YES, the reading this quarter has me begging to me rescued. “Planet of Slums” by Mike Davis and “The Global Traffic in Human Organs”, though backed by tomes of research, is swaths of dry writing delivered in monotones. Could someone please read to me out of a phone directory, instead?
The readings gave me pause, for a rather unlikely reason. I was once considering an MA in Public Policy. If this is the tone that Public Policy readings are made up of, and I suspect they are, what a long grind THAT would have been. And my other consideration, law school. Hmmm..ditto!
Given this scenario, you can imagine my relief when I began reading “Debating Globalization” by Micklethwait. I am referring not to its content but its conservational tone, too. Michlethwait’s writing is liberally peppered with sarcasm and hyperbole. His word choices give the impression that these are his opinions albeit backed by research. “Slap controls on, Grasping fingers, carted off to an asylum, knuckleheads in the Boardroom, illiterates in Hollywood, two-weeks worth of penny-pinching vacations.” However, since you are made so aware of his inherent bias, you can take his opinions with a dose of salt. I just think : at least the article is readable and that means there’s a chance of learning something from it. Dry academic papers sound authoritative and important but wading through them or effortlessly absorbing their wisdom is another story altogether!
“Debating Globalization” talks of failing oligopolies propped up as businesses thanks to government support. General Motors comes to mind instantly. I voted for Obama but I did not vote for the rescue of GM and poorly handled businesses like theirs. Written in favor of globalization the article, however, acknowledges that by no means is globalization all good. It simply states that the good outweighs the bad, on average. If you were an unemployed Tea-Partier right now, you wouldn’t quite agree. If you were a family member of the tens of thousands of Indian farmers who 've committed suicide thanks to the changing climate – both literal and economic, you wouldn't agree either.
But like most things, doesn’t the answer to whether globalization is good or bad, depend on whom you ask and the context ? Call centers in India: For locals there, it's good. Increasing disrespect to parents, looser morals and materialism on steroids thanks to the independence these jobs bring: Bad.
Like any condition, there are pro’s and con’s. Gobalization is no different and the benefits will come with a price tag. The question then becomes, what are we willing to do to mitigate the risks and avert the potential negatives, not just for ourselves but our friends and neighbors across the yard, the border, and those across the seas? What are the buffers we - the global community - must be willing to put in place to break a potentially catastrophic fall?”