Globalization and the third world

There have been a lot of good posts around the blogosphere about globalization and its effects on the third world. Art Carden writes at the Mises Blog about a slide show from the NY Times:

One caption makes a salient point: the children picking through garbage for 75 cents a day would love to work in a factory. The work is easier, the pay is better, and the conditions are much safer. If market forces dictate, they should have that chance.

Radley Balko echoes this sentiment:

Western "sweatshops" are proven to pay more than any other available option -- usually several times the prevailing wage. "Sweatshop" workers are typically the envy of their communities. Which is why the most recent Pew poll showed the people of developing countries to have overwhelmingly positive views of western multinationals (and decidedly less positive opinions of anti-globalization protesters).

Anti-globos and "fair traders" are right about one thing: This is a moral issue. Each time anti-globos send a third-world worker back to the garbage dumps, or the sex trade, or to begging, with their boycotts and demands that, for example, universities not buy sweatshop-made textiles, these principled activists make the morality of the free trade issue quite clear.

Chris Wilkins makes a similar point:

Is there substantial room for improvement in third world labor conditions? Undeniably. Is a fair wage earned in safe working conditions something that we should all wish devoutly that all workers in the world
enjoyed? Without a doubt. But boycotting products from nations with sweatshops, or raising import tariffs to effectively keep them out, would have only one outcome: more poverty.


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I've yet to hear a

I've yet to hear a satisfactory explanation of what globalization is. I'd say the benefits cited above are the result of trade but I gather that globalization requires a lot of wonks and government officials.

I used the word

I used the word globalization as simply trade, not as govt intervention to make it happen.

It seems that the lefty anti-globos see "globalization" as being free trade, and that is why they are against it, and to them the WTO represents free trade.

It seems that the folks at the Mises Institute see "globalization" as managed trade with govt wonks etc, and to them this is what the WTO represents (and I agree with that view).

Humorously, both are against "globalization" and the WTO for opposite reasons.

It seems that the folks at Cato see "globalization" as free trade and are for it.

If only we could agree on the meaning of words before the debate started...

Why would advocates of

Why would advocates of globalization need a new vocabulary if all they meant was free trade?

In his "Vote Dean" article

In his "Vote Dean" article on Fox News Balko praised Clinton for the "free trade agreements" GATT and NAFTA. GATT and NAFTA are of course examples of highly managed trade.