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May 27th 2008

On Globalization and the Cognitive Age

A great piece by David Brooks re: Globalization.

If you go into a good library, you will find thousands of books on globalization. Some will laud it. Some will warn about its dangers. But they’ll agree that globalization is the chief process driving our age. Our lives are being transformed by the increasing movement of goods, people and capital across borders.

But there’s a problem with the way the globalization paradigm has evolved. It doesn’t really explain most of what is happening in the world.

And some equally useful analysis by Steve DeAngelis:

What you see depends on where you sit. If globalization improves your life, it is good. If you’ve lost your job, globalization is bad. It is this tendency to define globalization as good or evil that seems to have gotten under Brooks’ skin.

DeAngelis analyzes Brooks’ entire piece. Good stuff.

Hat tip: Tom Barnett.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Marco Bellucci

5 Responses to “On Globalization and the Cognitive Age”

  1. N Chung

    The globalization paradigm has turned out to be very convenient for politicians. It allows them to blame foreigners for economic woes.

    You hear that, Travis?

  2. Al

    Great articles!! Having participated on a very, very small scale in globalization, I have seen the benefits for both myself and those who now have jobs oversees.

    I find it interesting that many companies, particularly in European countries have pulled their call centers out of India and other low-cost platforms, due to language and cultural barriers, amongst other things.

    It is also interesting that so many of us are concerned about jobs going overseas yet there are so many jobs still available here at home. Granted many of these jobs are perhaps industries that many people do not want to work in, such as fast food. I look at the company I just came from and we couldn’t find enough people to take all the jobs we have open. KNOWLEDGE and SKILL are what companies are looking for now. We must have computer skills for these “thinking” or higher tier jobs here in the US.

    Although even many of those jobs are leaving these shores, that is the direction we need to be heading. We need to produce more knowledgeable students in primary and secondary schools. Just like it was mentioned in the articles, trade schools are recognizing this importance. Just because jobs are leaving does not mean that jobs are not being created. It may take some time for those jobs to come to fruition, but inevitably, if we have the knowledge and skill here, local graduates will get the job.

    I think every high school and college student should be required to take a course in globalization to help them understand our role in the global economy.

  3. travis

    You hear that, Travis?

    no. did you mean to ask if i read it?

    The globalization paradigm has turned out to be very convenient for politicians. It allows them to blame foreigners for economic woes.

    i have never blamed foreigners per se for anyone’s economic woes. on the contrary, i have made fun of politicians who campaign against outsourcing (outsourcing, of course, is sending work to foreigners).

    “why are our politicians so interested in bringing certain jobs back to america when they’ve been outsourced to, say, india? doesn’t an indian person deserve to work as much as an american? isn’t an indian worker as capable as an american one?”

    kerry_infominister.bmp

    if companies are outsourcing, they are probably saving money. i’m no economist, but that could help them hire more employees domestically in the long run. the practice also helps out foreign economies and improves the lives of individuals. [perspective on outsourcing]

    one would expect the fascist, flag-waving patriots (conservatives, of which i am one) to be declaring america’s workers superior to foreign labor and more deserving of jobs. now, what’s funny to me is that it’s john kerry and other democrats who are saying this. basically, “americans deserve jobs more than people of other nationalities.”

    i have denounced illegal immigration, while calling for MORE legal immigration (of foreigners, of course). i would argue that illegal foreign workers in the US who work for low wages negatively impact the wages of americans, but that is an argument against illegal immigration and for the rule of law, not an argument against immigration per se or globalization.

    I am not anti-immigration. Neither am I anti-Hispanic, or anti-Mexican, or anything of that sort. I am not a racist or a xenophobe. I have worked doing immigration law for the past two summers. In actuality, I would like to see increased immigration, because I believe the best, smartest, hardest working, most law abiding, and most skilled people in the world should want to come to America, and that we should welcome their contributions.

    if anything, i personally believe that we need to do more to help people in the iraq and, such as, like in places of south africa (such as) and that we should give everyone maps, so they can self-globalize.

  4. doug

    if anything, i personally believe that we need to do more to help people in the iraq and, such as, like in places of south africa (such as) and that we should give everyone maps, so they can self-globalize.

    Pure. Genius.

  5. Al

    Wow. I had no idea it could be summed up so completely… Well done!