Whom do you ask?    rev.05.21.2006 Back to Lessons Page

Whom should you ask if Globalization is good or bad? The activists in rich countries or the poor in developing countries?

From Yale Global,

More, not less, economic integration is good for the world, according to a worldwide poll, conducted by the Pew Global Attitude Survey.

David Dollar, Director of Developmental Policy at the World Bank, cites findings from the survey to support the argument he has made in the past that globalization indeed helps reduce poverty and inequality. He points to a significant decrease in the number of the world’s extreme poor since 1980.

But globalization has also been received with great distrust, particularly among anti-globalization activists who argue that global economic integration favors the already wealthy while hurting the poor from developing nations.

Contradicting the anti-globalization movement’s claims, Dollar says that most “striking in the survey is that views of globalization are distinctly more positive in low-income countries than in rich ones.”

For example, in Sub-Saharan Africa 75% of households thought that multinational corporations had a positive influence on their country, compared to only 54% in rich countries.

Of the 38,000 people in 44 nations surveyed, those in the developing world generally blamed their local governments, not globalization, for their country’s ills.

There is, however, no ground for complacency. With 1.2 billion people still living below the poverty line, Dollar says , the world needs more “international and national actions – including enhanced market access for developing countries, improved investment climates, and effective delivery of health and education.” – YaleGlobal

So, next time an anti-globalism [i.e., rich] activist tells you what the poor think, laugh at them.

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