Our Readers' Opinions
November 2, 2007
Globalization not a new thing


Editor: Due to changes in the global world, countries and their peoples are forced to adapt to changes; changes that have been taking place since the creation of time; changes which might be justifiable to some countries, but which are complicated and costly to others, making poor countries worse off.{{more}}

The first surge of modern globalization started from 1870 – 1914 with the advances in transportation and removal of barrels, opening up the possibility for some countries to use their abundant land more productively.

The flow of goods, capital and labour increased rapidly. Exports, relative to world income, almost doubled to about 6 percent foreign capital, and more than tripled relative to income in the developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Foreign Investment began to open up its doors to poor countries.

People migrated from across the globe primarily from the less develop countries to North America and other parts of the new world. Vincentians were part of that migration force, which generation after generation today enjoys and will continue to do so.

The labour flows during the first surge of globalization were nearly 10% of the world’s population. Global per capita income rose at an unprecedented rate, so did cost of living. The rise in income was not fast enough to prevent the number of poor people from rising. Among the globalizing countries, there was convergence, income per capita, driven primarily by migration. However, there was a widening gap between the globalizers, and those countries left behind leading to increased world inequality, poverty and crimes. Some of the root causes for this were lack of education and long term planning, child labour rose to an alarming rate, while school enrollment was reduced drastically because of the opportunity to work to maintain their poor families. There was no system in place for continuous education and how to advance methods of farming. They did not explore the probability of diversifying their exports into global market for manufactured goods and services where possible. This is evidence of what is taking place in the banana industry today.

At the end, this first surge led to greater economic and social hardship on poor countries. Hence what is happening today is a repeat of what transpired years ago.

Ariston Dennie