Consider the following quote by Jerry Brown: "Multinational corporations do control, They control the politicians. They control the media. They control the pattern of consumption, entertainment,...

Consider the following quote by Jerry Brown: "Multinational corporations do control, They control the politicians. They control the media. They control the pattern of consumption, entertainment, thinking. They're destroying the planet and laying the foundation for violent outbursts and racial division"

To what extent does globalization contribute to sustainable prosperity for ALL people? To what extent does globalization affect the environment?

Expert Answers
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, writing a position essay requires that you take a position. You say you are “on the fence,” and the best way to choose a position is to do some research. Remember that taking a position does not mean that the other side has no valid points; in fact, you will probably have to make a concession to the other side if you want to be seen as a fair and reasonable thinker. Do not make up arguments, but if something on the other side of the issue makes sense to you or is borne out by research, it would be foolish to claim otherwise. Concede the point and then move on to make your argument. I've attached an excellent eNotes link to help you with the actual writing process for an argumentative essay.

In terms of the quote, Jerry Brown, former and current governor of California, has a clear position on globalization: he believes multinational corporations (representative of globalization) are dangerous in nearly every way. If you decide you agree with him, use this quote as a piece of evidence to support your position. If you decide he is wrong, take the quote and demonstrate how it is wrong.

I cannot do your research for you in this short format, but I can give you an effective plan and  give you three points to research. Consider this definition of globalization and sustainability:

The most quoted definition of sustainable development comes from the UN World Commission on Environment and Development…: “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” These needs encompass the three dimensions of sustainability, i.e., the social, economic and environmental.

Your three points to research are the economic, environmental, and social aspects of sustainable globalization. These three issues also cover your two questions on prosperity (economics) and environment.

For the economics, I've attached an article which suggests that the result of globalization is “global inequality.” Certainly there is plenty of accessible research on this subject. Consider the idea that trying to create equal economic opportunities and prosperity across the globe is almost impossible because of the disparity (wide gap or difference) between developed and undeveloped countries. The natural resources, the human resources, and the infrastructure of each country are so different that equality is never likely to be achieved.

The environmental issues are fairly simple, and the eNotes “Globalization” link contains many articles especially on this topic. Think about how multinational corporations are affecting the environment in terms of pollution and sustaining the natural resources of the country. (In other words, if a company is cutting down trees or drilling in the ocean, is it planting new trees and counteracting the impact on the undersea environment.)

Social issues include such things as justice, racism, and security. Look to see, for example, whether violence, racism, and injustice have increased where the multinational corporations are. Jerry Brown says they have. See what others say.

I suspect you will find that globalization, in general, does not benefit anyone but the powerful, more developed countries in the long term; however, let your research guide your position. The issue of sustainability--success for all parties over the long haul--is one of the best big-picture arguments to consider on either side of this issue; the other three points are specific evidence for your position.