In Dr. Krugman’s “In Praise of Cheap Labor,” he presented the advantages and disadvantages of globalization for members of the Third World Countries. In this article, the author presented the sad truth about globalization as well. Despite these truths, the world remains to believe that globalization is still the best solution for poverty, which I strongly oppose. Poverty has always been a problem that plagued various societies. It is the problem that hinders a nation from rising economically. Unfortunately, poverty continues to increase in the Third World countries.
And despite the practice of globalization, poverty is still prevalent. In addition, Krugman’s argument is true with regard to the advantage of having a bad job rather than being on the streets scavenging for anything convertible to money. The other face of globalization is also true as to the exploitation of workers by offering cheap labor cost. But then, despite of exploitation and cheap labor cost, it is still considered as a more viable solution to the problems of poverty. However, Mr. Krugman’s statement that Third World countries cannot be competitive on this era of globalization may not earn approval.
Through globalization, jobs are created in various companies and businesses opened for the people of the Third World Countries. However, behind the promising offer of job is the appalling truth about terrible working condition and low wage (Krugman). According to Krugman, the developed countries tend to invest in Third World countries because of cheap labor. However, this truth is not discerned by a poor person who chooses to be in a factory with a low wage, rather than in a garbage mountain seeking for anything that can still be exchanged for money.
The government of these countries, on the other hand, opens their country for globalization because it is one way by which it can carry out its responsibility to provide its people with job. Unfortunately, the economic status of these workers never changed. The low salary of a factory worker, for example, is sometimes good only for his daily needs. In which case, there is no chance for the worker to save for future use. Aside from that, taxes and government corruption are constantly adding to the burden of the people. But then, this situation is considered better than having no work at all.
However, it would be unfair to say that third world countries are competitive only because of low labor cost. In every part of the world, there are Asians employed in white collar jobs. They also try to compete with people from developed countries and sometimes, they are more prioritized. Workers from Third World countries can also be competitive not only on the basis of low labor cost, but also on their skills and abilities. At present, poverty is still prevalent in Third World countries. It can be deduced then, that globalization per se was not able to address the problem of poverty.
However, there are various alternatives that can be taken by the government of these poor countries in order to help its poor people. Foreign aid, can serve to their advantage, for as long as it is converted into free housing or other programs that may be equally beneficial to people. For this instance, it is notable that the housing programs of these countries are ineffective because the houses are not fully completed and are being offered for a high price. This then disrupts a poor person’s chances of owning a house because of unemployment or underemployment. Hence, a more effective and affordable housing policy should be adopted.
Another alternative is the eradication of corruption in the government. It is noteworthy that the social status of the people in these countries is unbalanced. There are only a few rich people while there are numerous poor families in the society. The opportunity is also widely open to the rich while only few opportunities are offered to the poor. Hence, the rich becomes richer, while poor becomes even poorer. Hence, corruption among the rich and powerful personalities must be eliminated. Population control is another effective policy that can be adopted to address poverty issues in the Third World Countries.
Notably, in Christian countries like Philippines, birth control and other forms of population control are being opposed because of religious reasons and native beliefs. The government, on the other hand, cannot impose birth control because of the fear of public outrage. But through properly educating the people against the adverse effects of overpopulation in the economy and the country as a whole, the problem on poverty could be minimized. Hence, a government approach that is acceptable to the public in implementing population control should be adopted. The status in Manila, on the other hand, is a concern that should be given attention.
Aside from the social responsibility of the international community to help poor countries, there are also risks that it poses to the developed countries. As has been said, many Filipinos or Asians have migrated to other developed countries to work; and as such, the number of overseas workers continues to increase. They usually fill the labor shortage in developed countries and other developing countries. Some even apply for citizenship in the country where they work. However, the massive deployment of overseas workers also poses a problem which includes the increase of population.
Another is that it limits employment opportunities for the citizens of developed countries. At this point, overseas workers are given a chance to compete amongst others because while they can offer cheap labor, they are also fully equipped and skilled for the job that most countries offer. In the case of America, there are undoubtedly hundreds and thousands of Filipinos and other Asians competing with Americans for various jobs. Hiring of a Filipino is perceived as deprivation of job to an American. This can even get worse when white collar jobs are offered to them.
Through globalization, Asian workers are being educated on technical know-how. In addition, they also become competitive because of their multi-tasking ability that is needed in a globally competitive field. Besides, they speak the American language fluently that adds to their probability of being hired. When this continues, many other Americans would be deprived of job in their own motherland. Despite these possibilities, it is but necessary to consider the employment situation of Manila in order to fully emancipate the social and economic conditions of the people.