In today’s world, the number of people grows exponentially. Some are brought up from a wealthy background while others are less fortunate to grow up in poverty. Why is it that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer? It is not the fault of the poor people that makes them poor. It is the actions the American government takes that allow for economic growth, but sadly do not aid every person suffering from poverty. In “Globalisation” by Oxfam, the authors describe how the globalisation movement can affect social class groups negatively.
While in “Why the Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer” by Robert Reich, the authors explain how people lose their jobs because labor in other countries is cheaper and companies will want to make the most profit at the lowest cost. Some key forces behind the gap between the rich and poor are the practice of globalisation, the growing problem of inequality, and the need for an education. Globalisation is a process of rapid economic integration driven by the liberalization of trade, investment and capital flows, as well as by rapid technological change and the “Information Revolution.
According to Oxfam, “global integration is proceeding at breakneck speed as barriers to trade and capital come down and new technologies come on stream” (110). This implies that there are fewer trade barriers that allow for people to enter the market with less difficulty. Costs are reduced between the consumers and producers, which allow for increased trade and a greater cash flow between countries. However, these policies only benefit those with Bradly 2 money, leaving people who are unable to enter the market stagnant which increases the gap between the rich and the poor.
Oxfam states, “a theme on Globalisation was presented on the White Paper where it was more important to increase complex and integrated international economy, international trade, capital flows and global governance than it was to find aid for poverty reduction” (109). Rather than finding a way to narrow the gap between the rich and poor, the government can claim there is a reduction of poverty in certain areas but not on a global level. While there is poverty in America, other countries have it worse and cannot do anything about it.
While traveling to the Philippines, I learned that a laborious farm worker would only make about half as much as anyone with a minimum wage job in America. What seems to make the difference is how much the country has been industrialized. Noted by Oxfam, “the rules of globalisation neglected the needs of those less equipped to benefit from new opportunities” (110). As other nations become industrialized, they can better provide jobs for lower income workers, those that are not advancing are not able to benefit from what other nations bring up.
So as wealthier nations begin to develop rapidly, poor nations stay poor, as well as get poorer due to inflation from the governments of wealthy nations. Inequality is only worsened by the fact that company owners are selfish by taking on privatization, which does not distribute the wealth fairly among the nation. As the world turns to earning the most profit at the lowest cost, this leads to an unequal distribution of the profit. As described by Robert Reich, “AT&T then discovered that routine workers in Singapore would perform the same task at a far lower cost” (124).
Production companies seek out people who are willing to work for lower wages. These workers are only found in other countries where they may actually get paid more than a harder job. Leaving American workers either having to take a lower paying job or become jobless altogether. There Bradly 3 are some upsides on choosing to hire workers from other nations. Reich remarked, “everyone around the world can benefit because workers now have more money to spend and is also beneficial to everyone around the world who can now obtain high volume, standardized products cheaper than before” (126).
Looking at the issue on a global scale, money is being distributed more effectively to poorer nations, which in turn is what the government wants to happen. Inequality now occurs within the nation itself, between production company owners and the workforce. It is not fair how executive positioned workers get generous earnings and benefits, but have to lay off a number of workers to do so. With the invention of new production technologies, this leaves more people without jobs and thus making company owners richer.
In industrialized nations, increasing technologies lead to new and different job opportunities. Other opportunities brought up by Reich were that “in-person servers catering to the old and ailing will be in strong demand” (130). With production labor jobs becoming less available, other job opportunities arise. Jobs people are not used to become in demand and jobs like engineering allow people to still get rich because of the problem-solving factor. People have the chance to change the world by thinking of innovative ideas like the machines in factories.
These types of jobs require the person to have an education, but people at the time felt it was better to go straight to work than to spend their time in school. Education is another factor as to why the gap between the rich and poor still stands. Back during the times of war, people went to work as soon as possible. Even if that meant they would not have an education under their belt. Reich observed, “unlike the boats of routine producers and in-person servers, however, the vessel containing America’s symbolic analysts is rising (130). This is the boat that Reich refers to as rising, while others fall slowly or rapidly. These symbolic analysts are those that can sell their services to the global economy. People who hold Bradly 4 these positions are scientists, researchers, engineers, and others who go to school for an extended number of years. As the economy changes for the better, routine production jobs diminish and service jobs become in demand. Reich states, “symbolic analysts at the top are in such great demand worldwide that they have difficulty keeping track of all their earning” (131).
If these types of jobs are in such demand and provide a substantial income, why do people not go for them? Most of these jobs require a higher form of education, but not everyone has this education available to them. People of developing nations will actually take the routine production jobs that companies were looking to pay wages lower than what they initially gave to advanced nations. However, with people in advanced nations taking the higher paying jobs, the gap between the rich and poor is widened.
Education should one day be widely available to anyone who wishes to live the life they want. As opportunities arise and developing nations become industrialized, the inequality between the rich and poor may slowly narrow over time. One possible solution would be to give everyone the education needed to be successful and happy in life. If the person dreams to be a doctor or some other symbolic analyst, nothing should restrict them to achieve it. If a nation does well in a certain aspect like having low poverty or a fair working government, other nations should follow their lead.
People need to work together and not be selfish because people should not have to struggle in the one life they live. There will always be the rich, and the poor. It is a matter of how the government takes action to bring those less fortunate to better standards of living. Bradly 5
Oxfam. “Globalisation. ” Writing about the World. Eds. S. Mcleod, J. Jarvis, S. Spear. Boston. Thomson Wadsworth, 2004. 108-114. Reich, Robert. “Why the Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer” Writing about the World. Eds. S. Mcleod, J. Jarvis, S. Spear. Boston. Thomson Wadsworth, 2004. 123-134.