NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Globalization is Hope for the Developing World

December 16, 2003

Under global capitalism, people are no longer confined by the decisions of national elites, including local monopolies, local powers and politicians. Instead, through globalization, they have more freedom of choice over their own consumption, to buy things from abroad and to get the cultural influences they want, says Johan Norberg, author of "In Defense of Global Capitalism."

Looking at current living standards in the world, says Norberg, one can see the progress that has been made through globalization:

  • In the last 30 years, chronic hunger and the extent of child labor have been halved.
  • In the last 40 years, life expectancy has risen to 64 years in developing countries.
  • Literacy levels are approaching the maximum in most countries in the world.
  • Over the past 20 years, 200 million people have left absolute poverty -- defined as living on the equivalent of less than $1 a day.
  • In a globalized, competitive economy, women are a potential resource; they are able to have new ideas, to produce and to work, such that to discriminate against them is to lose opportunities as a society or as an employer.
  • All goods, ideas and people that cross borders under globalization allow people to see more alternatives to certain ways of living; when women and other oppressed groups see how their counterparts in the West are treated, they want to be treated similarly.

Sources: Nick Gillespie, "Poor Man's Hero: Controversial Writer Johan Norberg Champions Globalization as the Best Hope for the Developing World," Reason, December 2003.

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