Have you ever boycotted a product or company? Have you stopped buying products made in Vietnam or Taiwan? Maybe you shouldn’t. By doing so, you might be contributing to the continuance of poverty in these countries. This was the message in a program we watched today as part of my International Tourism and Globalization module. The message was that the anti-globalization movement is the enemy of the poor. Now, this is a highly biased message, but there were many points worth a ponder, I think. We often picture under-paid workers in sweatshops when we think of Nike shoes made in Vietnam, but did you know that the monthly rate of pay for a worker in the Nike factory in Vietnam is $54/month, as opposed to the local average of $18/month for most other jobs, which affords the worker a much better quality of life and contributes to the overall economy of Vietnam being on the rise. American multi-nationals, on average, pay eight times more than local companies. Nike workers also receive free or subsidized meals as well as company sponsored activities. Another way Nike is helping Vietnam is by giving micro loans to local people wanting to start these own businesses. This is paving the way for the industrialization of the country. Anti-globalization protestors would have you think otherwise, and perhaps sway you to boycott these products. On one hand, the protestors are most likely holding these companies responsible by raising awareness and in doing so, holding them accountable for their practices, but they will not tell you that in the past 15 years, the amount of people living in poverty in Vietnam has been halved. According to this program, one way countries remain poor is as a result of resisting globalization.
What do you think of the government subsidizing farmers? The European Union (EU) spends half of their budget on farmers! This ends up having a detrimental effect on farmers in Kenya, as there is so much foreign product imported that they can not sell what they themselves grow, and are kept in poverty. It takes away their change to compete, especially since the EU import tariffs are so high that Kenyan farmers can not afford to sell their products to European countries.