Ethical Issues in Globalization

Globalization has both positive and negative consequences.

Globalization refers to the modern phenomena of cultures, nations and financial institutions around the world becoming more and more interconnected. As a result of this interconnection, these various institutions are becoming interdependent. This interdependency carries with it ethical and practical issues that are being addressed by politicians and scientists worldwide.

1 Jobs

One of the main issues concerning the globalization of the planet is that it has put many jobs in first world countries in jeopardy. “Mind workers,” such as engineers, lawyers and doctors, generally have the ability to find jobs and demand high prices for their work in first world countries; laborers and manual workers, however, are experiencing a loss of positions in first world countries, as their services can be outsourced much more cheaply to workers in third world countries.

2 Brain Drain

The “brain drain” effect of globalization is another ethical issue; it refers to talented or educated people in third world countries who leave their countries of origin for better opportunities in first world countries. This leaves third world countries lacking homegrown, educated professionals such as doctors and engineers.

3 Natural Resources

According to the State of The World 2006 Report, “The world's ecological capacity is simply insufficient to satisfy the ambitions of China, India, Japan, Europe and the United States as well as the aspirations of the rest of the world in a sustainable way.” Tropical rainsforests around the world, predominantly in Brazil, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, are being felled for fuel and cattle-grazing pastures. Apart from wildlife concerns, this reduction in rainforests will have a huge effect on oxygen levels for the entire planet.

4 Health

Easier means of transportation can easily lead to the spread of highly infectious diseases. This is, however, no modern phenomena; in the 14th century, the Black Death spread from Asia to Europe, wiping out approximately 50% of Europe's population. When Europe first colonized the Americas, diseases such as smallpox were responsible for around 90% of Native Americans who died during that time. Modern diseases such as HIV/AIDS and swine flu, however, have been spread through modern means of transport such as air travel.

5 Financial

Due to an increasingly globalized world, there is a growing market and financial interdependency between nations. The U.S. subprime mortgage collapse, for example, led to an almost worldwide depression, especially affecting Europe.

Max Quigley started writing professionally in 2007. He has worked on publications such as "The Liberty," "Chrome," "DIT News," "The Kippure," "Ausblick," "Backpacker Magazine" and ciNews, holding such roles as section editor, copy editor, reporter and layout designer. Quigley has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and German from Dublin Institute of Technology.