Does Globalisation Reduce Poverty?

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  • Does Globalisation Reduce Poverty?
    • Introduction
      • In this essay I am going to discuss whether the globalisation of technology is being used to reduce poverty
        • Through improving access to medication, food security, and increasing opportunities in business.
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            • Conclude
              • To conclude, globalisation has caused the spread of technologies which can be used to alleviate poverty. But, at present not everyone has access to these technologies, and their utilisation may actually leave the world's poorest people more financially vulnerable.
            • Advances in medical technology have undoubtedly prevented millions of deaths from diseases worldwide.
              • But patenting under the TRIPS agreement means that medicines are very expensive for countries to buy. Though they can manufacture their own drugs, the countries which most need drugs for diseases like HIV and Malaria are almost always the ones which lack the industrial technology to do so.
                • Thus, these technologies may actually  increase poverty where households have to pay large amounts for medication, often choosing this over food. And by leaving less government spending for investment in other areas of the economy.
                  • I argue that an inability to invest in public funds and cost of medication directly affects the world's poorest people, who are themselves more susceptible to disease.
          • The green revolution and globalisation of food supplies are also often argued to have reduced poverty.
            • GMO technologies have increased yields in foods, and given the ability to adapt crops to be more nutritious, which arguably increases food security and nutrition.
              • However, the utilisation of these technologies in the global system can increase inequality. Shiva rightfully argues that these crops deplete natural resources substantially more than organic varieties, and the pesticides necessary to grow them pollute the surrounding environment. Thus, poverty is increased in terms of access to other basic natural resources.
                • These crops also increase poverty in financial terms. Because of patents, the sheer cost of GMO crops and their pesticides to farmers is (how much?) more than organic varieties, and are a constant drain on finances due to being artificially infertile. This has caused a rise in the number of farmer suicides in India, due to inescapable poverty.
        • It is often argued that globalisation and the spread of technologies increases opportunities to participate in global business.
          • Thomas Freidman, especially argues that the rise of call centres and centres for technology in India are causing global decrease in inequality, and therefore that the world is 'flat'
            • It is true that increased access to technology has lifted some out of poverty and created a middle class in India. As (world is spiky author) points out, when Freidman looks at India from a CEO's office in India it does look very similar to New York.
              • Freidman fails to realise that not everyone in the world has access to these technologies, even in India people still live without them and aren't being lifted out of poverty. Thus, the world is 'spiky', with only a few lifted from poverty.

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