Video and Social Media

The drawbacks of globalization

The free flow of goods, capital, and labor has many merits, but not everyone can enjoy the gains. Globalization has fostered economic inequality by increasing the return on capital while depriving the underprivileged, who have remained immobile and taxable. Multinational corporations have leveraged globalization to specialize, optimize supply chains, reduce costs, and evade taxes, while gaining power relative to governments. National policies have fallen short in responding to job loss, brain drain, flux in international migration, and unemployment. Globalization has promoted consumerism and overconsumption while making financial networks and supply chains more vulnerable, as demonstrated by the mortgage crisis in the United States, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. Moreover, the individualistic culture promoted by globalization has challenged societal values and otherwise cohesive social structures.

In devising policies, international associations find it difficult to reach a consensus given the diverse interests of member states. Governments have been unable to balance economic forces and free trade with societal and environmental motives. Attempting to transplant societal values into multinational corporations with a for-profit mission is unlikely to succeed. Thus, a recent OECD report admits that “we urgently need to fix globalization, but we don’t fully know how to do so.” The drawbacks of globalization have exacerbated the problems of the modern economic system. It is time to consider a new approach to cope with the drawbacks of globalization. I discuss such an approach in my book The Cooperative Economy. For more information visit the book’s website.