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    What Is Globalization? Globalization Explained

    Learn about globalization, how it works, recent technological drivers, its benefits and drawbacks, and what the future holds for it.



    Ben Lutkevich, Technical Writer

    What is globalization?

    Globalization is the process by which ideas, knowledge, information,  goods and services spread around the world. In business, the term is used in an economic context to describe integrated economies marked by free trade, the free flow of capital among countries and easy access to foreign resources, including labor markets, to maximize returns and benefit for the common good.

    Globalization, or globalisation as it is known in some parts of the world, is driven by the convergence of cultural and economic systems. This convergence promotes -- and in some cases necessitates -- increased interaction, integration and interdependence among nations. The more countries and regions of the world become intertwined politically, culturally and economically, the more globalized the world becomes.

    How globalization works

    In a globalized economy, countries specialize in the products and services they have a competitive advantage in. This generally means what they can produce and provide most efficiently, with the least amount of resources, at a lower cost than competing nations. If all countries are specializing in what they do best, production should be more efficient worldwide, prices should be lower, economic growth widespread and all countries should benefit -- in theory.

    Policies that promote free trade, open borders and international cooperation all drive economic globalization. They enable businesses to access lower priced raw materials and parts, take advantage of lower cost labor markets and access larger and growing markets around the world in which to sell their goods and services.

    Money, products, materials, information and people flow more swiftly across national boundaries today than ever. Advances in technology have enabled and accelerated this flow and the resulting international interactions and dependencies. These technological advances have been especially pronounced in transportation and telecommunications.

    Among the recent technological changes that have played a role in globalization are the following:

    Internet and internet communication. The internet has increased the sharing and flow of information and knowledge, access to ideas and exchange of culture among people of different countries. It has contributed to closing the digital divide between more and less advanced countries.Communication technology. The introduction of 4G and 5G technologies has dramatically increased the speed and responsiveness of mobile and wireless networks.

    Increased speed and bandwidth are among the benefits of 5G technology.

    IoT and AI. These technologies are enabling the tracking of assets in transit and as they move across borders, making cross-border product management more efficient.Blockchain. This technology is enabling the development of decentralized databases and storage that support the tracking of materials in the supply chain. Blockchain facilitates the secure access to data required in industries such as healthcare and banking. For example, blockchain provides a transparent ledger that centrally records and vets transactions in a way that prevents corruption and breaches.

    10 benefits of blockchain technology

    Transportation. Advances in air and fast rail technology have facilitated the movement of people and products. And changes in shipping logistics technology moves raw materials, parts and finished products around the globe more efficiently.Manufacturing. Advances such as automation and 3D printing have reduced geographic constraints in the manufacturing industry. 3D printing enables digital designs to be sent anywhere and physically printed, making distributed, smaller-scale production near the point of consumption easier. Automation speeds up processes and supply chains, giving workforces more flexibility and improving output.

    Why is globalization important?

    Globalization changes the way nations, businesses and people interact. Specifically, it changes the nature of economic activity among nations, expanding trade, opening global supply chains and providing access to natural resources and labor markets.

    Changing the way trade and financial exchange and interaction occurs among nations also promotes the cultural exchange of ideas. It removes the barriers set by geographic constraints, political boundaries and political economies.

    For example, globalization enables businesses in one nation to access another nation's resources. More open access changes the way products are developed, supply chains are managed and organizations communicate. Businesses find cheaper raw materials and parts, less expensive or more skilled labor and more efficient ways to develop products.

    With fewer restrictions on trade, globalization creates opportunities to expand. Increased trade promotes international competition. This, in turn, spurs innovation and, in some cases, the exchange of ideas and knowhow. In addition, people coming from other nations to do business and work bring with them their own cultures, which influence and mix with other cultures.

    Source : www.techtarget.com

    POLS 1301 online chapter 10 Flashcards

    Start studying POLS 1301 online chapter 10. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.

    POLS 1301 online chapter 10

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    nonprofits help assist in government endeavors, but can NOT be funded by the government

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    ____________ has the ability to introduce methods in which government can use to assist in ensuring equity

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    Social Welfare

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    1/20 Created by erin_burrell1

    Terms in this set (20)

    nonprofits help assist in government endeavors, but can NOT be funded by the government


    ____________ has the ability to introduce methods in which government can use to assist in ensuring equity

    Social Welfare

    Which of the following is NOT an important to understand when gauging the usefulness of individual welfare programs over time


    Equity is about ____________


    A system where government ensures social and economic welfare of citizens is known as a ___________ state


    Which of the following social policies has a large state component?


    Policies in which materialistic benefits and resources flow from one to another are also called?

    Redistributive policies

    Article I of the Constitution sets out the structure and powers of what?


    Which of the following is a popular public program that would qualify as social policy?


    Which of the following is an example of redistributive policy?

    Social Security

    When listening to arguments on both sides of an issue, it is important to do what?

    understand where people come from

    according to Dr. di Poppa, those who come to the conclusion that all government is bad usually do not understand what?

    How government works

    What factor(s) influence the history of a particular idea?

    political, social, and cultural context

    what country was Dr. Francesca di Poppa born and raised


    Even extremely personal decisions on topics such a bioethics are what in nature?


    Which is NOT an example of a social policy?

    taxing and spending

    true or false: the vast majority of Americans hold extreme views on abortion, believing it should be either always legal or always illegal


    In the Pew Research Center poll, _____ of respondents favored background checks for gun shows and private sales.


    Which generation is most likely to support same sex marriage?


    True or False: We may have more common ground on controversial social

    policies than we realize


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    Consumerism Definition

    Consumerism is the idea that increasing consumption of goods and services purchased in the market is always a desirable goal.



    By ADAM HAYES Updated March 18, 2021

    Reviewed by ROBERT C. KELLY

    Fact checked by KIRSTEN ROHRS SCHMITT

    What Is Consumerism?

    Consumerism is the idea that increasing the consumption of goods and services purchased in the market is always a desirable goal and that a person's wellbeing and happiness depend fundamentally on obtaining consumer goods and material possessions. In an economic sense, it is related to the predominantly Keynesian idea that consumer spending is the key driver of the economy and that encouraging consumers to spend is a major policy goal. From this point of view, consumerism is a positive phenomenon that fuels economic growth.


    Consumerism is the theory that individuals who consume goods and services in large quantities will be better off.

    Some economists believe that consumer spending stimulates production and economic growth.

    However, consumerism has been widely criticized for its economic, social, environmental, and psychological consequences.

    0 seconds of 0 secondsVolume 75%


    Watch Now: Consumerism Explained

    Understanding Consumerism

    In common use, consumerism refers to the tendency of people living in a capitalist economy to engage in a lifestyle of excessive materialism that revolves around reflexive, wasteful, or conspicuous overconsumption. In this sense, consumerism is widely understood to contribute to the destruction of traditional values and ways of life, consumer exploitation by big business, environmental degradation, and negative psychological effects.

    Thorstein Veblen, for example, was a 19th-century economist and sociologist best known for coining the term “conspicuous consumption” in his book The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899). Conspicuous consumption is a means to show one's social status, especially when publicly displayed goods and services are too expensive for other members of the same class. This type of consumption is typically associated with the wealthy but can also apply to any economic class.

    Following the Great Depression, consumerism was largely derided. However, with the U.S. economy kickstarted by World War II and the prosperity that followed at the end of the war, the use of the term in the mid-20th century began to have a positive connotation. During this time, consumerism emphasized the benefits that capitalism had to offer in terms of improving standards of living and an economic policy that prioritized the interests of consumers. These largely nostalgic meanings have since fallen out of general use.

    As consumers spend, economists presume that consumers benefit from the utility of the consumer goods that they purchase, but businesses also benefit from increased sales, revenue, and profit. For example, if car sales increase, auto manufacturers see a boost in profits. Additionally, the companies that make steel, tires, and upholstery for cars also see increased sales. In other words, spending by the consumer can benefit the economy and the business sector in particular.

    Because of this, businesses (and some economists) have come to view increasing consumption as a critical goal in building and maintaining a strong economy, irrespective of the benefit to the consumer or society as a whole.

    The Impact of Consumerism

    According to Keynesian macroeconomics, boosting consumer spending through fiscal and monetary policy is a primary target for economic policymakers. Consumer spending makes up the lion's share of aggregate demand and gross domestic product (GDP), so boosting consumer spending is seen as the most effective way to steer the economy toward growth.

    Consumerism views the consumer as the target of economic policy and a cash cow for the business sector with the sole belief that increasing consumption benefits the economy. Saving can even be seen as harmful to the economy because it comes at the expense of immediate consumption spending.

    Consumerism also helps shape some business practices. Planned obsolescence of consumer goods can displace competition among producers to make more durable products. Marketing and advertising can become focused on creating consumer demand for new products rather than informing consumers.

    Conspicuous Consumption

    Economist Thorstein Veblen developed the concept of conspicuous consumption, where consumers purchase, own, and use products not for their direct-use value but as a way of signaling social and economic status.

    As standards of living rose after the Industrial Revolution, conspicuous consumption grew. High rates of conspicuous consumption can be a wasteful zero-sum or even negative-sum activity as real resources are used up to produce goods that are not valued for their use but rather the image they portray.

    In the form of conspicuous consumption, consumerism can impose enormous real costs on an economy. Consuming real resources in zero- or negative-sum competition for social status can offset the gains from commerce in a modern industrial economy and lead to destructive creation in markets for consumers and other goods.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Consumerism


    Advocates of consumerism point to how consumer spending can drive an economy and lead to increased production of goods and services. As a result of higher consumer spending, a rise in GDP can occur. In the United States, signs of healthy consumer demand can be found in consumer confidence indicators, retail sales, and personal consumption expenditures. Business owners, workers in the industry, and owners of raw resources can profit from sales of consumer goods either directly or through downstream buyers.

    Source : www.investopedia.com

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