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August 3, 2004

News & Opinion: The Bad in Globalization

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 2:27 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

To be fair and balanced, I wanted to write a companion entry to our The Good in Globalization entry.
There are three books that have come across my desk in the last week that look at the other side of the issue. The first was The Globalization Gap by Robert Issak (FT Prentice Hall, July 2004). From the inside flap:
"The Globalization Gap" reveals how globalization is spreading poverty, disease, and the disintegration of traditional cultures. A few "winners" are using their wealth to buffer themselves against these radical transformations. But, in most places, the new wealth generated by globalization is not trickling down. The result? More misery - and political upheavals that will endanger all of us.
Isaak presents a realistic blueprint for sharing opportunity and creating sustainable opportunity and creating sustainable innovation everywhere not just amongst the wealthy. In so doing, he takes on the most crucial challenge of the 21st century: making globalization work for everyone.

The second book was from one of the most vocal opponent of foreign outsourcing, CNN's Lou Dobbs. For almost two years, he has been running reports on Lou Dobbs Live and writing columns in U.S News and World Report and Tribune Syndicate criticizing the outsourcing of American jobs. Dobb's new book Exporting America: Why Corporate Greed Is Shipping American Jobs Overseas (Warner Business, August 2004) is a continuation of crusade. Dobbs claims "Big Business and Washington are in cahoots, trading our nation's livelihood for short-term gain. In the appendix, he provides a list of companies that have outsourced jobs or have chosen to use foreign labor. The list is 29 pages long.
The final book was In Your Face: How American Marketing Excess Fuels Anti-Americanism by Johny Johansson (Prentice Hall, April 2004). At one point, Johansson talks about how the backlash against American products seems to be focused on a relative few:
Thus, the evidence suggests that if alleged misdeeds occur on the supply side- third-world sourcing, environmental degradation, and so on- anti-globalization protests might emerge regardless of what country, what product category, or what brands are involved. On the other hand, when it comes to the demand side and what happens to brands in the marketplace, the anti-globalizers' focus is narrower. The brands in the "high-risk" zone are the brands that try to defeat incumbent locals with standardized products, lower price, and more promotion, in the product categories where markets are mature and competition for share is intense, and where there are strong non-traditional lifestyle implications the American way of life...[p110]