Expansion of free trade.Do you think the expansion of free trade throughout the world is beneficial or harmful? To whom? How so?
Helps some and hurts others. The developing world is making short term gains with free trade, but I do not believe they are sustainable. Their economic expansion, like our Gilded Age, happened quickly and with little regulation, and the other aspect of globalization is that it will discard these countries when they cease to be profitable and move on to greener pastures. As consumers, we sure do get cheaper prices at Wal-Mart and for produce though. (tongue in cheek)
It is clear that free trade is a winning ticket for those in developed countries but unfortunately a losing one for undeveloped countries. History has shown that thanks to the IMF's helpful and constructive Structural Adjustment Policies, which have forced developing countries to open their markets up, the only winners have been the developing countries that have the infrastructure and resources to exploit the situation.
I think that it helps consumers in rich countries so long as they still have jobs. It gets them goods at lower prices. I think it helps a lot of people in developing countries because it allows them to get jobs that pay better than most jobs available to them. I think it hurts low-skilled workers in rich countries because their jobs are most easily sent to other countries.