, said in a 1999 speech, "Nobody is a racist,
or an ultra-nationalist, or a protectionist when their child is sick. They want the best this world has to offer, and why
not?" The best world is the one that offers the best possible approach to every issue-globalization is the tool that
allows individual countries to develop their unique offerings and share them with the world.
Globalization is about allowing and enabling people to pursue their goals and to realize the best life possible through
access to ideas, technology, and people across borders.
Globalization creates prosperity by ensuring efficiency. As explained above, inefficiency is counterproductive in that it
allows people to waste their talents and countries to squander their limited resources. Also, globalization promotes
security because it creates a middle class with the knowledge, capital and confidence to demand human and civil
rights. Finally, globalization is a proven way to enrich the human experience and secure independence through
In sum, globalization is good for people in material, personal, and cultural terms, and that is why Canada, a nation of
free people, should support
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