Tuesday, January 31, 2017

[vpswchba] Human rights abuses are inevitable with globalization

Hypothesize that with globalization, human rights abuses or more generally governments or societies treating (at least some of) their citizens terribly, or allowing them to be treated terribly, are inevitable.  This is a consequence of the combination of one economic, one political, and one psychological effect.

The economic effect is that a society/government which exploits its population for labor at low wages will "win" in a globalized economy.  The world market sets the price of goods.  If one country refuses to exploit -- perhaps instead setting a minimum wage or providing social services to its population, then another country will exploit, not doing those things.

The political effect is that laws end at country borders.  One country might decide exploitative labor conditions are bad and outlaw them, but they can't force another country to do the same. (Or maybe they can, with military meddling and cross-border propaganda, most famously the Communist movement.)  Even those being exploited may wish to maintain the status quo.

The psychological effect is that people can survive, thrive, and even feel satisfied and happy in very bad conditions.  (We still need to understand when, why, and how.  Previously somewhat related.)

If this hypothesis is true, then it is dismal science, reminiscent of Malthus.  It will always be a race to the bottom.

Perhaps then blame globalization: globalization is free (or freer) trade agreements, low cost international shipping (perhaps results of technology and world peace on the high seas -- few pirates).

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