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01: Globalization: Interdependence or Individual Empowerment?

Richard Mentle (ENES464)

Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century highlights the difficult decisions governments, countries, companies, and individuals must balance with the advances in technology, economy, and communications. Coffee and bananas as household staples are eminent of the presence of globalization in my daily life, as neither items are produced in the United States.

Globalization is an increase in “friction-less flow of capital, labor, information, and goods and services, without regard to national boundaries” (Chidamber, 2017). With a father in the U.S. Military, my mother was an “army-brat” and thus saw the way globalization impacted her family and changed circumstances over time. Traveling all over the world, my mother and grandmother saw the distinct and unique materials each country had to offer, such as wool from Scotland and chocolate from Belgium. “Now, you just go to the international aisle at the grocery store or order off Amazon.” Globalization has increased universal access to a broader set of products and services.

Unfortunately, other economies can suffer as a result of the advantageous free exchange. When the Civil War cut the North off from Louisiana’s sugar cane fields, imports from Hawaii increased due to eliminated tariffs. But as countries like Brazil started competing, Hawaii’s sugar industry declined significantly.

Globalization has been good for the U.S. in a world, national, and industry standpoint. The U.S. relative economy will decline over the long run as large countries overtake (Global Trends 2030); however, “The U.S. most likely will remain ‘first among equals’…in 2030 because of its preeminence across a range of power dimensions and legacies of its leadership” (p. 98). In 2008, the U.S. made up 28% of global patent applications and is home to 40% of the world best universities. Under the report, the U.S. economy will grow about 2.7% a year, as reflected by a solid labor force growth and advancing technologies. This puts the U.S. in a forward thinking and innovative stance on the world stage.

 

References:

  • Chidamber, S.R. (2017) Module 1: Class notes. ENES 464: International Entrepreneurship & Innovation. University of Maryland, College Park, MD
  • Fox, S. (2016). Hawaii’s last sugar mill is closing: The end of an era on Maui. Hawaii Life. Retrieved from https://www.hawaiilife.com/blog/hawaiis-last-sugar-mill-closing-maui/
  • National Intelligence Council. (2012) Global Trends 2030: Alternative worlds. NationalIntelligence Council. Washington D.C.

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