19 May 2022


Globalization and Labor in the US

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Academic level: College

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Part 1

Globalization has transformed mankind in many ways. Some of its impacts have been positive while others have been negative. The effects of globalization on the core and semi-peripheral nations have largely been positive. Thanks to globalization, these nations are able to access global markets. Furthermore, globalization offers these nations access to affordable labor. For example, American companies offshore some of their operations to Asian markets where the cost of labor is lower. It is important to note that the core and semi-peripheral nations have also suffered as a result of globalization. One of the negative impacts that globalization has had on these nations is capital flight which refers to “the movement of capital from one nation to another” (Openstax, 2016). Capital flight causes these nations to lose investors. An example of an incident that involved capital flight is the decision by General Motors to shift its operations from the US to Mexico. The employees in these nations suffer as they lose their jobs. 

The semi-peripheral countries have borne the brunt of globalization. The workforces of these nations have suffered immensely. It has been revealed that employees in these countries are subjected to harsh conditions. They work for very long hours and receive very little pay (“Hidden Face of Globalization”, 2007). Inequality has also become rampant in the peripheral nations. The owners of capital subject the working class to very harsh conditions. For instance, it is understood that companies move their operations to nations where the cost of labor is low. Many instances of abuse and mistreatment have been reported in these nations. This is clear indication that globalization has promote inequality in the peripheral world. Inequality has also been observed in the core and peripheral nations and it has been blamed on globalization. The gap between the rich and the poor keeps increasing thereby resulting in economic inequality (Openstax, 2016). On the whole, globalization has mostly been positive since it has opened up the world and has allowed nations and communities to interact seamlessly. 

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Part 2

In past years, the labor movement in the United States enjoyed wide support among the American public. Today, this has changed since many Americans are opposed to labor unions. While it is true that the labor movement in the US has lost its appeal and relevance, it is important to recognize the long and intriguing history that this movement has had. The origins of this movement can be traced back to the 19th century when American workers joined forces to demand better treatment and pay. There are a number of key events and moments in history that have shaped the labor movement and worker rights in the US. The Haymarket incident is among this (“Noam Chomsky on”, 2009). This incident occurred at the height of labor unrests in the US. Aggrieved workers resorted to violence to force the government to make concessions and honor their demands. The violence that characterized labor relations at this time could help to explain the negative image that the labor movement has today. It is possible that Americans have grown weary of violence and confrontation. They desire diplomacy and peace. Since the labor movement seems unable to calmly resolve issues, it has lost the support of the American public. It is true that the American labor movement has largely employed violence in its advocacy for the rights of workers. However, it must be recognized that employers and industrialists also resorted to violence. They turned to security agencies which quashed rebellions and protests by American workers through the use of force (“Noam Chomsky on”, 2009). The violence that the labor movement suffered can help to explain the little support that the movement has today and the quest by American workers to have their rights honored. It is possible that the violence that the movement endured earned them sympathy and this is why some portion of the American public still supports the movement and believes that the rights of the American worker must be defended by all means. 

Part 3

The policies that the US had adopted over the years regarding worker compensation have evolved considerably. Gone are the days when workers were at the mercy of their employers. Today, the American government has enacted legislation and instituted policies that are aimed at protecting American workers. The early policies that the US adopted concerning worker compensation shares similarities with the policies that low-income countries that rely heavily on labor have implemented. In the early days of the labor movement, there were no meaningful policies aimed at ensuring that workers were compensated fairly (“Theodore Roosevelt”, n.d). This is also the case in the poor countries. These countries have failed to institute policies which demand that employers offer their employees adequate compensation. The other similarity between the early policies of the US and those adopted by the low income nations lies in government opposition to fair worker compensation. In the early days of the labor movement, government agencies were used to quell employee protests. It appears that the American government was keen on safeguarding the interests of employees at the cost of worker rights. Poor nations have also failed to protect the compensation rights of their employees. Most of these nations desperately wish to attract investment and in an effort to woo investors, they fail to protect the rights of their employees. The main similarity between the early American policies and the policies adopted in the low-income, labor-intensive nations concerns the role of activists. The US has benefited from several activists who are committed to securing better compensation for workers. For instance, President Roosevelt is remembered for championing the rights of American workers by taking on the corporate world (“Theodore Roosevelt”, n.d). The poor nations have also benefited from the efforts of activist organizations and individuals who wish to create friendly and fairer environments for workers. 


Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: Openstax. 

Hidden Face of Globalization. (2007). Retrieved 26th February 2017 from


Noam Chomsky on Violence in the Labor Movement. (2009). Retrieved 26th February 

2017 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMV-cU27pg8&feature=related  

Theodore Roosevelt vs. JP Morgan. (n.d). Retrieved 26th February 2017 from


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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Globalization and Labor in the US.


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