Globalization: Enough is Enough?
6am when I put on this ZARA dress, I found its label writes this: “Designed in Spain. Made in Vietnam.” And it is now available all over the Chinese market. ZARA is the fastest among various fashion brands. With advantages generated by globalization, from raw material to labor, from warehouse to shipping, it takes only 12 to 15 days for ZARA to turn a design on sketch paper to clothes on shelves.
Globalization has eliminated numerous barriers and made the world flat ever since it gained momentum in the 1990s. But recently it seems to be rolled back by someone like Donald Trump in US and Marine Le Pen in France. Public opinions are being misled by their claim that recoiling from globalization seems to be the panacea to the two most urgent problems troubling many people in the west—employment and refugees. But can we buy the story?
Withdrawing from TPP seems to be an act that can move factories back from third world countries so that new jobs can be created and therefore unemployment rate reduced. However, the cost of the products would also be raised since the labor at home and the transport of raw materials are more expensive, which causes greater pressure on all the families in terms of household expenditure. People may manage to get new jobs but the living standard does not improve. And this is the story that anti-globalization politicians would never tell to the voters.
In addition to the concern of employment, the influx of refugees also touches a highly sensitive nerve. Rejecting asylum seekers may promote domestic security in the short run, but it tramples what’s equally important--humanitarianism and responsibilities. Refugees such as those from Syria are not born refugees; they are made refugees by the Wars that shattered their homes and countries. The real solution therefore is not isolation but globalization because globalization promotes interdependence among nations whereby conflicts and wars are more likely to be prevented.
Yes, there are defects in globalization, such as environmental deterioration, polarization between the rich and the poor, and exploitation of workers, to name just a few. But what we need to do is not putting an end to it but putting it right. As the second largest economy of the world, China should hold a lead. We should promote global governance fight against contamination. We should strike a balance between efficiency and equity so that different countries, different social classes and different groups of people can all enjoy the benefits of globalization.
Globalization has just stepped into its twenties, pretty much like us young adults. Every twenty something is so energetic, striding to achieve more and surely deserving a second chance to pull back from the deviation. As we consumers are enjoying benefits and convenience brought by ZARA and other international brands, we see clearer that the question now is not whether to accept or reject globalization but how to make it fairer, cleaner and a win-win for all.