State Of The World And Third World Countries

Many non-communist countries are poor, but so are most of the communist countries. Thus, if poverty and economic backwardness are to define the third world, much of the second word would have to be included. International analysts are inconsistent in their use of the term third world. For most business purposes, it is better to treat all communist countries as members of the second world because of their entirely different economic systems and decision criteria. Business analysts therefore, limit the third world to noncommunist developing nations.

The unifying force for the third world has been absolute poverty. To break its grip, these countries have sought to internationalize and modernize their economies. This common commitment to economic progress has welded these diverse cultures and political systems into a global coalition to facilitate mutual assistance activities and to form a common front vis-à-vis the first and the second world nations.

Third world attitudes toward business still remain warped by colonial legacies. Tribalism, distrust of central authority and top-heavy income distribution are common. Much of the economy is landbound. Dependence on agriculture and other extractive industries dominates. Land use is often governed by tribal traditions rather than agronomic considerations, and the productivity of land is generally lower than in the developed countries. The traditional patterns of land use limit the demand for agricultural machinery and technical services. The best developed manufacturing sectors produce light consumer goods, with durables on a rapid upswing in the more advanced LDCs.

Despite a borderless world that is a consequence of the internationalization of the economy due to globalization, nation-states still reserve the right to implement their own policies and economic decisions. The author mentions about the role of nation-states and governments in implementing national security policies and economic measures that will either make their territories an ideal place for investments or a non-conducive place for investments. In the conclusion of the section in the demise of nation-states, the author emphasizes that the “demise of nation-states” concept is premature, although globalization as a process leads to a difficulty among state governments to practice their conventional or traditional functions.

There is rhetoric in this stance. The political power of nation-states over their territories has economic implications. This means that we cannot just separate the economy of a nation from its politics as economic policies are also political decisions. If nation-states or governments are to make new policies, are these decisions internally influenced or influenced by external forces? By internal influences, I meant that these policies are based on innate sentiments of their own people and citizens. Governments just become implementing arms of international trade organizations and agreements to uphold the policies of liberalization and deregulation because a consequence of the latter is that they will just become mere implementers of globalization policies? If the decisions are internally influenced, we have to examine the ideological stance of these nation-states to conclude that they do reserve their conventional political powers because mere subservience to the same international policies will lead to but only one face in the world.

Third world countries to site as an example are making their political and economic decisions based on explicitly-pronounced treatises like the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades (GATT) and World Trade Organization (WTO). Although there are patriotic and indigenous resistances from the inside against liberalization and deregulation policies as a result of globalization, the ruling elite of these countries have already committed to other countries who are also signatories to the GATT and WTO international agreements, and the voice of resistance is just but a small act to be taken significantly. In this sense, the internal influence has become less powerful to influence the decisions of the nation-states or governments, who are composed of little elements: “politicians” and statesmen exposed to the trend and idea of globalization. Although there is a part of the bureaucracy in these member countries that provide benchmark data on economic decisions, these bureaucracies are just following what politicians and statesmen uphold. It will just take a mere indoctrination to become part of the borderless world economy (Naidu, 1999).

In reality, globalization is a “democratic” invention. It is about the clashing of the east and the west; a constant battle between socialist and democratic ideologies. Depending on which perspectives these nation-states or governments side, economies of these nation-states or governments will have to be either “democratic” or “socialistic.” The demise of nation-states is premature, but more or less, their direction is committed to international economic agreements that are predictable.

Accordingly, as globalization advocate Jeffrey Sachs claimed, nations which strongly adopted the scheme experienced greater effects such as above-average drop in poverty rates as the case of China compared to some areas in Africa, which did not embrace the concept thus poverty rates have remained stagnant.3 With globalization, policies are geared towards a free-market economic systems thus, greater opportunities for promoting trades of goods, services and investments are just at hand. Through these, businesses, finances and economies are indeed growing and continuously prospering. Consequently, the major problem of unemployment faced by these small countries, particularly belonging to the third world, are indeed addressed upon. The concept entails rational allocation of resources, both human and financial.

Meanwhile, people of large and developed countries see globalization as a threat to world peace and their economies. As reported by United Nations Development Program, critics contended that global interconnectivity of nations and knowledge empowerment may help breed terrorism.

Economically speaking, major and high paying jobs these rich countries can offer are taken by skilled immigrants.

This causes negative effects to the local residents, such as insecurity. Relatively, this is the result of the massive global migration for the purpose of providing services. Free movement of people from one country to another is encouraged in globalization.

The ideas presented above help us conclude that globalization can be both beneficial and a threat to people. The term can still be used in more contexts by many people for different purposes. In fact, the word has become the subject of research and further studies which tried to look at all its angles. Indeed, greater implications in all aspects of governance and areas of development have yet to be thought of. The essence of globalization as one sees it should not be disassociated with change – change for the good of mankind.

The Economist, a leading international news magazine asked if inequality matters. The magazine argued that in good economic times, even the poor feel better off. Meanwhile, during the bad times, the rich may lose the most money, but the poor lose their jobs, their houses, and even their families. The editorial furthers that helping the truly poor is a better objective than merely narrowing the inequalities. The contention that it posed is that if the rich get poorer, some people may feel pleased, but few are better off. Finally, it states that helping the poor is not just a humanitarian move but is also something that should be done to ensure stability and continued economic growth of the society.

Seen from the humanists’ theory, there is an ethical concept of equity as a synonym for social justice and fairness. Inequities are inequalities that are seen as unfair and are both unacceptable and avoidable. For instance, equity in health care means that health care resources are allocated according to need, health services are received according to need, and payment for health services is made according to ability to pay. There is a commitment to ensure high standards of real access, quality, and acceptability in health services for all. (Does inequality matter?).

In the 1990s, there was growing concern that the efficiency-driven health reforms implemented in poor countries, utilizing instruments such as direct user-payments, exemption mechanisms, various insurance schemes, privatization, decentralization, might can lead to decreased social justice and fairness as well as add to instability. It was also seen to slow down of economic growth in the poorest countries. Davidson R Gwatkin of the World Bank asks for new health sector reforms that are equity-oriented. He also urges that these be executed with even more determination than the efficiency-directed reforms of the 1990s.

Gwatkin further states that there must be an identification of measures that can deal effectively with the inequalities that have been uncovered. (Does inequality matter?). The political consequences of globalization presents the sides of “hyperglobalizers” who advocate the concept of a “borderless world” and assert that political power rests on “global social formations” rather than geographically-based power. Globalization skeptics are believers of the conventional power of nation-states in regulating their own policies and economic decisions.

“Political globalization refers to the intensification and expansion of political interrelations across the global” (Steger 56). The effect of globalization upon the political dimension of an individual state threatens the national sovereignty with its insistence of a borderless world. In the progression of economic system within the borders of nation-states, there needs to exist a “gradual extension of political activities across national boundaries” (Steger 57). With the political concessions obtained in exchange for financial loans, International Monetary Fund, for example, can coerce the borrower state to lower the tariff rate of certain commodity goods. Eroding political power, the domestic industries of that particular commodity will likewise suffer.

Tagged as a new form of imperialism, globalisation is seen by many, especially by the anti-globalist, as equivalent to international aggression of the ruling industrialist countries over the weaker countries (Machan 2002). It is also the term used in mass media, by leftists (or activists), and by politicians, although discussion of its exact and accurate description was confined to circles of academe, economists, and international relation students (Petras & Veltmeyer 2001).

Globalisation is perceived to provide promising outcomes to stop wars and international violence, to save the global environment, and to alleviate, if not totally eradicate, third world poverty (Naidu 1999). For Petras and Veltmeyer (2001), globalisation engages a “widening and deepening of the international flows of trade, capital, technology, and information within a single integrated market.”

Apart from conventional beliefs, a nation with less wealth is not necessarily a nation of deprived individuals. Conversely, having more wealth expressed in terms of income and property (i.e., GDP and GNP) does not translate to greater well-being of the populace. Poverty is affected not merely by economic factors but also of social and cultural environment, affecting the general quality of people’s life.

Another way of defining poverty is to look into its antithesis. Anup Shah (2006) of Global Issues has the following views with regards to successful development: it means access to basic needs, an environment of overall stability, and an equal chance to owning land and property. An ideal, poverty-free society encourages democratic participation and does not hamper the right to make educated decisions that are free from oppression and harassment. It also adheres to the United Nation’s guidelines to Human Development.

World poverty has its roots in the socio-cultural structures of nations that date back to the age of colonization and imperialism. Thus, one of the myths that surround poverty is that poor, developing countries are caught in the ‘vicious trap’ with no chance of liberation. Walter B. Williams (2003) of the George Mason University asserts that this is one of the greatest lies, as rich nations surely are not born rich. As a teacher of economics, he states that this belief enslaves poor nations to the foreign aids extended by industrialized ones, making them even more dependent and indebted. These development funds, from the viewpoints of analysts, are just means to protect existing corrupt systems and to preserve tyrants and crooks in their positions.

Williams (2003) and Lappé with her colleagues (1998) dispute the correlation made between population and poverty. Hunger is a result of inequities in societies where “land ownership, jobs, education, health care, and old age security are beyond the reach of most people” (Lappé, Collins, Rosset & Esparza, 1998). Williams stressed that the citizens are a nation’s ultimate wealth, but only with proper investments. He cited Hong Kong and Taiwan as ideal examples. They have higher population densities than China but are more progressive than the latter because of their economic policies and more educated populace.

Being poor, far from the sentiments of the upper and the middle classes, does not happen by choice or is a product of a person’s sheer laziness. This is one of the common misconceptions because poverty occurs from the lack of opportunities and tools for success, not because the individual is a failure. The world’s current production of food and resources is actually enough to feed the whole planet and to make everyone live comfortably. The problem is that these wealth are concentrated among the powerful few.

Inequality cannot be separated from the concept of poverty, and with other societal issues. There are different kinds of inequality, but one of the most prevalent, besides the ones previously mentioned economic disparity, is that of racial and ethnic origin. Racial and ethnic inequalities result from the recognition of physical or cultural differences between groups and attaching social definitions to them. For instance, black and Hispanic students are usually stigmatized as poor in class relative to their Asian and White counterparts. Richard Anderson (2000) from the University of Colorado at Denver confirmed that African American Air Force trainees fare not quite as good with the other students because of the (white) instructors’ alleged lack of faith in their capacities. They are not given as much opportunity to take risks, which is an integral part in their course.

Another form of inequality is one inflicted among women. Although prevalent in the Third Worlds of Africa and Asia, gender inequality is definitely a worldwide phenomenon. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen (2001) presented the “many faces of gender inequality” in his works. The seven types are mortality inequality, natality inequality, basic facility inequality, special opportunity inequality, professional inequality, ownership inequality and household inequality. For modern societies, women’s oppressions typically include the burden of maintaining career and home at the same, as well as roadblocks to occupational or educational success. However, in traditional cultures where women are viewed as mere second-class citizens, domestic abuse, abortion of female babies and foetal-sex change becomes the problem.

Poverty and inequality are two of the greatest problems afflicting the world today. They bore the greatest effect on human lives and cannot be separated from other ails afflicting society. Once the public collectively attach labels to the traits distinctive of a particular group or gender, behaviour towards this group is altered. This will eventually shape their roles in the community. The adverse affect of this may range from overt, like a denied admission to a good university, or subtle, like slower customer services. Generally, their parity right to resources and opportunities is breached, and due to the differential treatment, they are involuntarily segregated as unwanted members of the population.

Apart from conventional beliefs, a nation with less wealth is not necessarily a nation of deprived individuals. Conversely, having more wealth expressed in terms of income and property (i.e., GDP and GNP) does not translate to greater well being of the populace. Poverty is affected not merely by economic factors but also of social and cultural environment, affecting the general quality of people’s life.

Another way of defining poverty is to look into its antithesis. Anup Shah (2006) of Global Issues has the following views with regards to successful development: it means access to basic needs, an environment of overall stability, and an equal chance to owning land and property. An ideal, poverty-free society encourages democratic participation and does not hamper the right to make educated decisions that are free from oppression and harassment. It also adheres to the United Nation’s guidelines to Human Development.

Williams (2003) and Lappé with her colleagues (1998) dispute the correlation made between population and poverty. Hunger is a result of inequities in societies where “land ownership, jobs, education, health care, and old age security are beyond the reach of most people” (Lappé, Collins, Rosset & Esparza, 1998). Williams stressed that the citizens are a nation’s ultimate wealth, but only with proper investments. He cited Hong Kong and Taiwan as ideal examples. They have higher population densities than China but are more progressive than the latter because of their economic policies and more educated populace.

Being poor, far from the sentiments of the upper and the middle classes, does not happen by choice or is a product of a person’s sheer laziness. This is one of the common misconceptions because poverty occurs from the lack of opportunities and tools for success, not because the individual is a failure. The world’s current production of food and resources is actually enough to feed the whole planet and to make everyone live comfortably. The problem is that these wealth are concentrated among the powerful few.

Inequality cannot be separated from the concept of poverty, and with other societal issues. There are different kinds of inequality, but one of the most prevalent, besides the ones previously mentioned economic disparity, is that of racial and ethnic origin. Racial and ethnic inequalities result from the recognition of physical or cultural differences between groups and attaching social definitions to them. For instance, black and Hispanic students are usually stigmatized as poor in class relative to their Asian and White counterparts. Richard Anderson (2000) from the University of Colorado at Denver confirmed that African American Air Force trainees fare not quite as good with the other students because of the (white) instructors’ alleged lack of faith in their capacities. They are not given as much opportunity to take risks, which is an integral part in their course.

In sum, world poverty has its roots in the socio-cultural structures of nations that date back to the age of colonization and imperialism. Thus, one of the myths that surround poverty is that poor, developing countries are caught in the ‘vicious trap’ with no chance of liberation. Walter B. Williams (2003) of the George Mason University asserts that this is one of the greatest lies, as rich nations surely are not born rich. As a teacher of economics, he states that this belief enslaves poor nations to the foreign aids extended by industrialized ones, making them even more dependent and indebted. These development funds, from the viewpoints of analysts, are just means to protect existing corrupt systems and to preserve tyrants and crooks in their positions.

References

Anderson, R.H. (2000). Racial and Ethnic Inequality. 2008. Web.

Does inequality matter? The Economist, London UK, 2001, Web.

Gwatkin DR. The need for equity-oriented health sector reforms. International Journal of Epidemiology, 2001, 30:720-723.

Lappé, F.M., Collins, J., Rosset, P., & Esparza, L., (1998). World Hunger:12 Myths. 2008. Web. 

Naidu, M.V. 1999, Globalization: Threat or Promise?, 2008. Web.

Patterson, James 2005-2006 OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program. 2008.

Patterson, James. America’s Struggle Against Poverty in the Twentieth Century.

Petras, J. & Veltmeyer H. Globalization Unmasked: Imperialism in the 21st century. 2008. Web. 

Shah, A. (2006). Poverty Around the World. Web.

Sen, A. (2001). Many Faces of Gender Inequality. Frontline 18(22). Web.

Williams, W.E. (2003). Poverty Myths. Web.