Is globalization good? Can its impact on workers be improved? Do US workers benefit from globalization, how or why not?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The answers to these questions depend largely upon who you talk to.  Economists tend to believe that globalization is good, though they know that it does hurt individual workers and groups of workers.  Its impact on many workers does not need to be improved but other workers may need to be helped.

Mainstream economists believe that globalization is, on balance, a good thing.  They believe that it allows for goods and services to be made as efficiently as possible.  This helps consumers around the world.  Economists also believe that most American workers are helped by globalization.  Globalization allows people in other countries to get richer so that they are more likely to be able to buy the sorts of goods and services that American workers produce most efficiently. The most labor-intensive and low-skilled jobs  do leave the United States, but that frees up American workers to do jobs that add more value to the economy.

Since globalization is generally good, its impacts do not need to be improved.   Of course, economists have to admit that globalization does hurt workers who lack the skills and training to get the good jobs that remain in the United States.  Economists would generally agree that government should help these workers, preferably by helping them to get the sorts of training that they need to get the jobs that do exist in the US.

While economists tend to think that globalization is a good thing, many people disagree.  Many people feel that globalization takes American jobs away and sends them to countries that compete unfairly with the US.  These people would argue that its effects need to be improved by cracking down on countries that engage in unfair trade practices or who excessively subsidize domestic companies, making it harder for foreign countries to compete with them.

There is, then, a diversity of opinions on this issue. However, most mainstream economists are convinced that globalization is good for most workers and that those who are  hurt can and should be helped by the government to adapt.